Jennie Rykoff ’78 died on August 23, 2010. She was a resident of Santa Clara. On October 28, 1922 a little girl was born to Ben and Sarah Karabedian. Her name was Jennie. She filled her own life and those around her with the joie de vivre. She grew up with her older brother Patrick (Pat), and later was followed by two younger sisters Bergie and Babe. Her looks turned heads. Her talents took her to singing with a band at the Breakers in Long Beach until her brother Pat found out and pulled her from the stage. After all, nice Armenian girls at that time didn’t sing in public. After high school she became a baby photographer and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. No one was ever more taken with babies than Jennie. One day while walking in Phoenix, George Palumbo saw Jennie. His first words to her were, ""I thought all the movie stars were in Hollywood." They married in 1942 and moved back to Los Angeles. They had one son Bruce. He was showered with love. As in every life, strife entered Jennie’s life. And in 1964, Jennie and George parted. Richard Rykoff, her gallant gentleman, came into Jennie’s life. Richard Lee, as she called him, and Jennie were married in May 1966. Richard’s teenage daughters Deborah and Joanna then became Jennie’s daughters as well. In 1972, Richard transitioned from his active law practice in Beverly Hills and became a full time professor of law at the University of Santa Clara Law School. Jennie went back to school and obtained her B.A. Later, Jennie’s love of art took her to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco where she entered their extensive training program and became a docent. After 1994, when she lost her beloved Richard Lee, Jennie stayed in the Bay area and remained very active in the community, helping many to look at their lives with the same joy she brought to her life. After a stroke in 2005 that fortunately only affected her short term memory, Jennie came to live with her son Bruce and daughter-in-law Penny. As time passed, Jennie’s loving care giver Evelia Coreas came to live with Jennie, Penny and Bruce. Jennie was once again with the people who loved her most and remained with Penny and Bruce until her death on August 23. She is survived by her daughters Deborah Bennett and Joanna Rykoff, by her daughter-in-law, Penny and son Bruce, by her sister Bergie Corey, and by several nephews and nieces and by the many close friends whose lives were made so much better by having known her. She was always fair and loving, but also firm. She brought solidity and certainty to those many confused by life’s clouds of uncertainty. She will always be loved and always missed.

08 Nov 2018