Deaths | April 13, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - April 13, 2012


Mary Mills

Mary Mills, 100, a resident of Palo Alto, died March 17.

She was born in 1911 in Maine, the only daughter of Walter and Gertrude Palmer. All three were awarded scholarships to Colby College. Mary graduated in 1933 and taught school before marrying Kenneth Mills in 1938. She gave birth to her only child, Sherry Ann, in 1943.

The family moved to Palo Alto when Ken was transferred to the Hale Department Store in San Francisco. The marriage ended in divorce, but Mary continued on in her Palo Alto home for more than 40 years.

Her daughter preceded her in death in 2001. She is survived by her nephew, David Palmer (Anne) of Maine; niece, Elizabeth Palmer of Massachusetts; niece, Patricia Augustiny of Washington; son-in-law, Larry Holzman of New York; and many friends.

Pixie Hammond

Pixie (Martha) Hammond, a longtime Palo Alto resident and local volunteer, died March 17 at a health-care facility in Los Altos. She was 89.

Born in Florida, she was the daughter of a Methodist minister and was active in the church from an early age. She received her master's degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University in 1949 and was eventually ordained as a minister by New Thought Ministries in 1977. In the intervening years, she married Bob Hammond in 1953 and together they raised three children: Paul, Laurie and Mark. The family lived in Denver and Sacramento until Bob retired in 1978, when she moved with her husband to Palo Alto.

She was a pioneer in the field of sacred dance, a charter member of the Spiritual Frontier Fellowship and a lifelong member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. She was especially committed to her volunteer work with the Foundation for Global Community. Always committed to making the world a more loving place, she devoted the last 45 years of her life to the activities of this organization: leading seminars, planning ceremonies, performing weddings and memorials, teaching Bible and counseling individuals.

She is survived by one brother, her children and two grandchildren. A memorial service will be held Friday, March 30, at 3 p.m. at Unity Palo Alto Community Church in Palo Alto.

Doris Salzer

Doris Salzer, 94, died March 31. A memorial service will be held April 15 at noon at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills. Charitable donations in her memory may be made to the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. For information, contact

Bonnar "Bart" Cox

Bonnar "Bart" Cox, a lifelong resident of the Palo Alto area, died April 3 from cancer. He was 88.

He came from Fresno to the Palo Alto area at the age of 3 with his father, Ross Cox, and his mother, Isabel Margaret Cox. His father had been hired to lay out roads and building plots for the areas that would become the Felton Gables part of Menlo Park.

He attended schools in Menlo Park and Palo Alto and graduated in 1948 with a degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. His military service in World War II entailed duties in the European Theater as a member of the 336th Signal Company, U.S. Army. His decoration and citations include the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the WWII Victory Medal.

In 1951 he married Barbara Ruth Stone, whom he had met in a church young-adult group. They were married for 50 years.

He was an early employee of Stanford Research Institute. He worked for more than 40 years as an engineer and executive managing projects that changed the world. These included the first successful computer-based banking system (IRMA), early robotics, the computer mouse, advances in medical and aerospace technology and other areas that revolutionized technology.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Ruth Cox, and brother, James. He is survived by his three daughters, two sons, 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held May 19 at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, 625 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto. Donations in his memory should be directed to the Organ Preservation Fund at the FUMC. A memorial website has been created at