Former NBC News DC Staffer Dies

By Chris Ariens Comment

Mary Dorman, who colleagues called “a behind-the-scenes force at NBC News in Washington,” died yesterday after a short battle with cancer. Dorman, who worked as assignment desk manager in the bureau for many years, could often been seen in the background of live shots on MSNBC and NBC News.

In a note to the staff, assistant bureau chief Wendy Wilkinson wrote that Dorman, “was making her own final arrangements as late as [Monday], wanting to make sure her funeral was on a Saturday so people would not have to miss work!”

Wilkinson’s memo, after the jump…

From: Wilkinson, Wendy (NBC Universal)
Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 6:44 PM
Subject: Mary Dorman

Many of you are aware our colleague Mary Dorman has been battling cancer for several months. We saw Mary in the Bureau in November at a going away party for one of our colleagues — she looked terrific, was 100% positive about everything she has been doing since her retirement December ’07 — volunteering as a Docent at Mt Vernon, becoming a Master Gardner, even giving advice to customers who came through Smith and Hawkins, and enjoying watching her beloved daughter, Katie Wilmeth, become a young woman and a budding journalist to boot.

And she was forever a news junkie and an avid Economics/CNBC junkie. And we all remember her passion for restoration of old houses. She would plant her bulbs every spring — in fact she planted a lot of bulbs at one of the WRC NBC4 beautification at the Sasha Bruce House a few years ago. Many Desk Assistants turned the corner to become top drawer successful journalists because of Mary’s early “intervention” in work habits. Unfortunately, events took a sudden turn for the worse around the holidays in her battle with cancer.

Today Mary lost her battle, passing away peacefully at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia. She is survived by her daughter, Katie, and her sisters Alice and Nancy as well as many close friends here in the Bureau and outside in the community. Mary was surrounded by her loving sisters, Alice, her daughter, Katie, and wonderful friends. She was making her own final arrangements as late as yesterday, wanting to make sure her funeral was on a Saturday so people would not have to miss work!

We will pass the information forward on funeral arrangements and family wishes as soon as we receive them. Please keep Mary and her family in your thoughts and prayers and remember the passion she brought to her work here every day — we can all take heart from that passion in the moments when we falter a bit in our own.