Mary Ruth Dunbar ended her long battle with cancer on January 22, 2022. She was a long-time member of AAPPN and an active member of the Peninsula Chapter.
Mary attended Friends World College. There she learned that the key to understanding other cultures was spending time in other countries, so Mary wound up living in Kenya, Ghana, Switzerland, England, and Mexico.
Mary earned her master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) and a second degree in nursing (BSN) at the University of Washington. She worked at Mental Health North while completing the MSW and the BSN. She went on to get her MSN at UW in psychosocial nursing. While in school, she had a private practice in Seattle. She studied stress management/biofeedback in the master’s program as well as psych disabilities.
She worked at the old Cabrini Hospital (now defunct) on-call prior to and during grad school. After grad school she worked at Community Home Health Care in Seattle, one of two places in the U.S. licensed as a home health agency as well as community mental health agency. She saw homebound people with MH issues, sometimes court ordered.
Later, Mary worked at Swedish, Ballard, doing groups in the eating disorders program. In the 1990s she worked at Comprehensive MH in Tacoma before moving to Kitsap Mental Health Services in Bremerton.
Mary was credentialled as a CD/SUDP as well as being credentialed in therapeutic touch and guided imagery. She went to California a couple of times a year to teach and mentor at guided imagery workshops.
In 1995, Mary married the love of her life, Barry Stern, and lived with him on Bainbridge Island until his death several years ago. Mary is survived by brothers John Robert Dunbar, and Thomas Veblen Dunbar, stepdaughter Dana Stern, and her beloved dog Sasha. Also, by many friends who will miss her beautiful smile and wonderful laugh, and of course, her amazing basketry and beadwork.