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Class Notes | Obituaries
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Arthur Eugene Ginocchio ’39 died July 7, 2011 at the age of 94. Born May 9, 1917 to Arthur and Flora Ginocchio in San Francisco. Attended St. Brigid's Grammar School, St. Ignatius High School and Santa Clara University where he received his Bachelors degree in Finance. Arthur spent over 3 years as a 1st Lt. in World War II with Patton's 3rd Army. He received an Honorable discharge in August of 1945. He married Gloria Zietich in 1947. Art worked along side his Father-in-law, Antone Zietich, at Tony's Quality Market for 25 years. Arthur and Gloria had four children, Terry, Gary, Jackie and Richard. Arthur was affectionately known as OPA or "The OPSTER" to his 9 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Arthur was a hard worker, great patriot, and tremendous Dad. His compassion, spirituality, clever humor and spontaneous wit set him apart as a special person who was loved by all who knew him. He shall be dearly missed by his friends and most of all by his loving family.
William Thomas Box '40 passed away quietly on September 20, 2009. He was 91 years old. Bill was born July 18, 1918 in Los Angeles and attended Loyola High School and graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1940. He married Mary Josephine Becka in 1941 in Hollywood, Calif., and had six children (Tom, John, Margaret, Paul, Steve and Jean). Mary Jo died in 1956. Bill married a widow and friend, Patricia Ryan Baxter, in 1958 and raised her three children (Tony, Robin and Mike Baxter). His son John died in Vietnam in 1969 and is remembered through a University of Santa Clara scholarship fund. Bill served in the Marine Corps from 1940-46 and, after completing officer training at Quantico, fought in Guadalcanal, New Georgia and Okinawa. His units received five battle stars and two Presidential Citations. At the end of the war, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Like so many of his generation, he did not like to talk about his experiences in the war. Bill said that the most terrifying time of his life was the invasion of Okinawa. In a recent book by members of his unit detailing their exploits in the South Pacific, he was referred to by the other soldiers as "Sweet William or Wild Bill" depending on his demeanor at the time. Returning to civilian life he worked, as did his father and grandfather, in the oil business in Los Angeles. Bill participated with the DuPont Company in the innovative implementation of the bazooka in perforating oil wells; the basic process is still in use today. He told harrowing stories of testing these explosives in remote oil fields in the Rocky Mountains. Later through hard work, perseverance and intelligent decisions, he became operating manager of BJ Services, an oil service company, and finally the Chairman of the Board of Trico Industries. One of his proudest moments was when he took the company public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1978. He retired in 1984. Supporting and raising a family of nine kids was no easy job for Bill or Pat but somehow with the right amount of structure, discipline and love, they were successful in raising self-reliant children who have stayed close. One of Bill's most important goals during the last 15 years of his life was to maintain family unity through biennial family reunions. While the reunions will continue, we will miss him greatly. He was always active in his church, St. John Fisher, in Rancho Palos Verdes. He became a Eucharistic Minister and always an active participant in the Seekers and other Catholic groups. Bill, before and after his wife Pat's passing in 2003, traveled widely, seeing new places, old friends and his many children and grandchildren. He loved to attend his Marine Corps, Loyola High School and Santa Clara University annual reunions. Bill loved business. After retiring he took great pride in his business rentals and managing his stock portfolio. In 2006 he moved to Idaho to be near his daughter and son. Later he moved nearby to Washington where he lived in an independent retirement community and later to the Spokane Veterans Home ,where he passed away. He tirelessly professed the values of hard work and education. He demanded the best of those around him, had a heart of gold and was a true gentleman. He was loving, kind, generous, intelligent, and supportive of his grandchildren. He was a great husband, father, grandpa and friend to many, and we will miss him dearly. He is survived by his eight loving children, and his eleven grandchildren (Carolynn Box, Buck Palmer, Heather Box, Jess Box, Martin Box, John Box, Devin Baxter, Nikki Van Vlymen, Elly Berstein, Sam Box and David Berstein) and numerous nieces and nephews who all looked up to and loved grandpa.
William Alvord "Al" Wolff '40 passed away in his sleep Sept. 6, 2014, at Maravilla in Santa Barbara, Calif., with family at his side. Al, as he was called, was born in San Francisco on Nov. 18, 1917 to William Alvord Wolff, Sr. and Debora Jones Wolff. He was the second oldest of 6 children. All of his siblings pre-deceased him as did his first wife of 49 years, Marcella Jensen Wolff and his second wife of 18 years, Connie Duckworth Wolff.
Robert Joseph O'Connor '40 — Born March 7, 1919, was a native of San Francisco, but resided in Palo Alto. He married Rita Mary O'Grady in August of 1942, before leaving for 2 1/2 years to serve as a Captain in the Army Air Corps in Africa and Italy during WWII. He worked all his life as a chemist. Robert and Rita raised 6 children before opening their home to more than 200 long term patients from Stanford Hospital and the VA hospital. Robert loved music and played the piano, saxophone, and clarinet. One of his greatest passions was the music of the big band era, which he shared with everyone around him. His greatest passion in life was his wife Rita and his children. He will be remembered for his wit, generosity and kindness. He is survived by his wife Rita of 69 years, 5 daughters, O'Malley, JoJo O'Connor '69, Christine, Patty, Kellie, and son, Rob. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren Lt. Scott Stafford '00 and 3 great grandchildren.
Harry Joseph Zell Jr. ’40 was born on July 6, 1917, in Los Angeles, California. He received a B.S. degree from SCU in 1940 and his medical degree from USC School of Medicine in 1944. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army in the European theatre from 1945 to 1946 in World War II and received a Bronze Star for bravery. During the war, his unit passed the village of Theresa Neumann, and he was able to witness her stigmata wounds. His unit also liberated the Dachau concentration camp. He practiced medicine in San Gabriel, California, as a general practitioner for over 40 years until the age of 78. Harry died peacefully on his July 6, 2016, birthday at Santa Teresita Manor in Duarte, California. He is survived by his son, Peter Zell ’69, and daughter Libby. He is predeceased by his wife, Mary Jane, son Gregory Zell ’79, and daughter Gretchen.
George Doll '38, J.D. '40 passed away in Santa Rosa on Friday, May 13, 2016. He was born in Santa Clara on March 22, 1918, age 98 years. George graduated from Santa Clara and received his J.D. in 1940 He served in the Navy during WWII as a Registered Publications Officer on the staff of Admiral William F. Halsey, Commander Third Fleet, South Pacific area. He was an asisstant U.S. Attorney in San Francisco and later practiced law for many years in Redwood City.
Edward D. S. Sullivan '40 passed away at home on January 12, 2010. Born on February 24, 1918, he was a native of Virginia City, Nev. Edward served in the Army Air Force starting just before World War II. He saw action in Africa, Sicily, Greece, and Rome where, as Colonel Sullivan, he was appointed liaison to the Vatican. Upon retiring from the Air Force, he prepared to become a college educator by attending Oxford University and the University of California at Santa Barbara (M.A. and Ph.D). He retired as Emeritus Professor of English Literature at San Diego State University in 1983. Sullivan then volunteered to teach English for two years in China at Wuhan University, where he was a principal founder of the Wuhan Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the financial assistance of Chinese students seeking education in America. These endeavors led to Sullivan's long and deep friendships with many Chinese students who traveled from afar to visit him on birthdays and holidays. Edward is survived by his cousins in the Reno, Nev., area and will always be remembered by his many colleagues and friends, who will miss him greatly.
Bernard F. Cassidy, S.J., ’40, 96, died September 15 in Regis Infirmary, Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. A Jesuit since 1954, he recently celebrated his 50th anniversary of priestly ordination.
Bernie was born in Los Angeles in 1917 and was a 1940 graduate of Santa Clara University, where he majored in electrical engineering. From 1940 until 1953 he worked as a civilian electrical engineer for the Army and Air Force, involved in the design, installation, repair and instruction in the use of electrical and electronic systems at military bases in Hawaii and Sandia, New Mexico. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1963, he taught theology and served as student chaplain at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles (1965-67), and in parish ministry at Blessed Sacrament Church, Hollywood, Christ the King Church, San Diego (1968-78) and Holy Family Church, San Jose (1979-82). In 1982 he returned to Hawaii and served as Director of Spiritual Services at St. Francis Medical Center, Honolulu, retiring in 1992. He then became a hospice chaplain until 2005, when he retired to Sacred Heart Jesuit Center. During his four decades of ministry Bernie touched the lives of countless students, parishioners and hospital patients.
Andre T. 'Andy' 'Bogie' Bogart '40 on May 3, 2009 in Napa, Calif. Andy was born on November 30, 1916, in San Francisco and moved to Saratoga, Calif., at age 13. He was a longtime member of the Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department, fighting his first fire at age 17 and later retiring as captain after decades of service. During World War II, Andy served in the United States Army Air Corps, meeting Betty while stationed in Virginia. Andy and Betty were married on November 20, 1945 in Ft. Worth, Texas. Andy and Betty returned to Saratoga where Andy began work at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field. After retirement, he coordinated the work study program at the Foothill Junior College District and enjoyed fishing, golfing, traveling with the trailer group, and woodworking, all while rebuilding an unknown number of Volkswagen engines.
Louis M. Caserza ’41, April 28, 2013. Dear husband of Bianca (Ratto), whom he married on August 18, 1956. Devoted father of Rosemarie ’80, Catherine, and Elizabeth ’81. Son of the late Dionizio and Rachele (Crescio). Brother of the late John and Alfred Caserza. Uncle of Richard (deceased), Gloria, Daniel, Teresa ’75, Steven, and David. Great uncle of Philip, Matthew, Christina, Timothy ’05, Melanie, Claire, Michelle, Mark, Sabrina, Diane, Dennis and Rachele. Great great uncle of Cooper, Rhea, and Alfred.
A lifelong parishioner of Holy Angels Church since 1916. Graduate of Jefferson Elementary School, St. Ignatius Preparatory, and University of Santa Clara with a BME. Proud retiree of 34 years with Bechtel. A member of several professional societies especially a 75 year member of ASME. He was also a charter member of the Knights of Columbus Marian Council 3773, Italian Catholic Federation Branch 19, Hillside Homeowners Improvement Association, The History Guild of Daly City/Colma, and Colma Historical Association. He always looked forward to the annual reunion with classmates from St. Ignatius up to the last one the class had - their 72nd reunion. He was also so proud to have received his golden diplomas from his high school and university. After he retired in 1984, he enjoyed many hours outside gardening and being busy at his work bench.
John A. “Jack” Petrich '41, a Tacoma native and World War II veteran who served Washington as a state legislator and Court of Appeals judge, passed away January 7, 2010 at the age of 90. Petrich also served as a Pierce County deputy prosecutor and was Western Washington coordinator for John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign. Son Peter Petrich said his father loved politics but respected people with other political, social and religious beliefs. “As a result, he himself commanded respect,” Petrich said. Petrich said his father “passed away peacefully” at Tacoma General Hospital. Jack Petrich was born in 1919 in Tacoma, a member of the pioneering Petrich shipbuilding family. He graduated from Bellarmine High School and in 1941 from Santa Clara University. Upon graduating from college, he entered the U.S. Navy’s Officers School at Columbia University. He ended his naval career in 1946 as commander of a mine sweeper in the South Pacific. Peter Petrich said his father was stationed in Japan after the war and admired the country’s shipbuilding prowess. “He respected them for their ability, even though he just concluded four years fighting them,” he said. After the war he attended Georgetown Law School, graduating in 1949. He joined the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and was later named chief criminal deputy. In 1954 he launched a private practice with partner John Binns. A Democrat, Petrich served in the Legislature from 1956-66, first in the House and later the Senate, representing the 26th District in Pierce County. He served as Kennedy’s regional campaign coordinator in 1960 and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. In 1980 then-Gov. Dixy Lee Ray appointed him as a judge on the state Court of Appeals, Division II. He served in that position until his retirement at age 73 in 1993. In 1947 he married Margaret Horan, and the couple raised six children. She died in 1967. Petrich married Ann-Louise Griewe Soper in 1971. After his retirement, Petrich tended to business interests and focused on his family, his son said. He often held court at his Fox Island summer home. Petrich was a lifelong member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Tacoma and served on numerous boards, commissions and advisory groups over the years.
James “Jim” Hartwell Flippen Jr. ’41 was reputed for his innovative contributions to pediatric medicine as well as his incisive logic, wit, and wisdom, dapper bow ties, ever-calm demeanor, and active community involvement. He exemplified a life well planned and a life well lived. Born in Manhattan in 1920, Jim was the elder son of New York internist James H. Flippen Sr. M.D. Being from three generations of physicians, he knew he wanted to be a physician from an early age. He was a graduate of Santa Clara University and was at the top of his class in pre-med. Jim was the first Santa Clara graduate to be accepted into the top three medical schools: Stanford, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins. He is a graduate of the Stanford Medical School, class of 1945. While in medical school, Jim was a cadet in the Navy Reserve. Following medical school, he joined the Navy and was a WWII and Korean War veteran, deployed as the ship’s senior medical officer from San Francisco to Japan and Korea. In 1946, Jim married Beverly Walsh. They met when Beverly was a student at UC Berkeley and Jim was a Navy medical officer stationed in San Francisco/Tanforan. They immediately moved to Boston, where Jim held a fellowship in pediatric pathology at Harvard University. Upon their return to California, he served as chief resident at Stanford University. For 40 years, Jim was a pediatrician in private practice and clinical professor of pediatric cardiology at the Stanford Medical School. His experience dissecting the hearts of babies having died of congenital heart disease led to assisting surgeons in the field of open-heart surgery and teaching pediatric cardiology for 35 years. Jim formed a physician’s consortium and initiated construction of the Medical Plaza by Stanford Hospital. It was a novel concept of a single-floor medical office complex, occupied and owned by 40 independent physicians of all specialties. This proved to be a very lucrative investment for all concerned. Early in his esteemed career, Jim performed then state-of-the-art lifesaving total blood replacement transfusion through the umbilical vein of infants with acute hemolytic anemia due to blood type incompatibility with the mother. He performed hundreds of these and taught the procedure to pediatricians on the West Coast. In addition, he authored papers defining the genetic basis of two types of bone deformities as well as the physiologic basis of drowning while swimming after following hyperventilation, which he termed “silent drowning.” Through his medical contributions and leadership, Jim directly and indirectly saved innumerable lives and reduced injuries. During the 1960s and 1970s, he was appointed chairman of the California State Accident Prevention Committee of the Academy of Pediatrics, and he enlisted other pediatricians around the state to seek legislation requiring seat belts and infant car seats. Seat belts, smoke detectors, and harsh penalties for teenagers driving under the influence are now part of our everyday lives. Jim played a pivotal role in leading the way to these legislative mandates in California over 50 years ago, resulting in the saving of countless lives over the decades. When Jim retired, he and Beverly moved to White Oaks in Carmel Valley Village, where they lived for 20 years. The Flippens shared many travels and adventures to several continents and numerous countries. This included an African safari and a nearly yearlong stay in Europe, where they had a touring car and drove over 3,000 miles. The couple next resided at The Forum for a decade, where they continued to participate in activities and diverse cultural interests in the Bay Area—theater, ballet, concerts, and art exhibits. Jim also organized the first bocce ball competition at The Forum. Among his many talents, Jim designed three distinct homes, one of which reflected a Japanese design and garden. This home was featured in Sunset magazine. He was also a champion tennis player, who for decades competed in the American Medical Tennis Association and the World Medical Tennis Society doctors’ consortium (he played into his 90s). With his artistic abilities, Jim showcased his many original multimedia paintings at The Forum art shows. The subject matter included wife Beverly, still life, wildlife, landscapes and seascapes, and portraits and personalities. Over the years, Jim was an active member of his community and provided leadership and support to various organizations as chairman of the San Mateo County Heart Association, the pediatric sections of Sequoia and Stanford Hospitals, and the Professional Advisory Committee to the Peninsula Children’s Center (PEC) for severely emotionally disturbed children. He served as board president of the Chartwell School for Dyslexic Children in Monterey and the Monterey Bay Scottish Society, president of the Ladera Oaks Swim and Tennis Club, chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Transportation Agency of Monterey County, and the Roads Committee of the Carmel Valley Residents Association. Jim died peacefully at the exact time of the grand eclipse on Aug. 21 at The Forum at Rancho San Antonio in Los Altos. He was 97 years old. He was the devoted and loving father of son James Flippen III (Patty) ’70, daughter Kathleen Carmel ’69, grandchildren Travis Flippen and Jason Bradford (Kristin), and great-grandchildren Curtis and Davis Bradford. His extended family includes Alexis Flippen von Zimmer (David), Thomas Flippen II (Laurie), Jacqueline Sahud, Russel Flippen, Sandra Limon, Timothy Thomas Flippen, and former son-in-law Christopher Bradford. Jim was predeceased by his loving wife, Beverly, son Daniel Flippen, and brother Thomas A. Flippen. He also leaves behind his adopted miniature poodle, Jasper Vanderbilt Flippen. A transcript and video of Jim’s 2016 interview with the Stanford Historical Society’s Oral History Program can be found under his name or by the medical school faculty at https://purl.stanford.edu/yb644pt2832.
James Bowen Wilcox ’41, March 13, 1920, to November 19, 2012.
Harry G. "Paw-Paw" Sanders '41 went Home to be with the Lord June 3, 2010 after a brief battle with cancer. He served honorably in the United States Air Force for 30 years and retired a Colonel. Harry is survived by his wife, Thelma J. Sanders, to whom he was married for 68 years; children Steve Sanders and wife Miriam of Carbondale, Illinois, Russell Sanders, Kathy Hodgin Kennedy and husband Mike, and Susy Marr; grandchildren Charles Sanders and wife Shea, Adrianne Hodgin, Marissa Infante and husband Rodney, Rusty Sanders, and Rachael Bingham and husband Chris; great-grandchildren Caitlyn, Madison, and Dominic Sanders, and Jacob Infante.
Guido A Marengo Jr. '41, age 96, a native of Stockton, passed away on Aug. 29, 2016 after a brief illness. He was the son of Guido Marengo Sr. and Beatrice Campodonico Marengo. Guido graduated from Stockton High School and graduated from University of Santa Clara in 1941. He entered the U.S. Marine Corps and served as a Captain and was a member of the Fourth Marine Division. Guido made four landings in the Pacific during World War II and was awarded the Silver Star for action on Iwo Jima.
Following the war Guido married Patricia Yardley. He managed the department store, Katten & Marengo, and the Credit Bureau of Stockton. Guido was very active in the community during his business career. He was President of the Associated Credit Bureaus of California, served on the Boards of Junior Achievement, Chamber of Commerce, Stockton Merchants Association, United Crusade, St. Mary’s Interfaith Dining Hall, St. Joseph’s Medical Center and O’Connor Woods Retirement Center. Guido enjoyed playing tennis, swimming, gardening and traveling.
Guido is survived by his wife of 69 years, Patricia. He is the loving father of Julie Biagi (George), Dina Dimalanta (John H. Dimalanta '66), and Barbie Burke (Mathew), and is the proud grandfather of nine grandchildren, including Gia M. Biagi '93 and Alicia A. Biagi '97 and nine great grandchildren.
Eugene Graham Stephens Jr. ’41 died peacefully in Novato, Calif., on July 10, 2013. Eugene was born in Oakland, Calif., on October 3, 1919. He graduated from Oakland High School in 1937 and from The University of Santa Clara, Magna cum Laude in Mechanical Engineering, in 1941. In the same year he won first place for a research paper submitted to the 7th Annual Conference of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers Student Branch at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. During his career, Eugene worked at General Electric in Schenectady, New York, served in the United States Navy, and ran a steel fabricating business, McDonough Steel Company in Oakland, Calif., later renamed MidCon Fabricators in Tulsa, Okla. Eugene was an avid golfer, and he belonged to SIRS Branch 22. He was a member of St. Anthony of Padua Church. Eugene and Monica McDonough were married on July 11,1942, and celebrated fifty-seven years of marriage. As a widower, Eugene was blessed with a second wife, Patricia Bacich, Monica's best friend from childhood. They enjoyed almost fourteen years of marriage. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, by his brother, Philip Stephens ’43, by six children (Michele Janssen, Monica White, Madeleine, Margaret, Patrick, and Mary), and five step-children, by twelve grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Monica McDonough, by his parents, Eugene and Elizabeth, and by his sister and brother, Suzanne Ortman and Richard Stephens.
William Howard Royer ’42 (April 11, 1920 – April 8, 2013) was an American politician and a member of the Republican Party. He served as a U.S. Representative from the 11th Congressional District of California from 1979 until 1981. Born in Jerome, Idaho, he earned his B.S. at Santa Clara University and did graduate work at what is now Oklahoma State University. He served in the United States Army Air Corps (1943–45) and worked as a realtor before entering politics. He served on the Redwood City, California City Council from 1950 to 1966 (including service as mayor from 1956–60) and was elected to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors in 1972. He was reelected in 1976.In 1979, Royer won a special election to succeed the late congressman Leo J. Ryan (D-San Mateo), winning with 57% of the vote. He finished out the remainder of Ryan's term but was defeated for reelection in 1980, losing 46.4% to 43.3% to Democratic challenger Tom Lantos. Royer ran against Lantos again in 1982, losing 57% to 40%.Royer was married to his wife Shirley for 69 years and has had children and grandchildren. Royer died on April 8, 2013 at the age of 92 (days before his 93rd birthday) in his Redwood City home of natural causes. Relatives included granddaughter Whitney A. Sangiacomo '91, grandson Brady W. Royer '93, and son Dennis W. Royer '65.
Robert McDonald, Nov. 15, 2008. A native of Reno, he attended SCU until he joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 as a second lieutenant. He was a member of the 54th Fighter Squadron that was sent to the Aleutian Islands in June of 1942, two days after Dutch Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. He flew a P-38 over Kiska on many missions, wrecking a couple of planes before he shot down a Zero in October 1942. As a major, he became a squadron commander in the 46th Squadron, where he flew P-51s off Iwo Jima. After World War II, he attended the University of Nevada, then the University of San Francisco Law School. He graduated in 1949, and became a member of the Nevada Bar Association that same year. He began his legal career as a deputy attorney general and later became a deputy U.S. attorney. In 1952, he entered private practice in Reno with Alan Bible, who became a U.S. senator in 1954. They remained partners until the U.S. Senate adopted rules prohibiting lawyer members from maintaining private law practices. He later formed McDonald Carano Wilson LLP and founded several of Northern Nevada's most successful gaming companies and was a principal in the development of Incline Village. He was also a board member of Valley Bank of Nevada, an original partner of Boomtown and at the time of his death, part owner of Bonanza Casino. He was active in the Democratic National Committee and in his community, starting the Junior Ski Program, establishing a Pop Warner football program, as well as the Northern Nevada chapter of the National Association of Christians and Jews. He is survived by three children and 10 grandchildren.
Col. Raymond K. Lutz. Col. (USAF Ret.) '42 passed away on Nov. 9, 2009 at home. He was 89 years old.
Martin Thomas "Marty" Fredericks '42, born May 12, 1921, in Petaluma, died suddenly of heart failure in Sonoma, his home of many years, on Father's Day, June 20, 2010, at the age of 89. The son of Martin T. Fredericks Sr. and Mary Cline Fredericks, his family has lived in Sonoma County since after the Civil War. After attending St. Vincent's grammar and high schools in Petaluma, he was educated by the Jesuits at Santa Clara University. He served in the United States Navy from 1942-46 in the Aleutians and the South Pacific. He was the Naval Attache to the United States delegation at the creation of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1946. He worked in the agricultural division of Pfizer Inc. for 32 years in San Francisco, Tokyo, New York and Sonoma. As a young man, he remembers driving on a dirt road between Petaluma and Sonoma to visit his uncle, Dr. Fred Butler, superintendent of Sonoma Developmental Center; and his cousin Peggy Butler McAleese. Marty and Mary were well-traveled, having visited every continent except Antarctica. Notable quote: "The smartest thing I ever did was marry that woman." Martin is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Mary O'Brien Fredericks, of Sonoma; he is also survived by his children, Marty, Jim, Tom, and Bill Fredericks and Ann Fredericks Jauco.
Long before he became an early Warren Buffett investor and a wealthy philanthropist, Lee Seemann '42 was a 23-year-old from Omaha piloting a B-17 over Germany. Seemann, a decorated war hero who often called himself “an incredibly lucky guy,” died on June 2, 2015, in Omaha. He was 95.
Seemann was born May 10, 1920, in Minnesota, but his father, a car dealer, soon moved the family to Omaha. Lee attended Dundee Elementary and Central High, class of ’38. At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, he played football at Santa Clara University in California, where he took part in ROTC and was president of the senior class. After World War II, in which he survived a number of close calls, he met Willa Davis, who immediately liked him.
Seemann bombed the Normandy coast on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and flew his final mission on Aug. 9. Some 30,000 American airmen based in England died in the war, but Seemann enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with his mother in Omaha.He received the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross (twice), the Purple Heart and the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters. He recounts his harrowing tales in his 1998 memoir with David Harding, titled I Thought We Were Goners.
Lee became a branch manager at International Harvester and later started his own business, Seemann Truck and Trailer.Willa’s father was a prominent Omaha urologist, Dr. Edwin Davis. He and the Seemanns, still in their 20s, invested with Buffett in the late 1950s and built large fortunes. Over the years, Lee and Willa Seemann have donated quietly to universities, hospitals, museums, churches and other charities. In the 1990s, they were major contributors to the Strategic Air & Space Museum. They also donated to his high school, and a decade ago Central named its new football facility Seemann Stadium.
In 2000, Seemann underwent heart bypass surgery. In recent times he was in hospice care, and his wife said he died from various old-age ailments.
Joseph Francis Franzoia '42 was a native Sacramentan, born Sept. 4, 1920 to parents Sabino (John) and Rosina Franzoia, preceded in death. Passed away peacefully, Monday, April 21, 2014. He graduated from Christian Brothers High School and Santa Clara University. He joined the army serving in Italy during World War II with the Allied Control Commission. After returning from the service he married Dorothy Valerio and became a partner in the M & D Service Station. He later sold it and became a partner with his father-in-law, Peter Valerio, in the Rosemount Grill until his retirement. In semi-retirement, he worked for Brewster House in Davis and Old Ironsides in Sacramento. Joe was a member of Sierra View Country Club for over 50 years and an avid golfer having made 8 holes in one at various courses and locations. He enjoyed reading, gardening, and working crossword puzzles. He is survived by Dorothy, his wife of 68 years, his daughter Joanne (Ralph) Campasano of Scottsdale, Ariz.; sons James (Joh) of Los Angeles, Joel, Jeremy of Sacramento, Jeffrey (Colleen) of Albany, Ore.; grandsons Jared Franzoia, Ralph Campasano of Ariz.; granddaughters Kahleen Biles of Ore, Gianara Campasano of Penn.; and two great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his oldest son John Peter; his brothers, Andrew and Alfred; sisters, Angelina Corti and Cecelia Gaddi. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was a good and loving husband and father who will be greatly missed.
John F. "Lefty" Collins ’42, a resident of Pleasant Hill, passed away peacefully at his home in Pleasant Hill on January 28, 2013 at the age of 92 with his loving family at his side. John, a lifetime Bay Area resident, was born in San Francisco to Francis and Alice Collins on May 14, 1920 and attended St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco, followed by Santa Clara University on an athletic scholarship for baseball. He spent his youth playing baseball and was named the high school All City Pitcher for San Francisco in 1938. John, an avid golfer, served many years as the Treasurer for the Concord Men's Golf Club. He enjoyed creating and caring for his garden, a park like refuge for wildlife. John married Suzanne Channell at Camp Barkeley, Texas, in 1943. He joined the Bank of America in 1943 and soon after moved to Pleasant Hill in 1949. John retired from the Bank in 1984. He was part of the Greatest Generation as a member of the United States Army serving in France during WWII. John was predeceased in 2003 by his wife Suzanne. He is survived by his sons Michael Collins and Timothy Collins, daughters Kathy Greear and Liz Azuma, son in law David Azuma, grandchildren Jennifer McNeill, Kelly Greear and Amy Greear.
James Denver Rickert '42 passed away April 10, 2011 just a few days past his 93rd birthday. He was born in Greenville, Penn. on April 2, 1918 to George and Florence Rickert. Jim is survived by his wife of 64 years, Eva, and his sons Jim (Mary), Randy (Debbie), and David (Joel), and daughter Jan (Buck) Anderson. He is also survived by sisters-in-laws Ruth and Elizabeth Rickert and brother-in-law Gil Doss, 9 nephews and nieces, 9 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. He is predeceased by his brothers Duke and Bud and niece Kay. Jim's father George moved his young family to California in the early 1920s looking for a better life than he had in Pennsylvania. The family constantly moved throughout California looking for that opportunity, finally settling in Shasta County in the early 1940s. For all of Jim's life he was part of a family partnership with his wife, father, mother, brothers Duke and Bud and sisters-in-law Ruth and Elizabeth. All that time was spent in the cattle business that included the family cattle ranch in Bella Vista and Rickert Meat Company in Cottonwood. Jim was an All-American basketball center for an outstanding basketball team at Santa Clara University in the early '40s and is a member of the Santa Clara Sports Hall of Fame. After college he played for a professional basketball team, the Sacramento Senators, and for many years played town team ball in Sutter and Shasta counties. Jim was also very active in community activities. He was a Cottonwood Fire District director for 30 years and as a trustee on the Cottonwood Elementary and Anderson High School districts for over 35 years. Jim loved to work in his garden, gold mining, walking at the ranch with his dogs, playing cards, going to high school basketball/football games, track meets and talking about and being with his family.