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Mary Jeannette (Poucher) Parkinson

Mary Jeannette (Poucher) Parkinson

November 14, 1943 — June 30, 2019

Mary Jeannette (Poucher) Parkinson, 75, of Salem, died peacefully on June 30 from pancreatic cancer.

Mary was born November 14, 1943, in Omaha, Nebraska, to John and Helen (Johnston) Poucher. She and her family lived in Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota and California, where she graduated from Oakland Technical High School in 1961. Mary moved to Oregon to attend Oregon State University, graduating in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

She married Michael Paul Parkinson in Corvallis in 1967. They had two sons, Matthew Michael and Jon Fischer, and have lived in Corvallis and Salem.

Mary worked as a journalist in newsrooms at several papers: the Corvallis Gazette-Times, the Statesman Journal, the Albany Democrat-Herald and the Capital Press.

Mary was a member of the PEO Sisterhood. She was an avid reader and member of two books groups, one of which she helped found in Albany 30 years ago, and was a past member of the American Association of University Women.

Mary enjoyed many types of music, played the piano, the ukulele and, for a time, played hand bells at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. She traveled the world with her husband and close friends and continually improved her Spanish skills with multiple visits to Mexico. She was a dog lover who enjoyed a number of canine companions including a rescued greyhound. Mary was an excellent cook and lover of good food and wine, making regular visits to Willamette Valley’s excellent wineries.

Friends and colleagues remember her as “The World’s Nicest Person,” and an excellent “People Page” editor at the Democrat-Herald. Words used by her friends to describe Mary note that she was kindness personified, thoughtful, always willing to share, great with people, and she had a wry sense of humor.

Survivors include husband, Mike; sons, Matthew and his wife, Danielle McGrath of Portland and Jon and his wife, Summer of Bonny Lake, Washington; grandchildren, Isabella, Cole, Kai and Hadley Parkinson; twin sister, Patty Van Tuyl of South Portland, Maine; her beloved black Labrador, Inka Star, and many friends from all parts of her life who respected and loved her.

A private celebration of life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in her name to the Willamette Valley Hospice or the American Cancer Society.

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