By Denise Jones / Opinion Editor
92-year-old Long Beach resident Mary Thoits has retired from her position of almost 40 years as director of the LBCC Senior Studies program.
She still continues to teach one of the most sought-after senior classes. Her weekly World Affairs and Current Event class meets in the William Dyer Hall in the FF Building on the PCC.
Interim director Dina Berg said, “She is amazing, a legend in Long Beach for seniors and has many dedicated followers since the program started.”
Linda Brayton, 68, said, “I think I am one of the youngest seniors in her class and I have been coming for seven or eight years now.”
Student worker Tanesha Harding, 44, who is studying to be an administrative assistant and worked under Thoits for a year, said, “This woman is sweet as pie. They don’t come any sweeter. She is always giving up her time to help someone.”
When talking about her plans, Thoits said, “I’m working on my memoirs and planning my next big birthday bash, my 95th, it’s going to be a large formal celebration.”
For some that may seem tame, but Thoits has been known to find very interesting ways to celebrate her birthday. On her 85th birthday, she jumped out of a plane over Lake Elsinore. For her 86th birthday, she went parasailing over San Diego and flew a Cessna over Catalina Island.
As President Abraham Lincoln once said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
She spent time spent as a pilot instructor teaching other women how to fly in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). She still swims daily in the Pacific Ocean.