Mary Ann McIlwain Dodson

Marry Ann was a devoted wife, an involved community member and a loving mother. After a valiant and tremendously brave fight, He chose to have her in His home.

She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, where her early days were spent fostering what would become a lifetime of curiosity, learning, community involvement and adventure – from ushering at the opera as a high school student and exploring the vast art and history collections of the Cincinnati institutions, to field hockey and summers split between Camp Runoia on Belgrade Lakes, Maine, and Nayatt, on Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.

She went on to enter the University of Colorado as a ’49er to study geology, where she was a member of Alpha Phi sorority, performer in spring plays, and coordinator of the “letters” for the student Cheer Club at Buffs football games.

It was here that she met Chuck Dodson, and in 1955 they married in Cincinnati, Ohio. The cross-country journey back to his naval station in San Diego was their honeymoon and a half -quonset hut their first of many homes, including in Massachusetts, Michigan, California, Alabama and finally, El Paso. A temporary move to El Paso is where, in true Mary Ann fashion, she “bloomed where she was planted.” It became a 45-plus year commitment to her new home and the people of the U.S.- Mexico border region.

Her life was full and made more rich by the organizations and clubs in which she participated – co-founder of Insights Science Center, board member of the YWCA, El Paso Opera, El Paso Symphony Orchestra and El Paso County Historical Society, 25-plus year member of Pan American Round Table, Girl Scout troop leader, Presbyterian senior high youth sponsor, etc. – and all the people she met and called friend along the way. 

She is survived by her children Bruce (Rene), Martha (Molly), and Charles; grandchildren Graham, Lauren (Dave), and Taylor; great grandmother to Arianna, Aubrey, Ava, Sebastian and Blake; and loving friend to Gene Kaefer. Please join us in remembering her at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 at University Presbyterian Church, 244 N. Resler. Services provided by Martin Funeral Home West.