Deaths | February 26, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - February 26, 2010


Frances Martin

Frances Sylvia Martin, a longtime Menlo Park resident, died Feb. 19.

She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was raised in Argentina and Uruguay. She attended high school at St. Swithun's in Winchester, England, then returned to Buenos Aires.

In 1961 she moved to Washington, D.C., to work as a bilingual secretary at the International Monetary Fund. In D.C. she met and married Frederick Martin and they moved to Menlo Park, California, where they raised three children.

The family lived for 18 months in Geneva, Switzerland in the late 1960s. She volunteered for the Sierra Club and other environmental groups. She worked as a legal secretary, then as an administrative assistant at Stanford University. After retirement she went back to school and in 1995 received her bachelor's degree in development studies from U.C. Berkeley.

In 1999 she and Fred moved to Philo in Anderson Valley in Northern California. She worked at the adult school in Anderson Valley in the ESL program. She also volunteered with the Unity Club and her garden was selected for the 2008 Anderson Valley Garden Tour.

She loved gardening and the outdoors, and enjoyed traveling, reading and canning fruit from her garden. She transcribed the diaries of her great aunt Eunice G. Murray, a Scottish suffragist, and in 2007 published them in a private edition.

She is survived by her husband, Fred, her daughters Stephanie and Fiona; and two grandchildren. Her son Geoffrey died in 1999.

Donations may be made to the Anderson Valley Health Center.

There will be a "celebration of life" memorial at the Martin residence, 55 Holmes Ranch Road, Philo, Saturday, Feb. 27, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Mary Yost

Mary Elizabeth Yost, 88, a longtime Menlo Park resident, died Jan. 31.

She was born in San Jose and moved to Menlo Park at age 8.

She attended Ravenswood and St. Joseph's elementary schools and Sequoia High School. She graduated from San Jose State in 1943 with a bachelor's degree in art.

During World War II she worked as a draftsman with Hendy Iron Works in Sunnyvale, which built the engines for America's Liberty Ships. She later worked at the National Motor Bearing Co. in Redwood City.

In 1945 she met Albert Yost, a local civil engineer, and they were married in 1946 at the Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park.

The couple were well-known ballroom dancers on the Peninsula and led their own dance club —- the Jeff Jeffries Dancers. Twice they sailed around South America as dance instructors on the Prudential Cruise Line.

She was also active with the Menertons, a women's civic organization that promoted charitable projects. She volunteered at the Menerton thrift shop, helped plan fundraisers and did artwork for the group's popular cookbook.

She is survived by sons, Walter Yost of Carmichael, Calif., and Doug Yost of Palo Alto. A private service will be held this spring at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Menlo Park.


Like this comment
Posted by Charles Moore
a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Web Link

For Mary Yosts family a story about Hendy Iron Works here:

Like this comment
Posted by Alisi (alice) Fineasi
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm


First, I thank you for writing this wonderful moving family update reg Mrs Frances Martin. I am deeply sorry to read this about this wonderful lady. I had no idea that Frances has passed as she was one of my mom's when I went to high school with all 3 of her great children.

I have been looking for my friend Stephanie Martin (Frances daughter) and I am shocked to read this concerning her mom Mrs Francis Martin, passing. Is this real?

Please sent me phone/address/email for the Martin Family. I was one of the children's friends and I have known the Martins for over 20 yrs in Menlo Park. As I've said, I went to M.A. High School with the kids. I studied with all 3 children (Fiona, Stephanie and Geoff). I am Stepahnie's best friend and I have lost touch with them when they moved (10 yrs ago)after Geoff died. They moved from Menlo Park to somewhere in Northern California but not sure. So when I read this I cried and would like to call, email, or write the kids and offer my condolences. Pls ring me or email back. Can u please sent me their 411 please? You may give them my 411, if you can.

Thank you God bless -
ph 650 518 2371

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