April 3, 1941-April 11, 2019
Mayris Meskill Wells, 78, passed away peacefully, and surrounded by her family, on April 11 due to complications from a stroke. She was born April 3, 1941, in Philadelphia, the only child of Irma Holton Meskill and James Meskill. She is survived by her husband, Frank, of 55 years; her children Andrew, Susan and Peter; son-in-law Daniel Frazee; grandchildren Ryan, Ella, Bryn and Dash Frazee; and cousin Lisa Grives.
Mayris attended Germantown High School and the University of Pennsylvania. She studied at the Sorbonne in Paris for a glorious summer, securing her love of the French language, art, history and travel. After graduating, she became a teacher in Philadelphia. In 1964 she married Frank, an Air Force officer at the time, whom she had known since high school through a church fellowship. First friends, and then in love and married, Mayris continued teaching at Air Force bases in Michigan and North Dakota. After discharging from the Air Force, they returned to the Philadelphia area and settled in Paoli to begin their family.
Frank was relocated to Los Angeles, working for Arco, so the family moved to La Cañada Flintridge in 1976. Near the sea and living in year-round sunshine, Frank and Mayris found a shared passion for sailing, bought their first sailboat and began to take the family to Catalina Island.
Mayris volunteered with the LCF schools, sharing her love of art history in the classroom. Additionally, her leadership and collaboration led to the first international performance of the La Cañada High School marching band in Ireland. She was a founding parent of the LCHS equestrian and sailing teams and volunteered for many years with the Assistance League of Flintridge’s Cañada Auxiliary of Professionals.
Once her children were in school, Mayris began teaching in the Pasadena City College parent education program. There she supported parents on their journey of raising young children with intention and guidance. She later managed the program for PCC.
Mayris enjoyed sailing and traveling with the family, venturing across the sea to Catalina, the Channel Islands, San Diego and Mexico. On these ocean adventures, Mayris found joy in her surroundings and set the tone of tackling difficulties with grace, ingenuity and good spirits.
She became a master of making the most of situations.
She was an artist and continued learning French, taking classes with friends throughout her adult years. She was a member of a very special book club, meeting monthly for over 40 years. Through All Saints Church of Pasadena, Mayris taught Sunday school while her children were young, and more recently served the homeless and tutored children in Pasadena in math and reading.
Later in life, Mayris and Frank enjoyed bicycling across various parts of the United States, Italy, France, Poland, Germany, Hungary and Vietnam. They researched and planned their own trips, venturing forth independently, joining a tour group only in Vietnam. Mayris, gentle in nature, possessed a fiery spirit that fueled her to pack her gear, put her bike in a box, and hop on a plane to their next adventure. When Mayris decided she would do something, she did it, whether it was pedaling up mountains, navigating through countries where few spoke English, or climbing hundreds of stairs to experience the beauty of a place.
Mayris will be remembered for her igniting smile, the devotion and love she had for her family, the kind, thoughtful, and accepting spirit she bestowed upon those she met. She will be missed here on Earth. A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 3, at 3 p.m. at All Saints Church, located at 132 N. Euclid Ave. in Pasadena.