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Mary Lou Strong Fund
By Jean Cohoon / August 7, 2018 /   Loading Disqus...

In a conversation Mary Lou Strong had with her children prior to her death in 2017 at age 86, she summarized for them what she believed was important in life: “Family – children, grandchildren – and good friends. Making a contribution to your world. Listening to people, learning about them, helping them.”

Her son, Dexter, says his mother exemplified her values throughout her life. “Family was so important to her, and she had many deep, long-lasting friendships. She was so great at making you feel you were at the center of the universe.”

Through this donor advised fund Dexter established in her memory, Mary Lou’s commitment to contributing to the world and helping others will continue. “Mom was always very active in the community. She was very generous and open-hearted. This fund is my statue to her,” he explains.

Born in Newton, MA, Mary Lou earned a degree in art history from Wellesley College. She and her husband, George, settled in New Jersey where their raised their three children, Dexter and his sisters, Cynthia and Sarah. It’s also where Mary Lou became involved with numerous community organizations, including those working in the area of historic preservation. “She recognized the beauty and significance of local landmarks and rallied support for historic preservation. She is credited with saving many historic landmarks throughout New Jersey,” Dexter states.

He continues, “She just never stopped. She was an amazing person. When I think about Mom’s life, I think about how important athletics was to her. She was an avid tennis player and a fierce competitor. Athletics was empowering to her in an era when it wasn’t considered feminine to be athletic. She was a pioneer in many ways, a trailblazer on many fronts.”

Dexter’s intention is to keep his mother’s spirit alive through this fund, supporting causes that were important to her – historic preservation, women’s sports, her church, and schools the family attended.

“I want the nonprofits that were important to her to remember who Mary Lou Strong was. This is very personal for me, and I trust the Foundation to manage the fund well,” Dexter concludes. 

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