Mavis Bilbray Clute died today in her home in Carlsbad...she was 90 years old and is the mother of Congressman Brian Bilbray

she is the mother in law of my niece Carrie Lee Bilbray and mother to her husband William Bilbray

she was 90 years old and had been ailing for many years

Official Obituary from Sign on San Diego

thx for the link Grasca

BILBRAY-CLUTE, MAVIS Remembering Mavis Bilbray-Clute Feb. 8, 1920 to May 13, 2010 WASHINGTON, D.C. - Mavis Lillian Bilbray-Clute (b. Becker), the mother of Congressman Brian Bilbray, recently passed away peacefully at her home in Carlsbad. Mavis was born in Sandgate, a suburb of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia and grew up on the Booubyjan Station, a cattle ranch in the "outback" community of Goomeri. Fascinated with tennis, Mavis grew up and became the Queensland Mixed-Doubles Champion while attending the University of Brisbane where she attained a degree in accounting. Mavis met Hubert Patrick Bilbray, a Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Navy, in 1943 shortly after the Battle of Brisbane. The two met in the Queens Hotel which, at the time, was being used as the headquarters for General Douglas McArthur. The two were married on March 11, 1943. Mavis made her way to America on the S.S. Lurline, which was the first successful Pacific Ocean passage of any ship carrying Australian war brides. The couple made their life in San Diego and had four children, Bill, Robert, Brian and Barry. Mavis, using her accounting degree, opened Bilbray Tax Services in Imperial Beach, acted as the treasurer for the Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce, assisted with various political groups and taught her children how to play tennis. "She continued to best us at tennis well into her sixties," said Congressman Bilbray. "Mom made a real impression on us kids when it came to loving America," recounted Bilbray. "She told us about when the Lurline sailed into San Francisco Bay. She said, coming in and sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge, with the bridge framed by the mountains, it seemed as if America was giving her a hug and welcoming her to a new home." Always with a competitive edge, Mavis was proud to be the first of all the Australian brides who came over on the Lurline to become an American citizen. "She always considered herself an American from Australia, not an Australian-American," said Congressman Bilbray. Widowed in 1968, Mavis remarried in 1971 to Commander George S. Clute who served as a Naval Aviator in World War Two. Commander Clute passed away in 1999. "She was always loving, and strong," said Congressman Bilbray. "There's no good way to prepare for the reality of losing your mom." Mavis is survived by her sons and their spouses Jan Clute, Bill and Carrie Bilbray, Robert and Susan Bilbray, Brian and Karen Bilbray, and Barry Bilbray, 12 grandchildren, 14 great-grand-children, and her longtime caregivers Lisa Hughes and Shelly Patton. Services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations in the name of Mavis L. Clute may be made to the Building Fund of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, 6628 Santa Isabel Street, Carlsbad, CA 92009.

More like this:


Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 4:06 p.m.

I read that Mrs. Bilbray Klute immigrated from Australia. Her son's position of the new immigration law in Arizona and his ability to tell illegals from how they dress seems at odds for the son of an immigrant. I am guessing that his mother did not teach him to be this way.


nan shartel May 15, 2010 @ 8:19 a.m.

actually i don't know the political ramification of that situation

Ms Klute was actually a "War Bride"..Mr Bilbray was in the Navy when he met and married her...she was a rising star in Tennis in Australia and set aside her Tennis career to marry Bilbray

they had 4 sons together and she was proud of all of them..especially Brian as he was the mayor of Imperial Beach for a while...and has been sent by the voters to congress twice

he was very instrumental in supporting and helped enacting laws in Environmental issues (clean air and water)...and of course the border issues as well

Ms Klute was a self made woman in business

her loss to her family is incalculable


nan shartel May 15, 2010 @ 8:23 a.m.

yes Cuddles

i had the pleasure to meet and get to know Mavis spending time with her in her lovely home in La Costa after Bobby and i returned from Oregon

she was quite a powerhouse even in her later years..still had her head in business and was a self made millionaire

she will be missed


nan shartel May 15, 2010 @ 8:30 a.m.

thx so much Ms was as u say quite a life!!!


nan shartel May 16, 2010 @ 10:10 a.m.


i refuse to get into a political discussion in this time of grief for the Bilbray family and consider ur continuing comment to press the issue very inapropriate after the loss of a beloved mother

find another time and place to set up this forum...i've notice u don't blog here...only comment..perhaps u should blog as u have strong opinions and much to say...stop being a sniper here and show urself a BLOG of ur own!!!


CuddleFish May 16, 2010 @ 3:39 p.m.

This is an open and public forum. Everyone has a right to express their views. I think Grasca choose an appropriate and thoughtful way to bring a different viewpoint into the discussion by posting a link to an article on the subject.

I did not post earlier on this thread because I do not believe it is appropriate to speak ill of the dead. I am sorry for your personal loss.


CuddleFish May 16, 2010 @ 4:03 p.m.

I'm sure you understand, nan, that passions are running high at the moment. Feelings carry over to otherwise benign events. This is the price politicians and public figures pay for their fame, particularly when they express controversial views.


nan shartel May 16, 2010 @ 10:29 p.m.

there was nothing thoughtful in the things that Grasca said Cuddles...she barrage ballooned a death of a different person (Ms Klute) into an attack on her son...

which is probably well deserved

i don't agreed with his politics concerning the border or the obviously racial bias of his remarks in the article...however this is not the arena to bring her son's political persuasion into question

do u know enough about Mavis Klute to speak ill of her now that she's dead?

it had been my intention to write more about Mavis's somewhat remarkable life but i won't do that i find who she was and the example she supplied to womens upward mobility in business will be completely overlooked to focus on her sons political issues

passions have their does reason...respect for the dead has been and i think should continue to be observe by civilized reasonable people

this particular blog is not open to political discussion


David Dodd May 16, 2010 @ 11:09 p.m.

Nan, I'm also sorry for the loss in your family, it sounds like Ms. Klute was a true matriarch, something that seems to be rare these days.

And these are weblogs, not part of a political forum, some people seem to be at a loss to understand the difference. There are plenty of places in here for people to troll in the political arena. It should be obvious that this isn't one of those places.


nan shartel May 16, 2010 @ 11:15 p.m.

thx so much Refried..ur support in this matter is greatly appreciated


CuddleFish May 16, 2010 @ 11:35 p.m.

I am surprised how some people waited until now to post their sympathies, but there, we will not suspect their motives.

Grasca did not post comments on this thread, she posted a link. It is her right to do so. This is an open public forum.

There are plenty of places on the Interwebs which are dedicated to sympathy posts. On a forum like this where public comment is invited, one must expect contrary views on any subject.


David Dodd May 17, 2010 @ 12:04 a.m.

You're welcome nan, I hope you can ignore and perhaps excuse anyone ignorant enough to propose that there is a contrary view on losing a member of your family.


Joe Poutous May 17, 2010 @ 7:55 a.m.

Sounds like she had a full life... Sorry for your family's loss Nan.

  • Joe

SurfPuppy619 May 17, 2010 @ 8:20 a.m.

I had a family memeber die in December 2008 and still have a hard time with it......


CuddleFish May 17, 2010 @ 9:10 a.m.

I am sorry for your loss, SurfPuppy. I lost my grandfather years ago, and still miss him every single day.


Grasca May 17, 2010 @ 9:13 a.m.

There are opportunities for bereaved to post obits and have a guest book sign in on the Union Tribune.


CuddleFish May 17, 2010 @ 9:31 a.m.

Only ignorants fools imagine that when the mother of John Gardner dies, everyone will say, "What a nice woman" and leave it at that.

The mothers of mass murderers of innocent victims don't get a free pass. No one will invite Grasca to say a few words at the memorial service. But on an open and public forum, she has a right to post a link which leads from the mother to the despicable son whose attitude and position in government, one could argue, have lead to the death of many innocent people.

One could hope that reflecting on the death of a dear departed mother would open the heart of that son to feeling the pain of the women who have lost their husbands, brothers, sons, as the men leave them behind to cross deserts, mountains, rivers, hunted like dogs, robbed by bandits, dying of thirst or exposure far from home in their quest to relieve the starvation and poverty of their families.

Somehow I doubt it. If that's ugly, then so be it.


nan shartel May 17, 2010 @ 10:53 a.m.

great thx to those who offer sympathy at this time of Mavis's bereavement

Grasca...i'm sure the inner circle of family will post a Obit and some history of her life in the Trib

her funeral and various memorial services will be held this week...Bill..Carrie's husband is especially upset as he is the oldest and partnered his mother after his father was out of the picture and at 11years old he stepped up to the plate and began a lifelong habit to make her life situations tenable

like when he (at 11) found the whole family hotel accommodations when she was too upset to look for them for herself and her 4 sons

all of the boys...despite any other parts of there doings...always rallied round their mum...and she modeled how to become strong and successful in their lives as she had a single mother

in business she had such moxie she became a self made multimillionaire

i'm disappointed Cuddles that u would put Mavis into the category of John Gardners mother...even she isn't guilty of her son's behavior and probably is heartbroken that her son is so relentlessly disturbed by deviant thinking that he would commit such horrific acts upon our children here in San Diego

that u can make such a leap saddens me

Grasca did make a comment..the 2nd comment here is hers..where her thoughts about the son r immediately brought up as examples of his biased and heartless thinking...when in fact i believe from what i know about Brian is that he wants to separate the wheat from the shaft where border matters r concerned

Ms Bilbray Klute was raised in a time in Australia where no Italians were allowed to immigrate to Australia for fear the criminal element..the Mafia..would set up criminal activities there

we r all affected and formed by the society around us..often in spite of morality

as a granddaughter of a migrant worker (picker)...and in a general humanitarian i am much in agreement with what u say about the cruelty of unauthorized border crossing because of need

and i know full well that much of what the Mexican workers do wouldn't be done for the sparse payment they receive by citizens here

but altho it is in many ways far and away more important then the death of one old woman

this is not the arena to voice them

it's indecent...or a friend of mine used to say..."it's a turd in the punchbowl"

i hope that u and Grasca will do a blog about this subject u feel so passionate about

where all the comments u've brought here will be welcome


nan shartel May 17, 2010 @ 10:57 a.m.

i know how you feel Surfpuppy...he's lookin' down lovin' u darlin'.. ~~bowing Namaste~~


nan shartel May 17, 2010 @ 10:58 a.m.

thx so much Joe...the family thxs u too


CuddleFish May 17, 2010 @ 11:12 a.m.

Have been a contributor to the Southern Poverty Law Center since forever, Grasca, they are the leaders in this field.

Glad I rattled your cage today, nan! That's what public forums are all about!


CuddleFish May 17, 2010 @ 11:15 a.m.

I didn't put Mrs. Bilbray into the category of John Gardner's mother, her son did.


Duhbya May 17, 2010 @ 11:17 a.m.

Nan - I'm sorry, that in your time of grief, you are compelled to expend what amounts to wasted energy dealing with this nonsense. Ms Bilbray Klute was as fortunate to have you as you were to have her. Requiescat in pace.


nan shartel May 17, 2010 @ 11:25 a.m.

Grasca...u remind me of those agitators who stood slightly out of sight at the funeral of a Gay man and yelled damnation for his lifestyle

do u consider urself in good company there???


CuddleFish May 17, 2010 @ 11:34 a.m.

So far as I know, Grasca did not attend the funeral. Perhaps you can enlighten us, nan?


nan shartel May 17, 2010 @ 11:45 a.m.

Cuddles...gawd i love ya hunnypants...but ur general unruliness here is getting on my last nerve!!!

take a deep breath and consider what ur doin' darlin'

shall we meet and have Tea???

do u notice i'm trying to be a peacemaker??

i was reading "Mother Earth"...marching with Caesar Chavez...and being washed down the stairs in the San Francisco Courthouse at "The House on Unamerican Activities Committee" meetings...supporting the ALCU and was one of only 5 whites at the impromptu memorial service at the Starlite Thearte for Martin Luther King in a crowd of about 5000 blacks

don't u realize ur preachin' to the choir here??

and Grasca...i don't know u but have treated u well even tho at this point i consider u nothing more then a flamer...because of that i will be removing ur some of ur comments here

however i won't disrespect ur mother because of ur behavior

u do Cuddles a grave diservice inflaming her to join in with this indecent behavior


nan shartel May 17, 2010 @ 11:48 a.m.


it's in the news and those agitators r being sued because they came to the funeral and behaved so will be a civil rights case


nan shartel May 17, 2010 @ 11:49 a.m. act up at the most inappropriate times..even if their mum's didn't teach them to be that way


MsGrant May 17, 2010 @ 12:04 p.m.

One of the key components of civility is the preservation of dignity. To say that society is heading toward incivility is an incorrect assumption. We are already there. When did manners become something to be challenged? When a certain amount of decorum is required, why do some feel compelled to cite “freedom of speech” rhetoric when a simple “I’m sorry” would suffice? When someone makes their grief public, is simply expressing condolences no longer the proper thing to do? Or because of the public nature of the expression, is it an open invitation to attack the relatives of the deceased and therefore the deceased themselves for birthing these relatives who are no doubt having a difficult time and could use a little support? Regardless of how you “personally” feel about them, because I for one do not think the death of another person’s loved one is about you. Or how you feel about the political views of their children. I want to remember the person for the good things they accomplished and I want to hear about their life from someone who knew them personally and can bring them back to life through their stories. I want to be inspired by a woman who raised her family by herself and went on to become a self-made millionaire. I do not want the author of the sad announcement who had more to say about the amazing life of an intriguing woman to now have to say this: “it had been my intention to write more about Mavis's somewhat remarkable life but i won't do that i find who she was and the example she supplied to women’s upward mobility in business will be completely overlooked to focus on her sons political issues”.

Now I will never know. Not from the perspective I wanted and eagerly anticipated.

There are other places to air your grievances. Let those that are truly grieving have their space. I'm sorry, nan. I had to say it.


nan shartel May 17, 2010 @ 12:46 p.m.

extraordinarily well said Grantie...and great thx and no worries for the saying

it is welcome here

it didn't occur to me when i started this that Mavis's dying would be a platform for the "hot potato issue" of her son's congressional thinking

i was surprised that someone brought him up in that way...and when my respected friend Cuddles chimed in... i was i must say flabbergasted

i thought seriously about the border issue then..and the passions of those who r so rightly concerned about it..but even after much thought i considered the bringing up of those concerns inappropriate for this blog

i'm sorry i can't tell u more of Mavis's life story Grantie...she was a corker...i took care of her in her home for a few months when i first arrived here and she told me much about her life story...perhaps the Trib will cover the meantime i hope i've made my point where decent behavior about the death of a family member is concerned

but as we all know...u can't please all the people all the time


thestoryteller May 17, 2010 @ 1:54 p.m.

I, for one, appreciate the efforts of Brian Bilbray and his mother should have died proud to have him as a son. After reading an article about her life, I am sure I would have found her inspring if I had been lucky enough to know her.

Because I live in Escondido, I know that you CAN tell what an illegal immigrant looks like, but out of respect for Nan, I won't post it here.


Duhbya May 17, 2010 @ 2:40 p.m.

Re #36: You sure have a peculiar way of showing RESPECT. Good God, woman! That post is messed up on so many levels.


CuddleFish May 17, 2010 @ 2:52 p.m.

Excuse me, nan, but I don't think I said anything disrespectful toward Mrs. Bilbray. I don't know the woman. I'm sorry for your personal loss.

Now I am trying to be the peacemaker. Remember that.


nan shartel May 17, 2010 @ 4:22 p.m.

storyteller with a different view...i respect ur right to say it


nan shartel May 17, 2010 @ 4:27 p.m.

thestoryteller.... could u please leave a link to that article here if it is about Mavis...perhaps those who would like to know more about her individually unrelated to her sons doings would like to read it


Grasca May 17, 2010 @ 5:05 p.m.

Mavis Blibray Clute seems to spell her name with a C and not a K. Here is a genealogy link


nan shartel May 18, 2010 @ 11:17 a.m.

u were right about the C Grasca...sorry...


Grasca May 18, 2010 @ 12:09 p.m.

No harm, no foul. Mrs. Bilbray sounds like she was gutsy and fascinating from the obit information.


nan shartel May 18, 2010 @ 1:02 p.m.

thx for being gracious Grasca...i need to get to know u better unrelated to this blog


i heard from family today...the Bilbray sons were all and all pleased with the blog and appreciated that i had put up a remembrance for their mother so all is well

they know i'm not normally a political person and swing mostly left but like me anyway...i like that about them...that they are affectionate and opened handed unrelated to political views

that kind of equanimity has served them and i think will continue to serve them well


Grasca May 18, 2010 @ 2:30 p.m.

It is nice to end a life well lived on a positive note. Beating her sons at tennis well into her 60's says a lot about the competitive spirit of this woman and her athletic abilities. I looked for any other bios or articles (even though one was mentioned on this blog) but could only find one which I posted. Whoever wrote the obit did a great job. If someone has another life story, I think it would interesting reading. From what I have read, more people are living to be 100. Something to hope for ?


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