Bay Area Organizers Celebrate the Life of Mary McClung

On the morning of Sunday, October 22, 2023, friends and colleagues of Mary gathered in the garden of Victoria Roberts-Russell’s home in Mill Valley.

Despite the questionable forecast and plenty of moments of steady rain, we gathered beneath the array of umbrellas and huddled near heat lamps to remember, laugh, and celebrate her life.

Glenda Evans shared the myriad photos of rainbows she took during her drive up the peninsula to the event, as well as a car with Maine license plates spotted while en route. All signs were that Mary was giving her blessing for the gathering.

We shared our favorite Mary memories, including messages from those who were unable to attend, and a growing list of words created a virtual Mary in our midst: kind, patient, partner in crime, dry self-effacing humor, devoted, supportive, wise, wicked sense of humor, compassionate, champion, environmentalist, delightful, playful, caring, generous, diplomacy, sarcasm, devious, and of course, rainbows.

Stephanie Barbic came prepared with the lyrics of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and played Martina McBride’s very slow and drawn out rendition of the song. Several somber minutes of listening and reflection were interrupted when she stopped the music and blurted out, “I got a message from Mary, and she said that was enough.” The eruption of laughter that followed was a perfect finale.

As a way to honor our friend and the seeds of her energy that touched so many, her joy for gardening, and love of nature, Deb Baida distributed envelopes of California wildflower seeds for all to sow in her honor.

Oh how we miss you, Mary McClung!!!!