Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in the last year by graduates in the 2000s
Kevin A. Fitzgerald J.D. ’00, 46, of Las Vegas, Nev. died on May 17, 2014. He was an attorney for the Clark County School District for the past five years and formerly for the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, Palo Alto, Calif. A graduate of Tufts University (Mass.) and Santa Clara University (Calif.) he is survived by his wife, Jennifer Matejkovic Fitzgerald, his daughter, Audrey, aged 6 and son, Joey, aged 3. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Florence (Connors) and sister Neilla, and survived by his siblings, Kathleen Fitzgerald, John Fitzgerald and wife, Linda (Millar), Anne Fitzgerald and husband Larry Hookey, Maureen Fitzgerald, Jane Fitzgerald-Hines, David Fitzgerald and wife, Donna (Poitras); in-laws Edward M. Matejkovic (father) and fiancee Roe Trumbo, Leigh Matejkovic Martini and husband, Tom and Jude Matejkovic; nieces and nephews, Jack, Ryan, Jennifer, Patrick, Cayden, Kate, Molly, Sean, Neila, Robert, Connor, Max, Ava and Vincent.
Phil Scholz '01, one of Nvidia’s senior marketing managers, was struck and killed Jan. 20 in a commuter train accident at a Caltrain station in Santa Clara, Calif., while helping to save the life of another victim. He was 36 years old.
Brian Patrick Sweeny ’01, age 34, of Spokane, Wash., died on June 29, 2013. He was 28 when he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and given only 15 months to live, beating all odds by living six more years doing the things he loved. Born in Seattle, Wash. on April 17, 1979 to Kevin and Donna Sweeny, Brian moved with his family to Modesto, Calif. in 1982 and lived there until 1990 when they moved to Spokane. He went to All Saints Catholic School from sixth through eighth grade and graduated as Salutatorian from Gonzaga Preparatory School in 1997. Brian received a degree in Communications (Video Production) from Santa Clara University in 2001 and graduated Magna Cum Laude. After graduation, Brian moved to Los Angeles to fulfill his dream of working in the entertainment industry. After waiting tables, he found employment as a production assistant on the TV series, Fear Factor, and quickly worked his way up to Stunt Producer. He worked in that position until the show ended in 2006. He loved all aspects of his life in LA, which included surfing, basketball, and beach volleyball. He had a very adventurous spirit and spent much of his yearly hiatuses from Fear Factor, traveling, sometimes for pleasure and sometimes for work. One of his most memorable trips was to Thailand in 2003 where he taught English to non-English speaking Thai people. Among Brian's most wonderful qualities was his ability to make friends. He loved people, and if you were lucky enough to get to know him and become his friend, you were a friend for life. All who came to know him found his wit, humor and charm endearing. Brian was also the most loving and caring son a parent could ask for. He often worried about his parents and was never afraid to express his concerns. This caring nature could also be seen in his relationship with his brothers. Whether it was guiding his younger brother Kyle, or being there for his older brother Paul Sweeny ’00, his generosity and companionship to his brethren was always apparent. Brian was a devoted fan of G-Prep basketball and football, going so far as to make his parents hold the phone to the radio so he could listen to games from LA. Brian was also an avid Seahawks fan and in spite of the fact that he went to Santa Clara University, he learned to love the Zags, but only when they were not playing the Broncos. He stayed true to his team in that instance. From the time Brian was a baby, Priest Lake was in his blood. He cherished any time he could spend there and always made certain to be there every summer no matter what other obligations he had. He was an avid writer and kept historical journals of his life from the time he moved to Spokane in 1990 until he was no longer able to. His entries are heartwarming, funny, and sentimental, as was he. His mother and father, Kevin and Donna Sweeny and two brothers, Paul D. (Bellevue, WA) and Kyle J. (Spokane), survive Brian. His two grandmothers, Gladys H. Urbaniak and Lillian A. Sweeny and seven aunts, six uncles and nineteen cousins also survive him. His two grandfathers, Raymond J. Urbaniak and Jerome L. Sweeny, met him in heaven upon his death. There are people who touch many lives during their time on earth and Brian was one of them. He was so loved and he loved so many and will be missed more than is conceivable. A special thanks to Dr. Kirk Lund and the nursing staff at RWC Cancer Treatment Center, most especially, Lisa, Pam and Sandy who worked with Brian for so many years and showed compassion beyond words. Special thanks go out to Jane and Sherri, and Dawn and Jennifer at Hospice of Spokane whom we grew to admire.
Walter Scott Binns J.D. ’05, September 27, 2013. Walter "Scott" Binns III, husband of Betsy Hunter-Binns of Bakersfield, Calif., passed away on Friday, September 27, 2013. He was born June 21, 1969 in Lancaster, Calif., a son of Walter Scott Binns Jr. and Patricia Binns. Scott attended Quartz Hill High School and graduated in 1987. Following high school he attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where he was a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and the Agriculture Marketing Team. He graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Agribusiness in the spring 1993. After a time in the workforce Scott continued his education and attended Santa Clara University to earn his Juris Doctorate in 2005. Upon graduating from Cal Poly, Scott worked as a produce salesperson for a number of firms on the central coast to include Apio Produce Sales of Guadalupe, Newstar Fresh Foods of Salinas and Muranaka Farm of Moorpark. While preparing for the Bar Exam he served an internship with the Honorable Judge Rigali of Santa Maria, Calif. After passing the exam he was employed by the William K. Gamble Law Firm of Santa Maria. Scott then opened the Law Office of Walter "Scott" Binns where he worked until his death. Scott is survived by his loving wife Betsy Hunter-Binns, beautiful daughter Josette Binns, parents Walter Scott Jr. and Patricia Binns, brothers Bob (Shannon) Binns and Jim (Rachel) Binns, sisters Kathleen (Steven) Stevenson, Jennifer (Darrell) Morales and Leslie (Lance) Nelson and his adoring nieces and nephews. Always offering a helping hand, Scott could often be found volunteering in service to a friends cause, be it a school fundraising auction or beautification day. Most recently he and his wife's shared efforts support Panama 4-H Club. In his free time Scott enjoyed hiking, biking and watching sports with friends. Scott was often the life of a party, with an infectious enthusiasm and a welcoming smile.
Cindy Avitia J.D. ’06 worked on staff for Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren J.D. ’75 from 2006 to 2010. She was killed in an automobile accident in Mexico on Aug. 22, 2013. Avitia was a strong advocate for immigration reform.
“As those of us who knew Cindy grieve her tragic loss, we can take pride in the fact that during her short life she did more to promote strong, caring families in our community and advance the cause of justice than many people accomplish in a lifetime dedicated to public service. I am rocked by the tragic news of her passing and feel her loss acutely. I will never forget her.”