Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in last 6 months
Sam J. Alaimo '44, '47, 93, passed away peacefully in his home on April 26, 2015. He was blessed to have celebrated his birthday a week before with his eight children, their spouses, and many of his 17 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He was born in San Jose to immigrant parents who arrived from Sicily in 1912 and was the fifth of six children. He attended St. Patrick's Elementary School, San Jose High School, and Santa Clara University on a hard-earned four-year college scholarship. His SCU Class of '44 was known as the "Fighting 40s," as most of them had to leave the University their junior year to either enlist or be drafted during WWII. He attended his 70th college reunion last October, when he was honored with this very special group of men.
Sam was trained as an officer after enlisting in the Army. He was a unit commander, field artillery, stationed in the Philippines and Japan. His basketball skills qualified him to both coach and become a key player on the military basketball team which won the Army Olympics in front of 18,000 fans, mostly troops.
Rev. Gerald L. McKevitt, professor emeritus of history at Santa Clara University, died September 18, 2015, at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, in Los Gatos. He was 76 years of age.
Jerry was born in Longview, Washington, on July 3, 1939. His family relocated to Quincy (Plumas County) where he graduated from the local high school. He graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1961 with a history major and philosophy minor and began graduate studies in history at the University of Southern California, earning an MA. In 1963 he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Los Gatos to begin training for the priesthood. His studies took him to Gonzaga University, Spokane, and in 1967 he started doctoral studies in history at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received his Ph.D. in 1972. Theological studies were taken in Rome, where he received his degree in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Jerry was ordained a priest in San Francisco in June 1975 and began a lifetime association with Santa Clara University. As research professor and archivist, he was given the task of writing the history of the university. Based on his doctoral dissertation, his The University of Santa Clara, a History, 1851-1977, was published by Stanford University Press in 1979.
Through the years Jerry rose to the rank of full professor serving as department chair, University archivist, University historian, and rector of the Jesuit Community. In 2004 Jerry was named the Ignacio Ellacuria University Professor for Jesuit Studies at Santa Clara. In addition to teaching a variety of courses, he continued his research in Jesuit history in the U.S. and published numerous articles and book reviews in scholarly journals and contributed to scholarly reference works. His award winning book, Brokers of Culture: Italian Jesuits in the American West, 1848-1919, was published by Stanford University Press in 2007.
His other academic experiences included visiting professorships at Fordham University and Seattle University, memberships on the editorial board of Studies in Jesuit Spirituality, and board membership on the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Santa Clara and Gonzaga Universities and was active in professional organizations. He curated an extensive collection of Jesuits in fiction, now part of the university’s special collections, and cultivated his hobby of watercolor painting.
After his retirement from the classroom, he continued his research and gave a number of lectures to a wide variety of audiences. At the time of his death he was working on a book length history of Jesuit higher education in the United States.
Contributions in Jerry’s memory may be made to the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053.
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.
Robert Finocchio Sr. '50, born Dec. 3, 1928 and a resident of Los Gatos, passed away on August 31 at the age of 86 with his loving wife and children by his side. Born and raised in San Francisco, Bob attended St. Ignatius High School and in 1950, graduated from Santa Clara University. In the summer following graduation, Bob married Virginia Arata of Ross, California, with whom he celebrated a 65th wedding anniversary on August 19th of this year. Bob had a long and successful career with the Bank of America where he started as a teller and nearly 40 years later, retired as a senior executive. Bob's work at the bank served to finance the transition of the Santa Clara Valley from an agricultural economy to the Silicon Valley we know today. Bob was also a dedicated alumnus of Santa Clara University, serving as a member of the Board of Fellows for many years. He loved hunting and golf and was an avid sports fan. Most of all, Bob was a devoted husband and father who created a family life filled with fun, laughter, and many wonderful traditions. In addition to his wife, Virginia, Bob is survived by his seven children: Robert J. Finocchio Jr. ’73 (Susan), who has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees and Dean’s Executive Professor of Management at SCU; Suzanne Rollin, Marianne Jackson, Judy Schebetta, Alan Finocchio, Chris Finocchio (Tiffany), and Melissa Burdekin (John), his seventeen grandchildren, Alex, Amanda, Bryce, Chris, Erik, David, Garth, Gray, Joseph, Jonathan, Kyle, Matthew, Madeleine, Nathaniel, Nick, Peter, Ryan, and his five great grandchildren, Brendan, Everett, Jasmine, Max, and Parker. A funeral Mass was held on Sept. 11 at the Mission Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Scholarship Fund at Santa Clara University.
Richard DiNapoli '50, resident of Los Gatos, passed away peacefully at his Los Gatos home on Aug. 22, 2015, surrounded by his wife Lynette of 61 years, and his immediate family. He was 88 years old.
Dick was born in San Jose, CA to Frank and Edna DiNapoli. He was the eldest brother to Shirlee DiNapoli Schiro and J. "Phil" DiNapoli J.D. '64. Dick was a graduate of Bellarmine High School and Santa Clara University and served in World War II as a Merchant Marine.
Dick was blessed with a long and successful career managing Sun Garden Packing Company. For 55 years, Sun Garden canned peaches, apricots and tomatoes in San Jose employing thousands of loyal and hardworking Santa Clara residents. Dick had a genuine interest in people and treated everyone he met with kindness and respect. When Sun Garden closed in 1994, it was the last remaining tomato processor in "The Valley of Heart's Delight".
Along with his wife and siblings, Dick is survived by his three sons and daughters-in-law, Richard "Rick" '77 and Julie, Rob and Karin, Matt and Gretchen, seven grandchildren Gina, Emerson, Elizabeth, Aaron, Madison, Christopher, Justin and two great grandchildren, Bowyn and Rocco; most of whom joined Dick and Lynette each and every Sunday for dinner.
Dick will be remembered for his patience, loyalty and gentile demeanor. He had a zest for life and a desire not to miss out on anything, especially if it involved family. He exited this world exactly how he lived it, with grace and dignity.
Joseph Vincent Reynolds Jr. '52 passed away on July 10th at his home in Napa. He was born on May 18th, 1928 in Los Angeles, CA to parents Joseph Vincent Reynolds Sr. and Helena Ingaborg Strom. He had one sibling, Patricia Reynolds, born in 1930. He graduated from Loyola High School in Los Angeles. After graduation he joined the Army and served a one year tour of duty with the 69th Division of engineers in Korea. Upon returning home he enrolled at the University of Santa Clara on the GI bill and obtained a B.S. in engineering in 1952. During his senior year in 1951 he met his future wife, Carol (Hinds) Reynolds, when mutual friends introduced them on a blind date. Following graduation Joe was called back into the Army and served a second one year tour in Korea, this time with the 235th Field Engineers. Following his discharge from the Army, Joe and Carol were married in Los Angeles in April of 1954. Joe?s career in civil engineering began in Los Angeles, then Burbank, then Santa Paula, and in 1960 the family moved to Walnut Creek when he began working for the Bechtel Corporation. In 1966 he was hired by the Public Works Department of Napa and the family moved to Napa in 1967. In 1968 Joe moved to the Napa County Flood Control District office and later became Chief Flood Control Engineer. In 1976 Joe returned to work for Bechtel and spent time in Saudi Arabia working on the engineering and implementation of the water systems for the city of Jubail. He retired in 1994. Joe was a loving and beloved family man, and most enjoyed time spent with his family and working around his property in Napa. He was a gracious and genial host to extended family and friends as he and Carol hosted many parties and family reunions over the years. Joe also enjoyed spending time in nature, having developed a love of backpacking early in his marriage. He took several trips with his children to the Trinity National Forest in northern California. Even into his early 70s, he went on solo backpacking trips. An avid reader, he shared that love by reading out loud to his children. He and youngest daughter Amy would read to each other in later years. Joe is survived by his wife of 61 years, Carol Reynolds, children Teresa Reynolds, Mary Jane Reynolds, Shannon Victor '85, Ann Reynolds, Amy Reynolds and daughter in law Vanessa Waddy. He was preceded in death by children Kathleen Crews, Christopher Reynolds and Timothy Reynolds. His grandchildren are Andrew Crews, Bethany Crews, Emily Crews, Brian Crews, Langston Waddy-Reynolds, Moira Waddy-Reynolds, Neemah Waddy-Reynolds, Helena Victor and Liam Reynolds.
John Philip Taglio '58 died on Dec. 9, 2014. A native of Modesto, California, he built a storied career in the building industry throughout the state as president of Morrison Homes, while residing in Northern California. In 1996, he was inducted into the Builder's Hall of Fame, a prestigious and honorable award for excellence and professionalism. In 1997 he and his wife, Carol, retired and shared their time between Sun Valley, Idaho, and Kauai, Hawaii. John was instrumental in building the new Koloa Missionary Church in Kauai and was recognized for his integrity and compassion for his fellow man. He is survived by his wife, Carol; sons Tory and Lane (Hilary); daughter Shae Aicher (Shawn); and four grandchildren.
Thomas David DeGregori '64, 4/26/1942 to 7/1/2015. He was born and raised in Los Banos, CA, graduate of Los Banos High, Santa Clara University, and Golden Gate University, master's in taxation. Tom was a husband, father, father-in-law, CPA, Army veteran, Little League coach, investor, wine connoisseur, master card player, avid golfer, volunteer, and more. After residing in San Jose for 33 years as a CPA for Arthur Young & Co., and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Tom and his wife of 46 years, Beverly, retired in 2003 to Greenhorn Creek Golf Resort in Angels Camp, where he lived his dream of golfing, playing bridge, and enjoying good wines with friends and family. He was the proud dad of Timothy (Amanda) DeGregori of San Jose and "Baka" to his grandsons Michael Thomas, and Leo Anthony.
Ed Niland '68, J.D. '75 died on August 4, 2015. Ed's death was due to complications associated with the treatment of esophageal cancer. Ed lived in Scotts Vallley. He practiced law from his office in Los Gatos. He is survived by his wife Julia and daughters Jessica and Danielle.
Daniel Sullivan Mezger '68 passed away on June 10, 2015, in Woodland, California. Dan was born in Woodland in 1945, the third child of Thomas and Rosalie Mezger and was fourth-generation Californian. He attended Holy Rosary Academy and as a young boy was active in the Boy Scouts of America, attaining the Boy Scout "Eagle Rank" status. Dan was a graduate of Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose and a 1968 graduate of Santa Clara University where he obtained a BA in finance.
He excelled in sports, most notably football and track and field. While in his sophomore year at Santa Clara University he was named "Rookie of the Year" for the football team. For the rest of his life, he lived "full on" in any activity he undertook. Upon graduation from college, Dan moved to San Francisco to work at the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. He then joined his father Tom and brother Mark in their family's grain storage operation, Farmers Grain Elevator, est. 1937, and Mezger Trucking in 1971. Dan co-owned and operated the companies for the next 45 years with his brother Mark.
In 1977 Dan married Elizabeth Heenan of San Jose and had two children, Dan Jr. '99 and Meara. Throughout his life, Dan was active in the community, founding member of the Woodland Sunrise Rotary Club and a past president of the Yolo Fliers Club. He also took time to help kids in the local community further their education by tutoring them in mathematics. He never retired but took time off, as he was an avid and skilled golfer and enjoyed doing so in the company of his son, Dan Jr., daughter, Meara, and with numerous lifelong friends from high school, college and business associates. Dan took the greatest delights in his family, children, grandchildren, friends, and Ellen Burriss his partner of the last 15 years.
He is survived by his partner Ellen Burriss, son Dan Mezger, Jr.(Sonia), daughter Meara Wallace (Justin), grandson Jake Wallace, granddaughter Quinn Wallace, brothers Tom Mezger (Mary Lynn) and Mark Mezger (Kerry), sisters Muvvie Marks (Steve) and Michelle Wark (Brett) along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas B. Mezger, brother, Matthew S. Mezger, MD, Matt's wife, Mary Patricia Hughes and his mother, Rosalie S. Mezger.
Christine Sorensen '68, of Camarillo, California, peacefully passed into eternal life on Wednesday morning, May 27, 2015, after a 3 1/2 year battle with breast cancer.
She was born in Oxnard, July 10, 1946, to her parents, Paul O. Sorensen and Margaret Leonard Sorensen. She and her sister Sally were raised in Santa Barbara where they attended Marymount School through the ninth grade. For grades 10 - 12 they attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Menlo Park, CA., graduating with the class of 1964. Christine graduated from Santa Clara University with a BA in philosophy.
Chrissy dealt with Bi-Polar disorder until 1995 when improved medication, and perhaps a miracle, allowed her to resume a normal life. She will long be remembered for her joy-filled countenance and loving spirit. She brought the love and light of Jesus Christ to all who knew her.
Chrissy is survived by her sister and brother-in-law Sally and Burr Allegaert of Warrenton, Oregon; nephew Patrick McCloskey, wife Alison, and children Madeline, Chloe, Rocky, and Summer, of Huntington Beach; and a niece Michaela McCloskey of Newport Beach. All of whom loved her dearly.
Beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Kirk D. Cowan Jr. MBA '71 passed away Tuesday, October 27, 2015, surrounded by his family.
Kirk was born at home to Kirk and Margaret (Rohrer) Cowan, in rural Leeds, ND, on April 14, 1936. He attended school in Leeds where he was very involved in school activities and was a member of the 1954 state champion Leeds Lions basketball team. After high school graduation he married his junior high school sweetheart Carol (Copeland).
Kirk loved the land and always wanted to farm. He received a mechanical engineering degree from North Dakota State University and an MBA from University of Santa Clara in California. He worked in the nuclear power industry for nearly 40 years. He worked for General Electric in San Jose, CA while living and farming walnuts in Morgan Hill, CA and worked for WPPSS at Hanford while living and farming apples, cherries and pears in Grandview, WA.
Kirk had John Deere green running through his veins and after retirement immersed himself in farming and collecting and restoring his John Deere 30 series tractors.Kirk loved spending time with his family and friends. He leaves behind Carol, his beloved wife of 61 years; son, David (Susan) of Grandview, WA; daughter, Celeste (Charlie) Fender of La Center, WA; grandchildren, Tracy (Zach) Stroud, Danelle (Nik) Lubisich, Riley Fender, Caeden Fender and great-grandchildren, Mavrick and Axle Stroud. He is also survived by one sister, Diane (Lyle) Long. He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Irene Nestegard.
Frank H. Filice Jr. M.A. '71, a resident of Los Gatos, passed away on June 1. He was a strong, passionate, and kind man who loved God, his family, and friends. Frank spent 39 years in the Campbell Union High School district as a coach, drafting teacher, counselor, vice principal, and principal.
Frank was born in 1937 in San Jose, graduated from San Jose State University, and earned his master's degrees in counseling and education at Santa Clara University. He was married in 1974 and had two children. He was a devout family man who enjoyed coaching his children's sports teams, playing golf, volunteering for the church and community, and playing cards and chess.
Frank is survived by his loving wife, Frances; devoted children Frank and Christy; daughter-in-law Heather; and grandchildren Nico and Cora.
After graduating from college, becoming a certified public accountant and then serving for two years as a naval lieutenant and pilot, Schneickert “really wanted to go to MBA school but didn’t have the money. He could have worked as a CPA, but young accountants weren’t making much. So he joined the San Jose Police Department as an officer from 1985 to 1987, got as much overtime as he could, and then went off to Harvard.”
Schneickert is survived by his wife Karen; their three sons, Roy and twins Jack and Nick; his father, Gary Schneickert; and his sister Christine.
Deacon Michael Edmond Murphy '80 died June 11, 2015, in a hiking accident in the Mount Shasta region of California. He is survived by his wife, Natalie Murphy '80, MBA '01, and their son, Patrick; his mother Patricia Lautze, and his brothers Martin Murphy (Cheryl) and Daniel Murphy (Jenn).
Michael was born in San Francisco in 1958 to Patrick and Patricia Murphy. He grew up in San Carlos, attended St. Charles School and graduated from St. Francis High School in Mountain View. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 1980 with a major in history. While at Santa Clara, Mike joined the Army ROTC program, and it was in this program that he met his future wife, Natalie Eblacas. Upon graduation, Mike was commissioned in the Army as a second lieutenant.
Mike and Natalie were married while both were in the military, and their son, Patrick, was born in 1988. Michael Murphy studied for and received his Teaching Credential while they were stationed in Texas. They spent three years on the East Coast, with Natalie teaching at West Point. Michael taught at Valley Central Middle School in Montgomery, N.Y. After two years of teaching, he returned to graduate school and earned a master's degree in religious studies. Once Natalie's assignment at West Point was completed, they returned to San Carlos.
Upon their return to the Bay Area in 1992, Mike went to work at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton, teaching both math and religion. He also coached both boys and girls athletics teams. Michael was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop John Wester on June 25, 2006. Since that time he, and Natalie, have served at their Parish, St. Charles in San Carlos. Mike also wrote many inspiring and thought-provoking "Scriptural Reflections" for the SF Catholic.
Richard Bertolucci '81, associate sports information director for UCLA Athletics, died on July 28, surrounded by his family in Westchester, California, following a long battle with cancer. He was 56.
On UCLA Athletics' sports information staff for 34 years, Bertolucci was hired as assistant sports information director in July 1981, immediately following his graduation from Santa Clara University, where he earned a B.A. in English.
Rich served as the media contact for a number of Bruin teams throughout his long career, most notably men's volleyball and men's and women's golf. He was also the managing editor of the UCLA football and men's basketball game programs, as well as Bruin Blue, UCLA Athletics' official newspaper.
He is survived by Mary Ann, his wife of 25 years; his daughter, Juliet; his parents, Frank and Joy; his sister, Linda M. MacLeod '86; his brother, Dave Bertolucci '89; 14 brothers- and sisters-in-law; and 25 nieces and nephews.
Michael Jay Jones '80 J.D. '83, attorney at Law, aka Professor Jones/Coach Jones, passed away on July 13, 2015, after a brief but courageous battle with thyroid cancer. He was 58. He was a three-sport scholar-athlete at Pioneer High School 1976, played varsity football at Santa Clara University 1980 and graduated from Santa Clara University Law School in 1983. Mike joined and became a named partner at the law firm of Gallagher, Reedy & Jones in Los Gatos in 1983.
Family was everything to Mike. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Loretta, daughter Lauren J.D. '13 and son Bryan. Also survived by his mother, June, brothers Sam (Michelle) and Tim (Amy), sister Becky '83, J.D. '87 and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father Samuel E. Jones Sr.