EAST DENNIS – 85-year-old Mary Kirkwood Van Loan passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening, September 30, 2020, with her daughter Lynn and granddaughter Bo Yun by her side. Born December 18, 1934 in Mitchell, South Dakota, Mary was the daughter of Robert Campbell Kirkwood and Virginia Bates Kirkwood and the sister of Robert Campbell Kirkwood, Jr. over thirty homes before settling in Greenwich, in Connecticut, to raise his own family.
She attended House in The Pines School in Norton, Massachusetts, before receiving her Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke College. During her university studies, she was blessed by Pope Pius XXII. After graduating, Mary taught at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, California, before moving to Connecticut to teach at Andrew Warde High School and Ludlowe Middle School in Fairfield. She married Richard Van Loan, a stockbroker at Kidder, Peabody in New York. During their 18-year marriage, they had three children: Rich Van Loan of Boston, Massachusetts and Scottsdale, Arizona; Lynn Brainerd of Branford, CT; and Bob Van Loan of Fairfield, CT.
Mary’s career as a personal financial advisor was a pioneer not only because she was a woman in this field, but also because financial planning was in its infancy. In addition to working as a personal financial planner for Putnam Trust and Union Trust banks, Mary started her own financial planning business and became president of the Westchester / Rockland / Fairfield Society of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners. Her professional affiliations included the Lower Estate Planning Council of Fairfield, Financial Women International, and the International Association of Financial Planners. She has also published several articles on financial topics.
As a volunteer, Mary has been actively involved in several community organizations, including the YWCAs of Greenwich and Stamford, where she received the Brava Award honoring women engaged in philanthropy and community service. Brava Fellows demonstrate a special combination of outstanding professional accomplishments, mentoring others – especially women – and caring for the community. She has also been actively involved in Greenwich Continuing Education and the Greenwich Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
After retiring from her career as a certified financial planner, Mary moved to Cape Cod to join Jane Seward Pomeroy, whom she had known from high school. For 18 years, Mary’s natural curiosity and sense of adventure has led them, among other things, to travel across the country in a Winnebago, volunteer at the Jacob Sears Library, and host countless Christmas parties. neighborhood, festivals and school meetings.
Perhaps more than anything, Mary will be remembered for creating the relationships that make people feel special. She was like “a second mother” to many of her friends’ children, and she made them feel comfortable enough that they could talk about anything with her.
Mary is survived by her children, Rich Van Loan and her partner Ed Juel, her daughter Lynn Brainerd and her husband Stuart and their children Lucas and Bo Yun, as well as their son Bob and his wife Ellen and their two sons Ethan and Nicholas. She is also survived by her nephew Robert “Cam” Kirkwood III and her niece Kimberly Kirkwood Roberts. Mary and her family are also grateful to their neighbor Bruce Benvie, who gave them the comfort of knowing he was always available to lend a hand.
Due to Covid-19, a celebration of life will take place at a date and time to be determined later.
Instead of flowers, Mary would love for you to take a minute – right away – to let your family know how much you love them. She has regularly told her own family that she loves them, and that is her biggest inheritance of all.
Posted on October 11, 2020