Longtime Glendale resident Mary Dibble Owen Lester passed away peacefully at her new home in Layton, Utah on June 18, 2021, at the age of 87 years. Mary was born in Detroit, Michigan, and moved to Glendale in the early 1940’s with her widowed mother and older brother.
Mary attended Glendale schools through elementary and middle school, up to and including Herbert Hoover High School. She graduated, however, from Hollywood Professional School in 1952. Mary went on to attend San Jose State University and Occidental College, graduating in 1956 with a degree in Elementary Education.
Mary was crowned Queen of the Verdugo Days in 1953. As “Miss Glendale” she was later the fourth runner-up in the Miss California Beauty Pageant.
Mary married John Owen in 1954. They became the parents five children: Melissa, Shelley, Mary Kristin, John Jr. and Elizabeth. They divorced in 1982.
Mary and John were active members of The Glendale Symphony Orchestra Association for many years. Mary also enjoyed her membership in the National Charity League and the Assistance League.
As her family grew, Mary relished being the mother in a busy and active household. In the mid-seventies, as her children began to “leave the nest,” she renewed her teaching credential and added a certification in Special Education. Until 2002 when she retired, Mary taught at Allesandro Elementary School in Los Angeles, California. She had a gift and a passion for helping students for whom English was a second language to succeed in school.
Mary was a loving mother, a gifted teacher and a devoted friend. She will be very much missed.
Mary is survived by her five children and their spouses, eighteen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
Interment will be at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.