January 29, 1917 ~ November 5, 2009
Bernice G. McMahon, a resident of the South Bay - Manhattan and Hermosa Beach - since 1952 passed away peacefully at home in the company of friends and family at the age of 92, November 5, 2009. Released to the arms of God and the loving embrace of those preceding her in death including her husband Robert (Bob) J. McMahon 1917-1977.
She is survived by her daughter Alison McMahon Johnson and son-in-law Mark in Dallas, TX; son Robert McMahon, MD and his daughter Natalie McMahon in St Louis, MO.
Next to her children, Bernice was most proud of her nearly 60 years of friendships, loyalties, and accomplishments in the South Bay area.
She taught elementary school in the Wiseburn School District, where she became a substitute teacher in order to allow time for her own family.
She attended Augustana College and St. Ambrose College, and graduated from the University of Iowa, with distinction and Phi Beta Kappa, majoring in Speech. She completed additional coursework in the the University of Iowa Graduate College. She wrote published plays and monologues and was an active participant in Southwest Manuscripters until her mobility was limited in recent years.
She was a charter member and first president of the American Association of University Women - Manhattan Beach Branch. In college she received Masquer awards for theater, and continued acting in Manhattan Beach with stage performances in the Chapel Theater and Manhattan Players, as well as television appearances in the 50's and 60's. She appeared in or directed many performances produced by the Manhattan Beach Community Church. She was a long term member of the Manhattan Beach Community Church and appreciated the remembrances, calls and visits from the congregation. She progressed through Mariners, Shipmates, and Women's Fellowship groups.
She began entering art-based contests prior to moving to the South Bay in 1952, then excelled in jingles and 25-words-or-less challenges. She became an enthusiastic participant in the South Bay Contesters Club and preferred creative entries. Over the years she won numerous trips, grocery cartloads, sports equipment, jewelry, clothing, and household items with creative entries as well as sweepstakes. She always welcomed a win big or small with an excited gasp at the mailbox, seeing a luxury, necessity or gift for for one of many friends or family members she adored.
She and her late husband Bob enjoyed travel to Hawaii, the Caribbean and Las Vegas on wins. They carefully planned and enjoyed trips to Europe and Greece. She later traveled to Alaska, Puerto Rico, the Panama Canal, Turkey, and the Far East, as well as numerous trips to Hawaii. She would drive visitors all over the Western states until her 80's. She had traveled to most of the continental US. She often flew to Missouri or Arkansas to visit her granddaughter Natalie, always returning to the South Bay she loved so dearly, "because that's where my friends are"
Bernice G. McMahon was a remarkable woman for her energy, talent and many interests, her lasting love for her husband, and her devotion to her children, family, and friends. Her generous spirit is summarized in her statement "I like to help people." This irreplaceable soul was a very special person and her relationship with her family, friends, and community meant a lot.
Arrangements - Rice Mortuary, 5310 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 310-792-7599
Visitation at Rice Mortuary, 4 PM to 8 PM, Thursday, November 12, 2009
Graveside services - Pacific Crest Cemetery 182nd and Inglewood Ave, 11 AM, Friday, November 13, 2009
Memorial Service/Commemoration of Life at Manhattan Beach Community Church at later date to be arranged. Photos and remembrances will be gratefully received.
Bernice G. McMahon Memorial Fund c/o Manhattan Beach Community Church 303 South Peck, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Please use this website, www.LAfuneral.com to send the family messages, share memories, or to obtain directions to the services.
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