Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in the last year by graduates in 1969
Richard J. Conner ’69 was born April 2, 1947 and died Nov. 11, 2012. He was a resident of San Ramon. A fighter to the end, Rich finallly ran out of credits at the video poker machine of life and succumbed to glioblastoma after a fierce battle with the disease. Predeceased by his father Glease Conner in 1982 and his mother Euphrasia (Lillie) by only seven days, he is survived by his daughter Shannon (Tom), brother Bill (Joan), Fiance Cynthia, nephew Michael and niece Elizabeth Walker. Rich was born and raised in San Rafael and grew up in the house his father was born in, back in 1912. He had a love for fishing, gambling, music and his all time favorite, his work-outs at Club Sport of San Ramon. Rich was a graduate of Marin Catholic High School in 1965 and Santa Clara University in 1969. His first job was selling photocopiers for IBM, where he made a name for himself and was soon hired by Ethicon. The last 25 years of his life he worked for Hill-Rom, earning several prestigious awards and superior sales achievements. A well kept secret, Rich was an accomplished ballroom dancer and he and Cynthia spent many nights at Top of the Mark in San Francisco dancing the night away. He will be deeply missed by those he mentored and loved, both professionally and personally.
Mary Catherine Kornei ’69 was a doctor who still made house calls. She cared deeply about her patients, visiting them on weekends and sleeping lightly so that she could be there for them at a moment's notice. Dr. Kornei, a longtime Los Altos resident and South Bay native, died April 30 of complications from lymphoma. She was 65. Dr. Kornei's family, friends and colleagues described her as a positive soul with an affinity for the outdoors, talented and passionate across a range of activities. She hiked regularly spoke French fluently loved her cats enjoyed cooking, sewing, reading, gardening, and according to husband Tom, even hanging clothes outside on the line to dry. She was often seen bicycling in her white lab coat to and from her office near El Camino Hospital. The daughter of Elizabeth and Dr. Vernon Schulein, a medical internist, Dr. Kornei grew up with her brother, John, in Willow Glen. She took ballet and piano lessons, participated in Girl Scouts and enjoyed hikes in the woods with her family. She attended Sacred Heart High School in Menlo Park and completed her undergraduate work in English and French at Santa Clara University in 1969. She lived in Aix-en-Provence, France, for two years after college and kept her French-language skills current. Dr. Kornei joined a Sierra Club bicycle trip along the Feather River in Northern California in 1973. On that trip, she met Tom Kornei, an electrical engineer who owned a small computer hardware company in Cupertino. The couple began dating before she enrolled at Yale Medical School in 1976. They were married at Stanford Memorial Church in July 1977 and moved to Los Altos. Dr. Kornei completed her medical residency at Stanford University in 1980 and began working in the Cupertino Clinic. The Korneis welcomed their first child, Katherine, in 1984. Dr. Kornei opened a private practice on Hospital Drive near El Camino Hospital in 1985. A second child, Mark, joined the family in 1988. Dr. Kornei was often on call. She wanted her patients to receive the best care and always made time for them. Even as a regular attendee sitting in one of the front pews at Los Altos United Methodist Church, she often quietly slipped out to answer a vibrating call from her answering service. Dr. Kornei worked at her private practice until her retirement in 2009. She was passionate in her love for medicine beyond any economic ramifications, Tom said, recounting how his wife called patients in the evening at home to share lab results and provided many services pro bono. She biked to work with side baskets containing medical charts. Dr. Kornei's friends and patients knew her as a caring, positive person with a beautiful smile. She sent thank-you notes for even the smallest kindnesses. Her son, Mark, said dinners at 8 p.m. were commonplace growing up, because that's when mom finished caring for her patients. He remembers as a child hauling around mailing tubs full of files in hospital corridors, trailing his mom as she made rounds. Patient care wasn't a job it was a passion, but so was bread baking, travel and everything else she did in a life that was lived to the fullest. That passion rubbed off on my sister and myself, Mark said. Dr. Kornei's daughter, Katherine, recalled important lessons learned from mom—the thrill of growing vegetables in the garden, the joy of travel and not being afraid of trying new experiences. I loved watching her test her language skills and pick up a guide book to explore a foreign city, she said. I remember wandering around the backroads of Venice with her and going into a glass-blowing shop on the island of Murano to view an artist at work. Longtime friend and colleague Dr. Cesar Molina called Dr. Kornei a very courageous person who took life's challenges head on and approached death the same way. He said he received an email from her about visiting one last time before her journey so she could say goodbye. Dr. Kornei is survived by husband Tom, daughter Katherine, son Mark, mother Elizabeth Schulein, brother John Schulein, nephew Greg Schulein and niece Michelle Parsons.
Laurence Edward Daniels ’69 was killed on Oct. 19, 2013. doing one of the things he loved most. He was a problem solver, an engineer who dedicated his work life to making rail travel more efficient and safe. He was born in Pasadena California on October 15, 1947. He grew up with his parents, Victor and Gertrude and his sister Marie Therese in Sierra Madre. He received his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Santa Clara University. He married Joyce A. (Reynolds) Daniels ’69 while finishing his degree and had two daughters, Sarah and Amber Daniels. He was immediately employed by the railroad industry to inspect track, starting with the Western Pacific in the East Bay.
James Mark Thirlwell MBA ’69 was born in 1940 in Louisville, KY, but spent most of his life in Florida. He was the son of a Baptist preacher, and lived in various places; such as, St. Augustine, Brooksville and Jacksonville. His last 38 years were in Merritt Island. Mark graduated from high school in Jacksonville and received his Bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Florida, where he developed his passion for the Gators. He spent four years in the Navy as an officer, flight navigator and in tactical Seal training. He received his MBA from the University of Santa Clara in California before returning to Jacksonville. In 1972, while on Naval Reserve duty in Virginia, he met Catherine Jean DuVal, and they married on March 3, 1973. Mark and Cathy moved to Merritt Island in September 1974. They were longtime members of Georgianna United Methodist Church and returned to Merritt Island Presbyterian Church in 2008. They both worked at Patrick Air Force Base where Mark worked with a few contractors before spending the last several years with the Federal government as a financial analyst. He retired in 2002. The light of Mark's life was the birth of two children: Diana, who lives in Tallahassee with her husband, John Lane, and two beautiful children: Wyatt (4) and Stella (10 mos.); and David, who lives in Coconut Creek with his wife, Staci, and son, James (1 +). Mark was a kind-hearted, intelligent, honest and hard-working person who approached life with tremendous enthusiasm and integrity. He loved nature, travelling, politics, watching sunsets in his yard on the Indian River, and Banjo, his dog. One of his favorite things was reminiscing with his buddies telling and retelling stories of their many adventures: working at Yellowstone National Park as a short-order cook, testing scuba gear in a baptismal pool... He and Cathy, usually along with the kids, shared wonderful trips to England, France, Italy, Germany, Costa Rica, Hawaii and Seychelles. Mark was an excellent carpenter. He enjoyed building furniture for his family and neighbors, and built their house on Two Oaks Boulevard with little outside help. He often dreamed up inventions and, in fact, made an effort to get a patent on a solar-powered energy condenser. He created, packaged and distributed a dry rub for meat, called 12 Gauge, before the mainstream versions became available on supermarket shelves. Vibrant and extremely healthy, this rapid illness has shocked us all! Less than a month after the onset of what would be the final stages of this illness, and only days following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, Mark made the choice to return to his beloved home. Here, surrounded by the love of his family; his dog, Banjo; the prayers of his many friends and loved ones; and the beautiful river views, Mark drifted peacefully to heaven early in the morning of January 15th. He was undoubtedly welcomed with open arms by our heavenly Father, who surely has some greater purpose in mind. Perhaps He's put him to work-- he'd love nothing more! Mark was an exceptional man. His legacy will live on in his family, friends and all those whose lives he touched, and whose lives his works continue to touch. He will be greatly missed. "What is morality, she asked. Judgement to distinguish right and wrong, vision to see the truth, and courage to act upon it, dedication to that which is good, integrity to stand by the good at any price." -- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged