Mary Anna Billow Woodell, a rare, creative spirit, softly completed her life journey March 17 at her Loudonville home, in the loving care of her son, Paul, and daughter-in-law, Kristin, following a short illness.

During the last few days of her life, Mary Ann enjoyed visits from members of her family and close friends.

The only daughter of Slavic immigrants Mary and John Billow, Mary Ann — affectionately known as “Hancha” to her extended family — was born in 1941 in Granville, New York. Upon graduation from Granville Central High School in 1959, she moved to the Albany area to pursue a secretarial career at the State University of New York at Albany.

While at SUNY Albany, Mary Ann took time out of her professional career to raise her son and to focus on her creative projects such as home decor, shadow-box displays and flower arrangements.

She restarted the professional aspect of her life years later as the Secretary to the Registrar at SUNY Albany. Her independence, resilience, and determination enabled her to balance career and home life. Her work ethic and focus on family were instilled by her mother and ethnic community.

Throughout her life, Mary Ann had a love for her Slavic heritage and language, sharing with family and friends some Slavic phrases and the occasional colorful quip.

Mary Ann is survived by her son, Paul and his wife Kristin (Johannessen), grandsons Russell and Colin, brother Alec Billow, sisters in law, Henrietta Billow (John),  Peggy Billow (Mickey), Elaine Billow (Bill), Deb Garulske (Alec), numerous beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins and  “the girls” her cats, Roxy and Nala.

Mary Ann was predeceased by her parents, her brothers, Joseph Billow, Mickey Billow, William Billow, and John Billow.

Due to current circumstances, a memorial service  will be announced at a later date.  To learn of future arrangements or leave messages of condolence please contact



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