The woman known to many area residents as "Mrs. Santa Claus" has died.
Jean Mallow Boyd, a longtime Corona del Mar resident, was 87.
For years during the holidays, she flew in an AirBorne Law Enforcement helicopter to Newport-Mesa Unified elementary schools. Dressed as Kris Kringle's wife, Boyd would greet children and deliver candy.
Her petite stature — she was 4-feet-6 — made her an ideal Mrs. Claus, said niece Carol Jean Wilson, who lives in Michigan.
"She was a neat lady — a little tiny thing," Wilson said.
Boyd became a single mother after her husband, Gordon L. Boyd, died when their daughter was 3.
Her husband's death did not deter her from becoming involved in the community. Boyd served as a Neighborhood Watch chairwoman and volunteered for the Sherman Library & Gardens, Wilson said.
Boyd also started a local Camp Fire Girl group where her daughter, Bonnie Jean Boyd-Orlando, met her best friend 50 years ago. She was also active in Newport Beach churches, said Boyd-Orlando, who lives in Seattle.