Maryonda Edmondstone was born on February 26, 1931 in Oakland, California, the only child of George Stovall Edmondstone and Onda Bowen Duck Edmondstone.
The family moved to Seattle when she was 12; through the rest of her life in the Pacific Northwest, California poppies made her homesick. In Seattle, she attended Franklin High School, and the University of Washington, skipping three years ahead in the process. She was the first college graduate in her family.
She went on to the UW Medical School, where she met Allen M. Scher, PhD, and they married in 1952. Maryonda received her M.D. in 1954, when she was 23 – one of only two women in her class. She practiced psychiatry for over 40 years, first at the VA in Seattle, and later at Harborview Medical Center.
She was passionate about her work and spent the majority of her career helping veterans who suffered from schizophrenia, substance abuse, PTSD, or all three. She had a soft spot for men, and for veterans in particular, staunchly maintaining, even as dementia gripped her, that John McCain was cute. Maryonda also taught at the UW medical school, where she was voted Best Teacher of the Year. Maryonda touched many lives as a doctor and mentor. Very small in stature, she was charismatic and forceful.
Her favorite pastime was gardening. Her strong moral compass compelled her to send her children out into the neighborhood on a mission to distribute surplus zucchini (an activity referred to as squash patrol). She could not be beaten at Scrabble. She was an imaginative cook and a strong soprano.
Maryonda died January 31, 2018, after enduring dementia for many of her last years. Her husband Allen predeceased her in 2011. She is survived by her children, Celia Scher Wagner and John Hoagland-Scher, their spouses, and her granddaughters, Anne Marie Wagner, Irene Scher and Hazel Scher, all of whom are indebted to her for making their lives much richer.
Private services will be held by the family. In lieu of flowers, donations in Maryonda’s honor to the University of Washington Medicine Fund, or to Meals on Wheels would be most appreciated.