McMANNIS, Laurette Lacey Laurette Lacey McMannis passed on quietly in her sleep on February 10, 2017 in Santa Rosa. Born February 18, 1913 she was almost 104 years old. She was born in Los Angeles, California and her parents were George Herbert Lacey and Maude Peach Lacey. As a child she studied dancing and was selected by Fanchon and Marco to tour with their chorus units to a theatre in Oakland and then eastward to Kansas City in the late 1920s. She attended John Marshall High School in 1931 and helped to select the school colors, navy and light blue. She studied interior design at UCLA and later at San Jose State College. She loved her work as an interior decorator. She married Gene Powers, First Violinist of the Raymond Paige Orchestra. In the mid 30s, Laurette rented a small commercial building in Westwood Village near UCLA which served as her studio and where she also sold antiques. Some of her lamps and antiques were leased for the movie, Gone with the Wind. In an attempt to keep the home she and Gene had built they rented it to Bud Shulberg who was then writing the novel, What Makes Sammy Run? He thought her name was unusual and named one of his characters, Laurette. Divorcing Gene Powers in the early 40s, Laurette moved to Oakland to live and work as a decorator in Montclair Village. She married Leland Ross a financial writer. In the 1950s, they bought an apple ranch in Sebastopol at the top of Ferguson Lane. She continued her interior work in Jack London Square and San Francisco as well as transporting their gravenstein apples to the city market. Selling the ranch, they purchased a Victorian house on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa where they had her studio and home. She developed her clientele in Sonoma and Marin Counties. Laurette was proud to be the first member of the Association of Interior Decorators north of San Francisco. When widowed, she married Dr. Ed McMannis and assisted him in his dental practice. She became interested in preventive dental care. Elected the national president of the women's auxiliary of the American Dental Association, she promoted this as her platform when she and Dr. McMannis traveled the United States to ADA meetings. Both Laurette and Dr. McMannis were devoted golfers and both were members of the Santa Rosa Country Club for many years. She loved Japanese decor and designed and built a Japanese American house and garden in Holland Heights. She planted a rose garden so that she could bring roses to First Church of Christ, Scientist where she was an active member. She is survived by her sister, Patti Miller of Sebastopol: nieces: Randee Martin, Derry, NH; Lauree Asarian, Chico, CA; Mindee de Lacey, Los Angeles, CA; and nephew: Patrick Miller, Sebastopol, CA.
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