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1954

UGRD Arts & Sciences '54
William T. Olson Jr.

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.

submitted May. 15, 2015 3:42P

1955

'55
Theordore Welp

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. 

submitted Apr. 17, 2015 5:03P

1956

'56
Victor A. Bertolani

 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.

Mr. Bertolani was widely respected in the legal community as one of the top personal injury and labor lawyers in Northern California. He also was revered for making the study and practice of law affordable to students from all walks of life as co-founder of Lincoln Law School in Sacramento.
 
After graduating first in his class at Santa Clara University Law School, he returned to his native Sacramento in 1961 and later started a firm with boyhood friend Andrew J. Smolich. He also began teaching torts at McGeorge School of Law, which was then a part-time program with ambitions of being a full-time institution accredited by the American Bar Association.
 
Unwilling to teach full time, Mr. Bertolani and Smolich persuaded Lincoln Law School of San Francisco to open a branch in Sacramento. The pair sought qualified applicants who did not fit the traditional mold of law school students, including adults working full time, raising families or seeking second careers.
Serving as dean and teaching torts, Mr. Bertolani and two other professors welcomed the first class of 27 students in 1969.
 
“He was really the instigator” in starting Lincoln Law School in Sacramento, Smolich said. “When McGeorge went to ABA accreditation, it went in a different direction and had to have bigger buildings, libraries and staff and became very expensive. Our school was really dedicated to serving people who didn’t have that opportunity.”
 
Mr. Bertolani, who served as dean and torts professor until 1986, led efforts to win full accreditation by the California State Bar for Lincoln Law School in 1981. He was a driving force in building the four-year, evening-class school into a respected institution with high pass rates on the California Bar Exam.
The school has awarded degrees to more than 1,200 students, including prominent professionals throughout the Sacramento region. Graduates include Superior Court Judge Laurie Earl, former Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully and Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones.
 
Rob Gold, who graduated from Lincoln Law School in 1986, credited Mr. Bertolani with “everything that I have accomplished.” A veteran Sacramento County prosecutor, Gold was promoted to assistant chief deputy DA earlier this year. But before meeting the Lincoln Law School dean in 1982, he was seeking direction in life.
 
“I was recently married and working part-time as a sportswriter for the Sacramento Union and playing Frisbee golf,” Gold said. “My wife said, ‘Hey, did you know there is this law school by the Safeway?’
“I’d done terrible on the (Law School Admissions Test), but Victor said, ‘I’m going to give you a chance,’ ” Gold recalled. “He was my first-year torts professor. He always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile – but he also had high standards and high expectations. He was giving you an opportunity, and he wanted you to take advantage of it and succeed.”
 
Mr. Bertolani was born in 1934. His parents, Mary and Victor Bertolani, ran a travel agency and were leaders in Sacramento’s Italian American community. He graduated from Christian Brothers High School in 1952 and earned bachelor’s and law degrees from Santa Clara University. He rose to the rank of captain while serving on active and reserve duty in the Army from 1959 to 1964.
A prominent attorney for more than four decades, he represented clients in medical malpractice and personal injury lawsuits, including families of victims of the notorious 1972 plane crash into a Farrell’s ice cream parlor near Sacramento Executive Airport. He served as chief counsel for powerful labor unions, including Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 447 and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 340.
 
He was married since 1957 to the former Cathy Schuler and had four children. He previously served as a Jesuit High School trustee and a member of the Santa Clara Board of Athletics Control. He was an intellectual man “who read all kinds of history books” and “an avid sports fan who loved the (San Francisco) Giants,” his son Victor said.
 
In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Bertolani is survived by three daughters, Elizabeth O’Brien, Kathleen Haack and Mary Liston; and six grandchildren.
 
submitted Apr. 17, 2015 1:44P

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