Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in the last year by graduates in the 1970s
James Edward McGhee Sr. '74, Sept. 2, 1952 to May 4, 2014. He was born in Arkansas but immigrated to California as a teen. A resident of San Jose, he attended James Lick HS and Santa Clara University. James was employed in various management positions with Alpha Beta Grocery chain and Xerox where he was a Regional Sales Manager; KGO TV, as a consultant in the Broadcast Engineering department, and in Remote set-up as a Camera Technician at sporting events. Subsequently he developed his own consultant company, becoming CEO of Integrated Management Services. He founded the African American Parent Coalition (empowering parents in the Eastside Union School Districts). He was appointed to the Grand Jury, and held membership in the NAACP as well as many other Social Action Organizations. He leaves behind his wife Alison (Little) McGhee '72, his sons Eric and James Jr., and his daughter Lisa. Also, his grandsons Khalil, Tiburcio, David, and great-granddaughter LeilaniRose join his sisters Regina, Edna, Jane, and Angela and a multitude of family and friends.
Frank Dee Rabourn MBA '74 Nov. 21, 1929 - Nov. 13, 2013 Resident of San Jose Frank was a devout Christian throughout his life and passed into the arms of his savior, Lord Jesus Christ on Nov. 13, 2013 surrounded by his beloved family: Joyce Rabourn, his wife of forty-three years, and his children- Karin Moscato, Michael Rabourn, Lise Lucas, Frank M. Rabourn, Dianne Rabourn, Nancy (Tina) Serfozo, and Jess B. Rabourn. He spent his early years in Texas and Oklahoma. His family was his first love, followed by flying his aerobatic airplane and scuba diving throughout the world. Frank also enjoyed hunting and had a rule that anything that was shot must be eaten. Once one of his young sons pridefully shot a crow on a telephone line from an impressive distance. Frank forced him to clean, cook, and eat his crow. Frank was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served in the post World War II occupation of Germany. He then graduated in Physics from the University of Oklahoma and from Santa Clara University with an MBA. His career took him to Tinker Air Force Base, North American Aviation, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and Lockheed Martin. He leaves nine grandchildren: Sean Rabourn, Wayne Kearns, Michael Kearns, Douglas Kearns, Ethan Kearns, Caroline Rabourn, Donald Lucas III (Luke), Madeline Lucas, and Cole Lucas. He is also survived by siblings Ira Rabourn, Nan Conway and Jess C. Rabourn. The family thanks Frank's exceptional caregiver, Shanna Gans. Frank was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS, in late 2008. He was the inspiration for The ALS Emergency Treatment Fund, one of the few organizations focused on immediate treatment options.
Gilbert "Gil" Seymour MBA ’75 Resident of Anaheim, Calif. Died Feb. 17, 2014. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth Plummer Seymour and children Carolyn DePietro ’85, Tom and Glen. He served 4 years in the US Air Force, graduated from UC Berkeley, BSEE and later earned an MBA from Santa Clara University. Gil worked for several major firms in the Silicon Valley and then retired to Anaheim, Calif. to be near his youngest son and family.
Amy Jeanne Seevers Nelson M.A. ’75, born Oct. 14, 1932 and resident of Santa Cruz, passed away June 13, 2013 following a lengthy illness. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she was 80 years old. Amy lived in Santa Cruz for the past 19 years, and before then in Palo Alto and Saratoga where she and her husband David Carl Nelson raised their family. Amy earned her nursing degree from the University of Minnesota - where she met her husband in 1955. She later earned her Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University, and worked many years in Public Health for the County of Santa Clara. A talented athlete, Amy enjoyed sports. She excelled in tennis and golf, and was a member of both Valley Gardens and De La Veaga Women's Golf Clubs. Amy also liked to waterski and enjoyed many seasons of camping and boating with family and friends. She loved music, theater, and museums and her family cherishes fond memories of the special events they attended together. She was able to travel widely, and journeyed with her husband Dave over 6 continents. A member of First United Methodist of Santa Cruz, Amy served as chairman of the Social Concerns Committee, and also sang in the church choir. She and her husband helped to launch the Reconciliation Congregation Movement to promote a welcoming inclusiveness for everyone. Amy also volunteered for the Society of the Blind. Amy is survived by her husband of 58 years, Dave Nelson of Santa Cruz; her three daughters, Kris Nelson of Santa Cruz, Cindy Nelson of Palo Alto, and Kimberley Nelson of Berkeley; her son, David Nelson of Santa Cruz, and her five grandchildren, Kati, Juli, Madeline Amy, Elijah, and Kiala. Amy was deeply loved by her family and her kindness, enthusiasm, and passion for life continues to have a positive impact on all of their lives.
Timothy Dunn Cheney J.D. ’76, 64, passed away Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014 at his home. Timothy was born March 25, 1949 in Oakland, Calif. the son of Marshall and Nancy (Dunn) Cheney. His family moved to Oregon when he was in kindergarten. Tim attended Duniway Elementary School followed by Cleveland High School in Portland, Ore., where he graduated in 1967. He attended Stanford University, graduating in 1971 with a Bachelors degree, majoring in English. Tim went to law school at Santa Clara University, passing the California Bar in 1976. Tim practiced law in Palo Alto, Calif. for a few years, and then moved back to Oregon to pursue a teaching career. Tim taught business law at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. from 1984 to 1999, achieving tenure and the rank of Professor. Tim married Cynthia Pemberton August 7, 1999. Tim and Cynthia later moved to Idaho. Tim taught business law at Idaho State University from 1999 to his retirement. Throughout his life Tim was an avid and accomplished golfer. Tims battle with cancer started in 2005. He endured five surgeries. He is survived by the love of his life, Cynthia, of Dickinson, ND. Tim is also survived by his sister, Linda and his mother, both currently of Springfield, Ore.
Maureen Romano ’76 passed away on Feb. 12, 2014 at the age of 59 from complications due to pneumonia. Maureen was born in Seattle, Wash. on March 12, 1954, the second child of Dr. Robert and Mary Jean Parker Romano. Maureen is survived by her father Robert, sister Anne Sarewitz (Stephen), brothers Robert, Jr. (Cathy), Stephen (Juliet), John (Grace), and James (Brooks) as well as her many nieces and nephews: Maureen, Julia, and Alison Sarewitz; and Joseph, Tommy, Mary Claire, Henry Romano ’12, Will, Juliet, Matt, Mark, Caroline, Joshua and Nicholas Romano. Her mother, Mary Jean, predeceased her. Maureen graduated from Convent of the Sacred Heart Forest Ridge, received her undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University that included a year in the Gonzaga-in-Florence program and obtained an MBA from the University of Washington. After a hiking accident in 1982, Maureen resided at Providence Mount St Vincent in West Seattle, where she created a life for herself enriching the lives of everyone around her. She leaves behind her extended family of caregivers, volunteers, and residents at Providence Mount St Vincent. Maureen's lifelong friends remained a constant in her life both before and especially after her accident. Every year, her Forest Ridge classmates would gather at the Mount to celebrate her birthday, bringing immense joy to Maureen as she reminisced with each and every friend. She never knew a stranger, only a friend she hadn't met. Her memory for names was impeccable. She greeted all by name- and usually with the nickname she created for them. Maureen never lost her sense of humor making all around her feel at ease. Maureen's interests included a love of languages, travel, tennis, skiing and singing. She loved singing loudly I Left My Heart in San Francisco, bringing back memories of her life in the Bay area.
Joseph P Kelly III ’76, May 5, 1954, to Feb. 12, 2014. He was a resident of Santa Clara, the son of the Hon. Joseph P. Kelly ’34 and Cloiva Kelly of La Cañada. In 1972, Joe continued the family tradition of attending Santa Clara University and resided in the Bay Area ever since. Relatives who also attended SCU were cousins Kelly Idiart ’71, Roger Idiart ’75, and Daniel J. Kelly ’70. For close to 20 years Joe was a faithful employee of Old Republic Title Company. Joe traveled extensively and became a cruise expert. He enjoyed all things English and Irish. His untimely passing has left his family and friends with memories of his love, laughter, wit and kindness.
Dennis McClenahan '76, age 60, passed away suddenly on May 30, doing what he loved – playing tennis. Dennis will be remembered as a loving partner, father and friend, a successful businessman, a superb athlete, and a generous community volunteer. He lived a rich life, excelling in many domains. Most important, he will be remembered for his kind and generous sprit and his strong devotion to his family and friends. He will be deeply missed.
Dennis was a resident of Palo Alto and was raised in Santa Clara, Calif. He graduated from Bellarmine College Prep in 1972 and Santa Clara University with a B.S.C in Finance. He was a College All-American wide receiver at Santa Clara University and, upon graduation in 1976, he signed a professional football contract with the Oakland Raiders. Dennis's 35-year insurance career began in 1979 with Jardine Insurance Brokers, followed by Nationwide Insurance from 1988-1993. He then went on to own and operate D.A. McClenahan Insurance Agency before joining Professional Insurance Associates, Inc. as a Vice President in 2003.
Dennis was an incredible athlete, excelling at all sports. His particular passion was tennis. Dennis played on numerous USTA league teams and in many tournaments throughout the state. He was greatly admired by his teammates and opponents alike. In 2012, he was ranked number 1 in Northern California and number 7 in the state in his age category. Dennis was known as a formidable competitor as well as a true gentleman on and off the court.
He was active in the community as well. Dennis was a former member of the Santa Clara Preparatory Alumni Council as well as a past member of Santa Clara University Board of Fellows. Dennis enjoyed participating in fundraising events for the Canary Foundation, Menlo Charity Horse Show, and tutoring children from the Sacred Heart Nativity School. Dennis leaves behind his son Tyler (daughter-in-law Helen), daughter Molly Featherstone (son-in-law John), daughter Murphy, and his grandchildren, Cade, Max, Archer, Oakes, and Enzo. He is survived by his partner Laura Lauman, his brother Bob McClenahan, and sister Judy Vollenweider.
Charles Dean Williamson '76 March 21, 1954 - Dec 17, 2013 Resident of Santa Clara Past away at age 59. Born and raised by James and Pauline Williamson in Sunnyvale and survived by sister Rosemary Albrecht and brother James. "Chuck" graduated from Sunnyvale High School in 1972, obtained a B.S. in Economics from Santa Clara University in 1976, and two Masters Degrees in Human Resources from Boston University and Chapman University. He served in the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in the medical corps and then worked for the U.S. Veterans Service Hospital in Palo Alto until he retired in 2010. Chuck enjoyed current events, movies, dining out and his cat Rusty. Chuck loved traveling, visiting 48 states, Europe, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.
Michael Peter Bini ’77, a resident of Scotts Valley, died in December 2013. Michael, a gifted storyteller, passed away after a brief illness. He leaves behind his daughter, Casey Lynn Colwell, his parents, Louis and Marie Bini, his sisters—Suzanne Shehadeh, Adrienne Bini, and Tosca Bini (Adam Lawrence)—his brother, Robert Bini (Sarah Lindsay), his niece, six nephews, and many relatives. A graduate of Santa Clara University, Michael, 59 years old, worked in commercial real estate for over thirty years. His generous heart and free spirit will be greatly missed.
James R. Eichenberg '77 died Feb. 10, 2014, in a Temple, Texas, hospital. He was born May 22, 1951 in San Bernardino, CA to William and Laura Eichenberg.
Jim joined the Army as a Private, but after 4 years, he went to Santa Clara University on an ROTC scholarship and re-entered the Army as a Lieutenant. Jim truly enjoyed his military career which took him worldwide. He retired in 1993 as a Major. While in the Army, Jim received 2 Meritorious Service Medals, 2 Army Commendation Medals, the Good Conduct Medal, the 2 National Defense Service Medals, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, 2 Overseas Service Ribbons, the Parachutist Badge and finally, the Expert Field Medical Badge, of which he was most proud.
Jim married Patti McDonald on September 7, 1986. They adopted 2 girls, Ana and Laura, from Romania while they were stationed in Germany. After a 1 year retirement, Jim returned to work. He spent 4 years in Saudi Arabia with Vinnell Corporation training Saudi Nationals in Field Medical care. After returning stateside, Jim was a Field Manager for Healthnet Federal Services and spent several years in Dallas and Fort Drum, New York. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus in Harker Heights.
Jim was a wonderful husband and father. He was also up for the children's activities, but he did frequently ask why little girls yelled so much. We were often the site of many sleepovers and watched their impromptu dancing. Jim was a good sport about everything "pink".
Jim was also a "softie" when it came to the dogs, which grew to include 6 shih tzu's, a rabbit, a hamster and numerous fish. His easy-going nature made him a friend to everyone.
Jim is survived by his wife Patti '75, daughters Ana and Laura, brothers Bill '65 (Flo) of Ridgecrest, California, and Tom '76 (Yvonne) of Elk Grove, California. His sister Katie of Monterey, California passed away in 2011. Jim also leaves niece Caroline Manno '99, nephews James '92 and Robert '94. His father was William Sr. '41.
Ted T. Yamamura MBA ’78 was born to Masakazu and Tatsuko on January 3, 1949. He passed away peacefully on August 18, 2013 at the age of 64 with his family members by his side. He fought a courageous battle with cancer. He will always be loved and remembered by his wife of 40 years, Lilly, along with his children Brandon (Kathy) and Peter. To his family he will always be the dad with a loving and positive attitude. He was very supportive of his children's endeavors and cherished time with his family. He coached his sons' sports teams and never missed any of their school events. They also frequently took family vacations to sunny places such as Hawaii and enjoyed crabbing at their summer home. Born and raised in Seattle, Ted attended Queen Anne High School then earned a BS and MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics at UW. He continued his education in California at Santa Clara University and received an MBA degree with concentrations in finance and marketing. After graduating, Ted worked for seven years at Lockheed Martin before moving back to the Seattle area. He then began his career at Boeing as an aeronautical engineer and later became the Regional Director of the Global Asia Markets. During his 33 year career at Boeing, he traveled and built work relationships with people from all over the world. Ted had a strong passion for mentoring and empowering people. He was an active member in the community and held many leadership positions. For example, he is co-founder and developer of the Executive Development Institute (EDI), a program aimed to build culturally diverse leaders. He was President of the Boeing Asian American Professional Association (BAAPA), President of the Asian Management Business Association (now known as the National Association of Asian American Professionals - NAAAP), President of the Japanese American Chamber of Commerce, and also served on the board of many organizations. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Henry. The surviving family members include Aunt Ayako Mochizuki, Uncle Mitsuo (Peggy), Sister-in-law Susan, Brother George (Laurie), brother-in-laws, cousins, nephews and their families.
Sylvia Anne Rankin '78 passed away peacefully on Feb. 2 after a courageous battle with cancer. Born on July 7, 1956 in Montreal, Canada, she called San Jose, Calif. her home since 1962. She was a graduate of Willow Glen High School and Santa Clara University. Sylvia was a talented art teacher who enjoyed working with children to bring forth their creative ability. Prior to her career as a teacher, she was a marketing professional in the tech industry. She had a commanding personality and a laugh that would fill a room. She will be missed by many. Sylvia leaves her devoted daughter, Andree, her loving mother, her father and his wife, three brothers, two nephews, a niece and many friends. A special thank you goes to Sylvia's dear friends, Mary, Dana, Lucille and Lyn, for the special care and devotion they provided Sylvia during her illness. Everyone should be so fortunate to have such loving, caring friends.
Sue "Scarlett" Lampson M.A. ’78, April 4, 2014. A resident of Aptos, Calif., Lampson, 74, passed away unexpectedly in her home while recovering from minor surgery. Scarlett was born in South Bend, Ind. to Harold (Mickey) and Olga Keller on March 21, 1940. She earned her bachelor's degree in Nursing from the University of Michigan and later received her Master's in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from Santa Clara University. She lived and worked in Los Gatos, Calif. as a Public Health Nurse and later a Therapist for over 25 years, until her retirement in 2005 when she moved to Aptos, Calif. Scarlett enjoyed helping people and was deeply involved in volunteer work as a Peer Counselor for the Senior Outreach Services of Santa Cruz assisting seniors, as well as the Santa Cruz Public Library. She was also an active member of the Santa Cruz Diversity Center. She is survived by her son Taylor Lampson of Sebastopol, Calif., and her Daughter Lori Trebbien of Santa Cruz, Calif. and her four grandchildren. Scarlett will forever be remembered as a wonderful, caring mother and friend. She cared deeply about her family and friends and will always be remembered as kind, thoughtful, intelligent and funny. Her sense of humor and genuine personality gained her many long and close friendships. She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her.
Father John "Jack" Joseph Folmer ’78 died at Sacramento's Mercy General Hospital after a brief illness. Only son of the late Harry and Agnes Folmer, he was born in Sacramento. He came of age in a time of great social change and lived his life helping others. Ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1969, after studying at St. Pius X and St. Patrick's Seminaries, Jack earned a doctorate in canon law from Catholic U, a JD from UC Davis and studied at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley. A member of the California Bar for more than 20 years, he practiced law briefly in San Francisco. Jack served as a canon lawyer 30 years in SF, Sacramento and Monterey and was president of the Canon Law Society of America in 1985. His career included pastoral work in Fairfield, Vallejo, Sacramento and St. Agnes Parish in San Francisco as well as Newman Centers in Davis and Sacramento. He served as Rector of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento and, more recently, as Parochial Vicar at St. Mel's Parish in Fair Oaks. Jack was also active as an educator. He taught canon law at St. Patrick's Seminary, and also served as chaplain and teacher at Christian Brothers HS and later at St. Francis HS, both in Sacramento. Jack was an avid reader and film lover, a raconteur, champion of those in need, spiritual advisor and a true and loyal friend. He will be greatly missed. Closest relatives (cousins) include John Doyle (Windsor, CA), Deborah Doyle and Melvin Whartnaby (SF), Jerry and Jane Button (Fort Collins), Laurence Doyle (Newport News), Agnes Shoemaker (Omaha).
Constance "Connie" Peters Murphy '78, May 14, 2014, at her home in Alexandria, VA. Daughter of Robert and Margaret Peters; loving wife of Brian Murphy '77; devoted mother of Caitlin Murphy, Erin Murphy, and Shannon Murphy. She is also survived by her brothers and sisters, Mary Ann Peters '72 (Tim), Peggy Fox, Susan Peters (Ross), Mark and Madeline Peters, Ginny Peters, Robbie Bigley '81, and Mark Bigley '81, MBA '84; in-laws, Jean Vos, Chris and Carmi Murphy, Gregg and Monica Murphy, Gail and Luke Williams and 55 wonderful nieces and nephews. She was 58.
Christopher Nielsen Heard J.D. '78, of Sacramento, Calif., a successful attorney, dedicated psychologist, beloved father and grandfather, passed away on June 17, 2014.
Chris was born to the late Lawrence Nielsen Heard and the late Betty Ann Heard on October 29, 1950 at St. Mary's Hospital in San Francisco, Calif. He was the oldest son and second child for the couple. In 1969, Chris married Melody Benevento and had his first daughter, Felicia. While working and raising a family, Chris continued his education at the University of San Francisco, from which he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1974 with degrees in Philosophy and Theology. He went on to further his education at Santa Clara University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Juris Doctor in 1978.
Chris began his career in the law in the Santa Clara district attorney's office where he enjoyed an unprecedented record of successes. He remained a dedicated public servant throughout his career, always fighting for the underdog and ensuring that justice was served. In July of 1981, Chris and Melody welcomed their second daughter, Briana. He went on to be a gubernatorial appointee during the Deukmejian administration as well as serving in other distinguished capacities within the California State government. In addition to his academic and professional pursuits, Chris was a fitness enthusiast. He was a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, competing in several triathlons and serving as an unpaid personal trainer to many throughout the years. His daughter Briana has followed in his footsteps, competing in the New York City Marathon and continuing to challenge herself physically and mentally.
Not content to rest on his laurels and eager to make a further contribution to society, Chris went back to school later in life to receive his PhD. in Psychology after which he carved out a distinguished career in forensic psychology. His accumulation of post-graduate degrees inspired his three grandsons to lovingly call him "Dr. Grandpa." Chris was more than the sum of his parts. He was a true renaissance man who never stopped being a student. His love of learning extended to music and dance. He began piano and dance lessons very late in life. Chris read voraciously on any and all topics and was fairly well versed in everything from world history to criminal theory.
Chris was taken from his family far too soon and will be missed by his loving daughters, Felicia Marie Geller and Briana Elizabeth Heard; son-in-law Scott Geller; devoted grandsons Ryan Nielsen, Griffin John and James Powell Geller; his older sister and loving friend Elizabeth Heard Driscoll, brother-in law Gerard Driscoll and their sons Sean, Michael and Matthew; his confidant and younger brother Dr. Geoffrey Stuart Heard and sister-in-law Dr. Christine Heard and their son Kevin Christopher; his sister Lauren Heard and her children Alexandra and Gregory. In addition to his family, Chris leaves behind many close friends and colleagues as well as the countless people he touched during his time here.
Charles Phillip Johnson M.A. ’78, Oct. 9, 2013. He was born in Independence, Missouri on June 8, 1924. He was very proud of his service in the Navy which he joined immediately after Pearl Harbor in 1941. He had to have parental permission to join because of his young age. He spent his entire tour of duty aboard ships in action in the South Pacific. His ship was one of the first to sail into Tokyo Harbor at the end of World War II. He enrolled in William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri and received his BA degree. He partnered with his father in the family monument business founded by his grandfather in 1897. He sold his interest in the business to his younger brother and moved to San Francisco January 1, 1965. He started a driving school in San Francisco. After several years he began teaching Driver Education in the high school district in Sunnyvale, CA. He could see the writing on the wall concerning the future of Driver Education and took the necessary courses to begin teaching Special Education which he continued to teach until his retirement. He received his Masters degree in Special Education at Santa Clara University. November 1, 2000 he moved to Santa Rosa, CA where he resided until his death on October 9, 2013. Charlie was a member of the American Guild of Organists for over 60 years, first in Kansas City, later in San Jose and then Santa Rosa. He had played the organ in many churches over the years in these places and finally the Episcopal Mission of St. Andrew in Monte Rio, CA. Because of failing health he retired and was honored to be named Organist Emeritus October 30, 2011. He was a 67 year Master Mason. First in Independence Lodge and after moving to Santa Rosa, LaFayette Lodge #126 in Sebastopol, CA where he received his 50 year certificate. He was also a member of the Royal Arch and the Scottish Rite. He is survived by his business partner and best friend of 52 years Douglas DeForeest, his loving niece Marcia Hankins (Bill) and nephew Tripp Johnson (Sally).
Margaret Saal Blatner, MBA ’79, J.D. ’80 passed away in January 2013 after a short illness.
Kathy Clements Hunt ’79, age 56, of Clovis, California, died in an auto accident caused by inclement weather on November 23, 2013, while traveling home with her husband Tom ’79 from the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Show in Oklahoma City. Kathy is survived by her husband, Tom, and son, Miles ’12, J.D. ’15. She was a loving wife and mother who took pride in all of their accomplishments and provided them the best life possible.
Kathy and Tom met while attending Santa Clara University. They have been married for 33 years. She was most proud of Miles, 23, who also received his undergraduate degree from Santa Clara and is currently enrolled in law school there. In addition to her love of her family, Kathy was an animal lover. She loved dogs and horses. She competed nationally with her AQHA registered horses. In 2009, she was the Adequan Select Pleasure Driving Champion with her horse, Sky's Moon Pie. There has been an outpouring of support for her family from Kathy's friends and fellow exhibitors in the horse industry, which demonstrates the impact she had on those who knew her.
Catholic theologian and professor Edward T. Oakes, S.J. M.Div. '79 died in St. Louis Dec. 6, prompting his colleagues to remember his work in Christology, his wit, and his lasting effect on students.
"Fr. Oakes was a unique scholar, largely because of his Jesuit background in Classics, where he was able to really do theology within the full richness and the full texture of the Western intellectual tradition," Fr. Thomas Baima, vice-rector for academic affairs at Mundelein Seminary, told CNA. "He was a very pleasant and gregarious personality. A little bit quirky, as scholars often are," the vice-rector continued. "I always thought him delightful. He had a great wit and was very interested in current events."
Fr. Oakes, who was elected president of the Academy of Catholic Theology in 2013, had taught at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago from 2002 until October 2013, when he entered hospice care at Jesuit Hall in St. Louis. He died of complications of pancreatic cancer, the Jesuits' Missouri Province said. The Kansas City, Mo. native was 65-years-old. Fr. Baima said Fr. Oakes was best known for the "extraordinary amount of work" he did on the Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the 20th century who is widely considered to be an influence on the thought of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Fr. Oakes was involved in the ecumenical group Evangelicals and Catholics Together and was a major contributor to to the ecumenical journal "First Things."
He joined the Society of Jesus in 1966 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1979. He taught at New York University and Regis University in Denver. He had served as a scholar in residence at Cambridge University and taught English, theater and drama at St. Louis University High School. He held a doctorate in theology from Union Theological Seminary, a bachelor's and master's degree in philosophy from St. Louis University and a master of divinity in scripture from Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.
His books include "Pattern of Redemption: The Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar" and "Infinity Dwindled to Infancy: A Catholic and Evangelical Christology." Before his death he was working on a project involving the theological debate about grace and nature, Fr. Baima said. The Academy of Catholic Theology remembered Fr. Oakes as "a deeply cultured man" who "enlivened everything of which he was a part by his penetrating intelligence and warm, friendly spirit."
The Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus said in a statement that Fr. Oakes was "a joyful man" who "loved studies and the intellectual life." Fr. Baima also remembered the priest's dedication as a teacher. He recalled that one of the last public events Fr. Oakes attended at Mundelein Seminary was an Oct. 5 celebration of his book "Infinity Dwindled to Infancy." "A number of his former students, including doctoral students, came to the event," the seminary vice-rector said. "We were particularly touched by the long-term affection that they maintained for all he had done for them." "He was a teacher who was completely there for his students. He was 'all on' when it came to being a teacher," Fr. Baima said.
The Academy of Catholic Theology asked for prayers for the soul of Fr. Oakes, adding "to say that Father Oakes will be sorely missed is a profound understatement."
Donna Jean Parsons M.A. ’79, June 19, 2013. She died at her home after a long battle with cancer, multiple myeloma. Donna was born in Dunsmuir to Art and Vera Parsons, the middle of 3 children. She attended local schools, graduating from DHS in 1961. Donna was active with cheerleading, Rainbow Girls, and academic clubs, making many life-long friends. Donna was accepted at UC Berkeley, which was as far from her small town experiences as she could get! She was grateful to all of her teachers, including Ramey Drake, Grace Harris, and Reva Coon, as well as her parents, for encouraging her academic achievements and instilling a drive for higher education. After graduating from Cal, Donna worked in the social welfare field in several northcoast and SF Bay Area counties, finishing up that part of her career as an adoptions social worker in Alameda County. By that time she had gotten her Masters at Santa Clara University and went out on her own as a psychotherapist. She loved that work, developing even more her passion and skill for helping children and families with a variety of problems. In 2005 Donna realized a dream of returning to Dunsmuir, when she, husband Jon Jeffers and son Eric Burger, bought and renovated the old Oak Tree Inn (Motel?) into what is now the Dunsmuir Lodge. She was the last of the siblings to return to Dunsmuir and was so happy she could spend her last years here. Sadly, although the number of her last years were defined by the cancer diagnosis in 2007, the quality was not. She bravely fought this disease, although she didn't consider herself brave; she just wanted to live as long and as well as she could. She continued her other passions for the piano and knitting and photography, helped nurture the success of the Lodge, and spent time with her family and friends. She was part of a support group for multiple myeloma patients, who drew comfort from each other. Her continued friendship with classmates of 1961 and adjacent years, helped to make the 50th reunion in 2011 very successful. Donna leaves behind her husband of 33 years, Jon Jeffers her son Eric Burger, siblings Carol (Dick Keiser) and Bill (Hazel) Parsons. She was a loved stepmother, grandmother, and great grandmother to Diana Jeffers Williams, Danielle Finley-Haley and Michael Haley, and an aunt to Sheryl Burger. Carol's stepchildren Lori Keiser Usher and Rick Keiser were very grateful for her love and support during their childhoods, and through the births of their children. Donna will be missed by many but our hope is that her kindness and generosity and humor will live on with all those who knew her.
Brigit Kathleen Whims '79, on June 1, 2014, closed her crystal blue eyes, never to to reopen them again in this life. She was surrounded by her family and friends and passed on peacefully at her home in Saratoga, Calif. She is survived by her husband Jim; children Maclane, Parker and Makena, as well as by her mother Agnes and brother Kevin. Born April 6th, 1957 to Bob and Agnes Mcwalters of San Francisco, Calif., Brigit attended Mercy high school and went to Santa Clara university on an academic scholarship. Her first job out of school was with Xerox Corporation and years later she became a stock broker at E.F. Hutton.
She lived a healthy lifestyle centered on spending time with close friends and family, and always getting to the gym. She loved to travel and did her best to never miss one of her boys' Bellarmine lacrosse games or her daughter's horse shows.
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.