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January 27, 2021

Mary Edwards Shaner

Mary Edwards Shaner, of Hull, died peacefully on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. She was 78.

Born in Asheville, North Carolina on July 24, 1942, she was a daughter of the late Charles William Edwards, Sr. and Linnell (Farmer) Edwards. Mary graduated from Clyde A. Erwin High School in 1960. Mary did her undergraduate work at Duke University on full scholarship. Mary attended Oxford University in England as a Fulbright Scholar and earned her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mary joined the English faculty at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 1970 and retired in 2005 as a full professor. Mary was a Chaucer specialist and a contributor to The Riverside Chaucer. She also created classes in Children’s Literature.

Mary was the beloved wife of Richard C. Shaner, with whom she shared nearly 51 years. She was the loving sister of Sharon Palmer of Florida, the late Charles W. Edwards, Jr. and his surviving wife Rainey of Georgia, and Linda Stine and her husband Richard of North Carolina. Mary is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, dear friends, and former students.

Following cremation, Mary’s graveside service will be held at a later date at her family’s plot at Big Crabtree Baptist Church in Spruce Pine, North Carolina.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Multiple Sclerosis Society or any animal rescue organization of your choice.

Although we cannot gather together with Mary’s family at this time, friends may still offer their support by sharing a memory or message by clicking the link above.