Mary G. Ross First Native American woman engineer and aerospace pioneer, would have been 100 years old in August. She passed away at her home in Los Altos on April 29, 2008. A trailblazer for women in engineering, Mary was the first female engineer at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. She contributed to space exploration efforts, particularly with work relating to the Apollo program, the Polaris reentry vehicle, and interplanetary space probes. Mary was a passionate educator and staunch advocate of engineering and mathematics opportunities for women and Native Americans. A native Oklahoman and adoptive Californian, she was a world traveler and a gracious lady. A beloved woman, Mary will be greatly missed by her Thurston Avenue neighbors; her AISES, Altrusa, PEO, and Society of Women Engineers (SWE) members; the Cherokee tribe; her extended family; and many friends. Mary is survived by one sister, Billie Meyer of Middletown, NY and four nieces: Mary Crisp, Stoneridge, NY, Evelyn (Ronald) McMillan, Catoosa, OK, Leslie (Robert) Kilborn, Eagle Nest, NM, and Billie (Donald) Schroeder, Denver, CO. A celebration of Mary's life will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday, May 17, 2008, at the St. Simon Church Parish Center, 1860 Grant Road, Los Altos. A second service will be held in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on June 25th. Internment will be at the Ross Cemetery in Park Hill, Oklahoma. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Society of Women Engineers' Mary G. Ross Scholarship Fund. Please contact Constance Golden at 831-429-2086.
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Published by San Jose Mercury News on May 6, 2008.