Sunday, June 4, 2023

Mary Ann Wittle, 83, of Williamsburg

Mary Ann Wittle (Nelsen Williamsburg)

Mary Ann Wittle died at home in Williamsburg, VA on Thursday May 12, 2022 in the company of her loving husband of 60 years, John Kenneth Wittle (Ken) who still sees her as the cute eighth grader with the locker next to his. Born in Maytown, PA on March 9, 1939, to Charles Franklin and Ruth Nolt Felty, Mary Ann was one of those lucky people who found her vocation early. In first grade, she told her teacher she wanted to be a first grade teacher just like her. A third generation female Baccalaureate of Millersville State Teachers College, Mary Ann continued her education and earned an M.Ed with a reading specialist certification from Penn State University. Mary Ann went on to spend 38 years teaching first grade and kindergarten in Manheim Township PA, West Lafayette IN, Radnor PA, and Downingtown PA. Mrs. Wittle was a creative teacher who passed her love of learning on to students. She loved the moment of excitement when a child learning to read “got it”.

A farm girl at heart who was happiest digging in the dirt, Mary Ann found great joy in the variety of vegetables she grew and then used to cook memorable meals for her family and friends. Each summer she spent hours canning and preserving the endless jars of vegetables and tomato juice that her family loved. In her last years of teaching, she raised seed money and started a gleaning garden where she helped the children at Pickering Elementary grow thousands of pounds of produce for those in need. In her free time, Mary Ann enjoyed sewing, needlework, knitting, quilting, and music.

Mary Ann also learned to love travel. Together with her husband Ken, they shared many adventures and incredible meals on six continents. Because of their shared love of history and learning, Mary Ann and Ken retired to Williamsburg, VA. Mary Ann became a Master Gardener and spent many happy hours volunteering in the gardens in Colonial Williamsburg or teaching others about the benefits of composting with a worm bin. She also enjoyed the Christopher Wren/Osher classes at William and Mary, along with many events at Jamestown and the Mariner’s Museum.

She is survived by her husband, Ken; daughter, Anne E. Wittle of Tucker, GA; son, John K. Wittle (wife Darawan) of Atlanta, GA; and sister, Helen F Heidelbaugh of Elizabethtown, PA.

At her request, there will be no funeral services. Memorial Contributions can be made to the P.E.O. Foundation to support women’s education. In memory of Mary Ann Wittle, Chapter BJ\VA. 3700 Grand Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312. Or please plant a special flower in her honor. Online condolences may be shared at

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