That was Mary Sjogren’s signature greeting to family members, friends and anyone she knew or met in the La Cañada Flintridge community.
Mary, a longtime La Cañada resident who raised a family and provided support for foster children, church organizations and many charitable ventures, passed away on November 29, 2022, at Adventist Health Glendale Hospital. She was 90.
Mary was a mother, a storyteller, an artist, a collector, a seamstress and an award-winning cook. She authored her first novel at age 83, penned another at 89 and in her final days told loved ones she had two more books written in her head.
Mary’s hair always was neatly pinned in a bun. She favored cat-eye sunglasses — outdoors and indoors — sewed her own denim skirts and customized her signature blue Nike running shoes.
She designed haute couture prom dresses for her daughters, and ice cream birthday bombas for every child and grandchild.
Mostly, she was a generous caregiver to anyone in need of love or aid.
Mary Alice Sjogren was born July 7, 1932, in Miami, Fla. Her father, Daniel Hardie, was a physician. Her mother Eleanor (Connery), a homemaker.
Growing up in Florida, Mary enjoyed reading, writing and art — passions she pursued while also watching over five younger siblings.
Mary met William Sjogren during a 1956 dinner date set up by friends in Miami. They married in 1957 and spent time in Virginia, New York, Florida and Illinois. In 1962 Bill was hired as a navigation engineer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the family moved to La Cañada.
Though Mary seemingly was always on the go caring for daughters Ann, Kathy and Elizabeth and sons John and Patrick, she was committed to establishing the Sjogrens as an emergency foster care family. During her years of service, she opened her arms and home to dozens of children, many of whom she remained in contact with as they built their lives.
Mary also was active in St. Bede Catholic Church, the Box Project and many other charitable organizations.
In 2015, Mary completed “Breed,” an historical novel set in the late 1870s featuring a daring young heroine named Breed, a Boston housemaid who is thrust into an international adventure filled with romance, murderous villains and other characters that kept readers guessing.
A book-signing event at La Cañada Bookstore was one of the highlights for Mary and her family. She signed one copy with the note, “Finally. Hope you enjoy.”
As with every moment spent with Mary, did we ever.
We miss her… dearly.
Mary was preceded in death by brother Dan Hardie and her daughter Ann. She is survived by husband William, four children, eight grandchildren, and siblings Anne Stevens, Kathy Prindiville, Mercy Coogan and Michael Hardie.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Box Project, 315 Losher St. #100, Hernando, MS 38632