She was a champion
Disability-rights activist Joyce Ardell Jackson ’73 is credited with convincing the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to implement Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act—the landmark civil rights legislation banning discrimination against people with disabilities—after participating in an unprecedented monthlong sit-in by people with disabilities at San Francisco’s Federal Building. The legislation required all agencies and programs receiving federal funds to find ways to accommodate people with disabilities. The 504 victory laid the groundwork for the later Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. After meetings with the Carter administration, Jackson spent years traveling the country informing people about the new law. Throughout her life, she worked for numerous firms in the Bay Area—sometimes holding more than one job at a time—in her determination to be independent in spite of living with rheumatoid arthritis since age 12. The Berkeley native died on Dec. 29, 2013, at the age of 65. Among her survivors are brother LeRoy Charles Jackson Jr. ’63.
Block and tackle
|Courtesy San Francisco 49ers
Named All-Catholic All-American tackle in 1951 at Santa Clara, Theodore “Ted” William Connolly ’54 went on to spend most of his professional football career with his beloved hometown team, the San Francisco 49ers. Drafted in 1954, Connolly blocked for the 49ers’ “Million Dollar Backfield,” composed of future Hall of Famers Y.A. Tittle, Hugh McElhenny, John Henry Johnson, and Joe Perry. “Joe Perry called me over one time and said, ‘If you don’t get out of the way, I’m going to run right over you,’” Connolly told the Napa Valley Register in 2010. Credited as one of the first pro athletes to retain legal player representation, Connolly brought his lawyer to his 1963 contract negotiations, something unheard of at that time. That season, he was traded to the Cleveland Browns, where he blocked for another Hall of Famer, running back Jim Brown. Citing an inability to support his family of five children on an NFL salary, Connolly retired from football after his season with Cleveland and went into real estate. In 1966, the Oakland native started Connolly Development Inc. and later Sky Hill Farms ranch, one of the first farm-to-market providers in California. He died Feb. 24 at the age of 82.
Realtor, broker, and owner of Northbrae Properties in north Berkeley, Anita Thede ’65 was born in Montclair, N.J., in 1943. She earned the Silver Medal for Academic Excellence at Santa Clara, where she was included in the first class of women admitted as undergraduates. She received many distinguished awards during her career and was a major contributor of her energy and resources to many community and charitable projects. She was a founding member and president of the board of the Bay Area Crisis Nursery, vice president and board member of Directors for the Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center, board member at St. Mary’s, trustee at Alta Bates Hospital, and an active member of the Berkeley Rotary Club, Contra Costa County Search and Rescue, and Aurora Theatre. She passed away on Nov. 27.
|Courtesy Patti Eichenberg
James R. Eichenberg ’77 joined the U.S. Army as a private, enrolled at SCU on an ROTC scholarship, and re-entered the Army as a lieutenant. He truly enjoyed his long military career, which took him worldwide and earned him more than a dozen medals. He was born in 1951 in San Bernardino, Calif., to William Eichenberg Sr. ’41. He and Patti McDonald ’75 wed in 1986 and they adopted two girls, Ana and Laura, while they were stationed in Germany. They raised the girls in Texas, and Jim was always up for children’s activities—though he did frequently ask why little girls yell so much. He died on Feb. 10, and those he leaves behind include brothers Bill Eichenberg ’65 and Tom Eichenberg ’76, M.S. ’77, niece Caroline Manno ’99, and nephews James Eichenberg ’92 and Robert Eichenberg ’94.
|Courtesy Kristine Yen
Eunjey Michael Cho ’12, was a Jesuit volunteer with Catholic Charities in Spokane, Wash., helping families secure emergency financial assistance to avoid eviction, pay bills, and pay for medication. He died tragically Sept. 18, 2013, after being struck by a car on a cross-country bike ride to his hometown of Princeton, N.J. The trip, undertaken with a fellow Jesuit volunteer, was an effort to raise enough money to support two more volunteers for a year of service. Cho is remembered by loved ones as compassionate, dedicated, and wise beyond his years. He was 25.
|Courtesy Thelma Rodriguez
Roberto “Robert” Rodriguez worked at SCU in Facilities from 1985 until his retirement in 2011. He was a mentor to many and offered a warm welcome to newcomers in Facilities. Rodriguez passed away on April 7. Survivors include his wife, two children, and grandchildren.