About Mary Dillman

1946 – 2020

Mary Dillman Age 2
Mary at age 2

Mary E. Dillman was born January 25, 1946. She grew up on a dairy farm in Orono, Minnesota. Her favorite chore was driving the tractor and her favorite pastime was hanging out with all the cats around the barns. She loved going to the island home her parents bought and spoke often of how wonderful her time there was. She then spent her adulthood working in Minneapolis.

Mary Dillman portrait

Mary moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1998 to pursue what she considered her calling… her value fulfillment. She spent the last 22 years of her life as a volunteer curator and researcher of the Jane Roberts/Seth material that is housed in the Yale Library archives. Mary became internationally known for organizing, detailing, cross-referencing and coordinating a vast amount of the material.

cat named hillary on book shelf
Emily and her Counterpart also love Seth.

Mary has also interviewed everyone she could find that knew Rob or Jane. These interviews were recorded and many have been transcribed. She located and procured all written material that referred to Jane and her writing. The biggest service Mary performed was in aiding fellow researchers from all over the world. She was able to tell them where to find what they were looking for when they would visit the archives. And Mary’s reward was in meeting and getting to know other Jane/Seth fans. Talking with people was Mary’s joy! There is a video of Mary talking about her project(s) on the Research page.

Mary presenting at a conference
Mary presenting at a Seth conference.

Mary was generous with her knowledge of the Seth material, and was a frequent presenter at Seth Net International, the Colorado Seth Conference, The California Seth Conference, the New Awareness Network online conference, and others. Mary, remembered for her hearty laugh, cheerful personality and generous spirit, is deeply missed by many.

Mary playing clarinetMary was also involved with the New Haven music community, playing clarinet in many groups including the quartet to the left, and playing the piano for her own pleasure.

After a relatively brief illness, Mary left this reality on December 10, 2020. She is survived by her sisters Jobi and Sue, her brother Jim, and several nieces and nephews.

In Remembrance

Mary was much loved and touched and brightened many lives. Here are just a few things that people had to say about her.

“Mary truly was one of a kind. A deeply caring and giving person with a great sense of humor. I am grateful to have known her.”  ~Julie Asuma Levene

“Farewell, dear cousin, friend, beautiful soul. You brought light and grace into the world and into the lives of everyone you touched with your gentleness, your strength, and your humor. Your passing leaves a great, unfillable absence, but you live on in many hearts.” ~Genie Smith

“I was pleased to be a part of Mary’s life for the past 30 years. We shared many laughs, meals, long drives, theater excursions, and discussions. We were not just members of the same Seth group, but of the larger Seth community. We were there for each other, to help each other out during physical or emotional difficulties. Her departure has left a vacuum in my life.” ~Karen I. Sanders

“Each of the 20 years I knew Mary reinforced that I’ve never known anyone more natural, genuinely humble, and disinterested in airs of any kind. While I consider her thoroughness of scholarship and depth of understanding of the material unsurpassed, she never inclined to be anyone’s “expert”, or presented her interpretations as anything but her own. Where some might philosophize, she lived the material- with all the curiosity of a scientist and playfulness of a kitten.

“What I learned most from Mary came from listening to her examine her own beliefs. What I remember most is her laughter. Somehow every meeting we had, from our encounter at a Seth conference, to the monthly Seth groups, to later years of lunches with her and Richie- all happened in a dimension apart from the usual sense of time or place I experience in this life. I miss Mary.” ~Bret Logan

“Mary Dillman is a friend. She has transitioned to another reality, but is still with me each day. I remember her in my life as a smart, wise, kind, and happy woman who decided to dedicate her life’s work to her research at Yale. My life has been made richer by being friends with Mary.” ~Jay Foley, MA

“Mary was the guiding lite in my search and understanding & knowledge of the Seth material.” ~Tom Ewing

“Nine years ago, I picked Mary up at the airport in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2011 she had made the long journey from New Haven to Europe to give a talk on her work as a Seth researcher at the Seth Anniversary Conference in Germany.

“A few years earlier we had met in person when I traveled to the U.S. with Ursula Lang, my business partner at the time, to meet Rob Butts and spend a few days in the archives at Yale going through the Seth Material stored there.

“I have fond memories of her extremely interesting introduction to the Seth treasures available at Yale, and especially of her wonderful humor and kindness. Of course, the Seth Material was a splendid connection and provided conversation without end, such as at a dinner, which was also attended by Richard Kendall (1950 – 2020), a former student of Jane’s ESP class, who also lived in New Haven and was a close friend of Mary.

“The Seth Anniversary Meeting in Germany with Mary was of course a wonderful experience for all participants.

“And now also Mary has left physical reality and set off for new adventures in other spheres. I will miss the frequent and long phone calls with her a lot.

“She was able to complete most of the work she had set out to do with the Seth Material in her more than 20 years of working with it, and what was left to do she wisely distributed to other hands before her transition.

“Dear Mary, give my regards to Nadine and Ulrike and Sue and Rich and Jane and Rob and all the others who are already “there” – you must be having a great time and creating wonderful realities!”
Warmly, Maurizio

What a great spirit. Glad I could recently touch thank her for all she’s done and who she is. We and generations to come are in her debt. I’ll deeply miss her. ~Irene O’Garden

You brought so very much to the Seth community over the many years I’ve known you, dear Mary, your commitment has been full and loving. Here’s to another full and loving experience ‘back home’ now. ‘Til we meet again… ~Lynda Madden Dahl

I really like Mary and all the interactions I’ve had with her.
I also loved and admired her great dedication and passion to her work!
To paraphrase John Donne, all the Seth material and readers are the less.
We will all miss her and her work in ways we won’t even realize!
What will happen to her “orphans” — all the Seth-Jane-Rob material archived at Yale?
She treated her work with such love.
As I’ve literally ended all my correspondence with her, “Keep up your great work!” ~Barrie Gellis  Barrie’s Eulogy can be read here.

Please feel free to add your own kind comments or tribute to Mary in the Reply box below.

18 thoughts on “Mary Dillman”

  1. Meeting Mary for the first time at the 1998 Seth International was a delight. Some months later she came with her sister Jobi to visit me near the state forest where I lived in southeastern Massachusetts and it was a time just filled with laughter and fun and camaraderie. Unforgettable. Mary taught my eclectus parrot Harry to say “Pretty bird” and he immediately began to do so, though usually he chose the words he felt like saying. That beautiful visit has come to mind so often over the years.

    I have always been awed by the work Mary did with the Seth material at Yale, and by her devotion to giving the work an audience. I was blessed to know Mary. How grand it would be to hear her and Rich and Jane and Rob talking together on the other side, in whatever probable reality they are sharing this time!

  2. Dave Desmarais

    Mary was easily one of the nicest people I spoke with after the loss of my mother… Sue Watkins. Her familiarity with Sue and I, the Seth Material.. her endearing tone, interest and encouraging words, were always comforting in our online chats.

    Sue, hoping I didn’t mind and ever respectful of my privacy, had told me years before she had given my address in Maine to Mary as she planned on stopping by to meet me at some point. I was more than happy to meet her but as things worked out, it was only after Sue had transitioned I that eventually would meet sweet Mary Dillman … and it meant so much to me.

    I had talked with Mary extensively about how I felt it was all a little more than serendipitous in so many words and in what I came to realize was in Mary Dillman fashion, I also felt she downplayed her conscious role as I have quoted her here with her important and exhaustive archival work that Rob, Jane and Seth have left us now at Yale. “Thanks, Dave. I do have some awareness but much less than many. Sue told me once that I put the material to practical use. There is some truth in that -”

    There sure was Mary. Thank you again (hugs)

  3. Kathryn Giampietro

    It was an honor to get to know Mary in recents years in our connections to music. Mary loved listening to music but also collaborating with others in chamber music. She was a superb clarinetist, always modest about her talent and always lending that amazing sense of humor in rehearsals. My husband and I enjoyed having her nearby as a neighbor and a friend and she will be missed greatly but not forgotten.

  4. Mary and I met when she moved to New Haven and began her dedicated work with the Jane Roberts Papers in the Manuscripts and Archives department, where I am an archivist. For many years we consulted and worked together on presentations for Seth conferences.

    The workday was always brighter when Mary was in the reading room. She always had a smile for you and time for a conversation and a shared laugh. I so admired her for following her dream and starting a new life in New Haven. Mary was a good and gentle soul and I am eternally grateful that our paths intersected. My life has been better for having known her. I shall miss her deeply.

  5. I met Mary once, Rick Stack’s NYC Seth Conference in 2010.

    And she was always helpful when I had a Seth/Jane question that she knew the answer to.

    She is missed!

  6. Mary was an inspiration to many. She followed her dream. I will miss her quirky sense of humor and her occasional unexpected zingers. I am happy and grateful for her in my life.…so many dear memories. I will miss her.

  7. Mary was a warm, wonderful person whose work ethic was simply extraordinary. I admired her endless toil in the Manuscripts and Archives reading room, her passion for cats and woodwinds, and for being as down-to-earth a New Havener as one can be. I think that I may speak for many, Mary, and we miss you.
    Steve Ross

  8. Mary was a dear friend for many many years. We had lengthy phone calls filled with laughter where we caught up on each other’s news and supported each other in friendship. I miss her dearly, but it is comforting to know she is with other Seth friends. I can only imagine the spirited conversations!

    1. I remember meeting you in 1998 in New Haven at the Seth International, Suzanne. I met Mary there for the first time, too, and Rich. It was a life-changing time.

      Many blessings to you.

      Regina Clarke

  9. Mary was/is a true human being, the best of us all. Funny, irreverent, smart as a whip, authentically modest, perennially curious. Friendships were enduring, trust in her own impulses and authenticity unquestionable. She walked the talk and has been a role model for me for decades. I am in awe of the way she lived her life and her mastery to leave it almost effortlessly.

    What she accomplished with the Seth material is without measure and I am forever indebted to her generosity of spirit and hard work on behalf of us all. I miss her, but I have a hunch she is having a ball hanging out with her “primary sources” in a domain beyond space and time. She is irreplaceable, and yet I know Deb Tejada will carry on this important work, filling the huge shoes Mary left empty for a brief moment.

    I pledge to do anything I can to support and sustain the Seth material and the legacy of these most remarkable individuals. The Seth community is home for me and this work the foundation of my intellectual and metaphysical history. -Helen L Stewart, Honolulu HI 22 Feb 2021

  10. All Seth readers should be forever grateful for Mary’s contribution to the development of the Yale archives. I know I am.

  11. Rachel Enevoldsen

    Bon Voyage, Mary! Hope you are giggling with Rich, Sue and Lawrence about the ‘things that matter’ when we are ‘here’. 🙂 – thanks for your dedication to organizing the Seth material. It makes such a positive difference to those of us who love it. On with the next adventure.

  12. I am tripping over my words to convey how Mary made my visit to the Yale library a cherished pilgrimage that became a cherished memory, so loving and welcoming was her presence. I had the best time with her and was radiating with exuberance and joy when I left. What a gift! Thank you Mary, wherever you are – with great love and appreciation for your dedication.

  13. I remember Mary when the Seth group took a tour of the library at Yale. They said that Jane’s collection was the most widely used collection they had. That made me so proud. I was in touch and sent checks to Mary for a long time and then lost touch.
    I would like to further support this endeavor, but do not have PayPail. Can you give me an address to send a check to or a place to use my credit card?
    Thank you & best to all, Martha Reamy

    1. Hi Martha, thanks for much for your comment! You can pay with a credit or debit card, you don’t need a PayPal account (they only process the payments). But I’ll email you directly with my address if you prefer to send a check. Thank you!

      Update: Martha I sent you an email but it was returned, saying the email address is incorrect. Please email me at sethresearchproject@gmail.com. Thanks!

  14. I only met Mary once – in person – and I was immediately taken by her warmth, integrity and openness. Online, I always felt her sincerity and willingness to be helpful whenever and wherever she could. I can only imagine that she has kept these qualities intact on her continuing journey of discovery and creation.

    Hope to meet you again, Mary, in the great Somewhere!

    ~ Love, Lynda English

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