August 16, 1949 – October 23, 2018
Our unicorn with a heart of gold (and purple) has rode into the sunset. Carmen Marta Giedt-Mier, formerly of Half Moon Bay, California, died at her home in Manakin Sabot, Virginia, on Tuesday, 23 October 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband of 27 years, David Lawrence Mier, and her parents, Wallace and Nora Giedt; her Uncle Warren and Aunt Leta Giedt. She is survived by her siblings, Reid Giedt of Salinas CA, Conrad Giedt of Newport Beach, CA, Marisa Giedt Mize of Washington, DC, Anton Giedt of Providence, RI and Matthew Giedt of San Diego, CA and her many nieces and nephews; as well her late husband’s son, Joel P. D. Mier, his wife, Samantha Dardick Mier; her grandchildren, Amanda and Cole of Richmond VA, and many friends. She also leaves behind her beloved animals, Lucky and Sno-Pea (Italian Greyhound rescues) and Braveheart and Eddie, her prized Pinto horses.
A woman full of enthusiasm and strong convictions, Carmen was all-in-one a thought-leader, modern woman, and ruler of her animal kingdom. At the time of her passing, Carmen was politically engaged and had hit the campaign trail in support of a female candidate that had energized her belief in a better tomorrow. Even though she missed her kitchen table conversations with David, Carmen lived with endless positivity. Not to mention her iconic fingernail polishes and sartorial bloom!
Carmen was born in Chicago, Il on 16 August 1949, and grew up in Southern California. She attended high school at the Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA, and then attended UC Davis, earning a degree in international relations in 1971. After college she remained in Davis, CA, and began work as a social worker. She later returned to Pasadena and began graduate studies at the University of Southern California. It was during this time she transitioned from social work and other civic positions into her natural calling as a lifelong educator. Carmen became an elementary school teacher and worked toward several credentials in classroom teaching. She earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in 1981. That same year she moved to Half Moon Bay, California, and began teaching in the Cabrillo Unified School District.
It was at this time that she met and married her husband of twenty-seven years, David Mier. In David, Carmen found a loving and charismatic mate who valued family and community engagement in much the same ways as she. David and Carmen were known fixtures in HMB, recognized for their contributions and service on several community boards. She was a more than 30-year member of the Half Moon Bay Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and maintained her membership even after their move to Virginia.
Carmen eventually began a tenure with the Redwood City School District, first as a classroom teacher, and then later as an Outreach Specialist, Assistant Principal, and later the Principal of the Selby Lane Middle School in 1989. In 1999, after a decade in that position, Carmen went on to a Principalship at Crittendon Middle School in Mountain View, California. Carmen later began her work with the Palo Alto Unified School District in 2001, when she served first as the Coordinator of the Volunteer Transfer Program, then Director of Educational Support Services, and then became an assistant Principal at Terman Middle School in 2004, and later principal in 2006. In August of 2010, she and David retired to Manakin Sabot, Virginia.
Throughout her various positions inside the classroom, school administration, and community leadership, Carmen always had a profound impact on young people. She was reliably honest and supportive, and she gave endlessly to her students, neighbors, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Young and old, many appreciated Carmen for her special willingness to be invested and involved.
Carmen was known to love the magical beauty of Paris, the calming joy of a good book, and the elegance of high tea. She was a lover of horses and master of dressage. David may have worn the black Stetson, but Carmen was the horseback rider! She specially dedicated her time to teach several young girls how to ride horses, introducing others to the lifelong love of riding. After her move to Richmond, Carmen joined the Rusty Stirrups Riding Club and would travel frequently to compete in riding events. She recently earned a Bronze medal while riding her beloved Eddie.
Carmen never, ever missed a family event. Weddings, birthdays, baby showers, graduations, holiday meals – she had a seat at everyone’s table! She was always a Cali woman, but many of us enjoyed having her on the east coast in the years after her retirement. Carmen was a world traveler who along with beloved friends, often took adventures around the globe. She would rally every year to enjoy the year’s best films, making it her duty to see as many nominated films per season as she could. When Carmen sent a missive–a thank you note, birthday card, or wedding anniversary bouquet – she would dress it with her beautiful handwriting and thoughtful, artistic touches. She was, of course, a lifelong member of the Friends of Calligraphy association.
Carmen leaves behind precious memories of her boundless energy and fullness of life. She will be deeply missed.
The family thanks her friends for their support and requests that donations be made to the Italian Greyhound Rescue, 77 N. Temperance, Fresno, CA 93727-3613, or The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, PO Box 834, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866 or the Coastside Adult Day Health Care Center, 645 Correas Street, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019.
A memorial celebration will be held Saturday at 10:00 am, May 18, 2019, at Coastside Adult Day Health Care Center, 925 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA.