Mary Mac (Short) Gonzalez died peacefully in her Malibu Road home on May 19.
Gonzalez was born on March 1, 1933 in Wichita, Kan. to Mac and Mae Short. The family moved to Glendale when Mary was a young girl, and she attended local schools there before attending boarding school at Westlake School for Girls. She went on to attend UCLA, where she met her husband, Manuel (Manny) G. Gonzalez III. The couple was married on April 25, 1953 and moved to their house on Malibu Road soon after, where they raised their four children–Manny (M.G.), Tim, Alicia and Brian.
“Mary had a full and blessed life,” a loved one said. “While others collected things, Mary collected friends. Once you were a friend of Mary, you could count on getting a card – usually a recycled one – for your birthday, anniversary or any one of various holidays. “
Gonzalez traveled the world and visited every U.S. state except Tennessee. She established the first recycling center in California in the 1950s, and was an avid gardener and a master in composting. When the Malibu Lions Club gave out an annual “Malibu’s Friendliest Person” award, she won every year.
“She was many things to many people, but mostly, she was the most wonderful friend you could ever hope to have,” a loved one said. “She was a bright light, whose beautiful spirit will live on in the legacy that she has left for all of us.”
Even in her 80s, Gonzales helped others by regularly delivering goods to homeless shelters and detention camps, visiting the sick in the hospital, attending A.A. meetings and women’s jails on skid row and giving her time and support to numerous other individuals and organizations.
Gonzalez requested that anyone wishing to make charitable donations in her memory donate to the Mary M. Gonzalez Homeboy Industries Pathway to College Fund by mailing them to 130 W. Bruno Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 or visiting homeboyindustries.org.
A Memorial Service will take place on June 9 at Our Lady of Malibu Church at 4 p.m.