Wednesday, December 02, 2009

IAWP Pioneer Passes Away

In Memoriam

Mary F. Stowe, #1330, retired Seattle Police Lieutenant, passed away peacefully on the evening of November 26, 2009, while a resident of the Foss Home in north Seattle. She was 84 years of age upon her death.

Mary Stowe was born on August 16, 1925. She was appointed a “Police Woman” of the Seattle Police Department on February 11, 1952. During her early Seattle Police career, she was assigned to the “Women’s Bureau,” as were all sworn female Seattle Police Department employees. On March 22, 1956, she was promoted to the rank of “Sergeant of Police Women” and shortly thereafter, gender distinctions between male and female police officers became a thing of the past. Mary served thereafter as a sergeant, detective sergeant and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on November 12, 1971, and served at that rank until she retired from the Seattle Police Department on April 1, 1998. She had 46 years and 2 months creditable service. That equates to a beginning LEOFF I pension entitlement of 92+.00333%, which at the time was more than an Assistant Police Chief’s LEOFF I pension.

Those women and men currently serving as sworn Seattle Police Officers need to remember that it was through the tenacity of Lieutenant Mary Stowe and others like her that caused a change from an almost all male cadre of Seattle Police Officers into what you see today. That took a lot of courage.

Above all else, Mary Francis Stowe refused to bend in the face of adversity.

A small gathering of friends and other residents of the Foss Home will be held in the near future.

Mary Stowe’s earthly remains will be transported to York, Nebraska for burial in the family plot, in accordance with her wishes.

(Information above provided by)
Michael R. Germann
Executive Secretary
Seattle Police Pension Office

Mary Stowe was a life member of IAWP. She was a past vice-president and a recipient of the Lois Higgins-Grote Heritage Award. She was the director of the 1976 IAWP Conference in Seattle, Washington. Mary was seated front and center for our most recent conference in Seattle, September 2009. She was so thrilled to meet the women in attendance at opening ceremony. Conference Director Beth Lavin ensured Mary was a prominent part of our opening ceremony. I am so glad Mary was able to have that experience. She was truly a treasure.

Please Keep Mary's family in your thoughts and prayers as they enter into this holiday season without their beloved mother, grandmother, sister and friend.
It was an honor to meet such a world changer. Mary changed the face and way of policing for women police throughout the US and as an IAWP member she changed the world for women in policing worldwide. She was a true law enforcement pioneer.

Rest In Peace Mary.

(For more about Mary check out my July blog entry entitiled "Meet Mary Stowe")

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