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Search The Fig Tree's stories of people who make a difference:

Mary Mackay, a founder, returned after 20 years

Mary Mackay
Mary Mackay

Mary Mackay was involved with the initial advisory group in 1984, helping to found The Fig Tree and decide what form it would take.

In 1986, she began work on a degree in education with a minor in math at Eastern Washington University, earning a second bachelor’s degree in 1989.   She taught anatomy and physiology as an adjunct three years at Spokane Falls Community College and then worked for her husband, Alan, an opthamologist, until they both retired in 2002.

At the 20th anniversary, she came to the Benefit Breakfast and signed up to be on the board, which she did for six years, serving as secretary.  During that time, she joined the editing team and continues to help edit.

“I initially became involved because of my friendship with Mary Stamp and because my father had also started his own business after World War II,” she said.  “My family opened me up to respecting people ecumenically.”

At age 10, she asked her parents for a printing press.  She set type by hand, letter-by-letter in the old-fashioned way, and printed some newsletters, which she distributed in her neighborhood in Middlebury, Vt.

Mary, who had majored in zoology at the University of Vermont, graduating in 1959, worked while Alan, whom she married in 1958, finished medical school there.  She earned a master’s in biology in 1963 at the University of Rochester and worked in biochemistry research. 

Alan was drafted because of changing to a medical specialty, so they spent two years in Missouri.  They moved to Spokane in 1969 for Alan to practice and to be near family.

“I find remarkable the quality of writing and The Fig Tree’s ability to find new stories,” she said. 

“Sometimes I find that I am quoting articles I’m editing before we have gone to press,” Mary commented.

“I’m amazed at where people’s faith takes them and at their dedication,” Mary said.

She finds the editing team fun to work with, engaging in good conversations.

Copyright © May 2014 - The Fig Tree