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Class Notes | Obituaries

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Showing obituaries submitted in the last year by graduates in 1970

1970

'70
Thomas W. Cain

For more than two decades, Judge Thomas W. Cain '70, J.D. '73 stayed one step ahead of cancer as the disease ravaged his body, all while overseeing some of Silicon Valley's most colorful estate cases. But after 27 surgeries and multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, the popular Santa Clara County Superior Court judge succumbed on Jan. 11, 2014, at age 65.

At Cain's request, no memorial service will be held. Instead, he asked friends and colleagues to honor his memory by performing a random act of kindness.
"Tom was a great person," Presiding Judge Brian C. Walsh said in a written statement. "He was uncomplainingly helpful to all of his colleagues," and known for "his indelible spirit, optimism and kindness."
 
In his 24 years on the bench, Cain never put in for a particular judicial assignment, such as criminal courts or probate, as most judges do. Instead, he'd always write on the annual request form, "Where ever the presiding judge needs me," Walsh said.
 
Recently, Cain presided over two high-profile probate cases. One was the dispute over Monte Sereno millionaire Ravi Kumra's estate after he was slain in a botched robbery at his mansion. The other was the showdown between painter Thomas Kinkade's estranged wife and his live-in girlfriend. The women in the Kinkade matter wound up reaching a secret settlement. In the Kumra case, Cain ruled that two school-age daughters of a former prostitute not connected to his slaying were, in fact, Kumra's biological children and entitled to a monthly family allowance.
 
Cain was appointed by Gov. George Deukmejian in late 1989 after working as a lawyer in the Santa Clara County Counsel's Office. But he didn't just preside over legal cases. He also helped decide cooking competitions long before the Food Network made such contests popular. As a certified "Kansas City Barbecue Judge," he judged the "Jack Daniels' World Invitational Barbecue Competition" in Lynchburg, Tenn.
 
An avid cook, the judge also won an award from Sunset magazine for his salmon recipe. The magazine published the judge's recipe for oven-baked "Oriental Fish and Chips" in the August 1996 edition, complimenting him for his "striking presentation" of "potato-encrusted fish with a confetti of red and yellow bell peppers topped with steamed asparagus spears brushed with olive oil and browned under the broiler." "Cooking was his passion," his sister Pat Thompson said.
 
Cain was born in Maryland in 1948 and moved to San Jose with his family in 1956. He was the oldest of three children and the only boy. Elected class president at one point, he decided at an early age to become a lawyer, Thompson said.
 
"You never wanted to play Monopoly with him because he could B.S. his way through anything, which is important for being a lawyer," she said.
 
Last year, he received an award for outstanding service to the probate bar from by the Silicon Valley Bar Association. During his career, he also served as an instructor at Lincoln University School of Law and guest instructor in Southern Russia in a program sponsored by the American Bar Association.
Cain loved sports, so much so that he'd watch soccer even if it was broadcast on a foreign language station. He also attended spring training in Arizona for the Giants and the A's every season.
 
He died Saturday at his Willow Glen home, surrounded by his family. He is survived by wife Terri (who recently retired as director of court services), son Josh and daughter Alessandra '14 (and their mother, judge Vanessa Zecher B.A. '84, J.D. '87); sisters Pat and Jan, mother Mary Jane; stepchildren Anthony, Troy and Sara and grandchildren Elsa, Madica, Taylor and Dylan.
 
At Cain’s request, instead of a memorial service, he asked friends and colleagues to honor his memory by performing a random act of kindness.  The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a contribution to his memory be made to Optimal Hospice in Santa Clara.  Any sympathy notes may be sent to Campus Ministry which will be forwarded to the family.
submitted Jan. 16, 2014 10:29A
'70
Gerald "Jerry" Ritthaler

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. 

submitted May. 22, 2013 4:20A
'70
Bill Deutsch

Bill Deutsch ’70 journeyed to Heaven on December 19 after more than two years of battling cancer. Born on May 15, 1948, he grew up in Downey, Calif. He chose to attend Loyola High School in Los Angeles. Bill graduated from Santa Clara University in 1970, and joined the Army as an officer where he spent six years serving his country. Bill spent most of his adult life in Stockton, working in different fields of Real Estate, while acquiring his Masters in Business. The last 23 years he spent as an MAI, Commercial Appraiser. Bill loved the Notre Dame Fighting Irish never missing a game, teaching his daughter, Katie, to say "Shake Down The Thunder" and "Go Irish" as soon as she could talk. He was a history buff who could not get enough books or memorabilia of all the American wars. Bill was in the Knights of Columbus where he served as the Grand Knight. The most important thing to Bill was his family, wife of 22 years, Mary Lou, daughter Katie, sister Emily and brother-in-law, Ken Keller, his nieces and their families, Uncle Louie Venturini and his family, and all his family in Southern California.

submitted Dec. 30, 2013 12:37P

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