Our dear friend, fellow author, and NIWA member Meg Justus left us peacefully today Nov. 22, 2017 at 11:00 am PST.
Meg (Mary Margaret) Justus
Death: Nov 22, 2017
Service: No service. Ashes to be scattered privately at Sunrise on Mt. Rainier to fertilize the wildflowers.
Meg died from metastatic cancer in Lacey, Washington.
Meg was born the caboose (much younger than her siblings) of four girls in New Orleans, Louisiana. She grew up in suburban Los Angeles, Denver, and the California Bay Area. As an adult she also lived in Oregon, Indiana, Ohio, and Montana before finally landing in Washington state at age 34.
Meg graduated cum laude with a degree in British and American literature and history from Ohio University in 1990, then completed a master’s degree in library science at Indiana University in 1991. Later in life she also completed a certificate in museum studies from the University of Washington.
Meg held many jobs pre-library school, from music school secretary to hog farm bookkeeper. A volunteer position at the her local library eventually led to library school, and she worked as a librarian for fourteen years, when she switched to museum curation for five years.
But Meg’s true passions were writing and travel. She published a number of books under the moniker M.M. Justus. She liked to say what she wrote was 90% history and 10% fantasy, set in the Old West. Due to her background she was a stickler about getting the history right, and her books were set in places she’d traveled to herself. Her travels included two long trips of multiple months each; the first was documented in the travel memoir Cross-Country.
She liked to call herself a professional dilettante. Her other passions included quilting and other needlework, gardening, meteorology, and wild plant identification, especially wildflowers.
Meg is survived by her three older sisters, Susan Moore, Nancy Nowell, and Ann Mattas, her best friend of 52 years Jan Hanken, who was the sister she should have had, and more wonderful friends than she ever expected to make.
If you wish, please send a donation to the Yellowstone or Mt. Rainier Foundations or any organization working towards the survival of wildflowers
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I am fascinated by the possibilities of what if. The memories of place that some people call ghosts, the möbius effect of time travel. You won't find vampires or werewolves in my books, I'm afraid. Or horror. I am more interested in the potential effects of the fantastic on normal folks, and in inserting it into well-researched historical events, populated mostly by people who really lived.
I'm also an avid student of the road, and Cross-Country will not be my last travel adventure book.
~M. M. Justus