Profile Remembrances

Mary Gaddis

As Remembered by Larry Fox

I first met Mary at the Common Witnesslunch at the United Methodist General Conference 2000 in Cleveland. As I recall, I arrived on my birthday, May 4, a fact which Mary somehow learned, resulting in her leading the assembled in singing me Happy Birthday. It was a wonderful way for me to be welcomed into that loving community. I vividly remember how she was the 'life of the party' in that lunchroom setting with half of her face painted white. I never did learn why she did that; perhaps it was a sign to the rest of the world that part of her had to be hidden in many settings. Later, during that conference we became demonstration buddies, standing beside one another with 26 other demonstrators across the front of convention hall.  I remember her mentioning that she had a metal plate in her head which made her concerned that she not get hit by a police baton or in a tumble during some kind of disturbance. I have a picture taken during that demonstration; it holds special memories. It was an honor to be arrested with Mary. I loved her sense of humor, her willingness to be 'out there', her commitment to the UMC and to justice. I was honored a couple of summers later when she and Judy, on their travels in Washington state, visited me in my rental cottage on a Whidbey Island bluff above Puget Sound. Another vivid memory was at General Conference 2004 in Pittsburgh when she told early Affirmation stories during our special coalition gathering at a local church.

March 29, 2012