Mary Margaret Nack lived fully with a pure spirit, gentle exuberance and a gracious heart.
Born Feb. 7, 1951 in Wisconsin, Mary was the first child of Arthur and Mary Nack, themselves models of commitment and kindness for the generations that followed. Mary was devoted to her parents and her four siblings, Nancy Gorder (Greg), Martha Nack (Peter Bakken), John Nack (Adele), and Ruth Wagman (Steve).
Mary met Shel Weinberg in Madison during their college years. Soon after, they moved to the Pacific Northwest. Shel would become Mary’s husband and partner of 50 years. Together they raised two remarkable children, Jesse (Brie Pinkerton) and Robin (Brian Rezvani). As a mother and wife, Mary was a living example of unconditional love, nurturing the family and creating a harmonious home.
Mary would rise early, excited to be in the world, and work until sleep overtook her. While cooking, sewing, arranging flowers, or creating a bit of beauty with her nimble hands, Mary would hum contentedly, or just burst into angelic song. Later, she would lovingly serenade her grandchildren, Weston, Alex, and Ben.
Mary’s love of beauty expressed itself in all facets of her life. Her inner beauty shone, with her bright blue eyes awake to dimensions overlooked by the rest of us, and so directly connected to her heart. Her vision seemed to pierce the physical plane, penetrating deep into the essence and spirits of others.
Mary knew everyone’s favorite color, food craving, secret wish, and where to find the first pussy willows of spring. All this mentally catalogued with the intent of surprising and delighting a friend, near or far, with an unexpected gift meticulously wrapped, a hand-calligraphed note or a gesture of kindness or compassion when least expected, anonymously if possible.
Once the children left home, Mary began adorning simple hats with feathers and ribbons. This was to evolve into a full-blown business, Asian Eye, that helped sustain traditional artisans in India. By virtue of Mary’s dedication, perceptive eye, and attention to detail, the business blossomed, every textile ironed to perfection, each order packaged as a gift. Through this enterprise, Mary derived joy from the artistic excitement, and her unique talents were validated in the commercial success. She had found a channel for bringing beauty to the wider world.
Mary was a seeker, absolutely fearless when led by her heart. She was diligent and disciplined in her pursuit of spiritual realization, studying and filling countless notebooks with affirmations and wisdom of sages, attending classes and silent retreats, and above all discreetly performing her daily practices.
After a three-year struggle to overcome impairments caused by a ruptured brain aneurysm, Mary Margaret Nack passed in peace on June 15, 2020 and her spirit is now soaring. As Mary herself said, “We had a good run.” May her memory be a blessing.
If you wish to make a gift in Mary’s memory, in lieu of flowers, the family suggests The Hope Project India, an organization close to Mary’s heart, www.childrensashramfund.org
A memorial to Mary will be held frequently, every time one of us, inspired by her, attend to making the world a kinder and more beautiful place.