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.
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.