Remembering Mauree McKaen, 1946-2020

Friends and family are sharing this remembrance of Mauree McKaen:

Mauree McKaen
November 6, 1946 – February 6, 2020

Mauree McKaen, also known as Mo, left the world she loved on February 6, 2020. Behind her, she leaves a blazing path of beauty and memories that are etched on the hearts of friends, family, and even strangers who met her just once. She was an energy to contend with, a sister, a mentor, a guide, and a friend, with a sense of humor that made everyone laugh, even the doctors who diagnosed her terminal cancer and worked to keep her pain-free in her final days. She wasn’t just one in a million, she was one of kind.

Mauree was born in Pinckney, Michigan and received her MSW from the University of Michigan. As Executive Director of Family Group Homes for Youth in Ann Arbor, she helped create positive living environments for young people from troubled families. After moving to Seattle in her early thirties, Mauree pursued her J.D. from the University of Puget Sound. Rather than practice law as a full-time occupation, she started her own consulting company, Leadership Unlimited, through which she helped organizations change their cultures and mentored leaders to become more conscious of their impact on others. Mauree also served a term on the Seattle Ethics Committee, among other community roles.

They say a dog is “man’s best friend.” Well, Mauree was every dog’s best friend. She couldn’t walk down her own street, or pass a puppy in a foreign country without engaging in a deep conversation with the furry creature, who would often, then, much to the chagrin of its owner, try to follow her home. This passion led her to start a dog care business upon retirement.

As the most determined and steadfast patron the Goodwill has ever known, Mauree was a shrewd shopper. She could find a brand new, never been worn, Ralph Lauren jacket in a bin of hidden clothes no one else bothered to look through and walk out looking like a million bucks. Other’s tried, but never quite had her eye for quality at a great price.

She was the champion of animals, children, the elderly, or anyone down on their luck. While she was a woman of modest means, she gave generously to those in need.

She loved politics, but despised most politicians. As an avid consumer of political news, from local to international, she would engage with anyone willing, seeking to share the imperative of a saner, kinder, more just world.

Mauree was an adventurer and traveled widely during her life, both across this country and abroad, hiking parts of the El Camino trail during her last three years on Earth. Her joy in discovering new cultures and finding new friends made her youthful into her seventies, and she had a knack for entertaining everyone on her path with her infectious laugh and stories of her travels—even if it was only to the grocery store.

Mauree’s greatest gift was her ability to love people as they are, to inspire them to live into their own greatness, to believe in the human spirit, to look for the best in everyone regardless of their past or their station in life—to cherish the beautiful, to care for the broken, to model what it means to be an extraordinary human.

She was a shining star who illumined, inspired, and guided others to lead lives as joy-filled and giving as hers. Her infectious laughter, curiosity, and belief in the possible nourished and guided us all. Through her example she showed us who we could be, how we could give, and what a well-lived life was.

In lieu of flowers, her friends and family ask that people honor her legacy by taking action to make the world a better place, to act with greater kindness, to alleviate someone’s suffering, to make a difference in the life of another in some small or great way every day.

Among those who will miss her most are her two dearest and longest friends, Laurie McDonald Jonsson and Carol E. Anderson, her treasured mentee turned true confidant, Julie Mierswiak, her nature-loving soul sister, Archer, and her big-hearted, dog-loving neighbor circle, Susan Hurst, Kindree Brownbridge, Dave Grieve, and Mary Slowinski, her sister Mary Jo Nichols, her brother Kevin McMacken, and her beloved Ridgeback dog, Caleb,

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

10 Replies to "Remembering Mauree McKaen, 1946-2020"

  • Workdown February 25, 2020 (8:36 pm)

    Dang,  wish I could have known her.  Sounds like an amazing woman. Gone too soon.  My best to her family and friends. 

  • Sarah February 25, 2020 (11:01 pm)

    What a wonderful tribute. Thoughts to her and her family and friends.

  • gary February 25, 2020 (11:20 pm)

    Always a joke at the uncomfortable moment or create the uncomfortable moment to bring a room together.  Will miss her smile a real energy to a room.  An amazing person I wish I would have spent more time around.   RIP Mo, you are loved.

  • Jenben February 26, 2020 (6:51 am)

    What an amazing woman! We will miss her here on planet Earth! Peace be with you 

  • Susan H February 26, 2020 (7:40 am)

    Mo- we are still shocked at how quickly you were taken. Know that there will always be a Guinness in the fridge for you, “the beer of your people.”

  • DD February 26, 2020 (8:37 am)

    I wish I had known her. This beautifully written tribute inspires me to be more conscious, kind, and engaged each day.  

  • Alice Kuder February 26, 2020 (8:38 am)

    Wow, what a beautifully written tribute! I never met the woman, but certainly wish I had. 

  • HS February 26, 2020 (8:39 am)

    I didn’t know Mauree, but she sounded like a wonderful woman. Such a great tribute.

  • Diane Uza February 26, 2020 (4:35 pm)

    What a beautiful tribute to such a loving and humble woman.  She was all of these things and more.  I will always be proud to call her my friend ❤

  • Sue Williams February 26, 2020 (4:35 pm)

    Mo had a knack for caring and making everyone feel like they were her very best friend.  And they were.  All of us in different ways but all lovingly recognized as an important part of her life.  Miss you so so much my dear friend😪

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