Mary K. McPherson, educator

Mary K. McPherson, a retired private-school educator who had been on the faculty of Oldfields School and Bryn Mawr School, died Oct. 5 of cancer at Roland Park Place, where she had lived for the past decade. She was 89.

Mary King McPherson was born and raised in Toronto, where she graduated from Havergal College, a private girls school.

After earning a bachelor's degree from Trinity College, part of the University of Toronto, Miss McPherson served with the Women's Royal Canadian Service at Halifax, Nova Scotia, from 1944 to 1945.

Miss McPherson taught at several private girls schools before joining the faculty in 1957 of Oldfields School in Glencoe, where she later became head of its English department and academic head.

She briefly taught at Bryn Mawr School before returning to Oldfields, where she lived on campus. She retired in the 1980s.

Miss McPherson remained active at Oldfields, where she researched and wrote "A Feeling of Family," which traces the history of the boarding school from its establishment in 1867 by Anna Austen McCulloh to 1987.

Since 2003, Miss McPherson had lived at Roland Park Place, where she enjoyed reading and writing poetry and was an active member of a writer's group.

"Mary's entire adult life was involved in the pursuit of teaching and the literary life despite being almost blind in her last years," said her niece, Jane Lett of Burlington, Ontario. "The students from her early years at Oldfields were so important to her and kept in touch. She loved Glencoe, Baltimore and her students."

Miss McPherson was an avid dog lover, said her niece.

Services are private.

"She has requested that her ashes be strewn over the Rattray Marshes, which are located on the shores of Lake Ontario at Mississauga," said Ms. Lett.

In addition to her niece, Miss McPherson is survived by three sisters, Margaret Depew, Anne McPherson and Katharine McPherson, all of Toronto; and a nephew.

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