Mary Michael Mauney

Published 5:15 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Mary Michael Mauney, of Tryon, N.C., died March 3. She was in Hospice care at home, ending a ten-year decline in health due to complications of breast cancer. She was 51.

Mary’s father (who shares her middle name) shaped her early interest in taking pictures. She may be the youngest person on record to have a photo credit in Life Magazine. The editor’s note in the May 1, 1970 issue featured her father, a Life staff photographer, and included a photo of him (artistically tilted) taken by Mary, age four. Seven years later, when her father traveled with Roots author Alex Haley to Africa, on assignment for People, Mary went too, on her own assignment to interview Haley for Children’s Express.

Mary was born in Charlotte, but spent her childhood and young adult life in the Chicago area. She graduated from Evanston Township High School, returned to the South for a year at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987. After an early career as studio manager for a Chicago photographer, she responded to a long-held interest in animal care and took steps to become a veterinarian. She graduated from the N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004 and practiced as a DVM until illness intervened.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Mary’s mother was a constant ally in her daughter’s struggle to regain health and also shared her love for the animal world. The deep woods behind their house teemed with wildlife that they lured with creature-specific foods, including popcorn and watermelon for the crows. Even as her illness progressed, Mary was able to set up a 24-hour “camera trap” to capture close-ups of the deer, turkeys, and foxes that she and her mother could otherwise only see at a distance.

Mary was predeceased by her younger sister, Caitlin, in 2011. She is survived by her mother, Lucy Mauney of Tryon, N.C.; her father Michael Mauney (Elizabeth Lutyens) of Jupiter, N.C; sister Elizabeth Mauney David (Mathew), nephew Christopher David, niece Kyle David, all of Evanston, Ill.; aunt Joanna Dickson of Franklin, N.C.; cousin John Dickson (Alison Arnold) of Fairview, N.C.; and cousin Nelson Dickson of Shelby, N.C. A memorial service will take place this spring.

Donations in Mary’s name can be made to Four Seasons Compassion for Life, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731; or to Paws, Prayers, & Promises, 685 Carriage Row,
Tryon, NC 28782; or Pet Tender Angels, P.O. Box 6691, Greenville, SC 29606.

McFarland Funeral Chapel
Tryon, N.C.