Mary Ann McNamee passed away peacefully at her home in Pacific Palisades on December 30, 2018.
Born in the Big Sky Country of Butte, Montana, on April 23, 1933, as a young girl Mary Ann was nicknamed Suzy after the black-eyed Susan wildflower because of her beautiful dark eyes. Later in life the Montana girl became known as Grandma Suz to her family.
She first visited Southern California to march in the 1948 Rose Parade with the Butte High School marching band, and Los Angeles became her home for most of her life as she built a career and raised a family. She earned a BA from Scripps College in Claremont, California, and a MA in education from UCLA.
Mary Ann taught reading at Corpus Christi School in Pacific Palisades, and toward the end of her career became vice principal at the school in a career that spanned over four decades. She loved teaching, and nothing made her happier than seeing a child reading and enjoying the written word.
While in college, Mary Ann met Larry McNamee, who predeceased her by 30 days, and they were married in 1956. They lived in Claremont and Las Vegas, Nevada, before settling in the Palisades in 1962, where they recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary.
True to her Montanan upbringing, Mary Ann could clean a fish, giddyup a horse, hoist a sail and turn huckleberries into a delicious pie, not to mention tap dance and tickle the ivories when she pleased. She loved to travel and especially enjoyed visiting the Holy Land with her fellow Corpus Christi parishioners.
She and Larry adored their children, grandchildren and extended family, and spent nearly every summer throughout their lives with them at their Montana cabin at Moose Lake. Books sustained her soul, and she cherished nothing more than a quiet afternoon at the lake, a good book in hand and a warm sun at her back.
Mary Ann was preceded in death by her husband Larry, her parents Charles and Ann Youlden, and her brothers Charles and Tom. She is survived by her three children, Lawrence McNamee of Malibu, Catherine McNamee Miller of Napa and John McNamee of Pacific Palisades; daughter-in-law Patti McNamee and granddaughter Leanne and grandson Kevin; son-in-law Chris Miller and granddaughters Annabelle and Reilly; and daughter-in-law Jody McNamee and grandsons Jack and Joe.
Mary Ann was strong willed, loyal and forever compassionate. She loved a good joke, rooted on the underdog, gave out big hugs and prized her time with family and friends above all.
Godspeed Grandma Suz, we will miss the flash of those beautiful Montana brown eyes.
A memorial mass for Mary Ann and Larry will be held Friday, February 1, at Corpus Christi Church in Pacific Palisades at 1 p.m.