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Howard-Quattlebaum Funeral, Cremation and Event Center

754 Us Highway 1, North Palm Beach, FL

OBITUARY

Mary Anne Hedrick

March 24, 1957October 30, 2019
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With profound sadness, we announce the passing of MaryAnne Dominica Hedrick, a friend to all and the ultimate humanitarian. MaryAnne, age 62, passed away at her home in Palm Beach Gardens on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, leaving behind a legacy of giving both through her charitable causes and through her friendships.

MaryAnne had a boundless enthusiasm for life and a deep love for her family and friends. Always putting others first, she devoted her life to helping those in need. She was born on March 24, 1957, in Jersey City, New Jersey, to parents, Marion and Mickey. She graduated from Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, and served as the Director of Recreation in Paramus for 14 years. She moved to Florida in 1989 and began teaching physical education at Lake Worth Middle School. In 1997, MaryAnne was in a car accident that left her a T7 paraplegic. MaryAnne may have been confined to a wheelchair but it did not confine her spirit. It only expanded her desire to help others, and after a difficult recovery, MaryAnne returned to teaching PE. Her strength and bravery during this transition was a lesson to all of us in perseverance, tenacity, and a refusal to give up.

While at Lake Worth Middle School, MaryAnne devoted herself to the students – not just her students, but all students. She was not only a PE teacher, she was a field trip coordinator, a fundraiser, and all-around go to person for making good things happen (even if it meant bending the rules…what rules?). If it was for the kids, it was worth doing. Her office was a place any student could go for a snack, a pair of pants, sneakers, and, most importantly, words of encouragement and guidance. She enlisted her family and friends to join her to shop for needy families at Christmas time and to surprise deserving students with bicycles. Her positivity and giving spirit reached not only countless students and co-workers, but their families too.

MaryAnne’s spirit to serve was not limited to her school. She was involved in many non-profit adventures including, but not limited to: the Barry Grunow Memorial Scholarship Fund and Lake Worth Dollars for Scholars which help deserving local high school graduates showing financial need to pursue their teaching degrees, Genesis Assistance Dogs, Inc., and Networking to Help Children, Inc. MaryAnne also participated on the Advisory Board of Parks and Recreation for Palm Beach Gardens. She served these organizations with enthusiasm, optimism and a “just do it” attitude.

Due to cervical stenosis surgery, MaryAnne decided to retire from teaching in 2016 after 27 years of service. After settling into retirement for about 5 minutes, she jumped head first into bringing her passion for being on the water to others with disabilities. She partnered with the Florida Fishing Academy, Inc. to bring her not-for-profit, Access the Sea, Inc. to life. Access the Sea was MaryAnne’s way of opening up boating and being on the water to those who would not otherwise have an opportunity to connect with nature in this way.

In her personal life, the enthusiasm and love she brought to her family and friends is unmatched. She had a way of bringing people together, connecting us to one another, building the bonds between us. Whether it was through tailgating at the Dolphins’ games, charity events, Mets’ games, or just dinners at her house, she was purposefully and lovingly weaving us all into one big beautiful extended family, and we are forever grateful to her for these enduring friendships.

Throughout her life, MaryAnne used every opportunity she could to benefit others. Whether it was a fundraiser or a word of encouragement, her goal was to lift others up, improve their lives, to push them outside their comfort zones, and to help them realize their potential. Her heart was open and her spirit generous to whomever reached out to her. The positive effects of her lifetime of giving will continue exponentially because for each student, friend, and person in need that MaryAnne supported, encouraged, or guided, there are countless more that benefitted from these acts of kindness.

MaryAnne was preceded in death by her parents, Marion and Mickey and brother, Greg. She is survived by her brother, Wayne, her nephews, Matt and Keith, whom she was so proud of and loved deeply, her lifelong friend and ally, Natalie, and her faithful and loving service dog, Jac. She is also survived by her close family friends, her extended work family from Lake Worth Middle School and hundreds of her students whom she touched and lifted up. We know that wherever any one of us is, MaryAnne will be there also, in spirit, and will continue guiding, encouraging and loving us just as she did in life.

Friends and family are invited to attend visiting hours on Wednesday, November 6, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Howard-Quattlebaum Funeral Cremation and Event Center, located at 754 US Highway 1, North Palm Beach, Florida. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Access the Sea at gofundme.com (https://www.gofundme.com/f/accesstheseainc).

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Memories

Mary Anne Hedrick

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Maria Alvarez

November 16, 2019

Going back to my middle school years about 16 years ago since 6th grade, Ms. Hedrick was such an encouraging person with tons of love and positive words to give. She would always push for the best for every single student. She was such a loving person with a huge heart. I can still hear her voice while encouraging me to finish my mile run. My deepest condolences to her family and friends. My you Rest In Peace beautiful soul, you have left something so special here on earth that everyone will always remember you by. Now you have moved on to a better place where you will forever shine.

Kerriann Altman-Bingham

November 5, 2019

I first met Mary Anne when I worked as a Math Teacher some 20 years ago at Lake Worth Middle. I loved her from the start. My dear friend Gordon was a quadriplegic from high school, my roommate in college Jenny was a paraplegic, and during our work days my brother became a quadriplegic. Not only could I relate to her in that sense, she is is animal and ocean lover. Mary Anne was one solid woman. She was awesome! Rest In Peace my friend 🐠🐾🐟🐾🐬. You are beautiful 😪

Pat Belmonte

November 3, 2019

We go back to high school softball! Those were the days! Maryann was the best shortstop Paramus ever had! Great player great person so much fun playing next to her! I have great memories thanks Mary Anne❤️

Carol Davila

November 3, 2019

She was my P.E teacher at Lake Worth Middle . She was so nice to me and she was a great person. RIP Ms. Hedrick I will miss you and my condolences to the family.❤️🙏🏽

Andy Destin

November 2, 2019

One of the greatest person on earth, but gone too soon.

Mrs. Hedrick we will miss you. My condolences to her family, close friends and students who love her and enjoy her class.

All 3 years of my middle school I had her as my P.E teacher. Great teacher, the best encouragers to finish my mile run 🏃🏾 fast.


And leave the class with an ‘ A’

I appreciate you for your support.
May you rest peaceful.. In Heaven 😢

You’re the best!

~ Andy D.

Christina Williams

November 2, 2019

She was the best. she always wanted good for me . She was the only P.E teacher would participated in her activities . She was so nice talks so gentle .so sweet and nice Rest In Peace no god have nice spot in heaven for you .

Michelle Rollins

November 2, 2019

I had Ms. Hedrick as my teacher for 6th grade P.E class at Lake Worth Middle. She was the only reason I enjoyed going to class and she knew that. Always so thoughtful. She was a great teacher and great woman. I'm so sad to hear of her passing.

Angelina Juan

November 2, 2019

Mrs. Hedrick always been an amazing & Awesome P.E Teacher & I was glad to have her as a Coach and she always made me & the rest of the Class laugh and have fun. I remember the talks we had & she always had a smile. Everyone loved her & she will always be in our hearts & Memories. May God Bless her Family & Friends! I Love Mrs. Hedrick.

Cheyla Romero

November 2, 2019

Going back to my years in middle school, I can’t help but remember what a role model you were to many of us. You showed us that anything was possible and that anyone was possible of doing anything they set their minds to. With hard work and dedication anything was possible, that mile run was always a killer but with you by our sides you made it possible.

Many of us would run a thousand miles now just to keep your memory alive.

Thank you for always pushing us to do better and to be better. You will forever be in our memories ❤️

Rest in paradise, a true role model

-LWMS STUDENT Cheyla R

Kathy Anderson

November 1, 2019

Mary Anne had such a heart for those with special needs and used her time, energy & resources to serve others. In her own words, she had a “passion for making this a better world a better place for people with challenges”. This world needs more people like Mary Anne. May her life and legacy continue to inspire others. As a special needs family, we are grateful for her many kindnesses. Our condolences to her family & friends.

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