Mary Cleary, 74; Wife of President of Cal State Northridge

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Mary A. Cleary, 74, the wife of James W. Cleary, president emeritus of Cal State Northridge, died April 24 in Boise, Idaho, after a lengthy battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

A native of Milwaukee, Cleary earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Marquette University and taught primary school in the Milwaukee public school system. She married Cleary in 1950, and they raised three daughters.

During her husband’s 23-year tenure at CSUN, Mary Cleary acted as the school’s official hostess and once estimated that she had entertained about 28,000 of her husband’s college-connected guests at the couple’s Chatsworth home.

In 1984, the University Women’s Club honored her leadership role by initiating the Mary Cleary Scholarship to benefit international students.


James Cleary retired in 1992, and the couple moved to Boise to be near their daughters and grandchildren.