Wareham woman receives lifetime achievement award, stays active with art

Mar 10, 2018

Though she just won a lifetime achievement award, Mary Nyman isn’t done living- not even close.

The Wareham octogenarian was given the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for her years of achievements and successes, especially as a leader in education and academic administration. She has taught English and art in schools around the state, spending 19 years teaching English at Wareham High School before retiring in 1994.

Nyman said the award came as a pleasant surprise. Marquis Who’s Who in America chooses its award winners based on position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility and prominence in a field. People in the fields of politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment have been recognized for Marquis Who’s Who since 1899.

“It’s nice that they’re recognizing us, especially when we get older,” Nyman said.

Nyman’s credentials are impressive: she has taught at the junior high, high school and college levels, served on the Wareham School Committee and has published several books, including compilations of poetry, short stories, a children’s book and a young adult novel.

Now, in her retirement, she lives with her partner Bob Brousseau and stays busy writing, painting and making jewelry. She takes classes on the arts and has taught as an instructor herself at the Plymouth Guild for the Arts.

Though at one time she had five children, five German shepherds and five horses to care for, she said life hasn’t slowed down much. She’s learning to paint with acrylics, painting landscape scenes of Maine, Europe and the Cape Cod area that she sells and hangs around her home.

“I’m not great at painting people, so I just don’t,” Nyman admitted.

Her paintings have made it to the west coast, she said, and someone in Paris is wearing one of the necklaces she made after purchasing it at a Cranberry Harvest Celebration.

“I’ve been very lucky,” she said. “I’ve made a lot of friends through art.”

Nyman said she plans to keep taking classes, travelling and learning new skills.

“They really make your life good, especially during the winter,” she said of her arts.

She sells jewelry and paintings at fairs in Maine and around Massachusetts. She brings around 100 pieces of jewelry to each fair, and said some people come every year to look at her new pieces.

“We have found activities we truly enjoy in retirement,” she said. “We have a lot of blessings and I’m not a Pollyanna about it, we really do have a lot of blessings.”

Visit www.marynyman.com for more information about Nyman or to see more examples of her artwork.