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Robertson set standard for serving community

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The recent death of Mary Mackey Robertson ended a life of outstanding service. Robertson, no matter where she was involved, was all about serving those where she lived.
She was reputed as a trailblazer in education, rising through the ranks to serve in various capacities.
Her dedication to education reached an apex last spring when she was inducted into the Lancaster County School District Hall of Fame.
It was an honor well-deserved as she rose from a teacher to become an effective administrator and school board member. Education and impacting the future were high on her priority list.
Often in her rise to serve in education, Robertson was the first person of her race to achieve a new place in Lancaster County education history.
Robertson was a credit to her race, but she was color blind in helping those along the way as she advanced her career.
Her goal was to make quality education for all, whether it was much-needed air-conditioning at Clinton School or starting a counseling office.
“She had so much talent to give and she knew that somebody had to be a leader,” said Lancaster Mayor Joe Shaw, who for more than 50 years worked with her on numerous community projects.
“She was one of the leaders in the community – not only for African-Americans, but for Caucasians too; she didn’t look at black or white and if she could contribute, she would do it.”
Robertson was just as involved in the community, serving on boards like the Lancaster County Children’s Home, American Red Cross, Catawba Mental Health and the Columbus Parker Track and Girl Scouts.
Robertson was a leader and often made a contribution to a cause through a gifted voice and as a talented writer. She used her blessings to be a blessing to others.
She was also committed to her church, no matter where she was attending, touching the lives of young and old in her own special way.
“We all kind of wanted to pattern after her,” said Polly Jackson, a longtime community volunteer and friend of Robertson. “What was so great about her was she never said ‘no;’ I don’t think she knew the meaning of the word. If you asked her to do something, she’d do it.
“I think there will be a lot of people who will continue to follow in her footsteps; We still play her up at church,” Jackson said. “I’m sure that wherever she is, she’s going to continue to inspire young people in our community.”
Robertson leaves a major void, but also a fine example to follow in the future.
As continuing education from Robertson, we can learn from the way she lived.