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SCHAFFNER, Mary Martin Died December 5, 2012, in Nashville at age 73, of complications from cancer. Mary was born in Paducah, KY, and was raised in Chicago, IL. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1961 and received her law degree from Vanderbilt in 1977. She was preceded in death by her parents, Guy E. Martin and Mildred Stegar Martin, and by her brother, Guy Emerson Martin. She is survived by her children, Maria C. Schaffner and Ethan W. Schaffner; her grandchildren, Paul Martin Reich and Mary Sophia Reich; and her niece, Katie Martin, (Marc Scheinkin); and her grandnephew, Flynn. Mary spent her entire legal career at the Nashville firm of Howell and Fisher and earned a reputation as a tenacious litigator. Her legal work was brilliant and her grammar was flawless. Away from the office, she was a deeply loving mother who cooked from scratch, smocked clothes for her children, and instilled in them a love of knowledge that has stood them in good stead. A lifelong learner who excelled in all her endeavors, Mary was passionate about gender and racial equality, native plants, Democratic politics, gardening, her beloved antebellum home, taking the perfect wildflower photograph, and the pleasure of reading. Her grandchildren were her greatest joy in her later years. A visitation with friends and family will be held at her home, 3702 Granny White Pike on Thursday, December 13, from 3 to 7 p.m. Mary loved greatly and was greatly loved in return. In lieu of flowers, her family requests that you take the time to hug and kiss your loved ones, as she often did with them. PHILLIPS-ROBINSON FUNERAL HOME, (615) 262-3312. Still Family Owned.

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Published in The Tennessean on Dec. 9, 2012.
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Memories & Condolences
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9 entries
January 22, 2013
When we were undergrads at Vanderbilt, she was MaryBert from Princeton Kentucky, the smartest girl in the room no matter which room. She was a regal Queen Gertrude and I still picture her in that ivory linen gown and golden crown atop the geometric set designed by Bob Baldwin. I was a bridesmaid in her summer wedding, which I called a "Garden Wedding under the Moonflowers" and she called "getting married in the backyard" but every detail was impeccable..our dresses she designed, the little leather books of Shakespeare Sonnets she gave us, the attention to the music, the photographer who had never been to a wedding and so much more. She had a gift for the artistic, for the delicious, for the intelligent and for the theatre and for her friends. I miss the passion she brought to our lives, the many laughs and brilliant wit. Here's to you MaryBert,Maria and Ethan with deep and lasting affection.
Theresa Jabaley
December 30, 2012
Ms. Schaffner was my evidence professor at NSL during her tenure there. I can still hear her instructions to "get it in the box" to have anything considered as evidence. I admired her strength and dedication to her many interests.
Russell Anne Swafford Class of 1996 -- Nashville School of Law
December 15, 2012
I worked with Mary in the Tennessee Native Plant Society in the early 90s, when she was president of the society. She was, in every way, always thorough, wise, and kind. We are saddened.
Latham Davis
December 12, 2012
Every time I look or even think about my son I think about what she did for him and our family I never will forget her and the love she showed us she is truly an Angel we love you Mary Schafner you will be MISSED by sooooooooooooo many!
The Mother Of Prince Bradley-Crittenden
Shayanne Bradley Crittenden
Shayanne Crittenden
December 10, 2012
Mary was an excellent lawyer, a dedicated advocate, and a good friend. I shall miss her.
Bill Bruce
December 10, 2012
Mary was a stunner, who could make you laugh until you cried with her sharp wit. Mary could make things happen. She was the "go to" person for legions. Mary Martin Schaffner will be missed, I am so glad she was in my life.
Charlotte Mabry
December 10, 2012
I got this awful news from another Vanderbilt alum and am shocked beyond measure. We had visited after our 50th reunion last year and while I didn't expect her to visit me -- travel is one of the few things Mary did not do well -- I firmly expected to enjoy more conversations in that charming house. Mary was such a passionate soul: in her enthusiasms and her witty and brilliant analysis of just about anything that caught her eye. My heart goes out to her children and grandchildren, who were the source of immeasureable joy for her.

Susan Gregory Carr
December 9, 2012
May God Bless Your Family at this time of Sorrow Mary was such a Beautiful person we are so sorry to here of her passing Heaven has Opened It's Doors for another Angel!
Prince Bradley -Crittenden & Family
Shayanne-Bradley Crittenden
December 9, 2012
Mary was a wonderful friend and mentor. She had a beautiful mellifluous voice and one of the most memorable laughs I've ever heard. She was extremely quick witted and had a razor sharp mind. I realize I'm a better person for having had the opportunity of knowing her and feel quite fortunate in counting her as a friend for all these many years. To say that she will be greatly missed is an understatement. My thoughts are with Ethan and Maria and her closest friends.
Catherine Horne
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