Mary Lou McGrew

Position: 
Library Science Faculty

Mary Lou McGrew, died on October 18, 2007, in Nellysford, Virginia.

She was born on September 19, 1922. She was the daughter of Arthur and Gretchen Dempsey of Oelwein, Iowa. Mary Lou is survived by her daughter, Linda, her son Mikel, and her precious kitty, Tabbitha. She is also survived by her brother Art and his wife Patricia from Corpus Christi, Texas.

Mary Lou taught fourth grade on a two-year certificate in Dunkerton, Iowa, from 1954 to 1963. In the summer of 1963, she graduated with a B. A. in Library Science from the State College of Iowa. She started the elementary library at Mark Twain in Iowa City, one of the first two elementary school libraries in Iowa City.

In 1970, Mary Lou went back to the State College of Iowa, now University of Northern Iowa, to teach in the library science department. She taught Library Orientation to freshmen and Media Selection and Library Materials for Children in the master's degree program. During her career in library science, Mary Lou was an active member of the Iowa Educational Media Association. In 1983, she received the first IEMA/SIRS Intellectual Freedom Award in recognition of her efforts to help school districts develop selection policies and handle censorship attempts. While at UNI, Mary Lou was the chair of the Black Hawk County Human Rights Commission for many years.

Mary Lou retired in 1985 and moved to Cedar Rapids to share a home with her daughter. She volunteered for many years in the Cedar Rapids schools. She was an active member of Faith United Methodist Church, a reconciling congregation. In June, 2006, Mary Lou moved to Nellysford, Virginia, to live with her son and daughter there.

Memorials may be made to Faith United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids, or to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama.

Copyright Waterloo Courier, October 21, 2007, page B10.

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