Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spa Night Recipes

Our Spa Night was so much fun. Thanks to Amber Dickson for hosting, Laraine Webb and Katrina Garvin for teaching classes, Carolyn Friberg for the healthy smoothies and treats, and to all of you who came. We had a great turnout!

Here are the recipes for the homemade beauty products in case you are interested:

Peppermint Foot Scrub:
1 1/2 cups coarse sea salt
1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or use an oil of your choice)
6 drops peppermint essential oil (or use an oil of your choice)

Mix ingredients together and store in a container.

Chia Seed Exfoliant:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Mix the ingredients together and store in a clean jar. To use, dampen face and apply scrub in a circular motion to damp face. Allow the mixture to set for two minutes before using a wet washcloth to remove. Splash cold water on your face when you've finished. Store in fridge for 3-5 days.

1/2 cup of organic coconut oil
1/2 cup of Fractionated Coconut oil (you can double the regular coconut oil but it will be a little more oily)
1/2 cup of pure organic cocoa butter
1/2 cup of pure organic shea butter
15 drops of grapefruit essential oil
15 drops of wild orange essential oil

Place all the ingredients except your essential oils in a glass bowl. I used a 4 cup glass measuring cup. Place that bowl in a pan filled about 1-2 inches with water and turn the heat to medium. Allow the oils to fully melt.

Remove the glass bowl from the pan and allow it to cool for a few minutes then place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to fully cool.

Transfer the cooled oils to a stand mixing bowl or use a hand mixer and whip them on high for several minutes until you get a fluffy consistency (see the photo above). Add your essential oils and whip another minute to combine.

Transfer to a glass storage container and keep in a cool place out of the sunlight.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Recipes from Party in the Pantry Activity

Honey Oat Bread
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
3/4 cup oats (either old-fashioned or quick)
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk (almond or soy for vegan/dairy free)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/3 cup honey (agave for vegan) if you like sweeter bread, just add extra

1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp honey (or agave), warmed (can mix with a bit of butter)
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp oats

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt.

In a small bowl, or two-cup measuring cup, warm the milk so that it's hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. Add the butter, stirring until melted, then stir in the water and honey.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing until it just comes together to form a dough. Knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough is still very wet and sticky after 5 minutes of kneading, add more flour, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the dough is barely tacky. If the dough is too dry, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to soften it up.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours).

Once doubled, place the dough on a clean, dry work surface. If the dough is too sticky, lightly flour the surface before continuing. With your fingers, flatten the dough into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough, tucking the ends as needed, into a loaf. Place the shaped dough into a 9x5-inch loaf pan, cover with a clean towel, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

When the loaf is doubled again, brush the top with the warmed honey and sprinkle with the oats.

Place the bread in the oven and pour boiling water into the empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap (Front or Top-Loading Machines)
4 cups hot tap water
1 fels-naptha or Ivory soap bar
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax

Grate the bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a 5 gallon bucket halfway with hot tap water. Add the melted soap, washing soda, and borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to the top with more hot water. Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken. It will get quite thick.

Stir again in the morning and mix it well. Dump half of the soap into a second 5 gallon bucket and fill both buckets to the top with water and stir well. Or don't dilute it at all and only use half the amount called for in each load.

Optional: add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once the soap is cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, or tea tree oil.

Top-Loading machine: 5/8 cup per load (approx. 180 loads)
Front-Loading machine: 1/4 cup per load (approx. 640 loads)

Powdered Laundry Detergent (Top-Loading Machine)
1 fels-naptha soap bar
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax

Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For a light load, use 1 Tbsp. For a heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tbsp. Yields 3 cups detergent (approx. 40 loads).

Stain Remover
2 parts hydrogen peroxide
1 part Dawn dish soap

Combine in a spray bottle and use on laundry stains (even ones that have been dried in the dryer).

Strawberry Freezer Jam
4 cups mashed strawberries
5 Tbsp instant pectin
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Mix sugar and pectin together so there are no lumps. Mash strawberries to desired consistency. Add sugar and lemon juice and mix for 3 minutes. Jam needs to refrigerate for 3 hours to reach desired consistency. place in containers and freeze for up to 2 years.

Peach Freezer Jam
4 cups mashed peaches
5 Tbsp sure-gel pectin
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tsp lemon juice

Skin the peaches and mash to desired consistency. Follow directions on box of pectin.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Moderate Income Housing Information

Howard County Housing Accepting Applications for Moderate Income Housing Unit Program

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Housing will begin accepting applications for the July enrollment period for the County’s Moderate Income Housing Unit (MIHU) program on Tuesday, July 1. The open enrollment period will end Thursday, July 31. 

The MIHU program is an inclusionary zoning program that requires developers of new housing in certain zoning districts to sell or rent a percentage of the new dwelling units to households of moderate income. The program offers quality new homes at reduced sale prices and rents to income eligible families. 

As part of the MIHU program, Housing will hold a free “MIHU Buyers and Renters Workshop” on July 15 at 6:00 p.m. at the Gateway Building, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive in Columbia. The workshop is open to the public and will explain the program’s eligibility requirements and application process for prospective homebuyers and renters. Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Maryland and Delaware, Inc. will also be on hand to present information regarding the importance of credit scores for buying or renting a home. For more information or to register for the workshop, contact Howard County Housing’s Homeownership Division at 410-313-6318 and select option 4.

To purchase an MIHU home, persons must apply to Howard County Housing during an open enrollment period in order to be placed in the database and on the waiting list. The applicant’s household income may not exceed 80% of Howard County’s median income which, as of January 1, 2014, is $108,844 for a family of four. Applicants must also meet minimum credit score requirements and their household income must be sufficient to qualify for a home mortgage based on industry standards. Base sale prices for MIHUs can range from $136,000 for a condominium to $255,000 for a townhome.  Actual sale prices vary depending on the size and amenities of the unit. If you were not eligible in the past because of household income, Howard County Housing encourages you to check current eligibility limits.     

Available MIHU homeownership opportunities are at Ellicott Crossing, Gatherings at Ellicott Mills and Howard Square. Located on Rogers Avenue in Ellicott City, Ellicott Crossing boasts townhomes with three bedrooms, three baths, spacious kitchens and efficient gas heat in each home. The Beethoven and Hepburn models both offer more than 1,600 square feet of living space. Also located in Ellicott City, the Gatherings at Ellicott Mills is a new 55+ active adult community currently under construction on Route 40 and featuring two bedroom condo apartments and three bedroom villa townhomes. Howard Square, located off Route 1 in Elkridge, offers one-car garage townhomes with three bedrooms and over 1,500 square feet of living space on three finished levels.

To rent an MIHU unit, an applicant’s household income may not exceed 60% of the Howard County median income. MIHUs are rented on a first-come, first-serve basis, with rents ranging from $1,224 to $1,698, including utilities. MIHUs are interspersed throughout each community and residents enjoy all of the amenities of community life. Alta at Regency Crest, Ashbury Courts, Belmont Station, Mission Place, Orchard Meadows and Penniman Park are currently accepting MIHU rental applications. Prospective renters may apply directly to a participating rental community at any time during the year. Rental management addresses and phone numbers can be found on Housing’s website, www.howardcountymd.gov/housingmihu.htm

Open enrollment periods for the MIHU purchase program are held quarterly. Interested persons should call Howard County Housing’s Homeownership Division at 410-313-6318, selection option 4, or visit their MIHU website at www.howardcountymd.gov/housingmihu.htm.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Talk from Mary Beinin's Memorial Service and Stories from the Life of Mary Beinin

Lorin Lund's Talk For Mary Beinin's Funeral
 28 April 2014

(Instructional paragraphs taken from The Plan of Salvation missionary booklet)

All of my experiences with Mary occurred after her baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saint. Just over 2/3 of her life took place prior to her joining the church. Thorval 
spoke of the many significant events in both parts of her life, before joining the church and 
afterwards. I will speak primarily of experiences with her during the last third of her life as a way 
of sharing the remarkable impact she had in her church experience with all who loved her and 
were loved by her. 

To provide a little context, I'll speak briefly of the Plan of Salvation. In The Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe in God, our Heavenly Father, His son Jesus Christ, and 
the Holy Ghost. The Plan of Salvation is God, our Heavenly Father's, plan for the happiness of 
His children. It is centered on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It provides answers to the 
questions: “Where did I come from?” “What is my purpose in life?” “Where will I go after this 
life?” The Plan of Salvation teaches that our life did not begin at birth, nor will it end at death. 

We are made up of a spirit body, sometimes called a soul, and a physical body. Heavenly 
Father created our spirit and we lived with Him as a spirit before we were born on earth. We 
knew and loved Him. He knew and loved us. This period is called the pre-earth life. 

Throughout our pre-earth life, we were taught the principles and commandments that would 
lead to happiness. We grew in knowledge, understanding, and learned to love the truth. We 
were taught about the plan of salvation. During this pre-earth life, Jesus Christ was chosen as 
the Savior; we learned that through Him we would be able to overcome the effects of our wrong 

An important part of God’s plan was for us to come to earth to receive a physical body and to 
learn to make correct choices. We would not remember living in Heavenly Father’s presence, 
but He would give us the ability to know right from wrong. We would be able to recognize His 
love and truth. Through our experiences and trials, we could learn to make right choices 
"1consistently. With the help of Jesus Christ, we would be able to return to live with Heavenly 
Father when our life on earth was over.

In our pre-earth life, we learned that only by choosing to follow God’s plan could we receive 
lasting peace and satisfaction in this life and for eternity. Because He loves us, Heavenly Father 
gave us agency, or the power to make choices. He let us choose whether we would follow His 
plan and the Savior Jesus Christ.

In the pre-earth life, each of us chose to have faith in Jesus Christ and to follow God’s plan. 
Because of our choices, we were born on earth. Only by making these same choices again can 
we find peace in this life and be able to return to live with Heavenly Father after this life.

Our purpose in leaving His presence to come to earth includes obtaining a body, gaining 
experience, and learning to make right choices.

Many aspects of life bring happiness, and some bring sorrow. These experiences help us learn 
to distinguish between good and evil and to make correct choices. God influences us to do good 
and to follow Him, while Satan tempts you to ignore God and commit sin. (Sin is knowingly 
choosing to do wrong or not to do right.) When we choose to follow God and keep His 
commandments, we grow in wisdom and strength of character. We can experience joy even in 
times of trial, and you can face life’s challenges with a spirit of peace.

Because Heavenly Father loves us, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our sins. This 
payment is part of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ voluntarily suffered for our sins, 
pains, sicknesses, and sorrows. Through His grace and mercy He can help us in our trials and 
relieve us of the guilt and shame that result from our sins. 

From the scriptures we read: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, 
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

In paying for our sins, Jesus did not eliminate our agency or personal responsibility--He will not 
make us clean against our will. To receive His help and strength, we need to exercise faith in 
Him, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and choose to follow His teachings for the 
rest of our life. As we rely on the Atonement, we will feel the love of God, and He will help us 
"2endure our trials. We will experience joy, peace, and consolation. All that seems unfair in life can 
be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the mercy and love of Heavenly 
Father. The Atonement is the central point in the plan of salvation.

When Mary lived in Owen Brown Place, a senior living facility, I was asked to be one of her 
Home Teachers. This meant that a young man and myself would visit her at least once a month 
to see how she was doing, help her get any needful thing done, and share a gospel message. 
My companion was Eric Nichols, a 16 year old in our congregation. Mary loved Eric. Actually, 
so he loved all of our young men. Over the years, up until March of this year, whenever any of 
them visited her with me she would say hello to me and then go on and on about those 
handsome young men and what good men they would surely become. I know they all loved 
receiving her praise. Anyway, back to Eric. On one particular visit Eric taught a lesson on the 
Atonement of Jesus Christ. He read and explained from the scriptures, then shared his own 
feelings about the Savior's love for us. After he finished, Mary had tears flowing down both 
sides if her face. She thanked Eric over and over for explaining the Atonement to her. She said 
she had heard lessons in church about it and the missionaries had taught it to her, but that it 
never really clicked in her understanding until Eric taught her. She pulled a book out of her 
bookcase, one of her prized books about the principles of democracy and governance. She 
wrote Eric's name in the cover and told him it was for him when she died as a thank you for 
imparting such a meaningful gift to her of understanding the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Mary valued knowledge and learning. We discussed quite a range of topics over the years. 
She knew she was here to learn and to value what is good and she did so. 

Also living in Owen Brown Place were many retired folks who were born and lived their 
professional lives in Russia. One man, a doctor during his career, made the mistake of 
commenting that Mary could never learn Russian because she was too old and she was a girl. 
I'm sure that man got an earful because I got an earful about the audacity of that statement 
weeks after it happened. Mary made it clear that she may be too old to learn Russian, but her 
ability to do so had nothing to do with her being a girl so she bet him $10 that within six months 
she would know the Russian alphabet, be able to read rudimentary texts, and be able to ask 
questions a tourist might ask and understand the response. She worked late into the night, 
every night that I could tell, on that bet. At the end of the six months Mary was still working on 
"3mastering the alphabet and phrase sounds. She grudgingly turned over the $10, but she made 
it abundantly clear that it was only her age the prevented her from succeeding and that if he 
ever made a similar comment about the ability of females to learn she would really take him to 
task over the matter. She said she had him backed up against the wall by the time she finished, 
wagging her finger (and maybe a cane) at him. She said he avoided her from then on. 

Mary knew she was a daughter of God, that she had gifts, talents, and intelligence given by Him 
to her. She knew He loves her, and she would not accept any intimation otherwise. Each of us, 
likewise, have talents and gifts given by our Heavenly Father to us, specific for us. 

From an earthly perspective, physical death may seem like an end, but really it is a beginning, a 
step forward in Heavenly Father's plan. At death our spirit leaves our body and goes to the spirit 
world which is a place of learning and preparation. In the spirit world our memories of this life 
will remain with us. 

Death does not change our personality or our desire for good or evil. If we choose to follow 
Christ during our life on earth, we will be at peace in the spirit world and will rest from our cares.

Heavenly Father knew that many of His children would never have an opportunity to learn about 
Jesus Christ during their lives and that others would choose not to follow Him. Because He 
loves His children, God provided a way for those in the spirit world to learn about His plan, have 
faith in Jesus Christ, and repent. Those who accept and follow Jesus Christ will have peace and 

One of the great gifts of God to all who come to earth is the resurrection. Which is made 
possible by the atonement of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross His spirit went to the 
Spirit World. Three days later His spirit was reunited with His glorified, perfected body that 
could no longer die. This reuniting of body and spirit is called resurrection. Everyone who is 
born on earth will be resurrected.

Understanding about the resurrection can produce some interesting conversations. On one 
occasion I drove Mary and to two other elderly native Spanish speaking ladies to somewhere in 
Baltimore county. As we drove they started talking amongst themselves about picking burial 
"4sites. Each of them found the church very late in life and they had six husbands between them. 
They talked about how they were going about making the decision of where to be buried 
because when they were resurrected they wanted to see their husbands right away. However, 
because their husbands were each buried in locations far from each other, they would have to 
pick one to be buried by, but weren't sure how to make that decision. They asked each other 
questions about their husbands and offered advice on which to choose. They laughed about 
how hard it was for their children to discuss burial locations and funeral arrangements. How 
their children thought it was such a morbid topic and wouldn't talk about it with them so they 
would have to make the decision on their own.

After we are resurrected, we will go before God to be judged according to our works and the 
desires of our heart.

After we are judged, we will live in a state of glory. Because everyone’s works and desires vary, 
heaven includes different kingdoms, or degrees of glory.

Mary's life, from the time my family spent with her, was an example of the peace that comes 
from choosing good and following Jesus Christ's example. We shared many Christmas and 
Easter dinners, special events, and birthdays. She filled her space with love, enjoyment, frank 
speech, and laughter. 

One thing my family learned is that Mary didn't mince words. One favorite memory of my 
children is of visiting Mary at the Lorien facility and, because it was close to her birthday, we 
decided to sing Happy Birthday to her. So we did our best and thought is sounded pretty good. 
However, when we finished she smiled, said "That's nice, but next time ... bring me a hotdog." 

During our visits, when I would make a pun or joke, my family would roll their eyes, but Mary 
would laugh out loud. For the past six months, as my family and I said goodby after our visits, 
we would tell her that we love her and that we would be back to visit her. Then I would ask, 
"and you'll be here right? This is where we should come looking for you?" She laughed every 
time I asked. 

While Mary was in the Lorien facility, at the conclusion of each of our visits we sang to her. Until 
about a year ago she would sing with us. We sang The Princess Pat, I Know an Old Lady, 
children's songs, hymns, and her favorites which were My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean, You Are 
My Sunshine, I've Been Working On the Railroad, and I Am A Child of God. We sang I am A 
Child of God as the last song at each of our visits. We sang it to her last Monday evening. 
Today we sang it to her one last time in mortality. The words to the first verse of this song are: I 
am a child of God and He has sent me here; has given me an earthly home with parents kind 
and dear. Lead me, Guide me, walk beside me. Help me find the way. Teach me all that I must 
do, to live with Him some day. 

For 20 years Mary told us that she wanted us to come to her funeral and asked whether we, 
including the children, would be there. We always said yes. Today we made good on that 
promise. As an expression of our love for her, and our gratitude for the rich blessing she 
brought to out home, we are here.

We will no longer find Mary in the room where she promised us, each week, that she would be. 
But we do know where she'll be until we find her. She is undoubtedly busy and happy. And, just 
as a ship, when it leaves port, does so amid the tears and goodbyes of that port's families, ... So 
the families of another port scan the horizon until someone shouts "here she comes" and they 
greet her with rejoicing and welcoming. This was Mary's experience, I'm sure. As it will be all of 
ours at some point.


Stories from the Life of Mary Beinin 
February 2, 1911 to April 22, 2014 (37.700 days)

As told by her son, Carl Norton; and by Carl’s wife, Heidi; and by Mary’s sister, Rachel Coleman; 
and by Rachel’s husband, Leon; to me, Thorval L. Hickman, Jr with my own added experiences. 
Mary’s birth name was Socorro Maria Louisa Zaragoza de Luna. She has been known to us as 
Mary Beinin. Mary’s sister, Rachel, affectionately called her Coco. 

Mary came to us or we to her or we all came together on August 31, 1986, the date of her 
baptism at age seventy-five into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For a strong willed 
person to convert to another faith at the age of seventy-five years is truly a testament to that person’s 
determination and control over her life. 

Mary was born in La Piedad, Michoacan, Mexico. This town, now heavily narco infested, lies 
between Mexico City and Acapulco on the Pacific Ocean side of Mexico. View pictures of La Piedad on 
the internet. It most certainly looked much different one hundred years ago. The other Zaragoza 
children were Anthony, Louis, Frank(ie) Margarita, who died early as an adult, and Rachel. 

Mary’s parents were Clemente and Victoria Zaragoza. What were the circumstances of 
Clemente Zaragoza taking his family from Mexico to Gary, Indiana? There are two stories. Mary was 
quite close to her father and, I suspect, had the most accurate story. Mary didn’t tell me fables. Mary 
tells that during the Mexican revolution, her father’s family sided with the revolutionaries. One day two 
soldiers from the Mexican Army rode their horses to the home of Clemente’s brother. The soldiers said 
that they were seeking Zaragoza. Mary’s uncle answered that he was Zaragoza. The two soldiers then 
immediately shot him dead. When Clemente learned of this assassination, he let it be known that he 
would seek vengeance on the assassins. They hearing this threat fled north to the United States. 
Clemente took chase until he found them in Gary, Indiana. His process for following them is still 
unknown to me. There in Gary, these two evidently met an untimely demise on the railroad. Once in 
Gary, Clemente brought his family north, which at that time may have been only his wife and young ten 
year old daughter, Mary. Rachel says that the family in Mexico tells a different story. They say that the 
Illinois Central Railroad in Gary was hiring strike breakers at that time from Eastern European countries 
as well as from south of the border. For their protection, I can see why the family in Mexico tells this 
story. I side with Mary’s story which she told me a number of times so that I would not forget it. 

We only knew Mary in her later years – what went before explains a lot about her decisions 
made later. To wit, if a stranger were to knock at your door and were to ask to sup with you and your 
family, surely you would invite her in. In the course of the meal, you would come to know and 
appreciate that stranger to the extent that she may have revealed parts of her life to you. As you are 
reading the newspaper a few days after the dinner with the stranger, you discover that this stranger has 
died. The article states that the stranger was a world renowned humanitarian who was on her last trip 
home. You are not surprised to read this as you may have suspected such just from meeting her. You 
are rewarded, though, to learn that greatness had knocked at your door. So it is with Mary Beinin and the anecdotal stories which follow. These stories are not necessarily ordered chronologically, but by 
the attributes of character which endeared Mary to all us. 

Independence – 

According to the family, Mary was focused on living well. And she started showing that 
trait as a youth. At about the age of fifteen, Mary saw the dire circumstances of poverty the 
family was experiencing in Gary, Indiana. For a while during the Great Depression, they lived in a 
railroad box car. It was cold and there were no amenities. She confronted her father saying that 
the ducks and pigs in Mexico were better feed than their family in Gary, Indiana; and if he did 
not do something about it, she was taking the family back to Mexico. Consider your fifteen year 
old saying something like that to you in a similar circumstance. She insisted to her father that he 
get his United States citizenship so they could receive some welfare assistance. His pride was 
seriously damaged as he was the authoritarian head of the household. He informed Mary that 
he wanted to become a US citizen, but would not do so as the US government would require 
him to stomp on the Mexican flag. And he was emphatic that he would never stomp on the 
Mexican flag. Mary recounted this experience to her very supportive school teachers (Mary 
showed much promise as a student). Some or one of these school teachers addressed this issue 
with a local investigative reporter for a newspaper in Gary. This reporter exposed the flag 
stomping myth and its intent to intimidate and provide spurious facts to the Mexican community 
to discourage their obtaining US citizenship. 

Mary first obtained her driver’s license at age 72. That age is just a few years before 
becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Doing so afforded her 
the independence she needed to provide her own transportation to the church building as long 
as it was physically possible for her to drive. The meeting house was a good eight miles away. 
Her independent spirit propelled her at that age to take a step into the unknown world of 
hurling steel cages and rubber objects on oiled pathways with human beings inside guiding or 
misguiding the entire projectile. It was said by Carl about his mother that “she was not a good 
driver”. At one point, after returning from a trip with a few lady friends which Mary took with 
her, one of them got out of the car and kissed the ground on which she then safely stood. 

Although being fiercely independent, Mary finally realized at about the age of 80, that 
she should no longer drive and gave up her car. Over seven years, Mary had only put twelve 
thousand miles on the car. The engine and tires seemed to get her to wherever she wished to 
go. Let’s say, Mary was more concerned for people and not so much for machines. When Carl 
bought the car from his mother (millions of New Yorkers are known not to have automobiles – 
and Carl was one of them), he drove it home to Queens. On the way north on the Delaware 
Memorial Bridge while the car was ascending to the top, two tires blew out. The carburetor also 
had many ailments. Mary was definitely a “people person”. 

Intelligence – 

 Early on in Mary’s life, her school teachers recognized her impressive abilities at school 
and her desire to learn. Her teachers were all super supportive of her efforts and desires. As 
Rachel said, Mary was a determined woman. After Mary was graduated from high school, she 
received a partial scholarship to the University of Chicago. Her parents were not supportive of 
that educational direction for two very practical reasons: one was that they did not have the 
funds to make up the balance of the partial scholarship and, secondly, Mary, being the oldest 
child, was an important figure in raising the family. At that time she was caring for Rachel who 
was but a little child. 

Mary never forgot this missed educational opportunity. About two years later, Mary 
found a job in Chicago. Finding a job in Chicago was difficult in the early 1930’s as the Great 
Depression began to come upon us and as there was still much prejudice against those of 
Mexican ancestry. Mary’s teachers had written impressive recommendations as to her abilities. 
Learning of Mary’s difficulties in finding work, one of her high school teachers referred her to a 
company with which the teacher had influence and which was hiring secretaries. Upon applying, 
Mary was told that there were no openings for secretaries at the time. The teacher, incensed, 
had her niece apply to the company. The niece was immediately given an offer to be a 
secretary. This fine woman, the teacher, marched up to the company, so to say, and confronted 
them with the perfidy in their relationship to Mary and to society. Mary was soon hired as a 
secretary. It is likely that Mary was the first one of Mexican ancestry hired at this firm and 
perhaps at any firm in Chicago at that time. Mary has recorded that people at the firm would 
stop by and just stare at her in amazement – What, a Mexican in our company! What next! 
Please forgive my interpretation of “staring”. 

After relocating to New York City and while working at Sullivan &Cromwell (a prestigious 
white glove law firm)as a legal secretary, Mary also took college courses from Hunter College 
which was an all female college and which was part of the New York City college system. 

Entrepreneurship – 

Yes, an entrepreneur. This is not eulogistic hyperbole. During the Great Depression, it 
was, of course, difficult to survive financially. While Mary was employed in Chicago, her father 
showed films in Gary’s Mexican Hall. For one reason or another, that activity was deemed as 
illegal. Mary saw film showing to the Mexican community in Gary as an opportunity to tease 
money out of that community to assist in caring for her family. Mary established a relationship 
with Mexican film producers who would send the films directly to the family home. These films 
were silent films. The silent movies were largely of a romantic nature, and some were cartoons. 
Mary went to a movie house in Gary to negotiate (see Negotiation section) with the theater 
owner to rent the movie house one night a week. The theater owner was a Greek. Mary’s 
father was against the business proposition as he was highly suspicious that the theater owner 
had ties to the Chicago mafia. Nevertheless, Mary pursued the business deal. The theater 
owner countered her offer with an offer of free usage of the theater one night a week if she 
would “date” (go out with) him. She refused. Mary had her standards. [Although the theater owner was not Mexican, this situation brings to mind Mary’s assertions to me that she would 
never marry a Mexican man and she did not do so. Mary told me that a number of times. We 
should note that she was referring to Mexican men of those times in the society she was raised. 
And she held to that position throughout her life.] Mary countered the theater owner’s counter 
offer wherein she negotiated a very reasonable fee for the one night rental. Mary sold the 
tickets and the movie endeavor was very successful. Movie goers of Mexican ancestry would 
even come in from Chicago to view the films. Please note that all entrepreneurs make mistakes. 
Mary’s one fatal mistake was to let her father handle the ticket booth. He was a steel worker 
when there was work, but had no mind for his daughter’s business. He began to give out free 
tickets to his friends (“How can I charge my friends?” was his attitude, and other motives were 
most likely operative also). He even gave out tickets to friends whom he had just met two days 
before. Since Mary could not dislodge her father from the ticket booth, that chapter in Mary’s 
business life came to a close. 

Mary saw a second opportunity to provide income for the family. She saw the need to 
provide newspapers in Spanish to the Mexican community in Gary, Indiana. So Mary contracted 
with two newspaper publishers in Mexico: La Prensa and El Excelsior. The newspapers were 
shipped twice weekly to the Zaragoza family home in Gary, then distributed to the Mexican 
community in Gary. Mary was a “go-getter”. When she made up her mind, she went forward. 
Note her conversion to the Latter-day Saint faith. 

While living in New York City, Mary was approached by two investors who proposed that 
if she would open a Mexican restaurant they would invest in her business. They proposed that 
shecook, and they proposed that they control the money side of business. Mary wanted to cook 
and control the cash flow; and, wisely, she declined their offer. 

Of note is that in her library was a book entitled as I recall: A Quick Harvard MBA. 

Dignitas – Is “A self-assurance which allows one to overcome any odds one faces” as defined by 
Mary’s Brother-in-law, Leon Coleman, a retired professor of Cultural History. As defined, I 
would add that Mary’s “dignitas” was supported by the Spirit of Christ which hovered over 
her entire life and to which she was receptive. 

Bravery – An aspect of Dignitas 

 Mary, her husband and Carl lived in the lower East side of Manhattan. Coming home one 
night late from working at Sullivan & Cromwell, (this would be a good scene for a suspense 
thriller), two burglars had descended from the skylights built over their top floor apartment to 
take what they could find. As the burglars heard the rattling of Mary’s keys opening apartment 
door, they fled through the door as it opened. I suspect that Mary graciously waved them 
  At another time in that great city of safety, two thugs were trying to break into Mary’s 
apartment. She was home all alone. Thinking quickly, Mary yelled loudly to her husband, Irving, 
who as said was not at home: “Irving, bring me the pistol!”. The thugs fled. 

 While walking on a pathway in Columbia, Maryland, (a city of ostensible tranquility), 
Mary saw two men walking towards her making motions indicative of and preparatory to a 
personal attack. As they came closer, Mary stated firmly: “You better not try it”. They also 
disappeared into the ether and quickly. 

 And as Leon put it, even at the Lorien Health Center, Mary refused many times to die. 

Commitment – An aspect of Dignitas 

Whatever Mary did, she was committed to it. 

 After leaving Chicago to come to New York City, Mary worked for a tenant lawyer (See 
Isaiah 1:17 “…relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow”). 

Mary also sought connections. She became the personal secretary to the wife of one of 
the relatives of Solomon R. Guggenheim. During her tenure with Mrs. Guggenheim, Mary 
worked for a number of charitable causes for low or no pay. When Mrs. Guggenheim decided to 
vacation in Europe, she invited Mary to continue her work with her during the European 
vacation. Mary declined as her negotiations with the law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, were in 

In the 1970’s, Mary also worked with Caesar Chavez’ group as a secretary. 

Mary remained a good Democrat all her life. Blame me, but I even took her to vote in 
one election when she was in her nineties. She was very adept even from her wheel chair at 
using the touch screen ballot. 

Working with the white glove New York City law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell was 
prestigious especially for some one of few connections and no formal college degree; but 
Sullivan & Cromwell saw her intelligence and zeal. Some times her commitment went a bit too 
far. Mary confined to me once (and this is almost a quote): “Oh, Brother Hickman, why couldn’t 
I have found this Gospel earlier! I would have done so many things differently.” As Mary tells 
the story, as a legal secretary for Sullivan & Cromwell in NYC (beginning in the early 1960’s), she 
would put her attorney’s work at the bottom of the in-box pile. Why? Because the steno pool 
took their work always from the bottom of the pile (FIFO – First In First Out). I replied in jest 
something like this and she laughed: “Oh, Sister Beinin such a serious misdeed of advancing 
your attorney’s work ahead of others surely disqualifies you for a Celestial Glory in the 

Generosity of Spirit - 

 As with most people with a generous spirit of love, Mary was always free with hugs and 
kisses for family members. 

As the oldest child, Mary would purchase Christmas presents for the children in the 
family for and on behalf of her parents, who were almost poverty stricken. To conceal the 
source of the gifts, Mary even bought one for herself so as to immunize her from suspicion as 
the gift giver. 

Rachel, Mary’s sister, tells of Mary coming to visit her and her husband and children. 
Mary would bring gifts for the children. These gifts would be practical and of such a nature as to 
arouse admiration from the children’s peers. Mary was also very savvy. 

Mary’s generosity of spirit also included loving jabs at the weaknesses or foibles of those 
she loved and who loved her. This characteristic is just about the opposite of bullying as bullying 
entails no love. Rachel tells of one such example when Mary was back visiting home in Gary, 
Indiana. Only Mary and she were in the house. Frankie, one of the boy children, then aged 
fourteen came home with his friends to do the then equivalent of today’s “hanging out”. This 
was most likely in the early 1930’s. Giving proper respect to Frankie’s entertaining his friends at 
home, both Rachel and Mary left the room. As soon as they left, Frankie was heard to say: “OK, 
men what do you want?” Who knows what was “wanted”. Nevertheless, when Mary and 
Rachel returned to the room where Frankie and friends were, Mary stated to Frankie: “I didn’t 
know you all were men”. They all had a laugh. 

Mary would pinch her pennies, then make a monetary gift to a family member of her 
accumulated sum. In these gifts, according to Carl, there was “never a whiff of ‘you owe me’”. 

Negotiation – 

 Mary would negotiate or dicker with any one with whom she was dealing. 

When Carl was about sixteen years old, his mother, Mary, wanted to buy a typewriter for 
him. She took Carl to a typewriter repair shop on lower Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. She 
selected the model and then dickered with the old Jewish gentleman who ran the shop. Carl 
says that he would have just paid the price asked. It seemed to him that the negotiation lasted 
for hours. Most likely not. When the right price was reached, Mary made her last pitch for the 
best price by saying that the deal would be closed if the shop owner would absorb the sales tax 
cost. When hearing that story, we all laughed as had the shop owner. 

 When Mary finally decided to get her driver’s license, she also purchased a car. It was a 
Nissan. Even then at age 72, she dickered with the salesman to get the best price. Had I known that aspect of her nature, I would certainly have invited her to a number of our own auto 
purchases and just sat back and relaxed while Mary got me the best deal. 

Thrift – 

Mary saved money even on Social Security. Carl was surprised at what she had saved 
during her retirement. 

While employed at Sullivan & Cromwell, she would often work long hours to get her 
work done even until the wee hours of the morning. The firm would give her taxi fare for the 
ride home, but thrifty Mary would take the subway home and save the difference in spite of the 
dangers of riding the NYC subway at night. 

 When Carl turned eighteen, Mary purchased a life insurance policy on Carl’s life with her 
as beneficiary and had him pay the premiums. As an eighteen year old, it was hard for Carl to 
understand why she had done that especially having him pay the premiums. Now of course, he 
understands the financial loss, not to mention the emotional loss, which his untimely passing 
would have been to her in her old age. Carl has been that influence in caring for his mother 
which would have been lost if he had predeceased her. Had Mary seen the future even more 
clearly, she would also have had Rachel take out a life insurance policy on her own life with Mary 
as the beneficiary. Rachel has also been a great asset to Mary in her declining years, which 
would have been a great loss had Rachel predeceased Mary. 

Competitive – 

One Sunday when arriving at the Owen Brown Place to pick up Mary to bring her to 
church with our family, we noticed that she was limping. I asked her what the cause of the limp 
was. She laughed and in her usual moments of self revelatory candor said some thing to the 
effect that she was an old fool. She was then in her mid eighties. She allowed as to how she 
should never have challenged the younger woman at Owen Brown Place to a foot race on the 
tenth floor of her building. Whether in her youth or later, I do not know, but she had been 
known as “speedy” Beinin. 

Please note Lorin Lund’s story about Mary’s bet with the Russian. You’ve gotta laugh and 
admire Mary’s spunk. 

Some Anecdotal Stories About Mary’s Sojourn with us in the community of The Church 
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

Mary came to us at the beginning of her declining years. We did not know but a small 
part of what is written above about her life. Her joining this church is an expression of all of her 
personal traits. 
 Having been a former Catholic, Mary would often express her disappointment with the 
Catholic Church as it was in the Mexico of her childhood and in Gary, Indiana. On one occasion, I 
expressed sympathy for the Catholic Church by saying that the Catholic Church of today is not 
what it was in the Mexico of her youth, nor in the Gary, Indiana of the Great Depression. Mary’s 
response to me was: “Oh, Brother Hickman, I do hope that you are not going to become a 
Catholic”. Quote – Unquote. I had to smile. 

While driving Mary to Church, in the early days when she was still in her intellectual 
prime during her late seventies and eighties, she would give us a long dissertation on the legal 
process. I can see why Sullivan & Cromwell liked her. They were also an honest group. After 
Mary left their employ, she moved to Columbia, Maryland. They lost touch with her. When 
their records showed she had turned sixty-five years of age, they began to search for her. 
Finally, they found her here in Columbia and paid her back retirement and for whatever period 
her annuity was designed for. In this matter of longevity, I am sure that she also exceeded their 

Bishops in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints are “called” for periods of five 
to six years. They continue in their full time jobs and put in an extra ten to twenty hours a week 
or more in their callings. As a new member of the Church, Mary did not understand that 
process. So one Sunday, we were sitting in the Church’s Sacrament Meeting and the then 
current Bishop, Lowry Mauerman, was released from his calling as a Bishop. He had served his 
term. Mary turned to me and said (quote): “What did he do wrong?” Of course, the answer was 
that he did nothing wrong. It was just that the time for his “calling” as Bishop had expired. 
Again, I had to smile as I understood that Mary had deep insights into humanity, but just yet did 
not know all of our ways. 

Mary brought her years of experience to the Relief Society (women’s auxiliary) meetings. 
One Sunday while traveling home from the church meetings with our family, Mary commented 
about the Relief Society lesson for that week. The lesson was on the trials and hardships of life, 
suffering. She recounted the comments of many of the younger sister recalling the trials they 
had experienced. Mary expressed to me that these young sisters did not know what trials and 
hardships really were. I suspect that the severity of hardships and trials for each woman (and 
man) is relative to the spread between her best and worst times. From my view of Mary’s life, 
her spread between the good and bad times has exceeded that of most of us. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is highly organized. We believe that the 
Resurrected Christ has specifically chosen and called a prophet and twelve apostles in His church 
to be special witnesses of Him to the world. The current living prophet in essence calls each 
Bishop and, through delegation, ordains each Bishop to that office. The Bishop oversees the 
“callings” of individuals to each function in the Church. One such function is that of a Home 
Teacher. A Home Teacher is assigned to take a special interest in the three or four or more 
families assigned to him and to his companion. 

 Mary has had a number of Home Teachers over the years and Visiting Teachers who 
represent the Relief Society. I have recently served also as one of her home teachers. One of 
my home teaching companions was Carlos Holgado, who was born and raised in Spain and also, 
by the way, imprisoned by Spain’s Franco for his political views. Mary’s hearing at the time 
Carlos and I were her home teachers was seriously impaired such that I had to speak to her only 
inches from her ear. Even at that, it was hard for her to understand my words. Now, Carlos 
would stand four feet from Mary in her bed at the Lorien Health Center and speak to her in 
Spanish. And much to my amazement, Mary would respond in Spanish; and Carlos and she 
would carry on a long conversation. Neuroscientists – go figure! 

What has been impressive to me has been the care of those in the wards (congregations) 
in the area who have visited and ministered to Mary over the years without any specific calling 
to do so. Such actions reflect the instructions of the Lord through the prophet Joseph Smith that 
“…it is not meet (to tell precisely what to do in a particular circumstance) that I should command 
in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; 
wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good 
cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the 
power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they 
shall in nowise lose their reward. But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and 
receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is 
damned.” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-29). As said, over the years, many members of the 
Church wards in this area have visited and cared for Mary of their own free will. 

These visits remind me of Jesus’ teaching on the Mount in Matthew Chapter 6:1, where 
He says: “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye 
have no reward of our Father which is in heaven.” In keeping with that spirit of service which 
seeks no recognition, I cite two families whose names I shall not mention, but which have visited 
and served Mary at the Owen Brown Place (even though the Ward boundaries had changed, 
they still continued to serve her – of that man Mary told me “I would die for him” indicating her 
gratitude for his and his wife’s service) and the second family visited her at her last place of 
residence nearly every week; and neither of these families were under organizational obligation 
to do so. Nor do any of the other many families who have visited Mary over the years seek for 
any reward in Heaven, but only out of the love of an aging and lonely woman lying in bed for 
years on end. And while Mary was still physically able to attend church, two families were able 
to drive her to church every week. Those many families who have so served shall not be 
mentioned by me for fear that some would be left out; nevertheless, being left out would not 
matter to them as they have visited out of love and compassion. A number have even moved 
from the area and may never hear of her passing. Of course, I must also mention Mary’s sister, 
Rachel, who visited Mary a number of times each week although it came to a point where Mary 
could not even remember these visits. 

We shall remember Mary fondly over the years. Her life stories will be instructive in 
many instances and good for recall when similar situations present themselves as teaching