MARY BATESON
1939 - 2021
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Dr. Mary Catherine Bateson   
Dr. Mary Catherine Bateson, died peacefully on January 2, 2021 holding her daughter's hand.Dr. Bateson was a best-selling author, a linguist, and a cultural anthropologist. Among her many books, With A Daughter's Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, was the New York Times Best of the Year list in 1984 and her New York Times best-selling Composing A Life was published in 1991.Her literary legacy will be cataloged at the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.In the later part of her life, she was dedicated to preserving our natural world and addressing the social and environmental impacts of climate change and the dire need for inter-generational communication, increased focus on the changing life cycle and encouraging older adults to claim a voice for the future. At the time of her death, she was working on a book based on six lectures she gave at Boston College entitled "Love Across Difference." This book will be published posthumously.She is survived by her husband of 60 years, J. Barkev Kassarjian, her only child, daughter Sevanne Margaret Kassarjian, son-in-law, Paul Griffin, grandsons, Cyrus James and Anton Gregory Griffin, and her half-sister, Nora Bateson. Services private. "We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn." Mary Catherine Bateson

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Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 10, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
February 28, 2021
Friend, Mentor, and Companion along the way - this wise teacher still walks with so many of us. With love, John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker
John Grim
Friend
January 22, 2021
A profound mind and a generous soul. She touched our lives deeply and expanded our understanding in profound ways. Rest in peace, Catherine.
Stephen Tolle & Mahnaz Keshavarzian
Friend
January 17, 2021
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Woody & Chris Huntington
January 16, 2021
I just learned today of Mary Catherine's death. I am so glad we were able to have a conversation last month, not long after her birthday. I'm saddened that she died so young. I expected many more years of wit and kindness. She was the smartest person I have ever met and was an imp at heart. I always remember a game we made up and played a couple of decades ago about all the things Gresham's Law also applied to. In 2017 she wrote the Afterword for my book AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin? and I will treasure it all the more now. I miss you Mary Catherine.
Bob Stilger
Friend
January 15, 2021
So sorry, Vanni, to hear about your Mother’s death. You are in my thoughts and prayers!
Sending love, Joyce Cohen.
Joyce Cohen
Friend
January 14, 2021
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Babson College
January 12, 2021
Sevanne I am so sorry to read of your mother’s passing, you spoke so fondly of her. Covid brought you here for a reason. I am glad you got to spend this past year with her. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.
Donna Doran (Horseback friend from Hancock)
Acquaintance
January 12, 2021
Thank you so much for sharing so graciously of your wisdom.
Lois Johnson
Acquaintance
January 12, 2021
Mary was a lovely person who generously wrote kind words about my second book, and was beloved for offering a home to an impoverished but talented poet, also a friend of mine. What a great, long, accomplished life she had! And no one could be prouder of a daughter. Rest in peace, Mary, and thank you for what you gave to our world.
Sy Montgomery
Friend
January 12, 2021
I WAS DEEPLY SADDENED TO HEAR OF THE PASSING OF MARY CATHERINE. i WILL MISS OUR DSCUSSIONS OF FAITH, LIFE, POLITICS, AND ADULT II. HER MIND WAS FULL OF IDEAS AND CONNECTIONS THAT WERE AWESOME TO LISTEN TO. HER FAITH WAS EVOLVING AND DEEP. i WILL MISS MY FELLOW VILLAGER BUT KNOW SHE IS IN A BETTER WORLD OF CURIOSITY AMD DISCOVERY. BOB
BOB VECCHIOTTI
Friend
January 11, 2021
I am so sad to hear of Mary Catherine’s passing. I worked with her on several projects involving aging and public libraries and was always mesmerized by her deep, poetic style and sensibilities. The highlight of my experience with Mary Catherine was hosting her in Portland, OR for a talk she gave there. I wish I had acted sooner on an impulse to call her after my recent return to New England. I will always cherish Mary Catherine, her works, and her lasting contributions to humankind. May she Rest In Peace.
Stephen Ristau
Friend
January 10, 2021
Remembering the wonderful times with Cathy at the Harvard-Radcliffe Armenian Club!!! My husband and I send our heart-felt condolences,
Bethel Bilezikian Charkoudian
Friend
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