September 11, 2009
A memorial gathering for Dr. Henry Mayer will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, at Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club in Menlo Park.
Dr. Mayer, a 60-year resident of Woodside, died peacefully at home of cancer Aug. 17. He was 95.
Dr. Mayer practiced internal medicine in Redwood City until shortly before his death, becoming the oldest practicing physician in San Mateo County, say family members. He was one of seven doctors who founded Sequoia Hospital in 1951 and remained part of the Sequoia community until his retirement a month before his death.
Born in New York City, he attended the Peddie School in New Jersey and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University. He obtained his medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University.
While on a hiking vacation in Colorado, he met Olive Hendricks from Maplewood, New Jersey. They married in December 1941, three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Dr. Mayer served as a medical officer in the U.S. Navy for five years during World War II, obtaining the rank of lieutenant commander. After the war, the Mayers settled in Woodside and Dr. Mayer started his medical practice in Redwood City.
In 1967 Dr. Mayer went to Vietnam for the Committee for Responsibility to Save War-Burned and War-Injured Vietnamese Children. He also served as a director of Californians for Population Stabilization.
His wife, Ollie, was a leader in the environmental conservation movement, most notably with the Sierra Club with a focus on the protection of the San Mateo County coast. Dr. Mayer enthusiastically participated with his wife in those efforts, say family members.
Dr. Mayer’s love of photography began at Princeton and he became an accomplished nature and landscape photographer. He produced and filmed nine documentaries, based on his travels abroad, dealing with population growth and conservation. Many of his films won national awards.
He was most proud of films resulting from a year-long trip around the world in 1968, when he studied medical systems and population growth, say family members.
Dr. Mayer is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ollie; children Bob Mayer of San Francisco and Judy O’Brien of Menlo Park; and four grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to Californians for Population Stabilization (www.capsweb.org), Planned Parenthood (www.plannedparenthood.org.), and Sequoia Hospital Foundation (www.sequoiahospitalfoundation.org).