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Class Notes | Obituaries

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Showing obituaries submitted anytime by graduates in 2006

2006

'06
Matthew Lightner

Matthew Lightner ’06, of San Ramon, Calif., passed away Dec. 25, 2011. He was the founder of Site5, a web hosting company that he started at the age of 14.

submitted Jan. 5, 2012 4:45P
GRD Law '06
Cindy Avitia

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.

According to the Chihuahua, Mexico newspaper Tiempo, the accident occurred near the city of Parral in northern Mexico. Avitia, 33, was traveling in a black Chevrolet Suburban from San José de la Boca, Durango to El Paso, Texas. Her four-year-old daughter Dalia and two-year-old son Carlos, along with Chairez Consuelo Guzman and the driver of the vehicle, Carlos Avila Palacios, 78 , were injured.
 
An immigration attorney, Avitia was board chair of Alpha Public Schools, a network of public charter college preparatory secondary schools founded in 2010.
 
She graduated from Stanford University in 1993, with a B.A. in Political Science and received her law degree in public interest and social justice law from Santa Clara University’s School of Law. She also served on the board of the Somos Mayfair community organization.
 
Rep. Lofgren issued the following statement:
 
“It is with profound sadness that I and my office learned the news of the passing of our former colleague and friend Cindy Avitia. All of us who knew and worked with Cindy are shocked and devastated by her passing. Cindy was uncommonly bright, dedicated and caring. I valued her dedication to family, community and justice. During the four years Cindy served on my San Jose staff I learned to admire not only her intelligence and education but her tremendous commitment to community. My prayers are with her husband, Jose, her two beautiful young children, her parents, and all Cindy’s family, friends and colleagues who are mourning her loss.

“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.”

submitted Sep. 6, 2013 3:25P
'06
Alice Joy

Alice Joy BA ’06 of San Francisco passed away on May 18, 2012.

submitted Jun. 12, 2012 6:13P
GRD Jesuit School of Theology '06
Alejandro Garcia-Rivera

Alejandro García-Rivera, faculty member at the Jesuit School of Theology, passed away on Dec. 13, 2010 after a long illness. He inspired many to think freely, inquire uninhibitedly, and believe wholly. Originally from Cuba, his life path took many twists and turns – from a Boeing engineer trained in physics, to Lutheran minister and social activist, to esteemed scholar and author who embraced the Jesuit way of life.

García-Rivera joined the faculty of the Jesuit School of Theology in 1993 as a professor of systematic theology. His scholarship as a theologian bridged the disciplines of science and religion. “I believe wholeheartedly that we must begin to see the interconnectedness of the world, to grasp its complexity, even if our intellectual traditions have conditioned us to seek a different type of grasping,” he said. He often used the term “interlacing,” which he described as the artful weaving of various perspectives across disciplines to gain an insight greater than any of its components. “Everything is interconnected, and I believe God gave me such a broad journey in life so I could see the connections,” he said. García-Rivera was one of the founders of a joint JST-SCU colloquium on science, art, and religion with colleagues from JST, the SCU School of Engineering, and the SCU College of Arts and Sciences. Earlier this year, García-Rivera received the GTU’s highest honor presented to a teacher, the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award, as well as a President’s Special Recognition Award at Santa Clara. He was also one of the most important voices in the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States. Beloved as a teacher at the JST’s Instituto Hispano summer training institute for Hispanic ministry, he dedicated much of his life to supporting marginal communities. García-Rivera always started a course he taught in Theology and Human Suffering by saying, “It’s hard to teach a class where everybody’s an expert…because who hasn’t suffered?” For García-Rivera, however, suffering wasn’t all about gloom, unpleasantness, and pain. He saw beauty in suffering. Because if you can’t see that, he said, “there’s just one alternative left … and that’s despair.”

 

Here is one of García-Rivera’s favorite poems, written by Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things—

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;

And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled, (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose Beauty is past change:

Praise Him.

submitted Jan. 10, 2011 2:36P

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