Helen Marie Webster Weisbrod died peacefully, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, at her home in Banning, Calif., after a month of hospice care. She was 94 years old.
Marie was born in Walton, N.Y., on Feb. 1, 1918, to Harold Eugene and Helen (Field) Webster.
Marie and her mother moved to Santa Paula, Calif., in 1928. She graduated from Santa Paula High School and went on to study at the University of Redlands where her grandfather Jasper Newton Field was the founder and first president. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a Bachelor of Arts. Later, her education continued with a Master of Arts from Claremont Graduate School in California.
In 1940, Marie married Kenneth Conrad Weisbrod in Santa Paula, and moved to Redlands, Calif. Ken introduced her to camping and travel.
Her teaching career spanned two years at University of Redlands in art history, three years at University of California, Riverside, in art education, and 12 years at Alessandro Junior High School in Moreno Valley, Calif., in arts and crafts. She was awarded a fellowship to attend three months at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
She moved to Idyllwild in 1973, where she lived for 29 years. After retiring from teaching in 1978, Marie continued her work in the arts conducting summer workshops in weaving, copper enameling and ethnic clothing design. Her own work was exhibited in galleries around Southern California.
Living in Idyllwild, she became an avid hiker with family and friends. She held a seminar chair, Associates at Idyllwild School of the Arts, Calif., as well as Elderhostel lecturer in genealogy. Marie headed up the McElderry Seminars for years and contributed much to the Associates.
Marie traveled extensively in the United States, coast to coast and border to border. A self-proclaimed history buff, she attended Elderhostel classes, researching ancestors, seeking out living history museums and following historic routes (the Connecticut River Valley, the Trail of Tears, Oregon Trail, the Bloody Bozeman and the Lewis and Clark Trail). Foreign countries she visited included China, Central and South America and Eastern Europe, a solo journey through Southeast Asia, a walking trek in Great Britain and a genealogy tour in Ireland.
Back home, Marie took creative writing classes and published numerous articles in historical magazines, travel magazines and genealogy magazines, as well as short stories in literary magazines. She wrote a travel book, “Scenic Byways of Northern California,” and a biography of her grandfather, “Magnificent Dreamer: Dr. Jasper Newton Field.” She continued to travel and read and correspond and research on the computer throughout her life which kept the brain cells spinning.
Marie is survived by her son Kurt and his wife Kris of Escondido, Calif.; her son Eric and his wife Connie of Banning, Calif.; three grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her granddaughter Krishna Weisbrod Carpenter; and her brother Hance Boyd Skillen.
A celebration of Marie’s amazing life will be held in Idyllwild. If you wish to attend please leave a message at (951) 849-4680 for further information.