Mary Ellen Wolzansky, art teacher

November 3, 2021

It is with sadness that the family of Mary Ellen Wolzansky, 91, of Lewes announces her death Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. She was the youngest of the six Silk kids, Joe, Sue, Wes, Eleanor and Barbara, always trying hard to keep up with her spirited siblings. Their parents were Joseph Meryl and Mary Ellen Eakin Silk, an awesome mother.

Mary Ellen met her adored, lovable “spice” of 69 years, Joseph Nikolai Wolzansky, in her freshman year at the College of Wooster. They raised two beloved children, David Matthew of Lewes, a son with wide interests, and daughter Jan Alyson Awad (George), whom they lost far too young. Mary Ellen was the proud grandmother of their two children, Nicole Mariele and Alexander Jared Awad.

Mary Ellen’s happy career was teaching art to students ranging from preschoolers through high school and college, mostly in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pa. Two positions stood out to her. First, she appreciated the grit of the disabled kids who worked so hard on their arts and crafts at the Ohio Society for Crippled Children. Second, at the end of her career, she worked with the art resource program and activities of the inter-generational nonprofit, Generations Together, at the University of Pittsburgh. The agency linked young and old in unique ways: from wheelchair square dancing and cookie baking, to mask making, which resulted in a wonderful public exhibition.

Woven throughout her years of teaching, Mary Ellen volunteered with Scouts, churches, art museums, civic clubs and schools, and was a member of the NAACP and League of Women Voters. For years, she was a member of the Cape Artists in Lewes. Mary Ellen took countless, life-enriching courses and immensely enjoyed numerous years of worldwide travel. When she and Joe chose Lewes, an arty seaside town where they would retire, they often said they “came for the ocean, but found OSHER” the lifelong learning program at the University of Delaware. They enjoyed teaching and attending many types of classes there.

Nieces, nephews and friends, scattered across the country and abroad, meant the world to Mary Ellen. Their love and support kept her laughing, buoyed, and connected.

Services will be private.


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