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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Mary M. Cohorst

Issue Date: March 11, 2020

Mary Margaret Cohorst, age 69, of Portland, OR, formerly of Peshtigo, WI, passed away Wednesday, February 19, 2020, while vacationing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was born January 7, 1951 in Menominee, MI, daughter of the late Joseph A and Lillian M (Powers) Cohorst.

Mary was a graduate of Peshtigo High School class of 1969. During her high school years she was a member of the high school band and choir. She continued her education at University of Wisconsin-Steven's Point, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in History.

After earning her degree Mary began her long and illustrious career with the Department of Labor's Job Corps Program. Through Job Corps Mary worked with disadvantaged youth throughout the nation. She dedicated 44 years of her life to improving the lives of the youth of our country. Because of Mary's intelligence, capabilities, leadership ability and excellent communication skills, she moved up quickly through the program.

Her career with Job Corps started in 1974 as a VISTA volunteer. This position took her to Tongue Point Job Corps Center in Astoria, OR where she worked as a residential advisor and later a counselor. In the late 1970's she was promoted to Manager of a Job Corps program in Seattle that provided work experience and college opportunities to Job Corps youth in the Northwest.

In 1981 she was selected to help start up the Cascades Job Corps Center in Sedro Wooley, WA in the capacity of Residential Living Manager, a position she held for a couple of years. Later she returned to Tongue Point JCC as its Deputy Director. In the late 1980's Mary moved to Portland, OR to assume the Center Director position at the Springdale Job Corps in Troutdale, OR. During her tenure at Springdale JCC she was instrumental in establishing the Partners in Vocational Training (PIVOT) program that served parenting mothers in the City of Portland.

In the Center Director capacity she worked extensively with the Portland and surrounding communities to ensure that the Center and PIVOT were a valuable resource to the communities they served. Mary was an extremely effective Center Director. Under her leadership the Springdale Center was ranked among the top centers in the nation, an indicator of the positive outcomes in training and placing the participants she was responsible for.

In 1999 Mary was hired by Chugach Alaska Corporation. She began her almost 19 year career with Chugach as the Director of Job Corps Operations. Later she was promoted to be the President of Chugach Education Services. Mary moved to the executive leadership team of Chugach Government Solutions, LLC as the Vice-president of Education the Training and the General Manager of Chugach Technical Educational Solutions with two other subsidiary companies under her leadership.

As Chugach grew, friendships and life-long bonds did as well. Every member of the Chugach family who knew Mary loved her and enjoyed her company. Mary had a special bond with her two teammates, Claire McMillan and Bobbie Irvin. There were many miles traveled and many laughs laughed and at the end of the day, you simply yearned for more time with Mary. Mary's communication skills were excellent. The corporations she worked for frequently used her talents to write proposals and develop community linkages. Mary retired from Chugach in 2018. Throughout her entire career she touched many lives and cared for many people.

Mary had a passion for travel and did so extensively throughout the world. She visited 65 countries and every continent except Australia. Many friends joined her on her excursions. She always took beautiful pictures and had fascinating stories to tell of her travels. She also enjoyed her daily run to Starbucks for her Americano "with room". Her zest for life and adventure was a true inspiration.

Mary is survived by her siblings: Susan Wright of Hubbard OR, Dennis (Beth) Cohorst and Laurie (Steve) Albers of Green Bay WI.; Nieces and Nephews: Dennis (Trina) Cohorst, Daniel (Amanda) Cohorst, Diana (Nyal) Bartch, Nick Wright and Leon Albers. She is further survived by the "greats": Sebastian, Autumn, Aliyah, Ainsley, Abigail, Garrett and Clara.

She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Patty Jo.

A Celebration of Mary's Life will be held at Newcomer - Green Bay Chapel at 340 S. Monroe Ave, Green Bay WI on Friday March 13th from 3-6. And we will also have a memorial in Portland, OR at a later date.

In Lieu of flowers, memorials directed to a charity of your choice in Mary's name are appreciated. Mary's family would like to thank the many friends that joined Mary on all her travels and adventures, especially Barb.


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