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Mary Peirano
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Obituary for Mary Peirano

Mary Ellen (Alabaster) Peirano, a resident of Lafayette CA since 1957, was born in Riverside CA on May 10, 1928, the daughter of Lewis and Ellen Alabaster. She passed away on July 2, 2018.

Mary graduated from Riverside Polytechnic High School in 1946, and in 1950 she received a BA degree from Stanford University in English Literature and Creative Writing. She married Lawrence (Larry) Peirano on July 26, 1952. Mary held several positions as an administrative assistant, including one in Okinawa while Larry served in the US Army, prior to moving to Lafayette in 1957.

Mary became an active volunteer in local organizations, including the Lafayette Improvement Association, the Lafayette Republican Women's Club, the Stanford Women's Club, and the AAUW; and she edited newsletters for the Springhill School's PTA and the Friends of the Lafayette Library.

Mary's focus has been in poetry. She belonged to the Contra Costa Poet's Workshop and the Ina Coolbrith Circle, a statewide organization founded by the state's first poet laureate. Mary's poems frequently won awards in competitions held by the Ina Coolbrith Circle at its annual dinner. Her poems have appeared in Blue Unicorn, Light, The Formalist, Iambs & Trochees, other magazines, and anthologies. She has published three poetry chapbooks. Her poet friends have described her poetry using words such as "unique" and "cleaver."

In addition to writing poetry, Mary wrote several novellas for young adults, but didn't pursue getting them published beyond a few rejection letters, partly because poetry was her primary love and partly because 'something had to give' while she was raising teenagers. About 6 years ago Mary decided to review, edit, and self-publish some of the novellas for gifts to relatives and friends. She received many compliments and expressions of disappointments that she did not pursue getting them commercially published.

Mary greatly enjoyed hiking. The vacations she enjoyed most were weeklong backpack hikes with Larry in the high Sierra. She and Larry also enjoyed travel, particularly adventure travel and California Alumni Association Campus Abroad trips.

Mary is survived by her husband Larry, son Thomas, daughter Ellen Peirano, and grandchildren Amanda Peirano and Thomas Peirano, Jr.

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