Mary Jean was born in Minnesota in 1934 and attended the Hackensack School District for 8 years. She mover to Mullan, ID and graduated from Mullan in 1952 as Salutatorian. She attended Bemidji State College from 1952-1956 and graduated with honors with a BS in Physical Education.
A dedicated teacher and coach for thirty-two years, she was instrumental in the establishment of girls' athletics in northern Idaho. Mary Jean spent most of her career in Kellogg, teaching physical education at both the junior high and high school where she started the girls track, volleyball and basketball programs. In sixteen years of coaching track, her teams won sixty dual meets, twelve invitational meets, six district titles and the 1985 state championship.
Among Mary Jean's notable accomplishments were beginning the Girls Athletic Association (GAA) in 1962 and developing the school district's elementary physical education program in 1972. She also dedicated many years to Kellogg's drill team, pep club and cheerleading programs.
Dedicated to the advancement of her profession, she was a member of the District I Board of Control for sixteen years, held leadership positions in the Women's Coaches Association and served as vice-president of the District I Coaches Association for one year and was president for six years.
Mary Jean has been recognized for both her coaching expertise and service to area schools. She was named District I Girls Track Coach of the Year two times and the State Girls Track Coach of the Year in 1985. She also received the District I Distinguished Service award in 1993. Her husband George passed away in 1995 and she has three children and four grandchildren.