In Memoriam – Mary Ann (Hebenstreit) Sporl

Mary Ann (Hebenstreit) SporlOctober 6, 1943 – July 18, 2021

Mary Ann Sporl passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her husband of 58 years, Robert D. Sporl, and their three children Robert Sporl Jr., Jennifer Sporl and Ellie Sisson.

Mary Ann was born in Canton, Ohio, the only child of William H and Helen K Hebenstreit, and grew up in Southern California- a real California Girl! She met Robert at St. Mary’s College when he was attending Notre Dame. A chance meeting in 1961 was love at first sight. That was the start of a beautiful love story and their many adventures across the country.

Her two biggest passions in life were her family and gardening. She had the greenest thumb of anyone we knew and could rescue a plant from the most dire condition and turn it into a thriving specimen. She spent hours in her garden and was always willing to help a friend select just the right plants for the right light. She found so much joy in the simplicity of a beautiful backyard vegetable or flower garden.

She loved her family so much and her children were her proudest accomplishment.  She had a child-like wonder and excitement about life, was so curious about everything and was a life-long learner.  In fact, at 50, she went back to college and finished her Bachelor’s Degree at University of San Diego. She was eating organic before it was cool. Mary Ann lived her life present to the legacy she was leaving behind. She is survived by her husband, 3 children and 6 grandchildren. Our hearts are broken and she will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.  Mary Ann was committed to making a difference and supported multiple charities. In lieu of flowers the family is asking for donations to be made to Maasai Education Foundation the PayPal Giving Fund ( or by sending a check payable to the Maasai Education Foundation to 345 Woods Lane, Newport, VA 24128.

Note: In honor of Mary Ann, the Maasai Education Foundation will name one of the wings of our new girl’s dormitory (currently under construction) the Mary Ann Hebenstreit Sporl Memorial Wing.

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