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Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in the last month
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.
Lorraine Schiro (honorary) ’43 was born in Chicago, Illinois, on Aug. 30, 1924. She graduated from Calumet High School and continued her education by attending Rosary and Mundelein College, finishing her two-year degree at DePaul University’s School of Business. In 1947, she moved with her family to Ontario, California, where she met her future husband, Anthony (Tony) Schiro ’43, at a Catholic young couple’s group. Tony and Lorraine were married on Feb. 13, 1949. They lived in the Upland/Ontario area and raised five children: Frank, Paul, John, Steve, and Terese. They were married for 30 years. Tony and Lorraine raised their children on the family farm of citrus trees and vineyards. She enjoyed volunteering in her church and community, shuttling her children to their many athletic events, canning home produce, managing a household, and leading her children to a love of a spiritual life of kindness, generosity, and devotion. After the sudden passing of Tony in 1979, she occupied her days with managing the family properties. In 1995, at the age of 70, she moved to Lindsay, California, to be closer to her children, who had moved the farming business to Tulare County. She continued her interest in volunteering at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and enjoying her 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. At the age of 92, Lorraine passed away on March 15, 2017, of natural causes. She is preceded in death by her parents, Sigismondo and Rose Vasi, her husband, Anthony Schiro, and her brother, Anthony Vasi.
Robert Lacey ’44 was born in Oakland on May 5, 1921. He attended St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco as well as SCU before being drafted to serve in WWII. He entered active duty in August 1944 and served until his honorable discharge in 1947 at the rank of first lieutenant. A very private man, Bob only recently opened up about his WWII experiences. To his delight, some of family members were able to retrace his WWII steps in Germany, including the famous Bridge at Remagen, which he crossed in March 1945. Bob earned both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his heroism in battle. He raised five children and was a dedicated and passionate Catholic his entire life. Bob was a talented singer (“The Irish Tenor”), ultimately performing professionally in San Francisco, including publishing a handful of albums. In order to support a growing family, Bob, his brother Joe, his father, and his brother-in-law Bob White built a successful home construction corporation in the Bay Area. Later in life Bob developed and built a multiple 100-unit apartment complex called Los Padres in Salinas and owned and managed the Empress Apartments in Woodland, California—both of which he very successfully managed into his 80s. For many years, all of his grandchildren looked forward to their annual visits with Grandpa, which included skiing, trips to Sea World and Disneyland, and Giants vs. Dodgers games. Watching on live public TV in 1951, Bob and his father witnessed the most famous home run of all time: Bobby Thompson’s “shot heard around the world,” inspiring Bob to become a diehard Giants fan when the team moved to San Francisco in 1958, and he was unquestionably Willie Mays’ No. 1 all-time fan. Bob was an avid outdoorsman, who at a very young age developed a love affair with Yosemite and also took many fishing trips to Alaska. He shared this love of Yosemite and skiing in the Sierra with his children and grandchildren, who have carried on his passion for the outdoors. Bob died peacefully in his Carmichael, California, home on Aug. 16, 2017. He is now joyfully reunited with his wife, Gale, son, Bob Jr., and brother, Joe. He is survived by children Mary Lacey, Colleen (Pete) Higgins, Sally (Bill) Archambault, and Thomas (Janet) Lacey; stepdaughter Laurie Boyd, grandchildren Lacey Higgins White (Jason), Brendan Higgins, Kevin Higgins, Eileen Lacey, Rose Lacey, Rachel Archambault, Patrick Lacey, Ryan Lacey, Matthew Lacey, and Rachael Lacey; two great-grandchildren, Connor and Teagan White; and his sister, Helen White, whom he absolutely adored, and who is still going strong at 102 years old.
George Stafford ’48 was born to George and Alice Stafford. In the 1920s, his parents established the family home on the Peninsula and became well known in the grocery business and real estate and timber industries. George’s time was always well spent. His love and commitment to the Catholic Church and parish life was developed as a graduate of Mt. Carmel Elementary, Bellarmine College Preparatory, and Santa Clara University. This was enriched by his lifelong friendship with Robert Graham, S.J., his teacher at Bellarmine and professor at SCU. With the start of WWII, George voluntarily entered the Army in 1942 during his sophomore year of college. He served with honor and distinction as a sharp shooter in the 104th Infantry Division, known as the Timberwolves. He received a Purple Heart while fighting in Belgium. This experience gave him a worldview and appreciation for life at every stage. After the war, George returned home to Redwood City. He met his wife, Margaret, at the tennis courts at Burton Park while he was attending Santa Clara and she was attending UC Berkeley. They married two years later, in 1947. The couple settled down in Redwood City and had six children. George provided for his family by maintaining what was given and working for the Schwabacher Family of San Francisco for over 30 years. He loved to work but always had his weekends free for family life. This dedication to family was unwavering. Known to all for his magnificent garden, George spent his life—from a young boy to age 93—nurturing his many redwoods, 63 in all. The late Herb Caen once quipped that there were still redwoods in Redwood City and that the Stafford home enjoyed quite a stand. George’s life was truly enriched by honor and respect, and through those ideals he was able to serve his country, his family, and God. He loved and was proud of his family, always encouraging and believing in them. He had a great sense of humor, was incredibly optimistic, a fierce patriot, and devoted to his wife, Margaret, whom he respected and adored. George examined his life and the lives of the Stafford’s before him in his memoirs. On Jan. 17, 2003, he wrote: “As I look back on the many people who formed our family, I realize that these people were courageous in seeking a better life for themselves and their families. It appears they achieved their goals and passed on to us a life enriched by honor, respect, and the love of God.” George peacefully passed away in his family home surrounded by loved ones on July 9, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Margaret Wrigley Stafford, his sister, Nancy Daley, his children George, John, Jennifer, Katie, and Robert, and his grandchildren Carly, Simone, Gregory, Jessica, Joseph, Skylar, and Paul. These grandchildren represent the fifth generation on the Peninsula. His son, Tom, and sister, Elise, predeceased him. All will miss him.
John Robert Banister ’49 was born to Jack Roy and Adele Elizabeth (St Pierre) Banister on June 4, 1927, in Oakland. In 1938, the family moved to Los Gatos, where Jack worked as an operations engineer on the construction of Highway 17. Two years later, they moved to San Jose. John attended St. Leo’s Grammar School, Bellarmine College Preparatory, and Santa Clara University from which he received a B.A. in English magna cum laude. He was awarded a postgraduate degree from Stanford University, where he was also an acting instructor in English. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict where he was co-founder and instructor of the United States Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, Maryland. His long career as a teacher and administrator began at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1954. In 1959, he transferred to San Jose State University as assistant to the academic vice president and associate professor of English. In 1967, an opportunity arose at the California State University Chancellor’s Office in Los Angeles, where he served as associate dean in the Academic Planning Division. In addition to responsibility for approving new degree programs, he conducted comprehensive studies of specialized programs, such as MFA degrees in the performing arts, the difference between engineering technology and industrial arts/industrial technology, and other fields to be presented to the board of trustees for approval and action. He was involved in liaison activities with the State Board of Education and the University of California, served on WASC accreditation committees, and worked with national organizations dedicated to improving the teaching of English. In 1981, he returned to San Jose State University as full professor of English, specializing in Victorian literature. During this time, he served as volunteer for many community services, including election to the board of trustees of the Franklin McKinley School District in San Jose. He was president of the board three times. In 1987, he retired as professor emeritus and moved to Carmel, becoming a member of the Carmel Foundation. He donated generously to charities and aided people with counsel, empathy, and financial assistance. He felt blessed to have many longtime, close friends across the country. John passed away on Sept. 30, 2017. He was predeceased by his beloved brother, Ronald Henry Banister ’54, and by two great nieces, and is survived by his brother, Gary, sisters-in-law Darline and Anne Banister, three godchildren, seven nephews, one niece, seven great-nephews, five great nieces, and one great-great niece.