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Mary Craig Fishman 

Mary Craig Fishman, a long-time Tiburon and Belvedere resident, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 6, 2024, at the Marin General Hospital after a short illness, just shy of her 94th birthday. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on June 14, 1930, to Robert E. Craig II and Clarence Lee (Clanks) Craig, Mary also had an older brother, Robert E. Craig III. After graduating from Isidore Newman School in New Orleans in 1948, Mary went to a now defunct women’s college, Randolph-Macon in South Carolina, to pursue undergraduate studies in Latin, and a graduate degree in Library Sciences. She was a Phi Beta Kappa member, graduating in 1952.

 

Mary, known for her very charming and distinctive Southern accent, moved away from New Orleans after her marriage to Dr. Charles B. Wilson in 1955, whom she met while he was a medical student at Tulane University. The couple had two sons, Craig and Byron. After moving to Lexington, Kentucky, for several years, the family moved to Marin in 1968, as Dr. Wilson had been recruited as Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at UCSF. The family first settled on Rock Hill Road in Tiburon, and later moved to other residences in and around Tiburon.

 

Her second marriage on January 7, 1983, was to Dr. Robert Fishman, who was Head of the Department of Neurology at UCSF. That marriage lasted for 29 happy years until his death in 2012.

 

An active civic leader and environmentalist all her life, Mary volunteered as a docent at the California Academy of Sciences, and became heavily involved in the Marin chapters of the Audubon Society and the California Native Plant Society. Her love of gardening was legendary, and many a happy time was had in her beautiful gardens, wherever she resided.

 

Mary drove over the Golden Gate Bridge once a week for over 35 years to volunteer at the Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park. It brought her countless happy hours and dear friends.

 

Mary was also a long-standing member of the Belvedere-Tiburon Library, where she also volunteered in the bookshop up until the week before her death. The Belvedere Community Center recently awarded Mary a certificate celebrating her signing up for and attending the most exercise classes. Up until her final years, Mary was a familiar figure to many, regularly walking from her residence on the Belvedere Lagoon into downtown Tiburon to enjoy all her favorite places and the beautiful weather.

 

Always curious, and a lifelong learning advocate, she loved doing anything that challenged her brain, including reading, crossword and jigsaw puzzles, reading the New York Times, Wordle, book clubs, tai chi, yoga and Pilates — as well as instigating interesting arguments! The many new young and older friends she made doing all these activities way into her 80s and 90s brought her great joy. Mary always surrounded herself with interesting people, art, plants and beauty. She was an avid birdwatcher and supporter of local artists, galleries and cultural institutions across Marin and beyond.

 

As a lively firecracker, Mary celebrated and lived life to the fullest with lots of love and very few regrets. Like many of her generation, she usually did things her way — and got away with it, as she was right most of the time. She loved traveling, seeing new things, people and places. With her constant positive view on life, her sense of humor, her consummate good taste and style, and her fun-loving personality, she will be sorely missed by all her family and friends.

 

Preceded in death by her first-born son, Craig, in 1983, and her brother, Bobby, in 2015, Mary is survived by her son Byron, his wife, Suzette, and their two children, Brittany and Adam.

 

A memorial service to celebrate Mary’s inspirational life will be held on June 21, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. at Kimball Hall at St. Stephen’s in Belvedere. Condolences may be sent to rememberingmary@yahoo.com. Donations will be asked for the continued support of her beloved Belvedere-Tiburon Library.

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