The world lost a smart, kind, and funny lady recently. Mardine Faye Powell, Scotts Valley resident and former Hawthorne resident, passed away peacefully in her apartment, on December 5, 2021. Born March 3, 1926 in Sutherland, Nebraska, to Harold and Alice Widner, Mardine and family moved to the small town of Lewellen, Nebraska, when she was 6. Her father 'Buck' worked there in a small grocery store, and not long after, bought the store from the owner. Mardine worked in the store along with her parents throughout her childhood and teen years, after school. After her high school graduation, she attended business college in Lincoln, NE. She met a handsome Marine on the bus back home, Donald Powell, and eloped and married him on October 3, 1946. While Don and his father-in-law Buck (Navy man) were overseas in WWII, Mardine and her mother Alice 'minded the store'. This meant, besides the day-to-day business duties, that both women became proficient at hauling and butchering large sides of beef and pork. When the war ended and the men returned, Don worked in the store alongside Mardine, Alice, and Buck for the next several years, until he relocated the family (with daughters now 9 and 4 years old), to Southern California to take a mechanics job with Continental Airlines. The family settled in Hawthorne, where Mardine was a 'stay-at-home Mom' for many years. She was a meticulous housekeeper, a good cook, and an even better baker. She was a constant volunteer at her daughters' school, and always had chocolate chip cookies or Snickerdoodles on hand in case someone dropped in. Mardine was left a young widow when her husband Don died in 1976 at the age of 50, after fighting cancer for over a year, Not long after, Mardine secured an office job at Continental. After 10 years, and at the age of 60, she began working at the City of Torrance, on the Recreation Desk, and stayed there until she moved north to the Santa Cruz area to be closer to family. Those who knew Mardine will remember her great sense of humor; she loved to joke with her friends. She loved all dogs, and especially her constant companion and best friend 'Muffin', rescued 13 years ago. Her other best friend was chocolate, which she always kept handy. She didn't care for wine, but instead preferred a little bourbon and water cocktail (preferably Wild Turkey) at social get-togethers. Mardine is survived by her daughter Diane Shaver (Ron); preceded in death by her daughter Susan Beckman (Ron) and sister Alice Roberson; survived by grandsons Jeff Shaver (Sabrina); Todd Shaver; great-grandson Jeffrey Shaver; great-granddaughter Kelsey Shaver; nieces Mary Durand, Lynda Green, and Jeannie Greenwood (Dennis); nephew Pete Roberson (Jodi); and her beloved dog Muffin, aka Ragamuffin. A private service will be held in the Spring in Santa Cruz, with immediate family. Her ashes will be scattered at sea, to join her husband and daughter. Donations may be sent to Hospice of Santa Cruz; 940 Disc Dr, Scotts Valley, CA 95066.
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My mother, Katie Palmer, and Mardene were very close friends. They were neighbors on Doty Ave. in Hawthorne.When my parents moved to Vista, Ca., my mom would come up and visit Mardene once a month. I remember going with my mom a few times to visit, and the extra treat was getting to know Mardene's mother, Alice. My mother passed away in 2013,but the first person I wanted to tell and share memories with of Mardene her. Diane, I was so sorry to hear about you Mom. Condolences to you and your family. Love Patti.
January 10, 2022
My deepest condolences to Mardine's Family. When Mardine worked for the City of Torrance Community Services Department in the Registration Office, she always lite up the room. She was extremely good in helping our Torrance residents get registered into their favorite recreation activity and loved working with all her customers. She was so kind and loving and had a very a great sense of humor. I really loved chatting with her about her turtles and just chatting about the fun times she had with her family. We really missed Mardine's when she moved up north, but have not forgotten the time she shared with us. A huge "Thank You" to Mardine's Family for sharing her with us for so many years. Our prayers and thoughts are with you at this time.
Retired Community Services Director
City of Torrance