Mary Ann Finch Vandivier, a creative force, died on Sunday, June 6 after a fierce battle with cancer. Mary Ann, who liked to call herself ‘Finch’ was born on November 26, 1934 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Roscoe Wall Finch and Ann (Bird) Finch. She moved to Greensburg, Indiana following her father’s death in 1941, and then to Indianapolis where she graduated from Broad Ripple High School in 1952, and was married to John C. Vandivier, Jr., in 1954.
To many who knew her, Mary Ann was a bright light, filled with endless optimism, compassion, tenacity and ceaseless creative energy. She pursued life with passion, friends with love, and always kept her inner child on full display. One of her unique strengths was her ability to inspire those around her. For herself, she never accepted a ‘glass ceiling’ and was always willing to take risks. At age 45 after raising three children she decided to go back to school to earn a BA degree in German from Indiana University, which she completed in 1984. She loved speaking German and was selected to participate in the prestigious “Hamburg Program” through Indiana University allowing her to study for a year at the University of Hamburg in Germany and in Graz, Austria. Mary Ann then earned a MA degree in West European Studies at Indiana University, writing a thesis on “COBRA: A Post-World War II Art Movement”. In 1989, she founded Finch Vandivier Coaching and Writing Services in San Diego, California, which specialized in career counseling and professional resume writing. In 1994 she moved back to Indianapolis where she continued her coaching and writing service until her retirement in 2010. During this long, successful career she helped many people perceive their inner strengths and leverage these strengths to launch new careers.
Mary Ann was the author of “Get Your Foot in the Door! Resume Workbook” She was also the author of “The Fathers,” a novel published in 2016 that told a story of implicit bias, racial tension and the justice system that presaged our recent cultural turmoil. Mary Ann was also a passionate artist, creative seamstress and gardener who was most comfortable with purple streaks in her gray hair. Her family and friends are blessed with paintings filled with colorful flowers, lions with 3D whiskers, pigs with curly tails, giraffes eating leaves, Veere – the Vandivier “home town” in the Netherlands, and of the blue-green waters of Glen Lake, Michigan, her favorite spot on earth. Above all, Mary Ann was the loving “Mohma” to her grandchildren, who all had a special spot in her heart.
She is survived by her sons John Carl Vandivier, III (Carl) and Richard William Vandivier (Bill), daughter Suzette Vandivier Sims, son-in-law Damon R. Sims, daughter-in-law Moumita Ghosh, and her adoring grandchildren, Ethan A. Sims, Nathaniel D. Sims, Maurakhee I. Vandivier and Mainak W. Vandivier, as well as her stepchildren, Brian K. Matthysee and Sharyl L. Matthysse. Mary Ann was preceded in death by her brother, Richard Bird Finch, first grandchild, Matthew Vandivier Sims, and by her step-children, Susan Matthysse, Bruce Matthysse and Sarah Matthysse. She will be greatly missed by all.
A private family service will be held on June 18th in Greensburg, Indiana, where Mary Ann will be buried among other members of her family. A memorial celebration of Mary Ann’s life is being planned for a later date. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.popfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to a favorite charity that you believe expresses the essence of Mary Ann’s free spirit and passion for life.