Mary Ann Wiley
1943 - 2022
Mary Ann was born on July 14, 1943, in Stillwater. Her parents were John Hansen and Edith Hallett. She was raised on a farm near Willow Springs, Missouri. After graduating from High School, she moved to Springfield, Missouri to attend business college and after graduation she worked for a truck dealership in Springfield. Seeking adventure and to “marry a rich oil man” she moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1965. She soon had a job in Tulsa working for General Motors finance and insurance division. In 1967, she met her future husband, Clyde. After a whirlwind courtship, they were married on March 29, 1968.After marriage, Mary Ann quit the corporate world to concentrate on being a homemaker and mother. The family increased to 3 when her son John was born in 1971 and then to 4 with her daughter Suzanne in 1975. She led an active life and was involved in many activities. She was president of the school PTA, coach of the little league baseball team, and even organized a Homeowners Association for her neighborhood to make sure all the common areas were maintained properly. In 1980, the family moved to Springdale, Arkansas to own and operate a small business. Mary Ann was active in running the business and one of her ideas was to put a cookie jar on the front counter with fresh cookies every day. She was friends with the local radio morning show host, and he started a daily routine of calling Mary Ann every morning to see “what’s in the cookie jar today.” This was a popular segment and where she first began to be identified as the “cookie lady.” In 1990, the family moved to Indonesia to take advantage of a business opportunity. Mary Ann quickly got involved in activities where she introduced her cookie skills to offering cookies to the students at the snack kiosk at Suzanne’s school. This became very popular among the students. Some time later she accepted a position as catering manager at the American Club of Jakarta, a position she held for a couple of years. After quitting that job, she decided to start a catering business of her own and established Upper Crust Catering. It became a thriving business and still operates today with references to Mary Ann as the originator of the business. In the Indonesia days, she also wrote a cookbook containing popular American dishes with each recipe presented in both the English and Indonesian languages. This was very popular as most American households in Indonesia employed a cook and this gave the cook the ability to follow the recipe in her own language. Mary Ann sold thousands of these cookbooks over the years In 2011, Clyde and Mary Ann retired and moved to Fort Worth. Although retired, she continued her passion for cookies and baked them for friends and various functions.
Mary Ann is survived by Clyde, her husband of 54 years, son John who lives in Florida, daughter Suzanne of Fort Worth, and granddog Abby of Fort Worth. She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Clayton and Jim, and a sister that died as an infant.
Donations can be made to The Alzheimer's Association