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Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted anytime by graduates in the 2000s
Russell Allen Wentworth J.D. '00 died on July 20, 2011 after a 7 year battle with cancer. He was born in San Jose in 1976, son of Kay Callister Wentworth and Russell A. Wentworth, and Matthew R. Mitchell. He was raised in San Jose and Chandler, Ariz. He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints when he was 18. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a double Bachelor's Degree in History and Psychology. He later earned a Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2000. Russell married Carissa Brown Wentworth in the Salt Lake Temple in 2001. He worked as a Police Officer and Firefighter for the city of Sunnyvale for six years, and loved every minute of it. For the last four years he has been employed as a Deputy District Attorney for Adams County, Colo. He was an experienced Appellate Advocate before the Colorado Supreme Court. He was a dedicated and loving husband and father. Russell loved the law and the Constitution of the United States of America. He was a true Patriot and kept up a regular correspondence with his political representatives. Survived by his wife, Carissa B. Wentworth, his parents, three young children, siblings Leah Arratia-Rivera, April Wentworth, and Elizabeth Wentworth. Grandparents: Doug Gunn, Myrna Lindsey-Gunn, Rosie Wentworth, Russell Wentworth, and Joan Wentworth.
Michael Benedict Miller '00 passed away after a year-long battle with melanoma on March 1, 2010, in Manteca, California. Mike lived in the Bay Area town of San Carlos for 32 years where he attended elementary and middle school. He was active in the San Carlos Boys Chorus for 6 years, played soccer and had a route as a paper boy. He attended Menlo School in Menlo Park, a decision he regarded as one of the most important in his life. He enrolled in Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where he graduated in 1992 with a degree in Political Science. While at Purdue, he took flying lessons and acquired his private and commercial licenses, his instrument and instructor ratings. When Mike returned to California, he went to work for Wells Fargo Bank for four years in Redwood City then one year in the Risk Management Dept. in San Francisco. Having a passion for the law, he decided to spend his next three years at Santa Clara Law School where he received his JD. He was sworn into the Bar December 13, 2000. Mike moved to Manteca to live and work as a law clerk for 6 ½ years for the Honorable Judge Thomas Holman in the Federal Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California in Modesto and Sacramento . In 2008, he accepted a position in San Francisco as Staff Attorney for Customs and Border Protection, a department of Homeland Security. Michael was a member of the ABA in both California and Washington D. C. He was a member of AOPA, the Menlo High School Alumni Assn., class of 1988, and the Purdue Univ. Alumni Assn. He looked forward to the Reno Air Races with friends each year and to the annual trip with friends to The Wine Country. He was an avid reader, enjoyed fine food and wine, golf, skiing, technology and the outdoors. He liked to travel and always, he loved to fly. His love of family, friends and adopted greyhound, Cinder, however, were most important in his life. Michael is survived by his parents, Richard (Duke) and Janine Miller, his sister Shannon (Greg) Hall, niece, Hailey (5), nephew Dylan (3), numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends throughout the country.
Kevin A. Fitzgerald J.D. ’00, 46, of Las Vegas, Nev. died on May 17, 2014. He was an attorney for the Clark County School District for the past five years and formerly for the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, Palo Alto, Calif. A graduate of Tufts University (Mass.) and Santa Clara University (Calif.) he is survived by his wife, Jennifer Matejkovic Fitzgerald, his daughter, Audrey, aged 6 and son, Joey, aged 3. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Florence (Connors) and sister Neilla, and survived by his siblings, Kathleen Fitzgerald, John Fitzgerald and wife, Linda (Millar), Anne Fitzgerald and husband Larry Hookey, Maureen Fitzgerald, Jane Fitzgerald-Hines, David Fitzgerald and wife, Donna (Poitras); in-laws Edward M. Matejkovic (father) and fiancee Roe Trumbo, Leigh Matejkovic Martini and husband, Tom and Jude Matejkovic; nieces and nephews, Jack, Ryan, Jennifer, Patrick, Cayden, Kate, Molly, Sean, Neila, Robert, Connor, Max, Ava and Vincent.
Steven (Nguyen T) Phan ’01, MS ’03 passed away Dec. 22, 2011.
Born in Cho Lon, Vietnam, Nov. 11, 1976, to Tai and Muoi Phan, Steven was a great scholar and striver despite any physical dilemma. He received his bachelor of science in 2001 and master of science in 2003 in computer engineering from Santa Clara University.
With his credentials in place, he continued to pursue his lifelong goals to provide for his family and to find a cure for his illness. In June 2002, he landed on his first big break at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field for summer intern as a software engineer. Shortly after, he joined IBM Product Release Group and underwent his master of science at SCU in 2003. A year later, he found himself working for IBM Content Management Development. After three years, he changed his passion and pursued in DB2 for z/OS Development as a software developer. In June 2011, he was promoted to staff software engineer.
Aside from his family, he volunteered to his community through charitable donations and awareness programs, helping the unfortunates and educating next generation youths to strive for a better future. Every year, he urged his family to donate any unwanted article of clothing to Hope and Goodwill. He contributed to several natural disaster relief funds to help the victims find their way to a better recovery.
Richard "Dick" Leland Dorsa ’01, a resident of Fremont, 68, passed away on Monday, March 4, 2013, at his family home. A loving husband and father, he is survived by Jackie his wife of 36 years, daughter Jennifer '01, MBA '05, son David, and daughter-in-law Crystal; his mentor and brother Frank Dorsa Jr. '62 and sister-in-law Marilyn; nephews, Barton '89 and Daniel '72 and niece Deborah. Dick was born in San Jose, CA on July 28, 1944. He attended St Leo's, and graduated from Bellarmine and Santa Clara University. Dick was the founder and CEO of VMI, Inc. for 38 years. Dick was preceded in death by his father Frank, who founded Eggo Food Products in the late 1930's, his mother Evelyn Dorsa and his brother Stan.
Phil Scholz '01, one of Nvidia’s senior marketing managers, was struck and killed Jan. 20 in a commuter train accident at a Caltrain station in Santa Clara, Calif., while helping to save the life of another victim. He was 36 years old.
Mary Whited ’01 passed away on August 31, 2011. She was preceded in death by her father, Walter M. Whited and her mother, Helen E. (Osdieck) Whited. She is survived by her brothers: Msgr. Walter M. Whited, St. Peters, MO, and Richard and (Sandie) Whited, St. Louis, MO and niece, Amy Whited, St. Louis, MO, cousins, dear friends and Sister in Christ.
Brian Patrick Sweeny ’01, age 34, of Spokane, Wash., died on June 29, 2013. He was 28 when he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and given only 15 months to live, beating all odds by living six more years doing the things he loved. Born in Seattle, Wash. on April 17, 1979 to Kevin and Donna Sweeny, Brian moved with his family to Modesto, Calif. in 1982 and lived there until 1990 when they moved to Spokane. He went to All Saints Catholic School from sixth through eighth grade and graduated as Salutatorian from Gonzaga Preparatory School in 1997. Brian received a degree in Communications (Video Production) from Santa Clara University in 2001 and graduated Magna Cum Laude. After graduation, Brian moved to Los Angeles to fulfill his dream of working in the entertainment industry. After waiting tables, he found employment as a production assistant on the TV series, Fear Factor, and quickly worked his way up to Stunt Producer. He worked in that position until the show ended in 2006. He loved all aspects of his life in LA, which included surfing, basketball, and beach volleyball. He had a very adventurous spirit and spent much of his yearly hiatuses from Fear Factor, traveling, sometimes for pleasure and sometimes for work. One of his most memorable trips was to Thailand in 2003 where he taught English to non-English speaking Thai people. Among Brian's most wonderful qualities was his ability to make friends. He loved people, and if you were lucky enough to get to know him and become his friend, you were a friend for life. All who came to know him found his wit, humor and charm endearing. Brian was also the most loving and caring son a parent could ask for. He often worried about his parents and was never afraid to express his concerns. This caring nature could also be seen in his relationship with his brothers. Whether it was guiding his younger brother Kyle, or being there for his older brother Paul Sweeny ’00, his generosity and companionship to his brethren was always apparent. Brian was a devoted fan of G-Prep basketball and football, going so far as to make his parents hold the phone to the radio so he could listen to games from LA. Brian was also an avid Seahawks fan and in spite of the fact that he went to Santa Clara University, he learned to love the Zags, but only when they were not playing the Broncos. He stayed true to his team in that instance. From the time Brian was a baby, Priest Lake was in his blood. He cherished any time he could spend there and always made certain to be there every summer no matter what other obligations he had. He was an avid writer and kept historical journals of his life from the time he moved to Spokane in 1990 until he was no longer able to. His entries are heartwarming, funny, and sentimental, as was he. His mother and father, Kevin and Donna Sweeny and two brothers, Paul D. (Bellevue, WA) and Kyle J. (Spokane), survive Brian. His two grandmothers, Gladys H. Urbaniak and Lillian A. Sweeny and seven aunts, six uncles and nineteen cousins also survive him. His two grandfathers, Raymond J. Urbaniak and Jerome L. Sweeny, met him in heaven upon his death. There are people who touch many lives during their time on earth and Brian was one of them. He was so loved and he loved so many and will be missed more than is conceivable. A special thanks to Dr. Kirk Lund and the nursing staff at RWC Cancer Treatment Center, most especially, Lisa, Pam and Sandy who worked with Brian for so many years and showed compassion beyond words. Special thanks go out to Jane and Sherri, and Dawn and Jennifer at Hospice of Spokane whom we grew to admire.
Lynn Beebe M.A. ’02, Jan. 22, 2012. Resident of Capitola and a longtime county educator, basketball coach, and mentor to aspiring college students, she died peacefully after a prolonged struggle with cancer. She was 47. Serving young people was a recurring theme in Lynn's life. Most recently she worked as a guidance counselor at Scotts Valley Middle School. In her nearly 30-year career in education, Lynn served as a parks and rec leader and program supervisor; substitute teacher; instructor of gifted and talented children; single-subject classroom educator; basketball coach and athletic director; and junior high guidance counselor. In recent years Beebe also served as a private consultant and mentor to high-school students seeking admission to the university of their choice. She had a near-perfect record of getting students admitted to their preferred college.
Lynn was born in San Jose on Aug. 10, 1964, the youngest of four children and the only daughter of John W. and Janice M. Beebe of Aptos. When Lynn's parents brought the new baby sister "Dana" home to meet her siblings, her three older brothers did not approve of her name and flatly refused to call her that, instead grafting an "ie" to her middle name, Lynn. The name Dana was rarely uttered again, and in Lynn's adulthood it eventually shriveled to just the letter D. Family members were admonished not to call her "Lynnie" in front of her students, who only knew her as Ms. or Miss Beebe. Growing up with three sports-obsessed brothers, Lynn had no choice but to love athletics. And with a father and three brothers all standing over 6-feet-2 inches tall, Lynn, at 6-foot 3, also had no choice but to be tall. But it was not always easy being the tallest kid in the school, and there were times when she was teased unmercifully, an experience that shaped her reasons for getting into teaching and softened the way she related to young people. As a child Lynn loved animals and was active in Girl Scouts and 4H, raising lambs. She attended Soquel Elementary, Branciforte Junior High, and Soquel High schools, graduating in 1982. At Soquel High Lynn blossomed into a standout basketball player, leading the Knights to numerous championships, and making the all-league team in 1982. She was a dominant scorer and rebounder, with a variety of low-post moves honed on the family basketball court with her brothers. In 2010, Soquel High retired Lynn's number 32 jersey and it hangs permanently in the school's gymnasium. Until 2010, Lynn was the tallest girl ever to play hoops at Soquel High. After graduating from Soquel High School, Lynn continued her academic and athletic pursuits at Cal State University Fresno. Persistent leg injuries derailed her basketball career at Fresno State, but not her academics, as she received a BA degree in family studies in 1988, and a multiple-subject teaching credential in 1991. Lynn completed her student teaching obligations with the Fresno and Pajaro Valley unified school districts before starting her career in the Scotts Valley school district as a substitute teacher. She joined the full-time staff at Scotts Valley Middle School in 1992. Standing at 6 foot 3, Beebe could be an imposing figure in front of the blackboard. Her middle school students considered her a tough and demanding teacher, with one describing her as seemingly "8 feet tall." Parents liked her sense of humor and the results she was getting. Each year more and more parents requested that Lynn teach their children. As a 6th grade core-subject teacher, Lynn lent stability and security to kids taking their first steps as teen. Her sense of humor was never far away. Coaching basketball was one of Lynn's loves and she was a longtime junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach of the girls' basketball teams at Harbor High School. With head coach Nick Adams, she built a formidable program that won many league championships and a section title in 1986. A number of her Harbor players went on to play college basketball, many on full-ride scholarships. Lynn began work on a master's degree in 2000, first enrolling at Cabrillo College before eventually transferring to Santa Clara University. With four years of college sports eligibility remaining, Lynn rekindled her dream of playing collegiate hoops while at Cabrillo. Her one-year return to college basketball for the Seahawks was an unqualified success as she led all state community college players in scoring, made the All-Coast Conference team and was voted the Seahawks' most valuable player. Lynn was an accomplished traveler, venturing to Europe and China, among other places. In China they had never seen such a tall woman and her height stopped traffic. She loved Hawaii and visited the islands frequently over the years. She also enjoyed the high desert of central Oregon and Lake Tahoe. Lynn chaperoned many annual school trips across the country, bravely taking groups of 8th-graders to Washington D.C. and New York City. She enjoyed music, theater and Broadway musicals and was a hardcore San Francisco Giants fan, organizing an extended-family trip to Giants spring training in 2010. Lynn credited the Giants broadcast team with helping her make it through chemo in 2009 and 2010. She watched San Francisco 49er games with her father every Sunday during football season. Lynn was especially close to her niece Alyson and her two nephews Ben and Chris, and she made it her mission to ensure each was prepared to go to college and succeed there. Her mission was two-thirds complete when she died; her two nephews are recent graduates of Cal State University San Jose and her niece is set to graduate in May from Arizona State University. Lynn was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2009. She tackled cancer with the same determination and dignity that marked her academic and athletic pursuits, repeatedly enduring grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments as doctors at Stanford University worked to slow the highly aggressive cancer that ultimately claimed her life. She died peacefully at her family home with her loved ones by her side. Lynn is survived by her parents, John W. "Jack" Beebe and Janice M. Beebe of Aptos; brother Greg Beebe and sister-in-law Monique Vairo of Rio del Mar; brother David Beebe '81 and sister-in-law Jennifer Beggs Beebe; brother Michael Beebe of Soquel; nephew Benjamin Beebe and his wife Tarin Gambello of Scotts Valley; nephew Christopher Beebe of Santa Cruz; her niece Alyson Beebe of Phoenix, AZ.; and her cousin, Michaela Wieser of Munich, Germany. Lynn is also survived by her dear friend Kristy Keyser of Scotts Valley, who never left Lynn's side during her illness. Lynn is also survived by her eccentric cat Rocco, who now lives with her nephew. Lynn was preceded in death by her grandparents Dolly and William Rodgers of Los Gatos and Margaret and Howard McCaughna of Monrovia; and her aunt and uncle, Margit and Daniel McCaughna of Munich, Germany.
Read more about Lynn Beebe here.
Jaime Laguette-Stevens '02, loving wife, beloved daughter and cherished sister passed away on January 16 at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California after a courageous fight against cancer. She was 30.
Jaime, a Santa Barbara resident and native, is survived by her husband Spencer Stevens; her mother and father, Gerri and Stephen Laguette; her sisters, Robyn Laguette and Janelle Laguette-Skei; her grandmother, Brenda Johnson; uncle, Von Johnson and brother-in-law, Evan Skei, and of course her beloved dog, Charlie.
Jaime’s last evening was spent with her husband and immediate family. She was a fighter to the end and demonstrated strength, courage and peace by conveying her love and appreciation to her family. Her courage never faltered, her spirit never broke and she maintained her defiant sense of humor to the last.
Jaime Laguette-Stevens was born on March 27, 1979 in Santa Barbara, California. She attended La Patera and El Rancho grade schools. The consummate competitor, Jaime excelled in academics, swimming, and tennis.
She is a 1997 Dos Pueblos High School graduate where she lettered in tennis, participated in student council and was elected to the 1997 Homecoming Court. Jaime attended Santa Clara University and graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies.
Throughout her academic career Jaime demonstrated a tenacious drive in all aspects of her life that allowed her to excel in all her endeavors. While a full-time student, Jaime achieved Nordstrom’s North American Sales Record.
Jaime’s hard work and determination earned her enormous respect and recognition in her career in the footwear industry. She held several key positions, including Vice President of Operations at a local footwear company.
It was during this time that Jaime met and married the love of her life, Spencer Stevens. Spencer was working as a teacher at the Thacher School. They met on a blind date and from then on remained inseparable. They married on July 21, 2006.
Her entrepreneurial spirit found an outlet in partnership with her sister Robyn Laguette. In 2007, the sisters opened a stylish boutique and nail salon, Michele Wilder. For all who had the pleasure of meeting Jaime, her sense of style was her calling card. She possessed an elegance that accentuated her charm.
Her 2008 diagnosis of colon cancer spurred a brave and inspirational fight against the disease. Jaime immediately developed a network of “cancer warriors” that included people living with cancer, health care professionals and charity participants. Her defiance to be any less than herself was her hallmark.
After her initial diagnosis, Jaime adopted the inspirational mantra of Kicking Ass Taking Names, Repeat. KATNR! became the battle cry of her circle of supporters.
As part of Jaime’s courageous fight, she worked to increase the awareness of cancer in the local community, support her peers’ own battles against cancer and raised money for cancer research. Many of her fellow supporters were people she never met, people on colon cancer related message boards on a similar journey fighting a similar battle. Jaime also used Facebook to share her story with family, friends and strangers. Jaime’s perspective during her illness was an inspiration to many as she fought very hard, demonstrating amazing physical strength and a spiritual maturity. She continuously comforted her friends and family, allaying their fears and focusing their efforts.
Jaime’s charitable efforts were focused on the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara. She participated in an informative video produced by the Cancer Center to increase awareness and charitable contributions. One of Jaime’s favorite events was the Cancer Center’s Annual Walk Run. Last year, her team, Team I Heart Coco, took home the trophy for fundraising efforts! Her family and friends will continue her endeavors.
Sharon Ann Holstine Pfann '03 on Nov. 23, 2008.
Michelle (Stella) Moskalik JD ’03, a resident of San Jose, passed away peacefully with her loving family by her side on Nov. 28, 2011. She is survived by her loving husband, Scott Moskalik; parents Marie Stella and Richard Stella; aunts and uncles, Esther and Steven Edmunson, Harold and Daniele Hummel and Joseph and Carole Stella; and, her cousins, Jennifer Edmunson, Keith Hummel, Sheri Hummel, Jeanne Stella Devani, Tina Stella Zimmer and Joe Stella, Jr. She is preceded in death by her grandparents, Harold and Josephine Hummel, Sr., Julio and Josephine Stella, aunt Joyce Lettario and cousin, Kimberly Hummel. A native of California, Michelle was born in Petaluma. A graduate of Rancho Cotati High School, Rohnert Park, she earned her Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University and was an active member of the California Bar Association since 2003. Most recently an attorney with Paradigm Counsel, Michelle's career in contracts law spanned more than 20 years. She will forever be remembered as an intelligent, strong, remarkable and beautiful woman; deeply missed by her family, friends and many business associates. Her smile will be missed by all who knew her.
Elizabeth Marie Glotzbach '03 passed away in New York City on May 30, 2011, from complications related to Type-I diabetes. She was born on Jan. 10, 1981, in Newark, Ohio, and moved with her family to Redlands, Calif., in 1992. Elizabeth graduated from Redlands High School in 1999 and from Santa Clara University in 2003 as a communications major and a political science minor. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles and began her career in the film industry at Paradigm Talent Agency, where she remained for three years, eventually becoming the assistant to their head literary agent. In 2006, she moved to Fox Searchlight, an independent film production company, ending as a creative coordinator. At the time of her death, she was in New York working as an associate producer on a new film. Liz had a sparkling intellect that was complimented by her enormously positive sprit and enthusiastic creativity. She loved working in the film industry, bringing projects to the screen that not only attracted an audience but more importantly told stories to illuminate our shared humanity. In addition to her passion for film, Liz was an accomplished athlete and lover of the arts. While at Redlands High School, she swam and played water polo and was active in speech and theatre arts. She continued to play water polo at Santa Clara University, where she was a team captain as a senior in 2003. Throughout her life, Liz enjoyed literature, poetry, and music, as well as hiking, swimming, and spending time outside. She was an inspiration to all who had the fortune to know her, and she will be profoundly missed. Elizabeth is survived by her parents, Phil and Marie; her brother Jason; sister-in-law Kristi and nephew Barrett.
Nathaniel Luc Oscamou '04 passed away on August 12, 2011. Oscamou was born on April 16, 1982, in Fall River Mills, Calif. Raised in Burney and Paradise, he graduated from Paradise High School. He attended Santa Clara University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree in Finance. Nate enjoyed a career in private equity finance and entrepreneurial ventures.
Oscamou is preceded in death by his father, Jean Oscamou '65 and survived by mother, Kathleen of Paradise; sisters, Aimee Oscamou '90 of Santa Clara, Lisette Oscamou of Chico, Julienne Neumann '94 of San Ramon, and Noelle Passalacqua '97 of Healdsburg; brother, Matheu Oscamou '01 of Redwood City; sister-in-law Maribeth Oscamou '02, brothers-in-law Bruce Neumann and Jason Passalacqua '97; girlfriend, Abbigail Davis of Chico; and his nieces and nephews.
David Stark M.S. '04 passed away on March 15, 2010 at the age of 41.
Walter Scott Binns J.D. ’05, September 27, 2013. Walter "Scott" Binns III, husband of Betsy Hunter-Binns of Bakersfield, Calif., passed away on Friday, September 27, 2013. He was born June 21, 1969 in Lancaster, Calif., a son of Walter Scott Binns Jr. and Patricia Binns. Scott attended Quartz Hill High School and graduated in 1987. Following high school he attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where he was a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and the Agriculture Marketing Team. He graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Agribusiness in the spring 1993. After a time in the workforce Scott continued his education and attended Santa Clara University to earn his Juris Doctorate in 2005. Upon graduating from Cal Poly, Scott worked as a produce salesperson for a number of firms on the central coast to include Apio Produce Sales of Guadalupe, Newstar Fresh Foods of Salinas and Muranaka Farm of Moorpark. While preparing for the Bar Exam he served an internship with the Honorable Judge Rigali of Santa Maria, Calif. After passing the exam he was employed by the William K. Gamble Law Firm of Santa Maria. Scott then opened the Law Office of Walter "Scott" Binns where he worked until his death. Scott is survived by his loving wife Betsy Hunter-Binns, beautiful daughter Josette Binns, parents Walter Scott Jr. and Patricia Binns, brothers Bob (Shannon) Binns and Jim (Rachel) Binns, sisters Kathleen (Steven) Stevenson, Jennifer (Darrell) Morales and Leslie (Lance) Nelson and his adoring nieces and nephews. Always offering a helping hand, Scott could often be found volunteering in service to a friends cause, be it a school fundraising auction or beautification day. Most recently he and his wife's shared efforts support Panama 4-H Club. In his free time Scott enjoyed hiking, biking and watching sports with friends. Scott was often the life of a party, with an infectious enthusiasm and a welcoming smile.
Nathaniel A. Reyes '05 on April 15, 2010 in Palo Alto at the age of 40. Beloved son of Ross and Ligaya Reyes of Sebastopol. Adored brother of Arnold Reyes and Rosalie Reyes-Simmons. Nathaniel graduated from Analy High School in Sebastopol in 1988 with a National Merit Scholarship and went on to earn an Associate's in Science from Santa Rosa Junior College and a Bachelor's in Computer Science and Mathematics from Santa Clara University. He worked at Bank of America, Ilog, Inc. in Sunnyvale and Highwire Press for the Stanford University Libraries as a software developer until his untimely death.
Ben Mok '05 was a cycling enthusiast who went on solo, unassisted cycling expeditions to countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and the USA. His journals are widely read online and followed by cycling communities worldwide. He was due to return to the US to start on his PhD. Sadly, his dream will never be fulfilled. Ben was struck by a car and passed away on March 24, 2010.
Matthew Lightner ’06, of San Ramon, Calif., passed away Dec. 25, 2011. He was the founder of Site5, a web hosting company that he started at the age of 14.
Cindy Avitia J.D. ’06 worked on staff for Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren J.D. ’75 from 2006 to 2010. She was killed in an automobile accident in Mexico on Aug. 22, 2013. Avitia was a strong advocate for immigration reform.
“As those of us who knew Cindy grieve her tragic loss, we can take pride in the fact that during her short life she did more to promote strong, caring families in our community and advance the cause of justice than many people accomplish in a lifetime dedicated to public service. I am rocked by the tragic news of her passing and feel her loss acutely. I will never forget her.”
Alice Joy BA ’06 of San Francisco passed away on May 18, 2012.
Alejandro García-Rivera, faculty member at the Jesuit School of Theology, passed away on Dec. 13, 2010 after a long illness. He inspired many to think freely, inquire uninhibitedly, and believe wholly. Originally from Cuba, his life path took many twists and turns – from a Boeing engineer trained in physics, to Lutheran minister and social activist, to esteemed scholar and author who embraced the Jesuit way of life.
García-Rivera joined the faculty of the Jesuit School of Theology in 1993 as a professor of systematic theology. His scholarship as a theologian bridged the disciplines of science and religion. “I believe wholeheartedly that we must begin to see the interconnectedness of the world, to grasp its complexity, even if our intellectual traditions have conditioned us to seek a different type of grasping,” he said. He often used the term “interlacing,” which he described as the artful weaving of various perspectives across disciplines to gain an insight greater than any of its components. “Everything is interconnected, and I believe God gave me such a broad journey in life so I could see the connections,” he said. García-Rivera was one of the founders of a joint JST-SCU colloquium on science, art, and religion with colleagues from JST, the SCU School of Engineering, and the SCU College of Arts and Sciences. Earlier this year, García-Rivera received the GTU’s highest honor presented to a teacher, the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award, as well as a President’s Special Recognition Award at Santa Clara. He was also one of the most important voices in the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States. Beloved as a teacher at the JST’s Instituto Hispano summer training institute for Hispanic ministry, he dedicated much of his life to supporting marginal communities. García-Rivera always started a course he taught in Theology and Human Suffering by saying, “It’s hard to teach a class where everybody’s an expert…because who hasn’t suffered?” For García-Rivera, however, suffering wasn’t all about gloom, unpleasantness, and pain. He saw beauty in suffering. Because if you can’t see that, he said, “there’s just one alternative left … and that’s despair.”
Here is one of García-Rivera’s favorite poems, written by Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled, (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose Beauty is past change:
William A. Vicik '07 died Oct. 10, 2009. He is survived by his parents, Frederic and Linda Vicik.