Issaquah activist Maureen McCarry dies at 62
Maureen McCarry, a former Issaquah City Council member and longtime community leader, died Wednesday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
The Issaquah Press
Maureen McCarry, a former Issaquah City Council member and longtime community leader, died Wednesday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease. She was 62.
She served on the council amid a period of expansion in Issaquah, as council members addressed long-term issues related to transportation, economic development and the environment — a hallmark for Ms. McCarry.
In separate stints on the council in the 1990s and 2000s, she made the environment a priority.
The commitment earned Ms. McCarry the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community early last year. The top environmental honor in the city recognized Ms. McCarry for her efforts to forge agreements outlining construction in the Issaquah Highlands and Talus, preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and strengthen tree-protection rules.
The prize included $500 — money from a long-term endowment established as part of Kees' estate. Ms. McCarry donated the money to the Issaquah Environmental Council to plant trees on Park Pointe near Issaquah High School.
"It was always about the issues for Maureen and it was always about making the city better," said City Council President Tola Marts, a close friend and a Squak Mountain neighbor of Ms. McCarry. "People say that, and it's a platitude, but it really was true with Maureen."
Mayor Ava Frisinger remembered Ms. McCarry for lighthearted moments and family stories.
"There was a very good-natured and gentle humor that Maureen had," she said.
On the council and the Community Advisory Committee for Swedish/Issaquah, Ms. McCarry, a former Harborview Medical Center executive, played a key role in landing a hospital for the city.
"She made lasting contributions to our community," Councilmember Stacy Goodman said Thursday. "It's very sad that she's gone."
McCarry received the ALS diagnosis in October 2010.
Before stepping down from the council 18 months ago, Ms. McCarry led the effort to acquire and preserve 40 acres atop Squak Mountain for wildlife habitat and trail access to nearby Squak Mountain State Park.
The tract is called McCarry Woods — another honor from the city. The land is adjacent to Ms. McCarry's neighborhood, Forest Rim. In November, residents there organized a block party for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Ms. McCarry is survived by her husband, Tom Knollmann, and daughter Michaela, 14.