MS WASHINGTON SENIOR AMERICA 2020,
Mary Jane Baetz
Congratulations to Mary Jane Baetz, Ms. Washington 2020!
I grew up in the Central District of Seattle and attended Garfield High School with a student body of many races, colors and cultures. We were unified as friends and proud “Bulldogs.” My life was profoundly influenced by this experience.
EARLY YEARS: My family owned and operated a neighborhood movie theater and we all worked there. My job, selling tickets, taught me to be on time, courteous and accurate. My Dad died when I was only 16. In the years that followed I worked my way through college at the University of Washington taking jobs as a clerk, telephone operator, secretary, model and a stewardess. After earning a degree in English Education I taught language arts at Shoreline High School.
Marriage and motherhood of three great sons changed things. Nonetheless, blessed with the wondrous energy of youth I was a competitive Master Swimmer, played soccer, and helped create the Washington State Women’s Soccer Association. I became a FIFA Official and played/officiated soccer for more than 25 years.
CAREER: I reentered the workplace as a school district Program Evaluator. My career continued as a Communications Officer for a school board association; Research and Communication consultant; Special Projects Analyst for a healthcare company; Director of Marketing & Communication at a large State University; and Corporate Director of Shareholder Relations for a NASDAQ company. I taught in South Africa and Morocco.
TRAVEL: I’ve seen the sun rise over Machu Picchu, camped on the Amazon River, walked among penguins in Antarctica, sailed on the Nile River, and traveled by horseback through Ireland. I’ve visited the Eiffel Tower, the Great Pyramids and the Terracotta Warriors; and I broke my ankle swinging from a rope in a jungle in Mexico.
INTERESTS: As a writer I enjoy creating stories, newsletters, articles, reports and speeches, even eulogies. I’ve written/published a novel and other books. I am the creator and Web Manager of the Garfield Golden Grads website for “Bulldogs” who graduated 50 or more years ago from Garfield High School. (www.garfieldgoldengrads.com).
I advocate for women, support the Equal Rights Amendment, and am a 40-year member of Business and Professional Women. I study the Civil War where my great-uncle formed a company of German immigrants to fight for the Union and I am in awe of the women who served as Civil War nurses, soldiers and spies. I believe in UFOs and ETs and I love dancing the Argentine Tango.
PRESENT: Today my passion is playing the Theremin, especially performing in retirement communities. An electronic instrument invented in 1920 by Russian scientist Leon Theremin, it is “untouchable” because music is created by moving your hands near to -- but never touching -- the antennas. Its unique sound moves and soothes fascinated listeners. My repertoire includes operas, show tunes and popular songs.
I am honored to represent Washington State in the Ms. Senior America Pageant and proud to celebrate “The Age of Elegance.”