She was born in Ferndale, Mich. She had six younger brothers she helped raise after her mother died at a very early age. She was very athletic and participated in gymnastics, volleyball, softball and basketball through high school. She studied design at Wayne State University in Detroit. At age 21 she met her future husband, Walter Neumeyer, while both were employed at Ethyl Corporation in Detroit. They married the following year before he enlisted for service in WWII. While her husband served in the engineering corps in Europe, Mary and her new mother-in-law drove to California. She worked in Los Angeles at May & Co., and then in the accounting department of Moore Business Forms in Emeryville until her husband returned from the war.
After the birth of two daughters, the family moved to Juneau, Ala., for two years. Then they spent four years in Connecticut while Walter completed an engineering degree. The family relocated to Portola Valley in 1955 after the birth of their son.
She became active in the PTA, the Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts of America, the Ladera Community Church and United Church Women.
She and her children were instrumental in assisting Hedy Boissevain for two years at the inception of the Country Almanac. She lost her husband in 1980 to a short illness. She then traveled every year to visit friends and relatives around the states, including Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. She made special time to be with her grandchildren while they grew up on a cattle ranch in Volcano, Hawaii.
Her friends and family enjoyed her cheerful disposition and concern for and willingness to help others.
She is survived by two brothers, Dexter Thor of Lake Orion, Mich., and Alan Thor of Fenton, Mo.; her children Terri Neumeyer and Walter Neumeyer of Portola Valley, and Lina (husband Ken) Dillingham of Glenns Ferry, Idaho; three grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
A memorial service will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1105 Valparaiso Ave., Menlo Park, Saturday, March 6, at 1 p.m.
David Vaclav Palecek, 37, an Atherton resident, died from complications of a staphylococcus infection Feb. 16.
Born in Richmond, Va, he spent the first several years of his life with his parents in Lausanne, Switzerland. The family moved to Palo Alto in 1975 and then moved to Atherton.
As a teenager he was an Eagle Scout and became a member of the Alpine Meadows ski patrol, a volunteer job he performed for 20 seasons, family members said.
He graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School and earned a bachelor's degree in genomics from the University of California at Davis.
He took a job with McKinsey & Co. in its Prague office, and then attended Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, graduating in 1998. It was there he met his future wife, Melissa Black. They married in 2000. Mr. Palecek rejoined McKinsey at its Palo Alto office and was made partner in 2003.
Family members said he was a devoted and loving father to his four daughters, 6-year-old twins Katrina and Caroline, Sierra, 5, and Annika, 14 months. He enjoyed windsurfing, water-skiing and sailing, and was an avid skier, a certified dive master and a licensed pilot, family members said.
Besides his wife Melissa and their four daughters, he is survived by his parents, Peter and Hana Palecek of Atherton; and his brothers Misha Palecek and Tom Palecek, both of San Francisco.
A celebration of his life is scheduled for March 14 at the Arrillaga Alumni Center on the Stanford campus at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the David V. Palecek Memorial Trust to assist with his daughters' health care, welfare, and education. Checks should be made payable to "David V. Palecek Memorial Trust" and sent to David Palecek Memorial Trust, 68 Mesa Court, Atherton, CA 94027.
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