PASADENA - Margaret Mowrey Moore, a prominent educator, volunteer, world traveller, philanthropist - and avid Lakers fan - has died at age 101.
No announcement was made, at her request, until the donation of her Linda Vista home of more than 50 years to Huntington Hospital was complete, friends said.
Jerold Klocek, a 40-year friend, said Moore died at home in May and wanted no services, although a celebration of her life was later held at The Valley Hunt Club.
"She hired me to teach English at La Ca ada High School in 1967," said Klocek, adding that Moore established the highest standards for the English department when the school opened in 1963.
In her 30-year career, Moore also taught at Westridge School and South Pasadena High
School, and many former students kept in touch, he said.
"She loved students, loved people, she was a gourmet cook to the Nth degree - oh my gosh, could she cook - and she loved to entertain," Klocek said.
The love of entertaining lasted to at least her 100th birthday, which she hosted herself, said Jack Brickson, director of planned giving at Huntington Hospital.
"She was not just being honored - she was the host," Brickson said. "It's pretty unusual for a person that age."
Moore, the second of three children, was born to David and Grace Ury Mowrey on April 10, 1907, in Lincoln, Ill., and she always kept an interest in Abraham Lincoln, friends said.
Although she wanted to be an artist, her parents guided her into the more stable field of education, Moore told the Huntington Hospital newsletter after her 100th birthday.
She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1929 and in 1963 earned a master's degree in comparative literature from Occidental College.
Her first husband, Merle Hamilton, died in 1973 and she later married Allan Moore, a former executive vice president of Pillsbury Co., who died in 2002. She had no children, and leaves one nephew, Robert Mowrey of Arcadia as her only survivor.
Moore retained a life-long interest in the arts, ranging from creating crafts for sale - at 100, she was working on origami gift cards - with the Pasadena Fair Ladies Auxiliary of Villa Esperanza to collecting Asian artworks during her world travels with her second husband. She donated some of her collection to the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena.
Katty Fisher, a Fair Ladies volunteer, called Moore "a marvellous woman," whom the group still misses.
"Originally it was limited to 40," Fisher said. "Without her, there are only 11 of us now - and only two under 80. I'm 94, and the oldest living member is 99, but we're still going."
Moore's 80-year career as a volunteer, starting as a Girl Scout, included the American Red Cross and Five Acres; more recently she was a docent at the Huntington Library.
But one of her biggest loves was the Lakers, especially Kobe Bryant, Brickson and Klocek agreed.
"She was an avid Lakers fan, backward and forward - you never called on the phone when a game was on," Klocek said, laughing.
Brickson said Moore decided to donate her house to the hospital because of the care she and other family members received there.
Moore, a cancer survivor, joked in the 100th birthday interview that she'd had "every kind of 'ectomy' you cold ever think of."
Still, Klocek said, she drove until she was 100, and only stopped when her health deteriorated a few months before she died.
"She had thousands of books, she raised orchids, she was very creative, very artistic," he said. "And very charitable."