Mary Burton Stewart
1923 – 2019
“I am so lucky.”
Despite personal tragedy early in life, Mary Burton Stewart achieved great things and was often heard to say, “I’m am so lucky.”
After graduating from Wellesley College in 1945 with a degree in social work, Mary joined the Red Cross and coordinated recovery programs for servicemen in Okinawa, the Philippines and Japan at the end of WWII.
Her many achievements include leading Hamilton County’s first campaign to pass a tax levy in support of local mental health centers and founding “Careers in Social Work,” to recruit young people to careers in the field.
She also persuaded administrators at UC and HUC to organize college-level enrichment courses for older adults, now known as OLLI.
She was honored as Woman of the Year by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and received the Goodall Distinguished Alumna Award, the highest honor for a graduate of her alma mater, Seven Hills School, in 1991 for her community service. She served on the board of Planned Parenthood of Cincinnati, including as president in 1986-1987, and on the board of Volunteers Intervening for Equity, a national group helping older citizens make a difference in their communities. She also tutored children in reading in Over-the-Rhine.