On December 17, 1926, Mary Ann was born to Jack and Mollie Lust in Fresno CA. The second child of Volga German immigrant parents, she was raised with her older sister Jean, and younger brothers Norman and Kenneth in West Fresno. She attended Central High School (class of 1944) when she and Bob Klemm (class of 1945) became high school sweethearts. They were married on July 10, 1946 and built their home just down the street from their childhood home. There they raised their two daughters, Carol and Jackie, who were blessed by having their grandparents Mollie and Jack as well as their many cousins all living in a row on Madison Ave. Mary Ann joined Bob in his passion for racing as NASCAR officials from the 1950s through mid-1970s, their daughters growing up spending weekends at Kearney Bowl and other local tracks. Mary Ann was a scorekeeper alongside her childhood best friend Bernice Salwasser.
Mary Ann was a longtime employee of McKesson and Robbins retiring in 1980. The effects of working in accounts receivables delayed far into retirement, as anyone who had the privilege of spending time with her knew of her lists, calendars, and running totals for everything from celebrity deaths to when so-and-so had hernia surgery in 1999. Mary Ann was the family historian of not only the celebratory but also of the mundane.
In the 1980s the Klemm household began to fill with a new set of youngsters-the grandkids! Brian, Kim, Amanda, and Brittany would spend countless hours there. Right after she retired, Mary Ann became the caregiver for Bob after his heart attack. She reprized her role as caregiver when Bob developed Alzheimer’s in the mid-nineties. During that time, it became customary for the whole family to gather on Sundays for dinner at their home, a tradition that continued for over 20 years. Even her great-grandchildren Cary, Mollie, Scarlett, Dot, Patrick, and Mackenzie were able to benefit from the Sunday night get togethers, which by their era had become a night of eagerly sorting through take out menus.
Many a holiday orphan found their way to Mary Ann’s house for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter and the idea of what makes a family a family extended and expanded more than the leaves on the dining room table! There was always an attitude of abundance as seating was brought in using every chair in the house. Christmas Eve was always particularly lively, usually filled with laughter until tears would form as Mary Ann sat there in the seat of the Matriarch on the couch, laughing along-sometimes even instigating.
Mary Ann was lovingly cared for during her final seven years by Carol and Jackie. She was a cancer survivor of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma diagnosed when she was 88 years old. We want to thank Isabel, Amber, Gerson, Ali and Samantha. They took on more of the care as time passed while Mom was still able to be at home. A special thank you to Eloy, Beth and Amy and the rest of the Copper River team for their love and care for mom in the last few months. We truly were amazed at how comfortable and content Mom was when we moved her to the assisted living home.
Raise your glass (a box of Franzia wine was always in her house) in memory of a truly kind and wonderful woman. She will be missed by all who encountered her love and hospitality.
A Graveside service will be held on August 27, 2022, at 10 am, Mountain View Cemetery 1411 W Belmont, Fresno, CA (easiest to enter on Hughes Ave).
Remembrances may be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at 7491 N Remington Ave, Suite 101, Fresno CA 93711 or to Break the Barriers at 8555 N Cedar Ave, Fresno, CA 93720 or to your favorite charity. Please write Mary Ann Klemm on the memo line.
We include here the full names of the family for those future generations that will be researching their own ancestry.
Mary Ann Klemm died August 14, 2022, at the age of 95 in Fresno, CA. She is preceded in death by her husband, Robert James Klemm, parents Mollie (Bitter) and Jack Lust, sister Alvina Jean May, and brothers Kenneth Leland Lust and Norman Jack Lust. She is survived by her daughters Carol Ann Schoelen (Kenneth) and Jacqueline Adair Deegan (Terry), grandchildren Brian Christopher Deegan (Lauren), Kimberly Diane Williams (Christopher), Amanda Jayne King (Christopher) and Brittany Michelle Deegan and great grandchildren Cary Alan Schuller, Mollie Ann Schuller, Dorothy Jean Leonard, Patrick James Deegan and Mackenzie Kay Deegan and step great grandchild Scarlett Katerina Williams.
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Published by Legacy on Aug. 19, 2022.
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