Mu­si­cal ed­u­ca­tion

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS -

Mu­sic al­ways had been the fo­cus of Mary’s life.

“She wanted a marimba from the time she was a lit­tle girl,” re­called her sis­ter, Lyla Stoike, who lives in Se­quim, Wash. But their par­ents made her learn the pi­ano first.

“When she was 13, she got a marimba, which is like a gi­ant xy­lo­phone,” Lanny said. “By the time she was … 16 she was play­ing with the Kansas City Phil­har­monic. In her youth, Mary even ac­com­pa­nied Bob Hope and played on “The Ed Sul­li­van Show.”

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Wheaton Col­lege in Illi­nois, she earned a mas­ter’s de­gree from a mu­sic con­ser­va­tory in Chicago.

Into her golden years, she per­formed — with her child­hood marimba teacher — on cruise ships that trav­eled the globe.

Ul­ti­mately, “she played her­self deaf, pound­ing on that thing,” Lanny said.

“Mary was a beau­ti­ful lady. She was not a great mu­si­cian,” said Lance, who had been her hus­band of 32 years be­fore their di­vorce. “She was a per­former. She got up in front of a crowd and she lit them up.”

“We will get bet­ter. We will get through this,” Al­li­son Ross said. “It’s just go­ing to take some time. It’s still very raw.”

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