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Class Notes | Obituaries
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Richard DiNapoli '50, resident of Los Gatos, passed away peacefully at his Los Gatos home on Aug. 22, 2015, surrounded by his wife Lynette of 61 years, and his immediate family. He was 88 years old.
Dick was born in San Jose, CA to Frank and Edna DiNapoli. He was the eldest brother to Shirlee DiNapoli Schiro and J. "Phil" DiNapoli J.D. '64. Dick was a graduate of Bellarmine High School and Santa Clara University and served in World War II as a Merchant Marine.
Dick was blessed with a long and successful career managing Sun Garden Packing Company. For 55 years, Sun Garden canned peaches, apricots and tomatoes in San Jose employing thousands of loyal and hardworking Santa Clara residents. Dick had a genuine interest in people and treated everyone he met with kindness and respect. When Sun Garden closed in 1994, it was the last remaining tomato processor in "The Valley of Heart's Delight".
Along with his wife and siblings, Dick is survived by his three sons and daughters-in-law, Richard "Rick" '77 and Julie, Rob and Karin, Matt and Gretchen, seven grandchildren Gina, Emerson, Elizabeth, Aaron, Madison, Christopher, Justin and two great grandchildren, Bowyn and Rocco; most of whom joined Dick and Lynette each and every Sunday for dinner.
Dick will be remembered for his patience, loyalty and gentile demeanor. He had a zest for life and a desire not to miss out on anything, especially if it involved family. He exited this world exactly how he lived it, with grace and dignity.
Preston J. Blither Jr. '50 died Dec. 12. 2009. Raised in Redwood City, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve and served in World War II before being honorably discharged in 1946 as a petty officer second class. He had a 33-year banking career with Bank of America and later was vice president of the Bank of Idaho. He later graduated from the Pacific Coast School of Banking at the University of Washington and eventually retired as executive vice president of the First Interstate Bank of Idaho. He was a member of St. John's Cathedral Parish as well as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is survived by six children and eight grandchildren.
Rev. Philip C. Blake, S.J., '50, September 5, 2013. He was 87 and a resident of Los Gatos when he died at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. He celebrated 65 years as a Jesuit and 52 years as an ordained priest. Phil was born in San Jose on May 15, 1926. After graduation from Bellarmine College Preparatory, he served in the Army Air Corps as a radio operator during World War II. He attended Santa Clara University for two years before joining the Jesuit Order in 1948. He taught Latin and Chemistry at Loyola High School, Los Angeles, 1955-58 and pursued theological studies at Alma College. He was ordained a priest in 1961. Phil served as a teacher and parish priest in Mexico, 1964-69, and re-entered the Military as a U.S. Army Chaplain in 1969. His assignments included service in Vietnam and Cambodia, where he received the Bronze Star for service under fire, Germany, Canal Zone, Ft Huachuca, AZ, and Turkey. Returning to civilian life in 1981, Phil served as a spiritual director and retreat master at the Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos, 1981-99. To assist in his work, he studied at the C. J. Jung Institute, Zurich, where he received a Diploma in Analytical Psychology in 1989. He then served as associate pastor at St. Francis Xavier Church, Phoenix, 2000-03 before assuming his last assignment as pastoral minister at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. He is survived by his brother, Freeman D. Blake ’50, of Eureka.
Parmly Martin '50 died on Sept. 2, 2009 at Twin Oaks after a lengthy illness. He was 83 years old. He was born on July 23, 1926 to Cecil and Frances Martin. In 1937, the family moved to Burlingame, Calif., where he grew up. He entered the Coast Guard during World War II and the Army during the Korean conflict. He re¬turned to Santa Clara University and earned a business degree and teaching credentials. He was proud of his part in organizing the Sea Scouts San Francisco Bay Chapter for disadvantaged boys, whom he taught for five years. Mr. Martin is survived by his wife of 45 years, Maxine; daughters Barbara, Judy, and Marian; sons Ted and Rob; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Michael Gonzalez '50, a community-active resident of Vacaville and Solano County passed away suddenly in Fairfield on Aug. 9, 2013. He was 88 years old.
Mike was born Sept. 28, 1924 in Fairfield, to Miguel and Lucy Gonzalez. He grew up in old town Suisun and later moved with his family to their ranch at Mankas Corner in Fairfield. Mike graduated from Armijo High School in 1943. After serving his country as a United States Marine in the South Pacific and North China during World War II, he attended Santa Clara University. In both high school and college Mike was a standout athlete in football, baseball and tennis.
In 1951, Mike married Mary Chaffee, and they had two children, Katie and Michael. Mary passed away in 1961. Years later, Mike reconnected with Jane Roney, his childhood classmate and high school sweetheart. They married in 1978. While living in Vacaville, Mike managed the California Sample Furniture Company stores in Fairfield and Vacaville. He then opened up his own furniture store, Michael's Home Furnishings in Vacaville. He later sold the store, which is now Shock's Furniture. Mike then moved on to manage Ticor Title until he retired. Mike was active in civic affairs, serving as Vacaville City Councilman and three-time president of the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the Solano County Fair Board, the Dixon May Fair Board, the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee and the Travis Regional Armed Forces Committee.
Malcolm Neil Stephens '50 died on February 3, 2010 at Napili Bay, Hawaii, at the age of 84. Malcolm was born August 30, 1925 in Oakland California. He was the beloved husband of 57 years to Mary Jo Felion Stephens. Greatly missed by his children Ellen (Michael Zatopa) of San Francisco, son Douglas (Kathleen) of Davis, son Gregory (Adrienne) of Fremont, daughter Anne (Eric Hoedt) of San Carlos, and daughter Mary Jeanne (Diego Bermudez) of Pacifica. Forever remembered by his grandchildren Alex, Nicholas, Valerie, Bradley, Kyle, Max, Erinne, Olivia, Sara, Diego III. Also survived by his sister Betty Claire (Robert Johnstone) from Lodi, his brother Robert (Jan) of San Rafael, and his brother William (Marilyn) of Austin, Texas, and his cousins Donald Kennedy (Diana) of Orinda, David Kennedy (Peggy) of Moraga, and Neil Kennedy of Alameda, and his sister-in-law Shirley Felion Eller of Dallas, Oregon. Preceded in death by his mother and father, Elizabeth (Betty) and Alfred (AJ) Stephens. He served our country in WWII in the 14th Armored Division in Alsace and Germany and was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries in combat. He returned home and completed a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering at Santa Clara University in 1950. His career with the State of California began then and spanned 38 years, while also earning a M.S. degree in Civil Engineering in 1972. He retired from the Dept. of Water Resources as a Supervising Engineer in 1988. In retirement, he enjoyed landscaping and woodworking projects as well as volunteering in the Our Lady of Assumption parish, and taking vacation trips with Mary Jo to many parts of the world. He will be forever missed by his loving family and all who had the good fortune of knowing him.
Maitland Paul Stearns '50 on October 19, 2009 in Monterey. A longtime Monterey Peninsula resident, Maitland passed away peacefully at home. Maitland was born in Honolulu to William and Adelaide Stearns. He played football for Punahou High School in Honolulu. In 1941, he witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor and served in the Navy during World War II. In 1949, he received his political science degree from Santa Clara University. He was manager of their basketball team. In 1951, he married Jonette Gertrude Lynde, who has preceded him in death. From 195-69, he was a sales executive for Tidewater Oil and Phillips Petroleum. Thereafter, for many years, he owned and operated Stearns' Mobil Oil in downtown Monterey and later worked for First National Bank of Monterey County. A community leader, he was on the Board of Directors for SCRAMP and the Elks Lodge Board of Trustees. He participated in Meals on Wheels and the Lions and Kiwanis Clubs. He was a member of the San Carlos Cathedral and Italian Catholic Federation, a Cub Scout leader and a PTA president. He volunteered for the AT&T tournament and Scottish Highland Games. He enjoyed bowling, square dancing, morning coffee with the BRB's and Fun Chaser outings. An avid traveler, Maitland went around the world with two of his sons and traveled frequently to Alaska and Saipan. He also traveled to Bali, Greece, Palau, and Europe. Maitland fondly remembered surfing with Olympic swimming legend, Duke Kahanamoku, and teaching Jimi Hendrix to swim in Seattle. He is survived by Charlene Jackson, his companion; children, Paul, Tony (Janet), Mark (Meg), Andrea (John); grandchildren, Katelyn, Tyler, Cassandra, Amelia, Emma, Conor, and Clay; and adopted grandson, Travis Clifton.
Lloyd F. "Scotty" Scott '50, beloved husband of Audrey (Kelly), passed away April 9, 2011, surrounded by his loving family. Scotty was born Aug. 26, 1925, in Milwuakee, Wis., the son of the late Lloyd F. Scott Sr. and Genevieve (Savage), and later grew up in San Mato, Calif., where he attended Bellarmine Prep HS and graduated from Santa Clara University in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in commerce. Scotty joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 and flew with the 426th Night Fighter Squadron in China. He was again called to serve with the Air Force in 1951 where he flew with the 344th Bomb Squadron in B-29s over Korea. After returning to the states he went to work for the Crown Zellebach Corp, later the James River Corp., from which he retired in 1990. Scotty resided for the last 35 years at the Lake Barrington Shores in Lake County, Ill., with his wife Audrey to whom he was happily married for almost 59 years. Scotty had been a member of Rotary International while living in Texas and president of his Toastmasters International Local while living in Connecticut. Besides his wife Audrey, Scotty is survived by his sons, Timothy (Pamela) and Terrence (Janice) and his daughter, Elizabeth (Mark) Fitzgerald and also his grandsons, Christopher and James and granddaughters, Kathryn, Kelly, Emily and MaryLi.
The Honorable Leighton Hatch '50 passed away in Sacramento on April 13, 2011. Born in Oakland on January 11, 1929 to F. Oliver Hatch and Clarice Leighton Hatch and raised in Martinez, Calif., he is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Lynn Fjelstad Hatch and his children: Katherine '81, Maury (Kristen), and Bruce, and beloved grandchildren Nathan and Lindsay. He was preceded in death by his son Francis Hatch. He is also survived by his brother Richard Hatch (Carol), his sister Katherine Smith (Clarke), and many nieces and nephews. He was an Eagle Scout (1945) and a graduate of Alhambra High School (1946). He graduated from Santa Clara University (1950), and then received his law degree from the University of San Francisco (1954). He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for 'Bravery in Action.' After admission to the State Bar in 1955, he worked as a research attorney for the Court of Appeal in San Francisco, served as an assistant district attorney in Contra Costa County, and later established a private practice in San Francisco. An appointment by Governor Reagan in 1967 moved Leighton and his family to Sacramento. He served as Director of the Office of Administrative Hearings. Other appointments by Governor Reagan included a 1969 position as Director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs and then to the bench in 1972. In 1988, he retired as Colonel, JAG, U.S. Army Reserve, and in 1989 retired as Judge of the Sacramento Superior Court. His many and varied interests included a lifelong love of history with an impressive knowledge of Civil War and general military history. He was an avid tennis player, loved riding his bicycle, hiking and backpacking, and was very faithful to his Catholic beliefs. He traveled extensively in his retirement years, infamously sending his one-line postcards to his close friends and family. He was a kind, humble man with a noble dedication to the Catholic Church, volunteerism and community service, and he had a great sense of humor. He was a staunch supporter of his beloved Santa Clara University and was named Santa Claran of the year in 1978. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors and longtime volunteer for Father Dan Madigan's Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, and was a member of the Sacramento Downtown Rotary Club. In his post retirement years, he continued his judicial work in the Assigned Judge Program with the California Judicial Council. He was awarded the 2005 Alba Witkin Humanitarian Award in recognition of his work.
Joseph Anastasi ’51, died on November 26, 2012, on their Wedding Anniversary, surrounded by his loving family. Joe lost his beloved wife, Angelina, in 2010. He loved SCU & SCU Football. He was the first son of an Italian immigrant family from Monterey, Calif. to receive a football scholarship to SCU. Joe had a great work ethic and carried it with him through his career as a very successful restauranteer on Monterey Fisherman's Wharf. He and his wife, Angelina, owned Mike's Seafood for 50 years. His Faith & Family were everything to him. He has two daughters, Jane Anastasi Gasperson '73, son-in-law, Gary, and Jodi Anastasi Duckett ’82, son-in-law, Tom Duckett ’81, granddaughter, Angelina Duckett ’13, and three grandsons, Joseph Gasperson, Michael Gasperson (wife, Mandy), John Duckett (wife, Tanya) and two great grandchildren -- Hudson and Harper Gasperson. Joe was well-loved by many and will be greatly missed.
John R. Kennedy Sr. J.D. '50 died on October 31, 2007.
John Maurice Laxalt '50, beloved son, brother, uncle, great-uncle and loyal friend, passed away peacefully in his Carson City residence on September 15, 2011 at the age of 85. Laxalt had recently moved to his original home town after having lived in Las Vegas for the past several years. At the time of his death, he was with his sister, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. Laxalt was born Aug. 23, 1926, in Reno. He was the fourth of six children of Therese and Dominique Laxalt, immigrants from the Basque region of France who came to the United States in the early 1900's. John's siblings were Senator Paul Laxalt '44 (born in 1922), the late Robert '45 (1923), Suzanne (1925), Marie (1928) and the late Peter '52 (1931). The children were raised in Carson City. John attended Carson High School where he received a marvelous education under the tutelage of educators like English teacher Grace Bordewich. John, being a fabulous athlete, took time from his studies to play all manner of sports, including tennis, football and boxing. John's contemporaries say that it was in basketball that he excelled in particular. In the summers, he and his brothers caddied at Glenbrook Golf Course near the south shore of Lake Tahoe. He graduated from Carson High in 1944, whereupon he entered the United States Navy. World War II was raging, and before he knew it, John was in combat action in the Pacific, including a stint in Okinawa. At the conclusion of the war, John entered the University of Nevada-Reno and joined the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. After one year, he transferred to Santa Clara University, where his brothers, Paul and Robert, had attended and where little brother, Peter, would later enroll. After graduating from Santa Clara, John travelled to Washington, D.C., to attend Georgetown University Law School, where he eventually earned his law degree. While in law school, he worked for the legendary Nevada Senator Pat McCarran who was then co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Foreign Economic Cooperation (and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee). John travelled the world extensively on behalf of the senator and the committee. Senator McCarran was an immensely respected figure in the Laxalt household, having frequented Momma Laxalt's Basque restaurant in Carson City at the height of his power. Throughout his adult life, John maintained an avid interest in politics, government and international affairs. When Paul ran for lieutenant governor in 1962, he admittedly knew virtually no one in Southern Nevada. John, who was practicing law at Lake Tahoe at the time, selflessly (and courageously) volunteered to move to Las Vegas for the campaign. John resigned from the Democrat Party in June 1962 after Paul had filed for the office. He said at the time: "In the Laxalt family there are Republicans, Democrats and nonpartisans. We have always respected each other's right to our own political beliefs. But in this instance, my first loyalty is to my brother, Paul." John returned to Washington, D.C. in the 1970's and 1980's, the period during which Paul served in the U.S. Senate. John opened a government and business consulting business, where he advised domestic and international clients on how to navigate the treacherous waters of Washington, D.C. Paul was grateful to have John in the same town, as he always considered John to be a source of sage advice and as someone whose judgment he trusted and valued. One of John's favorite occasions was attending Senator Laxalt's annual Lamb Fry dinner in Georgetown, where about 100 Nevadans and Washingtonians joined together to celebrate the Laxalts' Basque and western heritage. Although John was a man of the world and had travelled to every corner of the Earth, it was appropriate that he passed from this world in his hometown, Carson City. From the day he was born until his final breath, John was, first and foremost, a son of Nevada. He will be dearly missed. He was preceded in death by his father, Dominique (1971); mother, Therese (1978); and brothers, Robert (2001) and Peter (2010). John is survived by sisters, Suzanne of Carson City, and Marie Bini of Santa Clara; brother, Paul of McLean, Va.; and numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
John "Jack" Clarke ’50 passed away peacefully at his Aptos home on Oct 28. Born in Los Gatos and raised in Saratoga, he was 90 years old. Graduated in 1950 at the University of Santa Clara, he received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, followed by a 35 year career with the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Jack was active in the Catholic Church his entire life. He was a veteran of WWII, serving in Europe and was honored with the Bronze Star. Jack is survived by his wife Eleanor of 61 years, and children Richard (Susan), Stephen, John ’79 (Jeanne) and Maureen (Richard), along grandchildren, Bryan, Colin, Kelly, Geoffrey, Genelle, Andy and Heather. Jack also leaves his brother Henry Clarke ’51. Any kind acts of charity may be made in memory of Jack to Santa Clara University
John Francis Ennis ’50, of Redding, Calif., passed away at home on December 4, 2012 due to natural causes. Known as Jack, he was born December 17, 1919 in San Jose, Calif. to John and Fannie (McClintock) Ennis, and grew up with them on their ranch near Cedarville, in Modoc County, Calif. He graduated from Surprise Valley High School at the age of 16, worked for the United States Postal Service and Bank of America, and earned his airplane pilot's license before enlisting in the US Navy in 1941. He served as a radio operator onboard the USS President Adams in the South Pacific during World War II, including the Battle of Guadalcanal. After the war, he earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Santa Clara and returned to Modoc County and Cedarville. In 1952, he met and married Angela Cooke of San Francisco, Calif., and they eventually moved to Redding to raise their family. Jack made his career with the California Division of Highways (now Caltrans), coordinating road design with local cities and counties, ultimately landing his dream job as Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, and retiring in 1981. As a member of the Knights of Columbus, he was active at St. Joseph Catholic Church and served the parish in many capacities. He was also active in the greater community; as a Boy Scout scoutmaster, as a youth baseball coach, and as a volunteer at the food bank. An accomplished public speaker and humorist, he was a member of the local chapter of Toastmasters International. He was a long-time member and volunteer with both the Whiskeytown Sailing Club and the Shasta Wheelmen bicycle club, continuing to ride his bike beyond the age of 90, and serving as a volunteer after that time. He was preceded in death by Angela, his wife of 60 years, and earlier by his sisters Mrs. Emma Fogalsang of Colusa, Calif. and Mrs. Carmen Schlatter of Wyckoff, N.J. He is survived by his son Tim Ennis and daughter-in-law Kathy Brock of Portland, Ore.; son Tom Ennis, daughter-in-law Donna Ennis and granddaughters Meredith Ennis and Colleen Ennis of Carmichael, Calif.; son Chris Ennis and daughter-in-law Lisa Ennis of San Francisco, Calif.; and son Ted Ennis, daughter-in-law Nancy Steel and granddaughter Alyson Ennis of Placerville, Calif.
John Joseph Bower '50, after four years of failing health, and having received the comfort and consolation of the sacraments, at age 93, died peacefully on Friday, July 18, 2014, at Pacific Coast Manor, Capitola, California, where he had resided since 2010.
John was born on April 20, 1921, in Kentland, Newton County, Indiana where his family had settled in the 1860s. He was the sixth child of eight children of the late John and Kathryn (Clark) Bower. Never married, he outlived all of his siblings. He was preceded in death by his only brother, James W. Bower (Mary) and his sisters Mary Freiling (Syl) ,Florence Puetz (Ray), Helen Brouillette (Arleigh), Rita Brunette (Jay), Dolores Esposito (Leo) ,Grace Garavaglia, and nephew Michael Bower.
John attended elementary school in Newton County, Indiana and began his studies for the Roman Catholic priesthood at St. Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, Indiana in 1935. After two years of philosophy, he entered the novitiate of the Benedictine Abbey at St. Meinrad. He left the seminary in 1946 but remained a loyal and generous alumnus. John served in the United States Army for two years and for one year was stationed in Alaska. He began his studies at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California in 1946 and graduated in 1950. That same year he began a very successful career at IBM which would last 30 years.
Known for his keen intellect, razor sharp wit and quick repartee, he was a welcome guest with his many friends and extended family. During his long career at IBM as an industrial engineer, he traveled extensively throughout the United States and enjoyed travel in his leisure time as well. Because he was single, he was able to visit his siblings and their children on a regular basis and enjoyed keeping family members informed about one another. Generous to a fault, he was active in many not-for-profit organizations. No matter where he was stationed with IBM, he was active in the local Catholic parish, the Knights of Columbus and Alcoholics Anonymous. He was grateful that through the years he was able to help countless others become involved with AA and he was proud of the fact that at the time of his death, he had obtained over 60 years of sobriety. Always a faithful Catholic he assisted at daily Mass after his retirement insofar as he was able and was a faithful St. Vincent de Paul worker as long as his health allowed. He is survived by 20 nieces and nephews and several great-nieces and nephews, and brother-in-law, Albert Garavaglia.
Joe Vargas '50, born Dec. 23, 1919. A resident of San Pablo, Joe, lovingly known as "Papa Joe," passed away on November 13, 2011, surrounded by his wife of 70 years and his five children. Joe was born in Oakland and raised in San Pablo, CA. He graduated from Richmond High School and went on to attend the University of Santa Clara. After serving in W.W.II he returned to his home and attended Stanford University earning his Master's Degree. Joe had a passion for playing all sports, but his true love of football gave him the opportunity to play for Richmond High School and Santa Clara University. Joe was fortunate to play in the Orange Bowl in 1950 where he kicked the winning field goal. Joe's amazing abilities as an athlete gave him the nickname "Joe the Toe". Continuing his passion for sports, Joe coached many young athletes at Richmond High School, El Cerrito High School, and Pinole Valley High School. Joe loved his family with unconditional love. He was survived by his wife Emily, and his five children, Jo Ann Whitson (John), Sherry Carpenter (Russell, deceased), Sandi Rios (Ruben), Kim Jerge (Jeff) and John Vargas (Anthony). Grandchildren include Kari (David), Ricky (Shawn), Donnie (Carol), Jeremy, Miranda and Abraham. Great grandchildren include Darren (Denise), Jason, Vanessa, Veronica and Jessica, and great great grandchild, Darren Jr.
Joseph Thomas Nally '50, August 4, 1928 - June 30, 2014. He was born in Los Angeles, the second son of Catherine Byrne Nally and Patrick Aloysius Nally. Joe was fiercely loyal to his family and friends, was immensely proud of his country and of his Irish American heritage. Joe attended Mount Carmel High School in Los Angeles. Dedicated and determined, he was elected student body president and also played football, track, and baseball throughout. After being awarded "All-City" honors in both track and baseball, Joe was awarded a full scholarship to Santa Clara University. In the fall of 1946, Joe moved north and immediately began his "second career" as everyone's favorite Bronco. He was a proud member of the class of 1950. Joe played shortstop on the Bronco team, and following graduation he was drafted by the Yankee organization. After playing a season, Joe was called to serve his country in Korea as an Army First Lieutenant. A year later, he returned home, began his insurance career and married Teresa Bannan, to whom he remained devoted for the remainder of his life. Joe had a storied career in the insurance business that led to great success and enabled him to pursue his life's great passion: being a "man for others." Joe never turned down a plea for help, a person in need, or an organization in turmoil. The Carmelites at Santa Teresita, the Little Sisters of the Poor, Dolores Mission, The Doheny Foundation, Santa Clara University, Loyola Marymount University, Good Shepherd Center, Verbum Dei, Mayfield Senior School and Loyola High School are but a few examples of his continued support, largess and devotion. We will miss the twinkle in his eye, his unique sense of humor, his thoughtful and often repeated advice and his ever-present "ticky" lists. Joe is survived by his wife of 61 years, Terry Nally, his children and their spouses, Patrick Nally ’78, J.D. ’82, ’82 and Mary Nally ’78, Mary Ternan ’83 and Ed Ternan ’83, as well as his six grandchildren, Joseph Nally ’10, Catherine Nally ’12, and Daniel Nally, Edward, Teresa and Charles Ternan, two brothers-in-law and their families, and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom will be forever grateful for Papa's love, humor and counsel.
James P. Blach Sr. ’50 was born May 4, 1923 and died Dec. 29, 2013. A resident of Mountain View, Jim was born in S.F. to John and Georgina Blach. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth of 63 yrs. Jim was preceded in death by his siblings, brothers John, Don Blach ’55, Mike, and sisters Georgina, Patricia and Mary. Surviving brothers Bob, Dick, Alan; sisters Betty and Joan. Also preceding Jim in death, his two children Beth and Ken. Jim was the proud father of 11: Jim Jr., Barb (Floyd), Tom (Tina), Phil (Lola), Paul (Tracy), Beverly (Nina), Steve, Dave (Christy), and Tracy. A proud grandfather of 12 and great grandfather of 2. The family moved to Los Altos in 1934 where Jim and his brothers and sisters worked on the apricot orchard, and tended to livestock. This gave Jim and family a work ethic which enabled the entire family to become reliable, responsible and successful. Jim graduated from St. Ignatius High School in S.F. and joined the Army Air Corps and as a 2nd Lt., Jim navigated B-17's during WWII. After the war, Jim attended Santa Clara University and after graduating was called back to service from 1950-53 to fight in Korea as a 1st Lt. and navigator. After his service, he went to work for Equitable and in a few years became district mgr. Later Jim became a real estate broker selling recreation property and then business opportunities. In 1974 Jim purchased Clarke's Charcoal Broiler and was still boss at 90 yrs. old. Jim had many passions and talents. He loved to play bridge, cribbage, boating, fishing and also loved taking his family camping and water skiing. Jim joined the Elks Lodge, Palo Alto and was a member since 1946, he also belonged to numerous clubs, and became Pres. of St. Joseph's Mens Club. Jim's faith in God was as strong as his will, and his success at everything he did. Jim was also instrumental in the beginning days of High School Sports Focus and hosted the show at his restaurant along with Channel 36. Jim was many things to many people and will be missed by his large family and many friends.
James Philip Lovely '50 on April 19, 2009. Loving husband, father, and grandfather, after a long, courageous battle with lung and heart disease. He was born in San Jose, Calif., on October 7, 1928, to Dr. James and Louise Lovely. Jim was the eldest of three children. Jim was a student at the University of Santa Clara then graduated from San Jose State University. Upon graduation in 1950, he then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force serving overseas as an F86 jet pilot during the Korean War. In 1952, he married Jean Jorgensen, the love of his life. They had two children, Lisa and Rick and resided in Los Gatos, Calif. for 5 years. Jim was transferred by Guardian Life Insurance to New York where he and his family lived for 2 years. In 1961, they returned to Saratoga, Calif. Jim worked in the life insurance business for both Guardian Life and E.F. Hutton until his retirement in 1987. He was a member of Sainte Claire Club of San Jose and served for many years on the Saratoga School Board and on the Board of San Jose Hospital. Jim never lost his love for flying, always keeping in touch with his Air Force friends and treasured the opportunity to fly whenever he had the chance. He was an active outdoorsman, looking forward every year to the hunting seasons. Jim dearly loved the mountains and skiing. Jim always wanted to reside in the state of Idaho where he and his wife built their dream home in Sun Valley, Idaho. In 1995, they moved to Bend where Jim also enjoyed the beautiful mountains, golf and skiing. He belonged to the Hackers golf group at Widgi Creek Golf Club where he spent many wonderful days on the course with his pals. Jim is survived by his beloved wife, Jean; daughter, Lisa Lovely of San Francisco, son, Rick Lovely and his fiance, Shelly Jasper of Bend, granddaughter, Logan Lovely of San Francisco, sisters, Diane Lovely of Sacramento, Calif., Susan Donohue of Santa Clara, Calif., and many nieces and nephews, all in California. The most important part of Jim's life was his family and friends, and was especially brightened by his new one year old granddaughter, Logan. He always loved raising his glass, toasting life which he lived to the fullest. Jim was a man well loved and respected by all who knew him. He will be so missed. Contributions may be made to Partners in Care of Bend, Ore.
James E. Doyle '50 passed away peacefully on May 5, 2011. Born Aug. 17, 1924 to Mary Jesse and O.E. Doyle and raised in Redwood City, Jim graduated from Bellarmine College Preparatory in 1943. He lettered in baseball and football and in 1999 humbly accepted his induction into the Bellarmine Sports Hall of Fame. Upon graduation, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Army-Air Force and served proudly as an aerial gunner (398th bomb group). In 1949 he married his beloved wife, Jacklyn Palm (deceased 2004). Jim received his B.A. from Santa Clara University in 1950 and his Masters in Education from Stanford University in 1951. Jim began his rewarding career in education in 1951 with the Redwood City School District and continued with the Eastside Union High School District as an Educator and Administrator of Special Education until his retirement in 1984. We will always remember his profound love of baseball & sports, summers at Seacliff Beach, going to Hawaii and our Sunday morning ritual of mass, breakfast and a drive to S. J. Airport. Jim is survived by his children Megan Rhodes, Peter (Shiela) Doyle, Mary Anne (Chuck) Wall and Maureen (Steve) Gembala, 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren with 2 more on the way.
James M. Dowling '50 on April 12, 2009 at a care center in Brentwood, Contra Costa County. He was 81. He was born in Alameda, the second son of Thomas and Alice Dowling, and was raised in San Jose. He attended Bellarmine Prep High School, where he was active in sports. Family members said he dabbled in boxing and basketball, but his favorite sport was football. He was a starting fullback at Bellarmine from 1942 to 1944, and played for Santa Clara University from 1946 to 1949, playing in every game during that period. In 1950, he played on Santa Clara Orange Bowl team. He was named to the football Hall of Fame at both Bellarmine and Santa Clara. After college, he was drafted to play for the Cleveland Browns, but turned down the offer to marry his wife, Jane, in 1951. After their marriage, he served in the U.S. Navy, where he also played football. They lived in Southern California for several years, then moved to Walnut Creek to be closer to friends and family, where they lived for 30 years. In 1996, they moved to Twain Harte, where they had spent many summers vacationing. Mr. Dowling was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma Jane Close Dowling; his brother, Thomas Lawrence Dowling Jr.; and his infant son, William Thomas Dowling. He is survived by three children; Michelle Huddleston and her husband, Mark, of Twain Harte; James Dowling Jr. and his wife, Melinda, of Morgan Hill; and Catherine Gomes and her husband, Wade, of Brentwood; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and his brother, Austin Dowling, of New Jersey.
John "Jack" M. O’Keeffe ’50, Nov. 6, 2012. Born February 18, 1927 to John M. Sr. and Lou O'Keeffe in Stockton, Calif. Loving husband to Audrey Jean O'Keeffe who preceded Jack in death this year. Adoring father of John M. "Spike" O'Keeffe III (Joan), Cynthia Nelson, Carolyn Chvosta (Bill), Rebecca England (Jack), Clark O'Keeffe (Elise) and Patricia See (Dave). Proud grandfather of Bryan and Chris Nelson, Kelly Bassett and Megan O'Keeffe, Jennifer Teresinski and Emily Moses, Malissa Crowder, Carly and Molly O'Keeffe, Joe and Drew See. Eleven adored great grandchildren with three more on the way! Survived by his brother David O'Keeffe ’53 and his wife Janelle of Colorado Springs. Uncle and In-law to many whom he loved dearly.
Jack grew up in San Jose, Calif., across from the Rose Garden. He graduated from Bellarmine High School and Santa Clara University. During both of these experiences, and with his father's guidance, he was a devout Roman Catholic. It was a devotion that he took seriously every day of his life. Following his graduation from Santa Clara University in 1950, (after a stint in the Maritime Service at the end of World War II), he began a lifelong love for the SCU athletic program. The first song his children learned growing up was the Santa Clara fight song and many family events, even weddings, were culminated with a rendition of "All Hail to SCU!" He attended the 1950 SCU Orange Bowl victory and could sing the “SCU Fight Song” up until his death.
While attending SCU he met Audrey Jean Alexander at a dance with Dominican College. Years later he swore the first time he saw her she had a bright light and a halo over her head. They were married in 1950. That same year he went to work for IBM and his first promotion was as branch manager in Richmond, Calif. In 1963 he became a key account manager at the Oakland IBM branch. At this time he moved his family to Lafayette, Calif., and his Crofton Court home became the center of activity for his children, their friends, nieces and nephews. Special times were spent in the family Lake Tahoe home that he helped build.
As his children were growing up he volunteered at the St. Paul's Parents Club, Kiwanis Club, The Salvation Army and Knights of Columbus and coached both basketball and baseball. He attended nearly every game, recital, and horseshow that his children participated in. He encouraged this development and was eager to learn of their experiences.
In the Maritime Service he developed a love of ships and the sea. In 1983 and after his retirement from IBM, he and Audrey built the home of their dreams in Bethel Island. He was able to fulfill his love of the sea owning many boats and enjoying all the adventures a boat on the Delta waters could offer. Three of his daughters owned floating homes on his marina property. Every summer brought celebrations and his grandchildren spent cherished time in and around the water and at their home.
In retirement, he sold real estate for Boyd Realty in Bethel Island, volunteered with Audrey at the Bethel Island Lions Club, belonged to the Bethel Island Chamber of Commerce, the San Joaquin Yacht Club and St. Anthony's Church in Oakley . He announced the "Frozen Bun Run" on New Year's Day for many years. In 1977 he started a golf tournament with two of his son-in-laws. For Jack this was a life changing event. The "Little Crosby", named for many years the JOK and eventually the JO'KN Golf Tournament, benefited many worthy causes including Bethel Island Jr. Golf, Scout Hall, St. Anne's Catholic Church in Rossmoor and eventually Stand Up 2 Cancer. He spent months planning the tournament and his family used the event as a vehicle for yearly reunions with their friends. Every family member was involved in the tournament, either playing in it or planning the events of the day. As a Real Estate agent he invited many clients and potential clients. The tournament dinner and awards party was held at Jack and Audrey's Bethel Island home. He and Audrey were gracious hosts and he ended each tournament, "Hope you had a good time, see you next year."
So we say "goodbye" to Jack O'Keeffe, Dad, Brother, Uncle, Father-in-Law, Grandfather and Great Grandfather. We are comforted to know he is now reunited with his wife Audrey. She is introducing him to all heaven has to offer and next time you see hail the size of golf balls know that is a sign that a JO'KN foursome has teed off at Heavenly Fairways. Invitations are pending, heaven sent.
Ignazio A.Vella '50, owner of Vella Cheese Company and an outspoken leader in Sonoma County politics in the last half of the 20th century, died June 9, 2011 at his home in Sonoma after a prolonged illness. He was 83. Vella became an iconic figure in the artisan cheese industry after assuming leadership of the family business in 1981. In the 1960s and '70s he was a larger-than-life figure in county politics, both as supervisor from the Sonoma Valley and later as manager of the Sonoma County Fair. Easily the most colorful and controversial of county officialdom in his political years, he was known for his colorful vests, wide-brimmed hats and his gift of oratory. In his signature white-paper cheesemaker's hat, Vella was a familiar figure at the landmark stone cheese factory on Sonoma's Second Street East. As heir to his father, Gaetano "Tom" Vella's craft, he built a cheese empire in California and Oregon with the same intensity he brought to the board room in the '60s. Vella, a Sonoma native, was a magna cum laude graduate of Santa Clara University and an Air Force officer in the Korean War. He had a style all his own, a self-confidence sometimes taken as arrogance. He could be abrupt with those who disagreed with him and once told a reporter, perhaps as a joke, that he kept a copy of Machiavelli's writings on his bedside table. "He was one of a kind," said Janet Nicholas, a Vella appointee to the county planning commission who was elected supervisor in 1984. "And there's no question that he truly loved politics." He told a reporter in the '70s that the county arena was his favorite—the level of government with the largest scope and closest to the people. Vella was elected supervisor in 1964 and served three terms before resigning to become fair manager where he served with a distinction that earned him a Best Manager title for the California fair circuit in 1980. He served as president of the newly formed Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) in the early 1970s, when Sonoma County's participation in this new regional body was in question. But his time as fair manager also brought controversy. In 1981, members of the fair's board of directors bought up most of the tickets to a Willie Nelson concert, resulting in public outrage and Nelson's cancellation. Vella's handling of the crisis came under fire from the directors, and the episode known as "Williegate" cost him the manager's job. Vella served on the Sonoma City Planning Commission for 12 years after his county tenure, and as a charter member of the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission. In 2006, his hometown honored him by naming a new span over Sonoma Creek the Ig Vella Bridge. "You always knew where Ig stood," said daughter, Chickie Vella, who has run the company for the past several years with son Gabriel Luddy. He did everything his own way. Having grown up in the cheese trade, from washing vats to delivering cheese in his father's Model A in the early 1930s, Vella championed local dairies and small-production artisan cheeses. In the late 1990s, he turned his sights to the family's operations in Oregon. Despite initial skepticism, his commitment to making world-class blue cheese in the Rogue River Valley garnered him legions of cheese-making fans, including the current co-owner of Rogue River Creamery, David Gremmels, who took over operations from Vella with a handshake deal in 2002. "He will be remembered for so many things, so many of us respect and think of him as a pillar," Gremmels said. He affected so many cheesemakers in a positive way that will be felt for generations. In 2006 Vella was given the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Cheese Society. His hobby was old clocks and watches and he was often asked by collectors for help in repairing and restoring old timepieces. He was also a dedicated baseball fan, coaching Babe Ruth League for several seasons. In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife, Sally Vella; daughter, Ditty Vella; son, Thomas Vella, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Howard McMahon '50 died on Oct. 1, 2008.