At 92 years young, Mary McKean remains part daring, part inquisitive.
The Auburn woman also happens to carry some semblance of a “bucket list.”
The fact she never had flown in a small airplane caught the attention of family and friends who gave her a belated birthday present on a sunny and clear Wednesday – a loop around majestic Puget Sound at 2,000 feet.
“Wow,” McKean said upon touching down after the hour-long flight as co-pilot to noble commander Shawn Pratt, a 20-year veteran of the friendly skies. “It was really wonderful.”
The excursion says something about McKean, a quiet, fit and petite woman who has the gusto to wander into the scattered clouds at her age. While wing-walking isn’t exactly next on her to-do list, she paused for a moment to consider such a wild idea after circling the Sound from the front seat of a Piper Warrior.
Perhaps bungee jumping?
“Well,” daughter Kathy White noted, “I would call her a daredevil.
“She knows how to have fun. She’s so easy to take. She’s game for anything.”
A retired bookkeeper who spent most of her life in Hoquiam, McKean continues to stay active despite being slowed by advancing time. An eight-year resident of River Mobile Estates, she gets around with the help of many friends and the use of a walker. She sews, knits and enjoys bridge. She belonged to church and service groups. She is a mother of two, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of two more.
She has traveled to Hawaii and Europe, enjoyed the fruits of family and continued to try new things – even after the passing of her husband, Rod, 12 years ago.
But flying always has caught her fancy.
“Every time we came by (Auburn Municipal) Airport, she talked about these small planes,” White said. “She always talked about wanting to go up in one.
“She always has been a curious person. She always wanted to find out about things.”
Those things included small planes, the right size for small people.
Friends huddled – and through the generous support of HomeWell Senior Care and other sponsors