Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in the last year
Albert A. Agresti, S.J. M.Div. ’79, ThM ’81 December 13, 2013 in Lebanon, N.H. Al was born in Boston, Mass., on Aug. 5th, 1949, the son of Michael and Evelyn Sera Agresti. The family home was in Quincy and Al attended local schools there, graduating from North Quincy High School. He studied history at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and when he received his B.A. degree, in 1971, he entered the novitiate of the New England Province, St. Andrew House, on Newbury Street in Boston. After first vows, in 1973, he did collegian studies at Boston College, earning an M.A. in philosophy. He spent a year as a regent, teaching English at the Cranwell School, Lenox, Mass., in 1974-75. From 1975 to 1979 he studied theology at JSTB, Berkeley, Calif., interrupting his studies there for 18 months of Clinical Pastoral Education at Bon Secours Hospital in Methuen, Mass. He was a campus minister at the University of San Francisco from 1979 to 1981 and was ordained to the priesthood at the College of the Holy Cross, in 1980. From 1981 to 1986 he studied counseling psychology at Ohio State. With his doctorate in hand, he taught psychology at several universities: Boston College, Loyola University Chicago, the University of San Francisco, and San Jose State University. He was associate dean at St. Louis University and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Creighton University. From 2005 to 2007, he engaged in retreat ministry, at Gloucester and then at Campion Center, including serving as director of the Renewal Center there. From 2007 to 2011, he was Catholic chaplain at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in Lebanon, N.H. His administrative talents led to his being invited to become senior manager of operations for graduate medical education at the medical center, which is affiliated with Dartmouth Medical School. He belonged to a number of professional and scholarly associations. Quite recently, he received a diagnosis of a serious medical condition and he was making plans to step down from his position. Friends became concerned when he failed to keep appointments. He was found dead in his apartment on Friday, Dec.13. Al is survived by two brothers, Joseph Agresti (of Naples, Fla.) and Carmen Agresti (of Stoughton, Mass.); his nephews Jason, Paul, and Adam Agresti; two aunts, Enes Centofanti and Adela Contrada; and several cousins and grandnephews and grandnieces.
Sharon Louise Knopf J.D. ’82, MBA ’82, a resident of San Jose, passed away suddenly of a heart attack. Sharon L. Knopf was born February 10, 1956 in Munich, Germany to Arthur and Alice Knopf. Sharon graduated from Willow Glen High, UC Davis (BS) and Santa Clara University (MBA, JD). She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. After graduation she formed a law practice, Sasaki and Knopf, with Dale Sasaki in 1984. Sharon served on the Board of Directors of the San Jose Quilt Museum, helping to propel it to prominent status. She was passionate about plants, animals and preservation of historic buildings supporting the Nature Conservancy and National Trust for Historic Preservation. Sharon is survived by her husband Richard Johns of San Jose, Calif., father Arthur Knopf of San Jose, sister Susan Crase and husband Dietrich Crase of Mountain View, brother Jeff Knopf and wife Stacie Knopf of San Jose, and several nieces, nephews, god-children and many cherished pets. She was preceded in death by her mother Alice in 2005 and recently by her beloved German Wire Haired Pointer, Gus (Gustav Runciter Von Wee). Sharon was a tour de force whose favorite activities centered on restoring her vintage home. A consummate shopper, she delighted in filling her home with her collected treasures. Overflowing with knowledge and creativity, Sharon had ideas and plans and invited friends to come along for the ride. Sharon has touched lives from the West Coast to the East Coast. All those touched by Sharon feel an immeasurable loss. We will miss her energy, enthusiasm, companionship and presence.
Joan Marie Banich '82 passed away peacefully at home on Friday May 2, 2014, in Campbell, Calif. surrounded by many loved ones. Joan personified a life well-lived and touched many lives worldwide in her short time. While battling the bone marrow disease MDS for the past 11 years, she continued working at Cisco Systems while also being involved in GWLN (Women Leaders of the World) and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Team in Training. Joan was a graduate of Blanchet High School and Santa Clara University, a loving daughter and great mom and partner, an Aaron Gordon fan, a mentor, a hiker, an entrepeneur. She will be missed by all! Born in France on November 14, 1960, she is survived by parents Al and Lorraine Banich of Magnolia, sisters Peggy Hughes (Bill), Mary Clipsham (Barry), all of the Seattle area. Sister Cathy Bates (James) of Reno, as well as her husband Dave and daughter Atley Keller of Campbell, Calif. She is pre-deceased by her brother Steven.
David F. Escover '83, resident of Hollister, passed away on Saturday May 24, 2014 at the age of 54. He was born on May 20, 1960 to Anthony Escover '55 and Pat Escover. Dave is survived by his wife Denise (Labrucherie) of 29 years, who loved him with her whole heart and soul, his son David and his daughter Danielle. Dave was the proud brother of five sisters: Cathy Warshawsky '81 (Randy), Loraine Otis (Brian), Janette Johnson (Steve), Joan Escover '86, J.D. '90, and Yvonne O'Connor (John). He also was a great uncle for his nieces and nephews: Krickey-poo-Bear (KC), Lady Lo (Lauren), Brandon, Eric, Brian, Rachel, Nate the Great (Nathan), Chris, Kevin, Swami (Dominic), Doug, Julie, and Joe.
Dave graduated from Saint Francis High School Mt. View, in 1978. He went on to finish his education at Santa Clara University in Mechanical Engineering. While in school, Dave also was the loving caregiver of his paternal grandfather, Anthony; who he loved and admired dearly. Grandpa Escover instilled in Dave his love and knowledge of ranching and mechanical abilities.
Upon graduation, Dave worked for a short time in the agricultural industry. In 1990, Dave co-founded All Chemical Disposal, a hazardous waste company. In 1995, Dave established a new family business, D-4 Excavation. Upon closing his company Dave began working closely with his cousin, Steve Pessagno at Pessagno Winery. Upon his death he was the winery manager.
Jonnie L. Herring J.D. '84, a resident of San Jose, passed away peacefully on July 26 after a two-year struggle with brain cancer. She was born to the late Alfred and Dorothy Johnson on Sep. 27, 1941, in Oklahoma City, Okla. She was a proud older sister to the late Donald Johnson of Milwaukee. Jonnie earned her bachelor's degree in English from Rice University and a master's degree in the same subject from University of Houston. She was married to the late Robert (Bob) Herring, whom she met at Rice, for 49 years. After leaving Texas, Jonnie lived in Boston, Mass., and Scottsdale, Ariz., before settling in San Jose, Calif. A resident of San Jose since 1974, Jonnie was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Saratoga for many years. She was a stay-at-home mom and active member of the Dilworth Elementary PTA before earning her law degree from Santa Clara University in 1984. Jonnie practiced family law for almost 30 years, and developed a specialization in mediation. She was proud to have helped pioneer methods to minimize the strife of divorce proceedings. In 2000, she received the Henry B. Collada Memorial Award from the Family Law Section of the Santa Clara Bar Association for her many years of representing children. In 2011, she received the Justice Byrl R. Salsman Award from the Santa Clara County Bar Association. Jonnie was a voracious reader who filled her home with books. She loved music and listened to recordings every night. She enjoyed traveling and attending concerts with her husband, Bob. She is survived by her daughter, Katherine, her son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Christine, and her granddaughters, Virginia and Andria. She will be missed by all who knew her.
The world lost a beautiful, generous soul when Virginia "Geeg" Mirrione M.A. '85 slipped peacefully into eternal rest on July 22, 2014. Born in San Jose, CA, on February 15, 1938, to the late Edna (nee Santos) and Vincent Mirrione, loving niece of Florence Morrison, sister to Vincent, Peter (Barbara), Charlie (Linda), Helen (Pete, deceased) Ostrander, and Freda (Bud) Hudson, Auntie to 8 nephews, 7 nieces, 9 great-nephews, 13 great-nieces, 3 Godchildren.
Geeg graduated from Santa Clara High in 1955 and coached girls' volleyball at St. Clare's School. In 1958, she received her calling to serve her Lord, becoming Sister Vincent de Paul, SND. She taught in Hawaii and in California (Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo and Yuba Counties). Upon leaving the order, her service to educating young minds continued as a teacher /principal at Franklin-McKinley and Mt. Pleasant School Districts, and in Van Buren, ME. She earned her Master's in Education Administration at Santa Clara University, and continued her career in education. In 1994, she retired from Franklin-McKinley School District, then Geeg became principal of Resurrection Catholic School in Sunnyvale, CA until 2003. She continued her involvement in the ICF Branch 408 and the Santa Clara Senior Center. She enjoyed day trips to the casinos, visiting friends and family, and watching the 49ers and Giants. Geeg was blessed to have a large network of friends who were there to share her journey. But most important to her were her family and thousands of students, whose laughter brought her the most happiness, and whose lives have been forever changed by her kindness, humor, generosity, and "happy pills" (a.k.a. donuts).
Rudolph G. Kraft Jr. M.A. ’85 received his SCU degree in marriage, family and child counseling. The knowledge from attaining this degree assisted him as a family law attorney. He died August 10, 2011 in Walnut Creek, Calif. Born on August 4, 1929 in Philadelphia, Penn., he was raised in Longmeadow, Mass. by his late parents, Rita H. and Rudolph G. Kraft. He graduated from Classical High School, Springfield, Mass/, as well as from Cornell University and Cornell Law School. Rudolph served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and remained in the Air Force Reserve for over 20 years. He practiced law in San Jose, Calif. until his retirement. He is survived by his wife, Lorna Gillio; his children, Rudolph Kraft III, Terence Kraft, Maggie Kraft and Kathleen Kraft. He was predeceased by a son, Paul Kraft in 2003; his stepchildren Sherril Wunder, Gregory Hurd; brothers, James Kraft of Old Chatham, N.Y. and Frank Kraft of West Suffield, Conn.; along with six grandchildren, four step-grandchildren and two step-great grandchildren.
Herbert Blake Jr. PhD '85, June 1, 1942 - July 2, 2014.
Born in Denver, raised in Fort Morgan, CO. Served as a naval officer in Vietnam. BS in international affairs U 0f CO, Boulder. MBA in decision sciences, CSUS. PhD in decision sciences, Santa Clara U. Professor in School of Business, Management Dept. CSUS. Survived by wife Nancy (Sacto), daughter Chelsea (W. Hollywood), son Brook, daughter-in-law Amber and granddaughter Nevaeh (Sacto), brother Alan (Texas), and many other relatives and friends.
Mary Gerwe Jubb ’86, a resident of San Francisco who fought a courageous, 8 1/2 year battle with cancer, lost that battle on June 7, 2014. Everyone who knew her was inspired by her bravery and indomitable fighting spirit. She was 50 years old. In her last days at the UCSF Medical Center she was supported by a loving group of family and friends: her husband Paul Jubb, their children Sam, age 12, and Darcy, age 10, her parents Barbara Gerwe M.A. ’84, M.A. ’95 and Gene Gerwe, her siblings Gretchen, David, Peter, Sara, Kate, and Margaret Gerwe ’88 and their spouses, and many friends.
Mary and Paul were married in England in on August 1, 1998 and lived in Datchet and Windsor, England until 2005, when they moved to San Francisco. She was born in Davenport, Iowa and moved with her family to California in 1968. The family lived in Monte Sereno, when Mary attended Los Gatos High School and Santa Clara University. She had a successful career in marketing for British Airways and Kikkoman, USA.
Mary will be remembered by her family and friends as a loving, outgoing person, full of laughter; who lit up a room with her presence. She loved her nickname "Gorgeous", as well as cooking, tending her orchids, and planning parties. But most of all she loved her husband, her children and her extended family. That love was returned without reserve.
Jerome "Jay" Raymond Martino MBA ’86, 54, of Cupertino, Calif., on Nov. 27. Jay was born in Waukegan, Ill. of Florence and Ray Martino. Jay was the eldest of four, followed by Ken, Julie and Karen. He attended Waukegan High School, and received his BS in Computer Engineering from University of Illinois. Upon graduating he moved to Silicon Valley in Calif. to begin his software engineering career. Jay worked as a software engineer for 20 years at such companies as Lockheed, Nynex, and IBM. He also received an MBA from Santa Clara University. In 1986 Jay married Linda Heller MBA ’87, and in 1988 they moved to Wilton, Conn., where their two lovely children, Kelley, currently in graduate school at San Francisco State University, and Dylan, currently a Junior at Sonoma State University were born. In 1994 Jay and Linda moved their family to Cupertino, Calif. Jay was a very proud and involved father, participating in Y Indian Princesses, Cub Scouts, and coaching soccer, basketball, baseball and softball. In 2000 Jay found his true calling when he received his teaching credential from Santa Clara University and began teaching 6th grade at Stevens Creek Elementary School in Cupertino. He moved to Cupertino Middle School in 2004, where he taught 6th grade math and social studies and coached softball. Along the way Jay made many lasting friendships and will be missed by many. He had a large family of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins and a special friend since high school, Scott Sunday of Libertyville, Ill., who will always love and remember him. He had a great time traveling around the world, visiting national parks, attending sporting events—including eight Olympics—and many music concerts and festivals. Jay was very active as a long distance cyclist, mountain biker, runner, skier, scuba diver, backpacker, and river rafter. Jay passed very unexpectedly, surrounded by Linda, his loving wife of 27 years, and his children Kelley and Dylan. He was preceded in death by his adored father Ray in 2002.
James Tomich M.S. ’86, Aug. 15, 2013. A resident of San Jose, Jim Tomich died after a courageous battle with cancer. His family was at his side. Born Oct. 20, 1941, and raised in Sacramento, Jim went onto CSU Sacramento earning a B.S. in Electronic Engineering, an Environmental Studies Certificate from USC and an M.S., Computer Science from University of Santa Clara. In 1971, he joined the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, retiring as Supervising Air Quality Engineer in 2010. Jim and his wife Glow settled into suburban San Jose to enjoy an active lifestyle. He served as president of the BSA Owners Club of Northern California and won awards for his mortorcycle restoration excellence. In the mid-90s, Jim sponsored members of his extended family overseas seeking refuge from the war in Bosnia - a proud moment for his entire family. Jim is survived by his wife Glow-Renee, sons Tom and Mike and grandchildren Marco, William and Danielle.
Sr. Irene A. Radtke M.A. '86, age 85, of Bridgeton, Mo., a Franciscan Sister of Mary for more than 60 years, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. She was born on Nov. 24, 1928, in Mineral Point, Wis., the daughter of Ernest and Mary Lylith (Gedye) Radtke. After graduating from St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing in Madison, she worked at St. Joseph's Hospital in Dodgeville until she entered the Sisters of St. Mary (SSM) on Aug. 12, 1953. She was known as Sr. Mary De Montfort until resuming her baptismal name later. In 1987, the SSM reunited with the Sisters of St. Francis of Maryville, Mo., as the Franciscan Sisters of Mary (FSM). She earned a BSN from St. Louis University (1959), a master's degree in hospital and health administration from the University of Iowa, Iowa City (1972), and an M.A. in counseling from Santa Clara University, Calif. (1986). She served as a nurse and nursing supervisor at SSM hospitals for many years and as executive director of St. Clare Hospital, Baraboo, and St. Mary's Hospital, Kansas City, Mo., and associate executive director of Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, St. Louis, Mo. In 1993, she founded Almost Home in St. Louis, providing transitional housing and education for homeless mothers under 18 and their children; she was executive director until 2002. Sr. Irene was preceded in death by her parents and brother, William. She is survived by her sister, Marjorie Beer of Sterling, Ill., and sister-in-law, Betty Radtke of Oregon, Wis.
Marypat Coughlin ’87, 48, of Denver, passed away peacefully on Sunday December 8th after an arduous and unwelcome journey with ovarian cancer. Marypat spread love and kindness everywhere she touched, and will be sorely missed by many friends, family, and co-workers -- but especially by her immediate family.
Rev. Victor C. LaVoie M.A. ’91, 69, of Woburn, Mass., went to his heavenly reward June 26, 2014. The son of Rene and Ruth (McCusker) LaVoie, he was born August 25, 1944 in Hartford, Conn.. His early years were spent in Manchester, Conn., before moving to Watertown. He graduated from Saint Mary's School in Waltham. He attended Saint John's Seminary, and was ordained May 15, 1971. He attended Boston College and received his Master's in Spirituality from Santa Clara University in California. Brother of Anne Uva of Syracuse, N.Y., John LaVoie and his wife Mary of Duxbury, Joseph LaVoie and his wife Debbie of East Falmouth, and the late Thomas LaVoie. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Fr. LaVoie has served in parishes in Chelsea, Hingham, West Roxbury, Hudson, Chelmsford, Wilmington, Lahey Clinic in Burlington and Saint Eulalia's in Winchester.
Jeffery W. Saunders MBA '91, Oct. 20, 2013. Formerly of Cupertino Jeff died at home in Seattle of a stroke. Loving husband of Kristin Matosian Saunders, formerly of Los Altos, and devoted father of Ginevra, 6; Roland, 4; Camilla, 2; and Daphne, 9 months. They were his focus and joy. Born Oct. 22, 1962, Jeff graduated from San Jose State University, earned an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University and was a mechanical engineer at Lockheed Martin for 25 years. He loved the outdoors, lived from the heart and gave generously of his kindness, optimism, patience and resilience. Also surviving are his parents, Bill and Lynne Saunders, of Surprise, AZ, formerly of Cupertino; sister and brother-in-law, Laura and Brian Ebert, and niece, Siera Ebert, of Reno, NV; and inlaws, Ken and Paula Matosian of Los Altos. His sister Michelle died in February.
Elsie Frost J.D. ’91 was born on Oct. 25, 1930 and passed away on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Elsie was a resident of Gaithersburg, Md.
Florence Remata M.A. '92, a Franciscan sister and Kauai native, served decades as educator Sister Florence Remata, minister of the Hawaii-Southwest region of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. She died on Aug. 3 at the Queen's Medical Center after a brief illness and 57 years of service to the Roman Catholic Church. She was 75. According to the Hawaii Catholic Herald, Remata was born in Waimea, Kauai, the sixth of 12 children of Crisanto and Vicente Omakanim Remata. She graduated from Saint Francis Convent School on Oahu and joined the Sisters of St. Francis in 1956. After taking her final vows in 1961, she chose St. Therese of Lisieux, "the Little Flower," as her patron saint in honor of her home parish of St. Theresa in Kekaha, Kauai, where "the sisters taught me how to use the fork to eat, how to dance, and all the social graces so that I wouldn't be a wallflower," she told the Catholic Herald in a 2011 interview. Remata graduated from Chaminade College in Honolulu and Santa Clara University. She taught at St. Peter School in Riverside, N.J.; St. Joseph School in Hilo, where she also was vice principal; and Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Pearl City. She was director of religious education at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Pearl City and at St. Patrick in Chittenango, N.Y. Remata returned to Kauai to care for her mother in 1995. For the next 17 years she served at Immaculate Conception Church in Lihue as director of religious education and as pastoral associate. She was also the island's liaison for the Catholic Diocese's Department of Religious Education. The Catholic Herald said she was the first and last Franciscan sister to be assigned to Kauai. Remata told the Hawaii Catholic Herald at the time, "The people of Kauai are church-oriented and value priests and (the) religious." Some nicknamed her "The Mayor of Kauai" for her friendliness and outreach. Remata is survived by eight brothers: David, Edward, Alfredo and Richard Remata, all of Kauai; Stanley Remata of Pearl City; and Wilfred, Lawrence and Patrick Remata of California; and three sisters: Mildred Olores, Elizabeth Aquino and Vivian Nonaka, all of Kauai. She had 30 nephews and nieces, 60 grandnephews and grandnieces, and 11 great-grandnephews and great-grandnieces. Her survivors also include her fellow Franciscan sisters and their associates.
Mary Mabey M.A. '93, Jan. 21, 2014. A wide circle of family and friends mourn the passing of Mary Ellen Mabey after a long illness and courageous battle against lung disease.
Margaret "Meg" Joan Andelman Keller M.A. ’93, a resident of San Jose, age 69, died on May 1, 2014, surrounded by family and friends. Meg fought a courageous battle against multiple health issues for much of her adult life. She is survived by her husband and soul mate of 50 years, Doug Keller, her loving daughter, Alisha Morcate ’93, her devoted son-in-law, Raoul Morcate, and adoring grandsons, Alex and Zach Morcate. She is also survived by her dear sisters, Barb Dodds, Jan Roversi, and Nancy Opyd. Meg was born in Harlan, Ky. to Dr. Samuel and Joan Andelman, the eldest of their four daughters. She grew up in Kentucky and Illinois. Meg graduated from Morgan Park High School in 1963 and graduated from Millikin University with a degree in Business Administration in 1967. Following graduation, she worked briefly for Trans World Airlines before getting married in 1968 and moving to New Jersey. At this time she began working at Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield, N.J. as the Director of Nurse Recruiting. In 1970, Meg and Doug joyfully welcomed their only child, Alisha Beth Keller. After Alisha's birth, Meg devoted all her time and energy to raising their daughter. In 1971, the Keller family moved to New York and then five years later moved to Lake Oswego, Ore. and finally settled in San Jose, Calif. in 1982. In 1994, Meg accomplished her life-long dream of earning a Masters in Counseling Psychology degree from Santa Clara University. After internships at the Bill Wilson Center and Almaden Valley Counseling Services, Meg earned her Marriage and Family Therapist license. In 1996, she opened her private practice in Almaden Valley and provided relationship advice to numerous cherished clients. In her free time, Meg loved to volunteer with various animal rescue groups by fostering dogs and cats and helping at adoption fairs. Meg was passionate about many things including her family, dogs, and helping others overcome life's many obstacles. Meg will be greatly missed for her intelligence, compassion, insightfulness, sense of humor, courage, and amazing spirit. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Meg's name to South Bay Purebred Rescue. Instructions for donations can be found at www.sbprdogs.org.
Fresno attorney Laura Guzman Magill J.D. '93 will be buried in a 1920s hand-beaded jacket and red boots designed by Bob Mackie that she bought off the Internet. Her coffin will be upholstered in teal leather to match the furniture in her living room. In addition to photographs of her life, mourners will see her collection of shoes and the dresses she made out of recycled material for Trashique, the annual Fresno Art Museum fundraiser. Mrs. Guzman Magill, whose love of fashion was secondary to her love of God and her desire to help the accused, died Dec. 27 after a long and unconventional battle with breast cancer. She was 48. Friends say Mrs. Guzman Magill was the brains behind the husband-wife criminal law firm that represented such clients as convicted rapist Spencer Scarber, the Buchanan High butt-drag wrestler who got expelled and the students who got kicked out of Central High for cutting down two trees. While Charles Magill made his pitch to school boards and juries, his wife sat at the defense table plotting strategies or writing her next motion on her laptop. And when a board or judge ruled against them, she wasn't shy about appealing."She marched to a different beat," Fresno defense attorney Michael Aed said. "She never let a client get convicted without a fight." Case in point: Scarber, who contended he didn't get a fair trial. In legal documents, Mrs. Guzman Magill and her husband accused Sheriff Margaret Mims of withholding evidence and revealed an old romantic relationship between Scarber's father, a former assistant chief of the California Highway Patrol, and Elizabeth Egan before she became Fresno County's district attorney. Aed said the legal community took note of Mrs. Guzman Magill's ability to find an obscure document that linked Mims to the case. Judge Edward Sarkisian Jr. upheld Scarber's conviction on Dec. 19. "You hear lawyers promise that they will turn over every stone," Aed said. But, "Laura was one of the few that really did it." With her death, Aed said, "we all lose, because who is going to take her place?"
Within months of their birth, Laura and her twin, Linda, were adopted by P. "Guz" Guzman Jr. and his wife, Paula, who owned National Hardware Supply on Blackstone Avenue in Pinedale. Mrs. Guzman Magill's love of law and fashion came from her mother, a Fresno State English professor, who encouraged her children to engage in public speaking and debate. She also taught them how to sew. "Laura loved colors and fabric, especially leather," Magill said, noting his wife made her own dresses, shirts, pants and jackets. "If she had her druthers, she would have been a fashion designer." But her Catholic upbringing and quest for social justice pulled her toward law, he said. After graduating from Bullard High School in 1983, Laura Guzman earned a political science degree from Pepperdine University and a law degree from Santa Clara University. She began her career in the Bay Area in 1995 before returning to Fresno two years later. She worked briefly for the Fresno County District Attorney's Office, but was let go. "She wasn't a company person," Magill said. "She wanted to do her own thing." In 2000 she married Magill. At the time, she had two daughters, Petra and Sierra, and he had two boys, Gary and Zechariah. Together, they have one son, Matthew. Magill said his wife had success as a trial lawyer: in 2000 she represented a defendant in the Mongolian Boys Society gang-rape trial. Seven people were convicted of rape in Fresno County Superior Court. Her client, Lao Yang, was found not guilty of 12 counts; the jury deadlocked on two rape counts. But it's the high-profile cases she and her husband lost that will seal her legacy, her husband said. Magill said his wife hated zero-tolerance school policies. "In her mind, there was nothing worse than children being persecuted by school officials," he said. In 2010, they represented five students who were expelled for a senior prank: they cut down two trees at the Central High School East Campus. Because the students had no prior history of being disobedient, Mrs. Guzman Magill got a court order to reinstate them, her husband said. And when school officials stopped them from entering campus, she called police. School officials countered with their own judge's order, and the case ended up in a long legal battle with the students ultimately getting expelled. Magill, however, said his wife didn't see it as a loss: "Central wanted to show they were tough, but Laura sent a message that they can't bully people around." The couple also lost the Buchanan butt-drag case. They defended wrestler Preston Hill, who was expelled in 2011 after being accused of sexually assaulting a teammate during practice. Magill said Hill was doing a wrestling maneuver called the butt-drag that coaches had taught him. In a 3-2 vote, the Fresno County Office of Education board upheld Clovis Unified School District's decision to expel Hill during his senior year. They then lost Hill's appeal in court. Because they had appealed, Hill's expulsion was temporarily stayed, giving Hill time to transfer to another school district. He received his high school diploma, Magill said. "That was all engineered by Laura," Magill said. In her spare time, Mrs. Guzman Magill was a mock trial coach at Central and Bullard and took kids to Christian camp. She also reached out to community groups, charging them nothing for legal advice. "She answered my emails and gave me advice for free," said Fresno activist Gloria Hernandez, who fights for the rights of farm laborers. She said other lawyers charged $250 an hour consultation fee. "Our community is going to miss her," Hernandez said.
Mrs. Guzman Magill's fight with breast cancer ended her life, but she didn't go without a fight. In a July 2011 "Valley Voices" column for The Bee, she wrote about her unconventional victory over Stage II-III breast cancer: "What a great year to be diagnosed with cancer." She said she wasn't trying be sarcastic or flippant; she wanted to tout an alternative method of fighting cancer: "cryoablated," which destroys the cancerous tumor by freezing it. She avoided the traditional method of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. "We are in the 21st century with 21st century technology," she wrote. "Ancient bloodletting, or chemotherapy and radiation, is just that: ancient." But in a follow-up column in August this year, Mrs. Guzman Magill said the cancer had returned "four short months" after the first column was published. She decided to undergo chemotherapy. In November, the cancer worsened and reached her liver, her husband said. But she didn't give up. She flew to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, but doctors there said it was too late because the cancer had gotten into her bones, Magill said. Mrs. Guzman Magill made her last court appearance in the Scarber case. She was in a wheelchair and hooked up to oxygen. On Dec. 23 she was admitted to Community Regional Medical Center with blood clots in her lungs. The day after Christmas, Magill took his wife home to die among family. She will be buried in a private service Saturday at St. Peter's Cemetery in Fresno next to her father, who died in August at the age of 90. "The passion she had for everything she did was amazing," said stepson Zechariah Magill, 20. He then recalled getting in trouble at Central High, where he was senior class president. He had driven his father's car to school and campus police found a knife in it. School officials suspended him and threatened to expel him. "My stepmom came to school with a video camera and filmed them as as they searched my dad's car," Zechariah Magill said. "She then told them she would take them to court if they expelled me." In preparing for battle, Guzman Magill got into "Full-Metal Jacket" mode, her husband said. She got 10 people to write letters on Zechariah's behalf and presented them to school officials. The plan worked: Zechariah was able to graduate with his class and give his speech. "It was a great feeling," he said. "Like so many people she helped in court, I knew she had my back and I could count on her."
Born: May 10, 1965 Died: Dec. 27, 2013 Career: Fresno criminal defense lawyer Survivors: husband, Charles Magill; children, Gary, Zechariah, Petra, Sierra, and Matthew; mother, Paula Guzman; sisters, Lisa Guzman and Linda Guzman Ellenberger.
David Robert Kerr MBA '93 died at home, in the early morning hours, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. David was born to Robert and Jean Kerr, on May 20, 1962. David earned his undergraduate degree from Wooster College of Ohio, a Master's of Science from University of Cincinnati, Ohio, and an MBA from University of Santa Clara, Calif . He enjoyed a successful career in the Semi-Conductor Industry. His expertise took him across the United States, to Europe, and the Pacific Rim. More recently his work was in the Pacific Northwest, at LAM Research, Linear Tech, Fairchild Semi, and Microchip Technology. David married Helen R. Koeppen in Boise, Idaho on October 26, 1996. David is survived by his parents, Bob and Jean Kerr; daughter, Olivia; and son, Owen. He was preceded in death by his brother, Jim. David was an excellent provider for his family. He dearly loved and was extremely proud of his children, and supported their many activities. David will be greatly missed in all our lives.
Betty Jane Rank M.A. '94, Sept. 1, 2013. A resident of Walnut Creek, Betty Jane Rank was born in Benicia on Sept 6, 1923. Betty Jane attended St Bernard Grammar School in Oakland, graduated from Holy Names High School in Oakland, then earned a BA Degree from Holy Names College in Oakland in 1945. In 1957, she received a Masters degree in Social Work from UC Berkeley. In her retirement, she capped off her education with a Masters degree in Theological Studies from Santa Clara University. During her career, Betty Jane worked for the City of Oakland Recreation Department, the Oakland Council of Camp Fire Girls, the Denver Council of Camp Fire Girls, and the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Oakland. She was the first director of Tallmadge Hamilton House for senior citizens in Seattle, and spent 23 years with the Santa Clara County Department of Social Services. She often "moonlighted" as an adult education teacher and as a consultant on the aging. Betty Jane never married. Family and friends were her primary focus. Travel was an important part of her life. She traveled to and hiked in many parts of the world. The Sierra Club provided a vehicle for the outdoor activity she so enjoyed. Yosemite provided a setting that she never grew tired of. She did a lot of volunteer work with the Red Cross and with her parish church. Betty Jane moved to Rossmoor in Jan 1997 after living in San Jose for 34 years. She was a member of St. Anne's Church, and participated in ministries as her health permitted. Betty Jane is survived by a nephew, two nieces, one great nephew, four great nieces, two great, great nephews, two great, great nieces, and many first cousins and their extended families. We all loved her and will miss her.