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June 3, 2009 > Mary Weed-Pickens

Mary Weed-Pickens

March 4, 1955 - May 15, 2009

Mary Weed-Pickens, resident of Luins, Vaud, Switzerland died Friday 15 May 2009 after a battle with Leukemia. She was 54. Her life and achievements are chronicled on the web site www.lifecanwork.com.

Mary Weed-Pickens was born in Washington, D.C. From the age of 6 until entering University, her home was the San Francisco Bay Area town of Mission San Jose, California. Mary attended St Joseph School and Moreau High School graduating as National Merit Scholar. She studied at the University of California Berkeley and Davis, receiving a Bachelors of Arts in International Relations and French. Continuing her education in Europe, Mary received a Licence-Universitˇ de Grenoble, France; Master of Arts International Economic Relations, Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Paris; Master of Public Administration, Public Policy, Institut International d'Administration Publique, Paris; Post-Graduate Research at Oxford University; and Ph.D. International Relations, Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Paris.

Mary Weed-Pickens possessed citizenships of the United States of America and Switzerland. She was proficient in many languages including English, French, Italian, and Arabic (Egyptian and Moroccan dialects) and an accomplished pianist, with certification of Classical Music Instructor, Chicago School of Music.

Her employment included: Researcher for CBS-News, New York; Internship with the French Embassy, Cairo, Egypt; Consultant to Organization for Economic Development (OECD), Paris, France; Communications for Minister of State, French Ministry of Foreign Trade, Paris, France; Organizer of Nobel Laureate Conference, sponsored by The Sobonne and FNAC, Paris, France (1983-1984); Speechwriter-Communications Manager, Chairman, IBM Europe, Middle East, Africa, Paris, France (1984-1989); Communications-Public Affairs Manager, Hewlett-Packard Europe, Middle East, Africa Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland (1989-1999); Founder and Publisher of Harmony Editions, Luins, Switzerland in 2004 to showcase local writers and bilingual poetry.

Mary Weed-Pickens's Ph.D. dissertation on the diplomacy of French Foreign Minister Michel Jobert was the basis of her first book, L'Image Publique d'un Homme Privˇ: Michel Jobert et la Diplomatie Fran¨aise, Paris, Lanore, 1988, (288p.) which was reviewed in Foreign Affairs, as well as number of US, European, Middle Eastern publications. She authored: Work-Life Harmony, Creating your Spiritual Hammock, Harmony Editions, 2006; Faxes from Dad: On Living, Working & Virtues of Good Food; Harmony Editions, 2006; The Civilization of California, Mission or Myth, Harmony Editions, 2006. She wrote articles for Le Monde, The Economist, Business World, International Herald Tribune, Idee et Fatto, Measure, Enjeux, Al-Ahram, Le Matin du Sahara.

While undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for Leukemia, Mary Weed-Pickens performed the extraordinary feat of writing and producing a play on the challenges of cancer. The play Les Amazons du Crabe: Hommage au Courage, was very successful, with over 500 people arriving for the premier in Switzerland and raising approximately $20,000 for Cancer Charities. Future productions of the play are scheduled for Morocco and France.

She made her home in the Vaud Canton village of Luins near Lake Geneva, and was a proud member of the local societies Paysannes Vaudoises and Samaritans. Following a Requiem Mass in Geneva, Mary Weed-Pickens was honored at a special ceremony in the Administrative Center of Luins. A neighbor told her husband, Samuel Pickens, that this was an uncommon honor, which in her experience had never before been granted to a woman.

Mary Weed-Pickens is survived by her husband, Samuel Pickens, sons Andrew and Samuel of Luins, Switzerland; brother, John Weed of Mission San Jose and Niles, California; sister Patricia Weed-Wolnick of Mission San Jose, California; and sister Ann Weed-Haviland of Silverton, Oregon.

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