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Mary E. Vilas

1924 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Mary E. Vilas Obituary
Mary E. Vilas
November 12, 1924 ~ June 12, 2013

MONTEREY – Mary Vilas, a resident of Monterey for more than 40 years, passed away peacefully at home at the age of 88 on June 12, 2013.
Born in Victoria, Hong Kong to George and Nome Vilas, Mary spent her early years in China until she was evacuated in 1937 with her parents and younger sister, Joan after the bombing of Shanghai at the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War. She lived briefly in Manilla before returning to the U.S. and settling in Seattle. There, she graduated from Queen Anne High School, then attended the University of Washington until she transferred to Stanford University, where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science in 1946.
Mary started her career in the budget office at the Presidio of San Francisco and held various positions in the budget field while on overseas assignment in Germany in the late 60s and early 70s. She returned to the States as the Budget Officer for Fort Ord and held that position until taking a similar job at an Army installation in Virginia. She returned to Monterey as the Budget Officer for the Defense Language Institute, retiring in 1981 after 36 years of service.
Mary's spirit of adventure and curiosity about the world led to extensive travel in Europe and inspired trips to Africa, Asia, Latin America, and many destinations in North America. She was active in community affairs, serving on the Board of the Carmel Foundation and the World Affairs Council, as well as volunteering with hospice and UNICEF. She particularly enjoyed attending Gentrain courses and lectures at Monterey Peninsula College, music class with Scott on Saturdays, and joining her "Walkers and Talkers" group for Monday excursions on the Peninsula and occasional forays to other scenic spots. She was an avid reader and always well informed on current affairs.
Mary is survived by her niece, Susan Art Mamer and husband, John Mamer; her nephew, Brian Art and wife, Rosalyn Art; and by her great-niece, Lauren Mamer. Mary will be deeply missed by her family and by her beloved best friend, Val Corbridge.
Mary will be remembered for her delight in stimulating conversation, her lively sense of humor, her love of animals and travel, and most especially, for her enthusiasm for life – a sentiment she found echoed within a favorite poem, Ithaca, by Constantine P. Cavafy:
"...pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many,
that you will enter ports seen for the first time
with such pleasure, with such joy!"
Private memorial services are pending.
Published in The Monterey Herald on June 21, 2013
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