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Mirror sets up scholarship for Decatur students in honor of late employee
Mary Louise Goss asked many people she knew: “What would you do better?”
The longtime Mirror employee, who died of lung cancer on Feb. 9, was known for challenging those she knew to improve themselves and the world around them.
In her honor, The Mirror has set up a scholarship fund in her name available to Decatur High School students.
“Mary Lou was a proud Decatur mom and she would have wanted it no other way,” said Rudi Alcott, Mirror publisher. “We will continue Mary Lou’s challenge to Decatur students by asking them to submit an essay every February based on her simple but provocative question.”
The student with the winning essay will receive a $500 scholarship.
Goss was born on May 22, 1957, in Windsor, Canada to parents Court and Helen Lossing. She moved to the U.S. at age 8 when her father, an executive with Ford Motor Company, was transferred to the headquarters in Detroit, Mich. She graduated from Lahser High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Goss was a Federal Way resident for 25 years and her passions included her daughters, grandson, shoes, the Federal Way community and The Mirror. She started at The Mirror eight years ago in advertising, moving to the front desk as the office manager and greeting all who came in to The Mirror office with her positivity.
“Every office has one indispensable person. That’s the person everyone likes, trusts, respects and confides in,” said Bob Roegner, a longtime friend of Goss and a columnist for The Mirror. “That person knows where everything is and why things are the way they are … That person greets every day with a smile and keeps it no matter what challenge is being faced. That person can always be counted on, in good times and bad. That person face’s adversity in a way all of us wish we could, but know we probably can’t. That person is who we strive to be and usually fall short. That person is someone we are proud to know and call our friend. That person will be missed beyond belief. To us, that person was Mary Lou.”
Alcott recalled when he received a nervous call from Goss, who asked him to meet her in the parking lot at the Quad.
“I arrived there and she was standing in the bright sunshine, dressed elegantly as usual. I got out of the car and she immediately started crying as she told me of her diagnosis,” Alcott said. “I too was crying at this time and then the strangest thing happened. She looked up at me and said she wasn’t crying because she was diagnosed with cancer, she was crying because of the affect this would have on me and the Mirror. I was absolutely dumbstruck. That act of incredible selflessness, in spite of everything that she was going through, cannot be faked and illustrated the essence of what Mary Lou was and always will be.”
He said that was just one of many impressions that Mary Lou left on him.
“She was, and is, a special, special human being and she alone gives me faith in the human race,” Alcott added.
Goss is survived by daughters Kristen and Courtney, grandson Zakary, her husband of 26 years Phil and brother John. Her parents preceded her in death.
Remembrances can be made to the Mary Louise Goss Educational Scholarship for Decatur High School, c/o Heritage Bank, Attn: Janice Siebenaler, 32303 Pacific Hwy. S, Federal Way, WA 98003.