Mary Anne Convis passed away peacefully on November 24, 2021 in Grass Valley, CA at age 92.
She was born on August 30, 1929 in Haynesville, LA and grew up in the East Texas oilfields, in a loving family including older brother James Crawley (now of Norman, OK) and younger sister Charlotte Thomas (now of Houston, TX). She graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Throughout her life she championed
education, particularly for women.
Mary Anne married Charles L. (Chuck) Convis in 1949. They had six children, and their love of new experiences and adventures led them to raising their children in places as diverse as Cambridge, MA; San Diego, San Rafael, and Redding, CA; San Marcos, TX; and Pittsburgh, PA. They eventually retired to Carson City, NV, where Mary Anne served as chair of the Nevada Women’s History Project and co-chair of the Sarah Winnemucca Statue Committee. She was an award-winning watercolorist, gifted seamstress, and lifelong reader who encouraged everyone around her to tell their stories through art and writing. Throughout her life she was involved in church activities, from serving as a church deacon and elder to decorating the church altar.
In a bio written in 2014 Mary Anne said, “You can do anything you want to do if you want to do it bad enough. You may need to ask for help, but you can do it if you dream it.” She lived this every day of her life and was particularly proud of teaching herself electrical wiring to
build and wire the family vacation home in the mountains.
Mary Anne’s family and loved ones remember her warmth, creativity, determined independence, and great luck on the Carson City slot machines. (Winnings included a car.) Her fierce dedication to women’s causes, intellectual curiosity, and love of travel live on in
her children, grandchildren, and the many friends and community members whose lives she touched. We mourn the loss of a true pioneer in Mary Anne Convis.
Mary Anne is survived by a large and loving family: her husband of 72 years, Chuck Convis; children and in-laws Charles Convis, Jr. (Betsy), Margaret Convis Kadoyama (Bob), Jim Convis (Joy), Bill Convis (Sally), and David Convis (Christina); and 16 grandchildren, as well as a close circle of lifelong friends.
She is preceded in death by her firstborn child, Johnny (1951-1957).
To honor Mary Anne, please consider donating to the Nevada Women’s History Project (https://www.nevadawomen.org/donate/ ) or to your local women’s history organization. Friends and loved ones can contribute to a digital memorial at http://obituaries.neptune-society.com/obituaries/10469427. A celebration of life is forthcoming in Spring 2022.