Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in the last year by graduates in 1963
Michael D. Soper ’63, May 30, 2013. Bartender, Carpenter, Real Estate Broker, Assistant Professor at Fresno State, General Contractor, Home Builder, Chief Appraiser, State of California R/W Appraiser: Truly a Wearer of Many Hats. Writer, Artist, Storyteller, Wordsmith, Historian, Photographer: A Real Beat. Panther, Don, Bronco, Golden Bear: A Gentleman and a Scholar. Friend. Drinking Buddy. Onetwelfth of the Dirty Dozen. Husband to Pam. Dad to Kate, Braden and Stephen. Papa to Lucas, Juna and Olive. NOW RETIRED...and missed by all. We Love You Mike. For information on the celebration of Mike's life write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph David Cusick MBA ’63 Oct. 18, 1929-Mar. 27, 2013. A resident of Los Gatos, he passed away at home in Los Gatos, of melanoma. He is survived by his loving and supportive wife of 61 years, Kathryn Vermilya Moore Cusick, their eight children Stephen, Anne, Eileen, Michael (Joyce) Joseph (Nanette), Mary, James (Michelle), and John (Eiko), 14 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Joe was born in Chicago on October 18, 1929, to Joseph M. and Rose Gerrity Cusick. He came to California to attend Stanford University, where he was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity, Sigma Delta Chi professional journalism organization, Navy ROTC, and the football and wrestling teams. After receiving his degree in 1951, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Princeton off Korea. He was trained as a pilot in Pensacola, FL and was assigned to fighter squadrons at Moffett NAS. While on night maneuvers in July 1954, his jet experienced a flameout; he guided the aircraft away from residential areas and made a crash landing in a cherry orchard in Sunnyvale. He continued to fly jets and antisubmarine aircraft at Alameda NAS as a reserve officer. Joe had a long career in military aerospace, first at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company for ten years and then as a civilian manager at the Air Force Satellite Test Center, both in Sunnyvale. He was Chief of Operations at the time he retired in 1991. He received an MBA at Santa Clara University in 1963, was a Sloan Fellow at the Stanford Business School in 1972-73, and received an MS from San Jose State University in 1976. Joe met his wife Kathy at Stanford, and after graduation both were active volunteers for the university. He was a fundraiser for over 50 years and served as chair/co-chair for numerous alumni conferences and class reunions. He served as chairman of the Associates of the Stanford University Libraries and was a board member of Stanford Associates. He received the Gold Spike Award in 1973 for distinguished volunteer service and the Stanford Associates Award in 1995. He was also a member of the Block S Society, Buck-Cardinal Club, Alumni Association, and Founding Grant Society. Joe loved to travel, beginning with his teenage road trips throughout the western United States and Mexico. After retirement, he and Kathy traveled throughout Europe and to other destinations such as Japan, China, Australia, and South Africa, frequently as part of biennial reunions with his Stanford Sloan Program classmates and spouses. He was also active in the Saratoga Men's Club, Los Gatos Rotary, and the Los Gatos Museum Association.
Gerald "Jerry" A. Ritthaler ’63, MBA ’70: December 5th, 1941 - February 22nd, 2013. Jerry, to his three sons, family, and countless friends, lived life with boundless enthusiasm. He was known to start conversations with a family member, close friend, or perfect stranger (soon to be a friend) by telling them about the best food he's ever had in this life, the greatest game or play he's ever seen, the nicest person he's ever met, or something very simple to the rest of us that simply amazed him. Pops would end the story with the declaration, How cool is that? It sounded like a question, but it was more of a statement about his zest for life and optimism. His enthusiasm was contagious and brought a smile or a laugh to everyone who came into his life, each and every day. Born on December 5, 1941 to Jaconda and Philip Ritthaler in Sacramento, CA, Jerry was destined to make friends and make a strong 1st impression from the day he was born. He grew up in the Sacramento area and attended college at Santa Clara University where he earned a Bachelor's and Master's Degree. After college, he had a successful business career in sales at General Foods, Sunshine Biscuits, and Kroger. Jerry's Bay area roots were an early indicator of one of his great loves in life sports. From the time he could yell and listen to a game on the radio, he developed a great passion for sports, and this passion never wavered for a second. He cheered early and often for the Raiders and Athletics because of his strong California ties, and he never stopped cheering for his beloved Oakland teams, but he added many teams in Georgia to his shirt and hat collection when he moved to Georgia in 1979. Once his three boys Mike, Mark, and Matt attended and graduated from the University of Georgia, he was destined to be a life-long Dawgs fan. Pops also had enough spirit in his heart to add the Falcons to his list of football teams he pulled for. Sundays in the fall were never dull with Jerry around, and he always had the game on and a rooting interest in the outcome no matter who was playing. One of Jerry's other great sports loves was baseball. He started out an Oakland A's fan while in the Bay Area, but after moving to Georgia, he quickly adopted the Atlanta Braves as his favorite team. Pops was always ready to head to the ballpark and watch his beloved Braves with anyone who would go with him. No matter how many times they broke his heart in October, he was ready again the following spring, enthusiastic and full of optimism. When he was not in Atlanta, he was always looking for a good deal on some tickets so he could catch the local team and enjoy a few cold ones at the ball park. Pops also brought this love for baseball to his family. He coached his sons in little league baseball in Scotts Valley, CA, teaching them the fundamentals and never missing a game, but more than anything he taught them a love for baseball, sports, and competition. Pops kept the family baseball tradition and love of sports alive with his grandchildren, attending Matthew's baseball and hockey games, Katie's softball and gymnastics, Daniel's baseball and basketball, and Evan's baseball games. He was a fan of his sports teams and an even bigger fan of his boys and grandchildren. Later in his life, Jerry had the good fortune to meet Marilou, who became his wife in 2011. They enjoyed a loving and devoted marriage for 2 + all too short years, but they filled that time up with passion, laughter, and a great appreciation for the opportunity to find true love late in life. Jerry and Marilou shared their devotation to their Catholic Faith and attended church and bible study regularly together. The marriage of Jerry and Marilou also allowed two families to meet each other and become one as Mike and Daniel, Mark and Mary Beth along with Katie and Matthew, and Matt and Kim were able to meet Michelle and Scott Whitehead and their children Erin and Evan to create a new and loving family. Jerry's gift of bringing people together will never be forgotten. Pops was a father figure to many of his sons' close friends in the Dunwoody, GA area. Now and forever, all of those who were fortunate enough to meet Pops will remember him for his stories. He never bragged about himself, but he never stopped telling proud stories about his sister Phyllis and her husband Scott, the good people he met through his charitable work, the love he had for the choir at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Historic Sweet Auburn, and whomever he was going to meet tomorrow. Jerry had an opinion on everything and it was almost always a positive, kind, and hopeful one. Pops will be greatly missed but never forgotten. If the question is, How cool was that man? The answer is The Coolest of them All.ö We will hear his joyful voice in our heads for the rest of our lives. When Pops passes thru the gates of heaven, a crowd will welcome him. Some will have known him well, others simply heard he was coming, and then he will get back to work checking on his earth bound family and friends. Jerry is survived by his wife, Marilou Ritthaler, of Alpharetta; sons, Mike Ritthaler, of San Rafael, CA, Mark (wife, Mary Beth) Ritthaler, of Atlanta, Matt (wife, Kim) Ritthaler, of San Francisco, CA, step-daughter, Michelle (husband, Scott) Whitehead, of Cumming; grandchildren, Katie Ritthaler, Matthew Ritthaler, Daniel Ritthaler, Erin Whitehead, and Evan Whitehead; sister, Phyllis (husband, Scott) Keilholtz, Sacramento, CA and Nephew Erik Keilholtz (wife, Melanie and daughter, Amalia) of Vallejo, CA.
Frank Bert Firpo Jr. '63, 73, of San Bruno, died peacefully on Jan. 10, 2014, surrounded by his family. He was born to the late Frankand Marie Firpo on December 9th, 1940 in San Francisco. He attended St. Cecilia School ('55), St Ignatius College Preparatory ('59) and Santa Clara University ('63). While at Santa Clara, he met the love of his life, Sharon Marie (McHugh) Firpo, and they married on December 26, 1964.
Frank was a teacher at Burlingame High School for 39 years. In addition to teaching, he coached the school's boys and girls basketball, girls volleyball and girls softball teams. He was a devoted Giants and Santa Clara basketball fan, and used his season tickets to attend every game possible. In retirement he developed a love of cooking, world travel, gardening and cheering on his grandsons in their own sports. Throughout it all, he also served at St. Robert's as lector and Eucharistic minister.
Frank is survived by his wife Sharon, brother George (Patricia - deceased), son Tony and his wife Chrissy and children Jason, Ryan and Connor, daughter Julie and her husband Karl Bohn and children Brendan and Kevin, son TJ and his husband Ben Bowler, and daughter Janet and her husband Dave Baird and children JT and Tommy.
Dr. Edward Patrick Creehan ’63, Aug. 13, 2013. A.k.a. 'Purr-C', 'Dr. Cutie Pie', 'Bub', 'Pepys', 'Grampy', and 'Pepsi Pat', he passed away at his home in Fair Oaks, Calif. surrounded by family. He was 71 years old. Born in 1941 in Virginia to mother Mary Rita Creehan and Edward Patrick Creehan, Patrick spent much of his youth in San Mateo, Calif. He attended Serra High School, followed by Santa Clara University, UCSF for medical school, and the University of Michigan for his residency in Dermatology. Patrick was also a flight surgeon in the Navy, stationed in Antarctica. During his time there, he would frequent New Zealand, which was where he was set up on a blind date with the woman who would become the love of his life. Patrick and his kiwi bride would later settle down in Fair Oaks where they shared a life filled with travel, art, food, drink, philanthropy, books, movies, family, and love. Patrick is predeceased by his wife, Yvonne Creehan. He is survived by his son, Mark Rea; daughters, Alexandra Creehan and Tara Creehan; son-in-law, Charles Sommer; grandchildren, Colin, Jennifer, and Indira; sister, Mary Richardon ’68; brother, Dennis Creehan; brother-in-law, Stan Leven; sister-in-law, Liz Gross; cousin, Rob Hutchinson; honorary daughter Rhonda Pope, many loving nieces and nephews; cats, Draupadi and Sita; and dog, Emmy Lou.