Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in last 6 months
Natalia Ortiz Mead ’79 was born on April 23, 1923, and passed away on December 26, 2012. A resident of Sunnyvale, she married William E. Mead Jr. and raised two daughters, two sons, and two grandsons. She served in the U.S. Army as an aircraft mechanic, 1943-1944. A retired WWII Veteran, she was an alumnus of Santa Clara University and a retired English teacher. Mead was a dedicated 49ers and Giants fan. She coached childrens' sports. Home was always open to friends. Survived by son Michael, daughter Marguerite, and 8 grandchildren.
John Patrick Mirch ’81 May 15, 1959 - October 27, 2012 Resident of San Jose--a great man, a father of two, a loving husband, a brother and a son. John Patrick Mirch was born May 15, 1959 to his loving parents Eileen and Patrick Mirch ’55 in San Francisco, CA. He enjoyed this life and shared that joy with all of those around him including his three sisters, Mary Ellen Mirch, Kathy (Hal) Hainley and Patty (Scott) Weber, his two brothers Joe (Irene) Mirch and Michael Mirch, and numerous nieces and nephews. On April 24th, 1982 he married the love of his life, Laurie Borello ’80. Together they raised two beautiful sons Matthew and David. Something can be said about his spirit - he bravely fought cancer for two years, smiling and joking until the very end. The generosity and kindness he had for others showed in the immense love and support that was bestowed upon him in his final days. He passed peacefully in his sleep with his family by his side and now resides with our Lord in heaven. He will be dearly missed.
David Louis Normandin '81, resident of San Jose, passed away suddenly of natural causes on November 20. He was known for his generosity, heart of gold, and spontaneous free spirit. David was born June 1, 1957, in Colorado Springs, Colo., graduated from Bellarmine College Preparatory in 1975, and earned a business degree from Santa Clara University in 1981. He worked at Normandin Chrysler Jeep and Dodge in the Customer Service Department for many years, and spent his recent years caring for his two children as well as working as a jack-of-all-trades. He touched the lives of those who knew him with his kindness, generosity and sense of adventure. He often pulled up to his family members' driveways in his van, blasting classic rock music and inviting them along to catch frogs with him. He had a deep love for nature, and enjoyed visiting Yosemite for fishing trips. David approached the prospect of helping others with unbridled enthusiasm, from moving his niece into her college dorm room to spending hours painting fences or working on projects at his siblings' and friends' houses. He also had a sharp focus for creativity - the Christmas lights that adorned his home each year became famous throughout the neighborhood. Visits with David would usually involve some great barbeque (lots of meat), plenty of laughter, and at least one adventure. David is survived by his wife Michelle, and is the adored father of Tristan and Sarah. He is also survived by his parents Lon '81 and Peggy Normandin and siblings Caren Normandin '79, Lisa McHugh '81, Mark Normandin, Diane Azevedo, and Paul Normandin. He was a beloved uncle to 16 nieces and nephews. He will be sorely missed.
Roger A. Parshall J.D. ’83, passed away on Feb. 8, 2013, in Arcata Calif. After his graduation, he practiced law in Humboldt County, originally as a public defender. In recent years, he came to support the Occupy Movement locally. A native of Detroit, Mich., he is survived by his younger sister, Nanci Parshall. He is remembered as a good friend by all his law school classmates.
Andrew John Solomon ’91 passed away quietly on Dec. 5, 2012, following a prolonged battle with brain cancer. Andy was a longtime pillar of the Fresno community having grown up in Fresno where he attended Bullard High School and went on to Santa Clara University, where he was their first baseman all four years. Following college, Andy returned to Fresno to complete a 25 year career in commercial real estate, during which he made innumerable friends, supported community improvements, and was admired and respected by everyone who came in contact with him. Andy, together with his family, fought against his illness for over five years. Andy's incredible strength and will to live resulted in him becoming one of the longest living survivors of full brain radiation treatment. We may all take some solace in the fact that Andy's participation in numerous experimental cancer treatment programs may help to improve the chances for future patients to possibly survive this now incurable disease. During this time he also felt a strong calling to reach out to others in hope of helping them face their own personal challenges. Andy's great love of baseball continued to the very end and was exceeded only by his love for his family and Faith in God. The family would like to thank the staff for the great dedication and care Andy received at both the University of California San Francisco, the Helen Diller Family Cancer Center; and Hinds Hospice. He leaves behind a loving wife Monique; and his two devoted daughters, Meg and Tess. In addition to the young family he leaves behind, there is an extended and devoted family that will continue to morn his loss. He also leaves behind his mother and father, Lew and Linda Solomon, of Fresno; his three siblings, Jeff Solomon '84 and his wife Carolyn of Tualatin, Or., Jim Solomon and his wife Melissa of Fresno, Susie Jones and her husband Tom of Sacramento; and numerous aunts; uncles; cousins; nephews and nieces.
Sean Gabriel O'Bryan ’99 left this world on Jan. 18, 2013. Born July 4, 1977, he attended Brophy College Preparatory and Santa Clara University (Computer Engineering). He was a gifted trumpet player. Gabriel lived a full, joy-filled and generous life in Seattle, working for Microsoft and creating a company of his own. He joins his beloved grandfathers Dr. Eugene Acosta Marin and Louis Bertrand O'Bryan, Sr., and awaits being reunited with his loved ones: parents Bert & Marty; brothers Michael, Seamus Raphael, Devin; grandmothers Marie Marin and Frances O'Bryan, his loving aunts and uncles, and many, many cousins.
David A. Godinez ’07, M.A. '10 of Morgan Hill was born in 1966 and died on Feb. 17, 2013.
Faculty & Staff
Michael Anthony Sweeney, of Santa Cruz, died in his home on March 26, 2013 of pancreatic cancer. He was 81. Sweeney joined the chemistry faculty at Santa Clara University in 1966, and he taught until the fall of 2012. In 2001 he was named professor emeritus. Prior to teaching he worked as a research chemist for Standard Oil, and also rose to the rank of captain while serving in the US Air Force.
Sweeney was born on Dec. 5, 1931 in Los Angeles, to James Robert Sweeney and Ruth (Bauter) Sweeney.
He attended Loyola High School, and in 1953 graduated cum laude from Loyola Marymount University, (then, Loyola University). He earned his master's, then doctorate in radiation chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1962. The research for his Ph.D. dissertation, Radiation Chemistry of Isopropyl Compounds, was directed by Nobel laureates Amos Newton and Glenn Seaborg at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, where Sweeney operated a cyclotron. During that period he is credited along with two other scientists with discovery of the isotope Rhenium (181).
He performed research and published scientific articles throughout his career. In conjunction with NASA-AMES, he studied the area of abiotic biosynthesis—the origin of organic molecules on the early earth and solar system, the formation of organic molecules resulting from radiation fluxes, and carbonaeous chondrite chemistry. His investigation into the radiation levels of the primitive Earth atmosphere added to our understanding of the origin of life.
In 1966 Sweeney began teaching chemistry at Santa Clara University. It was a position he called "the best job I've ever had." Students from his first graduating class presented him with a pamphlet titled "Sweeney's Similes," in which they had recorded many of the analogies from his lectures for which he was well-known. Ten of his first 11 chemistry majors went on to earn their doctorates in chemistry; the eleventh earned a J.D. Several of these students reached out to Sweeney during his final weeks, offering gratitude for his inspiration.
Sweeney is survived by three children, Matthew ’93, Anna ’86, and Daniel ’87, their spouses, and two grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at Mission Santa Clara on April 11 at 6:00 p.m. A reception will follow at the Arts and Sciences Building on the Santa Clara University Campus, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053. His ashes will be laid to rest in Ireland by his children.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a charitable donation be made to Santa Clara University, The Chemistry Dept., in Memory of Michael A. Sweeney, University Relations, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053; or via the web at www.scu.edu/give/
Donations will be awarded to a chemistry major who demonstrates interest in a teaching career.
Notes of sympathy may be sent to:
The Sweeney Family
c/o Chemistry & Biochemistry Department
Daly Science Center
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
Mary Asuncion served Santa Clara University twenty-three years as senior administrative assistant in the Human Resources Office and the Mathematics & Computer Science Department.