Mary Thoits

From left, Beverly O'Neill, Eunice Sato, Mary Thoits and Gary Scott.

A paddle out has been scheduled for this Saturday morning by Long Beach lifeguards to pay tribute to Mary Thoits, the longtime educator who died Jan.2 at the age of 97. But it was cancelled Thursday due to COVID-19 concerns.

The paddle out starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, in front of the main lifeguard station at Junipero Avenue and Ocean Boulevard. It is open to the public.

Theresa Brunella, current director of the Lifetime Learning Center at Long Beach City College — which was founded by Thoits — said a celebration of life for Thoits would take place when the Pacific Coast campus reopens.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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