In Memory of




Obituary for Mary P. Bastian-VanVoorhis

Mary Pauline Bastian-VanVoorhis, age 84, passed away peacefully on Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020 surrounded by family. She was born on February 20, 1936 in Philadelphia, PA to Alexander and Catherine Jankowski. She was raised in Philadelphia and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania as a licensed Dental Hygienist. She met and married her first husband, Dr. Edward H. Bastian at the University. After working in Philadelphia, then moving to New Hampshire, they settled in Poughkeepsie in 1959 to raise their family and to start their Dental practice together. He predeceased her on July 30, 1987.
Mary and Edward had nine children, and while raising a family and working in the dental practice, Mary also served her community in many ways. She was an active member of St. Mary’s Church and served in the following positions: Eucharistic Minister, president of the parish council, president of the St. Mary’s Parent-Teacher organization, confirmation teacher, member of the Liturgical committee, chairwoman of the St. Mary’s Christmas Bazaar, and chaired the committees for the 100th and 125th anniversary of St. Mary’s church. Mary served as president of the Dental Auxiliary and volunteered her time in the local schools for dental health education. Mary cooked, transported and served meals for the Meals-On-Wheels program for eight years. Mary was an active volunteer of the St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary and served the hospital community for over 40 years. She also served on the Board of the Lourdean Trust Fund at Our Lady of Lourdes HS, where all her children graduated from. She established two scholarships at Our Lady of Lourdes HS to honor her husband Edward.
Mary was actively involved in the Vassar-Warner Home where she served on the Board of Advocates for 35 years. She was a member of the Dutchess County Historical Society, Locust Grove, and served as a docent for Hudson River Heritage. She was a member of the Nine-Partners Garden Club and taught workshops in wreath design and flower arrangement at the Carey Arboretum. She was a member of the Coterie and many card clubs.
In 1994 she was married to Joseph VanVoorhis and they traveled the world together, and laughed their way through many adventures as they spent time visiting their grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Joseph died on September, 8, 2010.
Mary’s children and grandchildren were a great source of pride and joy in her life. They will miss her enthusiasm, creativity, her spiritual force and faithfulness, her abundant love and her contagious laughter. She is survived by her children: Edward Bastian, Mark Bastian, Louisa (Peter) Branche, Thomas (Anne) Bastian, Theresa (Ken) Powers, Monica (Catherine) Bastian, Daniel (Tricia) Bastian, Katrina (Patrick) Furlong and Annemarie (Robert) Briskey; and her grandchildren: Edward III, Ryan, Brittany and Abigail Bastian; Alexander and Joseph Bastian; Peter, Christopher and Mary Branche: Joshua Bastian; Liam, Andrew and Jonathan Powers, Noah and Lily Bastian; Mary Furlong; Kiersten (deceased), Aileen and Maximilian Briskey.
She is predeceased by her parents, and her sister Annetta Martini.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with her family on Tuesday, March 3 at William G. Miller & Son Funeral Home, Poughkeepsie, NY from 2:00 to 4:00pm and 6:00 to 9:00 pm. A mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday, March 4 at 10:00 am at St. Mary’s Church, Poughkeepsie, NY. Interment will be held privately.
Donations to honor Mary can be made to: Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research, Autism Treatment Center of America, the American Cancer Society or St. Mary’s Church. If you wish to send an online condolence please visit our website at