Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - June 25, 2010

Deaths

Emily Coffey

Emily Coffey, 61, a former Palo Alto resident, died June 5 of cancer-related causes in Portland, Ore. She was born in San Jose but grew up in Palo Alto and graduated from Palo Alto high school in 1966.

After high school, she continued her education in Portland, earning a degree in physical therapy from Portland State University. She met her husband, Patrick Coffey, in 1972 and continued her life in Portland working with young disabled children. Being a fluent Spanish speaker, she was able to reach out to Latino parents who didn't speak any English and help them cope with their children's disabilities.

Eternally interested in music, she played any instrument from the piano to the ukulele. She also loved the outdoors and went on river rafting trips through out the northwest annually.

She is survived by her husband and son Jackson, both of Portland; her mother Tibby Simon of Palo Alto; her brother Robert Simon of San Rafael; and her sister Joyce Doran of Auckland, New Zealand.

A memorial gathering will take place in La Honda on Saturday June 26.

Robert Moulton

Robert W. Moulton, 92, a resident of Palo Alto, died May 29.

He would have celebrated his 93rd birthday June 6. Born in Pueblo, Colo., he moved soon after his birth to California, where his family settled in Los Angeles. He received a B.A. and M.A. in chemistry from UCLA. He worked in sales of technical instruments for Shell Chemical, Beckman Instruments, Applied Physics, and Cary Instruments, all in Southern California, and became general manager and president of Cary Instruments. In 1969, with the buy-out of Cary Instruments by Varian Associates, he and his wife, Molly, moved north to the Palo Alto area. He retired in 1982 as Corporate Manager of Organizational Development at Varian. He influenced a wide sphere of people his professional life, particularly in the field of organizational development, in which he continued as a consultant for several years after retirement.

He kept busy in retirement — in his garden, his workshop, his church, and in the out-of-doors that he loved. He was a wonderful father and grandfather, whose curiosity and compassion never faded, loved ones recall.

He is survived by his four children, Jeanne Henneberg Moulton of Palo Alto, Judy Sleeth of Atherton, David Moulton of Oakland, and Margaret Shaeffer Moulton of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.; 10 grandchildren ; and six great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Aug. 28 in the chapel of the First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto (1140 Cowper Street, 94301). The family asks that any gifts go to the Pastor's Discretionary Fund of the church.

Martha Thompson

Martha Wigley Thompson, 90, a resident of Palo Alto, died June 12 at Channing House, her residence for the past 13 years.

She was born in Riverside, Calif., and was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority at the University of California, Berkeley, from which she graduated in 1941.

In 1942 she married Harry Francis "Bud" Thompson. They were together for 34 years until his death in 1976.

For many years she was the co-owner of Thompson & Eckart, a Menlo Park interior design firm. As a community volunteer, she was a member of the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary of Allioed Arts and the Valley Auxiliary of family Service.

She is survived by her daughter, Laurie Jarrett, of Palo Also; sons Tom Thompson of High Point, N.C., and David Thompson of San Jose; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

A memorial tea will be held at Channing House in July. There will be a private interment at Alta Mesa in Palo Alto.

Memorial donations may be made to Abilities United, 525 East Charleston Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306.

Lucille Ann Weiss

Lucille Ann Weiss, 89, a resident of Palo Alto since 1972, died April 26 in Palo Alto after a long illness.

The daughter of Russian immigrants, she was born in Cairo, Ill. in 1920. She attended high school in St. Louis, Mo. and graduated as class valedictorian. She met her husband, Kenneth Garland Weiss, in St. Louis in 1940 and got married the same year. Together they opened and ran a successful grocery store up until her husband was shot and killed during an armed robbery in 1972.

She then moved to Palo Alto shortly after to be closer to her children who were attending Stanford. At Stanford Hospital, she worked first as the secretary to the school of Physical Therapy and then as the administrative assistant to the Director of the Clinical Lab until her retirement in 1996. An avid book reader, she was known to read multiple novels a day. She also enjoyed the ballet, playing bridge and traveling.

She is survived by her son, Edward Weiss of Palo Alto, and her daughter, Elizabeth Weiss of Palo Alto. A time and place for the memorial service has not yet been determined.

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