Mary Louise Schuh

Mary Louise Schuh

Mary Louise Schuh- wife, daughter, sister, aunt; fly fisher and friend to nature, accordion player and music fan; office keeper and ledger wrangler; baker of Christmas cookies and biscotti; crafter of jewelry and dresses; dancer, both swing and ballet; creative mind, kind heart and loving soul-died September 24 of Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease. She was 55.

Mary was born August 11, 1958, in Portland, Oregon. Her early childhood included four winters in Syracuse, New York, before her family returned to the Northwest in 1963, settling in Seattle's Greenlake neighborhood. She attended grade school at St. Benedict, spending all eight years learning piano under the tutelage of Sister Amy, and high school at Blanchet, graduating in 1976.

Mary earned her B.S. from the UW College of Forest Resources in 1980, majoring in Outdoor Recreation. While attaining a Master of Arts in Anthropology in UW's Museology program from 1980-82, she met (William Alexander) "Sandy" Milne, also a forestry student. They got to know each other better when they were persuaded to take a dance class together with two friends. They married on June 4, 1983, at Blessed Sacrament Church in Seattle and lived for the next 12 years in the Wallingford neighborhood, often going out dancing to country, rock & roll and rockabilly bands. Early on, she began her annual tradition of crafting a new dress (or two) to wear to the Shake the Shack Rockabilly Ball.

After several years working two half-time jobs with the Army Corps of Engineers and King County Extension, in 1985 Mary became office manager of the fledgling music paper The Rocket. She later became its business manager, continuing until it ceased publishing in 2000. In 1995, shortly after Mary and Sandy moved a couple of miles west to Ballard, she began working with No Depression, an alternative-country music magazine started by friends who were renting their Wallingford house. Mary first handled distribution part-time and later became full-time accounting and subscriptions manager, occasionally writing articles and reviews (as she had done for The Rocket). She continued working part-time for when it became web-only in 2009, while taking a full-time accounting position with Standard Parking.

In 2002, Mary became an active musician herself, playing accordion and singing in the band Los Gatos Salvajes, and later playing keyboards and accordion with Speedmop, the band's successor. She and Sandy also became fly fishing devotees, first on the Yakima River and then on many other Eastern Washington rivers. Later, they explored fly fishing the beaches of Puget Sound, frequently venturing to favorite spots on Whidbey Island and the Kitsap Peninsula at all times of the year. They celebrated their 30th anniversary in June 2013 with a fishing trip to the upper Columbia River near Northport, Washington.

Within weeks of returning home, Mary first began experiencing vertigo-like symptoms that just seemed bothersome. Later, several weeks at Swedish Hospital - Cherry Hill solidified the worst possible diagnosis. Her final weeks were spent at home in Ballard with Sandy, surrounded by her family and close friends, with assistance from Providence Hospice nurses and caregivers. Music filled the room, always. Her waltz through this life was too brief for us, but she blessed us all with her warmth and grace to the end.

Survivors include parents, Bob and Dolores Schuh; sister Patty (husband Mike) Turk, niece Naselle, nephew Cory; sister Cathy (Erik) Hutchison, niece Emma, nephew Alex; brother Jim (Kari) Schuh, niece Annalies, nephew Cameron; and brother Chris Schuh.

Sandy wishes to acknowledge the loving support of his mother Connie Milne, brother Richard (Lisa) Milne, niece Whitney; brother Jim (Gloria) Milne, nephews Conner, Jared, Bryce; and sister Barb (Darrell) Olson, nephews Andrew, Chris. As well, he wishes to acknowledge dear and stalwart friends to Mary and him: Lisa Whittington and Peter Blackstock, Terry and Anne Barton, and Mike Johnson.

Peace be with you all.

And with you, Mary. May the Lord bless you and keep you...

Funeral Mass Sat 10/12, 1:00 pm, at St. Alphonsus, 5816-15th Av NW, Seattle. Life Celebration Sat 10/26, 1-4 pm, at The Tractor, 5213 Ballard Av NW, Seattle. In lieu of flowers, please send remembrances to Providence Hospice of Seattle, the CJD Foundation in New York, or The Bread of Life Mission in Seattle.

Funeral Home

The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial
1801 12TH AVE SEATTLE, WA 98122
(206) 529-3800

Published in The Seattle Times on Oct. 6, 2013