Mona Alene deBeyer Fletcher Horwitz told her own fortune on Oct. 30, 2021.
Mona was born in 1925 to an Australian jazz singer, Mona Raye, and an American man, Albert Fletcher. She enjoyed her early childhood on a farm in foster care while her parents toured with a jazz review. Until she died of tuberculosis in 1935, her mother sent her something in the mail every day. Mona felt loved.
In the post-depression years, she and her father hitchhiked around the country homeless. He had wanted a boy and called her Billie, or Bill for short. Then she lived with the parents of her father’s second wife. Trail Cormac was called the Skipper, a seafaring scot from the Orkney Islands. She loved the Skipper.
On her eighteenth birthday, she said bye-bye and headed to Chicago in 1943 and got her first job at a record and music store. In 1950, she married Harold Horwitz, the son of Emma, a Utah Mormon, and Abraham, a Russian Jew.
The ’50s brought two children and a move to Sausalito in Northern California. There began her life in “little theatre” in Marin County, where she starred in many off-broadway shows. And she could sing: I heard her sing “My Coloring Book” at a piano bar just like Streisand or Minnelli or Sarah would. “Color me blue…..!”
Harold, who died in Moab 20 years ago, was a quiet, artistic guy not inclined to the active life or business. Mona became the breadwinner for the family in the ’70s. She got a job as a realty agent but soon wanted her own business and opened The Crystal Palace in then-very hip Mill Valley. She paid her storefront rent a week at a time and in the third week landed a client with 200 places to rent. In the ‘80s, she had five agents and her own brokerage. She called everyone “dear, honey, and baby” and everything was honest, ethical, and always happy.
Around this time, she became interested in psychic phenomena: est, Mind Dynamics, Silva and Christian Science began her journey which included tarot, numerology, crystal healing, past lives and reincarnation.
Fiercely protective of her son Marc, she sold it all and moved to Moab to be sure his Star Diner was a success. In her seventies, she worked front-of-house and made sure the food was as well served as it was cooked. Then they happily traded for a house on a beautiful property.
By 2000, she returned to her love for crafts and art; she had long been a talented and prolific seamstress, embroiderer, and knitter. Her collection of handmade dolls and clothing is nothing less than extraordinary. She recycled vintage clothing into period dress using beads, feathers and fur. She made silk lampshades and more than twenty beaded purses. Oh, and stained glass.
In her nineties, she had enough energy to be self-reliant. Though she had aches and pains and insomnia, she still collected things for crafting.
These COVID times were hard on her. She was completely isolated in concern for not spreading it to family or friends. The news from the outside world of wars, politics, pollution and suffering – especially of children and animals – affected her deeply and she would sob at the thought. She gave to charities she loved.
She was just sick and tired of being sick and tired. She felt her life was complete and was looking forward to “another chance to get it right.” She knew there is another life ahead.
She will be missed by her friends, those who loved her, by nearly everyone she met, and especially by her sons, Steven and Marc; their wives, Marie and Terry; by her grandson, Sean; and her siblings, Michael, Trail, and Peter Fletcher. She would ask that we be happy for her and treat each other well. Among her last words were “Nite, nite. Sleep tight.” Godspeed.
A memorial will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 17 from noon until sunset. Call 435-210-8156 for details.