Celebration of life August 4 for Maurene Steele McQuarrie, 1950-2024

Family and friends will gather August 4 to remember Mo McQuarrie. They’re sharing this remembrance with her community:

Maurene “Mo” (Steele) McQuarrie passed away April 16, 2024 in her West Seattle home surrounded by loved ones. She was born in Seattle on August 4, 1950. The middle of 5 children born to Lester and Jean Steele. Older brothers Dick and Dave and younger brothers Chuck and Don. Maurene married her high-school (Chief Sealth Class of ’68) sweetheart Fred McQuarrie on June 28, 1969. Fred & Mo raised their 3 children, Lindy (Joe) and twins Lesley (Yuki) and LeighAnne, and sometimes, when needed, extra kids too, here in West Seattle.

Mo was passionate about education and enrolled her kids in a Montessori preschool, well before it was cool – she was ahead of her time! She dedicated her life to giving her kids the best educational foundation she could. She volunteered a few days a week at Montessori while Lindy was in kindergarten. She had no idea her volunteering “just a few hours in the morning,” then assisting in the classroom a few days a week, would land her in a 20+-year teaching career. In 1988 she earned her Montessori Teaching Certificate and began teaching her own preschool/ kindergarten class. She really loved children. Fred called her the child-whisperer; she really was amazing. She wanted nothing more than to protect and teach children. She was a dedicated teacher and enjoyed her classroom for many years. She taught so many wonderful students; we couldn’t go to Target, anywhere in the Junction, or Thriftway without running into “her kids.” She was magical about how she presented new information to her students; it was like she was giving clues to solve a puzzle. She loved watching the delight when kids solved their puzzle. Little things like explaining how letters have names and sounds, then watching them put all the pieces together, and voila! A new reader was born!

She said she was ready to retire from teaching in 2007, but she never really retired from teaching. In her retirement she chose to be a stay-at-home grandma. She was incredibly dedicated to her grandbabies, helping them with their milestones and using her years of Montessori knowledge; she peppered a fresh batch of McQuarries for preschool. The grandkids hold her wisdom with the upmost respect, because after all, “Grandma is a teacher!”. She was magical; from birthdays to holidays, she was able to conjure up some magic and make their day sparkle.

Mo loved traveling with her bestie Dolores. They saw Italy, Paris, Amsterdam, Budapest, and Switzerland together. Their adventures were full of beautiful sights, delicious food, and occasionally, crime-fighting!

To say that she will be missed is an understatement. She will be loved always and missed forever.

Maurene is preceded in death by her parents Lester and Jean Steele, and her brothers Dave and Don Steele. She is survived by her crew of “Oldie Moldies,” brothers Dick and Chuck, her husband of 54 years Fred McQuarrie, daughters Lindy, Lesley, and LeighAnne, as well as her cherished grandkids Joey, Bridget, Gus, Mateo, Russell, and Ariana.
Services will be held to honor her graduation of this life August 4, 2024 at 2 PM at the Burien Community Center Address: 14700 6th Ave SW, Burien. If you are a former student, parent of a student, or a person who knew how awesome our mom was, please consider joining us in celebrating her life, details can be found online here – please RSVP.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to westseattleblog@gmail.com)

1 Reply to "Celebration of life August 4 for Maurene Steele McQuarrie, 1950-2024"

  • Condolences July 9, 2024 (12:38 pm)

    She sounds like an amazing lady, I’m sorry for your loss!   Her talent as a teacher was a wonderful gift for her to share with so many.  I didn’t know her, but I’m glad to have ready her story.

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