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Class Notes | Obituaries

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Showing obituaries submitted in last 6 months by graduates in 1960

1960

UGRD Leavey Business '60
James F. Russi

James F. Russi '60 passed away on June 2, 2014 at the age of 76. Beloved husband of Arleen Russi of Alameda. Loving father of Jack (Jodie), Tim (Alicia), Joe (Lynn), Cathy Thomas, Patrick (Kelly) and Shelley (Rahn Twitchell) . Adored Papa of 18 grandchildren.

James (Jim) was born in San Francisco on June 1, 1938 to Francis John and Catherine (Carroll) Russi. He was an older brother to Fr. John Joseph Russi and Carroll McDaniel both deceased and an Uncle to Carroll's two children Kitty and Patty. He graduated from St Cecilia Grammar School , St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, and Santa Clara University, where he was a basketball player. He was second team all-conference in 1960 and honorable mention in 1959. He is in the Hall of Fame at Santa Clara University. The pinnacle of his sports career was to be a first round draft pick for the St Louis Hawks in 1960.

Jim was a CPA and a long-time partner in Yandell Truckaway and Santa Clara Warehouses. Jim coached CYO basketball from 18 years of age and was Athletic Director for over 25 years at St Joseph's Grammar School in Alameda. For many years Jim and Arleen ran the CYO East Bay Parochial League for the Oakland Diocese and their impact on youth and sports in the Bay Area has been substantial . He was a legend in adult basketball leagues in the area and frequently sought after pick-up basketball player at Franklin and Washington Parks. 

Jim lived his life with a few simple principles. God and family were always first and if you were going to do something then try to be the best. He has been a significant and positive influence for so many, and truly has left the world a better place. He will be dearly missed. 

submitted Jun. 6, 2014 3:25P
UGRD Leavey Business '60
Daniel Lester

Daniel E. Lester 60, age 75, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Aug. 15, 2014, the day that commemorates the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven.

Dan was born on Oct. 8, 1938 to proud parents Ed and Willa Lester, residents of Santa Cruz, California. The family moved to Watsonville where Dan attended Freedom Elementary School and Watsonville High School – where he met his only love and lifetime soulmate, Patricia Copriviza.

Inspired by the popularity of rock and roll, Dan learned to play the guitar and recorded four original songs – making him a popular local musician. He decided, however, that a career in music would not become his life's pursuit. After graduating from Santa Clara University in 1960, Daniel and Patricia were married at St. Patrick's Parish in Watsonville on June 11 of that year. After settling into their first home on Green Valley Road, Watsonville, Patricia gave birth to five children in the first six years of their marriage. The children attended Moreland Notre Dame in Watsonville, followed by Aptos High School before moving on to various colleges and careers.

Dan launched his career in the home sales industry and eventually formed a partnership with trusted colleagues Richard Roach and Don Gardiner, with a focus in commercial development. William Locke-Paddon later joined the firm known as Lester Roach & Gardiner, which currently owns and operates residential and commercial property in Santa Cruz County.

Dan was always full of life and adventure, and he relished worldwide travel – collecting art and antiquities along the way. He loved to share his lust for life with his family and friends, and often traveled with them on trips to places such as Asia, Africa and Indonesia. His worldwide travels inspired him to create impressive paintings with Aboriginal, Asian and Pre-Columbian influences – recognized by many as superb works of art. He was intensely interested in the history and culture of the places he visited, and loved to collect relics of the past and display them with pride and knowledge, always ready to answer questions about the ancient artifacts he had collected.

Saltwater and freshwater fishing was a great source of enjoyment to Dan, and he recently won a world-class fishing tournament in Mexico. As a testament to his achievements, his family office, Lester Company, is adorned with many of his trophy fish. Following his lifetime dream of owning a ranch, Dan purchased land in the Aptos hills, planted a successful vineyard that has produced many award-winning wines. He and Patricia later built their dream house on the ranch – always a welcoming venue for family, business and charitable gatherings. 

Dan was a unique man who was well loved by all his family. He had the rare ability to make people feel intensely important in his presence, and built bonds of friendship with almost everybody he encountered throughout his life. As a successful man, he was generous to those in need and always ready to give a helping hand. He was moved by the inequalities he observed throughout his life and travels and made a habit of being generous to others and helping them pursue their dreams. 

In the passing of Dan Lester, the community has lost a true renaissance man who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife Patricia, sons Mark Lester 83 (Suzy), Sean (Lori) and Joseph his daughters Lori Johnson ’85 (Steve) and Kelly Armstrong also his grandchildren Megan and Logan Johnson, Jackson Armstrong, Tobin and Annie Lester and great grandson London Johnson. He is also survived by his first cousin Steve Benson (Evette). 

submitted Aug. 28, 2014 3:03P

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