The daughter of Oswald and Clare Swanes, Mary Josephine Swanes was born in Tacoma and raised along with older brother Vernon and younger sister Ann. She graduated from Stadium High School in 1946. She studied at the University of Washington and was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority. In 1950 Mary earned her BA in Education, and soon after she began teaching in Seattle. Mary met her future husband, Norval Hastings Latimer, at a function in Seattle and several months later they were married on July 12, 1952 and began raising a family of four daughters.
Mary is survived by her younger sister Ann “Enie” Kirby and her sister-in-law Marlice Latimer Dunn; four daughters - Ann Rickabaugh (Jon), Lisa Keely (Tom), Sarah Pilkey, and Cheryl MacDonald (Frank); nine grandchildren - Marc Rickabaugh (Patty), Todd Rickabaugh (Carlie), Doug Rickabaugh (Kelsey), Loren Gilich (Denny), Scott Keely (Hailee), Jackie Arnold (Mark), Jessie Pilkey (Nate Fliflet), Kyle MacDonald (Rachel) and Mary MacDonald; and 19 great grandchildren - Lauren, Katelyn (Caleb Wallis), Melanie, James and Jon Rickabaugh; Parker and Benson Rickbaugh; Maverick, Wyatt and Avalee Rickabaugh; Luke and Max Arnold; Sophia and Ava Gilich; Joanna, Maison and Cooper Keely; Joan and Reid Fliflet. Mary just missed out meeting her first great-great granddaughter due in January to Katelyn and Caleb Wallis and another great grandson due in May to Doug and Kelsey Rickabaugh.
Mary's faith was always important to her. She and Norv were longtime members at Little Church on the Prairie in Lakewood, and later Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Graham. She was involved in many ministries and especially the choir and all things musical.
Mary was a hands-on gardener and previously enjoyed many walks with her friends. She was an avid book reader to her final days. She thoroughly enjoyed sharing and re-telling family stories and laughing with her four daughters during their regular gatherings. She also enjoyed the many visits with her dear friends, her sister and nieces, and monthly lunches with other members of the Swanes family. Mary especially enjoyed the annual Harvest dinner in Graham with all of her family members.
Mary was particularly known for her Mema salad and Mema cookies, entertaining and cooking for friends, but especially large family gatherings for get-togethers where her cooking talents were displayed and much appreciated. Her family is so grateful for the special care she received during her final days at Living Life Care Home in University Place, and especially Chona and Rey Aquinde and Jing.
The family will be holding a private celebration in honor of Mema. Donations can be made in her name to Pasado’s Safe Haven and Young Life.
Mema, you will be greatly missed and may your soul rest in eternal peace. We shall love you forever. Give Bapa a hug from us all.