Class Notes | Obituaries
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Col. Raymond K. Lutz. Col. (USAF Ret.) '42 passed away on Nov. 9, 2009 at home. He was 89 years old.
Martin Thomas "Marty" Fredericks '42, born May 12, 1921, in Petaluma, died suddenly of heart failure in Sonoma, his home of many years, on Father's Day, June 20, 2010, at the age of 89. The son of Martin T. Fredericks Sr. and Mary Cline Fredericks, his family has lived in Sonoma County since after the Civil War. After attending St. Vincent's grammar and high schools in Petaluma, he was educated by the Jesuits at Santa Clara University. He served in the United States Navy from 1942-46 in the Aleutians and the South Pacific. He was the Naval Attache to the United States delegation at the creation of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1946. He worked in the agricultural division of Pfizer Inc. for 32 years in San Francisco, Tokyo, New York and Sonoma. As a young man, he remembers driving on a dirt road between Petaluma and Sonoma to visit his uncle, Dr. Fred Butler, superintendent of Sonoma Developmental Center; and his cousin Peggy Butler McAleese. Marty and Mary were well-traveled, having visited every continent except Antarctica. Notable quote: "The smartest thing I ever did was marry that woman." Martin is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Mary O'Brien Fredericks, of Sonoma; he is also survived by his children, Marty, Jim, Tom, and Bill Fredericks and Ann Fredericks Jauco.
Long before he became an early Warren Buffett investor and a wealthy philanthropist, Lee Seemann '42 was a 23-year-old from Omaha piloting a B-17 over Germany. Seemann, a decorated war hero who often called himself “an incredibly lucky guy,” died on June 2, 2015, in Omaha. He was 95.
Seemann was born May 10, 1920, in Minnesota, but his father, a car dealer, soon moved the family to Omaha. Lee attended Dundee Elementary and Central High, class of ’38. At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, he played football at Santa Clara University in California, where he took part in ROTC and was president of the senior class. After World War II, in which he survived a number of close calls, he met Willa Davis, who immediately liked him.
Seemann bombed the Normandy coast on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and flew his final mission on Aug. 9. Some 30,000 American airmen based in England died in the war, but Seemann enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with his mother in Omaha.He received the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross (twice), the Purple Heart and the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters. He recounts his harrowing tales in his 1998 memoir with David Harding, titled I Thought We Were Goners.
Lee became a branch manager at International Harvester and later started his own business, Seemann Truck and Trailer.Willa’s father was a prominent Omaha urologist, Dr. Edwin Davis. He and the Seemanns, still in their 20s, invested with Buffett in the late 1950s and built large fortunes. Over the years, Lee and Willa Seemann have donated quietly to universities, hospitals, museums, churches and other charities. In the 1990s, they were major contributors to the Strategic Air & Space Museum. They also donated to his high school, and a decade ago Central named its new football facility Seemann Stadium.
In 2000, Seemann underwent heart bypass surgery. In recent times he was in hospice care, and his wife said he died from various old-age ailments.
Joseph Francis Franzoia '42 was a native Sacramentan, born Sept. 4, 1920 to parents Sabino (John) and Rosina Franzoia, preceded in death. Passed away peacefully, Monday, April 21, 2014. He graduated from Christian Brothers High School and Santa Clara University. He joined the army serving in Italy during World War II with the Allied Control Commission. After returning from the service he married Dorothy Valerio and became a partner in the M & D Service Station. He later sold it and became a partner with his father-in-law, Peter Valerio, in the Rosemount Grill until his retirement. In semi-retirement, he worked for Brewster House in Davis and Old Ironsides in Sacramento. Joe was a member of Sierra View Country Club for over 50 years and an avid golfer having made 8 holes in one at various courses and locations. He enjoyed reading, gardening, and working crossword puzzles. He is survived by Dorothy, his wife of 68 years, his daughter Joanne (Ralph) Campasano of Scottsdale, Ariz.; sons James (Joh) of Los Angeles, Joel, Jeremy of Sacramento, Jeffrey (Colleen) of Albany, Ore.; grandsons Jared Franzoia, Ralph Campasano of Ariz.; granddaughters Kahleen Biles of Ore, Gianara Campasano of Penn.; and two great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his oldest son John Peter; his brothers, Andrew and Alfred; sisters, Angelina Corti and Cecelia Gaddi. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was a good and loving husband and father who will be greatly missed.
John F. "Lefty" Collins ’42, a resident of Pleasant Hill, passed away peacefully at his home in Pleasant Hill on January 28, 2013 at the age of 92 with his loving family at his side. John, a lifetime Bay Area resident, was born in San Francisco to Francis and Alice Collins on May 14, 1920 and attended St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco, followed by Santa Clara University on an athletic scholarship for baseball. He spent his youth playing baseball and was named the high school All City Pitcher for San Francisco in 1938. John, an avid golfer, served many years as the Treasurer for the Concord Men's Golf Club. He enjoyed creating and caring for his garden, a park like refuge for wildlife. John married Suzanne Channell at Camp Barkeley, Texas, in 1943. He joined the Bank of America in 1943 and soon after moved to Pleasant Hill in 1949. John retired from the Bank in 1984. He was part of the Greatest Generation as a member of the United States Army serving in France during WWII. John was predeceased in 2003 by his wife Suzanne. He is survived by his sons Michael Collins and Timothy Collins, daughters Kathy Greear and Liz Azuma, son in law David Azuma, grandchildren Jennifer McNeill, Kelly Greear and Amy Greear.
James Denver Rickert '42 passed away April 10, 2011 just a few days past his 93rd birthday. He was born in Greenville, Penn. on April 2, 1918 to George and Florence Rickert. Jim is survived by his wife of 64 years, Eva, and his sons Jim (Mary), Randy (Debbie), and David (Joel), and daughter Jan (Buck) Anderson. He is also survived by sisters-in-laws Ruth and Elizabeth Rickert and brother-in-law Gil Doss, 9 nephews and nieces, 9 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. He is predeceased by his brothers Duke and Bud and niece Kay. Jim's father George moved his young family to California in the early 1920s looking for a better life than he had in Pennsylvania. The family constantly moved throughout California looking for that opportunity, finally settling in Shasta County in the early 1940s. For all of Jim's life he was part of a family partnership with his wife, father, mother, brothers Duke and Bud and sisters-in-law Ruth and Elizabeth. All that time was spent in the cattle business that included the family cattle ranch in Bella Vista and Rickert Meat Company in Cottonwood. Jim was an All-American basketball center for an outstanding basketball team at Santa Clara University in the early '40s and is a member of the Santa Clara Sports Hall of Fame. After college he played for a professional basketball team, the Sacramento Senators, and for many years played town team ball in Sutter and Shasta counties. Jim was also very active in community activities. He was a Cottonwood Fire District director for 30 years and as a trustee on the Cottonwood Elementary and Anderson High School districts for over 35 years. Jim loved to work in his garden, gold mining, walking at the ranch with his dogs, playing cards, going to high school basketball/football games, track meets and talking about and being with his family.
Herman R. Roesti, June 3, 2008. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, and two children.
Grover James O’Connor Jr. '42 passed away at age 90 in the early hours of April 1, 2009, at his home in Windsor, Calif., following a short bout with pancreatic cancer. Grover was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco, on Nov. 4, 1918, during the closing days of World War I. His parents were Grover James O’Connor Sr. and Garbrielle Cabrera. He was a third generation Californian. Grover Jr. grew up in San Francisco during the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. He attended Most Holy Redeemer Elementary School in San Francisco, then University of Santa Clara in 1942. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, he took a job with Philco Corp. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the World War II he served his country by working on the development of airborne radar, a top secret project at the time. In 1946 he married Camelia Lucy Doménech in Philadelphia and moved to Los Angeles, California in 1948 where for nearly 40 years he worked as an aerospace engineer doing Research and Development for the satellite division of Hughes Aircraft Corp. before retiring in 1989 at age 71. He is survived by his wife Camelia Doménech O’Connor; his children Eileen O’Connor Casanova, Eugene R. O’Connor, Lee A. O’Connor, and Dennis E. O’Connor; his grandchildren Nicole Casanova Best, Rick Casanova, Christopher O’Connor, Catalina O’Connor and Brenda O’Connor; his step-grandson Fernando Ramos; his son-in-law Joaquin Casanova and his daughters-in-law Silvia Sánchez O’Connor and Isabel Bonet O’Connor; as well as his brother Gerald O’Connor and sister Madeleine O’Connor.
Frank R. Petersen '42 passed away peacefully on January 16, 2009, at home surrounded by his family. Frank was born February 10, 1919 in Reno, Nev. He was raised by his mother, Louise, who was blind. Frank graudated with honors form Reno High School in 1937. He was elected to the Reno High School Hall of Fame for football and basketball. He was offered football scholarships to many universities across the nation and chose Santa Clara University. He was the first student from Reno High School to play big-time college football. He was coached by Buck Shaw and assistant coach Len Casanova, both in the college football Hall of Fame. Frank played right halfback for the Broncos. The Broncos faced and beat the likes of Purdue, Michigan State, Stanford, California, Oklahoma, and UCLA while he was there. From 1937 to 1942 the Broncos were ranked 15th or better in the Associated Press final polls. Frank was commissioned in the Army after he graduated in the summer of 1942 and later transferred to the Army Air Corps, in which he served until after the end of World War II. Frank attained the rank of captain and piloted a B-17 aircraft, which he named RENO-vation. He flew more than 60 combat missions in the European and Pacific theaters during the war, including three on D-Day. He received the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross. After being discharged, Frank went to law school at the University of San Francisco and returned to Reno to start his law practice in 1950. He enjoyed a successful and distinguished career. He was joined in his practice by his son, Steven '69, in 1972. His warmth and humor will be remembered as well as his endeavors to help people form all walks of life. Frank is survived by his wife of 62 years, Vera; his son, Steven (Gayle); granddaughter, Lisa Petersen; granddaughter, Carly Garamendi (Michael) and great-grandchildren, Maggie and Will Garamendi.
Daniel C. Willis ’42 was a resident of Arcadia, Calif. He was born in 1920 and died on Feb. 5, 2013. He was 92.
Alvin Hugh Storch ’42 was born in San Francisco, California on Oct. 20, 1920. He departed on Apr. 15, 2013 and resided in Cupertino, CA.
Alex J. Hart '42, the final family owner of Hart's Department Stores, died peacefully on Aug. 8 in Saratoga, one month and a day shy of his 90th birthday.No single word can describe Mr. Hart. He was a philanthropist, a businessman, a civic and community leader, a social arbiter, a charming host, a gentleman and a friend to many. "Whatever Alex did, he did so well," says Leigh Weimers, a longtime friend. "I always thought Alex was a consummate gentleman, always well spoken and well groomed. If his goal was to sell menswear, he did a beautiful job of being the model himself. You wanted to buy something to make yourself look as good as Alex Hart." Judy Goldeen recalls knowing Mr. Hart from childhood, as he was a friend of her parents, the late Don and Jane Goldeen. "Alex was a sweet, dear man who loved a good party," she says. Goldeen recalls that when she and the late Steffi Sims would go to brunch with Mr. Hart, "He was always dressed to the nines and treated us as though we were the most important ladies in his life." Mr. Hart was born in San Jose on Sept. 9, 1920, the second son of Alex J. Hart Sr. and Nettie Brooke Hart. His grandfather Leopold Hart arrived in San Jose from his native Alsace Lorraine and opened his first dry goods and clothing store in 1866. In 1902 he was successful enough to launch L. Hart & Son Department Store in downtown San Jose, which by 1920 was the largest department store between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It was Mr. Hart's older brother, Brooke, who was groomed to take over the helm of the store, but everything changed on Nov. 9, 1933, when Brooke Hart was kidnapped as he left the family store, then brutally murdered. His two kidnappers were taken from their jail cells by an angry mob, carried across the street to St. James Park and lynched. The incident made headlines across the United States and Europe. The Hart family was much loved in the community, and in his award-winning book on the subject, Swift Justice, the late Harry Farrell wrote that his murderers "could have chosen no victim whose popularity and place in the community would more surely guarantee the violent retribution that followed."Mr. Hart was 13 at the time, and his older brother was 22. He was sent to San Rafael Military Academy, returning to San Jose to attend Santa Clara University. Mr. Hart was living in Los Angeles and writing music for Paramount Pictures when his father died in 1943, and he returned to San Jose to take over the family store at the corner of Market and Santa Clara streets. Theo Hart says he believes his father would have preferred a career writing musicals to haberdashery, but he wouldn't shirk his family responsibilities. In 1944 Mr. Hart married Iphigenia Papavosiliou, a native of Greece. They met at a party in Berkeley, where she was attending the University of California. They had three sons, Brooke, A.J. and Theo, later divorcing. Theo Hart says that while his father was well known, what was unknown were the many things he did for others. "My father brought the first traffic stoplight to downtown at Market and Santa Clara, so pedestrians would have the right of way to cross the busy streets," he says. "He was a great philanthropist. He donated the property at Naglee and The Alameda where the YMCA sits. It was his father's house and where he grew up." Hart also praises his father as a style innovator. "He was very big on making Hart's a fashion place. My grandfather didn't do that. Dad really brought the style and panache. "He loved art and style and form, and he brought that to San Jose." If Mr. Hart made any mistake, it was in his emotional loyalty to downtown San Jose, says his son. "The worst decision he made in his career was not moving from downtown to be the anchor store at Valley Fair shopping center," Hart says. "Everyone begged him not to do it, and he made an emotional decision not to leave downtown. That was the precursor to his business not remaining competitive with the malls." Mr. Hart expanded from downtown to open stores in Sunnyvale in 1957, followed by Hart's Mayfield Mall in Mountain View and Hart's Westgate in San Jose. He sold the stores in 1976, but remained with the company to ensure a successful transition and to make sure his loyal employees were taken care of.The camaraderie of Hart's employees was such that they held annual reunions for many years after the stores closed in the early 1980s. "They were usually at the Three Flames on Meridian," Hart says. "I used to go to them with my father, but then everybody started passing away." Following his retirement in 1981, Mr. Hart traveled, but the lure of merchandising brought him back to work for a few more years. In a 2000 interview with journalist Paul Lukes, Mr. Hart said, "After our store closed, I got bored. I knew retail, so I talked to my friend Nick Sands at I. Magnin. "After I assured him I didn't want his job, he hired me to work in better jewelry and handbags. I just loved it." Mr. Hart lived in many homes over the years, including ones in San Jose, Los Gatos and Saratoga. Hart says his father moved in with him and his family nine years ago, and in 2007 he moved into Our Lady of Fatima Villa in Saratoga. There he continued to be a positive influence and helpful to others. Randi Kinman remembers the friendship he extended to her mother Marcy Kinman when she moved there in December 2009. "His friendship and humor were the keys to her easy transition to living in a new situation," says Kinman, who escorted Mr. Hart to the 50-year anniversary celebration of the Central YMCA in October 2009. In addition to his support of the Y, Mr. Hart was a past president of the San Jose Chamber of Commerce, a supporter of St. Elizabeth's Day Home, San Jose Symphony, Guide Dogs for the Blind and Santa Clara Youth Center. He was also active with Rotary, Elks and the Native Sons of the Golden West.Mr. Hart is survived by his sons Brooke and his wife, Marcia, of Madera; A.J. and his wife, Linda, of Almaden Valley; Theo and his wife, Vicki, of Saratoga; 10 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Captain William P. Crawford ’43, a familiar figure on waterfronts along the West Coast, passed away peacefully on March 20, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; 13 children, Patricia, Thomas, John, Christine, Andrew, Daniel, Joseph, Robert, Timothy, James, Margaret, Catherine and William; 19 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Bill was born into an Irish seafaring family in 1922, left college to serve as a merchant seaman in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean-Middle East war zones and was an unlimited shipmaster by the time he was 22 years old. After the war, he finished school and then practiced admiralty law until joining in the operation of the family training school for shipmasters and officers. He taught in Crawford Nautical School locations in New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle for almost six decades. He was a noted author of maritime trade books, including Mariner's Celestial Navigation and Mariner's Weather. Bill had a fierce intelligence, insatiable curiosity, undeniable charm and well-earned pride in his many accomplishments. He truly lived every day of his long life. His memory lives on through his family, all of the seafarers he taught and many others whose lives he touched.
Victor Kramer '43 on January 17, 2010. Victor, a retired real estate broker, was born in Phoenix, Ariz., and lived there all his life. He was an Army Veteran of WWII and Korea. He was a member of Post #1 American Legion, VFW #720, DAV #1, and Military Order of Purple Heart #463, Emeritus of Arizona, Beta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta, Charter member of Phi Sigma Alpha at ASU, graduate of Santa Clara University, member of Phoenix Press Club, the Church Club, and a devoted member of St. Mary’s Church.
Fr. James Ganahl '43, age 88, of Corona, passed away Saturday, February 13, 2010. Fr. Jim was born in Corona, CA, the fifth of six children of Alphonse and Myra Ganahl. Fr. Jim graduated from Corona high in 1939. He earned his degree in electrical engineering from the University of Santa Clara in 1943. He entered the U.S. Navy Reserves in 1944. During his service in Pearl Harbor, HI, he assisted in landing a fleet record 545 planes in one day. He separated from the service in 1946 as a Lieutenant. From 1947 to 1949 he lived and worked in Los Angeles, staying at the boarding house run by “Ma Byrne.” It was there that he established some of his closest, lifelong friendships. Fr. Jim was ordained a priest on May 19, 1956 at the Cathedral for the dioceses of San Diego. He served in a number of parishes in San Diego and San Bernardino counties. After retirement in 1987 he continued to serve as hospital chaplain in the High Desert. Fr. Jim returned to Corona in 2004 in order to enjoy his final years visiting with family and friends. Occasionally he worked in a round of golf. Fr. Jim was preceded in death by his brothers, John, Paul, Joe, and Francis (Sonny) and sister, Mary Ryan. He is survived by his sister-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews. His welcoming smile and loving kindness will be greatly missed by his family, friends and former parishioners.
Michael A. Filice '43 died April 3, 2011. Born in 1921 in Gilroy, CA. A Marine in WW II where he received a letter of commendation for serving his country in the Battle on Iwo Jima. He worked in the canning industry for over 40 years beginning with family-owned Filice & Perrelli Canning Company until retiring as VP of Production for California Canners and Growers in 1981. He and his wife, Corrinne, spent their retirement years in Aptos, CA. He was 89 years old.
Marian Pauletich '43 passed away on November 2, 2008. She is survived by her children, Dennis and Delsa.
Lyman C. Lundell '43 died on April 19, 2009.
Lorenzo "Larry" Abrusci ’43, a resident of Alameda, chose Nov. 24, 2012, a beautiful and sunny day to pass from this life to the next at 92 years old. Several generations of family and friends called him "Papa." Larry was born in Oakland, Calif. on July 20, 1920 to Frank and Rosa Abrusci. He attended Castlemont High School in Oakland. Larry briefly attended Santa Clara University then went to serve our country in WWII, in the early ’40s. He was a 1st Lieutenant Bombardier flying in B-17's. Larry completed over 65 missions and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war he farmed on Bay Farm Island in Alameda, and then proceeded to become a successful business man in Oakland as an owner of City Tire and A-Tire. Larry is survived by his devoted wife Lily Abrusci, his daughters Penny Stevens and Vicki Silveira, his son-in-laws Alex Stevens and Rich Silveira, his step children Danny Beconcini and Carol Weston, his grandchildren Debbie Gunning and Tracy Silveira, and his great-grandchildren Cooper and Alexandra Gunning. Larry was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy Abrusci, his grandson Mark Stevens, and his sisters Isabel Reicks and Irene Sindicich.
John M. Kennedy Jr. '43 on March 23, 2009. A third generation native San Franciscan, John was born on July 31, 1921. "Jack" attended St. Ignatius Prep, then graduated from Santa Clara University. He joined the army as a First Lieutenant in World War II and served as an artillery pilot with the Seventh Army in the European Theatre. Upon his discharge he joined the family firm of Kennedy-ten Bosch, Printers & Lithographers, and later became president of the company. He was a member of the San Francisco Rotary Club, the San Francisco Advertising Club, and the downtown Olympic Club. He was a former member of the Presidio and California Golf Clubs and a current member of the Meadow Club of Fairfax. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Marilyn Dana Kennedy, daughter Dana Kennedy Kimsey (Michael), sons John and Brian (Deborah Bjonerud) and grandchildren John Michael Kimsey, and Taylor, Jill and Alex Kennedy, his brother Richard Kennedy of Greenbrae, and his beloved four-legged companion, Max. He was predeceased by his daughters Kathy and infant Frances. He was a gentleman of honor, integrity, unlimited but gentle humor and blessed with a true Irish Tenor Voice. He is terribly missed by his family and vast array of Friends. "May the road rise to meet you, may the winds be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rain fall soft upon your fields, and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of His hand."
John Anthony Chiment ’43, Lt. Colonel (retired), passed away peacefully at home on Feb. 21, 2012. John was born in Dunsmuir California on Oct. 7, 1921, the oldest son of Giuseppe and Angelina Chiment. He graduated from Dunsmuir High School in 1939, received a bachelor's degree, maxima cum laude, from Santa Clara University in 1943 and master's degree in nuclear physics from Princeton University in 1949. After a 21-year career in the Army, he obtained a J.D. degree from Western State University in 1974. He worked with Gulf General Atomics and Hughes Network Systems until his retirement in 1991. John was very active with the Rancho Bernardo Lion's Club, serving as the Chairman of the Sight Committee. He worked tirelessly to provide free eye examinations and prescription glasses for children and adults in need. John was also active with the St. Michael's Catholic Church Knights of Columbus. John was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Fides Chiment; six children, nine grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.
John "Jack" Goodspeed Matthews ’43, J.D. ’49 was 93 and passed away peacefully on Dec. 23, 2014.
George Falkenthal '43 on December 29, 2009.
Eugene Edward Kloppenburg '43, devoted husband and father of six, died peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, at the age of 90 on November 12, 2009, in Sacramento, Calif. Eugene was born in San Francisco to Eugene C. and Ana Belford Kloppenburg on May 11, 1919. He was buried at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, California, on November 19, 2009. Gene is survived by his wife Vera; his children Ruth Olivas, Susan Price, Peter, Anne, Jane and Thomas; his son-in-law Ralph Price; his grandchildren Jason, Cynthia, Sarah, and Susie; and his great-grandchildren Sayde, Elsa, Eli and Eden. Gene, a third-generation Californian, graduated from St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco and attended Santa Clara University where his engineering studies were cut short by his decision to enlist in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet. He later went on to serve in the European Theatre of World War II as a communications officer with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. After returning from overseas in 1946 to his young wife of three years, his beloved Vera, and his first-born child, he resumed his job with Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co. begun one year prior to his enlistment, and remained with the company until his retirement in 1977 as a staff engineer. Of the many jobs Gene held after retirement from Pacific Telephone, his last job at Emigh Hardware gave him the most joy and satisfaction. Gene was a gifted pianist and vocalist, and an accomplished illustrator and draftsman. He had a passion for building and woodworking - creating bookcases, furniture, patios, and landscapes, even building his own stereo system; and a great love for growing things - fruit, vegetables, and flower gardens of exquisite beauty. He also developed and printed his own photographs and enjoyed sailing his Santana 20 on Folsom Lake with his son and daughters. Gene was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He was courageous, compassionate, and selfless to his last day. His lifelong devotion was always to his family and his home.