Cheney Free Press -

Community loses activist and former museum director

Letters to the Editor


Mary Jane Booth passed away Sunday, Aug. 10. She is remembered as a driving force on a number of community actions, and as a 56-year member of the Tilicum Club and the Cheney Historical Museum.

Mary Jane had a way of cajoling people to volunteer in activities and organizations with humor, a touch of guilt, and persuasion. She was never shy about offering suggestions or her opinion, and she was a positive force for change in those organizations, from the Faculty Wives Club, Tilicum Club, Cheney Gun Club, to the Friends of Turnbull.

She was an instrumental member of the organization, which started the recycling effort in Cheney, and helped to persuade then Mayor Blakely to let the early recycling center have space in the Wren Pierson building.

Mary Jane was the director of the Cheney Historical Museum from 1989 to 2004, when she slyly convinced two newcomers, Ann Heehn and Joan Mamanakis, to take the reins. However, her idea of stepping back was to become our volunteer scheduler, which she continued to do until just a few weeks before her death. She was my friend, a wonderful historical resource on the museum and Cheney over the last 50 years, and someone who listened and offered gentle advice when I needed it. I will truly miss her, but I am grateful for knowing this lovely lady.

Joan Mamanakis,


Cheney Historical Museum, Cheney


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