Mary Grace Armstrong
1928 - 2013, Santa Barbara
Mary Grace Armstrong passed away peacefully in her sleep on July 24, in Santa Barbara, California; she was 84.
Mary Grace was born and raised in San Francisco, California, the daughter of police Captain William and loving mother Grace. In 1950, she received the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Fellowship to Columbia University, taking her to New York City where she would receive her Masters Degree. In 1963, she became a member of the California State Bar, practicing law in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara until she retired in 1993.
She moved to Santa Barbara in 1972, with her husband Tom Armstrong, to raise their two children, Bill and Maureen. She served as a board member/volunteer to many local non-profit organizations including: Legal Aid, The Shelter Services For Women, Meals On Wheels, Hospice, and Soroptimists of Goleta among others. She was also an esteemed member of the California Club and served as a Santa Barbara Police and Fire Commissioner for twelve years.
In 1995, she was diagnosed with lung cancer; after a successful surgery to remove her lung in 1996, she was able to live her remaining years cancer free. When she recovered from surgery, she took up long distance traveling; she saw many places she loved around the world. Some of her favorites were India, Russia, Europe and a photo safari to Kenya.
She loved time with friends, reading good books, having engaging conversations, giving her opinion, playing bridge, enjoying many local breakfast restaurants with her good friend Bernard, and weekly appointments with her long time hair dresser and confidant Cathy. An avid tap dancer in the later years, she was a member of the Rudenko School of Dance.
She participated in the annual musicals with performers of all ages, and her dance group “The Silver Stars” were always met with grand applause and appreciation. She was a great mother and a great friend; Mary Grace will be deeply missed.