She extracted the maximum out of life. Up at 5 in the morning, reading, traveling, debating current events, going to the movies. As Scott Wahlstrom said about his mother, Mary Alice Wahlstrom, "She was a ball of fire."
She was 78.
"She could have lived another 25 years," he said. "I have no doubt about it."
Mrs. Wahlstrom, a retired loan officer, lived in Kaysville, Utah, with her husband, Norman. She loved to travel, but had been reluctant to leave home because he was recovering from a heart attack. Still, she had gone with her daughter, Carolyn Beug, to help settle Mrs. Beug's twin daughters into the Rhode Island School of Design. Mrs. Wahlstrom and Mrs. Beug were returning to Los Angeles, where Mrs. Beug lived, via American Airlines Flight 11.
The energized matriarch of a family of five children and 16 grandchildren, Mrs. Wahlstrom subscribed to about 20 magazines. She read books that she then sent off to her children, and still occasionally played golf. She might never have broken 100, but she did score two holes in one.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 31, 2001.