She was born in Los Angeles, and graduated from Escondido high school in 1943. During World War II, she worked afternoons with classmates to package lemons, so that the regular packagers could assist with wartime production. On a full academic scholarship, she attended Stanford and graduated in 1947. In 1948, she attended the Radcliffe Management Training Program.
She moved to San Francisco and worked at the Public Welfare Department, when she met Franklin Olmsted, a USGS Water Resources Department geologist, and they were married in 1955. Work assignments moved the two throughout the United States. New work assignments led to moves to Idaho Falls, Idaho; Yuma, Arizona; and Reston, Virginia. Their daughter, Ann Olmsted was born in 1956 in Auburn, California and son Warren Olmsted in 1959 in Philadelphia. Her husband was transferred to the Menlo Park regional headquarters, and the two bought a house in Palo Alto. From 1975 to 1994, she worked at Syntex's U.S. headquarters in Palo Alto in the Regulatory Affairs department.
Following her retirement, she and Franklin worked with many other volunteers to remove invasive plants from Foothills Park. She was a member of the Peninsula Camellia Society and the Charleston Meadows Association. She also took on an active role in city planning discussions, with the goal of safeguarding neighborhood character and pedestrian access. She and her husband were also avid travelers. She visited every continent, except Antarctica. She and her husband once rented an apartment in London and spent several weeks there watching plays.
She is survived by her children, Ann Olmsted of Palo Alto; and Warren Olmsted of Palo Alto.
A memorial gathering will be held Saturday, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Fireside Room at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston Road, Palo Alto. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Second Harvest, Peninsula Open Space Trust or Opera San Jose.
Loyal E. (Gene) Apple
Loyal E. Gene Apple, a veteran and advocate for the blind, died Nov. 5 at the age of 86.
He was born in McCurtain, Oklahoma and spent his early childhood there, and in Independence, Missouri and Wasco, California. He then graduated from William Jewell College in Missouri and attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary before marrying his first wife, Grace Newman, who he went on to have two children with, Guy Apple and Gracia Apple. He also went on to have a daughter, Claire Apple, with his wife Marianne May Apple.
In 1995, he was drafted into the army, but was blinded in an army training incident and went through blind rehabilitation training at the Hines Veterans Administration. Following this, he began his career with the Blinded Veterans Association as a Field Service Representative in the Midwest and he went on to Washington, D.C., as National Field Service Director. In 1960, he became Chief of the Blind Rehabilitation Section at the Veterans Administration Hospital, where he had been a patient. Here, one of his main projects was preparing veterans for independence through teaching them certain skills. The programs he spearheaded at this position were later adopted as national standards.
In 1967, Gene transferred to VA Hospital, Menlo Park to organize and establish the new Western Blind Rehabilitation Center. While at this post, he was an adjunct professor at Western Michigan University. He taught workshops in the U.S. and Japan and served on the VA Medical Review Team for Rehabilitative Engineering R&D Service. In 1975, he worked at The American Foundation for the Blind in New York City to reorganize and direct the program. He also served on the Executive Committee of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind, before taking a break from his career in 1980. At this time, he sought a doctorate in Marketing at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. In 1991 he returned to the Western Blind Rehab Center in Palo Alto. In 1995, he and his wife retired to Columbus, North Carolina. Here, he explored his love of clay and wood sculpting, even winning several prizes for his artwork.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Marianne May Apple of Columbus, North Carolina; his first wife Grace Newman of Menlo Park; his children, Guy S. Apple (Deborah Soule) of Redwood City; Gracia A. Mahan (Michael G. Mahan) of Bend, Oregon; Claire Apple (Marq Singer) of Pittsboro, North Carolina; and his grandchildren. Memorial donations can be made to The National Library Service for the Blind, The Library of Congress, The Lewy Body Dementia Association or the Polk County Transportation Service.
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