Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted anytime by graduates in 1994
Victor Valdez ’84, M.A. ’94 51, lay ecclesial minister and long-time catechetical leader who achieved Master Catechist status last year, died on July 17, 2013. He had suffered for many years from the effects of recurring brain tumors.
Wendy Scherbart, Director of Catechetical Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, said, “Over the 30 years I have known Victor, he has shown me how to put my trust in God. He lived with integrity and hope while carrying recurring health challenges.
“Victor chose to discern the will of God each day. He strived to do the will of God and now is fully united with God. I thank him for inspiring us with his courage and deep faith.”
Scherbart said that Victor had just made his second trip to Lourdes in May with the Knights of Malta and that he was seeking peace. “He told me that the day he went to the baths he didn’t want to hurry, but to be fully present to the experience.
“As he stepped through the waters, he felt sensations, the temperature, the placement of each foot, and he emerged feeling a deep peace,” Scherbart said.
At Valdez’s funeral Mass, July 24, at Santa Teresa Church, San Jose, Father Jose Antonio Rubio M.A. ’95, STD ’06 gave the homily, noting the Gospel reading, John 6: 37-40, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
Father Rubio said Victor “had recurring benign brain tumors and had 12 surgeries — some 13 hours — until they couldn’t operate anymore. He had the tumors for more than half his life, but he did a lot in a life.
“Even as a boy Victor carried his cross. When he was born, an ear was partially developed and he endured a number of surgeries. When he was in grammar school, he was hit by a car, broke his hip and was in a cast for six months.”
“Victor had a strong faith,” Father Rubio said. “From his Mexican heritage he had great faith in Our Lady of Guadalupe, and he got strength from the writings and spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. After he was diagnosed with the tumors, he dedicated his life to God, working for the Church. He always paid attention to how God was working in his life.”
Valdez worked at St. John Vianney, St. Athanasius, St. Denis (Menlo Park) as Director of Religious Education, at the University of Santa Clara as a resident minister in the dorms and with the alumni association. He planned retreats, gave talks and workshops at faith formation conferences in San Francisco, Santa Clara and Ariz.
Father Rubio said, “Victor carried his cross behind Jesus, but he carried his cross like Jesus. The cross of Jesus changed the universe and lead to resurrection, his resurrection, Victor’s resurrection, our resurrection.
“Victor saw life as a pilgrimage. He liked to travel and went to Lourdes twice, to Fatima, and to Madrid for World Youth Day in 2011. He had
been looking forward to WYD Brazil this year.
“When he returned from Madrid he wrote an article for The Valley Catholic recalling standing in rain all night and sleeping on cement. He quoted the very text that was tonight’s Gospel reading, and he concluded: If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Victor wrote, “I know the call of Jesus calls for total commitment requiring great sacrifice. What we experienced at World Youth Day was an opportunity to trust in the Lord who never abandons us. In an exhibit along a Madrid parkway, we saw life-size reproductions of the Stations of the Cross. It is through the cross that we are led to freedom.”
“Free at last, Victor, free at last!” Father Rubio concluded.
Robert George Langsner MA ’94, passed away November 21, 2011. Born August 3, 1940, in Pasadena, Calif., to George Langsner of Brooklyn, New York, and Eileen Mary Johnston Langsner of County Cork, Ireland. He earned his bachelor of science in mathematics in 1962 from the California Institute of Technology and later earned a master of science in computer engineering from Santa Clara University. Robert was a pioneer in the early technology industry and led a storied career working initially for Aerojet and then for Scientific Data Systems, which later became Xerox Data Systems and finally Honeywell Large Information Systems. During this time Robert represented Honeywell on the American National Standards Institute for Fortran, for several years. Work and family eventually brought him to Reno, where he worked as a lecturer in mathematics and computer science at the University of Nevada, Reno and as a consultant to then-Sierra Pacific Power Company. In later years, Robert volunteered as a math tutor to calculus classes at Reno High School. Robert took immense joy from his time at the University of Nevada, especially when teaching and advising students; as an advisor he took particular care to reach out to the foreign graduate students he worked with. Robert also enjoyed sharing the university with his children, by introducing them to his students and colleagues, by showing them his intellectual pursuits, and by imparting to them his joy of learning. Later, through his volunteering, Robert enjoyed sharing his passion with the high school students he helped. As a young man Robert's curiosity led him to travel often to Europe and the Pacific Islands, and later in life he again pursued this joy. Above all else, Robert loved being a father. He took great pride in being a dad, and he loved his children dearly. Beginning with his tenure at the university and thereafter, Robert loved to take his family to UNR basketball and football games and especially loved watching his children learn and enjoy the games. Robert was a warm person who shall be remembered by his family and friends as someone who cared greatly for the well being of others. He is survived by his wife Margaret Slattery; children Patrick Reuther, Mary Langsner (Alain VTron), and Robert Langsner; granddaughter Paityn Reuther; cherished cousins Tom Popovich and Mike Johnston, among many others; sister Noreen Briggs; many dear friends; and several nieces and nephews.
Paul Siggins M.S. ’94 was a resident of Santa Clara. Born September 21, 1960 in San Jose, died at home in Santa Clara July 28, 2012 of melanoma cancer after a brave and valiant 6 month fight with family and friends at his side. He is survived by his devoted wife, soul mate, and best friend of 21 years Karen Siggins. Loving son of Hugh (deceased), and Frances Siggins. Caring brother of Carol (deceased), Gary (Barbara), Bruce (Laura). Cherished son in law of Irene Capurso. Brother in Law of John & Alan Field. Dear nephew of Don & Kathy Sindel. Uncle of many nieces and nephews. Lifelong friend of David Lowery. Paul was warm, patient & kind. He had a loving, good natured disposition & effervescent zest for life. Although death took him at age 51, Paul lived life to the fullest and experienced more than most people do over a long lifetime. He & Karen traveled the world together. He especially loved cruising, reading, & watching the 49ers with his BFF Dave. He was a huge animal lover. Paul was a well respected & talented Electrical Engineer who enjoyed his job. He rec'd his BSEE from San Jose State, and his MSEE from Santa Clara University. Paul was most recently employed by Alara, Intellidx, and Thermo Fisher.
Lori Kipp '94 passed away on March 26, 2011 at the age of 38. She lived her life to the fullest even though she battled stoically with the genetic disease, Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Lori was born and raised in Monterey, Calif., graduated from Monterey High School in 1990 and from Santa Clara University in 1994. She was a resident of Pacifica, Calif. and worked many years for the Peninsula Family YMCA in San Mateo. Lori was an avid and knowledgeable Giants baseball fan. She also loved traveling, especially to Europe and to Disney World with her family. After being diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at nearly 5 years of age, Lori and her family became very involved with CF fundraising and educational activities. Recently, she helped to establish an Adult Cystic Fibrosis Advisory Council at Stanford Medical Center, with the hope of improving the quality of care, both within the hospital and in the clinical setting. Lori always made the best of what Cystic Fibrosis dealt her, never complaining, just accepting and moving on. The many tributes on her Facebook page are wonderful testimonials to a life generously and courageously lived. Sadly too late for her, Lori was put on the fast track path to a lung transplant which she and her family hoped would give her a life free of the lung disease she had always fought so hard to overcome.
Gary D. Mizak '94, a resident of San Francisco, Calif., passed away at 47 on Tuesday May 5, 2009. He was born February 6, 1962 in Erie, the son of the late George and Kathleen Wassel Mizak. Gary was a 1980 graduate of McDowell High School and Penn State University. He later earned his master's degree from Santa Clara University. For the past 24 years, he has lived in California and had been working in the Finance department of Levi Strauss & Co. He loved his dog and enjoyed traveling the world. Most recently he was learning to speak Spanish. Gary is survived by a sister, LeeAnn McDonald, and her husband Glenn of Erie, and three brother: David B. Mizak of Akron, Ohio; Kevin G. Mizak and his wife Kathy of Russell, Pa., and George Mizak of Pittsburgh. He is the uncle of Lindsy and Kimberly McDonald and Mark, Kara, Greg, and Alexa Mizak. Also surviving is an aunt, uncles and cousins.
Cynthia D. Waddell J.D. ’94, resident of Danville, 60, passed away Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in Danville, Calif. She was born on May 3, 1952 in Long Beach, Calif., the first child of Charles and Vaun Del Bonney. A graduate of the University of Southern California (BA) and Santa Clara University (JD), Cynthia was the Executive Director of the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet, and a world-renowned advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities. She is survived by her husband, Thomas Waddell; by two daughters, Elizabeth Waddell and Christina Thompson; by her granddaughter, Julia Garcia; by her brother, Timothy Bonney; by her sister, Annette Van Vliet; and by numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Craig Hampton '94 passed away January 29, 2010, after an inspiring fight against a rare spinal cancer. Craig was born December 17, 1971, the youngest of six children, and raised in Simi Valley, California. He graduated with a marketing degree from Santa Clara University in 1994, and relocated from California to Spokane in 1997. Craig spent 15 years in the software solutions business. His passions included golf, fly fishing, and he was a well-decorated soccer player: "Bone" (AKA #4) was named an All-American as a senior at Simi Valley High School (1990), was US U-20 Men's National Team captain, and two-time captain at Santa Clara University. He also played for the Palo Alto Firebirds and Spokane Shadow (USISL), and San Jose Grizzlies (CISL). A loving husband to Kristina, and father to Madisen (10), Samantha (9), Landen (6) and Monroe (5), Craig enjoyed being involved withand supporting his children in their many activities. He found great comfort and love with Kristina, his family and friends, especially during the last months of his courageous battle. Craig is also survived by his parents, Wes and Sandy, whose devotion to their son's care was unparalleled; his sisters: Leslie Elkins (Rob), Kerri Rasmussen (KL), and Cindi Kramer (Chris); and brothers: Wes and Kevin (Nydia) and many extended family members.
Betty Jane Rank M.A. '94, Sept. 1, 2013. A resident of Walnut Creek, Betty Jane Rank was born in Benicia on Sept 6, 1923. Betty Jane attended St Bernard Grammar School in Oakland, graduated from Holy Names High School in Oakland, then earned a BA Degree from Holy Names College in Oakland in 1945. In 1957, she received a Masters degree in Social Work from UC Berkeley. In her retirement, she capped off her education with a Masters degree in Theological Studies from Santa Clara University. During her career, Betty Jane worked for the City of Oakland Recreation Department, the Oakland Council of Camp Fire Girls, the Denver Council of Camp Fire Girls, and the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Oakland. She was the first director of Tallmadge Hamilton House for senior citizens in Seattle, and spent 23 years with the Santa Clara County Department of Social Services. She often "moonlighted" as an adult education teacher and as a consultant on the aging. Betty Jane never married. Family and friends were her primary focus. Travel was an important part of her life. She traveled to and hiked in many parts of the world. The Sierra Club provided a vehicle for the outdoor activity she so enjoyed. Yosemite provided a setting that she never grew tired of. She did a lot of volunteer work with the Red Cross and with her parish church. Betty Jane moved to Rossmoor in Jan 1997 after living in San Jose for 34 years. She was a member of St. Anne's Church, and participated in ministries as her health permitted. Betty Jane is survived by a nephew, two nieces, one great nephew, four great nieces, two great, great nephews, two great, great nieces, and many first cousins and their extended families. We all loved her and will miss her.