Mary Beth Wolford passed into eternity on July 29, 2017, surrounded by her loved ones. As she left this world, she was being ushered into the mighty arms of God. Mary Beth left a very big void in this world. Her various accomplishments touched the lives of many. 

Mary Beth was born in Seattle, Washington and grew up in the Bay Area. She attended the University of California, Berkeley. Shortly after graduating, she married Bob Wolford and had three children. Once the children were in school, Mary Beth began to work on her Master’s Degree at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, while working full time in the education field. She continued to pursue a Doctorate in Education, graduating from the University of San Francisco. Her passion was to teach and mentor others. She had an uncanny ability to see a need and quickly implement a plan to make sure the need was met. She was instrumental in the developing many educational programs, including one for special needs students and high-risk teens that had fallen behind and needed to be realigned in the educational system.

In 1980, Mary Beth wanted to become involved in a wider spectrum of school activities and joined Byron School District as superintendent. She was the first woman to head a school district in Contra Costa County. In 1993, she went on to become the superintendent of Simi Valley School District, after joining the school district in 1987 as an assistant and deputy superintendent before taking the top job at the 18,800-student district in 1993. She retired in 1997. Well, sort of……

Mary Beth moved to Eureka, a community she fell in love with because of the Victorian and Craftsman architecture. She found a new calling and became the Director of the Humboldt Senior Resource Center. A few years later she became a City Council Member, again serving the local community with her talents and gifts.

Mary Beth ended her educational career as Superintendent & Principal of Peninsula Union School District in Humboldt County.

Mary Beth was an active Rotarian, even in retirement, because she never fully retired. She was always busy doing something and in her later years she said she might have missed her calling as an Interior Designer. She loved renovating and decorating homes. She was multifaceted and brought so much joy to many people. In 2013, she moved to Fairfield to be close to her family.

She is survived by her children, Katie Mattis and son-in-law, Tom Mattis, Dede Wolford, Rob Wolford and daughter-in-law, Barbara Ann Wolford. She was blessed with seven grandchildren — Veronica, Sara, Lisa, Brian, Miranda, Kendall and Madeline. She was great-grandmother to Gabrielle, Charlotte and Logan. Her only sibling, Linda Burnett, will miss her greatly!

A Celebration of Life will be held on August 12, 2017 at Paradise Valley Estates, beginning at 2 p.m. The address is 2600 Estates Drive, Fairfield, CA. In lieu of flowers, you may provide a contribution to the charity of your choice in her honor.

Arrangements are under the care of Bryan-Braker Funeral Home, 707-425-4697. Acknowledgements may be made at


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