Mary E. Fairhurst

Courtesy photo

OLYMPIA — Following Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Fairhurst’s announcement that she would be retiring from the bench in January after being re-diagnosed with colon cancer, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman released the following statement:

“I am deeply saddened by Justice Fairhurst’s announcement to retire from the Court. Over her extensive legal career, she has served with integrity, grit, and a grace her peers and many leaders – both past and present – admire. It’s fitting that we chose to honor her in Legacy Washington’s ‘Ahead of the Curve’ exhibit, which highlights remarkable women who have made a lasting impact on our state.

“Aside from her impressive professional résumé, she has served as an inspiration to countless cancer survivors like me. When I was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2017, Mary shared something I will never forget: ‘Having cancer isn’t a battle, it’s a journey. It’s a journey no one wants to be on, but it’s an unexpected path in life you have the opportunity to experience.’ Her fortitude gave me the courage and strength to endure my journey, and provided a sense of calm during a very difficult time in my life.

“I support Mary as she takes this time to refocus on her health, family and friends. No matter what life has thrown her way, I have always known her to live life to the fullest. I anticipate she will continue to do just that upon retirement.” 

Fairhurst, 62, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and again in 2011. After undergoing treatments, she was cancer-free for five years before being diagnosed with stage four colon cancer this January.

Legacy’s Washington’s “Ahead of the Curve” exhibit, which features Fairhurst, is currently on display in the Secretary of State’s Office in the Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia.

Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.

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