Obituaries

Jack Mather

John Frank Mather: Born: November 29, 1931 Died: December 30, 2019 A native of San Francisco: Lincoln High School, UC Berkeley, Stanford University. Jack taught at Hamilton Junior High School in Oakland, Woodside High School, and Adult Education. Married Joan in 1957 - Three children and 7 grandchildren. We moved to Los Altos in 1962 where all seven grandchildren as toddlers were introduced to the moon, named FRED by Grandpa! BA University of California Berkeley, 1955 MA Stanford 1973 Many lives have been touched and enriched by having Jack among us. He was a proud human being of intelligence, honesty, integrity and respect for each individual - man or woman - and to their right of personal choice in life. Jack was a teacher for 40 years after realizing just before we were married that he did not wish be be The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit and subsequently dropped out of the Cal MBA program to seek a Secondary Teaching Credential. We have never looked back. We met when we were 19 and 20 and had 63 years of an incredibly dynamic partnership and life, in many dimensions. In 1972 when Jack was on sabbatical attending Stanford we took our children (12-10 & 7) tp Europe for two months of travel, learning, and adventure. It was a never to be forgotten experience of "togetherness" in the best sense of the word! During the trip we also visited Jack's 83 year old Aunt Thrush in Edinburgh, Scotland. When she later passed away and left a small inheritance, Jack couldn't conceive of taking the funds out of Scotland and created scholarships for young men or women who sought an education to become sheep herders in Northern Scotland. For ten years we received photos of earnest young people who benefitted. Jack coached Little League, Girls Soccer and was around in summer to drive to Covington Critters, etc. and home to help and be an active part of family daily life.

His enjoyment of a robust sense of humor has been passed on to our children and grandchildren as well! When Jack retired, he and one of our sons established The Mather Foundaion to provide scholarships at Woodside High School for students in need, several of whom were their first generation to attend college - or even complete high school. As Jack noted, all donations were directly to the foundation because he was the foundation. Over the years he established an amazing number of contributors and funds from alumni and others who remembered. He received many letters from former students with memories of him and their time at WHS. Indeed, letters from former students - one from 40 years ago have continued since his death. In 1992 - a new idea and project came forth from Jack before he retired in 1997. Not ready to leave our wonderful neighbors, we planned and built our Southwestern Style home facing another street from our corner lot, and as time passed welcomed 7 grandchildren who all learned to walk as toddlers along our raised hearth in the great room that welcomed us - each and every one! Twenty Five more years of pleasure and he and I and our progeny. What a gift! Finally, about 10 years ago Jack also created and taught a Seniors Adult Ed discussion class of Current Affairs in Los Altos/Mountain View Adult Ed. After leading it for 5 years he retired, but we continued to participate. He also taught a similar class for 5 years at The Avant in Palo Alto. "A life well lived" filled with kindness, integrity and humor comes to mind in thinking of Jack. There will be no services by his choice, our family will gather in Monterey as he wished, some time in the spring, to "scatter his ashes to the sea" (Some will also be scattered at our beloved U.C. Berkeley), and then to share "an excellent meal together." Go Bears!

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The Town Crier's obituary publishing rates are $3 per line with a minimum charge of $50.  Photos may be included at $40 per photo (in addition to the $50.00 minimum charge).

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