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Mary Jane Stotts Robbins

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Mary Jane Stotts Robbins Obituary
Mary Jane Stotts Robbins

Little Rock, AR

Mary Jane "MJ" Stotts Robbins, 67, died on August 7, 2017, at her home in Little Rock, AR.

A native of Lake City, AR, MJ is predeceased by her parents, Fred Robert Stotts and Irene Guthrie Stotts. She is survived by her older siblings, Gwendolyn Stotts Whyers of Arnold, MO and Fredrick Stotts (Janet) of Texarkana, TX. MJ has four nieces: Kimberly Whyers Marlotte (Raymond) of Arnold, MO; Shawna Stotts Nielsen (Richard) of Edmond, OK; Dawna Stotts Haley (Timothy) of Jonesboro, AR; and Tracy Stotts Weed (David) of Little Rock, AR.

After graduating from Lake City High School and Arkansas State University, MJ taught physical education in Memphis, Tennessee for several years. In the 1980s, she tirelessly worked as a volunteer to help restore the historic Orpheum Theatre. She earned her master's degree from Memphis State University and began a new career in Instructional Design working for FedEx. MJ retired early from FedEx in 2003 and moved to Little Rock, a city she felt drawn to for its creative spirit.

MJ quickly acquired two loyal companion Springer Spaniel puppies, Bella and Piper. She immersed herself in the local arts community as a member of the Arkansas Arts Center and a student of the Museum School. Her intrigue in fine metalworking inspired her studies in the Art Department of UALR. In the School of Applied Design, MJ met her artist mentor, David Clemons who encouraged her to study at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.

MJ is remembered for her dedication to living creatively and her encouragement to other artists. Her artworks (metal, wood, ceramic, textile) are remembered for her signature vibrant coloration and handsome texturing; innovation in design and technique; and the incorporation of her incorrigible sense of humor.

A celebration of MJ's life and creative talent will be held on Sunday, October 8 at 3 p.m. at the Esse Purse Museum in downtown Little Rock.

Memorial donations may be made to the UALR School of Applied Design and the Arkansas Foodbank.

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Roller-Chenal Funeral Home

Published in The Commercial Appeal on Oct. 5, 2017
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