On October 24, Mary Rower, loving mother of two children – Harrison and Anna – peacefully passed away in her home at age 55.
Mary was born in Toledo, Ohio, on May 8, 1964 to parents Wayne and Violet Harrison. She was the youngest of six siblings: Dennis (Barbara) Harrison, now a resident of Massachusetts, Linda (Daniel) Oleksy, Arizona Mike Harrison, in California, Lorraine (Jon) Oswald, in Michigan; and Donna (Jim) Osborne, in Texas.
Mary graduated with an Associate of Business degree in Paralegal Studies from the University of Toledo (1984) and landed her first professional position with Williams, Jilek and Lafferty in Toledo. She and her ex-husband, Kevan, moved to Portland nearly 30 years ago to establish their home and family. Mary worked 12 years with the Kell, Alterman & Runstein Law Firm in Portland, and simultaneously attended and graduated from Marylhurst University (1998), with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
For the past 20 years Mary has been a colleague of Markowitz Herbold PC Law Firm. One of Mary's proudest moments reportedly was leading the remodel transformation of the Multnomah County Courthouse "CourtCare" room – an area that allows families to attend court without having to worry about childcare needs.
Mary enjoyed sharing outdoor adventures wither children, from whitewater rafting to tree house habitats, exposing them to life's diversity. She loved to garden, to participate in yoga, and to creatively express her talents through sewing, quilting, painting, and creating collages. Mary also loved cooking, often times involving her children. She could often be found at the Sunday Woodstock Farmer's Market.Recently, Mary was delighted to be able to celebrate an early Thanksgiving dinner, which she visualized and planned, at her home, with her out-of-state family members including her 92 year old mother, her childhood friend Robin (Ormsby) Scott, and several other close friends. Her home, again full of life, chatter, and holiday aromas, she said, reminded her of the days she loved as a child.
Mary's close friends Chris Weckel and Kristi Lopakka, among many others, assisted her throughout her illness. She conducted a silent auction fund-raiser in August for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at Pizza Roma, raising over $11,000 for the cause. Mary's participation in the recent Light the Night celebration offered her children and nearly 30 friends, neighbors, and colleagues an opportunity to support her fight against cancer. HYPERLINK
Both her father, and oldest sister Linda, preceded her in death. In addition to her immediate family and surviving siblings, she leaves many nieces and nephews. It was Mary's wish to express a personal note of gratitude to Dr. Gerald Segal and his medical staff at the Broadway Compass Oncology center. "Their kind and compassionate care throughout the years gave her hope, strength, and courage as she continued to receive treatment."
There was a "Celebration of Life" event honoring Mary on November 23rd at the Markowitz Herbold law office in downtown Portland. Donations, in Mary's memory, may be made to Michelle's Love, or to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – described as two organizations close to Mary's heart.