I met Mary Grady at the 2011 Sun ‘n Fun Flyin in Lakeland, Florida. After that, she and I swapped tips and leads for articles. Her work at AVweb and for Belvoir Publications was professional and polished – always. I’m using AVweb’s tribute to her, especially since it shows her many facets. She will be missed.
Mary Grady, one of AVweb’s longest-serving, most dedicated and respected contributing editors, died at her home in Warwick, Rhode Island, on March 12 after a long illness.
Mary was one of the founding members of the internet experiment that became AVweb and continued as a key staff writer until her health challenges prompted a leave of absence earlier this year. She worked for AVweb for 20 years and wrote thousands of articles. To the best of anyone’s recollection she never missed a deadline.
“Mary had a quiet strength in her professional skills, but also in the way she carried herself,” said Tim Cole, AVweb’s editorial director. “When deadlines loomed or big, late-breaking stories came knocking, Mary was the calm, reliable, get-it-done pro in the eye of the storm. We depended on her for everything, and will go forward trying to live by her example.”
In her long career, she covered the full gamut of aviation stories from balloons to supersonic aircraft and did so with precision, clarity and balance. She was especially interested in new innovations that made aviation more accessible, safer and more environmentally responsible. She also covered aviation for Robb Report.
Mary was born in Providence, the capital of her beloved Rhode Island, in 1955 and spent most of her life there, most recently at her home a few steps from Narragansett Bay. She was a passionate environmentalist and was an adjunct professor of geography and environmental science at Rhode Island College. In her “other” journalism career, Mary won numerous awards for environmental reporting and was the author of three books.
But journalism was just an expression and outlet for Mary’s passion to learn, discover, explore and teach. After graduating college in Rhode Island, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Geography in Hawaii. She obtained her balloon and private pilot certificates and worked as an instructor on both in California and Florida. She was also a sailing instructor on the Tall Ship Rose, a replica of an 18th century Royal Navy frigate. Private services are planned.