Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

In Memory of Mary Jaworski

Mary Jaworski, with her daughter Meredith Martinuzzi, at Meredith’s wedding in March. (Photo from the Jaworski family)

Sadly, we report that Hancock Park resident and neighborhood philanthropist Mary Schaper Jaworski passed away on Saturday, April 18, 2020. Her family shared that she moved on gently and peacefully after a valiant three-year struggle with cancer.

Born in Missouri, Jaworski graduated from the University of Missouri. Professionally she worked in television news both in front of and behind the camera before moving to Los Angeles. When she moved to LA, Jaworski purchased a family photography business that she ran for more than 20 years taking photos of many neighborhood families.

Bernie and Mary Jaworski (photo from the Jaworski family)

This writer met Jaworski at the Los Angeles Tennis Club where she was an active and enthusiastic tennis player. She could often be seen on Rossmore, in tennis garb, walking her dogs before heading off to a match or riding her bike with her tennis racket in her backpack on the way to the club.

Jaworski was a fierce competitor and a spirited part of the tennis community. She served on several club committees, graced the championship photo wall many times over the years, and was the captain of her Westside Tennis League team for many years across several divisions. She drafted this writer to serve as president of the league years ago and provided constant support and encouragement. As a team captain, Jaworski graciously navigated the challenges of ladies tennis, encouraging everyone to work together for a stronger team. Across the league, she was regarded as a fierce competitor and worthy opponent who will be missed by so many players in the city.

Jaworski also captained and participated in USTA Leagues and team tennis at LATC. She loved LATC as a second home and cherished her club friendships. She taught a yoga class for members on weekends and took up Pickleball when she could no longer play tennis.

Jaworski was also a long-time member of NGA Hancock Park, a neighborhood-based charity that provides new clothing, linens and personal care items to less fortunate neighbors in Los Angeles since 1895. Jaworski was serving as president, when she was diagnosed with cancer three years ago.

NGA member Kiel Fitzgerald recounted, “But life did not stop at diagnosis. She continued to be an active member throughout her brave battle, spearheading and chairing the gala sponsorship program, working tirelessly on the auction and event graphics…She was the brainchild behind the auction hosted parties, which have become such a huge part of NGA and have cultivated even greater community spirit.”

Like tennis, Jaworski threw her heart and soul into NGA and was a pillar of the NGA Hancock Park community where she was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award recognizing her profound legacy of philanthropic leadership.

“Mary was a warrior, living way past her short prognosis,” shared her husband Bernie Jaworski. “She battled for three years with incredible grace, optimism, and a spirit for life. She made it to attend the wedding of our daughter Meredith on March 7th, with our son-in-law Ryan escorting her down the aisle. She gave a memorable speech – and of course had a standing ovation.  It was amazing – the week before all weddings were cancelled!”

Jaworski’s family plans to honor her request for a festive memorial service at some time in the future when appropriate. She leaves behind her husband Bernie, daughter Meredith, son-in-law Jake and step children Katie and Ryan.

In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family requests that donations be made in her honor to NGA Hancock Park: The Mary Jaworski Memorial Fund, 137 North Larchmont Blvd #155, Los Angeles, CA 90004.

The Jaworski family supporting the NGA Fundraiser. Pictured from l-r, Meredith, Katie, Mary, Bernie, Ryan and Jake. (Photo from the Jaworski family)
The Jaworski Family at Meredith and Jake’s wedding in March. (Photo from the Jaworski family)


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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  1. Mary was beautiful, smart, kind, and so much fun! She added a light to Larchmont that will be missed forever.

  2. We have many family portraits that were filmed by Mary; she knew how to deal with the young brats making them sit and smile when instructed. She was like a drill sergeant and knew what was needed to be done. When completed she flipped back to the smiling free spirited person we all knew. She will be missed.

  3. I will never forget watching Mary, playing against her close friend and USTA teammate, battle it out on Center Court in the finals of LATC’s Women’s 4.0 singles tournament. Onlookers were agog as the ball crossed the net 30 times, 40 times and, yes, sometimes over 50 times per rally. Mary did not give up and she lived how she played. A tenacious, gracious, beautiful human being whom I miss already, sorely and dearly.

    Well done, Patty — a tough assignment. You have captured amazing Mary.

  4. 20 years……20 years of lovely wonderful family photos.- We grew up with Mary and she grew up with us. Thank you Mary for all the good times and memories we will have forever, captured by your smiling inexhaustible energy. We will miss you in the Porter family. Your happy loving energy is a light lost in all our lives. We send our love and prayers to the Jaworski family.


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