Dr. Mary Blomquist, one of the founders of the University of Iringa, has died. The Bega Kwa Bega community has been blessed by her life and legacy. You can read her full obituary here. Friends on both sides of the companionship have shared words about the impact of her life

She was many things, an accomplished leader, mentor, co-founder of the University of Iringa (Tumaini, Iringa), philanthropist, wife, mother, and wonderful friend to so many. Her wit and determination were outmatched only by her generous heart. – The Rev. Lamont Koerner

Mary loved the people of Tanzania. She enjoyed being with them. She listened to their life stories and to this day there are folks in Iringa who ask, “How is Mary?” Mary was respectful of the Tanzanian culture. She observed, she asked questions, she did not judge. She learned that relationships are more important than being on time for a meeting. – The Rev. Gary Langness

It has been a very hard day. Lilian Badi was chairing a University Council meeting when we received the sad news and it was so hard to continue with the meeting. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to meet Mary and Ed last November and it feels like I have known them for years because of the love that they radiate. We give Glory to God for this Wonderful Gift and Wonderful people. – University Vice Chancellor Urio

Mary was a valued leader and friend. When I founded Friends of Huruma in late 2016, I inquired from many about whom I should ask to serve on the advisory board. Everyone recommended Mary, along with Eunice and Don Fultz. Mary brought wisdom, directness, understanding, and long experience to meetings of the advisory board. She also brought a positive and encouraging presence to the meetings, because she cared very much about the children of the Huruma Centre. She saw Friends of Huruma through its first seven years, during which children about whom we had concern and love were able to grow from primary school students into post-secondary students who are now young adults, with ambition and hope and faith. – The Rev. Chris Smith

Receive my hand written condolence toward the passing of one among the important figures, Mary Blomquist, whose life touches the life of so many at University of Iringa and Tanzania at large. To the community of Iringa, Mary Blomquist is among the important people to be remembered by so many people. Together with her husband the late Arnold Blomquist they paid a visit in different villages and parishes, and their footprints in the villages and lives of many will never be forgotten. – Bishop Gaville

I first learned of this Bega Kwa Bega companionship because of an article written by Mary and published in The Lutheran magazine many years ago. She wrote then of a university graduation day, inviting readers to imagine the pride of the Tanzanian parents. I am grateful she was able to return last November to attend another graduation ceremony where Mary was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration as well as the University of Iringa Mount Kilimanjaro Award for “Most Outstanding Contribution as one of the Founders of the University of Iringa.”

With deep gratitude for her life, legacy and leadership,
Kirsten Levorson
Director of Bega Kwa Bega