February 06, 1932 ‒ December 18, 2020
**For family and friends who would want to view Mary’s memorial service on Sunday January 17th at 2 pm, please leave a condolence below with your email address and a message stating your interest in watching her service, and her family will connect with you directly.**
MANSFIELD: Mary Fain passed away of COVID-19 in Mansfield, OH on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020 at the age of 88. Born in New York City on Feb. 6, 1932 to Max and Ethel Fain, Mary was a child music prodigy in classical piano, learning first at the Henry Settlement House and then under Gertrude Kramer. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in music and completed coursework for an M.A. at UC-Berkeley. Mary also studied music composition and choral conducting as a Hertz Fellow at the Vienna Academy of Music in Austria from 1959-60 and was an accompanist to Pablo Casals’ chamber music summer course in Zermatt, Switzerland in 1960.
Mary became a classical music radio announcer, starting at KING FM in Seattle and then later at KFAC in Los Angeles until it was converted to a rock music station. A Sept. 20, 1989 New York Times article by Seth Mydans quoted Mary as saying on her last show at KFAC, “That was Tchaikovsky’s ‘Pathetique’ Symphony, composed just a few months before his death, and played just a few hours before ours here at KFAC.”
In 1990, Mary moved to KUNI/KHKE in Cedar Falls, IA as Director of Classical Music and Senior Fine Arts Producer where she constructed classical programming and supported live music in the Cedar Valley community. She was a skilled public broadcaster with a vast knowledge of classical music history and musicology. Mary retired in Cedar Falls in 1998. In honor of Mary, Iowa Public Radio published this article at https://www.iowapublicradio.org/ipr-music/2020-12-23/remembering-a-classic-farewell-to-mary-fain?fbclid=IwAR20M-Z16iiwVYg4supw4Csgzg8L1iMbMDksPscNDtBHIjjFp-GaFCPtKi0.
Throughout her career, Mary interviewed and befriended many renowned classical conductors and musicians. Listeners to classical music radio in the cities where she worked will remember her distinctive voice and interviewing skills. Those close to her delighted in her piano playing and cooking.
In addition to her passion for music, Mary loved animals, travel, great food, casinos, and just causes. She also enjoyed participating as a Democrat in the Iowa caucuses. Mary traveled the world and had a strong zest for life. She leaves behind her niece Maddy Ellis and spouse Jim, her nephew Jonathan Fain and spouse Erin, grandnephews Rob, Ben, Danny, Max, Levi and Bram, grandniece Susan, and many beloved cousins and friends. Mary is predeceased by her parents and brother Hack.
A virtual service honoring Mary will be held on Sunday, January 17th at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial donation to the Nature Conservancy at https://www.nature.org/en-us/ or Iowa Public Radio at www.iowapublicradio.org.