Mary Liufau working at SPSCC

An Inspiration to All

Annually we present the Ann Bolendar Inspirational Award to a client who, like the award’s namesake, is a dedicated worker. A person who against all odds goes to work, does their best, doesn’t complain, is joyful works hard and has a positive outlook in spite of their disability.

This year we have unfortunately presented the award posthumously. Mary Liufau is a most deserving recipient who passed away on December 3, 2011. Her memorial service was held on Saturday, December 17th. Mary worked at South Puget Sound Community College as a Compost Station Coordinator assisting students, faculty and visitors to recycle their cafeteria remnants into the proper recycling or trash receptacle. Mary lived life to the fullest and embraced each new day with a smile on her face. She really enjoyed her job and life at SPSCC. She was also active in the Polynesian Club.

I had the opportunity to announce her award at our Holiday Party held at the Lacey Community Center. The whole room exploded with applause when her name was announced and the same at her memorial service. She touched many people both at Morningside and SPSCC.

I wanted to both share this announcement to the broader public and recognize her – not only in terms of her work but the impact she had on others. It was evident at the memorial that she truly brought joy to people’s lives and was an inspiration to many. Throughout the service many people spoke, sang and shared their stories about Mary. She was very loyal to family and friends, if you connected with her she was your loyal friend for life.

The service touched me in a very special way since it was multi-cultural. It absolutely drew me in and I was thrilled to be a part of the ethnic diversity. Mary was of Polynesian and African-American decent and the service was performed in both Polynesian and English. Her uncle Tini was very welcoming and presented the Eulogy. Her step-father, Darriel, sang a couple of songs. One song sung to the tune of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” had lyrics altered especially for Mary. It was especially poignant and moved us all. Once again I had the opportunity to share her award with those in attendance and once again the room exploded in applause.

Whenever I talked with Mary I was always drawn to her smile and pleasant personality. Mary certainly made the most of her life and inspired many along the way. She will be missed and remembered by all.

Mary at her SPSCC job


CEO Viewpoint is published by Jim Larson, CEO Morningside

This space is intended to share my thoughts and update the community on issues concerning Morningside and its clients as well sharing inspirational employment stories.

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Posted in Morningside Celebrations, Personal Stories