Mary Skaggs, 109, aunt of L.S. (Sam) Skaggs, former president and chairman of American Stores Company, died at her Lake County, California ranch on October 1, 2009. She was born January 24, 1900 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She immigrated with her family to the United States, in 1906 and eventually settled in Ogden, Utah. In 1919, she married L.J. Skaggs, one of the six brothers who, in 1927, founded the Safeway grocery chain. In 1936, L.J. Skaggs founded Payless Drug Stores in California, a chain of drug stores he directed until his death in 1970.
Following the death of her husband, Mary Skaggs assumed leadership of their private foundation, The L.J. Skaggs and Mary C. Skaggs Foundation. The Foundation awards grants in the areas of the arts, history and the environment in the United States and abroad, especially England. On the occasion of Mrs. Skaggs' 100th birthday, Queen Elizabeth created her a Commander in the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her philanthropic activities in the United Kingdom.
Mary Skaggs was preceded in death by her husband and their daughter, Virginia. She is survived by nieces and nephews in Utah.