Deaths | February 10, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - February 10, 2012


Erma Jean Jackson

Jackson had a passion for education and mentoring others to succeed and strive for their best. In 2002 she received her bachelor's degree in English from San Jose State University, where she also received her master's degree. She was ready to pursue her education further to receive a Ph.D.

She was employed as a transit driver for SamTrans for many years where she later retired and furthered her education.

Jackson's memorial services will be on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 11 a.m. at Macedonia Baptist Church, 1110 Berkeley Ave., Menlo Park.

In lieu of flowers the family is asking to please send donations for funeral expenses to Jones Mortuary at 660 Donohue St., East Palo Alto, CA. (650) 323-2481

Marianne Dieckmann

Marianne Dieckmann, a longtime resident of Palo Alto who had battled cancer for 12 years, died at her home on Jan. 23.

Marianne was born in 1926 in Berlin to Frieda and Max Dieckmann, a physician.

As a teenager, she endured the hardships of World War II, which forced her to abandon dreams of becoming a physician. She moved to America seeking work in medical research, eventually joining Dr. Paul Berg's research group at Washington University in 1958, one year before the group moved to Stanford.

As one of the founders of the Stanford Biochemistry Department, her commitment and organizational skills helped establish the department as a world leader in biomedical research. She did experiments that helped earn Berg the 1980 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

She was proud of her American citizenship, and after retiring from laboratory work in 1998, she became a volunteer leader at the Stanford Bechtel International Center, co-chairing the English-in-Action program and teaching her adopted language to students and their spouses. To honor her contributions, the Community Committee for International Students established the "Marianne Dieckmann Award" as part of the Spouse Education Fund.

As one of her final wishes, Marianne requested that in lieu of flowers, friends and family should donate to their favorite charities. A memorial service will be held for her in early March.

Howard Family Memorial Fund

The friends of Robert Howard, Ana-Maria Dias and their two daughters, Samantha and Veronica, have started a memorial fund to plant a tree and provide a bench at El Carmelo Elementary School in memory of the family. They were killed in an auto accident in July 2011.

If you would like to make a donation, please make your check payable to the "El Carmelo PTA, Howard-Dias Memorial Fund." Donations can be mailed to the El Carmelo PTA, Howard Dias Memorial Fund, 3024 Bryant St., Palo Alto, CA 94306, or dropped off at the El Carmelo Elementary School Office during school hours.

Any residual funds raised over the cost of the memorial will be donated — in memory of the family — to Partners in Education (PiE) and the Pre-School Family Program in Palo Alto. For further information, please contact Michele Kasper at Please join us in honoring the memory of this wonderful family.


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