Mary Ann Gross Bishara, R.N., passed away Saturday, Sept. 10, after a brief illness. She was born on Feb. 14, 1943, to the late William and Mary (Knickerbocker) Gross in Buffalo.
Mary Ann grew up on the West River of Grand Island, where she was an avid athlete and clarinet player. She attended the Buffalo General School of Nursing and began her career at Buffalo Children's Hospital.
Mary Ann married the late Norman D. Bishara in 1966 and left nursing to raise her three children. She was well known in her DeVeaux neighborhood as a volunteer for the Whirlpool Park Little League, Maple Avenue School, and as a leader for both the Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts.
Mary Ann returned to nursing in the late 1980s, first at the Niagara County Methodone Clinic and later as a school nurse for the Niagara Falls City School District. She took great pride in being known as a good listener and advocate for children throughout the school district and especially at Niagara Falls High School.
Mary Ann was an active member of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, where she was a member of the Ladies Club and a former church board member. She was also the spirit of St. George Family Camp, which she devotedly attended for over 40 years, serving multiple times as the camp director.
Her favorite group of friends was the women from the Excelsior Mother's Club who were all like sisters to her. Mary Ann loved to travel across the world with her husband, Norman, to find the greatest deal while shopping, and to cheer on her six grandchildren at all of their activities. She was also known for her "German" Lebanese cooking, especially her amazing baklawa.
Mary Ann is survived by her three children, Elizabeth (Vincent) Lia of Niagara Falls, Susan (Anthony) Santarosa of Youngstown, and Norman (Sarah) Bishara of Ann Arbor, Michigan; her six grandchildren, Elise and Danielle Lia, and Alessandra, Anthony, Annah and Amelia Santarosa; her brother, Charles Timothy (Jane) Gross of Orlando, and her sister-in-law Dr. Mary Ann (late Daniel) Bishara; and many nieces and nephews and her special church cousins. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Norman; by her parents; and by her sister, Barbara (late Charles) Marlin.
A wake will be held at Otto Redanz Funeral Home from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, where Troparion services will be officiated by the Very Rev. Fr. Paul Solberg at 6:30 p.m.
Burial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 1073 Saunders Settlement Road, following by internment at Oakwood Cemetery.
Donations in her memory can be made to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church.
Mary Ann Gross Bishara