Mary Palmer, 1916 - 2011
It is with great sadness that we inform you that Mary Palmer passed away on Thursday, March 31, 2011 at Huron Woods Assisted Living Facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan at the age of 95. Mary was born on February 2, 1916 in Conover, North Carolina, the daughter of Adrian Lafayette Shuford, Sr. and Annie Bertha Warlick Shuford. She majored in music theory at the University of Michigan, graduated in 1937, and married William B. Palmer, a professor of economics, on August 28, 1937. They lived together for 52 years until Bill died in 1990 at the age of 93. Mary and her husband built a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1952 (The Palmer House in Ann Arbor, Michigan), and Mary lived in the house for 55 years before finally selling it to a young couple from California who shared her vision that the house should be preserved for others.
During the late 1960s, Mary became interested in yoga. She sought out our beloved Guruji, B.K.S Iyengar, traveled to England to study with him, and was instrumental in bringing him to the United States for the first time in 1973. Mary made five trips to India and put all of her heart and energy into developing her own understanding of yoga and teaching it to others through the Ann Arbor "Y" Yoga Program, where she was known as an enthusiastic and creative teacher. Mary is preceded in death by her husband, Bill, and her daughter, Mary Palmer Dunn, who was a senior Iyengar yoga teacher involved in the formation of three Iyengar yoga institutes in the US and Director of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Greater New York. The Mary Palmer Endowment Scholarship has been established in the School of Music at the University of Michigan in her honor. Contributions can be sent to The Development Office, 2005 Baits Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 4109-2075.
A celebration of Mary's life as a Yoga teacher will be held at the Ann Arbor "Y." Information will be provided at a later date.