Mary Alice Mankins

Mary Alice mankins

Mary Alice

Mary Alice Smith Mankins of Halcyon, California, died peacefully at home on November 14, 2015, of natural causes. She was 91. Born in November 1923 to Frank and Florence Smith of Marquette, Michigan, Mary Alice lived a vibrant and full life. Known as Totsie to her Michigan family and friends, she served proudly as a Rosie the Riveter during World War II, and worked as a dance instructor for the Arthur Murray Dance Studios. She earned her teaching credential at Northern Michigan University, Marquette, and relocated to California in 1951 to teach at Arroyo Grande High School. She headed the girl’s P.E. program, served as Dean of Girls, and was administrator for the counseling department. An inspiring, fun, and caring mentor to those serving under her guidance, Ms. Mankins brought creativity and innovation to campus life and student services. She retired from teaching at age 58. M.A. loved the water, travel, and art, painting weekly with her watercolor group until last year, despite vision loss. Most of all, she loved being with people, and was known for large and fun gatherings in her Halcyon home that pulled people together from work, community, and family. Mary Alice is survived by nephews, F. Michael (Allison) Smith of Marquette, Mich.; Warren Smith of Beckley, W.Va.; Daniel Smith (Nga) of Goleta, Calif.; niece, Rebecca (Vern) Barber of Marquette, Mich.; six grand-nieces and -nephews, and one great-grand-niece. She was preceded in death by her brother, Franklin Smith, and his wife, Mary. Services will be held at 2:00pm on Saturday, January 9, at the Temple of the People in Halcyon. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the MA Mankins Memorial Scholarship, c/o P.O. Box 7157, Arroyo Grande, Calif., 93421. Honor Mary Alice by volunteering time and effort to schools and organizations for young people and, in all that you do, remember to kick up your heels and dance!

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