Mary Jane Isaacson - October 13, 2002

Mary Jane Isaacson passed away on October 13, 2002 from cancer

Mary Jane Isaacson (1954-2002)

Mary Jane Isaacson a twenty-three year veteran of Cray Research and SGI passed away on October 13, 2002. She fought a courageous battle with breast cancer for several years. Many of us will remember her distinctive laugh that seemed to carry down the halls of Cray and into our offices. It always made us smile. MJ started her career at Cray in the Benchmark group and moved into the Compiler group after that eventually moving into Marketing program management before getting down sized in the economic downturn in 2001. For those of us that knew MJ the expression “What you see is what you get.” described her well. She remembered virtually everything that was said to her so it was difficult to debate with her unless one really was organized and had all the facts. In retrospect working with her helped to make me a better manager. On the personal side MJ’s interests were gardening and flowers. She had the ultimate green thumb. Her plants were beautiful and her gardens produced well for her. She was kind of a mix of old and new. She had all these old family recipes for herbs and spices and what they were good for and how to prepare them. Another characteristic trait was her determination. A single parent of three teenage kids, fighting her own personal battle, yet involved in each of her children’s’ extra curricular activities. She loved to travel but didn’t have much time to do that especially as the kids got older. When MJ first was diagnosed she went through the self-searching that all of us do when faced with a critical life decision. She decided to face the disease head on. The chemo took her hair. That was difficult because those of us who know her remembered her long thick hair. She resorted to wigs and a lot of people never even knew. She always wanted a red convertible so she bought a used 1988 BMW and drove the heck out of that car. She loved it. She called it her crisis car. It made her feel alive. And that’s the way she lived the remainder of her life. Never looking back. Always looking forward to each day and hanging onto the hope that she would live long enough to see her children graduate from high school. Unfortunately that dream wasn’t realized. I do believe though that everyone we know or meet along life’s road knowingly or unknowingly teaches us or touches us in some way. So for those of you who didn’t know MJ you missed knowing someone who embraced life and didn’t complain about what she had. For those of you who knew MJ, I’m sure there’s a memory and something you took from knowing her that you may not even realize has changed you. MJ had balance in her life. Work was important to her but so was her family and friends. She loved Cray Research and the people she worked with but she was a dedicated mother as well and put her children first. I will miss her as she was a really good friend. I just thank God that I got to meet her.

Respectfully submitted by Wayne Margotto

Mary Jane Isaacson passed away on October 13, 2002. A memorial service for her was held on Friday October 18th at:

Christ Lutheran Church
11194 36th ST N.
Lake Elmo, Minnesota 55042-9628
Phone (651) 777-2881

The family suggests memorials in Mary Jane's name be made to the American Cancer Society.

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