A member of the Greatest Generation, Mary Margarite Miller Sheppard Pruitt passed away at the age of 97 in Los Osos, Oct. 29, 2018. She was born in Detroit, Michigan, to William Miller and Violet Cook. She was the middle child of four brothers.

At the age of 2, her family moved to the Bay area. Her father represented three states for General Motors Service representative during the Depression. Mary attended 13 different schools as her family moved often. She attended high schools in Monrovia, Arcadia, and Duarte and attended Pasadena City College when World War II broke out.

She married Major Lloyd Sheppard, a B-17 pilot and squadron leader. While he was stateside, she followed her husband all over the U.S. Their daughter was born during this time. Maj. Sheppard was killed during a bombing run over Germany. After the war was over, she met and married Navy veteran Arthur Pruitt. They had a son and she was a stay-at-home mom.

At the age of 47, she finished her education and became an LVN, graduating from Mt. San Antonio Junior College. The faculty tried to dissuade her from getting her LVN because of her age, but they didn’t know the strength and energy of our mom!

She moved with her husband to Crescent City and physically helped build a home on the Smith River and later another home on a road requiring four-wheel drive, overlooking Crescent City to Brookings, Oregon. Mom worked at Seaside Hospital and taught CNAs at Redwood College for many years. She retired at age 70, still going strong.

Art and Mary moved to Los Osos 13 years ago while in their 80s to be near family. Art passed away nine years ago in Los Osos. They were married 63 years.

She played her violin in several orchestras (wherever she lived). Her loves — besides her husbands, two children, seven grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild — were her horses, dogs, dancing, wild birds and gardening. She was an “outdoor” girl with many activities. She was still gardening, doing water aerobics, and driving her electric cart until the age of 96. She attended the Nazarene Church in Los Osos, still playing her violin in a group for the church and others.

She also leaves behind her youngest brother, two sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews and their families.

The family wishes to thank her caregivers and her doctors. A memorial service is planned at a later date

— Submitted by family