Mary Beth Graves

Mary Beth Graves

Mary Beth is currently taking an introductory ceramics class to keep busy—although between her other hobbies, she doesn’t spend much time sitting around. At age 99, she’s an impressive woman who can still control a conversation and command the attention of others. Instructor Patty Yockey confirms Mary Beth is a very engaged student. “She went to a local ceramics supplier to be certain she had all the correct equipment and supplies for class. She comes every week,” said Yockey.

Mary Beth attends class with a friend, and enjoys the camaraderie with the other students. “People are wonderful,” said Mary Beth, who was a ceramics instructor herself at one point in her life.

In the 70s, Mary Beth came to San Diego with her husband, who was an architect. In addition to instructor, she has worn several other caps throughout her 99 years, including one as a radio personality on the Amos & Andy Show (she still does the voice!), mother of two, golfer, dancer, avid reader and Life Master of Bridge.

“I used to go dancing every night,” she said. When fast music is played at her residential care facility, Mary Beth still gets up and dances. A lifelong learner, and reader, she mentions an old favorite, Chicken Soup for the Soul, but prefers short stories now, perhaps because at age 99 every minute counts.

An accomplishment she is especially proud of is the honor that comes with her official membership in the American Contract Bridge League. She explains there are only a few in the entire world who have the privilege of holding a membership card, and she proudly displays hers that was issued in 1980.

In November, Mary Beth will turn 100 and if someone bakes her favorite birthday cake, it will be chocolate.

Mission: San Diego Continuing Education commits to student success and community enrichment by providing accessible, equitable, and innovative quality education and support services to diverse adult learners in pursuit of lifelong learning, training, career advancement, and pathways to college.