Mary P. Sinclair

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  • "My best friend and my daughter worked along with me for..."
    - Joyce Brandt
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    - Valerie Larr
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    - Jim McCutchen
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Mary P. Sinclair, a longtime resident of Midland, passed away peacefully in Northampton, Mass., on Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, after a brief illness.

Born Mary Jean Palcich, Sept. 23, 1918, in Chisholm, Minn., the daughter of Joseph Palcich and Margaret Sterle, she was valedictorian of her high school class, and a graduate of the College of St. Catherine's in St Paul, Minn. After college, she worked as a teacher, a librarian at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and technical researcher for The Dow Chemical Co.

Mary married William Sinclair on Sept. 27, 1945, and upon his graduation from Georgetown University Law School, came to his hometown of Midland to settle and raise a family. Mary was very active in the community, and was farsighted as an advocate of renewable and sustainable energy, for which she became nationally known.

Mary lectured and taught at the University of Michigan, where she earned a doctorate in Environmental Communications at the age of 75. She deeply loved spending time with her family exploring the Great Lakes waterways by sail, and was never happier than when she was swimming in the cold water of the northern lakes.

Mary is survived by her sons, John (Elizabeth) Sinclair of Twisp, Wash., Peter (Sandra Collinson) Sinclair of Midland, and Thomas (Elizabeth) Sinclair of Littleton, Colo.; daughters, Rose Sinclair (Jon Bekoff) of Greenfield, Mass., and Ann Sinclair of Frankfort; grandchildren, Katie Sinclair, John William Sinclair, Brendan Sinclair, and Shaylyn Sinclair; and great-grandson, Maverick John Taylor. Mary was preceded in death by her husband, William; granddaughter, Kailey; sisters, Mildred, Anne, and Margaret; and brothers, Stan, and Joe; as well as their spouses; and nephew, Stanley.

A funeral liturgy will be held on Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, 10 a.m., at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, with Father Pete Gaspeny officiating. The family will receive friends at Smith-Miner Funeral Home, 2700 W. Wackerly, on Thursday, from 4-7 p.m., and at the church on Friday from 9 a.m. until the time of the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, 3860 N. Long Lake Rd, Traverse City, MI 49684, or Online condolences can be given at

Funeral Home
Smith-Miner Funeral Home
2700 W Wackerly St
Midland, MI 48640
(989) 832-8844
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Published in Midland Daily News from Jan. 15 to Jan. 18, 2011
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