Mary Struve 1926-2012

Friday June 22, 2012 - 01:23:00 PM
Mary Struve 1926-2012
Mary Struve 1926-2012

Mary Struve, a longtime resident of Berkeley, California, died in her sleep on June 17, 2012, in Santa Clara, California. Mary was born Mary Kriger in 1926 in Los Angeles, the daughter of Simon Kriger and Sarah Kerr, but grew up first in the Russian emigre community in Harbin, China and then in the French Concession of Shanghai, where she attended the Public School for Girls. Her family came to the United States in 1938, where Mary graduated from Central High School in Washington, DC, in 1943.  

Mary attended Black Mountain College in North Carolina, Reed College in Portland, and the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied anthropology and then received her master’s degree in Russian literature. At Berkeley she rented a room from the writer Jaime De Angulo and his wife Nancy, and briefly worked for the photographer Edward Weston at his home in Big Sur. In 1947 she met Gleb Struve, whom she married in 1950. Mary and Gleb collaborated on translations of Russian literature, including "Russian Stories: A Dual-Language Book" which is still in print. She lived in Berkeley from 1945 to 2011, and traveled extensively in the US and Europe with Gleb and later their two children. After Gleb died in 1985, Mary continued traveling, exploring the West and taking up cross-country skiing in her sixties. She loved her dogs passionately and showered them with attention. Well into her eighties, Mary continued to walk her dogs every day in her Berkeley Hills neighborhood and in the nearby Regional Parks. Mary was an avid reader and amateur photographer of birds, flowers and landscapes.  

Mary is survived by her daughter Kyra Collins of Clatskanie, Oregon, and her son Dimitry Struve of Santa Cruz, California. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Christina Nikiforuk, Matthew Collins, Emma Collins, Michael Collins, Benjamin Struve, and Rosalie Struve; and two great-grandchildren, Minah and Kaeden. Mary was predeceased by her husband Gleb Struve and her sister Sheila Penners.  

Her family would like to thank her Berkeley friends and neighbors, the team at Pruneridge Residential Care Home in Santa Clara, and Kaiser Santa Clara Hospice, for their friendship and care in her final years. 

If you would like to make a contribution to Mary's legacy, a donation to the Berkeley Humane Society or your local animal rescue is what she would have wanted.