It is with a heavy heart—but with gratitude for decades of her leadership—that I share the news that United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas Board Member Mary Anne Sammons Cree passed away Wednesday, July 21.
Mary Anne was a beloved supporter of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Even in our sadness, we are filled with thanksgiving for the extraordinary life she led and shared with so many here in North Texas.
Mary Anne’s history with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas preceded the tenure of many individuals now associated with our organization, but her legacy is woven in the fabric of our United Way family. Her story begins with her mother, Rosine Smith Sammons. Rosine provided public relations work for the Community Chest and generously participated in the storied Women’s Division. Her newspaper column, The Community CHEST-ER, championed United Way and other community causes as early as 1950. Mary Anne recollected that she often joined her mother on early outings, going door-to-door to raise awareness and support.
Through the decades, the generosity of Mary Anne and her family underlies some of the most significant resources and civic services in Metropolitan Dallas. The Sammons family has been part of the heart and soul of North Texas since the 1940s, providing leadership in the business community and investing philanthropic resources and volunteer leadership in support of the arts, education, health and social services. Mary Anne’s unwavering support for United Way provided resources that changed lives for many of our neighbors. As recently as 2018, she honored her mother with a $1 million gift to the Unite Forever campaign. Her devotion to her mother’s legacy of community service provided a powerful example for others to follow and follow they did.
Then, in January 2020, just a few months before the world turned topsy-turvy, we gathered in downtown Dallas in our United Way home to celebrate Mary Anne’s 90th birthday and to recognize a historic $10 million gift from her 10 beloved children and many grandchildren. In her honor, they named the United Way building for Mary Anne. Forever, we are honored to remember her legacy each and every day as we walk through the Mary Anne Sammons Cree United Way of Metropolitan Dallas building in the heart of the city she so dearly loved.
Mary Anne is forever in the pantheon of Dallas UW leaders who are both foundational pillars and guiding lights. May we be ever reminded of her legacy of generosity and support as we work to create a brighter future for North Texas.
With heartfelt gratitude and loving memories, we grieve with her family and remember her as we journey forward, honoring her extraordinary life.
McDermott-Templeton President and CEO
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
This article was published on: Jul 23, 2021