Utah has lost a beautiful, wild, and kind person. Salt Lake Magazine executive editor Mary Brown Malouf was swept to sea by a “sneaker wave” yesterday on the California coast.
Two years ago, Mary lost the love of her life, Glen Warchol. They lived across the street from me in a beautiful old brick house painted inside with wild colors that made sense with who they were and how they lived and loved. Big, fun, vibrant personalities. When she first moved in, a beaming Glen caught me on the street and told me I was going to love Mary. He was right, and I can’t imagine a person who couldn’t love her.
When Glen died, you could see that a part of Mary did as well. While her ever-present smile was still there, it was different. Her eyes a bit distant. She moved from the house this year to help herself attempt to start her new chapter.
Her final days were spent visiting her son in Humboldt Bay on the rocky coast of northern California. Her last posts were of mezcal, the ocean, trees, animals, and family.
Her family wrote on her Facebook wall something that resonated with me:
“There was never a time there wasn’t Mary Malouf. Until now. Today, Mary died when a rogue wave swept her out to sea off the coast of Northern California. Only she — perhaps the world’s foremost lover of Bronte, BBC mysteries, and, of course, Moby Dick — would appreciate such poetic drama.
“‘I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.’ — Mary Brown Malouf. Oops. Herman Melville.”
In her final letter from the editor in the magazine, Mary told us to remember the good times in the midst of the not-so-good and pledge to support one another.
“That’s what humans do: Make do in the hard times, keep hope for the future, and — don’t forget this part! — laugh in the present.
Cheers to a big life lived.