Mary (Burr) Dawes Hibbard, a long-time resident of Hartland, Wisconsin, died at AngelsGrace hospice in early afternoon on Sunday, February 28, 2016. Ms. Hibbard was ninety-four.
Mary was born on April 6, 1921 in Warren, Pennsylvania, but her family roots were mostly in Ohio. Her parents, Beman Gates and Janet Newton Dawes Jr. were both from Marietta, Ohio. And Mary spent much time at the “Marietta Farm” in her childhood. The family lived most of their lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Mary’s first association with Wisconsin was summer camp in the Rhinelander area. Also, coincidentally, her mother went to high school in Milwaukee at Downer Seminary. Mary enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1940, where she followed her life-long interest in Modern Dance, studying under famous dance teacher Agnes De Mille.
During World War II, she served as a member of the Red Cross, spending time particularly in the Philippines. In 1946, after the war, she married Paul Lane Hibbard, of Jefferson, Wisconsin, a graduate of UW law school. After some years of moving around, the family settled in Watertown, Wisconsin, on Oconomowoc Avenue. The couple had three children, all born in Madison General Hospital: Tom, Dana and Sarah.
In the 1960s, the family relocated in the Hartland area. Mary began teaching dance at the newly founded University Lake School, with Mr. Hibbard retaining his law practice in Watertown.
Later Mary joined the dance faculty of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she spent many productive years. She remains an Assistant Professor Emeritus at UW-M. In later years, she began her popular camp Summertime at her house in Hartland. Following her husband’s death in 1987, she continued travelling, often returning to the Cincinnati area. One of her favorite places was the Dawes Arboretum, founded by her grandparents, open to the public in Newark, Ohio.
Besides her three children, Thomas D. Hibbard, Hartland WI; Dana Hibbard Khoury, East Windsor NJ, and Sarah Story Hibbard, Richland Center WI, she is survived by three grandchildren: Paul L. Hibbard, Paul Khoury and Olivia C. Khoury.
Mary and her two sisters, Janet and Dana, spent their childhood years the spotlight. Mary’s grandfather, Beman Gates Dawes Sr., was an Ohio Congressman and his brother, Charles Dawes, was Vice President under Calvin Coolidge.
Mrs. Hibbard was a person of many interests. Among some of her accomplishments: She was woman’s golf champion of Watertown Country Club and an excellent swimmer. She wrote two brief books, one about dance and the other about her grandparents, called The Five Houses. And she exchanged Christmas cards with fellow modern dancer Betty Ford whom she knew as Betty Bloomer from summer camp in Rhinelander.
A graveside inurnment will take place at McClearys cemetery on Highway 106 in the Town of Sullivan on Saturday, March 19, at 11:30 a.m. And a spring Memorial Observance will take place sometime in April or May in the Hartland area.
Memorial contributions in her name would be welcomed at University Lake School, UW-Milwaukee Dance Department or the Dawes Arboretum, Newark, Ohio.