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Helga Newman
Sept. 22, 1929 - Jan. 27, 2023
Palo Alto, CA

Helga Newman (neé Newhouse) died on January 27th, Holocaust Remembrance Day at 93 years old. Helga was loving, caring, selfless, devoted to her family, and had a charming, sarcastic wit. She was an amazing mother and grandmother and leaves us all with a gaping hole in our hearts. Helga was born on September 22, 1929 in Vienna, Austria as an only child. In 1939, when she was only 9 years old, she was forced to take the Kindertransport alone to escape the start of WWII. After the bombing started, she was evacuated out of London. It was a difficult life, starting with Scarlet Fever and then being shifted from one foster home to another, many of which had harsh living conditions. After the war was over, she moved to the United States in search of a place for her parents to live. They settled in NY where she met her husband and the love of her life, Lawrence Newman. Helga became a full time mom when Alan and Dena were born. When she wasn’t busy as their champion and chauffeur, she kept active in the PTA, NCJW, and League of Women Voters. In December 1957, Helga became an American citizen. When the kids were old enough, she worked part time at a photography shop and later for an...

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Robert Howard Vierra
Oct. 24, 1926 - Jan. 27, 2023
San Jose, CA

Robert (Bob) Howard Vierra passed away on Friday, January 27, 2023, at his home in San Jose, California. Bob was born on October 24,1926, on a ranch in the small town of Ahualoa, Hawaii. He was the youngest of 8 children to Joseph Vierra and Mary Soares Vierra. Bob graduated from Saint Louis High School in Honolulu. As a young adult he joined the US Army, serving time in Korea. He attended Cal Berkeley and San Jose State University. In 1953, he met the love of his life, Veronica Leandro while in San Francisco. This led to 68 years of marriage and 5 children. They settled in Palo Alto, California and Bob worked diligently at PG&E in San Francisco for 32 years. Bob loved spending time with family and had a wide circle of friends. He enjoyed watching the SF Forty Niners and had a wonderful sense of humor. Bob spent most of his life in California, yet his heart never left Hawaii. He enjoyed visiting the islands and had fond memories of time there. He loved to sing and play his ukulele to family and friends. Bob will be dearly missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his beloved wife Veronica, sons Keith (Catherine), Doug (Nancy), David (Jill), Kenneth, and daughter T...

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Ronald J.P. Lyon
Jan. 15, 1928 - Jan. 17, 2023
Stanford, California

Ronald J.P. Lyon, a Stanford University geologist and pioneer in geological remote sensing, died peacefully at his Stanford, California home on January 17, 2023, a day after celebrating his 95th birthday with his family. Born January 15, 1928 in Northam, Western Australia, Ron was the first of five children born to Hugh and Marjorie Lyon. At age seven, Ron’s life changed dramatically when his father died suddenly, leaving his mother with five young children. Because he had shown academic talent early, Ron was sent to live with relatives for schooling. Summers were spent helping out at his Uncle Phil’s sheep farm. Phil became a surrogate father and taught Ron farming practices while urging him to use his eyes and be aware of the land. Ron believed that his work in geology and geobotany was significantly enhanced by Phil’s teachings. During high school, Ron attended Perth Technical College where a gifted teacher sparked his interest in geology. The class took many trips, cementing Ron’s love for field trips and the outdoors in general. He went on to the University of Western Australia, receiving a B.Sc. Honours Degree in 1949. Following two years as a mining geolog...

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Prescott Alan Thompson
Jan. 1, 1950 - Jan. 15, 2023
Citrus Heights, CA

Prescott took pride being born on the first day of the first week of the first month of the first year of the first decade of the half century. He is the first some on Alan and Verline Thompson of Palo Alto, CA. Prescott has one younger brother, Marshall, who is married to Peggy. They have two children, Ashley and Sean, who are blessed with children, blessing Prescott with several lovely grand nieces. Prescott worked as a route driver and then worked as a checker and photo shop manager. He worked in radio for 37 years - one which were in Arizona and one in Cupertino, CA. He has always been active teaching children swimming and diving including working with the disabled. He retired to Folsom in 2010....

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Genie Laborde Griffin
Feb. 19, 1928 - Jan. 14, 2023
Palo Alto, California

Genie Zylks Laborde-Griffin, age 94, of Palo Alto, California, died peacefully on January 14, 2023. Born on February 19, 1928, in Borger, Texas, and raised in El Dorado, Arkansas, she was the first child of Floyd Weber Zylks and Molsie Lowery. She is survived by 5 of her 7 children, Cliffe F. Laborde (Margaret), Gary L. Laborde (Betsy), John Peter Laborde, Jr. (Renee), Adrienne Laborde Macgowan (Charles), and Kathryn Griffin Wong (Erik). She was preceded in death by her oldest son, John Tracy Laborde (Susan) and by Mark Lee Laborde, who died one day after his birth in 1952. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her brother, Wayne Zylks. Genie spent her formative years growing up in El Dorado, Arkansas, and thereafter attended college at Louisiana State University, where she majored in Fine Arts and received her first of many educational degrees. While at LSU, she met John Peter Laborde and they ultimately married on July 2, 1949. After living in Marksville, Louisiana for a period of time, in 1950 they moved to New Orleans, where over the next 20 years Genie assisted in raising 5 children, the subject of which she wrote...

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Hiroko Mukuda
Nov. 10, 1926 - Jan. 8, 2023
Menlo Park, CA

Hiroko Mukuda passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family. She was one of four children born to Tatsumi Ujihara and Shikae Morioka in Kochi, Japan. Her family had samurai heritage of the Taira clan in the 11th century. Her father worked in the early days of modern structural engineering and traveled extensively with his family. From an early age, Hiroko developed a passion for calligraphy and studied under the master woman calligrapher, Machi Shunso. She also earned her certification in floral art design through the Miyuki Art Flower Studio. Her husband of over 45 years, Shiro Mukuda, was an airline executive for Pan American. Hiroko accompanied her husband around the globe and was as comfortable living overseas as well as at home in Tokyo. In 2000 after her husband’s death, Hiroko moved to Menlo Park to be near her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed life to the fullest even in the weeks before her passing. She loved to cook, regaling her family and friends with home-style Japanese cuisine. She also loved gardening and caring for her orchids. Her family drew strength from her zest for life and indomitable spirit. She is very much missed....

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Joan van Gelder
Dec. 28, 1936 - Dec. 25, 2022
Palo Alto, California

Joan Richardson van Gelder passed away on Dec. 25, 2022 at the age of 85 at home in Palo Alto after lung complications following hospitalization for the flu. She was with family in her final days and at the time of her passing. Joan was born and raised in Boulder, Colo. where she attended Boulder High School and then went on to receive a degree in Medical Technology from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1959. The daughter of educators, Robert IV and Viola Richardson, she was academically inclined and had a passion for learning. After her college graduation from CU Boulder in 1959, she moved to California to pursue a career in medical technology. While living in San Francisco, Joan met her husband, Richard van Gelder, through their church youth group. The two were married in Boulder, Colo. in 1961. They started their family a few years later with their daughter Julie and their son John. Joan spent the majority of her life living in Palo Alto, Calif. with her family. Drawn to the city’s prioritization of education and good school district, she and her family settled into their home there in 1968. Throughout her life, she was a very active member of the Palo Alt...

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Jill Mellick
Aug. 29, 1948 - Dec. 20, 2022
Palo Alto, California

Jill Mellick, Ph.D. (Letty Jill), author, multimedia artist, Jungian psychologist and Professor Emerita, passed away December 20, 2022. Born in Brisbane to Dr. JSD Mellick, OAM, ED, and Letty Katts, pianist and composer of iconic Australian ballads. Jill attended Somerville House, a private school for girls, where she excelled in academics and leadership. When admitted to the University of Queensland, she aspired to cross-disciplinary studies of cultural anthropology, sociology, psychology, English, French, languages and music. Those ambitions were squashed by an advisor, so she chose English Literature and Language and French. She earned a scholarship for her Honours degree (i.e. graduate degree) which took her to New Guinea, to live with the Foré and Atzera tribes. She was invited to be Editor of “Makar”, the university’s literary magazine, and taught Creative Writing to elementary students in the summers. There she discovered her love of using multimodal ways to awaken creative expression in others. After graduate studies, she accepted a senior teaching position at Clayfield College, where she transformed the English and French curriculae with i...

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Michael Stanley Putterman
1938 - Dec. 18, 2022
Woodside, California

Michael Stanley Putterman, known to most as Coach, passed away on December 18, 2022. As I think back on my dad’s life, I think about all the things he loved. Travel, the Woodside Fire Board, The Bay Club, running marathons, but most of all his family and friends. His love of life was contagious and to know him was to love him. He touched so many lives in his 84 years, and as his daughter I couldn’t be prouder and more honored to have called him dad. To everyone who has been a part of my dad’s life, thank you. You all were his greatest joy. Dad, we will love you always and miss you forever, but will continue to smile because that is what you would insist upon....

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Nancy Sallaberry
April 16, 1955 - Dec. 18, 2022
Menlo Park, California

Nancy Williams Sallaberry April 16, 1955-December 18, 2022 After a courageous, nearly eight-year battle with ALS, Menlo Park resident Nancy Sallaberry passed peacefully in her home on December 18, 2022. Her devoted husband of 38 years Paul Sallaberry; her three sons Marc, Luc, and Daniel Sallaberry; daughter-in-law Brittany Sallaberry, and grandson Chase, were by her side. Nancy is survived by her three treasured siblings: brother Ron Williams and his wife Joyce; sister Victoria Evans; and brother Reese Williams and his wife Fran. Nancy also was the beloved sister-in-law of Denise Sallaberry and her husband Peter Wilk, and Jack Sallaberry and his wife Sue, as well as a wonderful aunt to many nieces and nephews. Nancy was born in Marin County in 1955 to the late Reese and Marge Williams; the family later moved to Saratoga, Calif. where Nancy and her siblings grew up. At Saratoga High School Nancy excelled at five sports, reigned as homecoming queen, and made dear, lifelong friends. She then attended the University of California, Davis, where she played intercollegiate volleyball and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics, complementing her already outstanding...

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Richard "Ben" Karrol Bodding Jr.
Aug. 26, 1947 - Dec. 9, 2022
Rocklin, California

Richard “Ben” Karrol Bodding Jr. passed away December 9, 2022 in Roseville, California at the age of 75. Ben was born and raised in Palo Alto where he attended Fairmeadow Elementary, Wilbur Junior High, and graduated from Cubberley High School with the class of 1965. He went on to earn an AA degree at Foothill College in 1967 and a Bachelor of Science degree from Sacramento State College in the fall of 1970, with an emphasis in broadcasting and journalism. Ben’s love for sports began when he was five, with baseball as his favorite pastime. His passion was nurtured by his baseball loving parents. He played Little League, Babe Ruth League baseball, and then continued with the sport throughout his college years, leaving his mark as a record-setting pitcher. He was part of five straight championship teams, one at Foothill and four with the Sacramento Hornets (two as a student assistant coach). Ben started his newspaper career at age 14 as a student intern for both the Redwood City Tribune and the Palo Alto Times sports departments. While at Sacramento State, he became a member of the Sacramento Bee staff for 10 years, serving as the high school sports editor before lea...

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Marguerite Kramer
Oct. 4, 1931 - Nov. 22, 2022
Palm Desert, CA

Marguerite Crabités Kramer, known to her friends as Petie, passed away at home in Palm Desert on November 22, 2022 at the age of 91 having lived a long and fulfilled life. Daughter of Henry and Frederica Crabités, Petie was born in New Orleans in 1931, grew up in Aldie, Virginia and received secretarial training at Mary Washington College. As a young woman she worked in Washington, D.C., married the late John J Kramer in 1954, living in Endicott, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Frankfort, Germany, Minneapolis and Atherton, California moving with her husband’s career in the burgeoning computer business. She worked for many years in the President’s Office and the Hoover Institute at Stanford University and retired in the late 1990s. Through mutual friends, she met widower Alan Stearns, with whom she traveled extensively and built a life together in Palm Desert and Catalina Island. Her spirited adventurousness led her around the world, and through many challenges. She was a figure skater, an avid skier, tennis player and rose gardener, an accomplished seamstress, she loved the stage, was always ready for the next dance, adored cats of all kinds, and generously express...

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Frank Michael Sowerwine
April 25, 1966 - Nov. 20, 2022
Alameda, California

Long-time Alameda resident Frank Michael “Mike” Sowerwine passed away at home after a valiant six-year battle with ALS on November 20, 2022. He was 56. Mike was born in New York City to David and Heide Sowerwine and spent much of his early childhood in Indonesia and Honduras, something he attributed to giving him a worldly view. When he was 13, both parents remarried. Heide married Jerry Vriesenga and David married Haydi, expanding the number of siblings he had from one (his sister Jenny) to seven (Todd, Jeff and Stacie Vriesenga, and Tony, Nelt “Ed”, and Matthew Curci). Mike moved from Menlo Park with his Dad and his new combined family to Salinas for a few years. He played varsity soccer, ran track, and participated in the Boy Scouts, graduating from Salinas High in 1984. During his high school summers, Mike lived with Heide and Jerry in Hawaii, working the pineapple fields alongside Todd. He attributed the personal balance he found in his life to being raised by two loving but different sets of parents. Mike graduated from UC Davis in 1989 and joined the forensic accounting firm HSNO, where he enjoyed assisting people and businesses for over 30 yea...

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Bobbe Jordan
March 2, 1936 - Sept. 23, 2022
Portola Valley, CA

She was born and raised in Piedmont, CA with 3 younger brothers. After Piedmont High, she went to UCSB and earned a degree in Biology. While there she met the amazing Bob Jordan who claimed to have ‘saved her from drowning in the shallow end of the pool .’ As his wife she became mother of four lucky children, Tim, Kevin, Jill, and Becky. She raised her own kids along with running an in-home daycare that opened her home and heart to all of Portola Valley’s children. Bobbe rarely sat down, hosting athletes and students from abroad. Bobbe also had a strong love for the outdoors. She enjoyed traveling near and far, whether in Lake Tahoe, Sedona or visiting state and national parks. She loved tapping into her imagination influenced by the work of Muir, Steinbeck, and Bob Jordan. Bobbe shared her limitless love of life with close friends, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She lived by her values shaped by faith and love of nature. Step lightly on the earth. Don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Leave a place better than when you arrived. We will meet again Bobbe , maybe on Windy Hill....

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Owen Peck
March 7, 1925 - Sept. 7, 2022
Palm Springs, California

Owen Calvin Peck was born at home in Kansas City, Kansas on March 7, 1925 and passed away peacefully in Palm Springs, California on September 7, 2022. Owen was the second youngest of six children. As a boy Owen was talented athletically and in demand for races and teams of all sorts. After graduating from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City he went on to attend the University of Kansas from 1944 to 1947. Owen played basketball at KU for the legendary coach Phog Allen, became a star player making the all-conference team thus developing a lifelong love of the sport. Owen earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas Medical School in 1951. As a doctor, the Navy accepted him during the Korean War. While in the Navy Owen interned at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Owen spent three years in the Navy, training as a radiological, bacteriological and chemical warfare officer. After being stationed in Nevada, Oregon, and Hawaii, Owen was discharged from the Navy in 1954. Owen was then accepted as a fellow-in-training in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. For the rest of his life Owen held a deep admiration for the insti...

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Most recent memorials

Ann T. Ozer
Sept. 11, 1935 - Jan. 10, 2023 Palo Alto, California

Ann Teitler Ozer died peacefully at age 87 on January 10th at her home in Palo Alto. Ann embodied a go-getter spirit of living life to the fullest, always seeking connections with people and ideas. She will be remembered as a scholar, a social activist, a loving and supportive mother to her five...

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Marie La Barbera Zahn
Sept. 3, 1924 - Jan. 9, 2023 Atherton, California

A native San Franciscan and the only child of the late John and Caroline La Barbera, Marie attended Immaculate Conception Academy and San Francisco City College. Her last 50 years were spent in Atherton in a home she and her late husband built together. Marie would credit her life-long involveme...

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Donald E. Ryan
April 19, 1929 - Jan. 6, 2023 Palo Alto, California

Donald Eugene Ryan, custom home builder, apartment builder, land developer and accomplished tennis player passed away on January 6, 2023 at the age of 93. Beloved father, grandfather and great grandfather to 6 children, 17 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, all of whom are grateful to hav...

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Iraida B. Espinosa
Feb. 22, 1918 - Jan. 5, 2023 Stanford and Los Altos, California

Iraida Busó Espinosa, a longtime resident of Stanford, passed away peacefully in her Los Altos home on January 5, 2023, a month shy of her 105th birthday. A musician, mother, teacher, and community volunteer, Iraida had boundless energy, loved spending time with family and friends, and believed in ...

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