KILMARNOCK—Mary Alice Eubank of Kilmarnock left this earthly plane on March 25, 2021. She was lovingly cared for by the staff at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, Irvington.
Mary Alice was born in Philadelphia in 1930. She attended Upper Darby High School as well as private studies at The Conservatory of Music, Philadelphia and The New School of Music, Philadelphia. In 1949, she married Paul Arthur Witte and settled down in Levittown, Pa., later moving to Kendall Park, N.J., and then to Hopewell, N.J. During this time she raised three children, Diane, Bruce and Steve.
Her passion for singing, along with her beautiful well-trained voice, helped to place her as lead soprano in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas and many other stage performances. She also offered piano instruction to local children from the living room of her home.
For some time, she worked as a receptionist at the Princeton Forrestal Research Center in Princeton, N.J. There, she met her second husband, physicist Harold Eubank. In 1985, she moved to Kilmarnock, where she lived with Harold on his farm estate. In 1988, she began The Center for the Arts in a renovated building on School Street in Kilmarnock. She also worked as the choir director for the Kilmarnock United Methodist Church.
In 1990, she built The Arts Building on a parcel of the Eubank Family Farm. The Center for the Arts Corp. was established as a non-profit corporation and offered a Children’s Theater Series for all schools, both public and private. This resulted in bringing professional performers to the stage while providing a community theater for amateur performers. The offerings included American musicals and dramatic productions, some of which were first time ever scripts by local authors.
A profit corporation, The Academy of Performing and Creative Arts, was formed and offered classes in the performing and creative arts while employing about 10 teachers. During this time, she also worked as music director for White Stone United Methodist Church from 1999 to 2005.
In 2012, Mary Alice moved to RWC, where she continued practicing music with local residents and churches. On her passing, students expressed gratitude for the gift that she had helped them to find in themselves, and acknowledged the loss of a remarkable treasure and wonderful friend.
Mary Alice is survived by her brother, Harvey Bonner; her son, Steve (Kari); and a community of musicians who carry her spirit forward.