March 11, 1934 ~ January 26, 2015

Born in: Sharon, PA,
Resided in: Arden, NC

Mary Ann Simpson Wainwright, 80, of the Ardenwoods Community, passed away Monday, January 26, 2015. A native of Sharon, PA, she was the daughter of the late Merle Edward and Wilta Marie Haggerty Simpson. Mary Ann was a former Training Program Director with the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, IL. She traveled extensively with her husband, teaching people the skills needed to improve their lives and the lives of others. Mary Ann was a very skilled organist and choir director and wanted to be remembered for her love of music and for the natural world. Mary Ann is survived by her husband of 59 years, Harry Wainwright; two sons, John Wesley Wainwright and his companion, Cathy Elliott, and Thomas Drew Wainwright and his wife, Valerie; two grandchildren, John Michael Wainwright and Matthew Wainwright. She is also survived by a brother, Robert Simpson and his wife, Jean, and was preceded in death by another brother, Jack Simpson. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm, Friday, January 30, 2015 at the Jubilee! Community Church in Asheville conducted by Howard Hanger. The family would like to express their thanks to the staffs of Heather Glen and the John F. Keever Solace Center for the care shown Mary Ann. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Jubilee!, 46 Wall Street, Asheville, NC 28801. Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline
  • Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, png, gif.
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


  1. Mary Ann, my friend, teacher, mentor, sangha sister- What a bright shining light you offered the world! You will continue in the hearts of so many of us!

  2. Mary Ann was the first choir director I ever sang for. In the early 50’s, she directed our cherub choir at the Methodist Church in Sharon, Pa. She was so nice to us, and we all loved her–and what a great organist she was! I was in awe of her. I am now 71 and have never forgotten her. Rest in peace, Mary Ann, and know that your cherub choir loved you. May Light Perpetual shine upon you in God’s nearer presence.

    Dr. John C. Tamplin

  3. Sometimes a friend arrives in your life, and it feels so natural, like rain soft on the grass, that you accept it barely noticing it wasn’t always there. This is Mary Ann: in every good and gracious thing, To stop for a moment to hear a bird trill or the wind in the trees with her was to know time was an illusion, and beauty everywhere. I carry that in my heart now. I so miss looking in her eyes, which was so infinite and loving.

  4. I was so sorry to hear of Mary Ann’s passing. She was a kind and gentle person who always had a smile and hug for everyone. My thoughts and prayers go to Harry and the family.

  5. I was so privileged to know Mary Ann, who let her light shine far and wide and across the years. Love to Harry, John and Tom.

  6. My heart felt condolences to the wainwright family
    Ms wainwright was that person who embraced me at the YMCA training school in Chicago Ill on Michigan Ave
    She was my business teacher and gave me life skills for employment today because of her teaching me administrative office skills I work in corporate companies for many years

    You are my role model and mentor.
    Love you for giving me that fish and I eat every day


Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook