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In Loving Memory

Mary Poolitsan Mandell

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Virtual Celebration of Life Service

from Sunday, November 15, 2020



Mary Poolitsan Mandell, loving wife and mother, passed away in her home in Moraga, California on September 12, 2020 after battling organ failure and dementia.  She was 83.  Mary was the beloved wife of Dr. Robert Mandell and mother of two daughters, Marybeth and Nancy.

Mary was born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana as the only child of Peter (Pete) and Maxine Poolitsan.  In her youth she learned how to play the piano and golf, two of her passions that she pursued throughout her adult life.  She shared the love of golf with her husband Bob.  They married in 1959 and celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary in August of 2020.  The couple met at Indiana University where Bob was in graduate school and worked as a waiter at Mary’s Theta sorority.  Mary received her M.A. in Education and worked as a librarian.  The newlyweds moved to the San Francisco Bay Area after Bob completed his PhD in vision science and received a teaching position at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry.

Mary’s family lived near her aunts, uncles and cousins and frequently shared traditional Greek meals with friends and relatives.  They often dined at The Gables restaurant, owned originally by the Poolitsan family and now a Bloomington landmark. 

Marybeth and Nancy recall fond memories of their loving and devoted mother, such as her dedication to attend her daughter’s tennis matches and gymnastics meets. During her final days, she dotingly referred to her husband as her “boyfriend” which made us chuckle in delight as we admired their endearing love.

Mary dressed with style and class and loved to entertain for her friends and family. She had a quick wit that always brought a laugh and a smile.  Those that knew Mary say that she was kind to everyone.

The family would like to thank all relatives and friends who have been so supportive.  Mary is greatly missed.

On Sunday, November 15th at 12pm PST, a celebration of life will be held virtually (via Zoom.)  The link will be sent via email.  For questions please contact

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Mary Mandell Memorial Tribute

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Photo Remembrance

Remembering Mary

Born in Indiana, where her husband she met too​
She loved California, but a Hoosier through and through​
A mom at heart and a loving wife​
Her way was to make us special in life​
Mom was a librarian and had many talents​
She played golf, tennis and piano, always in balance​

We learned by example, her gentle touch​

Kind to everyone, she taught us so much​

One day we’ll see her on the other side of life​

And be reunited, with a wonderful friend, mother and wife


Guest Book