Obituaries | May 16, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - May 16, 2014


Mary Sullivan Brabant

Mary Sullivan Brabant, a longtime resident of the area, died on April 17. She was 82.

She was born Mary Teresa Sullivan on June 24, 1931, in Detroit, Michigan, where her parents settled after emigrating from Ireland in the 1920s. She had two siblings, older brother John and younger sister Noreen. In 1949, she graduated from Northwestern High School in Detroit; she later took classes at Northwestern University. She started her career as an executive secretary at Bell Telephone.

In 1958, she married Charles Edouard Brabant, a Shell Oil engineer from Montreal. They lived for years in Detroit and Springfield, Virginia, before Charles took a job with the Stanford Research Institute. They moved their family to Mountain View before settling in Los Altos in 1964. She and Charles divorced in 1986, and she moved back to Mountain View with her one of her children.

Later in life, she started a new career at Syntex Pharmaceuticals in Palo Alto. She retired in 1993. Afterward, she volunteered at the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop in Los Altos and earned an associate degree from Foothill College.

A Roman Catholic, she participated in a few local parishes, including St. William and St. Nicholas in Los Altos and St. Athanasius in Mountain View. She enjoyed long walks outdoors, both in the Baylands and up in San Antonio Open Space Preserve in Los Altos. She also loved books, music, plays and classic movies.

In 2010, she moved to Pinedale, Wyoming, so she could spend more time with her daughter Nora Farrand and grandson Patrick Rookus.

She was preceded in death by her son, Charles Edouard Brabant, Jr. She is survived by her sister Noreen McCormick (Gerald) of Dearborn, Michigan; daughters Suzanne Schrader of Woodinville, Washington, Michelle Rookus (Timothy) of Paso Robles, California, and Nora Farrand (Daniel) of Pinedale; and sons Marc Brabant (Annelies) of Ulm, Germany, Matt Brabant (Kristina) of Los Altos, and Joe Brabant (Lori) of Pleasanton, California. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren and four nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on April 25 at Our Lady of Peace Church in Pinedale.


In the May 9 issue, the obituary for Donna Jeanne Shafer incorrectly stated the number of daughters she had. She had one. The Weekly regrets the error. To request a correction, contact Editor Jocelyn Dong at 650-223-6514, or P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302.


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