Mary Cay Hollander-Russell: An inspiration to others

Donations made in honor of Mary Cay will be matched up to $20,000 by her bequest and are earmarked specifically for programs designed for residents of food deserts.

A spark of joy and light went out in the world when Mary Cay Hollander-Russell lost her hardfought battle with the scourge of cancer on Sept. 10, 2021. In the prime of her 75th year, Mary Cay was still bringing smiles and happiness to everyone she met, either on the streets of her hometown in Santa Fe, NM, or practicing her passion for learning while traveling the world with her photographer husband of 37 years, Ward Russell. She was always ready to lend a helping hand and never found a day complete until she had learned something new.

As an only child, she learned to march to her own drummer. After a taste of college, she rose from intern to office manager to paralegal at an LA law firm, and about to go for her law degree, she was given a brief opportunity to work on a Hollywood motion picture production. The next twenty years were filled with dozens of major movies as a production coordinator, the heartbeat of a movie company.

Having conquered Hollywood, Mary Cay, at 50, completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and Social Work, followed by a Masters of Arts in Education at the College of Santa Fe New Mexico. Her ability to communicate inspiringly with all kinds of people was put to good use helping the needy of New Mexico while continuing to help the growing film industry in New Mexico.

Mary Cay is survived by her loving husband Ward Russell, devoted cat Calli, loving families around the States, and an enormous number of loving friends around the world who will always remember her as that very special person who brought a very special happiness into their lives.

Mary Cay’s abiding faith in the potential goodness of all mankind led her to leave a legacy gift to The Food Depot. Having given selflessly of her time as a volunteer at the food bank, her memory will endure through the difference made by her bequest: the gift of food security.

During the month of May, please consider honoring Mary Cay’s belief in the goodness of others by making a gift in her memory. Her life will be celebrated by increasing the difference that can be made. Donations made in honor of Mary Cay will be matched up to $20,000 by her bequest. These funds will be used to expand feeding programs into underserved rural communities.