Marie Elizabeth Legras April 9, 1922- March 30, 2020
Born Marie Elizabeth Smith in Alturas California, to Augusta Caldwell and Leland Seymour Smith, passed away this last week, ten days short of her 98 birthday. She had a good life growing up and living in the Sierras. She grew up in Nevada City, CA. Her Dad was a forest ranger; whom was stationed in Alturas CA and there met her Mom whom was a home economics teacher. She spent summers learning the ranching life on the family Caldwell ranch in Canby, as well as camping at Kings Beach and Incline with her family where her Dad was later stationed to surveyed the Tahoe Basin and managed the cattle ranchers and sheep herders grazing rights in the Sierras. Winters were spent skiing at Donner Ski Ranch and Cisco Grove. She attended college at Wood Berry Junior College in Los Angeles emphasis in mechanizing; worked as a Rosie Riveter and later moved to New York. She took a leave of absence from her job in New York City’s Cornell Hospital Oral Surgery Department returning home in Nevada City. The big winter of 1950-1951 she took a job as a waitress at Sugar Bowl where she met Jean Jacques Legras. After WW II, he was hired as a ski instructor at Sugar Bowl. They married Dec. 7, 1952. She and her girlfriends, Peg & Holly were known for their adventures; dancing on the bar at nights, walking the train tracks, hugging the tunnel walls if the train came through. After they married they purchased an original log cabin in Pineland subdivisions and continued to built and live in the subdivision until Jean Jacques retired from Alpine Meadows. Know as “Liz”, she worked at Swigards Hardware and various shops in Tahoe City. They retired in 1992 to Nevada City and she volunteered for Hospice Thrift store for many years. She made the best pies and chicken tetrazzini. She always set a formal dinner table; no containers with labels were allowed on the table at dinner. She is survived by her husband, Jean Jacques, daughter Michelle, two sons Jean Pierre & Jean Claude and two granddaughters Chloe & Yvette. She will always be know as “Tizzy Lizzy” by her close friends; for her love of dancing, champagne, Tahoe beaches and skiing at Alpine Meadows.
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