Obituary: Mayer Segal, 1917 – 2017

Mayer Segal died peacefully on Dec. 14, 2017. His journey began in the small town of Elbow Lake, Minnesota in 1917 and ended in Bayside, California, over one hundred years later.

In his youth in Los Angeles, he formed friendships that would continue for more than 80 years. After graduating from UCLA, his real education began. Mayer did social work with the Dust Bowl immigrants, saw good friends sent to Japanese relocation camps, worked in the shipyards in the Bay Area, and became active in the Machinists Union.

Each step along the way opened his eyes to issues of social justice that he would care about for the rest of his life. He took his children to peace marches in San Francisco and United Farm Worker gatherings in Delano.

When Mayer and his wife Betty arrived in Humboldt in 1994, he added a new level of awareness for the environment to his other concerns. Mayer wasn’t all seriousness though. While in the Bay Area, he was known to single-handedly escort six or seven young grandchildren to the zoo or a fair.

He always loved to have family and friends around the table for meals and lively conversations. He thoroughly enjoyed the many events in Humboldt, from the Pride Parade to the Kinetic Sculpture Race to the opportunities for education and entertainment at HSU.

He enjoyed the fellowship and social actions of the Unitarians and contributed to the newsletter and voter guides of the HOPE Coalition. And he wrote poems for special occasions!

Each of his five children, their partners, and nine grandchildren has their treasured collection of personalized birthday cards. He often said that one of his greatest joys was that his children and grandchildren all got along with each other, not all that surprising with the example he had set.

When he was younger, he hoped that he might see the year 2000, then to celebrate his fiftieth anniversary, then his 90th birthday and his 95th birthday. He celebrated his 100th birthday last summer. He had a long and full life.

His legacy of compassion and activism lives on in his children and his grandchildren. No services are planned at this time as so many friends were able to honor him in person on his last birthday.

If you are so moved, contributions to organizations that promote social justice or environmental conservation would be fitting tributes.

 







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