- Published on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 01:00
- Written by Los Altos Town Crier
1924 - 2013
Carmel- Mary Wallace Wheat, known to all of us as “Mickey”, died in Camel Valley California, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease on May 9, 2013.
Mickey was born September 27, 1924 in Los Angeles, California. The only daughter of James and Mary Blair Wallace, she attended South Pasadena schools, Punahou School in Hawaii and Chadwick School in Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA. She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Occidental College in 1945 where she was a member and president of the Alpha Sorority. Here she met Richard P. Wheat, a Navy pre-med student.
On December 26, 1945, she and Dick were married and moved to Baltimore, MD where he was now a student at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Together, Mickey and Dick spent 67 years of devoted and happy marriage. They have three sons, David, Kenneth and James who were the pride of her life as were their wives, Barbara, Shelley and Valerie. Her six grandchildren and her two great granddaughters brought her much joy and happiness.
While Dick was at sea as a Navy Medical Officer during the Korean Conflict, Mickey lived in Palo Alto with Dave and Ken and gave birth to Jim. In 1953, with Dick discharged from the Navy, the family moved to Los Altos, California where they settled into the home where they lived the next 50 years and Dick began the practice of medicine. Mickey was always busy with her children, many community activities, and her beloved book club. Her annual Christmas tea was a Los Altos institution. With Dick and her boys she became a camper and backpacker, including three extensive treks in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal and Kashmir.
Mickey was the epitome of a citizen volunteer. She co-founded the Los Altos Cooperative Nursery School and was a Cub Scout Den Mother with each boy. She was elected to the Los Altos High School District Board of Education and served three terms following which she was elected to the Foothill-DeAnza Community College Board, serving four terms. She was a Trustee of Occidental College. She was a Commissioner on the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, Western Division, (WASC). She served nationally on the Board and as President of the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities (ABG) and at the State level she served on the board of the California Community College Trustees and the California Elected Women for Education and Research. She was a member of the Executive Board of the Santa Clara County School Board Association and the President of the Santa Clara County Medical Society Auxiliary. Mickey served as the Executive Director of the El Camino Hospital Foundation in Mountain View, California and the Director for Fund Development, Sensory Access Foundation in Palo Alto, California. In 1985 Mickey was honored with the Los Altos Community Service Award.
Mickey will be deeply missed by all her family she loved so much, by her many friends and by the community she served with devotion and distinction.
Mickey’s family would be pleased to have contributions honoring her life sent to the Martha Kantor Fund, Foothill-DeAnza Foundation, 12345 El Monte Rd., Los Altos Hills, CA 94022 (650) 949-6230, or to the charity of your choice.
Visit www.missionmortuary.com for condolences.