Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Our friend Mary Rosenblum was killed in a plane crash yesterday, March 11, 2018, in La Center, Washington. She was piloting a Piper Super Cub at Daybreak Field when she crashed into some trees. The news stories I’ve seen didn’t mention whether she was landing or taking off, but it doesn’t really matter, does it? The pictures of the plane look like a crumpled paper cup. She was found dead in the plane, and probably died instantly. So that’s good, at least.

When someone dies, that is when you often learn things about them that you didn’t know, fascinating little details such as maiden names, birthplaces, hometowns, education, degrees achieved. Freeman; Levittown, New York; Allison Park, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh; Reed College, biology degree. I wish I could have talked to her about Levittown. That place has long fascinated me.

I’m sad to admit that it has been a long time since we last saw her. Many years ago she dog-sat our little Shetland sheepdog, Cirocco (1980-1999) at her home in the Canby area. She had two dogs of her own, a gigantic mastiff and a Rottweiler. They got along famously. Cirocco was not used to romping in a large yard and in a house with other dogs, and she was about as excited as I ever saw her.

Mary was one of those people who can’t confine themselves to just one thing.

She made cheese, taught classes in cheese making, and was a judge of goat cheeses at the Clackamas County Fair.

She worked at the Oregon Primate Research Center.

She was the author of novels and short stories in both the science fiction and mystery fields. She was an attendee and later a teacher at the Clarion West Writers Conference. Here is her Amazon page.

Flying was her passion. She got into it late in life, but was soon the president of the Oregon Pilots Association.

There are many obituaries for her online, including a story in Willamette Week and even one from the Daily Mail in the UK.

In 2012 the Oregonian ran a story about her that highlights her love of flying.

Her death fills us with sorrow and regret. She was a wonderful person even if you didn’t know about the huge range of her achievements. It has been a terrible time for science fiction, with the loss of three wonderful writers and friends: Ursula K. Le Guin, Kate Wilhelm, and now Mary. Please, please, no more.

March 13, 2018
Vancouver, WA