Mary Ann Heins
February 16, 1939 - May 13, 2024

Mary Ann (Cassella) Heins departed this world on May 13 th 2024, charting her own course until the very last moment, consistent with the spirit of innovation, kindness, generosity, and openness that marked her long, happy and courageous life. She will be remembered forever by those who loved her as a cherished wife, empowering mother, loyal friend, gregarious host, lover of music and strong-willed advocate for her own children and those she worked with at Waterford –Halfmoon Elementary School where she worked as a teacher’s aide alongside her niece, teacher Danielle Cassin. Born February 16, 1939, in the town of Cohoes, Mary Ann was the eldest daughter of Florida (LePage) and Patrick Cassella. Mary Ann experienced loss and challenge at an early age, with the sudden death of her father at the tender age of 7 and the financial hardship that ensued: these experiences informed her tremendous empathy for those in need, as well as a life-long sense of gratitude for every gift or happy experience in her life. She credited her beloved mother for setting the example of being a hard worker who kept a spotless, welcoming home, and mirrored that standard throughout her life.
Mary Ann would say she was lucky in love, having married John (Jack) Hurst on May 28 th , 1955 and raising their four children together: John, Linda, Erik and Keith. She used to say her children were her greatest legacy and she was tremendously proud of raising entrepreneurs, executives and academics who exceeded her dreams for them and remained close to her and each other. When in her 60s, she met and married the love of her adult life, Bob Heins enjoying every minute of their many travels together (Hawaii, National Parks, France etal), their cotillion days, hosting great parties together, and the beauty of ordinary days. Bob has been Mary Ann’s devoted caregiver in her battle with dementia in recent years and her children will be forever grateful for the depth of his love and care for her. We will never forget the sparkle in Mary Ann’s eyes when she looked at Bob toasting their love eloquently: “you and me hon”. Mary Ann had a tremendous love for family and served as the matriarch of her own with strength of will and legendary pride in her children, her grandchildren (Garry-Paul, Jason, Cynthia, Alex, Aaron, Jack and Chloe) and her great- grandchildren (Justis, Aubrey, Finn, Lyla, Hunter, Deveon John (DJ) and Malina). She welcomed her children’s spouses Sharon, Eileen, Cindy, and Kathy with joy, and immediately loved and celebrated Bob’s adult children, Tom, Sharon and Danny. She remained close with her sisters, Jane Jordan and Carolyn Cafararo, and will be joyfully reunited in heaven with the brothers who predeceased her, Pat and Ronnie Cassella. Her memory will also be cherished by her many nieces and nephews.

Mary Ann never met a stranger, and frequently created artfully presented, delicious, memorable meals for friends and family. Food was a love language for her, and she shared that with many brides and for those gathering at annual holiday celebrations, retirement parties, and gatherings of all types while working as a caterer at Michael’s Banquet House and the Stueben Club. She could organize an event for 200 on a moment’s notice without breaking a sweat, and would make everyone in the room feel special to her, and special for being who they are. If you were lucky enough to know her, you know she was a rare, wonderful and loving person.

Pursuant to her wishes, the family will observe a private mourning period and will announce the date for a Celebration of Life in the coming weeks. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital by clicking on the donate button below or the Shiners Children’s Hospital


  • Gary and Arlene Bishop Posted May 15, 2024 2:49 pm

    Sorry for your loss

  • Patricia M Posted May 15, 2024 5:06 pm

    Our deepest sympathy Bob,John,Linda,Erik Keith and all the family at this most saddened time in your lives . May all the Choirs of Angels come to Greet Maryann as she enters into Paradise . Eternal rest Grant unto her Oh! Lord .May she rest in Peace ,Lovingly,John and Pat Harrington ,Cohoes NYn

  • Larry A Posted May 16, 2024 7:41 am

    We are so sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Alyssa Colton Posted May 17, 2024 5:08 pm

    Mary Ann was very special and was beloved as a (step)grandma to my kids (Emma & Cassie, Dan’s girls). She will be very much missed. Condolences to Bob and all of Mary Ann’s children and grandchildren.

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