Journal of the San Juan Islands


Mary Anne Klingbiel: Oct. 12 , 2012 | Passages

October 23, 2012 · Updated 9:00 PM

Mary Anne Klingbiel / Contributed photo

The family of Mary Anne Klingbiel sadly announces her passing after a sudden recurrence of breast cancer.

She was immediately hospitalized on Aug. 25. After very intensive treatment she learned her cancer was not further treatable and on Sept. 20, she elected to return to her home on the island she had come to love, to spend her remaining time there with family and friends.

All who met Mary Anne speak of her smile and bright, positive attitude. She genuinely loved people which they immediately sensed and returned. This gift made for a wonderful, loving mother, wife, teacher and friend.

Born and raised in the small town of Dixon Ill., she earned her bachelor of science and masters of science from the University of Illinois and taught kindergarten for 35 years, in four states. Music was an important part of her life. She played the pipe organ in her church, piano and oboe at home.

She loved the outdoors, especially the mountains for hiking and skiing, the open water for sailing. Upon retirement, she sought these out in the Pacific Northwest and found her “paradise” on Washington’s San Juan Island in 1998. However, the center of her world was always her family, her son, her husband, her home. It was she who daily brought the sun into our lives.

We thank the excellent staff at Skagit Valley Hospital, the Life Care Center of Mount Vernon, Hospice Northwest, and Island Hospital Home Health who were so attendant to her care. We thank also the Cascade Ambulance, the San Juan Island EMT, and the Hospice of San Juan for returning her safely home, as well as, San Juan Healthcare Associates for Mary Anne’s fine continual medical care. Our local hospice and many friends provided the aid and support in our home which we so dearly needed. We thank them all.

Mary Anne is survived by her husband, Richard Klingbiel, her son, David Klingbiel, daughter-in-law Sylvia Graham, brother, Ted Fries, and niece, Barbara Fries, and Barbara’s husband, Justin Price. A Memorial Service for Mary Anne will be conducted at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Friday Harbor. Details of the service will be announced when they are finalized.

— Family of Mary Klingbiel


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