Cover photo for Mary Alicia Wentworth's Obituary
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1940 Mary 2023

Mary Alicia Wentworth

January 19, 1940 — December 22, 2023

Phoenix

Mary Alicia Wentworth passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by her loving family, on December 22, 2023, at the age of 83.  

Mary was born on January 19, 1940, in Rapid City, South Dakota to C.W. and Louise Laws, and she was the third of four children. In her childhood, Mary was immersed in ranch life and mastered countless arts and skills. She shined as a barrel racer, baton twirler, and Rodeo Queen, in addition to being an incredible cook, seamstress, knitter, and needle pointer. Mary’s lifelong appreciation and love for American Indian history, culture, and art was also born in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mary graduated from Cathedral High School, and then attended Loretta Heights College in Denver, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree.

After College, Mary went to work for Western Airlines where she met her future husband, Jim Wentworth. The two began their married life together in Seattle, Washington where their first son, John, was born. In the following 26 months, the family moved to Phoenix and had two more sons, Jim and Jeff. 

Being a mother was clearly one of the most joyful parts of Mary’s life. Anyone who knew Mary at all, knew about her three boys. She would share stories of their childhood adventures and find humor in the telling of their “misadventures.” Throughout their lives, she celebrated their successes, showed confidence in their abilities, and expressed admiration for the beautiful lives they built.

Mary loved being a “boy mom” and was the BEST at it. She created a loving, warm, and fun home where all her boys’ friends wanted to be. She had a radiant smile, an infectious laugh, a wicked sense of humor, and a talent for making things interesting and fun. Even in a house full of boys, she always maintained incredible grace and style. 

Mary's home radiated warmth, embodying a comforting atmosphere that welcomed all who entered. A meticulous curator, Mary infused both her closet and decor with a unique flair that showcased her passion for southwestern, ranch, and Native American culture. Her ability to create warm and unique spaces became well-known in North Central Phoenix. Many of her friends convinced her to put her interior design talents to use in their homes, as well.

Mary had a captivating presence and people were drawn to her. Many of her friendships began and flourished during her countless volunteering endeavors at Brophy, the Phoenix Art Museum, and the Heard Museum. She chaired many large events, somehow always creating the perfect environment for any occasion.

Aside from her volunteering efforts, Mary was also a member of Friends of Mexican Art and of the Phoenix Art Museum Collectors Study Club. She showcased her culinary talents by participating in her beloved Gourmet Club for 25 years. Her other interests included gardening, antique collecting, golfing, and entertaining her friends on East Echo Lane. Everything Mary created or collected was beautiful just like her.

No one admired Mary’s unique style and talents more than her grandchildren, who lovingly called her “Mimi.” Mimi was undoubtably the hippest grandma in town. She relished being on the cutting edge of culture and fashion trends. Her granddaughters loved it too – as they were often the lucky recipients of amazing hand-me-down clothes and accessories. In addition to sharing her style, Mimi took every opportunity to impart her lifelong passions for art and history. 

No matter what she did or where she was, Mary stood out in crowd.  She was a one-of-a-kind woman in every regard. She will be greatly missed. 

Mary is survived by her boys John (Judy), Jim (Julie), Jeff (Laura Jo), 13 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents C.W. and Louise Laws, and siblings Jim Laws, Carole Laws Schumacher, and John Laws.

The family would like to express their gratitude to her companion of 17 years, Dr. John Parks; to her nieces, Mary Ann Walsh and Jane Dolan; as well as to her caregivers and all of those at Hospice of the Valley. 

Visitation will be held at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018, on Wednesday, January 3, 2024, from 4:30 pm until 6:30 pm with a Rosary at 5:30 pm. Funeral services will be at Brophy Chapel, 4701 N Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012, on Thursday, January 4, 2024, at 4:00 pm. 

In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to donate to Hospice of the Valley or to the Heard Museum in memory of Mary Wentworth. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Alicia Wentworth, please visit our flower store.
In memory of Mary Alicia Wentworth, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

4:30 - 6:30 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home

4800 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Rosary

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

5:30 - 6:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home

4800 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass

Thursday, January 4, 2024

4:00 - 5:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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