Arrow-right Camera


Obituary: Kinkead, Mary Ann Childers

KINKEAD, Mary Ann Childers (1941 - 2013) Passed away peacefully on May 15, 2013, in San Diego, CA after recent significant illnesses.Raised in Spokane Washington, by her parents, Mary and John Childers, Mary Ann was introduced to ballet at the age of six, and her love for dance was immediate. She entered Mills College in 1959, received her BA and MA in Dance and joined the Mills Dance faculty in 1966. She taught dance at Mills for the next 39 years and during that time was Chair of the Dance Department, Dean of the Fine Arts Division, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, and acting president. Mary Ann had an exceptional spirit, a wonderful sense of humor, and boundless energy. Those who knew her cherished her generous moral support and forthright candor. She loved to teach and that love only increased over the years. She stood out for her devotion to her fellow faculty and her students and she was twice named the Mary Metz Professor for outstanding teaching. She published two textbooks on Labanotation, the technique that diagrams the choreography of dancers’ motions. Her professional standing was acknowledged by the award of the Isadora Duncan “Izzie” for service to the San Francisco Bay Area dance community. After retiring, Mary Ann served for ten years on the board of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, where she found a new arena in which to promote her love of dance. She is remembered for her steadfast dedication to the highest standards in education and art. Mary Ann and her loving husband, Jordan (Pooh), were married in 1963 and would have celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in August of this year. She dearly loved her two sons, John and Cary, his wife Tina, and her three grandchildren Ames (eight), Jordan (seven), and Hayes (five). It was always clear that she valued her family’s well being far above her own. A Celebration of her Life will be held at Mills College in Lisser Hall on Friday, May 31, at 1:30 PM. Interment will be conducted on Thursday, May 30, 2013, at Alta Mesa Funeral Home, 695 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto CA 94306, at 11:00 AM. Donations in her memory may be made to the New Work Fund of the Paul Taylor Dance Company (551 Grand St., New York, NY 10002) and to The Mary Ann Childers Kinkead Scholarship for Dance at Mills College. Condolences may be sent to


Click here to comment on this story »