Shared with tender compassion is the peaceful passing of Mary Ann Underwood Morgenthaler on July 3, 2019, at home in Tuolumne, Calif. Mary Ann is now with the angels who buoyed her during her life on earth. Her love of the Lord was evident, particularly as she gracefully prepared herself to leave her earthly body.
Through Mary Ann’s life she made a mark of joy on many. She danced with a rhythm and happiness that made all want to join the jive. She was the leader of dance movements when hits were released by The Beatles, Herman’s Hermits and The Monkees. Mary Ann rocked the dance floor, and was as memorable as a car dancer with her grandkids. Mary Ann’s laugh and smile prompted others to do the same. She was fun.
Mary Ann was born on Jan. 18, 1954, and was raised in Weaverville by Harold and Dorothy Evelyn Bergin Underwood. She was a dear sister to Carol, John and Jim who survive her. She and her sister Carol were helpful to their mother in keeping the house running smoothly. The white starched shirts worn by the Underwood men showed the ironing skills of these two sisters.
Mary Ann learned to work at a young age and life was sprinkled thrills. Like when lightning hit the Underwood tree house, exploding the tree and leaving boards hanging from the snag. Thankfully, no one was in the tree house. More illumination came when glow-in-the-dark stars were added to her bedroom ceiling and her friends loved to compare those to what was seen from the driveway. Joy came when Carol played the piano and Mary Ann entertained with her beautiful singing voice. Mary Ann was delighted and delightful — she was a let’s-do person.
Mary Ann was a way-fun friend starting with her neighbors and classmates at Weaverville Elementary School and Trinity High School, and with the friends she made in her adult life.
Mary Ann made great fun with her husband of 46 years Robert “Bob” Morgenthaler and their children Sheryl Ann Morgenthaler Dowden (Chad), Tracy Lynn Morgenthaler Moniz (Keith Jr.) and Jason Robert Morgenthaler (Ashley). Her grandchildren who loved her singing, dancing and phone calls are Paige Dowden Jones, Austin Dowden, Trevor Dowden, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Moniz, Layla Moniz, and Gavin Moniz.
She treasured her name Nanabugs, as she was called by her grandchildren and great-granddaughter, Willow Rose Jones. The name reflected her small stature and cuteness, as well as differentiated her from the children’s other Nana.
Mary Ann lived in Weaverville and numerous other towns that had a United States Forest Service station. Her moves were tied to her husband’s USFS fire-fighting assignments — he ended his career as an engine captain. Mary Ann and Bob married in 1972, had their first child Sheryl Ann in 1973 and her mother Dorothy passed away in 1974. These life changes took Mary Ann to all-grown-up homemaker in her early 20s. Mary Ann enjoyed her adult years’ relationship with Emma Underwood, after Emma married Harold.
Where ever she lived, it was obvious that Mary Ann treasured family. She kept connected even when life gets busy. Mary Ann lived through life’s difficult times, as often happens, sometimes with grace and sometimes with struggle. That Mary Ann persevered and was full of loving-fun is what her loved ones hold in their hearts. Those whose life Mary Ann touched are fortunate and send her to heaven with their happy memories.
A private family memorial and burial service was held.