A few weeks ago, many gathered to celebrate the life of an amazing southwest Minnesota woman, Mary Page. She was one of our earliest members to serve on the Southwest Initiative Foundation Board of Directors in 1986.
Mary’s leadership helped shape SWIF’s work right from the beginning, as she challenged the board and staff to think differently. She also served two more terms on our board in the ’80s-’90s, a time that saw the foundation continue to grow and evolve to meet the region’s changing needs.
Mary was committed to promoting rural communities and the role women played as leaders. She served in so many in her own community of Olivia and beyond, including Olivia mayor, Renville County commissioner, University of Minnesota regent, and countless volunteer roles. Her strong, thoughtful presence was felt by many organizations, businesses and people she worked with.
In our most recent SWIF video, Mary made a cameo appearance as she volunteered at the Christian Community Outreach Center in Olivia, where she touched the lives of many local children.
Being at Mary’s funeral, seeing and hearing her children, grandchildren, friends and remembering ALL Mary did totally INSPIRED me for all the work and opportunities ahead in my own leadership work and with my family. I am grateful for Mary’s contributions to our regional community. She will be greatly missed, but her legacy of leadership will continue in our rural communities.