Mary Ann Clarissa (Kitchen) Tulman, 80, of Westerly, passed away on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at Westerly Hospital. She was predeceased by her husband Seth Tulman in November 2019. Born in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, England in 1940, she was the daughter of the late Clifford and Eileen (Friend) Kitchen.
Mary followed in her mother’s professional footsteps and went into nursing. She completed her nursing training in England including studies at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. Her life plans were changed considerably by the chance meeting of her younger sister Jane and American student Richard Tulman while both were studying in Paris. Richard mentioned that his older brother Seth, who was visiting him in Paris, was to be stationed at the Air Force base at Bentwaters, close to the Kitchen family home. An invitation was extended to the brothers, and a few months later, Seth proposed during a picnic at Saxtead Mill. Mary moved to the United States, and the couple was married at the chapel at Brown University in 1967.
Mary continued her work as a Registered Nurse, including long tenures at Wood River Health Services and in the currently-named RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals. She fulfilled her passion for genetics in working with developmentally delayed adults. Her interests included gardening, knitting, and she regularly traveled to see her family in England. She volunteered at the Jonnycake Center and in various capacities at Christ Church, and was a member of the RN Club and TOPS. While Mary’s physical abilities were tempered by multiple ailments, she remained determined to focus on her capabilities and to extend a compassionate, cheerful demeanor towards those around her. Her sister Jane recalls her saying that she could choose to let her physical pain make her and those around her miserable, or to remain cheerful at what she was still able to accomplish. Mary always chose faith, cheer, and joy.
Mary leaves her daughter Sarah Jesudason and her husband Basil; her grandchildren Nathan and Beatrice; her sisters Jane Hogg and Sarah (Sally) Thomas and their families, and her brothers-in-law Richard and Jon Tulman and their families. She also leaves her Christ Church family and numerous unfinished knitting projects.
Her family is grateful for the care and skill of her medical team and her caregivers in the last year of her life, including staff from Care At Home, South County Home Health, Westerly Hospital, and Hope Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her name to Christ Church or the Jonnycake Center.
Funeral services will be held privately at the convenience of the family.
Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main St. Westerly, RI 02891 is assisting the family with arrangements. For online condolences, please visit www.buckler-johnston.com
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