Mary Frances Dunham Photo Album

Aka John Fitzgerald, Cricket, Chou Chou, Chippy, Memsah’b, MFD and Yaya. 

March 26, 1932 –  Oct 11, 2021


Enjoy browsing these photos from the many chapters of MFD’s life and friendships. If any photos bring up stories or special memories for you please share them with us in the comment section below.

If viewing from a desktop, click on any image below to expand it.

Please do not share the images on this page unless given permission by the Duham family.
If you would like to submit a photo, please contact Katherine.


Growing Up

Living in Dhaka

To know more about these years please see MFD’s memoirs titled Some Weep, Some Laugh

Living in China and Travels Elsewhere

At Home in New York


To know more about MFD’s passion for bikes see Bike Advocacy


If you would like to submit a photo, please contact Katherine.

15 thoughts on “Memories”

  1. Hi Katherine, nice to meet U.
    I’ve been to UR house in the mid 60’s in Dhaka as a child, prbly @ a birthday (maybe URs?) I recall UR mom; she’d an infectious smile & hooked us up with chocolates.
    UR dad & another US architect Bob Bhooie(?) with engineer Dr. Lewis Berger of Berger Engineers jointed with my uncle Makbulur Rahman & dad Sanaullah Shaikh & formed Consulting Engineers Pakistan LTD.
    They designed & built the Kamalapur Railway station in Dhaka among other structures of note.
    I was unaware of UR mom’s various interests in culture, rights & activism & am duly impressed by her exploits & achievements.
    FyI there’s a pix of my cousin (uncle Makbulur Rahman’s son Proto) in the Memories>Dhaka section. He’s the lil’ boy in the sherwani & cap.
    Thanks for donating memorobilia to the museum her. I gotta check those out.
    BtW, U were a cute kid. ?
    Do U’ve any of UR own & R they older than U in the pix?
    UR post brought back memories from over 1/2 a century ago, can’t believe I can say that! ??
    Thanks again. I hope this site grows with more nuggets of treasure from the past & lives & times of UR folks.
    Saif Shaikh

  2. Hello Mary and Katherine! I was recently introduced to your website! And I was shocked to see my picture with you Mary when I was probably 2 or 3 years old! My Dad was Makbular Rahman . Thank you for capturing such amazing memories of your time in Dacca! I would love to catch up with either of you- I live in Update NY in a small village in the finger lakes- Skaneateles. Please contact me if possible via email -Best Raz

  3. For one of my dearest friends, Mary-Frances, on her 88th birthday.

    We met many years ago in the darkened [darkening?] auditorium of the Museum of Modern Art just before the lights were dimming for the start of a Satyajit Ray film. Mary-Frances was accompanied by a dear friend from Kolkata, Phyllis. After meeting [in regular light] after the film was over, I do believe that we went out for coffee in a New York deli. Our liking for each other was mutual and has remained so over the years – celebrated at Christmas and New Year in the old Dunham flat on the Upper East Side (where the golden rule was that you never locked the front door!!!), meetings in Kolkata, a chance meeting in Shanghai, and many more recent interactions in New York City in that ‘home away from home’ on the Upper West Side.
    I love many things about Mary-Frances, but perhaps, most of all it is her smile and somewhat quirky spirit, her refusal to succumb to any kind of negativity. She is in every sense of the word a good soul. Her generosity – and that of her entire family – is something that I will always treasure, having enjoyed the hospitality of the Dunhams over the years. I do regard them as my family.
    She is blessed to have a daughter as down-to-earth and creative as she is. Both of them have nurtured an extraordinary archive of her wanderings in different parts of the world, beginning with her rather aristocratic childhood, her adventures with her truly brilliant husband Dan, whose seminal architectural interventions in a newly independent Bangladesh is something that she treasures, and also her pioneering advocacy of the bicycle in the United States and China, among many other acts of courage and resilience.
    I celebrate her spirit on her 88th birthday and look forward to seeing her soon, whenever that is destined to be. Like all true friends, she always travels with me, and when I’m not travelling, she sits within me in Kolkata.
    my love and warmest good wishes,

  4. Dear YAYA,
    Congratulate for your 88th Birthday from Kunming, China.
    How time flies, the cold days we had in Kunming with Prof. DANHAM, and happy graduates’ celebration in Guest House of YIT, and the unforgettable journey on Yangzi River as well, all scenes still in my memories so clearly.
    Fortunately, I could meet you and Kate again and Steve and kids as well in Shanghai before you back to NY in 2013 after 25-year farewell at Guangzhou Ferry.
    We know that you must stay at home for quarantine in New York now, but we do believe the warm spring is coming.
    Even in these hard time for fighting against the Covid-19 virus around world, I do believe you will receive lots of wishes and greetings from the people who love you.
    I would like to take this opportunity to wish you heathy, happy and longevity.
    Happy Birthday, YAYA.
    Lots of love.
    GUOHUI and family

  5. Hello Kate,
    Thank you for this incredible gift. I can see the entire family in one website!
    Lots of memories….always smiling Yaya with family members I meet for the first time and with the growing kids I very well know and love. I will check in the website the entire weekend so I will not miss anything. Just picked up today’s bouquet for Yaya of which I am sending a picture .
    Much love to you all, big hugs to Yaya


  6. Sulochana Ramachandran

    Vijaya joins me in sending our love and very best wishes to dear Mary on her 88th. Birthday.
    I first met Mary in 1981 in Bangalore, India, when I was privileged to host her for a short stay at my home.
    I was immediately struck by her friendliness, inspired by her knowledge yet humble attitude and most of all ever grateful to her for sponsoring my husband and me to make it possible for us to attend the graduation of our daughter in the United States ! Sulochana

  7. Dear Mary Frances, Congratulations on your 88th birthday, which came a day after my 81st! Our days together in Dhaka in the early 1960s, playing pickup Telemann on Wednesday evenings, with you on the harpsichord, Art on the flute, the Greenoughs on recorders, and me sawing away on continuo on a cello that I rented in Calcutta (without revealing that I was taking it to Dacca) – how cool was that! I was only in Dhaka for two years, and then left the foreign service for graduate work in S. Asian Studies and later, a career in academia. Still,we managed to stay in touch over all these years. I last saw you in Shanghai when I was there with my singing group for the Expo in 2010. I am happy that part of our link is musical.
    Best wishes to you, Kate and the family.
    With love and many happy memories, Gail Minault

  8. Charlie Raphael

    My wife Sally and I send you our love and very best wishes for a spectacular 88th birthday. I believe the last time I saw you was when you were visiting relatives in the Detroit area and you rode your bike all the way from the Ann Arbor area to my mother’s home in St. Clair Shores–a 60 mile trip! I also remember having dinner with you and Dan at the apartment at 520 East 86th when I was in New York on business so many years ago. I recall saying I would take the subway back to my hotel and I thought you two were going to have a stroke! “No, take a cab. The subway is too dangerous.” I also recall visiting your father (“Uncle Charlie”)–once with a college friend. He treated us to dinner at the top of the Sixes and then a weekend at Moriches. It was quite the time for a couple of college boys. You have lived an incredible life–one of purpose, adventure and constant learning. Living to 88 is a blessing to your life. Enjoy it to the fullest. Congratulations and a very Happy Birthday to you.

  9. Lucy Bell Jarka-Sellers

    Happy Birthday, Mrs. Dunham/Kate’s Ma/Mary Frances!

    I am loving looking at these pictures of you and your family and friends and activities.
    How much the young MF looks like the young Kate! A few times I was fooled.
    How did it happen that I could meet Kate the first day of freshman orientation and then be able to spend time with all of you? I was so lucky! Or was it fated? In any case that was good fortune enough to make me feel like a very lucky person, no matter what else Fate may dish up.

    I am writing you a letter that will soon follow.
    Love, Lucy Bell

  10. Mofidul Hoque

    Bangladesh has to sing praise of MFD for so many reasons that no one person can list them all. She made great contribution in defining and promoting Bengali culture. “Jarigaan” is an academic work per excellence, at the same time shows intense love for the folk singers. She jumped into action in support of Bangladesh from day one of our liberation war. She donated huge collection of papers and documents to the Liberation War Museum. All the papers have been digitised and made available for the researchers as Dunham Collection.
    Me and Shima consider ourselves as part of her global family. She is like our elder sister. When we visited her apartment on Lower East Side in July, 2017 we were received like that. While returning to College Street Blvd., Queens she ensured that Kate accompany us down to the street, call a taxi and pay the cab driver in advance. That is Bengali culture. When younger ones visit the elder sister she take care of everything including their return to home. We will never forget this gesture.

  11. To Mary Frances –
    Dacca Surprise Birthday Parties
    Trips by:
    Curious Children
    And Many More!

    Happy Birthday with Love,

  12. Dearest Mary,
    Happy happy 88th birthday,
    I was lucky to be with you on your 85th birthday in NY. Kate and Your hospitality for ten days is unforgettable. The moment you were coming downstairs to receive me after 20 years is among the best moments of my life.Charming days of spending time with you talking about sweet memories of the past in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I am always thankful to Ameneh who blessed me with such a wonderful freind.Do you remember the day you kindly accompanied me to the nearby church and Colombia University in a sunny day? You explained about the history of the church also Colombia University where you and kate studied. We used to walk in the nearby park remembering memories of the past together.
    Your ever lasting smile from the moment you stepped into this world has been your best companion. Your face is always remembered by this beautiful smile.
    Live long my dearest freind.
    Love and kiss

  13. Paul Pangaro

    Mary Frances, Dearest Yaya, It was wonderful for us to see you on your 88th and sign you HAPPY BIRTHDAY from afar and to recall prior moments sharing music in Kate and Steve’s living room.

    Eighty eight rotations around the solar system and countless days each year, you’ve seen so much and are so wise for it.

    Sending love from us to you and all the family and to New York City, we miss you all.

    -Paul and Karen

  14. So honored to be included among Marie-Francoise’s (as she is known to us) friends at the French table. When I saw the date, 2017, I was delighted to be reminded that our group has enjoyed MF’s friendship and her shared wealth of knowledge on so many subjects for the past several years. She always arrives with a book in hand or a. list of French words in English and vice versa or lyrics to a song.

    Although her birthday has passed at the time I’m recording my impressions of our group’s rendezvous, I want to extend my birthday wish for special a uniquely inspiring and much admired person in my life: Marie-Francoise, may you live to 120 in good mental and spiritual health, and continued persistence in managing your physical health. May I be able to wish you a happy birthday every year between now and your 120 birthday.

  15. This note from Shirley Lindenbaum:
    I remember many great things about our time together in Bangladesh. John and I were often invited to the wonderful outdoor dinners in the garden of the house in Dhaka. Dan entertained us with ditties he composed which we sang. One opened with the line “Keep your left hand out of the dal.” Mary Frances would, I think, remember more of it. Much love – Shirley

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