Deaths | June 24, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - June 24, 2011


Harriet Johnston

Harriet Pollins Johnston, 87, a longtime Peninsula resident, died June 6 at The Sequoias in Portola Valley.

A native of Peoria, Ill., she married Bruce F. Johnston in 1944 in Wilmington, N.C. After living in Japan, she and her husband came to Stanford.

She and her family lived in France from 1952 to 1954, and returned to Stanford in 1954 when Dr. Johnston joined the Stanford faculty.

She enjoyed extensive traveling and lived in Japan, France, Uganda, Kenya and Austria. She also loved their retirement home in Pacific Grove, Calif., family members said.

She was an active volunteer, including with the Stanford YWCA and Hospital Chaplaincy as well as Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action (COPA) with St. Mary's by the Sea, in Pacific Grove.

Survivors include her husband, Bruce; her son, Bruce C. Johnston of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; her daughter, Patricia C. Johnston of Denver; and a granddaughter.

A memorial service is planned for noon Saturday, June 25, at St. Mary's by the Sea Episcopal Church at 146 12th St. in Pacific Grove.

The family suggests donations to Pathways Hospice Foundation at 585 N. Mary Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085; or to St. Mary's by the Sea Church (put "Social Concerns Fund" in the memo line) at 146 12th St., Pacific Grove, CA 93940.

Edith Wyden

Edith Wyden, 91, a resident of Palo Alto, died June 19 of advanced Alzheimer's disease.

She was born May 26, 1920, in Koenigsberg, Germany, the daughter of Dr. George and Else Rosenow. The family fled Nazi Germany in 1936, first going to Iraq and then immigrating to the United States in 1939.

She graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.A. cum laude in 1941, majoring in archaeology. She graduated from Yale University with an M.A. in Oriental Studies in 1943. She was fluent in German, French and Spanish.

From April 1944 to May 1946, she served in the WAC (Women's Army Corps) in England, France and Germany. She was assigned to the United States Group Control Council, which was the planning unit for the occupation of Germany.

She married her husband, the late Peter Wyden, in 1947, and they were divorced in 1959. She had two sons, the late Jeffrey Wyden and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Portland, Ore.

She had a long and distinguished professional career as an industrial economist, researcher and reference librarian. She worked at the Stanford Research Institute, Stanford University, and the United States Information Agency, among other challenging assignments.

At the time of her death, she lived at Channing House, a retirement community in Palo Alto.

Ron Wyden said about his mother, "My mother was my role model, and she wore that mantle for so many others who came into her life. With quiet dignity, she was the consummate achiever, who somehow managed to lovingly raise my brother Jeff who suffered from schizophrenia, worked full time, and never missed one of my basketball

games. I have two daughters and both seem like my mom, which I will always be grateful for."

She is survived by her son, Ron Wyden (Nancy) of Portland, Ore.; and four grandchildren.


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