Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted anytime
William "Bill" Renna '49, June 19, 2014. He was a Bronco Hall of Fame football and baseball player. He was an outfielder for the New York Yankees, Philadelphia / Kansas City Athletics, and Boston Red Sox from 1953-1959.
Renna was born to Christina and William Renna in Hanford, Calif., on Oct. 14, 1924. He graduated from Hanford Union High School in 1942 and attended USF before joining the Marine Corps and serving in the South Pacific. Renna returned from military service to become a two-sport star at the University of Santa Clara, playing outfield for the baseball team, and both fullback and center on the football team. His play on the gridiron earned him a spot in the East-West game in 1949, drawing the attention of the Los Angeles Rams; however, he chose to stick with baseball, learning under the guidance of Santa Clara’s legendary coach, Paddy Cottrell.
“Paddy Cottrell was a bird dog [scout] for the Yankees,” Renna said in a 2008 interview. “He used to teach us everything that was taught in spring training by the Yankees.”
Bill later was inducted into the Santa Clara University Hall of Fame. He met his future wife Leronne (Roni) Richards, a student nurse at St. Mary's Hospital in San Francisco, as he was finishing his college career.
Cottrell tipped Yankees scout Joe Devine to his prized outfielder who signed Renna in 1949 to a contract for $5,000. His signing paid immediate dividends, as he hit an eye-opening .385 with 21 home runs for Twin Falls in the Pioneer League. His play impressed his Twin Falls manager Charlie Metro, who was a former major leaguer himself.
“He hit like heck up there, and they called him “Bull,” because he was a big guy,” Metro said in his autobiography Safe by a Mile. “He was a delight to have on the team.”
William F. Donnelly, S.J. ’49 February 28, 1928 - October 26, 2012 Reverend William F. Donnelly, S.J., Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University, died suddenly October 26, 2012. He was 84 years old and had been on the Santa Clara faculty since 1969. Father Donnelly was born in Galveston, TX on February 28, 1928. His family moved to San Mateo in 1939. He graduated from Bellarmine College Preparatory in 1945 and from Santa Clara University in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce. While at Santa Clara, he was involved in many student activities, including manager of the football team. After graduation, he worked for Tide Water Associated Oil Company before entering the Jesuit novitiate at Los Gatos in 1951. Father Donnelly did further studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, where he received an MA in Economics in 1957. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from New York University in 1969. Theological studies were made at Alma College, Los Gatos (a campus of Santa Clara) 1960-64, and he was ordained a priest in San Francisco on June 7, 1963. Before joining the Santa Clara faculty in 1969, Father Donnelly taught English and mathematics at Bellarmine College Preparatory and philosophy at Loyola University of Los Angeles (now known as Loyola Marymount University). In addition to his many decades in the classroom, Father Donnelly served generously in multiple capacities at Santa Clara University, including Academic Vice President, 1973-1978, Rector of the Jesuit Community at Santa Clara, 1982-1988, member of the Board of Trustees, 1973-1978 and 1982-1988, and Chaplain of the Catala Club from 1993 until his death. In addition to his University duties, he also served on various committees and boards of the Jesuit Order. He is survived by nieces Dianne Bonino ’76 (and her husband Mark Bonino ’76 and their daughter Julia M. Bonino ’09) of San Carlos, Cathy Donnelly McAvoy of San Jose, and nephews Tim Donnelly of South Korea and Terry (Niki) Donnelly of Meridian, Idaho, as well as many grandnieces, grandnephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his brother Thomas E. (Ted) Donnelly and his nephew Thomas Donnelly.
William Earle Watson J.D. '49 passed away peacefully on March 28, 2011 in San Jose. He is survived by his devoted wife of 59 years, Elizabeth, his daughter Sally (John) Clithero of Petaluma, Calif., son Tom Watson of Encinitas, Calif. and son Bob (Margaret) Watson of Los Gatos; seven grandchildren, Brianna (Bob) Norland, Katie Waston, Leslie Clithero, William Clithero, Emily Clithero, Emma Watson, Larry Watson and 1 great grandson, Tom Norland, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters in law. He was predeceased by his brothers, Robert W. Watson MD and John L Watson MD. Bill was born on May 29, 1921 in Galesberg, Ill. The family moved to San Jose in 1932 where he attended Herbert Hoover Jr. High School and San Jose High School. He received a Bachelor's Degree from UC Berkeley in 1942 and University of Santa Clara Law School Class of 1949. During WWII he served his country in the United States Navy. As an active member of the California State Bar Association, Bill practiced law in the San Jose area for over 50 years. During these years, he was a member of the San Jose Rotary Club where he attended weekly meetings with his long time friends. His sense of humor and dedication to family and friends will long be remembered. The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Chi Ta for her loving care in the last 15 months of Bill's life.
Roland W. Belanger Sr. '49 on April 9, 2011. Belanger graduated from Santa Clara after serving in the Navy during WWII. He received his law degree from Georgetown University in 1954, was the district attorney for Pershing County, Nevada, for 20 years, and then had his private practice for the next 30 years.
Robert M. Jirgal ’49 died on October 6, 2010. Jirgal was born on August 3, 1924 and passed away at the age of 86. He is survived by his wife Evelyn M. Jirgal.
Robert M. Jirgal '49 passed away on Oct. 6, 2010.
Robert C. Huttlinger '49 passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 6, 2014, in his Redwood City home. He was in the company of his loving wife, Nancy, and his beloved caregiver, Lusia. Bob was born February 10, 1923 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. His family moved to California when he was a toddler. He grew up in Los Altos and attended Los Altos Elementary School and Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose. He served in the Army Air Corp during World War II. After the war, he married Virginia Bennett in 1945. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 1949 with a degree in Civil Engineering. Throughout his career in construction he traveled throughout the country and the world, including Iran, Australia and Nigeria. He fell in love with Alaska while working on the Alaska Pipeline. He returned many times during his retirement, pulling his fifth-wheel trailer. He remarried in 2001 to Nancy Crowley, who he met in Arizona, and they enjoyed many years dancing and wintering in their home in Sun City, AZ. Bob was preceded in death by his wife Virginia, as well as his parents and siblings. He is survived by his wife Nancy, children Peter (Pat), Joan (Dennis Kraft), Jim (Gail), Claire (Jamie Armstrong), Nancy (Gary Dominguez), Patty (Kirke Wrench), stepdaughters Patty and Peggy, nine grandchildren (including Jeremy Armstrong '01), and many nieces and nephews.
Richard Lee Hennessy ’49 passed away on May 7, 2013 peacefully at his home in San Mateo. He was a resident of San Mateo for over 60 years.
Richard is survived by his wife, Beatriz Almario-Hennessy, his sisters Gail McDonald, Patricia Frey and husband Jack, his children Timothy and wife Cheryl, Corey, Dan and Mary Beth; three grandchildren William, Lee Ann and Shannon, great-grandson Joshua; sisters-in-law Mercedes and Rosana, brothers-in-law Jose M., Edgardo, Alejandro, and Nelson A. Almario, and many nephews and nieces.
Richard L. "Dick" Smith '49 passed away Thursday, June 17, 2010, at the Elizabeth House. A native of San Diego, Calif., he was born March 12, 1926, son of the late Walter D. and Mayme A. Smith. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Norma Jean. A graduate of St. Augustine High School, San Diego, Calif. and later Santa Clara University, he held degrees in electrical and mechanical engineering. His entire professional career was with General Electric which took him from coast to coast and included two relocations to Hendersonville. He retired from the New York City corporate office in 1986 and moved to Keowee Key, S.C., returning to Hendersonville in 1998. He served his country with the Army Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth, N.J., and was stationed at the weather observatory atop Mount Washington, N.H. Vacationing with his entire family throughout the years brought particular enjoyment. Interests included sports, home and gardening projects, birds, photography and sharing his many talents with others. He was the historian for the Apple Country Woodcrafters for many years and thoroughly enjoyed contributing to its annual Christmas toy drive for children in need. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Elizabeth A. (Betty Shay); their three children whom they reared here in Hendersonville, Deborah Adams of San Jose, Calif. and her husband, Peter, Kathleen Brown of Wickford, R.I. and her husband, Win, and David Smith of Helena, Mont.; a sister, Patricia A. Weseloh of Oceanside, Calif.; five grandchildren, Sarah and Michael Adams, Cate, Brad, and Kelsey Brown.
Ralph Bargetto '49—a Soquel native and Italian boy affectionately nicknamed ""terromoto"" more than 80 years ago, meaning roughly, little earthquake—died July 12, 2011 of complications from Parkinson's disease. He is a father of 10 and key descendent of the well-regarded Bargetto Winery family. He was a man who worked hard at the family winery, seeing Prohibition first-hand, was impassioned by the study of language as a boy and at Santa Clara University, and was pulled away to serve in the 13th armored "Black Cat" division of the Army under Gen. George S. Patton. He came home to run a successful real estate operation and became a denizen of top county charity board rooms. And though he didn't want to leave the winery business in the 1950s, he didn't grouse when it got tough. So tough that his efforts selling 50-gallon tanks to Monterey County farms and Central Coast Italian and French restaurants—when most Americans didn't drink wine—forced him to go into sales of another sort, his son said. It was frustrating to this Italian American to go into restaurants in those days and see no wine on the tables, Tom Bargetto said. But Bargetto, who until his last days drank wine out of a simple glass without a stem, never had much time to think about what might be lacking. He did an incredible amount of giving back, friends and family said. "He was a very outgoing, very confident man who thrived on all this stuff," Tom Bargetto said. "I think that was taught to him and his brother by their dad, to be so capable ... This was a good man who lived very simply and on his own terms. He had a tremendous value system. He had a nice home and nice cars, but he lived modestly. He was a well-educated man of the earth, you could say." Bargetto died at his Soquel home, surrounded by his large, close-knit family. Bargetto's influence has been left not only at the family winery and "compound" on Main Street, but in real estate and Chamber of Commerce circles, at Dominican Hospital, Good Shepherd Catholic School, Goodwill Industries and Long Marine Lab—just a sample of the governing board leadership he was involved in until his early 70s. Many will undoubtedly miss the decades of Sunday barbecues and annual cardone celebrations the gregarious gardener, wine lover, entertainer and cook held. A cardone is an "ancient vegetable" similar to celery that Bargetto perhaps loved more than all the things he grew. And he could always find peace in the garden, and the subsequent celebrations always included Bargetto and others singing an old Northern Italian folk song. Among his volunteer work, Bargetto "had a tremendous love for Dominican Hospital," his son said, and the services provided by the nuns and others working for Catholic Healthcare West. He left part of his estate to Dominican Hospital Foundation. "Even though he was a conservative businessman, he saw that America gave his parents and good break and he was concerned others get that possibility, too," Tom Bargetto said. "A lot of that had to do with his faith, too; his Catholic faith. He was a great listener and a natural leader," he added. "People seek out confident and capable people and he never said 'no.' ... It wasn't always the easiest thing to be Ralph Bargetto's son. He expected a lot. He expected us to shake hands, look people in the eye and follow through on our promises. And he was not the type of father to go to our baseball games, but in the grand scheme of things, it worked out just fine." As his longtime Rotary buddy, Bob Rudolph, put it, Bargetto was exceptionally good to be around. "He was one of the nicest persons I have ever known in my 86 years," he said. "I had the misfortune of following him as president of Rotary, and it wasn't easy, I'll tell ya. I just got an email about it. I feel terrible; I'll miss him." Bargetto Winery was founded by Bargetto's uncle, Phillip, and his father, John (Giovanni) Bargetto. Both emigrated from Castelnuovo Don Bosco, a small town in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. The brothers moved from San Francisco in 1917, establishing the winery on the banks of Soquel Creek. Daily operations are now handled by Martin Bargetto, John Bargetto and Loretta Bargetto Mujal. The family established Bargetto Regan Estate Vineyards near Corralitos in 1992. Bargetto's twin sons, Peter and Paul, later founded Soquel Vineyards. Bargetto left the wine business in 1963 and helped found the Real Estate Center in 1967. It later expanded from seven agents to 85 agents. In 1990, Bargetto was elected president of the Board of Realtors. Though he suffered from dementia, Bargetto started talking about his wife of 60 years, Marguerite, the day before he died, his son said. She too died of Parkinson's disease, on Aug. 29, 2010. Bargetto is survived by 10 children; 27 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and sister-in-law Beverly Bargetto. He had several close cousins in Italy as well. His brother, Lawrence Bargetto, died in 1982.
Philip Matthew de Bord '49 of Mountain Ranch died Sunday, April 3, 2011, in Placerville. He was 87. A native of Toledo, Ohio, Mr. de Bord was born June 25, 1923, and grew up in Canton, Ohio. A World War II veteran, he flew Navy torpedo bombers from the U.S.S. Kitkun Bay. He was a Naval reserve officer for 20 years. He graduated with a degree in economics from Santa Clara University, with post-graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley. He had a 28-year career with Metropolitan Life, retiring as a district office manager. He lived on the Monterey Peninsula, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and worked as an apricot rancher in Tracy. He retired in Mountain Ranch. He enjoyed his Newfoundland dogs, golf, tennis and extensive travel throughout the United States, Mexico and abroad. He was a past president of Rotary Club and member of the Tracy school board, and served on the grand jury in San Joaquin County. He is survived by children Deborah de Bord and Pamela (Rick) Kaefer of Placerville and Renée Fitzsimons of Los Altos; brother Thomas (Tess) de Bord of Manteca; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brother Harold (Alice) de Bord of Ohio; and sisters Elizabeth Montgomery of Tracy, Suzanne Suarez of Texas and Florence James of Pasadena.
Philip G. Rizzo '49, 89, of St. Augustine, Fla. passed away on Nov. 26, 2013. A beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and devout Catholic, Phil was truly of The Greatest Generation, born in San Jose, Calif., and serving four years in the Army Air Force during World War II. He utilized his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Santa Clara University to good advantage during his 32 year career in management at American Can Company. He loved his family, was an avid golfer, musician, and dog-lover. He enjoyed life, loved people, and those he met knew he had a genuine interest in them. One of the distinct honors in his life was being able to help President Ronald Reagan celebrate his 79th, 80th, and 81st birthdays. In 2012, he and Alene left his beloved Calif. to live with his family in Fla., and became members of San Juan del Rio Catholic Church. He is survived by his devoted wife of 66 years, Alene M. Rizzo; children, Paul (Nancy) Rizzo of Portland, Ore.; Carol (John) Scherer of St. Augustine, Fla.; Thomas Rizzo of Houston, Texas; Ricci (Tamara) Rizzo of Boston, Mass.; Rion (Yvonne) Rizzo of Atlanta, Ga.; Darren Rizzo of Newport Beach, Calif.; grandchildren, Justin (Amanda) Barney, Nathan (Kelly) Scherer, Christopher (Lacey) Rizzo, Dustin Rizzo, Lisa (Christopher) Stone, Brian Rizzo, Danielle Rizzo; great-grandchildren, Leah Scherer, Landon Barney, Levi Scherer, Savannah Barney, Mason Stone; as well as many extended family members, and hundreds of friends from coast to coast.
Paul M. McCormick ’49 died on October 9, 2010.
Patrick Emerson Golden ’49, 83, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., passed on Jan. 5, 2012, in Rancho Mirage of a broken heart. He was born June 12, 1928, to Waldo and Violet Golden in Lake Forest, Ill. He married Helen Ernst on June 1, 1957 in Orinda, Calif. He was a medical doctor for 21 years in the Navy and 20 years with Kaiser Permanente. He served in the Navy. He is survived by daughters Claudine Latchaw, Santa Rosa, Calif., Melinda Kusch, Mobile, Ala., son Michael Golden, Keaau, HI., sister Barbara Dunnil, Peoria, Ariz., and 5 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his spouse Helen Golden.
Joseph Nicholas Ylarrarz '49 died Dec. 5, 2009 in Castro Valley, Calif. Born in Stockton, Calif., on September 11, 1923, he graduated from Fresno Technical High School and then received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering Degree in 1949 from the University of Santa Clara. He had served proudly in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945 in Europe. Joe was married to Elizabeth Ann Riley Ylarraz for 56 years, until her passing 3 years ago. He was employed for Pacific Gas and Electric for 36 years, retiring in December 1984. He worked as Department Manager of Electric Operations in San Francisco where he was in charge of operation and maintenance of 1000 electric power substations. Joe had memberships in the Registered Professional Electric Engineers, Senior Member Institute of Electronic and Electric Engineers, Edison Electric Institute, Pacific Coast Electrical Association, Engineers Club of San Francisco, and the Electric Club of San Francisco. Joe did the electrical design for the new school for St. Joachim's parish and spent two years, weekends, and vacation doing the physical installation. He also did volunteer activities which included St. Vincent de Paul Society and Income Tax Consultant for Seniors (AARP). Joe is survived by his two children, Tom Ylarraz of Pinecrest, Calif., and Paula Ylarraz of Rodeo, N.M. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth ""Betty"" Ylarraz, sister Theresa Ylarraz, and parents Nicholas and Felicia Zandueta Ylarraz, both born in Spain. A Memorial Mass was held in December.
Joseph Anthony Zanger Sr. '49 on Feb 9, 2009. A native of San Jose, he was introduced to cattle ranching as a teenager on his father's ranch on Mount Hamilton. Until 2003, he maintained a small cattle herd, doing the gathering, roping, branding, and vaccinating of the cattle himself. He was a director of the Santa Clara County Horseman's Association at age 17. After attending college, he moved to Pacheco Pass to help manage the family's orchard operations. For more than 50 years, he and his two brothers, George and Eugene, farmed more than 600 acres of orchards and vineyards on Pacheco Pass. He helped found the California Prune Bargaining Association at age 19 and later served as the director of the Santa Clara Valley Winegrowers Association and as president of the San Benito County Farm Bureau. The Zanger family founded Casa de Fruta to complement their farming business. It now includes a large fruit stand, restaurant, RV park, lodge, wine tasting, gift shop, barnyard zoo, candy store, service station, and dried fruit mailing business. He was a lifelong Republican, serving as the San Benito County Republican Central Committee Chairman for eight years. He loved to dance and helped found the Hollister Dance Club in 1959. He was inducted into the California Southwestern Dance Hall of Fame in 1985 in recognition of the years in which Casa de Fruta served as a venue for world champion western dancers. He is survived by his longtime partner, Roxy Montana; four children; and eight grandchildren.
John Petter Monks ’49 passed away peacefully at his home in Shady Cove, Ore. on August 25 at the age of 88. He was born in Red Lakes, Minn. John's family moved to Chiloquin, Ore. where he attended school. John was Student Body President and Captain of the Basketball Team at Chiloquin High School. He served in the US Air Force in World War II. John graduated from Santa Clara University. He retired from AT&T after 30 years of service where he was a District Level Audit Manager. John enjoyed his retirement in Sebastopol, Calif. and then Shady Cove, Ore. He was active and loved to walk. John collected antique clocks and had 50 in his house at one time. He loved his daily trips to Jacksonville for a white chocolate mocha. John was an avid Charles Schulz fan. He will be missed by his partner Jan Howe and their dog Lucy, daughters Janet Monks of Oakland and Carrie Monks of Alameda, sister Mary and brothers Jerry and Bob. John was preceded in death by his sister Kathy and wife Loretta Monks.
John August Klein J.D. '49 died in his Santa Rosa home on Sept. 12. He was 91.
Klein was born in Kansas City, Mo., but his family moved to San Francisco when he was two years old. He grew up in a working class family in the city's Mission District when it was an Irish and German neighborhood. He attended St. Paul's Grammar School and Sacred Heart High School. At St. Mary's College, he studied philosophy, where the Christian Brothers left a lasting impression on Klein.
During World War II, he served as captain in the U.S. Navy aboard the submarine Chaser PC 822. While in port in New York, Klein met Hazelita Mary Villagran, whom he would later marry.
After the war, Klein returned to St. Mary's College, and after earning his law degree from SCU, he worked in Sacramento in the legal counsel office of the State Legislature. He also worked as an assistant city attorney for Santa Rosa and served as city attorney for Cloverdale, Healdsburg and Sonoma.
In the 1970s, Klein teamed with businessman and Catholic Church real estate advisor Cono DiPietro and Steve Burke, who at the time was the director of redevelopment and housing, to build Vigil Light Apartments, a Santa Rosa housing development for low income seniors located behind the Safeway on 4th Street. In 2011, a community center at the Vigil Light Apartments was dedicated in Klein's name. And in 2006, the Sonoma County Bar Association gave Klein its Career of Distinction award.
After Klein retired at the age of 85, he decided to relearn the trumpet, which he hadn't played in years. He joined an off-shoot of the New Horizons Band for less experienced players. Klein was an inspiration and a respected role model for his large family, which produced seven attorneys. Two of his grandchildren currently are in law school.
Read the full tribute in the Press Democrat.
Howard S. Dattan J.D. ’49, born January 26, 1920 in Seattle, Wash., passed away September 6, 2013. A complex and fascinating man who served in the Army Air Corps in North Africa and Italy during World War II, completed his education at the University of Southern California. After the war, he attended the University of Santa Clara School of Law. He had two sons with Evelyn (Angerhofer) Dattan ~ Scott Dattan of Anchorage, Alaska and Christopher Dattan of Seattle, Washington. Howard was a member of the California State Bar from 1949, served with the Judge Advocate in Japan during the Korean War, and was the first Dean of the University of San Diego, School of Law. He practiced law in California for many years. For the last twenty years of his life, he traveled the world with Jean Milam, the love of his life. He died gracefully in their home in Carlsbad, California. Howard will long be remembered for his love of the mountains, animals, flowers and poetry. He always looked forward to seeing USC beat Notre Dame in football and provided inspiration to his granddaughters, Devin, Valorraine, Lorelei, Gretta and Fiona. His wry sense of humor and the certainty that he was right will be missed.
Harry S. Curry ’49 died on August 28, 2010, in Sacramento, Calif. Born on April 4, 1923, to Harry S. and Elizabeth ''Bessie'' Curry. Preceded in death by his wife Ilene. He is survived by his children Nance Singleton and David Curry, daughter-in-law Tanya Anthony Curry, granddaughters Angel Singleton and Kristina Bickford, grandsons Alexander Singleton, Brandon Curry, and Scott Bickford, and great-granddaughters Amelianna and Marianna Singleton. After serving in the Marine Corps during WWII he attended Santa Clara University, graduating with a degree in business law. He enjoyed owning and running his business, Martyr and Curry, from 1960 until he semiretired in 1985. Along with numerous other organizations he spent much of his time at Del Paso Country Club and traveling the world with his longtime companion Lois Divel. He will be missed but remembered with pleasure by family and friends.
Frank Domenichini '49 passed away on Sept. 15, 2011 in San Clemente, Calif.
Eugene L. Heyburn '49 entered into eternal rest peacefully at age 85 in his home surrounded by his loving family on March 28, 2009. He is survived by his devoted wife of 63 years, Melba. Also survived by his seven loving children: son James Heyburn '68 (Viola) of West Africa; daughters Elizabeth Millier '70 (Steve) of Murphys, Susan Molumby (Rob) of Colorado Springs, Mary Maro (Dean) of Felton, Julie Keller, M.D. (Jerry Sheehan) of Cleveland Heights, Theresa Heyburn of Sitka and Ann Lane of San Jose and also 13 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind his sister Thelma Cudworth of San Anselmo, his loving nieces and nephews as well as many dear friends. He is the son of the late John J. and Gertrude Heyburn. Gene was born and raised in San Jose. He attended St. Patrick's Grammar School. He graduated from Bellarmine College Prep in 1941 and Santa Clara University in 1949. He was a distinguished veteran in the US Navy and served in WWII with the Pacific Fleet. For 33 years he worked as the area director and district manager for the Internal Revenue Service. He was a member of St. Christopher parish since its beginning and a past president of St. Christopher Holy Name Society. He was also a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and was a loyal contributor to many charities. During his lengthy illness the family is especially grateful to his devoted caregivers, Asterio Valera, Dr. Henry Fosah, and Violet Chapman. The family would also like to acknowledge Dr. Jack Siegel for his exceptional care over the past 23 years. Gene lived his life simply, generously, and with great integrity, and he will be greatly missed by his family and all who knew him.
Ed Van Vranken '49 died on March 15, 2007. A native of Stockton, Calif., he served in the U.S. Navy as fighter pilot during WWII. He was awarded the Gold and Silver Stars after seeing action in both the North Atlantic and South Pacific. After attending SCU he returned to Stockton where he worked in construction managment and formed his own company Vanbilt. He is survied by his children Mary Ida, Carol McGurk '72, and Mark '81, and six grandchildren.
Donald E. Sullivan ’49 was called to heaven on Saturday, July 7.
Don was born on May 7, 1928, in Richmond, Calif., the oldest of five children born to Edward J. and Mae C. Sullivan. He attended schools in the Bay Area and Bellarmine Prep in San Jose. He was also awarded Eagle Scout honors in 1947. In 1949 he graduated from SCU as a premed student and earned his medical degree in 1954 from Creighton University, Omaha, Neb.
In 1951 he married his sweetheart, Loretta Joan Weaver. Together they worked at Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska. He then joined the US Navy Medical Corps and attended the Naval School of Aviation Medicine as a flight surgeon in 1955, receiving several commendations and medals during his service and being discharged as a Lt. Senior Grade in October 1957.
In 1957, Don and Joan moved to Yuba City, where he was hired as a county physician at Sutter County Hospital. In 1958 he opened his first family medical practice in Live Oak, and in 1964 he opened his medical practice in Gridley, where wife Joan and later daughter Laurie, both nurses, assisted him. During this time he served as chief of staff for the Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital for several terms, medical director for Valley Oaks Health Care Center, visiting physician for the Leo Chesney Correctional Facility in Live Oak and medical director for the Hovlid Center at Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital. He was also a lifetime member of the American Academy of Family Practice.
As a family practitioner, Don loved and cared for generations of families in the Gridley-Biggs-Live Oak area for over 52 years. At the time of his retirement, the hospital foundation honored Don by naming Gridley's medical clinic The Donald E. Sullivan, M.D. Medical Specialty Center.
Don also served the community through volunteer work, including providing Pop Warner football physicals, serving as a team physician for the Gridley High School football team, and conducting polio vaccination clinics. He was a lifetime member of the Gridley Rotary Club and a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the Gridley Moose Lodge. Because of his dedication to the community, in 1982 he was awarded the Chamber of Commerce's Man of the Year Award and received the Chamber's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
Don is survived by the love of his life and wife of 60 years, Joan, two sons, Ed, of Folsom, Bill (Tina), of Gridley, and two daughters, Kathy (John) McHenry, of Sparks, Nev., and Laurie, of Gridley, four grandchildren, Maycee Sullivan and John, Matt and Kyle McHenry, as well as four great-grandchildren, Sadye, John, Micky and Jackson. He is also survived by his brother, Terence (Ann) Sullivan, and sister, Mary Sullivan Prolo (Jeff), and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, sister Loretta McClellan, and brother, Richard Sullivan.