Birthdate: March 29, 1948 URS August 3, 2005
Point Reyes Light – August 18, 2005
Artist, healer Sita Lucille Mulligan of Point Reyes dies at 57
Point Reyes Station resident Sita Mulligan, 57, an artist,
environmentalist and spiritual healer, died at home Wednesday, Aug. 3,
of complications from cancer. After being diagnosed with an aggressive
advanced-stage cancer more than 18 months ago, Ms. Mulligan sidestepped
conventional radiation and chemotherapy treatments in favor of herbal
and dietary therapies.
A West Marin artist best known for her landscapes, she was active in
both the Marin and Sonoma County resource conservation districts. She
was an initiate of three Sufi orders and an ordained Christian
minister. Ms. Mulligan supported herself working as an accountant.
Born on March 29, 1948, in Ardsley-on-Hudson, Westchester County, New
York, she was christened Lucille and took the name Sita later in life.
Her father, William Mulligan, was a prominent attorney. Her mother,
Mary McGookey Mulligan, worked as a registered nurse in New York City,
and was an early organizer of nurses’ unions. As Ms. Mulligan told
friends, she came from a long line of nurses and was distantly related
to Florence Nightingale, the famed mother of modern nursing.
This week friend Rose Rutman wrote, “Sita was a brilliant and graceful
young girl, gifted in the graphic arts, dance and music.” She attended
a private girls’ school and came out as a debutante in Manhattan
A spirited and spiritual artist
As a teenager Ms. Mulligan began her artistic training under Richard
Speier, a colleague of Willem de Kooning. On Ms. Mulligan’s website,
, she noted, “Mr. Speier’s emphasis on the
importance of light and dark values created an invaluable foundation
for [my] work.”
Ms. Mulligan attended Bryn Mawr College and in the 1960s moved to San
Francisco, where she turned her attention to the practices of
meditation, Sufi mysticism, and spiritual music. She entered a 20-year
discipleship with Pandit Pran Nath, a vocal master of classical raga.
In the mid-70s she lived for a time in India.
For a decade starting in the mid-80s Ms. Mulligan studied natural
She eventually moved to Woodacre and on her 50th birthday took a
painting class with local landscape painter Connie Smith Siegel, who
would become her mentor.
Noted longtime friend Benefsha Guest of San Francisco, “Sita was a
woman who was clear about who she was and what she believed.”