Ann S. Mullen

Dec 02, 2020
Ann Mullen

Belfast — Ann Stark (Mundy) Mullen died of a chronic heart condition Nov. 24, 2020, at Maine Medical Center in Portland after surmounting COVID-19. She will be sorely missed by her family and friends.

Ann was born Oct. 31, 1935, in Elmhurst, Ill. (She embraced her Halloween birthday, customarily dressing as a witch for trick or treaters.) She grew up in Wheaton, Ill., with her parents, Otto and Marguerite Mundy, and older sister Mary, until she left for college at the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana. There, she met and married Terry Mullen. After graduation, the couple moved to California, where Ann gave birth to her daughter Julia. Two more children, Robert and Sheila, followed after the young family moved to the East Coast, ultimately settling in Westfield, N.J.

As a housewife, Ann became a strong voice in local Democratic politics, and her penchant for gardening took root in the family's quarter-acre lot, which featured grapes, plums, raspberries, quince, pears, apples (wormy, no pesticides), mint, holly, sunflowers, tulips, poppies, crocuses, a variety of wildflowers, and bird feeders to attract fauna.

Divorce led Ann to the workplace. She found a job as a customer representative with Fisher Scientific Co. at its New Jersey office. A star performer, she worked her way up to marketing manager at company headquarters in Pittsburgh, where she lived until her retirement in 1995.

Ann's next chapter was in Greenwich Village, New York City. She reveled in the culture and pace of the city, accumulating more Japanese art, books and artifacts than could fit in her small walk-up apartment. Even in the urban hardscape, Ann found ways to garden and enhance the outdoor spaces and health of her surroundings. She qualified for a license to prune street trees, and undertook the care and nurturing of everything growing along sidewalks with a mile radius of her home. The New York City Parks Department took notice, hiring her as its gardener of Union Square Park and then Marcus Garvey Park.

Ann's love of nature finally got the best of her. She left New York in 2006 for the pastoral setting of Belfast, her final home. There, she launched into volunteer activities with the Belfast Garden Club, as a board member of the Belfast Cemetery and the Belfast Free Library, and as a hand at the Belfast Farmer's Market, where she was among the first volunteers to help with the low-income food assistance program. Her great joy was creation and maintenance of extensive gardens at the Grove Cemetery and in downtown Belfast near the post office and police department. A metal moose standing among the flowers at town center is one of Ann's lasting flourishes.

Ann is survived by her children, Julia, Robert and Sheila; and her grandchildren, Hannah, Audrey, Elizabeth and Timothy; by her beloved cat, Lulu; and by her many dear friends, especially Carol Yee and Evie King.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Belfast Farmer’s Market, the Belfast Garden Club or the Belfast Free Library are welcome and much appreciated. A celebration of Ann’s life will take place in the future.

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