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Thread: You're so missed, Mairzie Dotes! Bon voyage, dear one. . . .

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    You're so missed, Mairzie Dotes! Bon voyage, dear one. . . .

    Monday, February 1, we lost one of the most beloved, creative and playful members of the Artrage forums--Mary Ann Capezzuto, known here in the forums as Mairzie Dotes. Her daughter, Sherri, asked me to post an announcement of her mom's passing and a link to her obituary. This is my attempt to say something telling about this remarkable friend to the ArtRage forums and the people in it. . .

    Mair had the uncanny ability to turn Art into play, where the result was beautiful, but also made people laugh and be compelled to reply in kind with funny images done in ArtRage. It was as if there was a button on her version of the program labeled "Call and Response", where it was as if when she painted something, people were just compelled to shoot back with a funny reply which in turn inspired others to leapfrog in some very long running jokes.

    Offices I have worked in have had this kind of humorous run on a joke, where someone would post a cartoon or maybe a picture with one of their friend's faces pasted onto it. And then of course, that person would come back with an equally silly picture more or less on topic with the first person's. And someone else would chime in with yet some other silliness, in words or pictures, and on and on it would go like chain lightning. Mair had a knack and the charisma to catalyze such frivolity.

    You might think that someone who was so good at whipping people into such joyful bouts of kidding around mightn't be very grounded as a person. Maybe true in many cases, but there was another, very proper side to Mary Ann Capezzuto. Did you have any clue she was the Mayor of her township in Pennsylvania? She was chosen because, if memory serves, there was a sudden vacancy and she was well known by all to be honest and impartial and was the name in the hat most likely to minimize bloodshed between the political factions.

    From her obituary (see link below for the full text):
    "Mary Ann had worked as a Legislative Aid and was very politically active in Forest Hills. She served as a Democratic Chairwoman for 30 years and held the office of Forest Hills Mayor for one year."

    I counted Mary Ann as my very dear friend, incidentally whom I adored. I can't possibly name off all her incredible qualities and her charming mannerisms. So many. We never met physically, but the heart connects where it will. It transcends time and space.

    One amusing story I can happily share: Sheri had bought her mom a feature rich camera one year, which triggered a latent bit of adventure in Mair. Pennsylvania gets proper storms and 4 seasons. Mair loved each bit of weather as a photo op. I remember her proudly posting pictures she took dangling out her second story window in the middle of a wild Fall electrical storm. She always dove right in--but thankfully in this case, she hung on.

    Mair disappeared from the forums one day and I never heard from her again. Since so many of the early users started fading away around the time Mair did, I thought she may have been swept up in some strange internet migration. Sherri was kind enough to phone me with the sad news. She helped me understand that Mary Ann's absence from the forums had been the fault of a progressively painful condition, the worst of which hit over the last 4 years-- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). In the last couple months, her health faltered. She fell at home on December 1, needed the partial hip replacement but there were unrelated complications that challenged her health. She had just been released to her daughter's care Jan 31. She passed away in her sleep this week.

    Sorry, but I have to stop typing.

    God Bless, Mair. I miss you a lot.

    Link to the obituary:
    Sherri's email and she's inviting contact from people who remember her mom:
    [email protected]

    If you want to see what Mair was like in action, please check out the forum Art Projects in the thread called Food with an ATTITUDE! (an invitation) -- and post!

    These are a couple photos of Mary Ann, the first in one of her natural habitats - at a public voting site. The other is a pretty candid shot of her where her new camera went off before she knew it. This could well be what the lightning bolts saw as she was preparing a shot. (just add rain and wind--and some appropriate sound effects!)

    The pic of Peter Pan waving farewell to Wendy is from a children's book from the 1930s that belonged to my mom as a child that I appropriated. So many of us had become like the Lost Boys, that some of us took to referring to her as Wendy. All I did was paint her face onto the character, which was part of our routines. I never thought I would have call to post it again. But somehow it says more now than when I originally had done it.
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    Last edited by D Akey; 02-09-2016 at 02:46 PM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Oh I am so saddened by this news Mr Akey. Your kind and wonderful words are a true tribute to dear Mairzie whos beautiful artwork showed her inner spirit and enchanting sense of humour. Back in those days such fun was to be had with some of the games she and others set. I will remember her with great fondness and am very upset for the loss of her painterly spirit but I know that she will live on through her artwork. Sleep without pain dear Mairzie xxx
    Sometimes...I remember better with my eyes closed

    My Gallery

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Aguascalientes, AGS, Mexico
    My goodness, this is so sad to hear. Thank you dear D'Akey for letting us know and your moving tribute. I really don't know quite what to say. Mairzie was such a big, beautiful, loving, and inspiring presence in this forum for so many of us for so many years. My mind drifts to countless group and personal exchanges on so many topics from serious to frivolous; Mairzie somehow never failed to make any exchange a contribution; the many moments she made me laugh will always be with me. I'm grateful I had an opportunity to know her. I am deeply saddened to hear of her passing.


    PS: Special note to Katie, thank you for the final tribute to Mairzie in MOARA. It is beautiful and fitting.
    Last edited by byroncallas; 02-08-2016 at 07:06 AM.
    Appreciation fosters well-being. Be well.
    Thread with bunches of my AR paintings-conversations. Here

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Prineville Oregon
    Thanks so much D Akey for sharing this, I had wondered on several occasions what had happened, I always found her comments and post funny and at the same time gently encouraging to all ... it is amazing the great
    quality and diversity found in this forum... she will be greatly missed....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Rome (Italy)
    Dear DAkey and friends, a really sad event for me too, and a irreplaceable loss of art, poetry, humor, gentleness and brilliance for me too.
    Thank You, dear DAkey for anticipating a little bit this dramatic onfromation, so I could face this official one easier.
    I won't stop reminding of and praying for her each now and thena, and anytime I'm here on this Forum or draw some silly vignette.
    We've been so many times involved in silly threads and funny jokes in words and images together with other historical mates and legendary participants of earlies ArtRage Forum that I feel this as a sort of amputation, since some mental, affective, motivational functions would not work anymore, not properly at least.
    We will also miss her wording elegance (notwithstanding my English limitations as an Italian) and lyrical power very much.
    I presume that her beloved ones must have had a far worse shock, considering the beautiful person and soul she's be on this earth.
    Well, I like to image that she will keep chuckling in Heaven anytime I visualize and post some of my silly ideas and I'm happy to have possibly pleased her with my clumsy portrait and any other illustration where she willingly was the protagonist which I reviewed and keep precious.
    I was also protagonist of her jokes and she also gave me superpowers one day.
    She also made me start taking shots at the sky from my terrace and discover such marvels.
    CIAO Mary Ann! Ave atque vale soror!
    Panta rei (everything flows)!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    England (North)
    Also saddened to hear this news. Very grateful to you D Akey for sharing your kind and enlightening words about Mairzie Dotes and her life. I will always miss reading her considered and descriptive comments.
    The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!
    Mac mini (M1, 2020), macOS Monterey v12.3.1, ArtRage Vitae v7.1.4

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Pacific Northwest
    Thank you for bearing this sad news to us D Akey. She was a bright light and no mistake.
    Be well,

    "Teach, Learn, Thrive"~DM

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