Mardell Buffington April 24, 1935 - September 29, 2021 Tacoma, Washington - Mardell Rae Buffington (née Hodges), age 86, passed away in Tacoma, WA on September 29th, 2021. A proud Lincoln Abe Mardell graduated in 1953 and remained actively engaged with her alma mater until her passing. After high school Mardell attended the University of Puget Sound and joined the Tri-Delta Sorority. Upon completing her degree Mardell continued her education at the famed Cook County School of Nursing in Chicago, Illinois and graduated with her R.N in 1959. A devout Huskie Mardell continued her education at the University of Washington, obtaining her B.S. in Nursing and then her school nursing certification. Mardell began her 33-year career as a school nurse in Tacoma Public Schools in 1968 and served all schools in N.E. Tacoma eventually retiring from Mt. Tahoma High School. She nurtured, encouraged, and protected thousands of children. Mardell was twice recognized with the Golden Acorn award and became a widely respected athletic trainer. Indeed, she was the Tacoma Pierce County Chapter of the National Football Foundation's first female Hall of Fame inductee. Mardell served her community through many charitable, service, and faith-based organizations. She found joy in her talents as a seamstress, quilter and gardener and was always quick to teach a lesson or skill. Active in her faith community as a child Mardell continued that involvement at both Marine View and University Place Presbyterian churches. One of Mardell's greatest gifts to her community was providing Red Cross Training in First Aid and CPR for over 40 years. She trained generations of Pierce County residents the skills to save lives of themselves and others. Mardell was revered as a loving and loyal friend, an adventurer, a life of the party, and a loving mother. She adored her animals and gave them long and happy lives. A trip to the family's ocean cabin, a week in Mexico, or a road trip to find fabric and a explore a bakery were some of her favorite things. Friends and family will miss her smile, encouragement, contagious courage, and some of the best cookies ever baked…terribly kind and amazingly tough to the very end. Mardell is survived by her son, Phillip Buffington, his long-time partner Terri Rau, her daughter Lynnette Buffington, sisters Sharon Geer (Norm) and Marcia Pettitt (George), nieces, nephews and endless friends and colleagues. Mardell was preceded in death by her parents Forrest and Mable Hodges. Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Mardell's life and community impact in Spring 2022.
Published by News Tribune (Tacoma) on Nov. 28, 2021.