Wesley Marie Tackitt, of Leesburg, VA, formerly of Long Beach, CA died 14th November at Meadow Glen Assisted Living facility just days after her 89th birthday.
Wesley Marie was born in Clinton, Oklahoma on November 4, 1926 to Ruth Kent nee Baughman and John Wesley Tackitt. The Great Depression forced her family to move to Southern California in 1937. She graduated from Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra, California in 1944; received a B.A. in Speech Arts from UC Santa Barbara in 1949; and a special secondary credential in Speech Therapy in 1954. She caught the acting bug, performing on stage, on radio, and in puppet theater throughout her high school and college years.
She worked in a number of fields including as a newspaper reporter, speech therapist, actress, and landlord. She worked for the Santa Barbara News-Press as a reporter and Woman’s Clubs Editor. She provided speech therapy in elementary schools in Merced County, Santa Cruz County, and New York City. Her acting credits include the movie "The Wild and the Innocent," with Audie Murphy and Sandra Dee and playing Margie’s mother in the TV series "Margie." She replaced Lotte Lenya in the lead role of Jenny in "Threepenny Opera" off-Broadway in New York. Some of her fondest memories were doing summer stock with the Stumptown Players in Guerneville, CA in 1953 and 1954. Many of the troupe members remained her close friends to the ends of their days.
She was married to Mark Brunner from 1960 to 1974, with whom she had her only child. Wesley moved often, living in Los Angeles, CA; Los Alamitos, CA; Long Beach, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; San Francisco, CA; Stockton, CA; Merced, CA; Santa Cruz, CA; Phoenix, AZ; New York City, and at the end of her life Northern Virginia to be near her daughter.
She loved to cook and entertain, and was famous for her parties, particularly in Belvedere where they spilled over the large deck that jutted out into the San Francisco Bay. She enjoyed listening to opera, and travelling, including three trips to Europe. She was a lifelong animal lover, particularly her beloved Siamese cat, Pooka.
She died peacefully in her sleep of gastrointestinal cancer. She is survived by her daughter, Francesca Brunner-Kennedy of Chantilly, VA, granddaughter, Amanda Kennedy of Fairfax, VA, and brother, John Tackitt of Paradise, CA.
According to her wishes, her ashes will be scattered over the Pacific Ocean. There will be no memorial service. In lieu of gifts, please donate to one of her favorite charities:
Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E: 1-800-333-4499 www.edgarcayce.org
The Salvation Army: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769) www.salvationarmyusa.org