Born in Mankato, Minnesota on Jan. 6, 1951, Mari and her family moved to California at the age of 2, settling in Playa del Rey. She attended grammar school at Saint Anastasia before continuing on to St. Bernard where she graduated in 1969. In high school Mari was a stunning beauty with wicked dance moves and a sharp wit. She would go on to attend Cal State Long Beach.
Mari had the courage of conviction that was rare for a woman so young, and in an era that was not welcoming to single mothers she made the choice to raise her son with love and dignity. Mari's career was varied and included jobs at ITEL, Mrs. Fields, Mattel and State Farm.
Mari, always a compassionate friend, was the first at your door when you were sick, arriving with cards, flowers and a 3-course meal. She was a fantastic cook in her "One Butt Kitchen". If you needed a ride, anywhere, she was there to take you, offering before you even had to ask. She was an animal lover, and in that capacity spent the last 2 decades of her life rescuing dogs considered too fragile for adoption.
In 1984 she fell in love with a rugby player who could match her dry humor and sense of adventure and settled with him in Manhattan Beach for the next 37 years. They eloped to Catalina with their two children, honeymooned in Australia, and traveled the world for rugby trips, visiting international rugby friends along the way. They took numerous cross-country "roadies" along with their dogs, thinking nothing of driving from Calif. to Mass. and then down to Fla. and back home.
Mari is survived by her beloved husband Wally Shaw, her son Greg, her daughter Lyndi and her granddaughter Nalani. A memorial mass will be held at the Manhattan Beach American Martyrs church on Monday, November 22, 2021 at 10:30am; followed by a burial at Pacific Crest Cemetery at 12pm; concluding with a 1pm reception at Shade Hotel. All who knew and loved her are welcome!