Mary Anne McNelis Myer


“Polly” Myer, 93, of Chestnut Hill, died at home surrounded by family on April 22.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, class of ‘48, and Mount St. Joseph

Academy ‘44, Polly’s greatest passions were children and education. She taught for more than 40 years in Philadelphia public schools, specializing in early education and The Head Start Program. In 1956 she married Thomas J. Myer, Jr., and together they raised three daughters, Cassandra, Anastasia and Julia.

Polly’s dedication and deep appreciation for the arts continued throughout her life, particularly through “Faith and Fine Arts,” a philanthropic arts organization benefitting the Philadelphia Museum of Art Library that she co-founded that continues today.

The piano figured prominently in Polly’s life and it was one of her greatest joys to play and to listen to her grandchildren, Laurenson and Josephine, play as well. She was an active patron of the Germantown “‘Young Musicians” group of aspiring instrumentalists. She was also a longstanding member of the Outdoor Gardeners, where she won numerous blue ribbons for her beautiful plants and flowers.

The St. Martin’s porch at The Philadelphia Cricket Club, where Polly and Tom were lifetime members, and where they first met and later celebrated their wedding, was one of her favorite places. Here she loved to see friends, often in the summer with swallows darting in and out of the rafters. Polly was active in the community, and when her Philadelphia grandsons attended Chestnut Hill Academy she enthusiastically volunteered in the Clothes Closet to help support the school.

Beloved by all who spent time with her, Polly was at the center of any gathering.

Polly is survived by her daughters, Julia Carroll (Christopher Ward) of Chestnut Hill, Anastasia Myer (Matthew Politzi) of Adelaide, Australia and Mary Cassandra (Thibault Surer) of Paris, France and their children, Dylan, Laurenson, Malcolm, Josephine, Harry and Leonardo, as well as loving nieces and nephews.

She is predeceased by her husband, Thomas J. Myer, Jr., and her brothers, Jack McNelis and George McNelis.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Philadelphia Museum of Art. Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 30 at Our Mother of Consolation Church, 19 E Chestnut Hill Ave. Burial will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.