I just returned from a week-long trip out of state visiting family and exhbibiting at an fine art show. I had limited time for the computer so I was basically off-line for the duration. Before I left, I learned that Mary Duval had slipped into a coma in a hospital in California where she had been hospitalized for several weeks due to complications of her cancer treatments.
On Saturday, June 18, Mary passed away.
I am completely devastated over this and am worried for Mary's family. There has been a bank account set up for her family to cover funeral costs and I just sent in a donation via Paypal. I urge you to do the same. Visit the http://www.sosen.org/ website and click on the donate button for Paypal on the right side of the page. You can specify that the donation is for Mary's family.
You can also mail a check to:
765 Mesa View Drive
Arroyo Grande, Ca. 93240
Mary was an incredible woman and I am SOOOOO glad I got a chance to meet her a few months ago, on St. Patrick's Day. I feel so fortunate that I seized that particular opportunity to meet her, even though I had a very full plate that day, I remember. I dropped everything and off I went and spent a couple hours visiting with her and her little doggies. Of course, I had no way of knowing I would never see her again, and I will never forget that day.
I have been on staff with SOSEN for the last few years and have been producing the quarterly newsletter for about a year and a half now. Mary always helped with the newsletters, so I will miss that, but as with anything else, we must move on. SOSEN will move on, too. I was nominated to serve as the new CEO of SOSEN and I am very honored to accept that nomination. We'll give it six months and see how it goes. It may become permanent if it all goes well. To be honest, I hope it does. I have never been a leader of anything, but I feel ready for this. SOSEN is a part of me now, as much as a part of me as my right arm or my left leg. Although I have huge shoes to fill, I will do my darnedest to do my part. It is very important to me and I take this very seriously.
But for now, for today, I have to get ready for our five day "friends and family camping trip", which we leave for tomorrow. We always go camping every summer on the Buffalo River and my brother-in-law, known as "Luke" in my book, always camped with us. This year our group will be larger than usual as many friends and family are joining us to celebrate in Luke's memory. Everyone attending knows about my book, my life as "Lynn Gilmore" and my involvement with SOSEN. All of them are supportive and have been encouraging to me. This year, not only will we be celebrating in Luke's memory, but I will be adding Mary to that memorial as well.
Upon my return, I will have a lot to do. I have an order to fill (from the art show I just did), some graphic design projects to do, the next newsletter to start on, and above all, start working as CEO of SOSEN. I hope I can do a good job. I am doing this for the family of SOSEN. I am doing this for my own family and I am doing this for Mary.
I will always remember Mary and what she has done for all registered sex offenders. She was an amazing woman and a very good friend. She will be sorely missed.