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Class Notes | Obituaries

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Showing obituaries submitted anytime by graduates in the


UGRD Engineering '57
Bing C. Chin

Bing Chin '57 passed away on Dec. 8, 2009. Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Bing moved to California to attend SCU. After graduation, he worked as an electrical engineer in the aerospace industry eventually relocating to Southern California. Bing was married to Betty for 29 years and had three children, Stephanie, Kara and Greg. After being widowed, he was re-married to Jane for the last eight years. Bing enjoyed traveling the world during his retirement. Besides his loving wife and children, Bing leaves his granddaughter Elise, three step-children and six step-grandchildren. The family requests that you share your memories of Bing at

submitted Feb. 10, 2010 11:38P


UGRD Engineering '58
William F. Egan

William Francis Egan ’58 of Cupertino departed from this life surrounded by his loving wife (Mary Ann nee Schwarz) and family on Dec. 16th. Graduate of Riordan (54), SCU (58), and Stanford (MSEE 60, PhD 67). Principal Engineer at GTE Sylvania and ESL. SCU instructor and author of several technical books. Children include John Egan ’90, Michael Egan ’95, Thomas Egan ’88, M.S. ’92, PhD ’05 and William Egan Jr. ’84.

submitted Feb. 1, 2013 12:11P
William D. Coffey

William D. Coffey '58 on Nov. 1, 2008.  A native of Bayonne, New Jersey, he served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and later had a career in the computer industry. He taught mathematics for nine years at Trenton High School. He is survived by seven children and 15 grandchildren.

submitted May. 28, 2009 3:48P
UGRD Engineering '58
Walter Ward Wilson

Walter Ward Wilson '58, born August 5, 1937, in San Francisco, California; died January 5, 2010, in Bellevue, Washington. Survived by Jill, his wife of 51 years; daughter, Janne Sleeper, and granddaughter, Elena Sleep er, of Stanwood; brother-in-law, Jack Krimmer (Barbara), of Wimberly, Texas; and numerous cousins in California. Walt was a devoted husband and father. He had an abiding love for his church, and loved to work in its service. He also had a passion for travel that he fulfilled with his wife, Jill. They toured China, Italy, England, Holland, Egypt and South and Central America, and were able to travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos islands with their daughter and granddaughter last year. Golf was his game, and he spent many joyful hours with his friends on the course. He played racquetball as well, co-running a league in Kirkland for many years. He spent many hours working for the Republican Party and also as an elections official. His working years were spent primarily at the former Rocket Research Co. of Redmond where he was a mechanical engineer. Space and its promise for the future fascinated and drove him in his work. A man generous with his time, his affection and his hearty laughter, he will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.

submitted Sep. 3, 2010 10:42A
UGRD Arts & Sciences '58
Vincent T. Burns Jr.

Vincent T. Burns Jr. '58 of Santa Paula and Carpinteria, Calif., passed away from heart failure on June 11, 2014 at his ranch in Santa Paula after a brief illness. Vince was the first child of an Irish family, born September 19, 1936 in Utica, N.Y., to Vincent T. Sr. and Helen (nee Farmer) Burns. Vincent grew up in Pasadena and Coronado, Calif., where his father was assistant manager at the Huntington and del Coronado hotels.

Vince was a member of the class of 1954 at Loyola High School in Los Angeles and of the class of 1958 at Santa Clara University. With his wife of 56 years, Debby, Vince devoted his energies and passions to the Santa Paula Boys Club beginning in 1974. Under Vince, the club was one of the first in the nation to accept girls as members, becoming the Santa Paula Boys and Girls Club. The club enjoyed increased membership and programs under Vince, and was nationally recognized for its after-school programs and role in improving life in Santa Paula. To further the club and his community, Vince was active in Santa Paula's service organizations, including Kiwanis.

Beginning in 1984 Vince devoted himself to the family's orange ranch on South Mountain Road, irrigating, pruning, spraying, and making sure the fruit was picked on time. Since 1996 Vince and Debby have split their time between Santa Paula and their home on Rincon Point Road in Carpinteria. Exacting and imbued with a strong spirit of competition, Vince was always proud of his family's achievements.

He is survived by his wife Debby of Santa Paula and Carpinteria; brother Anthony Burns of Arcadia, Calif.; sister Darcy Williams '70 of Sacramento, Calif.; son Vincent T. Burns III (wife Ann) of Ventura, Calif.; daughter Laura Burns Brown of San Diego, Calif.; and grandchildren Nicholas John Burns, Ventura; Amy Nicole Brown, San Diego; Eric Brown, San Diego; and Emily Laura Burns, Ventura. A family remembrance of Vince's life will take place at a later date. Donations in Vince's name to the Santa Paula Boys and Girls Club or Alcoholics Anonymous of Santa Barbara are appreciated.

submitted Jun. 12, 2014 4:30P
GRD Law '58
Timothy J. Hanifin

Timothy J. Hanifin J.D. ’58, resident of Santa Cruz, died on February 2, at home, after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 81. Tim was born of Irish immigrant parents on May 26, 1931 in Stockton, CA. He grew up in Gustine, graduating from Gustine High School in 1948. Tim attended St. Mary's College in Moraga and graduated from The University of Notre Dame in Indiana with a Bachelor's Degree in English in 1953. He served as an Army Counter Intelligence Agent during the Korean War. After being discharged, he attended The University of Santa Clara Law School, where he received the Outstanding Law School Graduate Award in 1958. Tim practiced law as a trial lawyer specializing in insurance civil defense work. He was a partner with the San Jose law firm of Hanifin, Van Loucks, and Vaught, until he was appointed by Gov. Ronald Regan, in 1972, to the now Consolidated Municipal Court of Santa Clara County. He served there for over twenty years, retiring and moving from Los Altos to Santa Cruz in 1993. Tim was an avid reader and enjoyed sharing his extensive library with others. He was a devotee of music from jazz to classical. He enjoyed sports, history, religion, fishing, and woodworking. Tim was known for his generosity to charities and individuals. He was a member of, the Family of St. Joseph, Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, Charter Member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Thomas More Law Society, Symphony League of Santa Cruz County, and many other organizations. Tim is preceded in death by his sister Kathleen Pesco. He is survived by his sister Ellen Hanifin of Santa Cruz, his brother Patrick Hanifin (Mary Jane) or Brea, five nieces and nephews, and eleven grandnieces and grandnephews. 

submitted Apr. 18, 2013 2:55P
UGRD Leavey Business '58
Robert L. Ward
Robert L. Ward ’58 passed away on January 28, 2011. He is survived by his wife Kathleen J. Ward and daughters, Noreen Kakalec ’87 and Vivian Beaulieu ’82
submitted Feb. 28, 2011 11:36A
UGRD Arts & Sciences '58
Richard P. Traina

Richard P. Traina '58, former president of Clark University, passed away at his home in Charlton, Mass., on March 8 at age 73 after living with cancer for several years. Traina served as president from 1984 to 2000, and he oversaw a period of remarkable growth that included renewed emphasis on education programs, a significant increase of the endowment, and construction and renovation of physical facilities. His work with the city of Worcester, particularly the Main South neighborhood, was groundbreaking. Through his example and under his directive, Clark began working with its neighbors to establish the University Park Partnership, which has brought renewed vitality to the Main South neighborhood. The partnership has since become a national model for urban university/community collaborations, and the University Park Campus School is touted as a national school reform model. Clark also helped establish the Main South Community Development Corporation, a vehicle organized to stimulate affordable housing and small business development in Clark’s surrounding neighborhood. “Dick will long be remembered for his passion and commitment to Clark. His energy and insights were essential in transforming the University and the community around us,” said current President David Angel. “Dick was a friend, colleague, and mentor to the many people whose lives he touched.”

submitted Mar. 23, 2011 11:15A
Michael Allen Crouch

Michael Allen Crouch '58 was born in San Mateo, California, on October 17, 1935, the youngest of Stanley and Madeline Crouch's six children. His family moved to the Westwood section of Los Angeles, California, just a few years later. He attended St. Paul the Apostle Grammar School, Loyola High School, and the University of Santa Clara. His career was in the flavor and fragrance industry, having worked for many years with his father, who brought both his sons into the business.

Mike is survived by his brother, Blaine, and sister, Joaun; his wife, Lori, and their son, Patrick; Mike's son, Michael Lee (Karen), and daughter, Cami (Paul) -- children from his previous marriage to Nancy Hunydee (deceased); four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and a wonderful abundance of  nieces and nephews, and other relatives.

On Tuesday, October 18, he joined his mother, Madeline, father, Stanley, and three sisters, Jacqueline, Patricia, and Jeanne, who predeceased him. He died in Tucson, Arizona, in the loving company of family members.
Mike's humor, kindness, and compassion made him beloved by all who knew  him.

Donations may be made to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center or a charity of your choice . Or, you may honor Mike's memory by emulating him and practicing acts of kindness and generosity.

submitted Nov. 9, 2011 8:40A
UGRD Arts & Sciences '58
Joseph Anthony Miller

Joseph Anthony Miller ’58 of Red Bluff, Calif. died on Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 12:38 am at Mercy Medical Center, Redding, Calif., at age 75. On October 24, 1935, Paul Ernst Miller and Vera O'Brien Miller welcomed their fourth child, Joseph "Joe" Anthony in Portland, Ore. Joe attended St. Agatha's Grade School and Central Catholic High School in Portland. He enjoyed and excelled at sports especially golf and football. He played on the 1952 & 1953 Oregon State Championship teams and selected as an all state player. He continued his education the University of Santa Clara in California. During the summers, he worked in one of the family lumber mills. He graduated with a B.S. degree in Political Science. He then worked at various large accounting firms in the Bay Area and Portland including Ernst & Ernst & then moving to Redding to work for Muncy, McPherson of San Francisco. This firm left Redding so Joe moved to Portland. In Portland, he met Barbara Deklotz, and they married in April 1964 and moved to Red Bluff in June, 1964 where Joe began self-employment. He became a partner in Moore and Miller which later became Moore, Miller and Evanhoe. Later, he became of sole CPA practitioner. He served on the Red Bluff City Council from 1970 to 1974. He belonged to BPOE, Wilcox Oaks Golf Club, and Red Bluff Rotary. In 1966, he replaced Camille Hart, as Secretary/Treasurer of the Red Bluff Round-Up Association and never missed a board meeting in over 35 years. Barbara and Joe had three children; Heidi Miller Murdock, who died at 32 of leukemia; Peter Miller in Vernon, Conn.; and John Miller '91 in San Francisco. Joe loved accounting and auditing and working with his clients. As leisure, Joe always had projects: fixing up old houses and cars and making pomegranate jelly in his garage during football season. His Irish wit, honesty and loyalty endeared him to his family and friends. Survivors include: Barbara Miller, wife; Peter Miller, son; Nathan & Maya Miller, grandchildren; John Miller, son; Michael Miller, brother, Portland, Ore.; Susan Beal, sister, Berkeley, Calif.; Martha Alstadt, sister, Portland, Ore.. Family precedent was Paul Miller, brother, Portland, Ore.


submitted Feb. 14, 2011 3:02P
John J. Collins

John Joseph Collins '58, 77, passed away on Dec. 26, 2013. He was born Dec. 13, 1936 in Los Angeles, Calif. John was a pillar of the legal community in Southern California from the time he passed the bar until his death. He was a former president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a former president of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, a former president of the Los Angeles County Bar, a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He was a proud father, grandfather and a loving husband. John is survived by his wife, Patricia; daughters, Cynthia, Pamela and Lauren; sons, James, Robert, John and William. His daughter, Andrea predeceased him.

submitted Feb. 3, 2014 8:41A
UGRD Arts & Sciences '58
James Leininger

James Leininger '58 was a skillful Santa Clara County defense attorney, a crusader for social justice and a member of a family with deep roots in San Jose. But as a recovering alcoholic, he was known just as well for helping others emerge from the shoals of substance abuse -- be they lawyers, nurses, cops or Hells Angels.

Leininger, 78, of Gilroy, died March 19, 2014 of leukemia at Stanford Medical Center, where he had been undergoing an experimental treatment for his illness.
"He loved what he did, and what he did was to help people. And that's what made all the difference,'' said Jim Gleason, the executive director of the Santa Clara County Independent Defense Counsel Office.
As a lawyer, Leininger enjoyed taking the toughest cases, ones other lawyers shunned. In the 2010 trial of the men accused in the killing of Los Gatos restaurateur Mark Achilli, Leininger represented middleman Miguel Chaidez, who was accused of paying the triggerman.
"He was confident, but he wasn't arrogant,'' said his son, Michael Leininger. "He would dissect a jury and find the most appealing way to get to them.''
Leininger was a member of "The Other Bar,'' a confidential lawyers' recovery group. And he helped found the organization now known as We Care, which has helped more than 3,000 nurses with substance abuse problems.
For much of his 45-year career as an attorney, Leininger had to balance work with the demands of caring for his wife, Helen, who suffered from chronic illness. The two had met at the Sears store on San Carlos Street in San Jose, where both worked as clerks. Helen Leininger died in 2009.
Leininger was born at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose on January 23, 1936, the son of Carl Leininger, who became San Jose's city engineer, and Mary Leininger, a homemaker. The third of seven children, Leininger came from a family devoted to public service and social justice. A brother, William, was a Catholic priest. Another brother, Robert, became a ranking official in San Jose's redevelopment agency.
A 1958 graduate of Santa Clara University, Leininger worked in War on Poverty programs in the mid-'60s, graduated from Lincoln Law School and served as executive director of the Catholic Council on Social Justice.
In that job, he shamed the San Jose City Council into rejecting a bid from the Elks Club, which at the time discriminated against nonwhites, to sponsor a circus at the Civic Auditorium. Leininger pointed out to a wavering Councilman Norm Mineta, later a mayor and congressman, that he would not be able to join the Elks because of his Japanese descent.
Leininger is survived by his son, Michael, Gilroy; two daughters, Kelly Douglas, Los Gatos; and Trish Loughnane, Woodland Hills, and seven grandchildren.
submitted Mar. 24, 2014 12:22P
Gordon Abbott

Gordon Abbott '58, July 12, 1930 - November 7, 2013. A resident of San Jose, Gordon Abbott passed away after a difficult and valiant battle with cancer. His family was paramount and he enjoyed participating in his children and grandchildren's activities. An ardent sports fan and active in the community, he was also well known for his political involvement. He served on the Campbell Union School District Board of Trustees from 1971 through 1982, the San Jose Council Salary Setting Commission from 1986-1994 and on the Governor's Advisory Board for the Agnew Development Center from 1998-2009. He also served on the Santa Clara County G.O.P Central Committee from 1958-1963 and 1994-2005, earning the nickname "Mr. Republican".
Gordon was born in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from Issaquah High School, Issaquah, WA and earned a degree in Business from Santa Clara University. He was an accountant and served as a corporate finance officer for several small businesses over his career.

Gordon is survived by his loving wife, Mayme, devoted children Gordon Abbott of San Ramon, Philip Abbott of Dallas, TX and Wendy Abbott Sarsfield '83 of San Francisco, Daughters-in-law Holly Mueller Abbott of San Ramon and Tracy Driscoll Abbott of Dallas, TX and grandchildren Matthew and Nicholas Abbott of San Ramon, Sydney, Maggie and Jeffrey Abbott of Dallas, TX and Patrick and Megan Sarsfield of San Francisco.
submitted Nov. 15, 2013 3:17P
GRD Law '58
Delbert Nelson Dilbeck


Delbert Nelson Dilbeck J.D. ’58 passed away at the age of 78 from advanced pancreatic cancer on Jan. 16, 2011, at his Springfield, Va. home with his two sons at his side. He is survived by his sons, Eric M. Dilbeck of Fairfax Station, Va., and Bradford T. Dilbeck of Santa Barbara, Calif. and grandchildren Ryan, Connor, Samantha, and Sean. Born in Stockton, Calif., he completed a tour in the United States Navy (1950-1954), married his soul-mate, Joan, in 1956, and earned a law degree at Santa Clara University Law School in 1958. After many years practicing law in Stockton, he began a 20-year career in the FBI in 1972. He was a deputy assistant director at the FBI headquarters in Washington and also served as special agent-in-charge of the Knoxville and Chicago offices. After retirement, Del and his wife returned to their Springfield, Va. home. Del will be remembered as a devoted husband and father as well as for his wisdom, willingness to help others, and his integrity.


submitted Feb. 15, 2011 10:44A
GRD Law '58
Ben C. Francis

Ben C. Francis J.D. '58 on Jan. 13, 2009.  He is survived by his wife, Bernice, and three children. 

submitted May. 28, 2009 3:30P
Arthur Lafranchi

Arthur Lafranchi ’58 died from heart and kidney failure in Santa Rosa on Oct. 14, 2012. He was 76.

For the past half century, Petaluma resident Arthur Lafranchi switched between overalls and briefcases as he juggled his career as a prominent Sonoma County attorney and a dairy/grape farmer.

Born in Petaluma, Mr. Lafranchi was raised on a dairy in Nicasio in rural western Marin County. He was educated in a tiny-one-room school in Nicasio, and after three years, transferred to San Anselmo’s Elementary School in San Anselmo. He went to Marin Catholic High School and graduated in 1954.

Mr. Lafranchi majored in political science at Santa Clara University and went on to Law School at the University of San Francisco, where he graduated in 1962. After earning his law degree in 1963, he opened a practice in Petaluma and chose to focus on estate planning, trusts and real estate. Years later, he moved the practice to Santa Rosa. He went on to become a Sonoma County attorney a with a career spanning nearly 50 years. In 2010, he was honored by the Sonoma County Bar Association for his “Career of Distinction.”

In addition to his success as an attorney, his passion remained in the dairy business. His family maintained the dairy in Nicasio and went on to obtain properties in Petaluma, Valley Ford and Santa Rosa. In 1976, he and his wife, Diane, opened a new dairy in Santa Rosa, later built a home on the property, and operated the business to the present day. In 2009, they expanded into the wine business and converted 61 acres of the property into a vineyard.
In July, he was honored to be inducted into the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Hall of Fame.


submitted Oct. 22, 2012 12:53P


GRD Engineering '59
Terrence Shields

Terrence Trainor Shields M.S. '59, age 73, of Red Bluff, California and Beatty, Oregon passed away from complication of ALS (Lou Gehrigs Disease). Terry was born August 14, 1935 in Sacramento, CA to Robert Shields '24, J.D. '24 and Claire Shields. He attended Serra High School and then Santa Clara. He was in the Naval Air Reserves. After graduating he worked for the Tehama County Road Dept and ranched, a lifelong passion. He married Jessie Lagomarsino February 16, 1962. He began his career with the US Forest Service in Susanville, then Santa Barbara and Redding, CA. His community involvement included membership in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, running The Shields Open benefiting Special Olympics, Mercy High School Board, and Shasta Land Trust Board. He is survived by his wife Jessie, daughters Jessie Flatt, Claire Shields '87 and Tammy Shields, his brother Robert Shields '57 and sister Sally Norton.

submitted Nov. 3, 2010 7:02P
UGRD Engineering '59
Robert J. Machado

Robert J. Machado '59, M.S. '71 passed away on November 17, 2010 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was born in Stockton and grew up in Byron, Calif. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 1959 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He served in the US Navy as a LTJG. He was employed at Lockheed Missiles and Space for 35 years. He enjoyed woodworking and loved fishing. Bob was a strong person, patient man, supportive father and loving husband. He will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife Lois of 45 years, children Mark '88, Scott, Linda, Troy and Laura, brother Clarence, sister Rosemary, daughter in law, Catherine and triplet grandchildren, brother in law, George Fetz and many nieces and nephews. His parents, Manuel and Eva Machado, preceded him in death.

submitted Apr. 18, 2011 3:45P
Paul Rooney

Paul Rooney ’59 passed away peacefully at home on Dec. 2, 2011, after an eight-year battle with cancer. His acceptance of his illness and his will to live life to the fullest was an inspiration to all who knew him. He was born April 17, 1937, in Dorchester, Mass., the second son of William and Lillian Broderick Rooney. He grew up on the East Coast and loved to sail as a boy. The family moved to Portland, Ore., when Paul was a senior in high school. After graduating from Columbia Prep., Paul went to Santa Clara University, graduating in 1959. He spent two years in the Army based in Yuma, Ariz. His duties included traveling as a member of the tennis team.

Paul returned to Santa Clara and began a 30-year career with the Santa Clara County Probation Department. He spent many years working with child abuse victims. His expertise made him the "go to guy" for many public health nurses, physicians, and teachers in the area. Paul earned a master's degree in correctional counseling from Chapman College. He taught in the criminal justice departments of the College of the Redwoods and Gavilan College. After retiring, he worked with the Giarretto Institute.

Paul and Molly moved to Chico in 1997. Paul enjoyed life on the tennis courts, sailing his boat in S.F. Bay, golf with his buddies, Chico's bike paths, and traveling the world with Molly and friends. He was an active member of Our Divine Savior Catholic Church, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and Knights of Columbus.

Paul is survived by his wife of 49 years, Molly Rooney '61; son, Sean (Denise) Rooney; daughters, Sheila (Stuart) Murray, and Katie Valenzuela; granddaughters, Kaitlin Rooney and Julia and Liza Murray; brothers, William F. Rooney Jr. and David Rooney.

submitted Jan. 12, 2012 1:46A
UGRD Engineering '59
Nelson Bernard Sorem
Nelson Bernard Sorem ’59 passed away peacefully at his home in Ojai surrounded by his family on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at the age of 73 after a courageous battle with cancer. Nelson was born on July 9, 1937 in Ventura to his parents Cliff and Mary Sorem. He married Mary Lou Zopfi on Feb. 22, 1975 in Ojai. Nelson grew up in the Foster Park area and later made his home in Ojai. He received his BS in mechanical engineering from Santa Clara University in 1959 and his teaching certificate in 1960 from San Jose State University. Nelson taught chemistry, physics and mathematics and coached football and basketball at Villanova Preparatory School for 12 years. He extended his teaching career for another two years at the Ojai Valley School. Many people in Ojai knew Nelson from his two years as co-owner of Papa Romano's (now Boccali's). In 1975 Nelson changed careers and applied his engineering skills when he joined the Senior Canyon Mutual Water Company in Ojai. He went on to become the Manager of Operations and retired in 2005 after 30 years of dedicated service. Nelson always loved travel and new adventures and took many trips with friends and family throughout the world, usually involving his three favorite hobbies: bicycles, Porsche 356s and classic English motorbikes. Through Mary Lou's influence he became an ardent Francophile. A man of many talents and interests, he enjoyed and excelled at pottery, stonework and woodwork. Nelson is survived by his wife of 36 years, Mary Lou, of Ojai; his stepson, Domlin and his wife; his sister, Judith; and his brother, Joel. Nelson was also the favorite uncle to 13 nieces and nephews including Alexandra M. Riley-Sorem '03 and Andrea E. Riley-Sorem '95. Both his parents and his younger brother Mark Sorem '66 precede him in death.
submitted Apr. 13, 2011 10:01A
UGRD Arts & Sciences '59
Lawrence H. Cook Jr.

Lawrence H. Cook Jr. ’59 died on February 1, 2011. 

submitted Apr. 12, 2011 10:47A
John Vasconcellos

John Vasconcellos '54, J.D. '59, the famously rumpled bear-of-a-man who served 38 entertaining and volatile years in the state Legislature representing the heart of Silicon Valley, died May 24, 2014. He was 82.

Friends said Vasconcellos, whose kidneys had been failing, died at 12:15 p.m. at his Santa Clara condo.
Vasconcellos gained national fame after Republican Gov. George Deukmejian in 1986 signed legislation that created the Democratic Vasconcellos' pet project: The California Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem, Personal and Social Responsibility.
A few months later, Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau spent three weeks mocking the task force, imagining what went on inside flaky-sounding meetings.

While many politicians might have wilted under such enormous teasing, Vasconcellos -- colorful, witty, brilliant, angry, intellectual and elegantly foul of mouth -- turned the insults into a spread in People magazine and countless guest spots on TV and radio discussing the serious value of self-esteem.
"I've gotten more attention in the last several weeks than in the (previous) 20 years," he beamed in a 1987 Los Angeles Times profile.
"He had two sides: the legislator who was masterful of money flowing in and out of the Legislature and masterful in getting bills he wanted passed -- even if it took five to six years to get them done," Larry Gerston, a San Jose State political-science professor, said Saturday. Then there "was the humanitarian side. People viewed it as quirky, but he was dead serious.
"This was a person of two interesting, different minds, but both thrived."
Vasconcellos, who retired from politics in 2004 after serving 30 years in the Assembly and eight years in the state Senate, never married or had children but was widely revered and surrounded by friends at the end.
Lee Quarnstrom, a retired San Jose Mercury News journalist and longtime friend of Vasconcellos, said: "His friends knew him as a truly decent man who always based his politics on the notion that humans are basically good and that public policy that stimulates and encourages the good in humankind -- he called it the politics of trust -- should be the guiding principle for those who make the laws and develop governmental programs and policies."
Many who admired Vasconcellos said he always remained a hard-charging, idealistic liberal who considered himself both a student and teacher of all things political.
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen recalled one vital lesson from the year she was a rookie in the Legislature and was trying to sponsor bill that put legislative information online. Capitol players kept calling meetings about the proposal but strategically did not invite Bowen.
She asked Vasconcellos what she should do about her disrespectful colleagues. His recommendation: Find out when the meetings are planned and just show up.
"I don't think I would have done that without John's advice," said Bowen, suggesting she might have resorted to a nasty war in the Capitol's back halls. "John showed me that I was perfectly entitled to be at those meetings -- and showing up forced the others to realize that too."
Bowen said the secrecy halted immediately.
Almost from the day of his 1966 election to the state Assembly, Vasconcellos was a thunderous Capitol presence. He was always searching for ways to salve his tempestuous inner demons. And he publicly employed an array of "human-potential movement" therapies, including psychosynthesis and gestalt, hoping to release rage, tension and fear. He was a devotee of the teachings out of Esalen, the Big Sur center of "New Age" consciousness.
In 1970, Vasconcellos began 13 years of practicing bioenergetics with Stanley Keleman. At one point, the therapist told the politician that if he continued the therapy, his inner rage might end up "blowing your entire political career!" But Vasconcellos would not stop the discovery process.
"It caused such a fallout that the state Assembly created a team of colleagues who rushed to his side when he and his rage erupted," according to a biographical profile by Vasconcellos' legislative staff. The fellow legislators "held his hands while he blew until he settled down. Eventually, he outgrew both his rage and his need for such support."
John B. Vasconcellos Jr. was born May 11, 1932, in San Jose. His father was Portuguese, his mother German. Family lore has it that his dad was among the early Portuguese men who jumped ship in Hawaii to find work. That is how young John came to cherish Maui and build a large, extended family on the Hawaiian island.
For high school, he boarded at Bellarmine College Preparatory and graduated with top honors. He then trekked minutes up The Alameda to Santa Clara University, where he graduated magna cum laude. After serving two years as an Army lieutenant, he went to law school, also at Santa Clara, graduating in 1959 at the top of his class.
During the one year he spent on Gov. Pat Brown's campaign staff in the early '60s, politics were injected into his heart. And from the moment he finally took his first Assembly seat, Vasconcellos was a passionate, quotable and unique character.
"People are basically decent -- and given the right kinds of recognition, nurturance, love and support -- will live in constructive ways," he once said.
Throughout the 1970s, Vasconcellos actively lobbied for community-based nonviolent conflict resolution projects and university peace-study programs. He also promoted student representation on all the major governing boards in California higher education, according to the enormous cache of Vasconcellos papers, housed in a special collection at UC Santa Barbara.
Vasconcellos left the Assembly in 1996 when he was elected to the state Senate. In 1997, at age 65, he expressed an interest in running for governor, saying: "I'm better prepared than anyone else in terms of knowledge of the issues."
He was unapologetic about wanting a more expansive, generous government -- even when he was a budget wonk as chairman of the powerful Assembly Ways and Means Committee. That expertise, plus his devotion to "human potential," made it easy for him to sell himself as a political unifier.
"Over the years, I've worked with hundreds of Californians on thousands of projects, bringing people together, from the homeless to high-tech executives," he said at the time. "I have a unique record on that."
But perhaps it was all that high self-esteem that led him to soon drop out of the race. "I didn't have the stomach to get on the phone and beg" for money, he admitted after a few months. "My life is too precious."
When term limits ended his Assembly run in 1996, Vasconcellos was also chairman of the ethics committee. After winning the Senate seat, he soon chaired the Public Safety Committee. His "Tough & Smart Public Safety Program" took a preventive approach to public safety, but without making Democrats look soft on crime.
In the Senate, he also chaired committees on K-12 and higher education and the Subcommittee on Aging and Long-Term Care. He was known for guiding them both with equal shares of fiscal responsibility, kindness and savvy.
"John was the sort of man whom many, many Californians thought of as a dear friend," Quarnstrom said. "He despaired ... about the state Capitol, a place he truly loved. And yet, it was a place that he always knew needed to get better and do better."
Bowen said Vasconcellos taught politicians on both sides of the aisle many important things about doing the job earnestly, while striving for personal growth.
Even when he was done with politics, she said, he humorously laid out a thoughtful plan for a positive retirement.
"I have three requisites," Bowen remembers Vasconcellos telling her. "I don't want to be cold. I don't want to have a schedule. And, most of all, I don't want to deal with assholes!"
Bowen laughed and said, "That answer was just so John."
submitted May. 30, 2014 4:10P
John Ivanovich

John Ivanovich ’59 died on Aug. 26, 2012, at the age of 76, after a lengthy and valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a graduate of Watsonville High School (class of 1954) and Santa Clara University (class of 1959). He was a member of the Watsonville Elks Club for more than fifty years, held membership in the Watsonville Knights of Columbus Council 958, and served as a past president of the Slavic-American Benevolent Society. He practiced locally as a public accountant until 1972, when he joined the partnership of the W.L. Jefsen Company in Watsonville, where he worked until shortly before his death.

John leaves his wife of nearly 48 years, Gayle Huff Ivanovich; his son, Louis ’87, and daughter-in-law Geneva Simone Ivanovich; his daughter, Elizabeth Ivanovich; his sister, Katherine Ivanovich, and his granddaughters, Francesca and Katarina Ivanovich, all of Watsonville. John was preceded in death by his father, Louis Ivanovich, and his mother, Klare Ivanovich, both of Watsonville.

submitted Aug. 31, 2012 3:24P
GRD Law '59
John Forrest Cronin

John Forrest Cronin '53, J.D. '58, of San Clemente died on April 18, 2010. John was a graduate of Loyola High School and Santa Clara University and Santa Clara Law School. He served with distinction as a Deputy District Attorney in Orange County, California for 31 years. John lived his life with passion and grace. He is survived by his beloved wife, Elisa; his children, Tina (Ted) Strickland-Wallace, Karen Cronin and John Patrick (Judy) Cronin; and his grandchildren, Michael Mulcahy, Daniel Mejdrich, Kellie Mejdrich, Kayleigh Strickland, Bobby Strickland and Maggie Cronin.

submitted May. 13, 2010 1:55P
John F. Quirk III

John "Jack" F. Quirk III J.D. '59, 86, passed away in Bakersfield, Calif., on Feb. 19, 2014. Jack was born in Oakland, Calif., on June 22, 1927, to his parents Loretta Josephine Bowen Quirk and John Francis Quirk ll. Jack graduated from Salinas high school in 1945. He then attended San Mateo Junior College. While attending San Jose State College, Jack met his wife, Ann Virginia Page. They were married in 1952 and enjoyed 61 years of marriage together. Jack was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War, served at Far East Command Headquarters and reported directly to NATO commanders Gen. John Hull and Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor. Upon discharge from the army, Jack resumed his education at Santa Clara University, earning his J.D. in 1959. He and his family moved to Porterville, Calif., in Oct. of 1959, where he went to work in the Tulare County District Attorneys office under his mentor and friend Hon. Jaye Ballentine. He then transferred to the Public Defenders office. In 1961, Jack went into private practice and also served as the city attorney for Porterville for 17 years. He was appointed to the bench by Gov. George Deukmejian in June of 1984. Jack was predeceased by his wife Ann in Sept. of 2013. He is survived by his brother, James Patrick Quirk, his son John Quirk and wife Donna, daughter Diane Varner and husband Bob, daughter Erin Buell and husband Gary, and daughter Kelley Rockfellow and Keith Fullerton. He is further survived by grandchildren Shannon Knop and husband Carl, Katie Quirk, Grant Rockfellow, Mason Rockfellow, Connor Buell, and one great granddaughter, Clayton Knop. 


submitted Apr. 22, 2014 9:45P
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