When Mary Grace was in your company you knew right away she cared about what you thought. A keen listener, she did not need to promote her own opinion; she was more interested to learn and gain others perspectives. Underneath her grace and quiet demeanor she was a tenacious and determined woman. Perhaps losing her father and older brother when she was very young and growing up in the Great Depression instilled in her a readiness to proceed no matter the circumstances. Even in difficult situations she greeted each day with a warm smile, teaching her three sons, “put a smile on and count your blessings, you will be surprised at how many you discover.”
She was comfortable embracing the dichotomies that life presents. Raised in a Christian Science family she married a doctor, E. Paul White, MD. With Paul, she raised three sons, Ned, Gordon and John. She set an example of staying true to herself and collaborating with others. She mastered the art of letting others have the “good idea” while making sure it got done well. From this she gave her sons recipes for life: “Know yourself and stick to who you are. Happiness does not come from being with the in crowd” and “Remember to contribute to the community you live in, they are one of your blessings to savor and support.”
Mary Grace was born November 12, 1923 in Pasadena California to Lillian (Gill) and James Couchman. She attended Pasadena schools and graduated UC Berkeley Class of 1945. She studied interior design and after graduation worked in San Francisco until her first marriage. Moving to Napa when it was a small farming community, known for its leather (baseball gloves!) tannery and major prune drying operations she raised three sons to love the quiet flow of life there.
In 1974 she married Wade Hampton Dozier Jr and began a new life that included walnut harvests on the ranch in Lodi, serving as a docent at the San Joaquin County Historical Museum, and being a supportive ear to her new friends and her stepsons Mike, Brian and Chris Dozier.
Eventually their love of beach walks, birds and coastal communities led them to La Selva Beach California where they became residents in the new Trestle Beach neighborhood; helping to establish community gardens, beach access, and exploring tide pools. She was able share her love of nature, gardening and dogs with grandchildren, friends, and new neighbors.
Mary Grace moved to Olympia, Washington after Wade passed in 2011 to be close to her sons Ned and Gordon and their families. She enjoyed her time making new friends and getting to know her granddaughter Claire, seeing her in symphony concerts and graduating high school.
In April her health declined sharply. She gathered her sons, goodbyes were said, heart feelings exchanged, and our Mom saw in her soul where she could go. Early Wednesday April 24 2019 she made her move. A loving and mindful mother left her family in good stead. A true parting of sweet sorrow.
Mary Grace leaves behind her son Ned and his wife Letha, son Gordon, his wife Linda Kunze and their daughter Claire, stepsons Mike Dozier, Brian (Karen), Chris (Pat) and their children. She also leaves behind her son John White’s two children Natalie and Gordon. John died in 2005.
There will be a private gathering of family at a future date. Memorial donations may be made to The Elkhorn Slough Foundation https://www.elkhornslough.org/