The Labour councillor, who served as leader of the auhtority from 1992, emigrated with her husband Eddie, also a councillor, in 2002.
The popular figure was also the first Labour councillor in almost 25 years to be elected to the role of Mayor in 1991 and, at the time, only the sixth woman to hold the position.
She was also a teacher at Pindar School.
Labour Cllr Eric Broadbent told the Scarborough News it was a sad day for the town.
He said: "She was a wonderful woman and I think I speak for everyone in the Labour Group when I say she will be greatly missed.
"She served for many years and was liked by everyone."
Mavis, who was in her mid-80s, represented Eastfield on Scarborough Council from 1979-99.
She was also an honorary alderman and was Mayor of Scarborough from 1991-92 when her husband was her consort.
She awarded the OBE for services to the community in the 2000 New Year's honours list.
Cllr Tom Fox, Mayor of the Borough of Scarborough said: “I first got to know Mavis when, as a senior police officer, I engaged with her and the council when she supported me and Scarborough Police in setting up the community and police groups.
"I enjoyed working with her on a number of joint initiatives and when I met up with her again when she last visited Scarborough, she told me she still had, in pride of place in her home, the blue artificial rose I gave her along with twelve fresh red roses when she left the council in 1999.
"Mavis was a remarkable and formidable lady, who I both loved and respected. Our politics never got in the way of our friendship."