Martha Louise Van Liere (nee McRae) passed away peacefully at the age of 97 on 7 November, 2018 at her home in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. She was born on July 1, 1921 in Florala, Alabama, the daughter of Amanuel Thomas (A.T.) McRae and Ina Pearl (Adams) McRae, where she attended elementary and high school. She was also the stepdaughter of Lucile Woodham McRae of Florala, Alabama. In 1942, she received her bachelor's degree from the University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama, with a major in history and a minor in French. Following graduation, she was sworn into the Navy, joining one of the first classes of WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service). She was married in 1944 at the naval station in New Orleans, to Naval Lt. Commander William R. Van Liere, her husband of 61 years, who predeceased her in 2005. She raised her family in Brawley, CA, Oakland, CA and Rancho Palos Verdes, CA where she resided for the past 61 years. While her children were growing up she was active in the local and regional Girl Scouts organization. She served as a docent and tour guide at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for over thirty-five years. Far Eastern arts as well as the Dutch 17th Century Golden Age were her particular interests. In addition to her love of art, she traveled extensively to many parts of the world and remained active in a Southern California WW II Veterans Group. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a grandson, William Garrett Frawley in January, 2016.
She is survived by three daughters, Sherry and husband Robert Frawley, their daughter and son-in-law Meghan and Rigoberto Sagrero; Melissa Van Liere; and Penny and husband Geoffrey Ford, their daughter Emily and son Spencer. In accordance with her wishes, her ashes will be interred at Greenwood Cemetery in Florala, Alabama, her hometown, to which she remained strongly attached. Additionally, a portion of her ashes will be scattered at sea by her family. Arrangements are by Evans Funeral Home of Florala, Alabama and The Neptune Society of San Pedro, California.
Published in The Beach Reporter on Jan. 18, 2019.