Mary Ann Anthony

Mary Ann Anthony died at her home in Mountain View, California on November 11, 2017, after a courageous journey of many years with ovarian cancer. Mary Ann arrived in this world on October 12, 1948 in Lubbock, Texas, the first born child of William Ross and Elizabeth Ann Anthony (maiden name Gilbert). An exceptional student, she was selected as one of two Presidential Scholars from the state of Texas in 1967, the year she graduated from Lubbock Monterey High School. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. degree in Mathematics, she moved to Houston to work as a software developer. She earned her M.B.A. from the University of Houston and eventually settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she worked in management positions at several companies that developed business application software, most recently as Director of Product Planning at Oracle Corporation. Mary Ann’s exceptional mind engaged enthusiastically with the creation and execution of plans. She felt great delight when plans progressed smoothly to completion and as the consummate “gentle nudger” she was very good at making sure that happened. In 2002 she retired from Oracle to pursue a second career in personal financial planning. After completing the Certified Financial Planning (CFP) certificate program at the University of California Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Extension, she worked for a number of small financial planning firms, and also became an instructor for the mathematics course in the certificate program. She found her new career working together with her many wonderful financial planning colleagues, to help real people plan their financial futures, much more fulfilling than the management positions in high tech she had left behind. She also found personal reward volunteering at local senior centers as an AARP Tax Aide, helping low to moderate income taxpayers prepare their returns.

Mary Ann loved stories. Even as a child she would escape to her room to read any book that was available.  She combined her love of stories and organizational talents by helping with planning and operations for several of the annual World Science Fiction Conventions.  She also loved theater, film and TV -- the medium didn’t matter as long as the story brought good characters to life. She applied herself so successfully to the task of finding what was good to watch on TV that many a conversation between Mary Ann and her friends would start with a question like, “So what’s good to watch this season?” She combined her love of theater and talent for managing projects by working behind the scenes for community theater groups. It was back stage after a show she co-produced that she met her future husband Ken, who had been in the audience.  She was radiant with the joy of a successful production, and he was dazzled. Ken and Mary Ann were married two and a half years later, on the day she turned forty nine.  

When Mary Ann was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009, she began to apply her extraordinary mind to the twin tasks of living as long a life as she could, and living as full a life as she could. She carefully and wisely navigated the complex landscape of standard treatments and clinical trials, she travelled to faraway places, she joined and contributed to cancer support groups, she became an enthusiastic fan of the SF Giants and Stanford Women’s Volleyball, and she started line dancing again. In line dancing Mary Ann found a warm and supportive community of wonderful people to share what became an immensely important passion for her. She believed dancing every day was the single most important thing she did to live as long and as full a life as she could.

Mary Ann was predeceased by both her parents, Bill and Betty. She is survived by her husband Ken Fowkes, two brothers, Will Anthony and John Anthony (wife Cheryl), of Lubbock, Texas and sister B. J. Bertrand (husband Bradley), of Tyler, Texas, many nieces and nephews and a host of in-laws from her husband Ken’s large family.

A memorial for Mary Ann will be held at Spangler Mortuary in Sunnyvale, at 2 PM on Saturday, December 9, 2017. A reception will follow.  RSVP at

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation or act of kindness that you feel honors your memory of Mary Ann. She enjoyed supporting TheatreWorks of Silicon Valley (, The Teal Foundation (, and Cancer CAREPoint (