Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in last 6 months
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.
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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Margaret M. Casanova, born October 1, 1915, passed away peacefully, February 26, 2015, at the age of ninty-nine. Margaret was born and raised in Payette, Idaho. She attended the University of Idaho where she was a member of Delta Gamma sorority. Margaret was a member and great supporter of the Catholic Newman Center at the University where in 2003, she established the Len and Margaret Casanova Scholarship Fund, for students who were active in Newman Center. She also was a lifelong member of the PEO Sisterhood.
Margaret married Leonard Casanova '27, Bronco Hall of Fame football player and coach 1946-1949, on August 17, 1963. He was also a University of Oregon football coach and athletic director. She was a devoted Duck fan and traveled with the football team until two years before her death.
Retired judge John Marlo J.D. '61 died May 26, 2015. Marlo, 81, was the Capitola city attorney before he became a municipal and superior judge from 1973 to 1993. He had a long and varied career, all while raising five children with his wife, Patricia Marlo, in Aptos. Marlo died of Leukemia, his colleagues said.