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Mary Jean Pagter

Mary Jean Pagter


“Mary Jean, my queen.” Beulah Pagter, mother of Mary Jean. Born in Bellingham, Washington, Mary Jean’s family migrated to Portland, Oregon. Alameda, Laurelhurst, and Grant High School helped shape her world of music, dance, drama, and art. Mary Jean pledged Chi Omega while attending Oregon State. She graduated from Oregon State and then acquired her Master’s of Education degree at the University of Oregon. Coming from a family of teachers, she taught elementary school at several locations in Portland along with teaching two years in Germany. While in Germany, Mary Jean took advantage of traveling other countries in Europe along with skiing in the Alps. The taste of traveling never left her. Teaching allowed for summer travel. Upon retirement, the traveling of the world intensified. Climbing Mt. Fugi, kissing the Blarney Stone, swimming around the Galápagos Islands, walking The Great Wall of China were just a few of the many places she explored often accompanied by her long time friend, Stewart Norene. She claimed visiting Afghanistan to be one of her favorite experiences. Everywhere she went she took her camera. She was never afraid of hamming it up in front of a camera or be the one with the keen eye behind the camera. When not traveling, Mary Jean played bridge. She belonged to PEO and Delta Kappa Gamma. She attended Westminster Presbyterian Church and drove for Meals on Wheels. Mary Jean’s cabin in Oceanside, Oregon was an especially magical spot for her and her friends. After moving to Eugene, Mary Jean took her Sheldon Park Ambassador job seriously. She graciously made the new residents feel at home. Mary Jean was always able to connect with people from all walks of life. With gusto, she took advantage of the bus trips, art classes, and exercise classes Sheldon Park offered. She remained vibrant and active. Mary Jean proudly kept the records of the family history alive, from donating a George Belshaw diary to the Historical Society written while he was a captain of a wagon train, tracing her family roots to Eugene Skinner, and donating equipment used by George Kinsey who was one of the first fire chiefs in Eugene to the Eugene Fire Department. Her father was a superintendent of Mt. Baker. Her mother taught in a one-room school house in Minerva, Oregon. Memorial tax-deductable contributions can be made to P.E.O., a woman’s group who help educate women through scholarships, loans, and grants. Make checks payable to: OSC P.E.O. Charitable Trust. Put Oregon Marguerite Scholarship in the memo line. Mail to: Sandra Stehn, Chapter BK P.E.O., 2906 SE Harrison St. Milwaukie, OR 97222. A receipt will be mailed to the address on the check. The family plot is in the Pioneer Cemetery located by the University of Oregon. While she will be joining her brother Larry and her mother and father among other family members, we can’t help think that she is off on another journey to share her sense curiosity, joy, exuberance, love, and kindness. She is survived by her niece Shelley Coleman (Robert), nephews John (Marla) and Peter (Amy) Pagter, great nieces and nephews Nicole Hajarizadeh (Michael), Poki Alexander Pagter-Newton, Cameron Pagter, Marnie Pagter, Sarah Pagter, and great-great nephews and niece Elijah, Phin, and Anyanka. A Celebration of Life will be held on June 22, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. For more information contact colemanshelley@yahoo.com
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