Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in last 6 months
Sam J. Alaimo '44, '47, 93, passed away peacefully in his home on April 26, 2015. He was blessed to have celebrated his birthday a week before with his eight children, their spouses, and many of his 17 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He was born in San Jose to immigrant parents who arrived from Sicily in 1912 and was the fifth of six children. He attended St. Patrick's Elementary School, San Jose High School, and Santa Clara University on a hard-earned four-year college scholarship. His SCU Class of '44 was known as the "Fighting 40s," as most of them had to leave the University their junior year to either enlist or be drafted during WWII. He attended his 70th college reunion last October, when he was honored with this very special group of men.
Sam was trained as an officer after enlisting in the Army. He was a unit commander, field artillery, stationed in the Philippines and Japan. His basketball skills qualified him to both coach and become a key player on the military basketball team which won the Army Olympics in front of 18,000 fans, mostly troops.
Long before he became an early Warren Buffett investor and a wealthy philanthropist, Lee Seemann '42 was a 23-year-old from Omaha piloting a B-17 over Germany. Seemann, a decorated war hero who often called himself “an incredibly lucky guy,” died on June 2, 2015, in Omaha. He was 95.
Seemann was born May 10, 1920, in Minnesota, but his father, a car dealer, soon moved the family to Omaha. Lee attended Dundee Elementary and Central High, class of ’38. At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, he played football at Santa Clara University in California, where he took part in ROTC and was president of the senior class. After World War II, in which he survived a number of close calls, he met Willa Davis, who immediately liked him.
Seemann bombed the Normandy coast on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and flew his final mission on Aug. 9. Some 30,000 American airmen based in England died in the war, but Seemann enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with his mother in Omaha.He received the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross (twice), the Purple Heart and the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters. He recounts his harrowing tales in his 1998 memoir with David Harding, titled I Thought We Were Goners.
Lee became a branch manager at International Harvester and later started his own business, Seemann Truck and Trailer.Willa’s father was a prominent Omaha urologist, Dr. Edwin Davis. He and the Seemanns, still in their 20s, invested with Buffett in the late 1950s and built large fortunes. Over the years, Lee and Willa Seemann have donated quietly to universities, hospitals, museums, churches and other charities. In the 1990s, they were major contributors to the Strategic Air & Space Museum. They also donated to his high school, and a decade ago Central named its new football facility Seemann Stadium.
In 2000, Seemann underwent heart bypass surgery. In recent times he was in hospice care, and his wife said he died from various old-age ailments.
William T. Olson Jr. ’54 was fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church on Nov. 1, 2014. He passed away on Nov. 2, 2014. Beloved husband to the late Mary C. "Kitty" Olson (nee Cunningham); devoted and loving father of William T. Olson III, Edwin J. (Mary) and Caroline M. Olson; dear brother of James A. Olson (Jody) and the late John M. Olson; dear brother-in-law of Nancy Olson; beloved grandfather of Will, Taylor, Grace, Michael and Julia; dear uncle and cousin, and friend to many. He was born July 25, 1933.
Theodore Martin Welp '55 and Dolores Elaine (Bruno) Welp of Boise, ID, died Sunday, March 8, 2015, unexpectedly and tragically in their home. Ted was born in Colma, CA on June 13, 1934. Elaine was born in her Grandmother Rose's cabin at the base of Mount Borah in Custer County, ID on May 8, 1938. They were devoted to each other for 57 years, and through the combination of Ted's optimism and Elaine's love, they created a truly incredible life together. They were devoted parents to their four children, making numerous life choice to guarantee that their deaf son Tom had a life full of opportunities and experiences equal to those available to their other children.
As a kid, Ted work with his father Martin in the landscaping and walnut growing businesses. He attended Santa Clara University on a baseball scholarship, going on to play baseball for the US Army team. He loved playing golf and had a 7 handicap. He never met a dessert he didn't like; one of his favorites was a chocolate dipped ice cream cone. He was lauded as a financial genius, working for GE, PG&E, TEP and Alamito. To his kids he was just Dad.
Elaine was a fantastic cook, a member of the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild, an avid reader, and proud of her rough and tumble Mackay roots. She was an early advocate and supporter of the value of sign language for the deaf, as well as an early and continuous supporter for the Community Outreach Program for the Deaf in Tucson, AZ. Elaine also directed the Dove Foundation which supported various causes, many of which focused on eye research, Catholic charities and the deaf and blind community. Mom's cowgirl spirit brought them back to Idaho in the early 90's, where she and Ted spent summers in Stanley, ID surrounded by the peace and beauty of nature, and the love of their children, grandchildren and friends. In our family, there were two spoken rules: education is number 1, and always take care of your family. There was also an unspoken rule: love as big as you can.
They are survived by their children and their children's spouses, Katherine (Jim) Nesci, George (Tiffany Roberts) Welp, and Lori (Guy) Hudson. In addition they are survived by their grandchildren who they loved dearly, Katie, Clay, Lily, Evy, Alexandra, Victoria, Ean, Dylan and Jace, as well as Ted's sister and her spouse, Rosie (Joe) Keebler, his brother-in-law Harold Schulz and their nephews and nieces: Kenneth P. Schulz '81, Douglas, Audrey, Katie and Paula. They were preceded in death by their son Martin Theodore Welp who died of complications soon after birth; and died at the same time as their devoted and caring son, Tom. They were also preceded in death by their parents, Martin and Paula Welp, George and Miriam Bruno, and Ted's sister Betty Schulz.
Victor A. Bertolani '56, J.D. '60, an influential lawyer and educator who opened doors to the legal profession for many judges, prosecutors, and litigators, died April 5 of an aortic abdominal aneurysm, his family said. He was 80.
James Patrick Connolly '61, M.S. '72 was born in Oakland in 1938 to James P. and Mamie W. Connolly. He attended Napa Union High School and graduated in 1956 and married Sharon in 1997. James passed away in San Jose on February 2, 2015. He was a retired engineer and manager whose career spanned 49 years at NASA, managing the design and development of Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and small spacecraft payloads. He joined the Peace Corps in 1964, and spent 2 years working on road and building projects in Tanzania. He graduated from Santa Clara University with an MS in Electrical Engineering in 1972. James is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Sharon and his children Tim Connolly of Campbell, Thad Connolly of Oakland, and Michael Sommese of San Jose.
Robert B. Yonts '63, J.D. '68, who served as a Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge for 13 years and spent more than two decades in private practice before that, died April 9, 2015. He was 73 and a resident of Soquel. Yonts served in the U.S. Army from 1963 until 1965 and was stationed in Germany as a lieutenant in the 7th US Cavalry, according to the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc., for which Yonts was an arbitrator.
Judge Yonts was born in Seattle, Washington, and raised in California. Judge Yonts was very proud of his duties in the army, and shared his many fond memories with family and friends. His successful private law practice in Santa Cruz led him to an appointment as a Superior Court Judge in Santa Cruz County. Practicing for more than 16 years, Judge Yonts leaves many dear colleagues who will miss his leadership and generosity. Upon retirement from the bench he remained involved in numerous civic activities and organizations including JAMS, CASA, and the Santa Cruz Rotary Club. He was member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Capitola, and enjoyed numerous activities with family and friends.
William A. "Bill" Sullivan J.D. '67, age 76, died Nov. 28, 2014, at his Pasadena, Calif., home. Bill was born in the San Francisco to Marian and Harry Sullivan, and earned a bachelor's from Stanford University. After serving four years of active duty with the U.S. Air Force, he attended law school at Santa Clara University then clerked for a justice of the California Court of Appeals. Following several years in the private practice of law, he joined Lockheed in Burbank and spent 28 years in its corporate legal department, retiring in 2002. He remained in the Air Force Reserve after active duty, becoming a judge advocate, and retired as a colonel after more than 30 years of duty (with the award of the Legion of Merit). Bill volunteered in the City of Pasadena for many years, including 7 years with the Utility Advisory Commission (3 years as chair) and several years with the Pasadena Police Department. He served as foreman of the Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury (2003-2004) and as a member of the County Economy & Efficiency Commission (2004-2005). He joined the Quality and Productivity Commission in 2006, serving as chair for 2 years (2011-2012). He also served as a temporary judge with the Los Angeles Superior Court since 2005.
He leaves his beloved wife of 15 years, Nancy; his daughter Marian Sullivan of Arlington, Virginia, and her husband John L. Corso and their two sons, Michael and John Jr; his daughter Margaret Wise of Vienna, Virginia, and her husband, Bradley and their two daughters, Lindsay and Margaret; and Nancy's daughters Susan Strong and Linda Cantey. He also leaves his brother Robert and Robert's partner Susan Betz of Morgan Hill, Calif.
Ed Niland '68, J.D. '75 died on August 4, 2015. Ed's death was due to complications associated with the treatment of esophageal cancer. Ed lived in Scotts Vallley. He practiced law from his office in Los Gatos. He is survived by his wife Julia and daughters Jessica and Danielle.
Daniel Sullivan Mezger '68 passed away on June 10, 2015, in Woodland, California. Dan was born in Woodland in 1945, the third child of Thomas and Rosalie Mezger and was fourth-generation Californian. He attended Holy Rosary Academy and as a young boy was active in the Boy Scouts of America, attaining the Boy Scout "Eagle Rank" status. Dan was a graduate of Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose and a 1968 graduate of Santa Clara University where he obtained a BA in finance.
He excelled in sports, most notably football and track and field. While in his sophomore year at Santa Clara University he was named "Rookie of the Year" for the football team. For the rest of his life, he lived "full on" in any activity he undertook. Upon graduation from college, Dan moved to San Francisco to work at the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. He then joined his father Tom and brother Mark in their family's grain storage operation, Farmers Grain Elevator, est. 1937, and Mezger Trucking in 1971. Dan co-owned and operated the companies for the next 45 years with his brother Mark.
In 1977 Dan married Elizabeth Heenan of San Jose and had two children, Dan Jr. '99 and Meara. Throughout his life, Dan was active in the community, founding member of the Woodland Sunrise Rotary Club and a past president of the Yolo Fliers Club. He also took time to help kids in the local community further their education by tutoring them in mathematics. He never retired but took time off, as he was an avid and skilled golfer and enjoyed doing so in the company of his son, Dan Jr., daughter, Meara, and with numerous lifelong friends from high school, college and business associates. Dan took the greatest delights in his family, children, grandchildren, friends, and Ellen Burriss his partner of the last 15 years.
He is survived by his partner Ellen Burriss, son Dan Mezger, Jr.(Sonia), daughter Meara Wallace (Justin), grandson Jake Wallace, granddaughter Quinn Wallace, brothers Tom Mezger (Mary Lynn) and Mark Mezger (Kerry), sisters Muvvie Marks (Steve) and Michelle Wark (Brett) along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas B. Mezger, brother, Matthew S. Mezger, MD, Matt's wife, Mary Patricia Hughes and his mother, Rosalie S. Mezger.
Daniel Conrad Harrington '68, age 68, a resident of San Jose, passed away surrounded by his loving family on February 23. Dan is survived by his devoted wife of 46 years, Patricia Ann '68, M.A. '91 (Wright) Harrington; children Jennifer Harrington (Chris Derossi), Brigid Shaheen (Rodger), Colleen Fleming (Mark), Teresa "Tracy" Partridge (Craig); grandchildren Grayson and Miranda Derossi; Coleman and Casey Shaheen; Owen, William and Maeve Fleming; and Scarlett Partridge. He is also survived by his brothers, Michael Harrington and Tim Harrington, brother-in-law Michael Wright '69 and nephew Ryan Wright '99. He was pre-deceased by his sister, Kathleen "Katie" Hosford and his parents Walter and Teresa Harrington.
Dan was born in Salinas, California and raised in Redwood City. He attended elementary school at St. Joseph School in Menlo Park. A proud graduate of Bellarmine College Preparatory (1964), Dan led the Bells to victories both on the football and baseball fields. He was inducted into the Bellarmine Athletic Hall of Fame for baseball in 1999 and was a member of the Hall of Fame 1963 football team. From Bellarmine, Dan went on to attend Santa Clara University during the heyday of Bronco baseball, where he continued to excel on the baseball field before graduating in June 1968. Dan cherished his Jesuit education and truly embodied the Jesuit philosophy of being a "Man for Others."
In September of 1968, he married Patti and they embarked on two years abroad in Germany where Dan served as First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Air Defense Artillery division and Commanding Officer of the Hawk Missile Site in Bamberg. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service in recognition of his outstanding leadership and dedication to duty. Upon returning to the Bay Area in 1971, Dan began a 43-year career in commercial insurance, most recently as Vice President at National Financial Partners (Thoits Insurance) where he dedicated 22 years of service.
Dan was a compassionate, faith-filled man with a quick Irish wit and an unforgettable smile. He taught us to love, to believe, and to laugh. His creative spirit shone through in his humor and his talent for writing. Dan had a way with words and he filled many a birthday card and valentine with heartfelt poems and sincere sentiments – all with beautifully perfect penmanship! Throughout his life, Dan was an active athlete, an avid San Francisco Giants fan, a car and music aficionado and a beach lover. He had a photographic memory – people, places, batting averages – he remembered it all.
Dan's family was his greatest joy. He had an adoring and unwavering devotion to Patti, his best friend and the love of his life. He patiently raised a house full of daughters, and especially loved now being Papa to his eight grandchildren. In recent years, Dan could often be found cheering on the sidelines of their games, applauding them as they performed onstage, or simply enjoying their company at home. He was his kids' biggest fan.
A dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, Dan is deeply loved and will be greatly missed. And just as he remembered everything, we will remember him. We will carry his legacy with us every day. As his three-year old grandson so poignantly said, "Papa left his heart here."
Dan was a long-time member of St. Martin of Tours Parish in San Jose.
Frank H. Filice Jr. M.A. '71, a resident of Los Gatos, passed away on June 1. He was a strong, passionate, and kind man who loved God, his family, and friends. Frank spent 39 years in the Campbell Union High School district as a coach, drafting teacher, counselor, vice principal, and principal.
Frank was born in 1937 in San Jose, graduated from San Jose State University, and earned his master's degrees in counseling and education at Santa Clara University. He was married in 1974 and had two children. He was a devout family man who enjoyed coaching his children's sports teams, playing golf, volunteering for the church and community, and playing cards and chess.
Frank is survived by his loving wife, Frances; devoted children Frank and Christy; daughter-in-law Heather; and grandchildren Nico and Cora.
Patrick G. Reding M.A. '74 June 14, 1932 - November 22, 2014. Reding, 82, passed away peacefully in Roseville, CA. Patrick was born in Santa Cruz, CA to John and Agnes Reding and grew up in San Jose, CA where he attended St. Mary's and Bellarmine H.S. (1950). He also obtained a BA in Education and MA in Education from San Jose State and a MA in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University. Pat had many accomplishments during his life which included serving 20 years in the Navy and Navy Reserves, partially during the Korean war, finishing with the rank of chief, as well as teaching for 31 years with Alum Rock U.S.D., retiring in 1991. Pat loved golf and travel, participating in both as often as possible. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Jim Reding. He is survived by his loving wife of over 51 years Janice Reding, his daughter Kathleen Jettlund, son-in-law Vernon Jettlund and sister Marge Pospishek. His nephew is Timothy J. Reding ’75, and two nieces include Carol Sisney ’82, MA ’07 and Mary Reding ’98.
After graduating from college, becoming a certified public accountant and then serving for two years as a naval lieutenant and pilot, Schneickert “really wanted to go to MBA school but didn’t have the money. He could have worked as a CPA, but young accountants weren’t making much. So he joined the San Jose Police Department as an officer from 1985 to 1987, got as much overtime as he could, and then went off to Harvard.”
Schneickert is survived by his wife Karen; their three sons, Roy and twins Jack and Nick; his father, Gary Schneickert; and his sister Christine.
Deacon Michael Edmond Murphy '80 died June 11, 2015, in a hiking accident in the Mount Shasta region of California. He is survived by his wife, Natalie Murphy '80, MBA '01, and their son, Patrick; his mother Patricia Lautze, and his brothers Martin Murphy (Cheryl) and Daniel Murphy (Jenn).
Michael was born in San Francisco in 1958 to Patrick and Patricia Murphy. He grew up in San Carlos, attended St. Charles School and graduated from St. Francis High School in Mountain View. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 1980 with a major in history. While at Santa Clara, Mike joined the Army ROTC program, and it was in this program that he met his future wife, Natalie Eblacas. Upon graduation, Mike was commissioned in the Army as a second lieutenant.
Mike and Natalie were married while both were in the military, and their son, Patrick, was born in 1988. Michael Murphy studied for and received his Teaching Credential while they were stationed in Texas. They spent three years on the East Coast, with Natalie teaching at West Point. Michael taught at Valley Central Middle School in Montgomery, N.Y. After two years of teaching, he returned to graduate school and earned a master's degree in religious studies. Once Natalie's assignment at West Point was completed, they returned to San Carlos.
Upon their return to the Bay Area in 1992, Mike went to work at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton, teaching both math and religion. He also coached both boys and girls athletics teams. Michael was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop John Wester on June 25, 2006. Since that time he, and Natalie, have served at their Parish, St. Charles in San Carlos. Mike also wrote many inspiring and thought-provoking "Scriptural Reflections" for the SF Catholic.
Jeffrey William Carroll '81, 56, of Arcadia CA, passed Monday, March 2, 2015, after a long and heroic battle with cancer. Jeff was born in Los Angeles, CA on February 1, 1959 to William A. Carroll and JoAnn B. Carroll. He graduated from Arcadia High School in 1977 where he was awarded Athlete of the Year. He earned a B.S. Degree from Santa Clara University in 1981, while lettering in both soccer and football.
He is survived by his loving wife Debbie of 26+ years, and their two children, Alexander Jeffrey and Matthew William. He is also survived by his Father, William A. Carroll '58, stepmother, Louise Bannan Carroll '62, siblings, Richard Carroll (Connie), Colleen Lambert (Jeffrey), Kathleen Roussel (John), Mark Carroll '97, '98 (Colleen), Lisa Arnerich (David), stepsisters, Patricia Pascale (Matthew), Virginia Harvey (Jonathan), Joanne Vogt (Erik), Mary Bruno (Philip), many cousins, nieces and nephews. He is proceeded in death by his Mother, JoAnn (1987) and sister, Laura (1987).
Jeff loved life to the fullest and touched everyone in his path. He was a true family man and sports fanatic. He was an avid skier, soccer player, and his true love in life, besides Debbie and his boys, was golf.
Jonna Robinson '09, 28, died suddenly on June 23, 2015. Jonna was working on her doctorate in psychology at Azusa-Pacific University in California where she previously received her master’s degree. Jonna received her undergrad degree from Santa Clara University. She is survived by her parents, John and Jo Nelle nee Nelson; her snoods, Megan and Kaleigh; her grandmother, Marion Robinson; her godparents KT Nelson and Jeff Robinson; many aunts and uncles, and 28 first cousins all of whom she knew and loved. She is also survived by her love, Bobby Joyce, and his family, who showed her much kindness.
Senior Nick Anderson '15, a straight-A accounting major from San Jose, died unexpectedly on Nov. 2, 2014. He was a beloved son, brother, and friend. The 21-year-old was witty, extremely intelligent, and very compassionate toward others. He was an avid fan of the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Jets, and loved playing soccer and hockey. Because of his passion for working on cars, Nick aspired to become involved in the auto industry.
Faculty & Staff
On June 17, longtime profressor of religious studies Tennant (Tenny) Wright, S.J., '63 STL (Licentiate in Sacred Theology) died at the age of 87. He was born in Los Angeles on September 16, 1927, the son of Tennant C. Wright, Sr., a film director and Warner Brothers executive, and Marion McMahon Wright.
Wright graduated from Loyola High School, Los Angeles, and after earning his BA in English at Loyola Marymount University, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Los Gatos in 1950. He earned further degrees in English at Gonzaga University, theology at Santa Clara, and pursued graduate studies in religious studies at the University of Chicago. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1962.
Tenny was a man of many interests. His concern with social justice issues resulted in correspondence with presidents, prime ministers, members of Congress, and activists. His interest in literature resulted in a long time correspondence with Graham Greene. He also taught for a brief time in Xiamen, China, studied Zen Buddhism in Japan, and he served the Diocese of San Jose in his ministry to incarcerated youth and their families as well as to the Emmaus Community of LGBT Catholics. He also published articles and op-ed pieces in a number of newspapers and periodicals on a variety of religious and social subjects.
Mary T. Pasetta, born Oct. 7, 1914, a longtime SCU Bookstore employee, passed away on May 5, 2015 at the age of 100. Mary worked for 40 years for the University. She enjoyed helping the students find books in the bookstore. She always had a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. She is survived by her son, Robert Pasetta (Patti), her daughter, Janis Neth, and grandchildren, Jason Neth and Christina Pasetta...also many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Dan Pasetta. May she rest in peace.
Dr. Leo Victor English Jr. died peacefully at home surrounded by family. Leo was born December 31, 1919, to Dr. Leo V English and Elizabeth Baker English in Toledo, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Toledo, 1940; Howard University Medical School, 1944. While practicing medicine in Detroit Michigan he was drafted into the Korean War as Captain Leo Victor English Jr. and served 2 ½ years in Alaska.
In 1954 Dr. English decided to settle in San Jose with his family. Upon the move to San Jose he was unable to rent an office in medical building or buy the home of his liking. He bought a home near San Jose Hospital converted the front to a medical office and the back to the home for the family. Later in his career Dr. English and three associates formed an HMO where he served as medical director.
Community involvement included: 1960-1961 President of the San Jose branch of the NAACP; San Jose Police Chief’s Advisory Board; Santa Clara County Grand Jury. 1965 Leo and his wife Juanita were instrumental in finding summer housing for Selma, Alabama students. Recognition and awards include: 1991 Roll of Honor Citation Howard University Student Non-Violent, Direct Action to Desegregate Restaurants and Interstate Buses Washington D.C. in 1943 and 1944; 1959 “Distinguished Citizen Award” from San Jose City Council; 1964 “Annual Service Award” for outstanding and distinguished service in the field of human relations from the Anti-Defamation League Council of San Jose B’nai B’rith; 1972-1977 Santa Clara University board of Regents; 2002 Martin Luther King association of Santa Clara County, Good Neighbor Award.
Dr. English was a member of the Serra Club, which fosters and promotes vocations to the catholic priesthood. Dr. English was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and co-founder of Gamma Chi Boule in San Jose. He enjoyed traveling with his family and assisting his sons in 4-H club animal projects. Leo is survived by his loving wife Juanita MA '75 of San Jose California, four sons: Leo English III (Karen); Isaac English (Sonia), James English '75 (Mary '76, MA '79) and Paul English (Steven). He is also survived by 5 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
Ian Murray, emeritus professor of mechanical engineering (1951-1988) and father of Barbara Murray, professor of theatre and dance, died on March 30. At 92 years old, Ian lived a long and full life, much of it spent serving at Santa Clara University. He was active in his profession as author, teacher and researcher while also dedicating time to the University community in numerous ways. He served as Faculty Senate president and was an active member of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Among his creative achievements, Ian merged his passion for sailing with his academic expertise in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics to develop the course, Dynamics of Sailing, in the 1960s.
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20900 Stevens Creek Boulevard
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