Mary Virginia Reppert/Wilmerding passed away peacefully, on the morning of April 14, 2010 in Brattleboro, Vermont, at approximately 9:20 am with her oldest son John and his fiancé, Carmen at her side. She suffered from a group of afflictions resulting from the progression of a rare neurological degenerative disease know as Shy-Drager Syndrome, AKA Multisystems Atrophy. At the end, the cause of death was kidney failure. She was eighty six years old. She was not in any pain.

She was born in Pennsylvania on October 7, 1923, to James Harold Reppert, coal mining engineer, and Eleanor Runk Reppert. She was the second oldest of six girls. At the age of ten, she showed her independent spirit by abruptly walking out of a church service in the middle of a sermon, because the minister was speaking disparagingly about another religion. Her parents were mortified. She never went back to that church. After working in a bullet manufacturing plant in Detroit during WW2, she attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts, earning a BA in Education, and later earned her Masters degree in Psychology from Columbia University in New York City. Her first job out of college was teaching English at a private girl’s school outside of Atlanta, Georgia, in 1947. During her second semester she was summarily dismissed for teaching “the equality of the races”. She later became friends with Coretta Scott King during anti-war demonstrations in Washington DC during the Vietnam War.

She had a 35 year career as a high school psychologist on Long Island in the state of New York, during which time she became acquainted with Albert Einstein, and was a student of Carl Gustav Jung. One year, she was voted psychologist of the year in the state of New York. She married twice, and was not impressed either time. She raised three sons. During our summers we would car trip the Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields. She would not allow a television in the house, until her son John threatened to run away from home because the Beatles were going to be on the Ed Sullivan show. She then bought a 13” black and white TV and put it on the table saw in the basement. She hiked the Appalachian Trail in it’s entirety in her fifties, wrote five books (she was a poet), and built a middle school outside of Nairobi, Kenya through her Quaker affiliations.

She loved the ocean and swimming in it, books, New York City, Broadway Musicals, Greek food, ice cream (especially chocolate), Leo Tolstoy, Italy, and Sidney Poitier. She had great appreciation for Eleanor Roosevelt, Walt Whitman, Anne Frank, Rudolf Steiner, Goethe, and Rumi.

In the last years of her life, before falling ill in 2005, she lived alone in a cabin on the shores of Lake Champlain in Vermont, and attended writing workshops at Oxford in England each August. She enjoyed walking the country trails there, that connected Bed and Breakfasts in the rural areas.

She once bicycled from Norway to Greece. She traveled to Jerusalem and Egypt twice. The last movie she saw in a theater was “The Bucket List”. She loved it.

She liked the Biltmore Hotel in New York City, and the “Top of the Mark” Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco.

She did not like Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, or George Bush. She once quipped that Gerald Ford must have played his college football career without a helmet. She did not like computers. She once met Bill Clinton on the South Lawn of the White House, she found him to be attractive.

She is survived by her older sister Jane Jenks of State College, Pennsylvania, her sister Laura Unger of Philadelphia, Pa., her sons: John Wilmerding of Brattleboro, Vermont, Jim Wilmerding DC of Mt Shasta, California, and Doug Wilmerding of Long Island, NY, three grandsons, and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was an inspiration to all who knew her, and will be greatly missed.