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Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in the last month
Herbert W. Roberson
Herbert "Herb" W. Roberson ’44, 92, passed peacefully March 29, 2014, after a brief stay in Modesto Kaiser Hospital. A decedent of the Choctaw Tribe, he was born in 1922 in McAllister, Okla., to Arthur L. and Maggie (Belcher) Roberson.
Herb came to California with his parents during the dust bowl era and married in 1943, raising his family in Salinas. After serving in the Army during WWII, he began his law enforcement career in Watsonville, where he developed the Department's Juvenile Delinquency Unit before moving on to the Salinas Police Department in 1951. He rose through the ranks to become the Police Chief from 1967 to 1977.
submitted Aug. 26, 2014 12:08P
Frank M. Belick
Frank M. Belick '44, resident of San Jose, passed away on July 13, 2014. He touched countless lives through his pioneering work in water pollution control, as well as through offering a helping hand to those in need. Frank was born of Croatian parents in Los Angeles in 1922. The family moved to the Santa Clara Valley in 1934 in search of agricultural work. Amidst farm chores, he attended old Santa Clara High School, then obtained a civil engineering degree by study at San Jose State College and Santa Clara University, graduating cum laude in 1944. He conducted the first water quality studies to assess the polluted south San Francisco Bay for the City of San Jose in 1947. He was chosen to lead and implement San Jose's first wastewater control plant in 1956, becoming Engineer-Manager of this nationally recognized, technologically advanced treatment facility. He retired in 1981 as a Deputy Director of Public Works. Frank was predeceased by his wife Charlotte in 2009 after 58 years of marriage. He is survived by his children Tom Belick (Margaret) of Palo Alto and Denise Binderup (Tim) of Bellingham, Washington, grandchildren Chloe and Emma of Seoul, and sister Agnes of Berkeley. His help to friends, co-workers, relatives, and neighbors will be missed by all.
submitted Sep. 15, 2014 11:41A
Faculty & Staff
Dr. Victor B. Vari died on Aug. 20 at the age of 94 after having lived a full and generous life. As a professor, he touched hundreds of students with his passion for languages and cultural studies, particularly Italian. As a colleague, he will be remembered for his generosity and dedication to teaching. As a friend of the University, he leaves behind a legacy that has helped the arts and humanities program at Santa Clara thrive and grow.
Santa Clara's longest-serving professor, Dr. Vari and his wife, Julia Botto Vari, for decades were among the most passionate and integral figures in humanities and cultural education at Santa Clara. As a young married couple in the midst of a mostly Jesuit faculty, they soon took their place and relished the role of extended family.
The couple nurtured hundreds of students Dr. Vari taught over the decades, many of whom became lifelong friends. The Varis donated their time in countless ways, including conducting student tours of Europe, chaperoning dances and other activities, and hosting dinners at their home.
Over a lifetime Dr. Vari and his wife have made significant donations to the University out of a deep love for Santa Clara and its students. Their most recent gift was an estimated $8 million bequest from their estate, to fund an endowment for the arts and humanities, to name the arts and sciences building, and to support other projects .
“Victor Vari devoted himself wholeheartedly to Santa Clara University for nearly 70 years,” said President Michael Engh, S.J. “We are deeply saddened by his loss, and we are grateful for the ways in which he has enriched this campus. As heaven’s newest arrival from the Santa Clara family, may he rest in peace.”
Dr. Vari was born in San Francisco in 1920, moved with his family to Italy when he was 1 year old, remaining there until he was 16, when he returned to the Bay Area to attend Galileo High School. He graduated from San Francisco State University and enlisted in the Army, serving as a linguist and military intelligence agent in England and France during World War II before pursuing graduate studies at the Sorbonne in Paris and Lausanne University in Switzerland.
Before Dr. Vari joined SCU in 1946, he also had spent time as an Olympic fencing coach, journalist, actor, radio announcer, and elementary school teacher. He received his master’s degree from Stanford University in 1952 and completed his Ph.D. (summa cum laude) at the University of Madrid in Spain in 1961. He began his academic career as a student teacher at Stanford before joining SCU.
Dr. Vari joined the faculty of Santa Clara University in 1946 and taught until his retirement in 2012. While at SCU, he taught all levels of French, Spanish, and Italian language, culture, and literature, and served as chair of the Modern Language department for more than 20 years. He led many student tours through Europe and initiated and taught at the Assisi summer program, 1982 to 2004. As the longest-serving faculty member for many years, Dr. Vari was the ceremonial mace-bearer at commencement and at other important events from 1969-2012.
“Dr. Vari’s contributions to campus academics, culture, and student life are immeasurable,” said Atom Yee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We will celebrate his life and legacy for decades to come.”
Dr. Vari is survived by his wife Julia, cousins Don and GeorgeAnn Proia of Oakland, as well as the Proia family in Italy, and hundreds of former students--the children the Varis never had--who now live around the globe.
Notes of condolence may be sent to Julia Vari, c/o the Dean's Office.
submitted Aug. 26, 2014 12:35P