Dr. Maria Guarrera Wilmeth
After a distinguished career as coordinator of foreign languages in the Fairfax County (VA) school system, Dr. Maria Wilmeth established and became the founding Director of the Italian Language Program of the Italian Cultural Society. Dr. Wilmeth envisioned in the Italian Language Program an organization that would provide an educational service to the Italian community in collaboration with the Education Office of the Embassy of Italy, and would serve as a welcoming venue for Americans wishing to learn the Italian language and about Italian culture in the Washington metropolitan area. In addition to establishing a role for the Italian Cultural Society as an Ente Gestore to manage Italian Embassy efforts in placing teachers of Italian in local schools and educating children of Italians planning to return to Italy, Dr. Wilmeth in collaboration with Prof. Roberto Severino of the Georgetown University Italian Department and others initiated a very successful program with funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities to educate teachers from all over the United States in a several week program in Rome: “The Art of Teaching Italian through Italian Art”. Dr. Wilmeth received many honors for her work, both within the United States and from foreign governments, including from Japan. The Italian government honored her as Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella della solidarietà italiana. Dr. Wilmeth retired from her post for health reasons after a brief illness.
The Japanese have a title for a person who has excelled as a practitioner and teacher in her artistic and artisanal fields – she is called “Sensei” which has the sense of “National Treasure”. One can argue whether the study and teaching of language is as much an art as a science, but our own […]Read More
It had been a few days earlier that she stopped eating. She was ready for another adventure. Several times, during our chats, after the heart attack that had changed her quality of life, she was discouraged. “Of what use am I?” she would lament, “I am no good for anything anymore.” That inactivity weighed on […]Read More
Da alcuni giorni aveva smesso di alimentarsi. Era pronta ad un’altra avventura. Più volte, durante le nostre chiacchierate, dopo l’infarto che le aveva cambiato la qualità di vita, era scoraggiata. “A che servo?” si lamentava… “non sono più buona a nulla”. Quella inattività più di ogni altra cosa le pesava. Per capire quanto le costasse […]Read More
A Prayer-Memorial Service for Dr. Maria G. Wilmeth has been held at 6:00 PM on Tuesday January 14, 2014 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church (The National Italian-American Church) at 3rd and F Streets, Washington, DC. Fr. Ezio Marchetto officiated the Prayer-Memorial Service. Following the service, guests were invited to a reception in the lower church hall, and at that time […]Read More