Mary Anne Nagy

About Me

Artist Bio        Resume

My very first memories of loving art herald back to my elementary school days and  Mrs. Gowing’s weekly art classes at the community center in Midland Michigan.  She often encouraged us to do renditions of subjects that were meaningful to us and consequently my dear albino bunny friend Dolly became the topic of many “masterpieces” as did Apache the horse and Puffy the cat.

A number of years after receiving a degree in art from the University of San Diego, my original love of doing animal inspired art resurfaced. My Pause for Animals series of bright acrylic animal paintings was born shortly before we (husband Bill, and daughters Anna Beth and Mary Lee) uprooted from the Midwest and moved to Seattle in 1996.

The paintings always begin with a well defined concept.  I pretty much “see” what I want to do before it gets translated onto paper or canvas.  I focus intently, experimenting and crafting with a strong emphasis on color and design until I’m satisfied that the piece works.  In Pause for Animals a bright sense of whimsy is often married to an aura of mystery and wonder: “Funny. Scary. Like us, not like us—who are these furry, scaled and feathered ones who also inhabit this fragile planet?”

This group of paintings is part of the ongoing dream I have to combine my delight in painting animals with my longstanding interest in issues of animal advocacy and compassion.  It is done with a prayer that we humans gain a greater love and respect for the strange, unique and wonderful found in them and work to translate that into making this a better world for all.


Mary Anne Nagy, 75, passed away peacefully in her sleep, at home with family, on February 4, 2024.

Mary Anne was born on November 2, 1948, to William and Anna Guisewite in Dayton, Ohio. She grew up in Midland, Michigan and did most of her undergraduate study at Michigan State University with a major in Art and minor in English. She received her BA in Art from the University of San Diego. Her art has appeared in many one-person shows as well as many group shows and has been donated to many organizations for animal rights fundraising events. Art fair goers gravitated to Mary Anne’s bright and brilliant collection of work and purchased many of her beautifully designed original paintings and prints. Her website,, will continue to offer her joyful, inspiring work on prints and greeting cards.

Mary Anne Nagy was a force of love, hope and light. It beamed out of her in person, it poured out of her into her paintings. She uplifted all who knew her with her deep faith, her radiant spirit, her joyful sense of play, her giant, generous heart.

She went through life with that great big heart wide open, always looking for those who needed help. She was a magnificent artist, utterly devoted to using her talent to uplift others. Mary Anne’s passion for animals led her to create a spectacular series of paintings called Pause for Animals to raise compassion, awareness and support for animals who can’t speak for themselves. She donated many animal paintings and prints to clinics in children’s hospitals that will continue to bring joy and comfort to young patients in environments so often associated with anxiety and fear.

Her passion for the less fortunate led her to create art programs for teens living on the street. She volunteered thousands of hours teaching art to at-risk youth in community programs. She brought art supplies and her happy teaching energy to inspire comfort and creative expression for exhausted homeless women and their children living in shelters.

Mary Anne rescued strangers from fear and loneliness. She nurtured people’s hope back to life. She saved every living thing she could, including the spiders she gently escorted out of the house in her hand. She radiated a faith in God so deep it made everyone feel safer in her presence.

At home, Mary Anne was the heart and soul of her family. She met the love of her life, Bill, in college and celebrated their 53rd anniversary with him last year. Together they travelled, hiked, and held hands on a lifelong journey into their Christian faith. They started their family in Urbana, IL, and eventually settled in Seattle, WA, where Bill was a professor at Seattle Pacific University and Mary Anne made a name for herself in the art and nonprofit world.

They raised their two beloved daughters, Anna and Lee, in a house filled with love, creativity, music, prayer and fun. Mary Anne was a gentle nurturer, a compassionate listener, a great orchestrater of family events, a beautiful dancer, and a rock-solid support system for the dreams of her children and husband. She led adventures into nature and inspired a love of the outdoors. She led her family to worship and inspired a love of Jesus and lives devoted to being of service to others. She wrapped her arms around a community of friends and made them a great big extension of the family.

Mary Anne’s devotion to the rest of her family - her parents, grandparents, in-laws, sisters, nieces, nephew, aunt, uncle, and cousins - helped everyone stay more connected and grateful for each other. Her love of family helped us all love each other more.

Over the last few years, Alzheimer’s took Mary Anne’s ability to speak, sing, paint, walk or move. Eventually, she could no longer move any muscle in her body. In the most touching example of her irrepressible spirit, the one and only thing she could still do toward the end of life was smile. Even completely paralyzed, she smiled.

Mary Anne was able to spend the last few years of life at home because of the unwavering devotion and around the clock caregiving of Bill and Anna, both of whom put their careers on hold to keep Mary Anne safe, comfortable, and surrounded with love. They kept Mary Anne’s hospital bed in the living room where she continued to be the center of the family. They played music and sang to her and because she was bedridden, covered the ceiling with photos of animals and Bible verses so her eyes could always focus on something happy and inspirational. They enlisted the most loving caregivers to help see her through each stage of her disease. As much as possible, Bill and Anna made sure someone was always holding Mary Anne’s hand.

Mary Anne is survived by her husband, Dr. William Nagy, daughters Anna Nagy and Lee Aragon, son-in-law Ernesto Aragon, granddaughter, Aviya Aragon, mother Anna Guisewite, sisters Cathy and Mickey Guisewite and a wide circle of extended family and friends who will miss her deeply.

A memorial service and celebration of life will held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Philadelphia Church in Seattle. In lieu of flowers, and in honor of Mary Anne’s love of animals, donations can be made to Pigs Peace Sanctuary at