Mary Anne (MacDonald) Best of Portsmouth entered into eternal rest at her home surrounded by family on April 18, 2022 at the age of 83 after a short battle with cancer.
Mary Anne was born October 26, 1938 in a house on Weaver Ave in Newport, RI to the late Joseph F. and Catherine A. (Campbell) MacDonald. She attended school at St. Augustin’s and graduated from St. Catherine Academy in 1956 and then attended Salve Regina University, achieving a bachelor’s degree in education in 1960.
Mary Anne was married June 18, 1960 to Francis Thomas Best and remained by his side for 56 years until his passing in 2016. They spent their first anniversary in Paris, France following Tom’s enlistment in the Air Force, before travelling to England where they were stationed at the RAF Sculthorpe Air Force Base. Mary Anne began her long career as a grade school teacher in England, where she taught in an Armed Forces school. Mary Anne and Tom started their travels overseas, visiting Scotland, Wales, and County Cork, Ireland, where Mary Anne’s family lived. After their travels abroad, they returned to the states and Mary Anne continued to teach in various Armed Forces schools while they lived in Tacoma, WA, Camp Springs, MD, Hampton, VA and Washington, D.C. In 1972, they returned to Newport, RI and Mary Anne began her teaching career in the Middletown Public School system. After 14 years of marriage, they were blessed with their only daughter Kathryn Anne (Best) Lee and raised her in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where their family home remains. After 25 years of teaching, she retired in 1997 from Gaudet Middle School.
Mary Anne was well-traveled and visited all 50 states, many Canadian provinces, and many countries overseas during her life. She enjoyed camping, going to Red Sox games and maintaining her flower and vegetable gardens at home. She was a devout Catholic and her family was her world; there was nothing more important to her than quality time spent with family, especially her three grandchildren, who were the lights of her life.
She is survived by her daughter Kathryn (Best) Lee and husband Eric, grandchildren Jacob, Caitlyn, and Jessica Mumme, cousin David Campbell, sisters-in-law Priscilla MacDonald and Sandra Best, and many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her brother Joseph MacDonald, brothers-in-law Leo Best and Kenneth Lamalie, and sister-in-law Mary (Best) Lamalie.
Public visitation will be held Friday April 22, 2022, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth RI.
Funeral services will continue Saturday, April 23, at 9:00am from the Connors Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00am at St. Anthony’s Church in Portsmouth, RI. All are welcome attend.
Burial will be privately held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Visiting Nurse Home and Hospice in Portsmouth, RI or to St. Anthony’s Building Fund.