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Edwin Tooker

Death Notice
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Edwin W. Tooker

May 9, 1923 - Feb. 26, 2013


Los Altos/Palo Alto


Edwin Wilson Tooker, age 89, died peacefully in his sleep at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City on February 26, 2013. Ed was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, and colleague. Always relied upon for his wisdom, balance, integrity, and ethics, Ed contributed to a wide variety of professional and community committees and projects.


Ed was born May 9, 1923 in Littleton, MA, the eldest son of Ruth Augusta Robinson and George William Tooker, who preceded him in death. Ed was also preceded in death by his sister Caroline Tooker Deming, his brother Charles Taft Tooker, and his son-in-law Robert Gordon Stewart.


Ed was the first in his family to attend college. At Bates College in Lewiston Maine, he met his wife and partner of 67 years, Pauline (Polly) B. Beal. Polly survives Ed as do his daughters Carol Tooker Stewart of San Francisco, Jean Elizabeth (husband Ted) Stephens of Palo Alto, Christine Ruth (husband Roger) Thomas of West Linn, Oregon; his grandchildren, Megan Elizabeth Thomas and Jacqueline Marie Thomas both of West Linn, Oregon, Matthew Wilson Stephens of Palo Alto, Brian Keith (wife Dianne) Stephens of Redwood City, and Brenda Stephens (husband Scot) Smithee of Hollister.


Following his B.S. in 1947, Ed completed his M.S. at Lehigh in 1949 and his Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Illinois in 1952. Ed joined the U.S. Geological Survey in 1953 and spent the next 40 years researching and mapping the economic and precious metal (gold, silver, copper) deposits of the western U.S. As part of Ed's notable career with the USGS, he served in executive positions in Washington D.C. as well as Menlo Park, received the Department of the Interior Gold Medal for distinguished service, and retired as Scientist Emeritus in 1992, yet continued to work on various publications. He was an amazing gardener and grew apricots, lemons, berries, and vegetables (which Polly used in many wonderful dishes) at their Los Altos home. Ed was also president and a lifelong member of the Peninsula Camellia Society.


Ed will be remembered by his many family, friends and colleagues as warm, intelligent, and thoughtful, with a keen sense of humor and a generous nature. A memorial gathering will be held on April 6 at 1:00 pm at the First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Road, Palo Alto. Donations may be made to of Northern California, or another . Condolences may be left for the family at tookerfamily@yahoo.com.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Mar. 9 to Mar. 10, 2013
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