Monday, May 24, 2004

Cemetery seen as 'sacred trust'



By Janet Wetzel
Enquirer contributor

Before roosters crow a welcome to the day, Mary Anne Berry, 59, of Mount Washington, is tackling her many pursuits. She laughs when telling how some have dubbed her a bag lady, or streetwalker. The names fit, she said, because she often walks the neighborhood with a trash bag, collecting litter, or tearing down illegal signs. And whether she's doing that, working in the cemetery, mentoring students, or helping at the local school, she tackles each with zest.

Berry, a retired office worker, considered it a sacred trust when in 2001 she was asked to take over Mount Washington Cemetery Association. She's secretary/treasurer, and her husband, Jim, is president. She sells gravesites, schedules burials, holds annual fund drives for maintenance, and is remapping the cemetery, all volunteer. She's also working on a history of Mount Washington.

She's often at Mount Washington Elementary School, helping with the reorganized PTO and to raise money to restore the library, which was closed for lack of funds.

Berry, a mother of two, with one grandchild, said kids are a priority. She's been a Cincinnati Youth Collaborative mentor five years, has spent years helping at People Working Cooperatively, which helps elderly and disabled people stay in their homes, and is a supporting member of the African American Chamber of Commerce.

As member of the American Legion Auxiliary in Mount Washington, she coordinates its annual July 4 parade. She worked hard to lobby city hall for the Mount Washington Community Center. Now she's working to raise money to get programs for all ages.

Do you know a Hometown Hero - someone in your community dedicated to making it a better place to live and helping others? E-mail Janet Wetzel at jjwetzel@siscom.net, or fax to 513-755-4150.




TOP STORIES
Ads say we're losing doctors
Urp! A beer hall of fame?
Portman rises as draw for donors

EDUCATION
Baccalaureates no longer a staple
New Ohio exams could make high school diploma harder to get
Allison School has new principal

NEIGHBORS
Rec centers: Bigger, better
St. Xavier's 'Joseph' a walking work of art
Residents fighting for septic systems
Cemetery seen as 'sacred trust'

IN THE TRISTATE
Goldie Hawn brings smiles during Smart Talk lecture at Aronoff
Restraint asked on board member
Grenade explosion ended his 2 years at war
Ohio newspapers vie for awards
Subpoenas issued in case of Ohio House Speaker
Elderly program seeks funds
Public safety briefs
News briefs

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Weiser: Bush coming around again to raise cash
Good Things Happening: Group to compete in science bowl

LIVES REMEMBERED
Jan Englert, 57, turned gift-giving into art form
Nancy Korman, 55, beloved Korman's Korner operator

KENTUCKY STORIES
Paw parks draw area enthusiasts
Accused priests defended
Family defends leash holder
Agro-terror precautions crisscross Kentucky
Arms museum offers history of U.S., Great Britain
Kentucky obituaries