Class Notes | Obituaries
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Edward Francis Reilly MBA '81 passed away on May 19, 2011. A resident of Sunnyvale, Edward was born in Astoria, N.Y., where he attended elementary and high school. He obtained his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and his MBA from Santa Clara University. He is survived by his three children, Colleen Reilly, Ed Reilly, and Maureen Reilly Wahl; his first grandchild, Shay; and also by his ex-wife Mary Ann Reilly. Ed was an eloquent lover of knowledge and life. He followed the news closely, always prepared to debate the salient points of popular politics, whether local or international, modern or historical. Ed was a uniquely clever and witty man. We mourn his passing and forever celebrate his life.
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.
Anita Constance Arellano '81 on June 21, 2009. After a six-year battle with ovarian cancer, Anita Arellano, 76, died on June 21, 2009. On August 8, 1932, Constance "Connie" Garcia de Estudillo Arellano gave birth in Oakland, Calif., to a baby girl, who she named 'Anita'. Connie was born south of the border, and her husband, Elias ('Al') was a native Californian. This little girl was brought up in Alameda, Calif., during the Great Depression and spent the war years and high school in Oakland. In 1950 she attended San Jose State College, where she majored first in journalism and then in history. She graduated with a BA in 1954, and married Carl Pohlhammer, a fellow historian, the following year. After a year in France with the U.S. Army, the couple settled in Berkeley, Calif., where Anita worked in the University of California's Coe Library. After a brief stint in a pre-medical program she attained a Master's Degree in history and political science from San Jose State, to go along with her General Secondary Credential. In 1963 the couple moved to the Monterey Peninsula, where they reside to this day. In addition to teaching at Monterey Peninsula College, she acquired a J.D. from the University of Santa Clara Law School, and practiced law for many years. While at Santa Clara she studied at Oxford, England, during one summer. She had a private pilot's license, a Red Cross sailing and life saving certificate, a scuba divers' certificate and a Junior College Life Credential. She managed several political campaigns and served as a delegate to the 1984 Democratic National Convention. She ran twice, unsuccessfully, for the Pacific Grove City Council in the 1980s, and she served on both the Alameda and Monterey Democratic Central Committees. She and her husband attended both inaugurations of President Bill Clinton. At Monterey Peninsula College she served as president of the Academic Senate, delegate to the statewide academic senate (ASCCC) and she served on a number of committees, including the Affirmative Action, Presidential Selection and Inter-cultural Relations Committees. Since coming to Monterey in 1963, she was a member of many boards, including the United Nations Organization, the World Affairs Council, the Sierra Club (Ventana Chapter), Fort Ord Flying Club and others. Over a long and busy life she has been a photographer, a flyer, a hiker, a sailor, a skier and has traveled extensively in California, Alaska, Hawaii and other states, South America, the South Pacific, Africa, Canada, Russia, and England, sharing experiences with and learning from many peoples in varied cultures in different lands.
Bruce E. Lowery ’81 passed away on Aug. 30, 2011.
Bob Maximoff MBA '81 passed away suddenly on October 2, at age 86. Bob was grateful to have lived a full life. The youngest of 3 children, he grew up during the depression in Kansas City. He attended Southwest High School, where he met his wife. He served in the Army in WWII in Okinawa and graduated from the University of Illinois. An engineer and manager with Standard Vacuum Oil Company (Exxon) from 1950-75, Bob enjoyed a wonderful life in New York, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia. He then settled in Los Altos, worked for Bechtel and earned an MBA from Santa Clara University, where he later taught financial management to undergraduate students in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Bob was on the board of the Peninsula Symphony and a member of Mensa. He loved history, poetry, writing, the harmonica, tinkering and maintaining the family cabin. He cared deeply for his country and authored Op/Ed pieces in the NY Times and SJ Mercury.
Bob is survived by Pat, his wife of 61 years, who shared his fabulous journey, his 2 sons, Tim and Chris, and their families, as well as 2 sisters, Mary (Maxie) Bentzen and Betty Alice Schaffer.
Anne Jeanette Anderson M.A. ’81, 79 years old, of El Granada, Calif., died on January 21. She was born on May 2, 1933, in Worchester, Mass. to Gilbert Ralph LaPoint and Gladys May Porter of Westborough, MA. She graduated from the New England Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing on Oct. 10, 1954 and subsequently married William Anderson on Oct. 30, 1954. She then spent two years working as an RN followed by 19 years raising a family. She graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing on June 8, 1973 followed by a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of California in San Francisco on June 25, 1978. During the time she pursued additional degrees in nursing, she was working as nurse and developed a special interest in the problems of the elderly. This led to an additional Master of Arts degree in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from the University of Santa Clara June 11, 1981 after which she worked several years in private practice with Menlo Counseling Associates. Anne is survived by her husband, William, by three children, David of Racine, WI., Carolyn of Champaign, IL and Kevin of El Granada, CA, and by four grandchildren, Geoffrey and Britta in WI and Sarah and Christopher in IL. Anne's greatest legacy is the love and care she lavished on her family. She is also survived by her siblings, Marilyn of VA and Gilbert of FL. Anne's love and care was also lavished on her patients and clients. She went into one of the caring professions at the beginning of her carrier and continued in them throughout her life. She was motivated by the love of Christ and what God had done for her in the person of Jesus Christ. From her high school days she had a desire to serve as the hands of Christ in caring for the needs of people.
Yolande Alix '82, resident of Campbell, Calif., passed away on September 12, 2009, at the age of 86 years. Wife of the late Roland Alix; dear mother of Joanne Alix of Campbell; John (Phyllis) Alix of Los Altos; David (Liz) Alix of Santa Barbara; Susan (Eric) Hultman of Campbell; and Peter (Sally) Alix of San Jose. Grandmother of Aimee, Sean, Adam, Christopher, Sara, Laura and Maddi, great-grandmother of Cadee. Yola was an avid reader, amateur genealogist and family historian. She was a member of the Catala Club of Santa Clara University, and St. Basil's Catholic Couples Club.
Thomas M. Small J.D. '82 passed away on January 26, 2011.
Thelma R. Epstein MA ’82, resident of Cupertino, passed away Dec. 6, 2011. Thelma was born in Dallas, Texas, and completed her BA in Spanish from Southern Methodist University. Thelma later earned advanced degrees, one in U.S. History from California State University, Sacramento, and another in Special Education, Learning Disabilities from Santa Clara University. Thelma devoted her life to family, teaching, community service and political activism. Thelma taught for nine years in Redlands, Calif., and then continued her career as an instructor of U.S. History at De Anza College for twenty-four years. She served as vice president of the Foothill-De Anza Faculty Association, president of the Bay Faculty Association, treasurer and governor for Retired Faculty of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, commissioner of the De Anza College Commission, and served on the boards of the Cupertino Library Foundation and the California History Center Foundation. Thelma was a lifelong member of AAUW, holding both local and statewide offices. She was an active member of Shir Hadash Congregation as well as an avid 49ers, Giants, and Stanford football fan. Thelma is survived by Raymond, her loving husband of fifty-four years, children Bruce (Toni), Julie (Joel), David (Andrea); seven grandchildren; a brother and a sister.
Sharon Louise Knopf J.D. ’82, MBA ’82, a resident of San Jose, passed away suddenly of a heart attack. Sharon L. Knopf was born February 10, 1956 in Munich, Germany to Arthur and Alice Knopf. Sharon graduated from Willow Glen High, UC Davis (BS) and Santa Clara University (MBA, JD). She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. After graduation she formed a law practice, Sasaki and Knopf, with Dale Sasaki in 1984. Sharon served on the Board of Directors of the San Jose Quilt Museum, helping to propel it to prominent status. She was passionate about plants, animals and preservation of historic buildings supporting the Nature Conservancy and National Trust for Historic Preservation. Sharon is survived by her husband Richard Johns of San Jose, Calif., father Arthur Knopf of San Jose, sister Susan Crase and husband Dietrich Crase of Mountain View, brother Jeff Knopf and wife Stacie Knopf of San Jose, and several nieces, nephews, god-children and many cherished pets. She was preceded in death by her mother Alice in 2005 and recently by her beloved German Wire Haired Pointer, Gus (Gustav Runciter Von Wee). Sharon was a tour de force whose favorite activities centered on restoring her vintage home. A consummate shopper, she delighted in filling her home with her collected treasures. Overflowing with knowledge and creativity, Sharon had ideas and plans and invited friends to come along for the ride. Sharon has touched lives from the West Coast to the East Coast. All those touched by Sharon feel an immeasurable loss. We will miss her energy, enthusiasm, companionship and presence.
Paul Dennis Jr. M.A., Nov. 1, 2008.
Kathryn Lisa Garcia ’82, Jan. 30, 2012. A resident of San Jose, she was born June 25, 1960. Kathryn leaves to cherish her parents, Ismael and Angie Florez, and her husband of 27 years, Jay Garcia, and her two beautiful children, Jason and Veronica '12. Kathryn lived a full and admirable life while she was with us. Kathryn graced many stages with her beautiful dancing but is most known by her students with the teaching of dance, and of life. Kathryn was most proud of her family, who will remain strong and together, living up to her every expectation. She will be missed by all whom she touched. Kat, we love you.
Daniel "Danny" P. Lawless ’82—our beloved father, son and brother—left this life and entered eternal life on Friday, February 22, 2013. Danny was born in Phoenix on August 7, 1960. He attended Brophy College Prep and graduated from the University of Santa Clara in 1982. Danny worked his entire career as a financial consultant. Danny is survived by his beautiful children, Dylan and Megan, his former wife and mother of their children, Hallie Lawless, his parents David and Ellen Lawless and siblings, Tom Lawless '77, J.D. '82 and Cathy Gaudreau (Bill). Danny was a great golfer and two time winner of The Men's Club Championship at Arizona Country Club. He was also a life member of the Phoenix Thunderbirds. Danny loved life, his family and his many friends. He will be sorely missed but never forgotten. Our family appreciates the enormous outpouring of love for Danny. Rest in peace our beloved Danny!
William Carroll “Bill” Mitchell '83 was born February 19, 1961, in Tulsa, Okla., to Thomas J. and Marilyn J. (Donovan) Mitchell. He passed from this life peacefully at his home Wednesday, July 7, 2010, at the age of 49. Bill was a life-long Tulsan and graduated from Cascia Hall Preparatory School in 1979. He received his Bachelor’s degree in finance from Santa Clara University in 1983. He returned to Tulsa where he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 1986 and ran a successful private law practice for nearly 25 years. Bill was preceded in death by his father and his brother, Thomas J. Mitchell, Jr. He is survived by his daughter, Amanda; two sons, William, II and Brendan, all of the home; his mother, Marilyn Dock; and, his sister, Debbie, both of Tulsa.
Stephen Gibbs J.D. ’83 retired Resident of San Jose Died September 20, 2011, in his Naglee Park home. He was 56 years old. Judge Gibbs was born on April 3, 1955 in San Francisco, California to Joan Nellis and Robert Gibbs. He attended Port Jefferson High School in Port Jefferson, New York. He continued his education at the State University of New Paltz in New Paltz, New York, graduating in 1977 with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Geography. (On October 13, 1978, he was in a car accident and became a quadriplegic.(Realizing that his degree in geography would not support the financial needs of a quadriplegic, he packed up his van and drove out to California to attend Law School at the University of Santa Clara. As he was fond of saying, he made good use of his geography degree by making sure he moved to the kind of climate that would best suit his physical condition. He graduated cum laude from Santa Clara in three years and was an Articles Editor on the Law Review. He has had two articles published in the Santa Clara Law Review. Despite his achievements, he was unable to find a law firm willing to hire a quadriplegic, so he worked as a solo practitioner for 18 years. After receiving the top score on the written and oral examinations for a position as an Administrative Law Judge, Mr. Gibbs became Judge Gibbs when he was made an Administrative Law Judge with the California Unemployment Board of Appeals in 2001. Judge Gibbs retired from that position in 2008. As a lawyer, judge and ordinary citizen, Judge Gibbs always worked passionately to make sure that people who were disadvantaged did not suffer adverse consequences because of their disadvantage, whether the disadvantage stemmed from disability, economic condition, gender, race, color, religion or age. At the same time, he encouraged everyone he met to meet life's challenges head on but to always meet those challenges with their sense of humor intact. He has left behind many friends, loved ones and admirers. Judge Gibbs is survived by his loving partner of 22 years, Elizabeth Johnson; his mother Joan Fox; his Fox brothers Tom, Andrew, Jerry, Kevin, Michael and Steve and his sister, Bernadette Christie, along with many nieces and nephews. One brother, Dan Fox, predeceased him.
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.
Philip Chike Nchekwube '83, MBA '86 on March 8, 2010. A native of Aguleri in Anambra State, Nigeria, Chike was born in Lagos to Georgina Nchekwube and the late Matthias Nchekwube. He returned to Aguleri at the onset of the Nigerian civil war and completed his secondary school studies at All Hallows Seminary in Onitsha. Chike then moved to the United States in 1979 and subsequently obtained his undergraduate degree in accounting and an MBA from Santa Clara University in California where he graduated with distinction as the class valedictorian. He also held a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley and worked at various times as an accountant at Xerox, an attorney at the global law firm of Jones Day in Washington DC, a business owner of three GNC stores in northern California, a deputy prosecutor in Lake County, Indiana and a professor of Business Law and Accounting at St. Francis University in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Left to mourn Chike are his wife, Miranda Nchekwube sons, Ikenna and Nnamdi Nchekwube; mother; brothers, Emeka and Chiedu Nchekwube; sisters, Angelina Ivenso, Uju Nchekwube, Victoria Nchekwube; in-laws, along with countless other friends and family members who were blessed to have known him. Chike had a good wit and enjoyed long conversations with friends and kin, championing the aspirations of the Aguleri people in the diaspora, and being with his family. He touched the lives of many people with his smile and generosity, and maintained his trademark sense of wit and stubborn integrity all the way to the end.
Lauralee Sorenson M.A. '83 on Jan. 1, 2009. A native of Salinas, she served on Cupertino's Planning Commission and City Council and was mayor in 1991-1992. She attended Mills College for two years, graduated from Stanford University School of Nursing, worked for a year for a Modesto pediatrician, and then returned to the Bay Area to work for the San Mateo County Health Department as a public health nurse. She had a 23-year career as school nurse for the Cupertino Union School District and continued after retirement to consult on truancy and attendance issues. She was involved with numerous organizations and boards of directors and was recognized as Cupertino's Woman Citizen of the Year in 2007. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Martin; and five children.
Roger Gillis, S.J., M.A. '83 died Friday, December 3, 2010 at Mount St. Vincent's Nursing Care at the age of 63. He had taught and advised students at Seattle University since 1987. "Father Rog" entered the Society of Jesus in 1969 and was ordained a priest in 1978. He had an immense influence on students and alums, who abundantly poured out their affection on him during these last three months of his illness.
Donna L. Hasbrouck MBA ’83, June 13, 1956 to July 12, 2012 Resident of Los Gatos. Donna L. Hasbrouck passed on after a courageous journey with cancer. Donna achieved a business degree from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Santa Clara University. She retired from Intel after 25 years working in both finance and human resources. Donna is survived by her father and his wife, Leo and Louise Hasbrouck, her sister and husband, Lisa and Jerry Roth, her sister Terri McLennan, her brother and his wife, Steven and Veronica Hasbrouck and her aunt Judy. Theresa, her mother, passed on in 1995.
Antoinette "Toni" (Chaix) McCabe M.A. '83 passed away on February 23, 2011. Toni was born on November 29, 1946, in Los Angeles to Dana and Joseph E. Chaix. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology in 1970 and her teaching credential in 1972 from Dominican University of California. She has provided for a Scholarship Fund at the University. Toni taught for five years before marrying her husband Wayne McCabe. She was an avid golfer and a member of the Senior Golfers of America. She also enjoyed opera and the theatre. Toni was a contributor to Lamb's Players Theatre in Coronado where she had been living since 1988. She is also a contributor to the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Symphony and various other organizations. Toni is survived by an aunt, Iris; and cousins, Robert and Melinda. She was preceded in death by her husband Wayne in 1993.
Abby Sobrato '83 died on May 27, 2010. She was the wife of John M. Sobrato '83, mother of John A. Sobrato '10 and Jeff M. Sobrato '11, and daughter-in-law of John M. Sobrato '60. The following obituary appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on May 28.
Abby Sobrato, member of philanthropic family in Santa Clara Valley, dies of pancreatic cancer
By Sandra Gonzales
Abby Sobrato, a member of an influential philanthropic family with deep Santa Clara Valley roots, died Thursday after an eight-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
She was 49.
Mrs. Sobrato was the wife of John M. Sobrato and daughter-in-law of John A. Sobrato, a prominent developer and founder of the Sobrato Family Foundation, which has donated millions to nonprofit organizations.
Beyond being a devoted wife and mother, Mrs. Sobrato was a philanthropist in her own right - a woman with many charitable passions. On the top of that list was the Walden West Science Center, a nonprofit that encourages young students to learn the sciences.
She was not just the president of the Walden West Foundation in name, she led the building campaign for its science classrooms, said Margaret Nanda, a fellow board member.
"She was the most giving, loving, wonderful person," Nanda said. "She was the most sincere, genuinely kind person. A great light has been extinguished. I am just so sad. It's a great loss for the whole valley."
Mrs. Sobrato also was the co-founder of the Princess Project Silicon Valley, a charitable mission that provides prom dresses and accessories for girls who can't afford it, Nanda said.
Active in St. Mary's Catholic Church in Los Gatos, Mrs. Sobrato graduated from Saratoga High. She met her husband at Santa Clara University - an account she lovingly recalls in a blog documenting her illness.
"This time in March always holds a special place in my heart. March 11, 1983, is the day that I met my husband," she wrote last March. Her husband was bartending at the university's happy hour. "John poured me a beer and we noticed each other for the first time."
They married and had two sons, Jeff and John. Both now attend Santa Clara University.
"I was lucky to have the kids and all the 'specials' home for Thanksgiving. The 'specials' are the kids that have literally grown up with my kids," she wrote in December.
Throughout her illness, Mrs. Sobrato displayed high spirit and good cheer - traits she showed all her life.
"She was a very creative person and loved to socialize," Nanda said. "There are so many that can call her a friend."
She also was a great photographer, Nanda said.
Just months before her diagnosis, she was avidly snapping pictures at an open house for the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, said Carole Leigh Hutton, president of United Way Silicon Valley. The foundation opened the center as a home for valley nonprofits.
"The whole Sobrato family and the family foundation are just extraordinary people," Hutton said.
Hutton met her for the first time in September 2008, when Mrs. Sobrato and her husband accepted a "Philanthropist of the Year" United Way award on behalf of the Sobrato Family Foundation.
"I found her quite remarkable. I think of her as just an incredibly vivacious, dynamic energetic person," Hutton said. "It's just so tragic to see this happen to someone so young and so giving."
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 219 Bean Ave., Los Gatos at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mrs. Sobrato's memory to the Walden West Foundation, 15555 Sanborn Road, Saratoga, CA 95070-9709.