Mardell R. Ward, who served as advertising director of The Almanac from 1971 to 1989, died March 23 in Palo Alto. She was 84.
Ms. Ward, a former editor of the Menlo Park Recorder, took over advertising for The Almanac just six years after the paper was founded by Betty Fry and the late Hedy Boissevain. Her local contacts were invaluable to the newspaper as it expanded into Menlo Park in the 1980s.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Ms. Ward had a career in journalism and advertising that included working at Sunset Magazine, the Menlo Park Recorder, Wank, Williams & Neylan advertising agency, and the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce.
"She was a very classy lady," said Mort Levine, publisher of The Almanac from 1980 to 1993. "She gave The Almanac a certain tone. She was very interested in building up the business district of Menlo Park."
Ms. Ward was born on Nov. 11, 1924, in Santa Barbara and grew up in Ventura. She enjoyed gardening, reading, traveling, and talking daily to her wide circle of friends and family, say family members.
She was a longtime resident of the Barron Park neighborhood in Palo Alto and often wrote for the Barron Park Association's newsletter.
She is survived by her three children, Valerie Burns Kepko of Sacramento, Craig Burns of Woodside, and Douglas Burns of Palo Alto; and one grandson.