Anthony “Tony” Bernard Coolot Diepenbrock Jr. ’51, born March 10, 1927, died May 24, 2009 after a short illness, with loving family by his side. Tony was the third of nine children born to Genevieve Claire McCarthy and noted San Francisco physician Anthony Bernard Diepenbrock Sr., grandson of German nobleman Melchior von Diepenbrock and great-grandson of pioneering Sacramento businessman Anthony Coolot, one of the first backers of the transcontinental railroad. Tony grew up in San Francisco and Hillsborough. He was a fiercely competitive athlete, winning a golf tournament at age 12 as partner to legendary golfer Marion Hollins and swimming for San Francisco’s St. Ignatius High School. He left St. Ignatius after his junior year for Santa Clara University because his father wanted him to have a year of college before joining the military. He entered the Army near the end of World War II and was quickly promoted to sergeant. He trained soldiers in tank maneuvers at Ft. Knox, Ky. Tony returned to Santa Clara after the war, playing basketball and studying philosophy. He would often speak of the powerful influence the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas had upon him. He married Marjorie Gossage Schoorl of Belmont on Dec. 29, 1951. The couple had 13 children – five sons and eight daughters. The family lived first in San Francisco, later moving to Burlingame and Hillsborough. He worked as a judge’s clerk at the Federal District Court of San Francisco for several years, attending night classes at the University of San Francisco School of Law. Eventually, Tony quit so he could study law full time. He once asked his wife, when the stresses of his studies were mounting, whether she’d rather be married to a law clerk with a full head of hair or to a lawyer with none. She was unequivocal – a bald lawyer. He was admitted to the California Bar on Jan. 7, 1959, scoring second in the state on his bar exam and joining San Francisco’s Townsend & Townsend Law Firm. His first big victory came in 1960, when he successfully sued Colgate-Palmolive for infringing on a tiny local company’s trademark, blocking the corporation from selling a competing product in 14 states. He was admitted to the patent bar in 1961, became a leading authority on plant patents and chaired the American Bar Association’s plant patent committee. He possessed an extraordinary memory and a talent for detail that colleagues say made him a formidable lawyer and researcher. Tony retired in 2001, doting on his many grandchildren and frequently visiting the Olympic Club, where he was a member for more than 60 years. Tony also loved a great glass of wine, and headed a chapter of the Wine and Food Society. The most abiding element of his life was his Catholic faith, and he often held up his large family as an expression of that faith. He taught catechism, was a Boy Scout Master at Our Lady of Angels in Burlingame, headed the Men’s Club of OLA and served as a Sunday lector for more than 25 years at St. Catherine of Siena in Burlingame. He was also involved with the St. Catherine traveling crucifix ministry. He attended every baptism, first communion and confirmation for his grandchildren until his final illness. He enjoyed traveling, visiting the Caribbean, Great Britain, Germany, Hong Kong and many, many U.S. states. But two of his favorite places were much closer to home, Lake Tahoe and Carmel. He was a founder and first president of Chamberlands Beach and Mountain Club in Lake Tahoe, which honored him with a rare lifetime membership. Tony is survived by 12 children: Anthony (Donna) of San Jose; Marjorie (Timothy) Vondrak of Rohnert Park; Jerome of Seattle, Wa.; Clotilde (Robert) of Pearland, Texas; Eloise Libby of San Mateo; Teresa of Portland, Ore.; Amy (Robert) Bolton of Truckee; Mary (Guy) Gunion of San Mateo; Peter (Janet) of Menlo Park; William (Renee) of Rancho Cucamonga; Claire (Mark) Johnson of Chico; and Bernadette (Derek) of Portland, Ore. He is also survived by 26 grandchildren including: Anthony, Elise, Kirstin, Garitt, Katelyn, Adrian, Donald, Leo, Jedidiah, Karly, Nicholas, Lukas,  Marjorie, Olivia, Tess, Brooke and Beck. He is also survived by sisters Florence (David) Stronck of Union City, Claire of San Francisco and Patricia (James) Hargarten of San Francisco, and his brother, Michael (Viorica) of Santa Rosa. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 47 years, Marjorie; his son, William Michael; three sisters, Clotilde, Mary Draeger and Rebecca Del Santo; and one brother, Melchior.


08 Nov 2018