I'm saddened to report that No Depression's long time office manager, Mary Schuh, passed away last night. Mary was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt Jakob, a rapidly degenerative, fatal brain disease, about a month ago.
Those of you who were subscribers to the print magazine, bought back issues or t-shirts from us, made a donation, or received an invoice or payment from us have crossed paths with Mary. She has been the backbone of No Depression since we went into print back in 1995. She had worked with ND editor and co-founder Grant Alden at the Rocket (a seminal Seattle music monthly) and shortly after No Depression was formed she began working part time as the office manager splitting her time between the Rocket and No Depression. As we continued to grow the work grew to full time and Mary stepped up and took on whatever was needed. She was always cheerful, helpful and loved to interact with our readers. Her office was filled with friendly notes from No Depression readers thanking her for her kind service.
When we went out of print in 2008 and there was no longer a full time job she found other employment but continued on doing whatever was needed for No Depression evenings and weekends. Making the transition from print to digital wasn't an easy one and I was hugely in over my head and largely on my own with the exception of Mary keeping the beat in the background. She was there to hold down the fort during those very uncertain, overwhelming times doing whatever was asked or needed, always with a smile. Knowing that she had my back and was always there made all the difference in the world during that difficult time.
I visited Mary several times over the last few weeks and the thing that was never taken from her was her love of music. When she was no longer able to communicate her head would bob along to the music and then as the disease progressed it was just her fingers.
Word has it this was the last song she heard:
I'm not a writer and I struggle to find the right words to share the beautiful essence of Mary so please read this Facebook post from Charles Cross, Publisher of the Rocket and the poem, "For Mary, who is gone", that Grant posted on the site this morning.