Mary Redman was a daughter, sister, aunt, friend and philanthropist who found peace on October 2, 2023. She was generous, spiritual, caring, loyal, determined, curious, smart and an independent thinker.
Mary loved to give back. I met her 28 years ago years ago when I was the Executive Director of Allied Arts of Whatcom County. She walked into my office and told me she just moved to Bellingham and wanted to volunteer once a week and she was fine with a repetitive task. She was loyal and dependable, showing up every Friday like clockwork for years. Through our work together, we began a close, cherished friendship. Mary was always present for a deep conversation and she took other people’s ideas seriously, including my 7 year old who she would discuss world events with. I looked forward to Friday’s in the office with Mary and the conversations that resulted in our shared time together.
When her parents died of cancer, they left Mary and her siblings an inheritance. Mary used much of hers to start the Mary Redman Foundation. She gave to organizations like documentary film festivals, an organic farm that grew culturally appropriate food for food banks, school gardens and community labyrinths to name a few. She looked for organizations that provided opportunities for people to nourish their mind, body and spirit. Mary loved helping others quietly, never wanting to be in the limelight.
Mary loved tea, kale and basically any food that was healthy and gluten free. Equally she loved a good martini. She could straddle both worlds. If we went out to eat, which she loved to do, she would always order dessert with two forks, even if I told her I was too full.
Mary loved her cats and created an incredible outside maze for them to play in without the threat of a coyote or other wild beast devouring them. If you were a cat, you won the lottery having Mary as your mom.
Mary fought cancer with determination. She really wanted a few more years of life. The Foundation had already used up all its funds and closed but there was more that she wanted to explore. She had more bike paths to discover on her folding bike. She had spiritual guides to follow and tea and martinis to drink. In her final days, she just wanted to be at peace without the debilitating pain she faced in her last months. Now that Mary has transitioned and found the peace she was so ready for, I invite you to carry on her insatiable quest for knowledge, to research alternative forms of health care, to give generously to others in whatever ways you can, to stay curious, to question when something doesn’t feel right, to care about our Mother Earth, and to scratch a cats ear whenever the opportunity arises.
Mary, thank you for caring about me, my family, the community and the world. I appreciate that you asked and trusted me to write your obituary and share your essence, the beautiful core of who you were. Your memory is a blessing.
A celebration of her life will be held Sunday, October 15, 2023 from 3:00 - 5:00 PM at Bloedel Donovan Park, 2114 Electric Avenue, Bellingham, Washington 98229