January 6, 1951 ~ November 4, 2021

Born in: Mankato, Minnesota
Resided in: Manhattan Beach, California

Born in Mankato, Minnesota on Jan. 6, 1951, Mari and her family moved to California at the age of two, settling in Playa del Rey. She attended grammar school at Saint Anastasia before continuing on to St. Bernard where she graduated in 1969. In high school Mari was a stunning beauty with wicked dance moves and a sharp wit. She would go on to attend Cal State Long Beach.

Mari had the courage of conviction that was rare for a woman so young, and in an era that was not welcoming to single mothers she made the choice to raise her son with love and dignity. Mari’s career was varied and included jobs at ITEL, Mrs. Fields, Mattel and State Farm.

Mari, always a compassionate friend, was the first at your door when you were sick, arriving with cards, flowers and a three-course meal. She was a fantastic cook in her “One Butt Kitchen”. If you needed a ride anywhere she was there to take you, offering before you even had to ask. She was an animal lover and in that capacity spent the last two decades of her life rescuing dogs considered too fragile for adoption.

In 1984 she fell in love with a rugby player who could match her dry humor and sense of adventure and settled with him in Manhattan Beach for the next 37 years. They eloped to Catalina with their two children, honeymooned in Australia, and traveled the world for rugby trips, visiting international rugby friends along the way. They took numerous cross-country “roadies” along with their dogs, thinking nothing of driving from California to Massachusetts. and then down to Florida and back home.

Mari is survived by her beloved husband Wally Shaw, her son Greg, her daughter Lyndi and her granddaughter Nalani.  A memorial mass will be held at the Manhattan Beach American Martyrs Church on Monday, November 22, 2021 at 10:30 am; followed by a burial at Pacific Crest Cemetery at 1 pm. All who knew and loved her are welcome!


Service: November 22, 2021 10:30 am

American Martyrs Catholic Church
624 15th Street
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 545-5651

View current weather.

Tribute Video

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline

Photo Gallery


  1. Dear Wally;
    Carrie and I were deeply saddened to hear of Mari’s death. You have our deepest sympathy as you and your family heal….
    Sincerely, Tom and Carrie Wright

  2. candle 2I’m so sorry Wally. I know it’s beyond devastating to lose Mari. Beautiful memories are everlasting.❤️😪

  3. candle 8Heartbroken over this news. Always felt so welcomed at your home and loved her spirit and warmth. She will be missed by so many.
    Penny and Art

  4. Dearest Wally and family – I am heartbroken to hear of Mari’s passing. May the knowledge that you are loved and cherished by so many bring you some comfort in this time of great sadness. With love, Nancy Ninegar

  5. Tho the miles separated us, you were frequently in our thoughts. Lots of great memories and lots of 💘
    Uncle Bud and Peej

  6. candle 4So sorry to hear of Mari’s passing. I haven’t been in touch for many years but have fond memories of being close friends at SBHS. Her family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Maggie Leahy Smith

  7. candle 8Wally, Janet & myself are so very stunned and deeply saddened at the news of Mari’s passing, our thoughts & prayers are with your and your family, she will never be effaced from our memories. WILL & JANET UK

  8. candle 7Wally & Family, so sorry to hear this sad news. Mari was a lovely lady & you both made me feel so welcome when I visited with Dad. Thinking of you. With Love Suzzanne (UK) xx

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook