Mary Gay Springer
February 19, 1945 – June 4, 2020
Mary Gay Springer passed away peacefully and surrounded by family at Tacoma General Hospital on Thursday, June 4th. Gay, also known as “Ginger” to some, was born in Moscow, ID on 19 February 1945 to James G. Springer and Mary E. Harland Springer. She is survived by her three children; Willie, Christine, and Desta, four grandchildren; Vanessa, Shanice, Danielle, and Amaya, three great grandchildren; Imoni, Elijah, and Trenton, her only sister; Sherry Rae and only niece; Emily.
Gay mastered several occupations but sewing was her passion. She was a self-taught custom seamstress and tailor that learned how to sew at age 10 with her grandmother. She later translated her design skills in engineering into a full-time fashion business in Spokane in 1985. She did custom work for many small boutiques, Nordstrom, private clients and friends and family that were lucky enough to have her as their personal seamstress. Sewing became part time work when Boeing came to Spokane, but she never stopped sewing.
Retiring from Boeing and relocating to Tacoma to be closer to her children, Gay became active in many neighborhood activities and initiatives. She served on several local boards and advisory groups and was responsible for the “Welcome to Hilltop” signs you see as you enter the Hilltop neighborhood. She was proud of her ability to assist in obtaining funding for The Peoples Community Swimming Pool that reopened in 2016 and to donate her time and materials to other local projects and organizations like Ali’s Prom Project that provides prom dresses to teens without financial resources to do so on their own.
Besides her family, Gay loved vintage designer fashion, antiques, rhythm & blues, Marlena Dietrich, and “Ginger” Rogers.
A celebration of life for close friends and family will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Gay to any of these organizations:
People’s Pool (Metro Parks Tacoma) https://www.metroparkstacoma.org/about/support-us/
Color of Change for Racial Justice https://colorofchange.org/
Ali’s Prom Project https://www.alispromproject.org/