In Memory

Elizabeth Anania (Edwards) - Class Of 1967

Elizabeth "Mary Beth" Anania Edwards passed away on Tuesday afternoon, December 7th, at her home in Chapel Hill, NC.  She courageously battled cancer for six years.  She was 61 years of age.

Mary Beth was many things: a Navy brat, a lawyer, a wife, a mother, a key adviser.  Just as importantly, she was a friend and a proud Zama alumni member.

She is survived by her husband, John; her children: Cate, Emma Claire, and Jack; her brother, Vincent ('68) and her sister, Nancy ('69).

Some words from Al Miyatake ('66):  "Elizabeth (Mary Beth) Anania Edwards was a cheerleader, a leader of her class back in 1966. She thanked her supporters in the end, just by saying that 'You know' how she felt about all the love and support her friends gave her the past years. She will be missed by many."

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12/07/10 08:59 PM #1    

Roberta Stott (1988)

What an honor it was to have the chance to exchange emails prior to and then meet Mary Beth at the 2010 All-Class Reunion this summer!

She led a very public private life because of her life choices and many may say they knew her since she was a very public figure. But seeing her with her Zama friends at the reunion, I'd have to say those Zama alumni are the ones who truly knew her and knew what made her tick.  Hearing the laughter and seeing their smiles was priceless.

Such a brave, strong and loving person... may she rest in peace.

12/09/10 03:29 AM #2    

Lynn Staulcup (1966)



Today I share in our common grief for Mary Beth and as a tribute to her I plan to wear my Zama Cap all day on Saturday.  I suggest wearing something from Zama on Saturday would be a fitting tribute by all of us.  Saturday will be “Honor Mary Beth Edwards Day” for me. 


I don’t plan to remove the yellow wristband I have been wearing for Mary Beth and me for the past 15 months.  The wristband was provided as part of our Aug 2009 Denver Reunion--Cancer Fund Raiser-- for her, which Allen Hanano arranged.  When folks ask me about the yellow band, I tell them about Mary Beth and our time at Zama.  This is not only my lasting tribute to Mary Beth, but will continue to be a constant reminder of her courage and resilience in dealing with cancer and other challenges in her life.


I am glad that many of us got to see her in July at the DC reunion.  Mary Beth and I shared several moments together on the SPIRIT as we cruised down the Potomac River on 9 July 2010.  We briefly discussed our common challenge with cancer (I have an advanced stage of prostate cancer).  Most of the time was spent discussing our blessings regarding our family, friends, and the need to make every precious moment count-- because our time is limited.


I am sure she would want us to use her passing as a beacon to remind us to enjoy our many blessings, including our family and friends, but also to be resilient when we face adversity. 


We will always remember you Mary Beth.  God bless you, your family, and friends.


Blessings and best wishes,


Lynn Staulcup, '66

Ashburn, Va

12/12/10 12:03 PM #3    

Phyllis Aylor (Larson) (1970)

Elizabeth Anania Edwards was always a "Bright Star" back in the days of Zama American High School in Japan. She was genuine in her approach to life and pure in spirit. She carried The Spirit of God and the Trojan Spirit which her Classmates and Zama Alumni Association all carry to this date.

We are proud to have known you and of you. You were and are and will always be admired for your legacy you left behind in your works, your children, your siblings, your loved ones, associates and those whose lives you touched. You will be fondly remembered and most of all for the love you showed your children and the values you have taught them in how to live life....with Courage, Faith and Love.

I know for a fact that your friends from Zama and the Alumni there who had the opportunity to meet you will forever remember you and your friendship. It was nice to see your and their smiling faces as you all embraced each other in that moment in time. You could let your hair down and be yourself...remembering your youth and the way you and your Zama friends were and continued to be. Pure in heart, mind and spirit.

An Earth Angel and Now a Heavenly Guardian Angel you and your son Wade will be to your children you leave behind for now. Until you reunite again. May God Bless You All and Peace Be With You for Eternity.

 I think you accomplished all this Elizabeth.

01/08/11 08:12 AM #4    

Tom Barry (1974)

I wanted to share with all of you a special tribute video I recently put together about our fellow alumnus Elizabeth Edwards, better known to her Zama classmates and friends as Mary Beth Anania (Class of '67).

It can viewed below, on my profile page, or on Facebook at:

As some of you may know Mary Beth, along with her brother Jay and sister Nancy, spent much of her youth in Japan as the daughter of a decorated U.S. Navy pilot stationed at Atsugi. She attended ZAHS from 1963-1966 (frosh.-junior years). Her two younger siblings also attended ZAHS. During that time, the Anania family lived at Sagamihara Dependent Housing Area. Mary Beth was not only an academic standout but very active in extracurricular pursuits, including serving as assistant editor of the Rising Sun yearbook and as a cheerleader.

In 2004 at the height of the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign, I had written a brief profile about Mary Beth, which she graciously acknowledged. She told me that her fondest memories were of her years in Japan, especially at Zama and Sagamihara, and was pleased to discover so many fellow Zama-ites had continued our ties, bonds and friendships in various forms. Upon learning of the Zama Alumni Association, she enthusiastically embraced it and eventually became a member.

I was sorry I was unable to meet her in person at the July 2010 all-class reunion in Washington, D.C. However, I was heartened to learn from family and friends that Mary Beth, accompanied by her two youngest children Jack and Emma-Claire, returned to Japan in September 2010 -- little more than two months before her death -- for one final and nostalgic visit and to show her children the places of her youth. She was met there by Josh Fryday, a JAG officer in the U.S. Navy now stationed at Yokosuka. He had previously worked on the John Edwards presidential campaign. She echoed to him what she expressed to me some years earlier about her fondness for Japan.

My video features rare photos of her childhood and youth in Japan, in addition to a few select photos of her attending the 2010 ZAA reunion (one of her last known public appearances). Additionally, I included a brief clip of her at a 2006 book signing for her autobiographical Saving Graces at which she recalls what it was like to be a so-called "military brat" growing up in Japan. In attendance at the event was former ZAHS classmate Sue Brand (Medeiros).

I gratefully acknowledge the Anania Family, Zama Alumni Association, Zama American High School, U.S. Army Japan Public Affairs and, most especially, Rick Pemble without whom the video would not have been possible. All of Mary Beth's yearbook photos are from his website:

Mother, daughter, sister and friend, Elizabeth "Mary Beth" Anania Edwards lived with courage and strength and died with dignity and grace. May she rest in peace.

Tom Barry


04/15/13 03:38 PM #5    

Mark Harrigan (1963)

I was in contact with Mary Beth during her difficulties. She was a courteous and very intelligent person who will be missed by all of us. God rest her soul.

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