About Mary

I have earned two “bread-and-butter” degrees, BA in Music Ed. and MA in Special Ed. My “fun” degrees are a BA in German and the latest, an MA in Biblical Studies from Denver Seminary in 2012. Such varied academic credentials say more about my inability to perceive my call than my academic prowess, or the ability to be very profitable!

I married Clement Hanson in 1974, when he was a medical student. He joined the Army Medical Corps, and we began twenty-five years of moving between duty stations, which included seven years in Germany and both coasts of the United States. Our children, Ben and Anne, are married to spouses, Julie and George, and I now enjoy two granddaughters. The forty-five-year marriage ended in June 2019 after Clem suffered nine years of Alzheimer’s.

I set up 13 different kitchens in 25 years of military life and tried my best to help my son and daughter adjust to new friends and schools. During these challenges, I was constantly uprooted from my circle of friends and churches while trying to maintain my identity living in the shadow of my husband’s career. The travels afforded many opportunities: meeting different people, learning about other cultures, and living overseas. Proximity to various colleges offered the opportunity to take classes even when my kids were small. After many years devoted to family, this is my time to use my life experiences to promote causes that create greater abundance for girls and women, of all ages and all places.

Yes, my name is Mary, named after a grandmother, but also the protégé of a long line of Marys, beginning with the Mother of Jesus, the great inspiration of all women. My middle name, Ann, is also from a grandmother, a name to honor the memory of the woman widowed, living in the temple, and called a prophetess. She raised her voice to best advantage in her circumstances.

I’ve always been a wanderer.

Stromer is my maiden name, a German name that means a wanderer or a tramp. I am not only an eager traveler of times and places but also a wanderer between subjects and skills. My academic journey may seem scattered, between education, German, music, and Biblical studies, but each academic pursuit was a call to go deeper into skills and knowledge that I hoped would contribute to something worthwhile I could create . . . someday.

Now I am in my 70s, widowed since 2019, I’ve embarked on a new chapter—a chapter of life where the clutter in my brain is clambering to get written. I am dedicated to uplifting and encouraging women in a similar stage of life. We often feel ignored, faded, and no longer relevant. Not many resources are available to this age group, yet there are so many of us, and we are still capable of great contributions.

Mary’s Sword Poem – October 2015

I started writing poems decades ago, probably because I enjoyed lyrics to music. Working with words is an artistry like painting and composing. So, I try to write biblical truths with beautiful words that invite savoring and deep imagination.

printable graphic of Mary's Sword Poem - parchment type paper with images of Mary with child and Jesus on the cross

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