In Memoriam

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Mary Margaret McCabe, Staff

Mary Margaret McCabe, who was director of Reed’s community center and residence halls for 23 years, died on September 28, 2003. Mary was a strong and vital presence on campus, actively contributing to the lives and well being of an entire generation of Reed students. When she retired from Reed in 1978, the board of trustees noted that Mc Mary Cabe had been an institution at the college, known and loved by many. She was born in New York City and she married Richard McCabe in 1939. Before arriving at Reed she served as an assistant to a U.S. congressman and as general operations manager in several well-known restaurants in New York. She brought that experience and organizational expertise to bear in her long and successful career at Reed. Mary acted as a constant mentor to the many students who worked in the commons and dorms. At her memorial service, Dave Mesirow ’61 spoke about what he had learned from her, ranging from the management of food service, to the power of networking, to lessons on appropriate conduct in a civilized and humane society, to the big questions of fairness and justice in the workplace. “Whether you accepted these teachings or not,” he said, “they marked you for a lifetime. So, for a generation of students, her voice still rings in their minds.” Mary was a frequent traveler in Asia and Europe. Her extensive community leadership included service to the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Historical Society, the Asian Arts Council, and the Chinese Classical Garden. She was preceded in death by her husband, William, and is survived by her children, Maureen and Kevin; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 2003

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