Cover photo for Mary Fatout Proctor's Obituary
Mary Fatout Proctor Profile Photo
1949 Mary 2024

Mary Fatout Proctor

October 14, 1949 — April 29, 2024

Lifelong Indianapolis resident Mary Fatout Proctor, age 74, died peacefully at home on Monday, April 29, 2024, with her husband Bob, her children, and her three sisters by her side. Mary was known for many things: her dedication to the arts, especially theatre and dance; her beauty and wit; her sociability and knack for making any occasion more fun; her inclusive Thanksgiving dinners; her legion of close friends; her sour cream coffee cake; and, perhaps most of all, her limitless devotion to her family.

Born in Indianapolis on October 14, 1949, Mary grew up in a two-story brick house on 37th Street, between Central Avenue and Washington Boulevard, the daughter of Ray and Bea Fatout, third of five siblings (oldest sister Anne, fraternal twin Ellen, brother Bill, and younger sister Elizabeth, all of whom survive her). Her childhood was filed with creativity and fun, music, dancing, parties, friends, games, and sports. A wonderful athlete, Mary was a member of the city championship volleyball team for IPS School 84 her 8th grade year. She spent her winters ice skating at the Coliseum and her summers swimming at the Riviera Club or babysitting and waterskiing at Lake Wawasee. Like her father before her, she attended Shortridge High School (Class of 1967), where many of her most enduring friendships were formed, and continued on to Indiana University in Bloomington, where she studied English literature.

On a trip to New York City in 1968, she chanced to encounter her friend Michael T. Young in Washington Square Park. Michael introduced her to fellow IU undergraduate Bob Proctor. Mary and Bob were married in May 1970 in Bloomington just as the lilies of the valley came into bloom.

Early married life with Bob contained many adventures, including the birth of her two oldest children, Jessica and Grace, and a summer living in a teepee (sewn by Mary!) in a field in West Lafayette. The young family later settled into a small house on Carrollton Avenue shaded by two giant maple trees. Mary’s interest in dance flourished during this time, and, with her dance friends, she founded a dance troupe, Dance in Progress, that performed original works to enthusiastic audiences for many years.

The early 80s brought several big changes - the birth of a third child, Anna, and a related move to a bigger house on North Delaware Street, barely a block from the house where Mary grew up. She would live in the Delaware house, with its welcoming porch, the rest of her life. She and Bob and the kids also started spending the week of July 4 at Lake Michigan at the Gintaras Resort in Union Pier, Michigan, with a wonderful group of about 40 friends nicknamed the Blue Herons. This marvelous tradition was a yearly highlight for Mary.

Mary had a remarkable work ethic and worked full time throughout her adult life, holding positions as program director for Young Audiences of Indiana (now Arts for Learning) and as director of the improvisational theatre group Picture This. She retired from Community Health in 2017. Her volunteer work was too extensive to capture here, but some of the most notable contributions she made to the community include starting an arts preschool for the children of the Mapleton Fall Creek neighborhood, leading a group of Broad Ripple High School theatre students to perform in the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, and volunteering for Indy Fringe for many years.

At every stage of her life Mary formed deep and lasting friendships. Some of her friend groups were enduring enough to have names - the Blue Herons (Indiana University); the BALSEMs (Shortridge); and the Solstice Sisters (Community Health). Her many friends will miss her terribly.

With the birth of her first grandchild in 2002, a new era started for Mary. She devoted her whole heart, and voluminous time, to cultivating deep, meaningful relationships with each of her six grandchildren (in order of appearance): Nora Barth, Miles Barth, Clark Allison, Wyatt Allison, Beatrice Barth, and her treasured last grandchild Heron Golobish. Needless to say, she never missed a school or extracurricular event, no matter how minor, and no birthday or holiday passed without a slew of perfectly chosen gifts. When she traveled, as she often did, she made sure there were charming postcards and souvenirs for everyone. Mary loved spending time one-on-one with her grandchildren, and she had the rare gift of inventing activities suited to their interests, not hers.

Mary died as her 54th wedding anniversary with Bob approached, the lilies of the valley once again in bloom and the sounds of her beloved birds coming in through the open windows. Those of us lucky enough to be in Mary’s orbit benefited in so many ways from her close attention, unparalleled generosity, and loving, joyous spirit. She will be profoundly missed by many, most especially her devoted husband Bob, her children Jessica Barth (John), Grace Allison (Chad), and Anna Proctor (Phil Golobish), and her grandchildren. She will be interred at Crown Hill Cemetery in the Fatout family plot alongside ancestors dating back to the 1860s. The family wishes to thank Dr. Agarwala and the team at Community East for their dedicated care over the last several years. Charitable contributions in Mary’s honor may be made to IndyFringe, https://indyfringe.org/. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday July 27, 2024, at 5 p.m. at the Riviera Club.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Fatout Proctor, please visit our flower store.

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