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Class Notes | Obituaries

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Showing obituaries submitted in last 6 months by graduates in 1958

1958

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
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

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