Mary Alice Hibbard Apalategui was born to Thirza Marie West Hibbard and James Frank Hibbard on February 11, 1927 in Fellows California. About 5 miles from Taft, Fellows developed as an oil boomtown after the Midway Gusher was discovered. Oil workers of the 1920s were commonly housed in tents there. She was named after her great grandmother Mary Alice Hunter Kryhl a descendant of Mohicans.
When she was a baby, the family moved to North Benwiley Avenue in Santa Maria where her grandparents Clarence Edward West and Alice Kryhll West owned some lots. Her dad built their home on Benwiley and was said to be a terrible carpenter with a wonderful sense of humor. Mary Alice's heart was always in that home until her last days.
During WW2, as a girl of Santa Maria High, Mary Alice learned to be a telephone operator and would recite her famous line “Number Please.” After WW2 Mary Alice met her husband Frank Apalategui a veteran recently returned home. They bought a new home on Airport Street later to be renamed College Drive and stayed there all of their lives. She worked most of her life as a cook for the Santa Maria Bonita School District at Fesler, El Camino and Robert Bruce schools among others. She never travelled outside of California and not far outside of the Central Coast. She loved clamming at Pismo with her mom, dad and the whole clan.
She tended her grandparents, parents and husband in old age and carried a badge of honor that all were able to stay at home. She had 3 children – Lee Alan Apalategui, Sally Jean Apalategui (Payne) and Edward Frank Apalategui. Her 4 grandchildren Matthew West Apalategui, Jason Alan Apalategui, Jeffrey Dale Payne and Alison Lindsey Payne (Bartsch) were the joy of her life. She is preceded in death by her husband Frank, daughter Sally Payne and foster grandson Charles “Robb” Bennett.
She is survived by her sons Lee and Ed, her 4 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren – Tristan Apalategui, Jackson Payne, Joseph Payne, Parker Bartsch, Landon Bartsch and Jillian Payne. In her final months the people nearest her failing mind were her beloved mother Thirza Hibbard and the daughter she dreamed of, Sally Payne. It was a pleasure to be with her at every age and an honor in her final years. We did our best to keep her laughing, but Alison brought a special twinkle to her eye in any weather.
The family owes an unpayable debt to Vangie Aguinaldo and her team of CNAs, the staff at Apple Ann's RCFE, Dr Timothy Jones, Dr Joy Vantrpool, Dr Monica Rocco, Angela O'Brien BSN, Lori Gross, Richard Weldon, Trent Benedetti, Rhonda Murphy, Marian Extended Care and many others. God bless you.
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Mortuary & Crematory