Remembering Maryann

When I think of Maryann Mahaffey, I think of a short woman who thought Tall.

When it came to the “least of these,” people without means, people without housing, the downtrodden, the forgotten. Maryann thought Tall. Maryann spent several nights on the streets with the city’s homeless people to bring attention to their plight during her 31 years in office. Unlike so many other politicians who talk the talk, Maryann was brave and, privileged enough to walk the walk.

When it came to the “working class.” People who work with their hands as well as their heads, Maryann thought Tall. In 1995 when employees of the Detroit News and Free Press went on strike, Maryann was arrested after she and others blocked the entrance to the Detroit News during a sit-in. She participated at the picket sites, intervening with the Detroit Police to protect the pickets. Maryann walked the walk, she stood Tall.

Maryann Mahaffey was born January 18, 1925 in Burlington Iowa. She moved to Detroit with her husband, Herman (Hy) Dooha, in 1952. Maryann worked as a social worker and advocate in public housing – as well as community centers and welfare rights groups. She was elected to the Detroit City Council in 1973, the same year that Coleman Young was elected Mayor. Maryann was one of Detroit’s longest serving politicians – she retired at the end of her 8th term after she was diagnosed with leukemia. She passed away, July 27, 2006.

I’m not sure why Maryann and her husband chose to move to the city of Detroit or the state of Michigan, but, I for one, am glad they did. In my eyes, Maryann was a true Servant Leader.


Written By: B Knox for Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, Brush Park Manor, Paradise Valley August 2006.



When you look into one’s eyes.

You’re bound to become, hypnotized.

You see things that you rarely see.

Like Peace, Love and Harmony.

You’ll stare and glare, all through the night.

And then you’ll seem, to regain sight.

The eyes will put you in a daze.

And, you’ll just stare there, in a maze.


Written By:  B. Knox




So strong, Yet weak.

HE walks alone, HIS shadow hidden.


To strong to ask for guidance

To weak to admit HE needs it.

But, willing to NEED a Woman.


Not really.

HIS need is greater, because his want is hidden behind his



Written By B. Knox

Slow Me Down, Lord

Slow me down, Lord.  Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.  Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.  Give me, amidst the confusion of my day, the calmness of the everlasting hills.  

Break the tension of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that lie in my memory.  Help me to know the magical restoring power of sleep.  Teach me the art of taking “minute vacations,” of pausing to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines from a book.

Remind me each day of the fable of the hare and the tortoise, that I may know the race is not always to the swift, that there is more to life than increasing its speed.  Let me look upward into the branches of the towering oak, and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well. 

Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life’s enduring values, that I may grow toward the stars of my great destiny.  Amen.


From LIFE Guide, A Resource for Wellness Planning, copyrighted by Wellsource Inc. 1988