The daughter of a Russian émigré, Mamie wished to study literature but her father Robert insisted she study business. So, after studying in Glasgow, she began attending classes in Edinburgh, travelling through each day by car. The following year, her working career was put on hold after Mamie married Louis Shenkin and they started a family, having two sons and a daughter. Louis ran a carpet firm but Mamie was keen to work in her father's business and she helped build the family's retail operations in Glasgow.
Originally selling army surplus items, they went on to sell kilt wear, camping equipment, and sportswear. One of Mamie's innovative ideas was to sell children's replica football strips. Roberts Stores in the east end of the city became and institution to generations of sports-minded customers. Mamie then ran her own business, selling kilt wear to the Scottish diaspora overseas market.
Proud of her Jewish heritage, and a born motivator and organiser, she had many interests outside her family and business interests. She was involved in promoting the interests of women in WIZO (Women's International Zionist Organisation) in Scotland, and in 1995, she received the prestigious Rebecca Sieff Award for her outstanding support. As part of the 35 group, she worked to secure the emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union.
When Louis died in 2003, they had been married for 64 years. Known for her energy and, devoted to her family, she organised a trip for over 30 family members to EuroDisney for her 90th birthday.
Mamie died on 22 October 2009, aged 92.
Many thanks to Susan Shenkin for providing the photographs and information on Mamie's life.