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Fig Tree involvement is ‘backbone’ of other commitments

Marilyn Stedman
Marilyn Stedman likes the positive focus of the Fig Tree.

As a volunteer, Marilyn Stedman said her involvement with The Fig Tree Board has been the “backbone of everything I’ve done.”

That includes the Girl Scouts, Japanese Cultural Center, YWCA, Museum of Arts and Culture, Whitworth Auxiliary, Covenant Christian Church, Junior League and reading to preschoolers.

Because The Fig Tree “is always positive and I’ve tried to be positive in my life, it has helped me, and I hope it helps others.

“It represents the ecumenical vision of founding editors Sr. Bernadine Casey, SNJM, and Mary Stamp,” she said.

Marilyn came on the board in 1996 and was chair/moderator during its transition to becoming an Mindependent nonprofit corporation in 2000 and 2001.

After graduating from Lewis and Clark High School, she attended Washington State College in Pullman for three years, majoring in recreation to be a professional Girl Scout. 

As a volunteer, Marilyn Stedman said her involvement with The Fig Tree Board has been the “backbone of everything I’ve done.”

That includes the Girl Scouts, Japanese Cultural Center, YWCA, Museum of Arts and Culture, Whitworth Auxiliary, Covenant Christian Church, Junior League and reading to preschoolers.

Because The Fig Tree “is always positive and I’ve tried to be positive in my life, it has helped me, and I hope it helps others.

“It represents the ecumenical vision of founding editors Sr. Bernadine Casey, SNJM, and Mary Stamp,” she said.

Marilyn came on the board in 1996 and was chair/moderator during its transition to becoming an independent nonprofit corporation in 2000 and 2001.

After graduating from Lewis and Clark High School, she attended Washington State College in Pullman for three years, majoring in recreation to be a professional Girl Scout.  She met and married Dale, who worked with AAA in Spokane. 

Her volunteering with Girl Scouts connected her with Mukogawa’s Girl Day, the doll festival, Hina Matsuri, and volunteering at the Japanese Cultural Center.

At nine, Marilyn had become involved with Girl Scouts because of her love of the outdoors. Her father helped start Camp Four Echoes near Worley, Idaho.  Her mother was a Girl Scout leader. 

Marilyn was a camp counselor and has led troops for her daughter and granddaughters.  She helped start the day camp at Valleyford County Park.

“Girl Scouts, like The Fig Tree, has international ties,” said Marilyn, who has been to three of the four Girl Scout houses in England, Switzerland and Mexico.  The fourth is in India. 

In 1983, she took 30 Girl Scouts to Japan for three-week home stays. She has also traveled with Dale to Holland, Greece, Italy, Estonia, Russia, Rwanda and Tanzania. 

It’s important to try to know other people’s cultures, thoughts and religions.  We are all one under God,” she said.

In the early 1970s, Marilyn joined the Whitworth Auxiliary, previously only Presbyterian women.  Now its ecumenical.  Its support of international students gave her more international ties.

Tina Kamkosi, a graduate from Malawi, lives with the Stedmans.  Marilyn has other ties with Malawi—sending a group of Girl Scouts on a visit and connecting with three Malawian Catholic priests, who studied at Gonzaga.

For 12 years, she and Dale have read to preschool children—at Bethel African American Church’s preschool until it closed, and now at St. Charles’ Catholic and the Hearts & Rainbows Preschool at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on S. Ray.  Dale reads at St. John Vianney’s preschool.

“I grew up in Central Christian Church on Third and Stevens until the freeway came.  We moved to 57th and Palouse Highway, and became Covenant Christian Church.  Several years ago, we sold that building and moved to 57th and Regal.  Still a Disciples congregation, we recently renamed the church Origin Church and relocated to 5115 S. Freya.

She has taught Sunday school, was president of the board and involved in the women’s fellowship.




Copyright © June 2014 - The Fig Tree