Watch the Celebration of Life
Mary Lynn Stein passed away in Denver on Wednesday, February 8th, 2021 due to cancer. She was 78.
Mary was beloved for her easygoing, friendly nature, making lifelong friends wherever she went. Though unassuming, she possessed a sharp wit and was widely read and knowledgeable on a wide range of subjects. She enjoyed traveling, reading, and almost any kind of cultural or literary event.
Mary was born in Grand Island, NY to Eileen and Edward Shanley, the oldest of four sisters. She and her sisters grew up in Buffalo, NY and Winchester, MA, where they attended Winchester High School. As a girl Mary also worked as a lifeguard and counselor at a summer camp in Maine.
After high school her adventurous spirit led her to Colorado State University, where she studied while skiing and exploring the mountains, graduating in Sociology in 1964. At CSU she met native Coloradan George H. Stein who would become her husband and with whom she raised two children, Tanya Kern and Russell Stein.
As a young couple Mary and George lived in Watertown, MA, where Mary began working as a social worker. Later they moved to Scotland and traveled all over Europe including a memorable trip to Russia, which was part of the Soviet Union at the time.
Back in the US, they settled in Mattapoisett, MA, where they enjoyed sailing on Buzzards Bay, and later Hingham, where Mary became a dedicated mom, managing her kids’ involvement in the public schools, youth soccer, violin, horseback riding, and dance programs. In the 70s and 80s her home on Crow Point was a busy, social place filled with books and music, and served as home base for outings to Boston and camping trips and excursions all over New England. Cape Cod’s and coastal Maine’s beaches and New Hampshire’s lakes and ski hills were favored destinations. Later Mary’s literary interests led her to become the owner of the bookstore in Hingham Square.
In the 90s after returning briefly to social work in Jamaica Plain, Mary moved to Carbondale, CO and became active in outdoor clubs, skiing and hiking in the mountains while serving as a caseworker for child protective services in Garfield County. She lived in a lovely condo in Carbondale across from a horse pasture.
More recently Mary relocated to Denver to be closer to her daughter and to take advantage of the city’s cultural and art offerings, frequently attending theater, dance and concert performances, and she was popular with a wide circle of friends.
As she enjoyed working with children she worked as a nanny for several years after retiring, including for the Anchutz family, a position which allowed her to travel the world first class, highlights including visits to Australia, Asia, Europe, and Iceland.
Famous for her long walks, Mary was energetic and active throughout her life and was always busy planning her next outing. In recent years she could often be found walking around the lake by her home in Denver’s Athmar neighborhood, where she took a special interest in native bird species.
Above all, Mary was a devoted mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, and she’ll be missed by everyone who knew her.