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Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in the last month by graduates in the
Francis “Frank” Michael Heffernan Jr. ’52 loved his friends, faith, and school, his SF Giants, Irish heritage, and cocktail hour—and most importantly and unconditionally, his family. Born in 1930 to Frank and Florence Heffernan, Frank was the youngest of five. Betty, Joan, Florence and Mary, his four sisters (whom he adored) preceded him in death. Born during the Depression and raised during World War II, Frank was fond of telling stories about San Francisco during that time. At 9 years old he was struck by polio, which became a defining moment in his life. Following a year in the hospital, he regained his ability to walk by swimming at the Olympic Club, which became a lifelong passion. (Earlier this year, the Olympic Club recognized Frank as one of its longest active members; he was also a former vice president of the club.) Frank grew up in the West Portal district of San Francisco, graduated from St. Cecilia’s grammar school and St. Ignatius High School, then followed in his father’s footsteps to Santa Clara University, where he swam and played water polo. Frank’s lifelong commitment and dedication to the school included coaching the water polo team in the 1950s—and more recently serving as a regent. Carrying on the family tradition, Frank’s children are also Santa Clara graduates. There was no prouder moment than when the fourth Francis Michael Heffernan ’16 graduated last year. After a brief stint at Stanford law school, Frank began his 50-year career in the insurance industry: first with SF-based Cosgrove/Marsh Mc Clennan before starting his own insurance company, Heffernan, Keiler and Doble, in 1963. In 1985, he sold his company to the Chicago-based Arthur J. Gallagher, ran its West Coast operation, and served on the board of directors before retiring in 2001. In 1952, he met Lenore Bertagna, who later became his wife, but it took another six years before they headed down the aisle at St. Vincent de Paul in 1958. Frank and Lenore moved to Greenbrae, California, in 1960, where they raised their family and became active members of the community. Frank’s lifelong devotion to the Catholic Church took on many roles: He was a parishioner at St. Cecilia’s in San Francisco and St. Sebastian’s and St. Anselm’s in Marin; a board member of the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose and deeply involved with their school, Immaculate Conception Academy, and their work with the Cristo Rey program; and finally as a Knight of Malta, where he proudly participated in the establishment of a free medical clinic in Oakland. Frank also served as president of the Serra Club and sat on finance committees of several dioceses and archdiocese in Northern California. One of his proudest roles with the Catholic Church was his involvement with St. Mary’s Cathedral, where he served as president of its first board of regents. In addition to spending time with family, attending Giants games, and entertaining friends at their Ross home and ranch in Calistoga, Frank and Lenore loved traveling the world, visiting over 100 countries and collecting art, friends, and memories along the way! Surrounded by his wife, children, grandchildren, and friends, Frank died in the comfort of his Ross home on Tuesday morning after a short illness. He was 86 years old. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Lenore; his sons and their spouses, F. “Mike” Heffernan ’80 and Kristen, John, and Margie, and his daughter Ann Marie Heffernan ’84 and spouse Scott. Frank has nine loving grandchildren: Braeda, Michael, Olivia, Sofia, Boots, Isabella, Chase, Alexandra, and Samantha.
Louis Melvin “Mel” Pollard Jr. ’53 was born on March 6, 1930, in Redwood City and was recognized as the distinguished military graduate at SCU. He was commissioned as a regular Army officer in 1953 and received a master’s degree in education from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Arizona. His long career in the Army included tours overseas in Iceland, Korea, Vietnam, and Germany, as well as domestic postings in Fort Lewis, Fort Sill, Colorado Springs, Fort Lee, and at the intelligence school in Fort Huachuca, from which he retired on July 4, 1975. Mel loved to travel and saw Russia, China, and most of Europe. He was very proud of a certificated “Hole in One” at the Mayan Palace in Acapulco, Mexico, which he and his wife visited every year. He resided in Tucson, Arizona, for 37 years, where he was the personnel director for Catholic Community Services. Mel was active in the Knights of Columbus at the parish of Saint Thomas the Apostle, where he served as Grand Knight of the Fourth Degree and Faithful Navigator. He died on Aug. 7, 2017, in Marietta, Georgia, and is survived by his children, Louis Melvin III, Angela, Erin, and Timothy, and by 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was married to Jeanne Therese Pollard nee Tabscott for 54 years.
A lifelong resident of San Jose, Joe Ramona ’53 was born on July 11, 1931, to Italian immigrant parents George and Marie Ramona. He was married to his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Joanne Dudley, for 65 years; she preceded him in death in 2016. Joe was a standout Bay Area football player at Lincoln High School and Santa Clara University, going on to play for the New York Giants, where he started his rookie year. After his year with the Giants, he served two years as an officer in the United States Army, and from there went on to be a successful businessman. Over the years he continued to be an avid Bay Area sports fan of the 49ers and San Francisco Giants. Joe loved the many years of Sunday family dinners and summer vacations at their mountain home on Donner Lake. He also had a green thumb, growing beautiful vegetable gardens every summer in his backyard. On Aug. 17, Joe died peacefully at home at the age of 86. His only sibling, Ralph Ramona, preceded him in death. Joe is survived by his four children, Gregg (Val), Jeff (Doreen), Dave Ramona ’82, Jodi (Michael); 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He will be forever missed.
Born in Los Angeles on June 28, 1931—the youngest of Mary and Cornelius Buckley’s three sons—Gerald Albert Buckley ’53 spent his earliest years in Los Angeles in the lively embrace of Irish forebears. After briefly attending St. John Military Academy and St. Agnes School, Gerald enrolled at St. Matthew School. Having moved to the Bay Area, he attended Serra High School and Bellarmine College Prep before advancing to Santa Clara University. On Aug. 14, 1951, Gerald entered the Dominican Novitiate in Ross and began his studies for priesthood, with his first profession of vows on Aug. 15, 1952, and solemn profession on Aug. 15, 1955. He studied at St. Albert College, Oakland, and continued studies at St. Albert in Walberberg, Germany. He was ordained to the priesthood at the historic Cologne Cathedral on July 25, 1957. After ordination, he studied in Rome at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), where he earned the Licentiate of Sacred Theology and Lector of Sacred Theology. In 60 years of ministry, Fr. Gerald taught, preached, and governed with a lighthearted spirit and a passion for evangelization—telling the world about Jesus Christ. He taught at Dominican University and St. Mary’s College and served as director of Western Dominican Preaching. He worked in campus ministry and served as superior at both the University of Oregon and Arizona State University. He also served at Our Lady of the Mountain Parish in Ashland, Oregon, as pastor and prior at Holy Rosary in Portland, Oregon, as prior at St. Dominic’s in Los Angeles, and as prior at St. Albert’s in Oakland. Fr. Gerald brought the joy of the Gospel to his preaching in a firm but sweet and bright way. His preaching touched many souls and he exemplified the “joyful friar”—a true son of St. Dominic. Sixty-two years to the day after he professed vows in his religious community, Fr. Geralddied in Portland on Aug. 15, 2017. He was preceded in death by his parents and by his brother, James. He is survived by his brother, Cornelius Buckley, S.J., his sister-in-law, Winifred, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.
Ritchie “Rich” Davidson ’57 was born in Santa Rosa. He was a 1953 graduate of Sac High and received his engineering degree from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. He served his country for two years in the U.S. Army in El Paso, Texas. Ritch had a 30-year career with Lockheed Missile and Space Co. in Sunnyvale and was a 20-year resident of Roseville, California. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Charlotte, his sons Scott of Tahoe City, California, and Greg of Los Angeles, and many much loved nieces, nephews, and cousins.