Tribute to Dr. Ann Marie O’Roark

Dr. O’Roark’s Presidential Address to ICP

May, 2022

Note from Dr. Ann Marie O’Roark’s son, Fred Mckirachan: “I am sad to share the news with you that Mother passed away in her home last Sunday, May 15, 2022 at the age of 88. She remained upbeat, engaged, and as sharp as ever until the end.”  

From ICP

We are saddened by news of the death of Ann Marie O’Roark, a long time ICP member and staunch supporter. She has served ICP in many roles, as president, treasurer, board member, advisor and newsletter editor.

This page is a tribute to Ann Marie from her many colleagues among ICP members and friends.
Please send your comments, remembrances and photos for posting here. Please send to icpincinfo@gmail.com with the subject line Ann Marie O’Roark, or enter comments in the comment section at the end of this page.

Ann Marie O’Roark and Psychology and ICP

Ann Marie’s passion and joy in her work were unparalleled.  The ICP has benefited greatly from her efforts for which we are all grateful.  I came to know her as someone who was genuinely fond of the ICP, and willingly put in hours of work which she called a “labour of love”.  She was very supportive of students and colleagues from other countries, and greatly enjoyed travelling to the ICP conferences that were held in different parts of the world during the pre-COVID days.  She spoke of the friendships she had made, the wonderful times she had with her friends and colleagues on those trips, and her plans of using her skills and knowledge to further the field of international psychology.  Clearly, hers was a life well-lived.  She has left behind a wonderful legacy and big shoes that will be hard to fill. She will be missed.
— Josephine Tan, Canada,
ICP President

Ann Marie truly loved ICP and the impact she and her colleagues had on psychologists around the world. Beyond her many contributions in the field of leadership and organizational dynamics, Ann Marie was a big college basketball fan. She followed her Kentucky Wildcats every year and took great joy in March Madness! She was a friend to many of us and will be greatly missed.
— Andrew Simon, USA, ICP President-Elect

Ann Marie was a force of nature!! She loved ICP and always reminded us of ICP’s role in reaching out to include voices from parts of the world often not heard from in psychology. Her own papers are a veritable archive of ICP activities which she organized in her book to celebrate ICP’s 75th anniversary, aptly named Footprints and Visions – Ann’s footprint and vision are firmly a part of ICP. Her presence will be missed.
— Merry Bullock, USA/Estonia, ICP Secretary-General

Ann Marie’s energy, commitment, and passion for ICP and international psychology will not be forgotten. She touched so many souls with her presence and contributions.
Ann Marie’s energy, commitment, and passion for ICP and international psychology will not be forgotten. She touched so many souls with her presence and contributions.
— Nancy Sidun, Hawaii, USA, ICP Board Member

At age 88, tireless Ann Marie had such a unique career in psychology–as a gifted author and editor, pioneering consultant, skilled organizer, and sedulous leader within psychology. She was a person of great talent and grace, who touched so many lives. Thank you to ICP for letting us share our warm memories of Ann Marie.
— Harold + Anne Takooshian, New York, USA, ICP Member

Ann Marie O’Roark contributed so much to the field of international psychology!
She had been an ICP archivist  for many years and after I took over this assignment, we met frequently.   I was continually impressed by how knowledgeable Ann was about the history of ICP and international psychology.   With her guidance we were able to have a very enlightening  zoom meeting with the librarians at the U of Akron who are in charge of archiving ICP and other psychology  materials.
Ann was so wise and knew so much not only about the history of ICP, but also about psychology in general and the leaders in our profession.  I learned so much from her.
What a loss for ICP and our profession!
— Elaine Congress, New York, USA, ICP Board Member

Dear Ann Marie,
Why have you left us?  I need you.
When I found the sad message from Fred, early in the morning on Sunday, I doubted my eyes and was shocked.  And then my tears began to flow. I did not know what to do but I realized that if I did nothing I would continue to cry. I have decided to work hard for the Regional Conference which is something that Ann Marie would have wanted, for this event is one of the cornerstones of Ann Marie’s success.
Ann Marie was one of my life-long and close friends, colleague, and mentor. She dedicated herself to the ICP and its development for many years. I used to tell her that she was the historian and encyclopedia for the ICP.
Not only was she a superior and talented lady but genuinely devoted herself to what she was engaged in. She was strong and powerful psychologically and physically (even while battling her illness which eventually caused her death).
At the same time, Ann Marie was so sensitive and tender. I always appreciated her genuineness and zeal trying to understand and listen to what I wrote which was in Japanese-English. She was a person who respected the dignity of individuals beyond all borders, all over the world. She was the definition of “International”.
My appreciation for what you did for me is more than my words can express.
I pray for the repose of Anne Marie’s soul.
To Fred, family and friends who loved Ann Marie, please accept my sincere condolences, and take care of your health.
– Machiko Fukuhara, Japan, past ICP president

Anne Marie showed me the way in the ICP and taught me about the history and the Award procedures. To have known her is a great privilege, for which I am deeply grateful.
My sincere condolences go to Ann Marie’s family and friends.

-Polli Hagenaars, ICP Board Member

We will miss you in beautyful land.  I will remember all memory us. Thank you.
– Dhilla Royantina S. Psi., M. Psi., ICP member

To Ann Marie O’Roark’s Family

I send my condolences to Dr. O’Roark’s family in this  moment that we all feel sad for the fact we won’t be able to meet her again, to listen to her wise words again, but as the saying goes, “the time is passing,  the suffering is forgotten, however the work remains”. I have always been admired by the very efective work Dr. O’Roark has done in the history of ICP, specially in  the years I got to know her, since 2017. In one of her last emails from April 22, she was advocating for the re-activation of the Forensic Interest Group. It shows how she was more alive at her  88 years old than many of us  who are half her age. Thank you, Ann Marie! Your work remains and touches all of us around the world.
— Elisón Santos, Brazil, ICP Board Member

I send my deepest condolences to Ann Marie’s family, f​riends and colleagues on her passing. About 4 years ago I spent a dinner with her  in the assisted living facility in Florida. Ann was engaging and optimistic. She was proud of her home that was decorated with artifacts from her life’s travels and professional meetings and conferences. Ann considered me a distant cousin as she has relatives with similar last name. She was a great lady, leader, and friend who will be missed and never forgotten.  With deep condolences,
— Mercedes A. McCormick, New York, USA, Colleague

This is I poem I love and am sure your mum would be saying the same

To Fred McKirachan, Ann Marie O’Roark’s son: It is with the deepest sadness that I read your letter and obituary of your wonderful mum and review my experiences with her. She was and remains in my memories as the most gifted, dedicated and loyal person I have ever had the luck and honour to know and lucky to call a friend. For ICP she was a model, a saviour many times and the buttress that held it firm and strong. No one will ever fill her shoes. And yes, there is much unfinished but that will ever be so as she never stopped working or venture into a new task, many at a time. The world has lost one of her brightest and most giving stars but she lives us with an abundance of rich memories, each one of us being richer and better because of her

I can only but feel your great loss and that of your sister and your families and my heart and feelings go to each of you and hope the wonderful memories bring more smiles than the tears of her loss
— Consúelo Barreda-Hanson, Australia, Colleague

Dear Fred and family of Ann Marie,
I am very sorry to hear about AnnMarie, my sincere condolences. She was one of the important “core” members of ICP. I was in close contact about her projects and admired her for her energy and optimism.
We will miss her sadly.  Sharing your sadness
— Roswith Roth, Vienna, Austria, ICP Member

2 Comments

  1. Author

    Please add your comment/tribute to Dr. O’Roark as a comment here – it will then be added to the webpage. Please send any photos to icpincinfo@gmail.com

  2. I thank all for the wonderful comments about my Mother. We had a fun Derby Day together and Mother’s Day. She was good. Wanted to leave assistant living and go back to her home which she did. She did it her way. Amanda Ferguson Daughter of Ann Marie O’Roark

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