Mary Ellen Fagan

Published 1:26 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Mary Ellen Fagan was born October 8, 1951, in Ottumwa, Iowa to Ruth Louise Anderson Fagan and John Houston Fagan. Mary died December 23, 2022 in Richland Parish Hospital, Delhi, Louisiana during a period of hospitalization.

Mary graduated from Ottumwa High School in 1969. Soon after graduation, she moved to Kennewick, Washington with her family. After a short stint in Kennewick where she attended Columbia Basin Community College, Mary followed her family in their move to Portland Oregon.

Mary attended the University of Oregon, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism. As a student, she worked as a dorm counselor. Additionally, she worked for the Eugene Register Guard and Dead Mountain Echo newspapers. During that period she met several lifelong friends.

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She worked for a short time for Fred Meyer in management and then joined Western Airlines as a flight attendant. Mary later worked for Northwest Airlines and cherished her opportunities to fly to other countries. Several of her flight attendant assignments included bringing refugees from S.E. Asia to their new home in the United States.

Most of her time as an adult was spent in Portland, Oregon; Fairfield Bay, Arkansas; and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Mary loved Portland the best. She later became a resident of Legacy Convalescent Center in Richmond, Louisiana.

Mary was a “cradle” Lutheran and lived her faith along as did her parents. She was a sixth generation descendant of Iowa Lutheran pioneers who settled the second oldest Swedish community west of the Mississippi River.

Mary loved music and sang along with every single song from the 1960’s and 1970’s. If she heard a song once, she knew it. Mary loved to watch old movies, especially movies from the 1940’s. She read constantly and could devour a book in a few hours. She was a swimmer and lifeguard, and later kept in shape by long daily walks.

Mary is survived by her sister, Shirley Roggen of Portland, Oregon and her brother Dr. David Fagan (Lori) of Vicksburg, Mississippi, as well as two nieces, three nephews, one grand-niece and two grand-nephews. Her sister, Janet Lynne Fagan, preceded her in death in 1983. Mary’s father John also preceded her in death in 2003. Her mother Ruth died December 7, 2022.

Mary was a beautiful, loving, brilliant, kind, and generous beyond measure. She was grateful the smallest kindness from others and truly understood compassion. She rescued dogs and cats and had an incredibly dry and funny sense of humor. Surely, she is singing with the angels. She will be in our hearts forever.

The family would like to offer heartfelt thanks to the staff at Legacy Convalescent Home for loving Mary as her family did. Mary was safe and well cared for with the help of countless individuals who treated her with respect and compassion.

Memorials may be made to Oregon Humane Society and St. James Lutheran Church, both in Portland, Oregon

A joint Memorial Service will be held for both Mary and her mother, Ruth Fagan on Saturday, January 21 at 11 a.m. at Crawford Street United Methodist Church. A Celebration of Life reception will be held following the service at the home of Dr. & Mrs. David Fagan at 106 Lakewood Hills, Vicksburg, MS.