Mary Louise (Mary Lou) Enockson
March 25, 1943 – January, 6, 2021
Mary Lou was born on March 25, 1943 to Emil Joseph and Nadine Elizabeth (Storm) Blum at St. Bernadine Hospital in San Bernardino, CA. She enjoyed a childhood in the mountains, being raised in Wrightwood, CA. She attended a three-room school house until eighth grade. When the high school years rolled around, Mary Lou was bussed one hour each way to Victor Valley High School (Jackrabbits) in Victorville.
While growing up in Wrightwood, Mary Lou became a horse enthusiast. She was pleased to be able to pass this passion on to her granddaughter, Emma. Her first horse was Pawnee and her second was Cimarron. She moved them each year to Apple Valley during the Wrightwood winter.
After graduation from Victor Valley High School in 1961, Mary Lou moved to Manhattan Beach to live with her brother Richard, his wife Barbara and her beloved niece Lorraine and nephew Eric. She briefly attended UCLA, then El Camino and eventually CSULB. She graduated in 1966, becoming the first member of her family to earn a college degree. She earned her Bachelor's degree and a Lifetime Teaching Credential from the State of California.
In 1964, she met the love of her life, Leif Enockson, at a Pi Kappa Alpha party in El Segundo. Leif graduated in 1966 from the USC School of Pharmacy and was inducted into the U.S. Army in December 1967. They maintained a long-distance relationship until they were married on December 29, 1968 with the wedding officiated by one of Leif's fraternity brothers, Rev. Warren Nyback. Warren also conducted the marriage of their daughter, Gretchen, to Richard Janson in 1998. After their wedding, Leif flew back to Fort Knox, Kentucky and Mary Lou soon followed. The Army then ordered Leif to Korea in May of 1968. For their first anniversary, Mary Lou flew to Tokyo for Christmas and the New Year and Leif flew from Seoul to meet her. They stayed at the Tokyo Hilton and took the Bullet Train to Kyoto. Mary Lou then accompanied Leif back to Seoul, In-Chon and ASCOM City for a week. She then returned back to Hawthorne to be close to Leif's parents for the remainder of his tour.
In 1970, Mary Lou and Leif bought a home in the tree section of Manhattan Beach and have lived there since that time meeting new neighbors and watching the neighborhood transform. They raised their two children in this same home.
Mary Lou jumped into her career as a teacher first with the Compton and Lennox School Districts. She then took a hiatus from teaching to raise her children. She returned to teaching in 1983 with the Hawthorne School District where she was loved by students and staff. She retired in 2001 to become a full-time grandma, but also continued supporting students part time at the Sylvan Learning Center and St. Joseph School in Hawthorne as a reading specialist.
Mary Lou dearly loved her children, Carl Erik and Gretchen Louise. She devoted much of her life to them and developed lifelong friendships with
other Manhattan Beach parents. While she loved her kids, she was an even more devoted "Grammy" to Emma Louise, Matthew Allen and William
Enockson Janson. She was a fixture at their dance recitals, sporting events, drama productions, rowing meets, and the annual MBUSD Scholar Quiz events. She was beloved by all and considered "Grandma" to many of their friends, teachers, neighbors and extended families. Mary Lou and Leif also made it a priority to travel with their grandchildren, taking them on a trip to a dude ranch or on a cruise every year, sometimes both. These family vacations have provided endless stories and memories.
Mary Lou became a rabid USC Trojan fan. She and Leif attended football, basketball, baseball, volleyball and track and field events. They regularly traveled with friends to San Francisco, South Bend and even Hawaii to follow their beloved Trojans. What Mary Lou most enjoyed at USC was watching her son graduate and also perform with the USC Marching Band (on the tuba) for four years. She was also very pleased to witness the graduation of her daughter from USC with her Ed.D degree in 2013.
In the last eight years, Mary Lou and Leif became members of the Journey of Faith Church in Manhattan Beach. She and Leif both enjoyed the spiritual boost that Journey has given them. Mary Lou belonged to a weekly bible study group and the thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie and spirituality she experienced with that group.
Leif will miss her lively talk, natural laugh, love and the companionship she provided to their marriage for over 53 years. The same can be said for her daughter and grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Richard Blum and Christopher Blum, and her son Erik Enockson. Mary Lou is survived by her loving husband, Leif, daughter Gretchen (Rich) and grandchildren Emma, Matt, and Will. She is also survived by innumerable friends.
Due to the current medical conditions in our state, a celebration of Mary Lou's life will be planned at a later date. For now, we invite people to join an online tribute to Mary Lou at https://www.forevermissed.com/mary-lou-enockson.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Humane Society of Yuma, AZ.