Biographical Information:

Dates: 1916 – 2007
Dates in Ridgefield:

Long-time Ridgefield resident Mary Martha “Stacey” Stoessel Wahl was a mathematician and professor who held two patents for the teaching of mathematics to children. Born in 1916 in Ottumwa, Iowa, Wahl received a BA in Mathematics from the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) in 1938 and an MA from Columbia University in 1942. She taught math at the high school level for seven years before teaching at colleges and universities. She was a professor of mathematics and computer science at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. After retiring in 1986, she led workshops for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She and her husband, physicist John Wahl, raised three children in Ridgefield.

Wahl is the author of the memoir The Flavors of Our Lives: Grandma Stacey’s Memories, published in 1995. In the Forward, she writes: “I have stories to tell and lots of young relatives to tell them to.” She reminisces about growing up in Iowa, the Great Depression, and her husband’s work on the Manhattan Project, among many other things. Wahl also cowrote a children’s book in 1985 with her husband called I Can Count the Petals of a Flower, a counting book that uses his photos of flowers. Wahl published several professional articles and created a multimedia kit for teaching children math.


I Can Count the Petals of a Flower (with husband John Wahl), 1985
The Flavor of Our Lives: Grandma Stacey's Memoirs, 1995

–Sources: Mary Martha “Stacey” Stoessel Wahl Obituary and Guide to the Martha Wahl Papers at the University of Iowa

Last Update: May 26, 2017