Maggie McCarey

This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Maggie McCarey. We will remember her forever.
Memorial Tributes
Candle lit  by Stefanie Gwinn-Vega on August 17th, 2018

Maggie McCarey formerly of Knoxville and Des Moines, Iowa passed away July 30, 2018 surrounded by her loving family. The family will host a birthday party to celebrate Maggie’s life on August 18 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Central Park Pavilion in Schenectady, NY. Those who knew her and would like to celebrate her life are invited to attend and to share stories. For those unable to attend her birthday celebration, a Facebook live stream will be held during her life celebration. A Celebration of life will be held at a later date in Knoxville, Iowa as well.

English professor, United Methodist Minister, published author, radio show host, social activist, feminist theologian, artist, mother, spiritual guide, holistic healer, genealogist. These simple labels cannot come close to expressing the essence of Maggie McCarey. They tell us what she did, but not how she did it—and the how of it was so very exquisite. For Maggie every experience from the most mundane to the most life impacting was an opportunity for interaction with other souls. She often reminded us that each of us is a part of and intimately intertwined with Spirit and that to know others is to know both yourself and Spirit on a deeper level. If you were lucky enough to find yourself doing some carpentry task or painting a wall or moving a box for Maggie, then you came away from the experience enriched. Her childhood experiences in Iowa helped shape her expansive view of the world.

Maggie fondly told stories of her life on her grandparents’ farm and how profound the influence of those early experiences were on nurturing her spirit and shaping the adult she would eventually become. There she was blessed by her grandparents’ unconditional love for her set against a backdrop of everyday farm chores and the freedom to play, explore, and simply be a child that would help shape her values throughout her life.

One day a raccoon had strayed into the yard and got into a fierce fight with her beloved childhood dog.

Maggie screamed for her grandpa to get his gun and exclaimed, “Shoot the raccoon! Shoot the raccoon, grandpa!”

Grandpa—no doubt wise in the ways of dog and raccoon combat—already knew the outcome and casually asked, “Which one would you have me shoot: the raccoon for being a raccoon, or the dog for being a dog?”

It was on that day that Maggie learned that no living creature was intrinsically more valuable than another simply because you have an emotional attachment to it. She actively exercised that belief in all aspects of her life without exception. Family members and close friends in particular, were held to a higher standard as she loved us deeply and unconditionally, and she unselfishly wanted each of us to attain our fullest intellectual, spiritual, and creative potential on this earth plane. Those of us in her immediate family were incredibly fortunate to have journeyed with Maggie.

Everyone whose life journey she intersected was improved, some subtly and others profoundly. If your loved one was dead or dying, you received not just her comfort but something more: transformative insight that might help you well beyond your current misery. With unbounded energy, Maggie engaged others fully and honestly, only expecting an honest, authentic exchange in return. Her spirit was expansive, pure, and encompassing of many lifetimes; she possessed a natural, deep curiosity, joyful spirit and ability to intuitively perceive the truth in everything she explored. She brought those qualities—along with her immense intellect—to bear on everything from interior design to spirituality and finally, for the later part of her life, Lymphedema and Lipedema, debilitating hereditary diseases that began to intensify during the past decade.

Lymphedema and Lipedema gradually took her mobility. The progressively crippling diseases made rising from a chair an arduous and painful process. Prior to the onset of her illness, Maggie was an avid year-round hiker. She absolutely loved being in nature, and she and Joe—her partner of eighteen years—had many adventures in the forests and mountains.

Dismayed and enraged by her disease, Maggie immersed herself in researching Lymphedema and Lipedema, often challenging the conventional orthodoxy of Western medicine, which she deeply despised due to its dismissal of the underlying causes of these diseases. She learned everything she could about each illness and often advised clinical researchers. She helped build an international community of tens of thousands of Lymphedema and Lipedema sufferers, created holistic self-treatments that extended quality of life, and ultimately published the most definitive Lipedema book to date.

When her condition worsened in late June, Maggie met it head on and refused to yield to either disease. Against insurmountable odds, Maggie fought bravely against life threatening illnesses because she would never submit to the tyranny of anything that she recognized as detrimental to a life journey. From advocating for those without resources to challenging others to think critically, Maggie readily took up the fight. After all her successes fighting for others, sadly for us, Maggie started a new journey on July 30, 2018.

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