Mary S. Grummon

April 15, 1923December 10, 2012

Mary S. Grummon East Lansing

Born Mary Elizabeth Swanson, died peacefully on December 10, 2012, at the age of 89. In death she joins her beloved husband Don, and her parents Elliot and Mildred Swanson, to whom she was born in Jamestown, New York, on April 15, 1923. She grew up around the magical workspaces of Globe Photo, Elliot and Mildred’s small studio and photo finishing business in Jamestown. During the war years she obtained a degree in Philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa, from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1945.

Inspired by the work of the seminal psychologist Carl Rogers she pursued a Master’s Degree in Psychology at the University of Chicago, where she was to meet her future husband. She married Donald L. Grummon on December 22, 1947. In 1953, with little ones Mark and Dave making a family of four, they moved to East Lansing where Don would hold academic and administrative appointments at Michigan State University for the next three decades. Raising the children was punctuated by a stint in West Africa. The family decamped in 1961 to the University of Nigeria at Nsukka where Mary cared for the family and helped her husband administrate a significant project for John F. Kennedy’s fledgling Peace Corps. The six-month homeward itinerary took the family from Africa through the Middle East and on to Europe, culminating in a London sabbatical, just as the Beatles began to explode into prominence.

Resuming her professional career she continued post-graduate work. After earning an MSU Educational Specialist degree she became a school psychologist, first at Walnut School in Lansing, and later at North School. At North she served the POHI Special Education program until she retired in 1983.

In retirement Mary and Don traveled extensively, dividing their time at home between Michigan and Florida. After Don’s death in 1993 Mary continued alternating north and south, until 2001 when she settled in at her residence in Sarasota year ‘round. Here she enjoyed an extensive network of friends, and loved the vibrant fine arts scene. She was continually occupied with work for the city’s Symphony, its public radio studios, and with the resident’s association at the Sarasota Bay Club. She was also energetically involved in commitments to Phi Beta Kappa, and with her Ohio Wesleyan Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority sisters.

In April of 2007 she returned to live in East Lansing where she enjoyed the company of her cats, new friends, and family. She never tired of the landscape view from her rooms on the top floor of the Burcham Hills Retirement Community. To fellow residents and staff at Burcham her warmth, intelligence, grace, and humor were widely known. She was well loved there, and the family will always be grateful for the skill and compassion of her caregivers, and for the enlightened philosophy that guides the Burcham Hills Community.

Mary is survived by her Brother Elliot Swanson Jr., her Sons Mark (Jill) and David (Phyllis), and by seven grandchildren, Sam, Charlie and Tom (Mark) and Kate, Anna, Christine and Mitchell (Dave).

A Funeral Service will be held Saturday, December 15, 1:00 p.m. at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 1730 E. Grand River Ave, East Lansing with the family receiving friends one hour prior to the service. Interment to follow Monday at Evergreen Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Burcham Hills Retirement Community, 2700 Burcham Dr, East Lansing, MI 48823, in Mary’s memory. On line condolences may be made at


  • Visitation Saturday, December 15, 2012
  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mary S. Grummon

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December 15, 2012

We didn't know Mary well personally, but we are family members of Mark & Jill, and our thoughts are with both Grummon families at this sad time.

Much love,
Bruce Grubbs & Robin Thomas

taunnia smith

December 14, 2012

Im so glad i got to know mary.i enjoyed you sooo much, and her cute cats.i sure will miss her.She always made me smile..What a gal.she loved her family so.You all, were so good to her.Rest in peace my friend mary.i will miss you..... Taunnia. From burchum hills

Jim and Helene Shaffer

December 13, 2012

Mary was one of the group of East Lansing friends living in Sarasota. She was a great friend. She added joy and knowledge to our many times getting together. We will miss her.