Mary Agnes Doherty passed away on April 2, 2021 in Puyallup, Washington at the age of 89. She was born in Tacoma, Washington to Michael and Mary Grummel. Mary grew up in Tacoma and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1949. She received her BA in Education from WSU in 1953 and a Master’s Degree in 1970. She married John Doherty in 1954.
Mary met John on a blind date, which led to a loving 67 year marriage. After they married, John continued through Vet school at WSU while Mary began teaching at Colfax High School. Two years later their first child Theresa was born followed by Tim, Mary Kay, Molly and Mike. Mary and John moved 17 times during the first 19 years of their marriage, traveling across much of the U.S. and spending three years in England while John was in the Air Force. In 1969 they put down roots and built the family home on property next door to John’s childhood home in Buckley. As a Master Gardner, Mary turned their home into a verdant oasis and refuge for friends, kids, dogs, cats, and an occasional steer.
Mary taught for 30 years, 25 of them with the White River School District. She loved teaching first grade and her favorite teaching experience was at Wilkeson Elementary School. Teaching was her true calling and many students remained in her heart long after they left her classroom. One of her joys in life was running into former first graders who were now adults, happy to see their teacher again.
Mary and John both retired at the age of 60 and spent the next 30 years enjoying their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, traveling, and gardening.
In the past few years, as Alzheimer’s progressed and she lost her sight due to glaucoma, she never complained about her health. In fact, she never really complained about anything and instead was grateful for the life she had lived. Throughout her life Mary always found the silver lining and treated everyone with love and respect. Mary passed away peacefully surrounded by family.
Preceded in death by her daughter Maureen Serna (Scott Serna), her parents Michael and Mary Grummel and her brother, Dr. Roger Grummel. Mary is survived by her husband, Dr. John Doherty of Buckley, her sister Marlene DeSordi of Tacoma, children Theresa Doherty (Joseph Peterson), Timothy Doherty (Mary Beth Doherty) Mary K. Doherty (Jason Sutherland), and Michael Doherty, grandchildren Danny and Tony Serna, Sean and Jake Peterson, Oona and Lizzy Sutherland, Emma, Ronan, Calum and Stella Doherty, Jade, Jude and Jewell Santos and two great-grandchildren, Jaxson and Noah Peterson.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Doherty Scholarship fund at White River High School. If you wish to donate to this fund, please send your donation to White River Community Scholarship Fund, c/o Mary Doherty, P.O.Box 609, Buckley WA. 98321
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