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Old Salt Lake | Virtual Museum

Exhibit 50

[ Page updated: August 3, 2021 ]

Redondo Beach Stones, Mary Barrett

This exhibit features a 2011 photograph by Galen Hunter (Figure 1) of the contents of a small box, previously unaccounted for, found at that time in the Redondo Beach Historical Museum. The box contained beach stones and two handwritten notes. One of the notes read "Redondo Beach Stones Collected in the 1930 - 40's, Mary Barrett". This was one of the few existing intact collections with some provenance of stones from the original pebble beach at Redondo. The beach was destroyed by the city and the small box containing evidence of the existence of the beach has also since disappeared -- its contents placed in a chaotic jumble with miscellaneous unidentified stones and objects in a display case at the so-called museum.

It may be possible to reconstruct Mary Barrett's collection using the 2011 photograph and relocate the Redondo Beach Stones to a place, perhaps the display case at the Redondo Beach Main Public Library, where people have an opportunity to appreciate it's beauty.

[Figure 1]

[Figure 2 - Photograph of Mary Barrett]

The above photograph and the following obituary text about Mary Barrett was obtained from this McCormick and Son Mortuaries webpage:

"Mary Agnes Barrett passed away of natural causes at her home in Mission Viejo, CA on Sunday, July 29, 2018. She was 92 years old.

Mary led a life full of adventures and wonderful experiences. She was born on December 6, 1925 in the small town of Ihlen, Minnesota. Her parents were Anthony and Lucille Barrett. Mary was the third born in a family of four sisters, Ellen, Margaret, and Theresa (Sister Margaret). She spent her youngest years in Watertown, South Dakota and moved to Redondo Beach, California in her teen years.

Mary obtained a teaching degree and taught elementary school for 30 years in Torrance, California. She went on to become the president of the Teachers Association of Torrance. She was a favorite teacher to many of her students. Mary earned the privilege of being an exchange teacher three different school years and taught in England, Scotland and Canada, these opportunities were very special to her.

After an early retirement Mary traveled extensively. She visited almost every continent including many trips to Ireland to spend time with family. Mary formed life-long friendships with people she met during her travels, she was friendly, interesting and interested in others.

Mary was one of the founding members of the South Bay Lapidary and Mineral Society in 1948, which is still active today. Among her other hobbies were bowling, stamp collecting, making jewelry, embroidering, reading, and visiting Las Vegas for a few rounds on the slot machines!

Mary was an active member of St. Catherine’s Church in Torrance before moving to Mission Viejo and becoming a parishioner at St. Kilian’s.

Family and friends were everything to Mary. For over 50 years she had a best friend, Frances, who shared many adventures with her. Mary cared for both her parents in their final years and was an exceptional daughter, sister, aunt and friend.

In last few years of life Mary didn’t suffer an “ache or a pain” and was laughing and enjoying life right up to the end, she also kept us laughing.

She is survived by her sister, Sister Margaret, her nieces Barbara and Therese Legere and her nephew David Legere. She was also a great aunt to Dave, Danielle, Keven and Ryan; and a great-great aunt to Wyatt, Alexa, Liara and Landon.

We love you, Aunt Mary! You will forever be in our hearts and memories.

On Friday, August 4th, Mary will be laid to rest in a private ceremony at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity in her name.

Please join us in remembering Mary. Through this site, we invite you to share your thoughts and fond memories with our family."

End Notes:

There is a "Tribute Wall" for Mary Barrett on the McCormick and Son Mortuaries webpages. A couple of years ago, one of the people who left a tribute to Mary was contacted by telephone and kindly confirmed with a number of reasons discussed and specifically stated that if there was a box of beach stones in the Redondo Beach Historical Museum with a note saying Mary Barrett, that was this Mary Barrett.