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Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in the last year by graduates in the 1970s
Lawrence Wisne '70, 68, passed away peacefully in Florida Hospital on Monday, September 19, 2016 in Orlando, Florida at the age of 68. Larry is survived by his wife, Christine; children, Lawrence Jr. (Allison), Michael and Anna; grandchildren, Locke, Reece, and Hudson; his brothers, Alan (Kathy) and Joseph (Debbie); nieces, Shannon and Madelyn and nephew, Lee. He is preceded in death by parents, Anthony and Hazel; sisters, Janis and Toni; niece, Kyla and nephew AJ.
Larry was born on December 17, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan to Anthony and Hazel. He graduated from University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1966, earned his bachelor's degree from Santa Clara University in 1970 and his master's degree from University of Denver in 1972. He married Judy Wisne (Piotrowski) in 1977. They have three children, Lawrence Jr., Michael and Anna. He later re-married Christine Wisne (Hughes) in 2005; her daughter is Angelica Hughes. Larry's daughter-in-law is Allison Wisne M.A. '08.
Larry had an illustrious professional career, taking over as President of Progressive Tool and Die (PICO) in 1979. He built the business that started in his father's garage into an international powerhouse, culminating with multiple appearances on Forbes' list of 500 largest private companies in America in the late nineties and sale of the business to Fiat S.p.A in 1999. Additionally, he became one of the premier restaurateurs in the Midwest, advancing fine dining in the Detroit area by starting Tribute Restaurant, which garnered national attention for its innovate approach to cuisine and top-flight clientele. Larry had a deep love for athletics including racquetball, hockey and softball, but none more than golf and his Detroit Lions.
He was a kind and giving man who had many passions including photography, nature and cooking. He was wholeheartedly dedicated to his faith in the Catholic Church and was always generous to those who were less fortunate.
William Hugh Baber III '68, J.D. '71, a retired attorney, pilot and family man, passed away on Monday, October 24th at age 69. Bill was born and raised in Willows, California graduating Willows High School in 1964. At Willows High, he played baseball (catcher), basketball and football, where he was a proud "Willows Honker." As a teenager, Bill spent many weekends playing golf at the Glenn Golf and Country Club. Growing up in Willows, Bill loved to spend time with his father and grandfather on their nearby ranches. His father, William H. Baber, Jr., was a well respected sheep rancher and past president of the California Wool Growers Association. Bill was very proud of his father's military service in defending our country as a lead Bombardier in WWII. Bill's grandfather, Hugh Baber, managed the Llano Seco Rancho in Butte County and was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 1971. "Hugh Baber Lane" at the Llano Seco was named in his honor. Bill's mother, Suzanne La Force Baber, was a shining star in his life. A classical pianist from Midland, Texas, Sue started the Junior League in Willows and played the piano and organ at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. She was much beloved by her husband and two sons, Bill and his brother, Clark. Bill was also very close with his family in Texas. Watson La Force, his maternal grandfather, was a renowned businessman in the independent oil and gas industry. His efforts for the community of Midland's flying transportation work resulted in the current development and operation of the Midland International Terminal. Watson too had a street named after him, "La Force Blvd." When Bill was growing up, his grandfather and grandmother would take him for rides in their twin engine Cessna. Bill always attributed his love of flying to his grandfather. In 1968, Bill graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Political Science. He went on to attain a law degree from Santa Clara Law School in 1971 following his clerkship in a large law firm in Midland, Texas. In college and law school, Bill had a very special group of friends. There were always many fun stories and a lot of laughs following their fly fishing, hunting and golfing adventures. Following passing the State Bar on December 7, 1971, Bill practiced law with the Minasian Law Firm in Oroville, California for 32 years. His practice included water rights, civil litigation and business law. As a young litigator, Bill brought a case, "Royal Globe," before the California Supreme Court and won. In 1974, Bill moved to Chico and started his family. He loved to take his family skiing: Squaw Valley, Snow Mass, Aspen and Vail were some of his favorite ski resorts. Bill's children started skiing at age three. Because of his very adventurous spirit, Bill encouraged his family to ski the black diamond slopes, ski the powder through the trees and helicopter ski. Bill was an avid pilot and loved to fly for both business and pleasure. He received his private pilot's license in 1979, the year his son, Scott, was born. Flying his family to the Nut Tree for breakfast and taking the train to the restaurant was one of Bill's favorite flying trips. Physical activities and sports with family and friends were always a passion for Bill. He really enjoyed duck and pheasant hunting with his son and Uncle Jack in Colusa as well as fly fishing with his family in Deer Creek and Alaska. Golf, snow skiing, water skiing, tennis and jogging through Bidwell Park were some of Bill's favorite pastimes. Most every Sunday, Bill attended St. John's Episcopal Church with Father Richard Yale. He felt blessed to be part of a loving, positive church community. Bill's zest for life and contagious laugh will always be remembered. He was very grateful to spend special time with his children and grandchildren. Bill is survived by his two children, Kelly Kristine Nelson and Scott Baber; his four grandchildren; his Uncle Jack Baber; his nephew Mike Baber, and his niece, Melissa Baber; his aunt and uncle, Watson and Patti La Force and four cousins, including Jack "Jon" Baber M.B.A. '86.
John William Otter M.S. '72 joined his beloved Elda in eternal rest, October 14, 2016. He met Elda, his lifelong sweetheart, at Roseville High School. They shared 6 decades together, giving life to 3 children David (Leticia), James (Anne), and Diane (Richard), 9 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. John is also survived by his beloved sister and friend, Anne Woods, and several nieces and nephews. In a life characterized by hard work and service, John worked for the railroads as a young man, spent two years in the Navy, worked for the Post Office as a letter carrier, graduated from Sac State, and then began a 38 year career as a Math teacher at El Camino High School, occasionally teaching at American River College. At El Camino he was also a Drivers Ed instructor, union steward, and frequent volunteer at sports games, and JROTC outings. He also earned a master's Degree from Santa Clara University. John was an usher for many years at Our Lady of the Assumption. After retiring, John spent much of his time helping his best buddies on construction jobs, and was a 20-year volunteer for the Sac County Flu Clinic. John loved to spend time gardening and working in the yard. He trimmed his trees so his grandkids could climb them more easily. John loved the outdoors, and was always up for a road trip to the very end. He and Elda enjoyed cruises to Alaska, Hawaii, and around the Caribbean.
Kevin McCarver ’73 died at home on February 2, 2017. A native of Bakersfield, Kevin was the sound technician with the all-SCU students’ band, “Oliver Sudden,” which got its start performing on campus. In the summer of 1971, the band traveled together to Europe to perform. While there, Kevin worked harvest —picking grapes in Bordeaux, France. That turned out to be his introduction into the wine world, something which became his life-long passion. Upon his return, he was hired by Intel, a job which brought him to Portland, Oregon, where, as a completely different type of technician, he helped open up Intel’s first Oregon factory. After working there 11 years, Kevin enrolled at Fresno State to study winemaking. Upon returning to Oregon, he was hired as the oenologist at the McMenamin's Edgefield Winery in Troutdale, starting when its doors were opened in 1990, and working there 22 years. In their words, “Kevin worked tirelessly in the lab and cellar, steering the wines from harvest to bottle with a jovial, mischievous style all his own.” Kevin loved travel, music, and photography, and the outdoors. He was an avid vegetable gardener, and a talented bread baker. Those who loved him described him as compassionate, enthusiastic, and always the last to leave a party. He will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife, Betty “JoJo” O'Connor ’69; they enjoyed to the utmost the years they had together.
John Hopkins M.S. ’74 passed away in December 2016. An ardent friend of Santa Clara University, he served on the Board of Fellows, on the Department of Civil Engineering’s Advisory Board, and on the School of Engineering’s Alumni Board, and was a perennial judge at the School’s annual Senior Design Conference. Following military service in the U.S. Marine Corps where he was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Central America, he enjoyed an illustrious career in public works leadership positions for the Cities of Sunnyvale and Belmont, California. Over the years, John continued to contribute to his profession as a consultant, author, and engineering instructor at De Anza College. He served his field and community as president of numerous professional and service organizations and received awards for his service from the School of Engineering, Department of Homeland Security, and American Public Works Association. Steve Chiesa ’75 remembers, “John had a contagious, positive attitude that made working with him very enjoyable. He was always willing to share his personal and professional experiences and help those around him.” Reynaud Serrette said, "He was not just a leader, he was an inspirational, supportive leader," and Sukhmander Singh said, “John was a truly warm and a humble person. A very caring and ever-ready personality—to help the department and the students. We lost a great friend and will miss him.”
Terry Kane '75 was a resident of San Jose and a loving father, husband, counselor, and friend. Terry was born and raised in Merced, California. He graduated from Santa Clara University (1975), received an M.Phil in economics from Oxford (1977), and a law degree from USC (1980).
He and his wife, Judy Keifer, met in Los Angeles, quickly relocating to the home ground of San Jose to raise their two beautiful girls, Mary Kate and Holly. His family was his life, and he adored his girls. Terry joked that he spent over 20 years practicing law in different offices in downtown San Jose all within a 9 iron shot of Almaden Boulevard and Santa Clara Street. He was an expert in trusts and estates law and later moved into the banking world working at Wells Fargo, First Republic and Fremont Bank. In 2009, he authored The Wise Planner, a guide to estate planning for families of all income levels, written with his intelligence and wit to simplify potentially complicated legal matters. He was a 20+ year board member for the San Jose Conservation Corp, member of the San Jose Rotary Club, and Associate Law Professor at Lincoln Law School.
His piano playing was a joy to his family and others, as well as to himself. Terry loved scuba diving with his daughters and boasted his second job was camera bag Sherpa for his wife Judy, an amateur photographer. Terry was full of pride and love for his family: daughter Mary Kate studying for her PhD in Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, daughter Holly at Oxford University completing her M.Phil in Archaeology, and his loving wife and best friend of more than 30 years, Judy. He is also survived by his elder brother, Thomas J. Kane, III '73, his sister, Sharon Marshak, and mother and father-in-law Jan and Jerry Keifer. His mother, Kay Kane, died in 2015. His father Thomas J. Kane, II died in 1973. He will be missed more than he could ever know.
Virginia “Dinna” Moody MBA ’76 was born in Detroit, Michigan to John Henry and Gertrude Amos, both teachers. She was the middle of three children and is survived by her younger brother Tom Amos B.S. ’65, MBA ’67. Her elder sister Betty passed away in 2016. Dinna spent her early childhood in the Michigan cities of Detroit, Frankfort, and Jackson. Her happiest Michigan memories were spending summers with her family and cousins at Crystal Lake at the five vacation cabins that her grandfather built.
In 1947, the Amos family took their first road trip to California after her dad had attended a conference in Los Angeles. They squeezed into their car, along with their dog BoBo and cat Mowie, for a long road trip to California. In 1948, they took their second road trip to California because they loved it so much. Dinna's family was adventurous and loved to travel, something she carried with her into adulthood and always enjoyed.
In 1950, the family initially moved to Cupertino, California but later settled permanently in San Jose. Dinna attended St. Mary's School of San Jose and later graduated from Notre Dame High School (1956). She pursued higher education and graduated from Notre Dame de Namur University (B.A. 1960) in Belmont, Stanford University (M.A. 1963) in Palo Alto, and Santa Clara University (M.B.A. 1976).
Dinna's early employment included teaching High School at Notre Dame in San Jose. She followed this with work for the USO coordinating recreational programs for enlisted personnel and their families. She was stationed in Berlin, Germany and Seoul, Korea from 1966—1971. While stationed in Germany she met an attractive Lieutenant Colonel named Gordon Moody. They became engaged but decided to separate. Later, she worked for the YWCA in Yakima, Washington and Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. While working in Oakland, she received a phone call from a visiting Gordon Moody. They confided to each other that they had never stopped loving each other and resumed their courtship.
In 1980, Dinna and Gordon married at Santa Clara Mission. They immediately relocated to Seattle, Washington. Dinna initially worked for the Seattle Health Consortium. Later, she worked and retired from Boeing Commercial Aerospace as an internal auditor. Gordon and Dinna did not have children of their own but were actively involved in spoiling their nieces and nephews. Gordon and Dinna had a guest room and enjoyed being host and tour guide for out of town friends and family. She and Gordon especially loved the wonderful local restaurants. When Dinna joined Gordon as a retiree, she filled her days volunteering at the local animal shelter and the local senior center.
In 2005, Gordon passed away. Dinna decided to relocate to San Jose, California to be closer to family. She bought the house directly across the street from two nieces and near her sister and brother-in-law. Dinna shared her unconditional love and wisdom with her family. She enjoyed reading, cooking, flower arranging, decorating, entertaining, making crafts, going on religious retreats, watching movies, attending theater, and attending seminars at Santa Clara University. Dinna was a world traveler and storyteller. She thoughtfully shared her interesting experiences and view of the world. She was a great listener and was always interested in our lives as well as meeting new people. She was dedicated to good health and worked out with her friends at the Central YMCA and by walking her beloved dogs Murphy and Bisbee.
Dinna was instrumental in providing loving care for her sister with dementia. As her sister's dementia became disabling, Dinna took on a matriarchal role in her family by organizing and hosting family holiday dinners and Easter egg hunts. She always remembered birthdays and special occasions. Like their mom, she always made her family feel special.
Dinna loved being Catholic. She fully embraced her faith and was actively involved as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at the Santa Clara Mission. She especially enjoyed making weekly pastoral support visits to women incarcerated at the Santa Clara County Jail through the Diocese of San Jose Restorative Justice Program. She was also an active member of the Catala Club of Santa Clara University.
Dinna was tragically taken from us when she was hit by a motorist while walking her dog. She touched many lives and will be greatly missed. Dinna was truly a special person who made this world a better place. She will be greatly missed by her brother Tom (Merilee Amos '69), brother-in-law Al, nephews Mark, Steven (Alison) and David (Michele), nieces Catherine (Brian) and Elizabeth (Keith), great nieces Anna (Zeb), Emily, Jenny, and Sarah, and great nephews Daniel and Mateo, along with her late husband's niece Elizabeth and nephew Noel.
John Padilla ’77, J.D. ’80 passed away December 26, 2016. He was an Ignatian recipient, a Family Law practitioner in Santa Clara County for 36 years and an award-winning attorney. He is survived by his wife of 32 years Adoralida (Lopez) Padilla ’86 and their son, Jonathan.
Damian “Chris” Huttenhoff ’77, 60, passed away on June 22, 2016, while vacationing in Santorini, Greece. He and wife Donna were celebrating his recent retirement from Broward County Public Schools. Chris was born Sept. 26, 1955, in Salinas, California. He graduated from Palma High School, received a B.A. from SCU, and received an MPA from USC. An avid tennis player and sports enthusiast—plus a lover of music, wine, and food—Chris will be remembered for his dedication to the students of Broward County and for giving them the opportunity to reach their potential and aim for higher education through athletics and cultural affairs. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Patricia Huttenhoff. Chris is survived by his wife of 29 years, Donna; two children, Ryan and Michelle; and sisters, Roni Leonard and Honey Faith.
Rebecca Louise Vacura Lessley '78 died peacefully in her home in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 8, 2016, with her husband, Michael Clayton Lessley, at her side. At only 60 years old, her illness was unexpected but blessedly swift. Becky was born January 22, 1956, and raised in Fairbanks Alaska by her parents Helen and Albert Vacura, along with nine siblings. She attended Santa Clara University with her two little sisters, Patty Vacura Hollands '79 (Glen Hollands '78) and Julie Vacura '81. She graduated in 1978 and went home to Fairbanks to marry the love of her life, Mike. She went on to get her Master's Degree in education and became a teacher, eventually settling on kindergarten as the class she loved the most. She finished her teaching career with the honor of being named British Petroleum Teacher of Excellence. The Lessley home was the gathering place for all things family. Becky's ready smile, infectious laughter, generosity, and open door made everyone feel welcome and special. Becky leaves behind her husband, Mike, daughter Kelly, sons Christopher and Ryan, grandchildren Taliyah and Lawrence, seven brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, and countless friends. Please say special prayers for all the people whose lives Becky enriched and whose hearts are not yet mending.