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Memorial for Rebecca McNally Gilden

Memorial Image
Memorial: 1:00 PM Monday, February 4th, 2019
Congregation Shir Hadash
20 Cherry Blossom Lane
Los Gatos, CA 95032
Memorial Contribution: Metavivor
1783 Forest Drive #184
Annapolis, MD 21401
(818) 860-1226

Rebecca McNally Gilden died peacefully at the age of 48 in her home in San Jose on Wednesday, January 30. She died after an 8-year battle with breast cancer. She was a fireball, streaking colors across the sky, loved by her husband, two kids, two sisters, parents, and countless family members, friends and coworkers.

Rebecca was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia. At Parkview High School, she was the drum major, played the clarinet, and earned the John Philip Sousa award. She earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994, where, as a sophomore, she was the school’s youngest female drum major. She earned a Dual MBA and Master of Engineering in Manufacturing from the Tauber Institute at the University of Michigan in 1999.

During her undergraduate studies, Rebecca worked at Motorola in Sunrise, FL. Among her technical accomplishments, she earned US Patent 5442713 for cordless phone wind noise reduction. She also worked at Texaco in Houston, TX in Central Offshore Engineering. Upon graduation, Rebecca worked for 12.5 years at Ford Motor Company as a Product Engineer, Production line Supervisor, Global Supplier Strategy Manager, and Supply Base Launch Manager for the Expedition/Navigator. Key accomplishments include Ford’s Manufacturing Leadership Program Class of 2000, and US Patent 5752566 for high capacity condensers. Rebecca then worked for almost 12 years at Apple, Inc. as Senior Manager for Enclosures Quality and next as Apple’s Color and Texture Subject Matter Expert. In addition to building an Enclosures Quality organization, Rebecca launched countless products, including the original iPhone, MacBook Air, and the aluminum MacBook and MacBook Pro.

Rebecca was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2010, then again in 2013. Rebecca’s metastatic diagnosis was in 2016. During this time, Rebecca was a relentless advocate to friends and women everywhere for mammograms and preventive scans. She accompanied women with newly-diagnosed cancer to doctor appointments and helped arrange cancer resources for those in need. She was featured in the 2017 annual report for Good Samaritan Hospital’s Cancer Program. She was very public in sharing details of her cancer battle, helping women far beyond her circle of friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to a Foundation/Scholarship to be established in Rebecca’s name to support engineering scholarships for women (information will be posted to Rebecca’s Facebook page) or to Metavivor, an organization which supports metastatic breast cancer research, support and awareness. <>

Rebecca is survived by her husband of 24 years, Craig Gilden, and children Alexandra and Jason of San Jose, California; parents James Michael and Mariela del Carmen McNally of Stone Mountain, Georgia; and sisters Laura McNally of Chicago, Illinois, and Christine Ramond of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.