Medical 05

Mary Grace McDermott

May 8, 1931 ~ September 25, 2020 (age 89)


Mary Grace McDermott died unexpectedly at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center on September 25, 2020.  She was born to the late Gladstone and Grace Ferrety McDermott on May 8, 1931, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her parents moved to Lake Oswego, Oregon when Mary Grace was a child. As a child, Mary Grace was always looking to help others which led her to a lifetime career in nursing.

After graduation, she joined the Daughters of Charity Convent and went on to get her Master’s Degree while working in a leprosy clinic in New Orleans. She was known as Sister Raphael. During her years as a Daughter of Charity, she worked in hospitals in St. Louis, San Francisco, Carville, and New Orleans. In 1970, she left the convent and joined the Peace Corps.

After her years with the Peace Corps, she returned to California to continue working as a nurse before moving back to Oregon in her parents’ later years. She married William Gilbert Cowing on September 28, 1979. After he had a major stroke, she cared for him at the same time she was caring for her mom and dad, who were both very ill at the time.

After losing her father, mother, and husband, she continued her nursing career, doing a lot of volunteer nursing in her community. She had a lot of years of service at Blanchet House, serving the hungry, poor, and homeless people. Mary Grace had a very deep faith and lived her life every day in anticipation of seeing the face of God.

Mary Grace is survived by several cousins and her parish family of Our Lady of the Lake in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

A memorial Service to celebrate the the life of Mary Grace will take place on October 14, 2020, at Our Lady of the Lake church, 650 A Avenue, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034. Donations in her memory can be made to the church.

The service may be live-streamed at 

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