By Misty DUPLESSIS
On Feb. 22, Mary Alice Ayling celebrated her 102nd birthday with her daughter Mary Bremenour. Close family members including great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, friends and staff at the retirement home where Ayling lives in Montrose were also in attendance.
Ayling was born in 1909 in Los Angeles and spent her early life moving about the city working hard to support her family.
Bremenour has fond memories of her mother’s many talents which helped her obtain some of the jobs she held, one being a seamstress for the very elite Bullock’s Wilshire during the early years of the company. She also appeared as a model for the company sporting a coat, scarf and hat in the local newspaper.
During the late 1940s Ayling moved to La Crescenta in a house on Altura Avenue with her husband and daughter. She bought her first very own house on Rockdell Street in 1959 for $11,500. Her grandson and his family currently occupy the same house.
Bremenour’s earliest memory of La Crescenta is picnicking near a stream in the Whiting Woods area. She also remembers watching movies at the Montrose Theater, swimming at Indian Springs where the Montrose Vons currently stands, strolling along Montrose shopping center and celebrating many birthdays with family members.
One of Ayling’s proud accomplishments was having worked at JPL for 21 years. She recalled a sense of pride in having worked there during the time when the first man walked on the moon. She finally retired at age 68 having made great friends along the way.
For Ayling’s 90th birthday she created scrapbooks to share the story of her life with her daughter and future generations who may wish to know her.
Through the album Ayling tells a story of love, history, misfortunes, fortunes, family and adventures of a life well lived.