Long time Manhattan Beach resident, Mary Lou Thomasson passed away peacefully in her home on June 17, 2013 at the age of 86. A California native, she was born and grew up in the San Fernando Valley where she lived with her parents John and Mary and sister Susan.
She graduated with a degree in Chemistry from UCLA in 1948. While at UCLA, she met her husband, Jim, across a lab table in a Chemistry class. They were married for 44 years. A few years and a few kids later they moved to Manhattan Beach, where Mary Lou spent endless hours involved in school PTAs, Girl Scouts, Indian Guides, American Association of University Women, and St. Cross Church. In 1972, Mary Lou and Jim opened Hostelhaus Bike and Hike Shop where she was the heart of the well-known South Bay business for 10 years.
After retirement, the couple traveled the world in search of the "perfect beach." They discovered the quaint beach town of Tulum, Mexico, where the crystal blue water, secluded white sand beaches and lovely tropical atmosphere inspired them to build a
family beach house. After this decision, Jim lost his battle with lung cancer, but Mary Lou continued to build their dream home. The Tulum beach house has been a haven for Thomasson family and friends over the last 20 years, Mary Lou's most recent visit
being in 2010.
Mary Lou had a vivacious spirit and determination to enjoy her life with family and in the beauty of nature. Mary Lou was "Nana" to more than her children and grandchildren, always generous with her time, knowledge, and creative spirit. She was nurturing, caring and showed kindness to everyone she met. "Nana" was especially devoted to her six grandchildren, and spent countless hours with them all - taking them to the beach, reading, knitting, sewing, baking, gardening, camping, volunteering in their classrooms, and attending every pageant, concert, performance and sports event that she possibly could. Her positive attitude and boundless energy will be greatly missed.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Jim, and sister, Susan, and survived by her three children and six grandchildren: daughter Stephanie Graverson, her husband Brad, and their daughter Emilee of Manhattan Beach; daughter Robin Phillips, her husband Mark, and children Cory and Evan, of Lafayette, Colorado; son Chris Thomasson and his wife Tracey, and children Riley, Zachary, and Lindsay of Manhattan Beach.
In lieu of flowers, donate or generously give your time to your favorite charity.
Published in The Beach Reporter on July 11, 2013