Mercury News: Navy WAVE eulogized: 'Amazing example of the greatest generation', November 3, 2012


ALAMEDA -- Marilyn York was remembered Saturday as both a groundbreaking woman who helped make the Alameda Naval Air Station fly, and as the tenacious curator of its legacy.

York was 90 when she died in her San Lorenzo home Oct. 4.

"Most people who live in Alameda today don't understand the role this facility played at a time when the world was at risk," said Kim Robles, president of the board directors for the Alameda Naval Air Museum, which owes its existence to the tireless efforts of York and her longtime friend Barbara Baack. "She never thought about why something can't happen. She was always about 'How can we make this happen?' Marilyn was an amazing example of the greatest generation."

Saturday's memorial service was held in the museum's Crows Nest lounge on the decommissioned base. The room is a veritable time capsule, with 1940s-era posters, photos and plaques. Saturday it was graced by a large poster featuring two women in dress Navy whites and bearing the declaration, "The Navy needs you in the WAVES" -- fitting in that York was in the first class of WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) inducted during World War II.