Mary Elizabeth Stowe passed away suddenly and far too soon on October 12th, 2023. Mary spent her amazing 69 years on this earth guided by compassion. She was selfless and cared deeply for those she loved, which amounted to just about everyone she met. Mary was elegant in every sense of the word; she was quick to grant grace and abundant in patience. She laughed easily and often. As her family learns to navigate life without her invaluable guidance and joyful presence, they’re finding solace in sharing the incredible legacy she left behind.
Mary’s transformative 35-year nursing career began in 1976 when she graduated from Baylor University. She started her career at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the Pediatric Intensive Unit, but administration was always the plan. She earned her master’s in nursing administration from Texas Woman’s University’s Houston campus. Mary held a variety of clinical, quality, case management, performance improvement and leadership roles across the state in pediatric and adult healthcare facilities, including Trinity Medical Center in Carrollton and Denton Community Hospital. Eventually, Mary returned to where it all began and served as Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Children’s for twelve years.
Mary’s career was remarkable in many ways, distinguished by both marks of excellence and everyday acts of kindness, compassion, and humanity. Mary led Children’s in obtaining its first Magnet Recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and three subsequent re-designations. She was key in developing The Nurse Residency Program at Children’s and over-seeing the growth and success of the Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Level 1 Trauma Center. She was named to the rosters of Dallas Fort Worth’s Great 100 Nurses, DFW’s Top Healthcare Leaders, and served on the DFW Hospital Council Foundation Board of Trustees.
Mary navigated nursing shortages with creativity and was the driving force behind better retention rates and lower turnover. She was beloved by her patients and her peers and was unyielding in her commitment to doing what was right, what was good. Her love language was acts of service and gifting. She was a mentor and a confidant, and she left an impression on everyone.
Mary was a jack of all trades and a master of nearly all of them. She was an exemplary nurse, a natural leader, a phenomenal cook, a basketball player, a talented piano player, and a doting wife, mother, and Nana. She had a firm understanding of what was important when it came to her family, and the answer was always love.
In departing from this world far too soon, Mary left her legacy as a gift to all of us still earthside. “Life isn’t perfect, love doesn’t care.” In navigating moments of joy, uncertainty, pain, or triumph, we can look to the incredible examples Mary set. Her career was marked by passion and tenacity. She was an unwavering advocate on behalf of her nurses and patients. She was known to shout when Baylor Women’s Basketball was on the television. She called both her dogs ‘Boo-Boo.’ She loved her family deeply and unconditionally. To have known her was to love her, and to have loved her is a joy we'll forever be thankful for.
Join the family and friends of Mary Elizabeth Stowe by making a gift in her memory to help establish the Mary Elizabeth Stowe Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund in Nursing.
The family of Mary Elizabeth Stowe will be notified of all donors who help to support this fund in her memory.