It is with great sadness that we share the news that our WIDC colleague and friend, Michelle (Mickey) Mamchur has left us far too soon.
Over the past 24 months Mickey made stellar comebacks defying the odds battling disease caused by a missing chromosome and the damage it did to her organs. After many trips in and out of the hospital, on January 16, 2021 Mickey passed away at home in the arms of her devoted mother Dr. Carolyn Mamchur. She was also surrounded by adoring friends including the birds and animals who Mickey cared for so lovingly.
Never one to seek the spotlight, few may have realized the important role Mickey played as part of the Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) program instructional team. For nearly twenty years, Mickey was a steady fixture at the WIDC Story Incubation Module in Banff and later the Story & Leadership program in Vancouver. As Carolyn’s assistant (Mickey would often introduce herself as “Carolyn’s Wrangler”), Mickey took her job very seriously. She scored all our MBTI profiles, read the directors’ scripts and discussed them with Carolyn, offering her assessments as to the characters’ Types.
While attending WIDC sessions with Carolyn, Mickey would quietly listen to the day’s proceedings, then during coffee and lunch breaks or after-workshop gatherings, Mickey would unobtrusively chat with directors and fellow mentors, explaining nuances of the MBTI and building collegial relationships. Mickey would remember the details of each person’s story which made each person feel special to her. These were important and influential conversations that inspired and modeled kindness. Mickey had a way of making people feel safe and un-judged in her presence.
Mickey was not only a colleague, she was also a kindred spirit who felt much like a sister. A beautiful soul, compassionate, funny and infinitely loving, Mickey was simply a joy to be around. Her very existence in the world was a masterful study in gratitude, grace and resilience.
Together, Carolyn and Mickey created a sanctuary for all kinds of animals and birds on their ‘Magic Horse Farm’ in Pitt Meadows. Mickey’s gentle ways brought ducks and chickens back from the brink. A favorite chicken she cared for would often lay her eggs in Mickey’s arms. Hummingbirds would land in her hands. Among friends, Mickey became known as the “Duck Whisperer”.
To honor Mickey, Carolyn has asked that we take some personal action or make a donation towards the care and support of animals and birds.
Condolence messages may be posted to Carolyn’s Facebook account where Carolyn has shared this original poem.
A soft breeze blew
the open window
of her room.
A sacred flame
The world will
as bright or as beautiful
If you not a Facebook user, you can reach Carolyn through her web site (https://www.magichorsegarden.com) or at Carolyn_mamchur@sfu.ca. More news about a tribute web site for Mickey will be shared at a later time.
With heartfelt sympathy to Carolyn, family and friends, from WIDC.