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Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in last 6 months
GRD Law '40
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.
Richard R. "Dick" Blackburn '49 passed away peacefully at home on March 1,2016 in San Jose, California at the age of 94. His loving wife Angela preceded him in death on April 6, 2010. He and Angela had no siblings or children. Dick was born August 18, 1921 in the state of California. He was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II and served in Japan. After the war ended, he returned to the U.S. and enrolled at the University of Santa Clara, subsequently graduating in 1949 with a degree in Civil Engineering. After Graduation, Dick took a position with the City of San Jose Public Works Department and obtained his State license as a Professional Civil Engineer. His many projects included the planning of the major Street Network, the design and construction of the Coleman-Market Overcrossing, and many other major street widening projects. He advanced to become the Operations Engineer and as such managed the Operations and Maintenance Branch of the Department. He was subsequently promoted to Assistant Director of Public Works. Upon retirement from the City of San Jose in 1980 (after 30 years of service), Dick performed volunteer work for the University of Santa Clara adding his expertise to aide the University in the project to realign "the Alameda" around the campus. He later took a position with the city of Santa Clara working on several projects concerned with energy conservation. Dick was also founding director of the San Jose Retired Employees Association and served as a director from June 1991 to 2008.
Friends of the University
On Friday, April 1, the de Saisset Museum lost a dear friend. Paula Z. Kirkeby was the owner of Smith Andersen Editions and a relentless advocate for artists, all the way up to her last day. Three decades ago our relationship began when she entrusted the de Saisset Museum with the Smith Andersen Editions Archive representing some of the most important California artists of our time. She facilitated many other gifts to our institution and we are forever grateful. But more importantly, we will miss her laughs, her unique perspectives, her storytelling moments, and the precious times we spent together. We will miss her, but somehow right now it is comforting to know she left her mark on our institution.
Marty Pasetta '54, a veteran director of live TV extravaganzas, including 17 Academy Awards shows and inaugural galas for Presidents Carter and Reagan, has died. He was 82.
Pasetta died May 21, 2015, from injuries sustained in a car accident in La Quinta, where he lived. During four decades in television, Pasetta directed and produced specials for many of Hollywood's biggest names, including Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, and oversaw star-studded tributes to Elizabeth Taylor, Fred Astaire and Alfred Hitchcock. He was credited with convincing Elvis Presley to suspend his drug use and lose weight for the 1973 special "Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii," which has been described as the first satellite broadcast of a live concert.
The Elvis special was Pasetta's proudest achievement, according to his son, Marty Pasetta Jr. According to some estimates, more than 1 billion people worldwide saw the concert.
The show he was best known for, however, was the Academy Awards. He directed every Oscars telecast from 1972 to 1988 and was responsible for introducing split screens, instant replays and musical numbers involving large numbers of background dancers, lasers and pyrotechnics.
His years with the Oscars show were also memorable for unscripted drama, on and off stage. In 1973, for example, tempers flared backstage when Sacheen Littlefeather accepted Marlon Brando's best actor award for "The Godfather" with an overtly political speech decrying the depiction of Native Americans in film. John Wayne was in the wings "and was so angry he wanted to go out and pull her off stage," Pasetta recalled in an interview with United Press International in 1984.
Then there was the time that presenter Charlton Heston's car blew a tire on the freeway. As a last-minute replacement for the actor known for playing Moses in the "The Ten Commandments" Pasetta yanked Clint Eastwood from his seat in the audience.
"That was the year the writers had got very clever," Pasetta recalled in the Chicago Tribune years later. "It was all written in Biblicalese — 'thou' this, 'thou' that — and poor Clint couldn't paraphrase it.... It totally freaked him out."
Pasetta also presided over the 1974 program disrupted by a naked man who "streaked" across the stage behind Elizabeth Taylor and David Niven. "We have been accused over the years of planning that one," Pasetta told the Chicago Tribune, "but it's not true."
The prank prompted a witty comeback from Niven, who said: "The man is showing off his shortcomings."
Martin Allen Pasetta was born June 16, 1932, in San Jose. He attended Santa Clara University, but dropped out to work at San Francisco's KGO-TV, where he rose to stage manager and producer. He later moved to Los Angeles, landing his first major directing job on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" in 1967. He also helped launch and direct the long-running game shows "Wheel of Fortune" and "Love Connection."
In 1971, Fr. Schmidt asked Marty to take responsibility for securing the talent and staging the show at the Golden Circle Theatre Party, one of Silicon Valley’s most spectacular and successful fundraisers. Pasetta said, "Who could say no to Father Schmidt?" For the next 15 years, he flew in from Hollywood with entertainers, musicians, and a skeleton stage crew, all of whom donated their services to the University and made for an unforgettable legacy.
In addition to his son Marty, Pasetta is survived by his wife, Elise, daughter, Debbie Palacio '84, son Gregory and five grandchildren.