Eric Hoffer wrote an incredible book called THE TRUE BELIEVER….he didn’t know it at the time, but he was writing about MARYANNE McGONEGAL. Maryanne passed away at approximately 4am last Saturday morning.  I was fortunate to have known her for about 25 years… she was truly a TRUE BELIEVER

True Believers have an interesting profile: they are often the first ones to raise important issues/ they are right/ they are the most informed people about their topics (she was the only person I have ever met who actually always knew what they are talking about)/ they are relentless in pursuing what they know to be true and right/ they force change/ they are fearless, and will take on all comers, no matter the numbers, or the positions they hold/ therefore, they are often considered to be a real pain the ass, because they step on toes, kick butt, and they will not allow the establishment types to ignore them or their causes.  Unfortunately, True Believers seldom, if ever, live to see their accomplishments recognized and accepted.  They have to disappear from the scene and/or, sometimes from this earth, before their wisdom and dedication produce the results they seek.

Does the name Jesus Christ come to mind.  He personally, on the surface, didn’t actually look like He had accomplish what He came to do….but once he departed, it all came together, didn’t it?   Maryanne is probably talking about that with Jesus Christ right now. Somehow I think she didn’t have to take an entrance examination to crash those pearly gates….her spot has been reserved  for her for a long time. It was a free pass and a front row seat for MaryAnne McGonegal, I think.   I never met a more dedicated individual in the 71 years I’ve been around.  By the way, Maryanne, put in a good word for me.  I won’t be far behind…and I”m not sure whether my elevator will be up or down—see what you can do for me, will ya.

Believe me, for years to come, when her issues are finally accepted and accomplished, people will be saying….”Yeah, I remember how Maryanne McGonigal had to fight like hell for that issue, or for this issue, or for those issues… government, Sunday busing, environment, integrity for public officials, etc., etc., etc. etc. etc.. 

It’s no accident that the two people closest to her throughout her life on this earth were John Flaherty and Senator Karen Peterson…..people, like herself,  who are well established and well recognized, and well respected for all the same things that Maryanne McGonegal was dedicated to.  Thank Maryanne you for everthing…..and I mean everything.  You’ve dunn real good for yourself and for all of us.



  1. Marie Byrnes Says:

    I did not know Maryanne McGonegal but I wish I had. Gerry’s words describing her are very moving. I’m glad to know that good people who lived good lives do leave a legacy that does not go unnoticed so others will know how much their presence on this earth benefited us all. Maryanne McGonegal will be truly missed by all those who loved her and were fortunate to have known her. May she rest in peace.

  2. lucy mcmanis Says:

    I have known Maryanne since we protested the Vietnam War. We both belonged to a group “Mothers United for Peace”. She was a warrior spirit then and is a warrior for peace and justice now.

    I will sadly miss this dear sister, who has not gone away, just went ahead.

  3. Carol Patton Says:

    With great sorrow I belatedly hear of Maryanne’s death. I remember her from the Mothers United for Peace, which I mother Audrey Patton and I were both members of. She worked hard, from the heart. There are not many like her and the earth sorrow for her passing.

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