Mary Davey MBA ’78 died October 2, 2010 at the age of 80.Though known widely as a co-founder of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and a former Los Altos Hills mayor, Mary Davey is best remembered as an infectiously enthusiastic advocate for environmental and social causes. Friends and family of Davey recalled the positive and supportive spirit she brought to the numerous nonprofit organizations she worked with, including the Committee for Green Foothills, Hidden Villa, the Sempervirens Fund and the Midpeninsula Citizens for Fair Housing. She frequently addressed others by exclaiming they were "wonderful people," her friends said, and she called everyone "the world’s greatest" family, staff or friends. "Mary loved people," said Steve Abbors, general manager of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. "It’s just her view of the world. She was just consistently supportive and everyone appreciated it." Brian Schmidt, a legislative advocate for the Committee for Green Foothills, described Davey as "somebody who’s been involved in so many issues throughout our county and our region. I think she’s going to have an influence even when we don’t even know about it." Davey was born in Chicago and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. She took classes at Ohio State University, where she met her husband Jack, and later graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Smith College in English and government. Later, she earned Advertisement a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Santa Clara. She served on the MBA Alumni Board Emeritus and the MBA Corporation Alumni Neteowrk. Davey moved with her family to Los Altos Hills in 1961. Jack Davey was in the U.S. Air Force, their son Curtis Davey said, and came to California for a job opportunity after he finished his service. "We grew up going camping," said Curtis Davey, who now lives in Montana. "Whenever we could we spent a lot of time outdoors and I think she found a lot of serenity in the wilderness. … Now I find myself living in the Big Sky country because of her influence." Curtis Davey said his mother was always politically active and originally a Republican. He remembered helping her stuff political envelopes as a child, and said she was one of the first female convention delegates in the 1960 presidential election between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. In the mid-60s, though, she began to champion more liberal causes, he said, and had a "willingness to stand up for the underdog." She served on the Los Altos Hills Town Council from 1966 to 1973, but was recalled because she wanted to see low-income housing built in Los Altos Hills, Curtis Davey said. "There was a heated and ugly campaign," he said. "There were literally phone calls late at night with people threatening her, saying ‘I know where your kids get on the bus.’" Nonetheless, she continued her work with social and environmental organizations, winning numerous awards and recognitions for her work. In 2001, she received the Josephine and Frank Duveneck Humanitarian Award and U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, described her accomplishments to Congress. Eshoo called her an "exceptional voice and a passionate advocate for improving the quality of life in our community." She was the current president of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s board of directors, which she joined in 1994. "It would be wonderful if everyone on the planet had a small amount of Mary Davey in them," said Lennie Roberts, a legislative advocate at the Committee for Green Foothills. "The world would be a better place."

08 Nov 2018