Mary needs no introduction to most of the people in the area. She is a tiny dynamo who has freely given her creativity, enthusiasm, dedication, experience, knowledge and skills over the years to numerous organizations, family and friends. She possesses both a sense of humor and of compassion.
She and Patricia connected nearly 10 years ago while working on projects for the Buchanan Art Center and the DDA.
From her years in grade school through today, Mary Miller Lister has acknowledged and even revered the power of using proper writing to communicate. She started her career working in the local library in high school, studied at Lake Michigan College and Western Michigan University, and worked in law offices. After her marriage to Tom Lister, she worked for the president of Clark Equipment Company, and finally in the president’s office at the University of Notre Dame, before retiring. Mary believes that people are not born into equal circumstances in life, but that education and proper communication can change lives dramatically. She has devoted much of her life to promoting equal opportunities for all.
After her children, Jim and Shelly (Struss) were raised, Mary became involved with volunteering. She taught Sunday School and became a certified tutor in English as a Second Language. She served on the board of the Literacy Council and tutored students from other countries as well as the U.S. She served as president of the Business & Professional Women’s group in Buchanan for several years, and president of the Buchanan Area Fine Arts Council for ten years. Finally, she was instrumental in working with a group of others to form the Buchanan Art Center, serving as their president and executive director.
Mary enjoys many activities and constantly strives to fit them all in. Among favorites are entertaining family and friends, visiting art museums, hiking and kayaking, gardening, genealogy research—and always reading.
She and Tom, married 54 years, lived just outside the city of Buchanan for 45 years and raised their children here. They enjoy having their four teenage granddaughters live close by. Now residing in Berrien Springs, Mary works to make Buchanan — and thus the world— “a better place to live” by helping to publish The Paper.
As publisher, she acts as community liaison, overseer of operations, fundraiser, copy editor, distribution manager, traffic coordinator, and whatever it takes to get the job done.