Mary Jo Driftmier, 89

Mary Jo Driftmier of Langley died May 8, 2012 in Seattle. She was born Easter Sunday, April 1, 1923 in Lewistown, Montana to Ray and Pearl Ramaker. Her family moved to Missoula when she was three and then to Seattle during her senior year of high school.  After graduating from Roosevelt High School she moved on to the University of Washington where she received her journalism degree. While at the university Jo served as editor of the “Daily” newspaper. She then worked for United Press International.

Mary Jo married Ben Driftmier Jr. in 1945. After Ben’s graduation with a law degree, the couple moved to Anacortes where they lived for 28 years.

Active in community affairs she was instrumental in the formation of the Anacortes Hospital District. Over a game of bridge, Jo, along with three friends, decided that Anacortes needed a new hospital. The idea caught on and the four women worked tirelessly to create a hospital auxiliary, then a hospital district. The work paid off and in 1962 Anacortes’s new Island Hospital was dedicated.

Ben and Jo retired to south Whidbey in 1976. That year she started as a volunteer editor of “Senior News” for Senior Services of Island County. Soon she was drafted to become the executive director of the organization. While she retired as executive director in 1993, she continued as editor of the news until 2000.

She is survived by two sons, Don Driftmier of Seattle and Rick Driftmier, his wife Karen Richards and grandson Lee Driftmier all of Bellevue, grandson Kim Driftmier, his wife Meegan, and two great grandchildren, Cash and Amara all of Honolulu HI, granddaughter Jennifer Driftmier of Redmond, one niece and four nephews. A private memorial service will be held in Bellevue. The family suggests donations to Senior Services Foundation, 2845 E. Highway 525, Langley WA 98206.

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