Mary Staats Port went to be with the Lord and her fur babies Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. She was born May 22, 1924, and raised in Pasadena, California where she attended Waverly School through 12th grade and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Occidental College in 1945. Mary had a brief career in accounting.
Mary’s love of swimming the breaststroke earned her a place on the Johnny Weissmuler Swim Team for a global tour. She also had a great love for water skiing, tennis and hiking and continued to do all of these activities up into her early '80s. Her mother instilled a love of animals and animal advocacy in her heart and for 58 years she dedicated her life to being directly involved in the rescue and care and placement of thousands of dogs, cats, horses, exotic and wild animals. The advocacy organizations she provided leadership roles in include: California Branch of the H.S.U.S., Rancho Coastal Humane Society, Evergreen Animal Protection League, Colorado Animal Refuge, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and National Organization for Wild American Horses.
The heartbreak of her life happened after a stroke in 2010. Due to the decline in her health and her age, Mary was no longer able to continue a leadership role over the animals that she provided care for and love to at her home in Witch Wells. Out of concern for the animals, she signed over ownership of her property and the animals to one of the workers. This had devastating results and ultimately resulted in closure of the rescue. Mary subsequently funded in-home rescue of pets by supplying food and supplies to families in financial difficulty and through funding hundreds of spay/neutering and veterinary visits.
Mary became an avid vegetarian in her early 30’s out of moral conviction. She enjoyed eating out and inviting people to join her. Everyone could count on Mary to require assurance that there as “no dead animal” in her meal. Her favorite question for those of us who are carnivores was, “Does that make you hungry?” when we drove past livestock.
Mary found comfort and the love of Jesus in attending a weekly Bible study led by Pastor Stonestreet and being a member of the New Covenant Community Church who embraced her with open arms. The highlight of her week was being escorted and accompanied by Ethan Owens.
Mary had an infectious smile and genuine love for all of her friends, family and her caregivers, Louis, Jamie and Alane who provided Mary with the best possible care in her last few years. Mary will be missed greatly, by all.
Mary had three wonderful sons: Thomas (Kathy) Davidge, Ron (Barbara) Davidge, Robert (Linda) Caufield; four granddaughters; one grandson and one great-granddaughter.
A celebration of life and a buffet will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, prior to the evening church services at New Covenant Community Church in St. Johns. In lieu of flowers offer a kind word and a few moments of your time to someone in need.
For those who have special memories and would like to leave an online condolence for Mary’s family, visit www.burnhammortuary.com.
Burnham Mortuary of St. Johns handled arrangements.