Class Notes | Obituaries
Showing obituaries submitted in last 6 months
Sam J. Alaimo '44, '47, 93, passed away peacefully in his home on April 26, 2015. He was blessed to have celebrated his birthday a week before with his eight children, their spouses, and many of his 17 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He was born in San Jose to immigrant parents who arrived from Sicily in 1912 and was the fifth of six children. He attended St. Patrick's Elementary School, San Jose High School, and Santa Clara University on a hard-earned four-year college scholarship. His SCU Class of '44 was known as the "Fighting 40s," as most of them had to leave the University their junior year to either enlist or be drafted during WWII. He attended his 70th college reunion last October, when he was honored with this very special group of men.
Sam was trained as an officer after enlisting in the Army. He was a unit commander, field artillery, stationed in the Philippines and Japan. His basketball skills qualified him to both coach and become a key player on the military basketball team which won the Army Olympics in front of 18,000 fans, mostly troops.
Rev. Gerald L. McKevitt, professor emeritus of history at Santa Clara University, died September 18, 2015, at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, in Los Gatos. He was 76 years of age.
Jerry was born in Longview, Washington, on July 3, 1939. His family relocated to Quincy (Plumas County) where he graduated from the local high school. He graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1961 with a history major and philosophy minor and began graduate studies in history at the University of Southern California, earning an MA. In 1963 he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Los Gatos to begin training for the priesthood. His studies took him to Gonzaga University, Spokane, and in 1967 he started doctoral studies in history at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received his Ph.D. in 1972. Theological studies were taken in Rome, where he received his degree in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Jerry was ordained a priest in San Francisco in June 1975 and began a lifetime association with Santa Clara University. As research professor and archivist, he was given the task of writing the history of the university. Based on his doctoral dissertation, his The University of Santa Clara, a History, 1851-1977, was published by Stanford University Press in 1979.
Through the years Jerry rose to the rank of full professor serving as department chair, University archivist, University historian, and rector of the Jesuit Community. In 2004 Jerry was named the Ignacio Ellacuria University Professor for Jesuit Studies at Santa Clara. In addition to teaching a variety of courses, he continued his research in Jesuit history in the U.S. and published numerous articles and book reviews in scholarly journals and contributed to scholarly reference works. His award winning book, Brokers of Culture: Italian Jesuits in the American West, 1848-1919, was published by Stanford University Press in 2007.
His other academic experiences included visiting professorships at Fordham University and Seattle University, memberships on the editorial board of Studies in Jesuit Spirituality, and board membership on the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Santa Clara and Gonzaga Universities and was active in professional organizations. He curated an extensive collection of Jesuits in fiction, now part of the university’s special collections, and cultivated his hobby of watercolor painting.
After his retirement from the classroom, he continued his research and gave a number of lectures to a wide variety of audiences. At the time of his death he was working on a book length history of Jesuit higher education in the United States.
Contributions in Jerry’s memory may be made to the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053.
Long before he became an early Warren Buffett investor and a wealthy philanthropist, Lee Seemann '42 was a 23-year-old from Omaha piloting a B-17 over Germany. Seemann, a decorated war hero who often called himself “an incredibly lucky guy,” died on June 2, 2015, in Omaha. He was 95.
Seemann was born May 10, 1920, in Minnesota, but his father, a car dealer, soon moved the family to Omaha. Lee attended Dundee Elementary and Central High, class of ’38. At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, he played football at Santa Clara University in California, where he took part in ROTC and was president of the senior class. After World War II, in which he survived a number of close calls, he met Willa Davis, who immediately liked him.
Seemann bombed the Normandy coast on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and flew his final mission on Aug. 9. Some 30,000 American airmen based in England died in the war, but Seemann enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with his mother in Omaha.He received the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross (twice), the Purple Heart and the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters. He recounts his harrowing tales in his 1998 memoir with David Harding, titled I Thought We Were Goners.
Lee became a branch manager at International Harvester and later started his own business, Seemann Truck and Trailer.Willa’s father was a prominent Omaha urologist, Dr. Edwin Davis. He and the Seemanns, still in their 20s, invested with Buffett in the late 1950s and built large fortunes. Over the years, Lee and Willa Seemann have donated quietly to universities, hospitals, museums, churches and other charities. In the 1990s, they were major contributors to the Strategic Air & Space Museum. They also donated to his high school, and a decade ago Central named its new football facility Seemann Stadium.
In 2000, Seemann underwent heart bypass surgery. In recent times he was in hospice care, and his wife said he died from various old-age ailments.
Robert Finocchio Sr. '50, born Dec. 3, 1928 and a resident of Los Gatos, passed away on August 31 at the age of 86 with his loving wife and children by his side. Born and raised in San Francisco, Bob attended St. Ignatius High School and in 1950, graduated from Santa Clara University. In the summer following graduation, Bob married Virginia Arata of Ross, California, with whom he celebrated a 65th wedding anniversary on August 19th of this year. Bob had a long and successful career with the Bank of America where he started as a teller and nearly 40 years later, retired as a senior executive. Bob's work at the bank served to finance the transition of the Santa Clara Valley from an agricultural economy to the Silicon Valley we know today. Bob was also a dedicated alumnus of Santa Clara University, serving as a member of the Board of Fellows for many years. He loved hunting and golf and was an avid sports fan. Most of all, Bob was a devoted husband and father who created a family life filled with fun, laughter, and many wonderful traditions. In addition to his wife, Virginia, Bob is survived by his seven children: Robert J. Finocchio Jr. ’73 (Susan), who has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees and Dean’s Executive Professor of Management at SCU; Suzanne Rollin, Marianne Jackson, Judy Schebetta, Alan Finocchio, Chris Finocchio (Tiffany), and Melissa Burdekin (John), his seventeen grandchildren, Alex, Amanda, Bryce, Chris, Erik, David, Garth, Gray, Joseph, Jonathan, Kyle, Matthew, Madeleine, Nathaniel, Nick, Peter, Ryan, and his five great grandchildren, Brendan, Everett, Jasmine, Max, and Parker. A funeral Mass was held on Sept. 11 at the Mission Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Scholarship Fund at Santa Clara University.
Richard DiNapoli '50, resident of Los Gatos, passed away peacefully at his Los Gatos home on Aug. 22, 2015, surrounded by his wife Lynette of 61 years, and his immediate family. He was 88 years old.
Dick was born in San Jose, CA to Frank and Edna DiNapoli. He was the eldest brother to Shirlee DiNapoli Schiro and J. "Phil" DiNapoli '64. Dick was a graduate of Bellarmine High School and Santa Clara University and served in World War II as a Merchant Marine.
Dick was blessed with a long and successful career managing Sun Garden Packing Company. For 55 years, Sun Garden canned peaches, apricots and tomatoes in San Jose employing thousands of loyal and hardworking Santa Clara residents. Dick had a genuine interest in people and treated everyone he met with kindness and respect. When Sun Garden closed in 1994, it was the last remaining tomato processor in "The Valley of Heart's Delight".
Along with his wife and siblings, Dick is survived by his three sons and daughters-in-law, Richard "Rick" '77 and Julie, Rob and Karin, Matt and Gretchen, seven grandchildren Gina, Emerson, Elizabeth, Aaron, Madison, Christopher, Justin and two great grandchildren, Bowyn and Rocco; most of whom joined Dick and Lynette each and every Sunday for dinner.
Dick will be remembered for his patience, loyalty and gentile demeanor. He had a zest for life and a desire not to miss out on anything, especially if it involved family. He exited this world exactly how he lived it, with grace and dignity.
Joseph Vincent Reynolds Jr. '52 passed away on July 10th at his home in Napa. He was born on May 18th, 1928 in Los Angeles, CA to parents Joseph Vincent Reynolds Sr. and Helena Ingaborg Strom. He had one sibling, Patricia Reynolds, born in 1930. He graduated from Loyola High School in Los Angeles. After graduation he joined the Army and served a one year tour of duty with the 69th Division of engineers in Korea. Upon returning home he enrolled at the University of Santa Clara on the GI bill and obtained a B.S. in engineering in 1952. During his senior year in 1951 he met his future wife, Carol (Hinds) Reynolds, when mutual friends introduced them on a blind date. Following graduation Joe was called back into the Army and served a second one year tour in Korea, this time with the 235th Field Engineers. Following his discharge from the Army, Joe and Carol were married in Los Angeles in April of 1954. Joe?s career in civil engineering began in Los Angeles, then Burbank, then Santa Paula, and in 1960 the family moved to Walnut Creek when he began working for the Bechtel Corporation. In 1966 he was hired by the Public Works Department of Napa and the family moved to Napa in 1967. In 1968 Joe moved to the Napa County Flood Control District office and later became Chief Flood Control Engineer. In 1976 Joe returned to work for Bechtel and spent time in Saudi Arabia working on the engineering and implementation of the water systems for the city of Jubail. He retired in 1994. Joe was a loving and beloved family man, and most enjoyed time spent with his family and working around his property in Napa. He was a gracious and genial host to extended family and friends as he and Carol hosted many parties and family reunions over the years. Joe also enjoyed spending time in nature, having developed a love of backpacking early in his marriage. He took several trips with his children to the Trinity National Forest in northern California. Even into his early 70s, he went on solo backpacking trips. An avid reader, he shared that love by reading out loud to his children. He and youngest daughter Amy would read to each other in later years. Joe is survived by his wife of 61 years, Carol Reynolds, children Teresa Reynolds, Mary Jane Reynolds, Shannon Victor '85, Ann Reynolds, Amy Reynolds and daughter in law Vanessa Waddy. He was preceded in death by children Kathleen Crews, Christopher Reynolds and Timothy Reynolds. His grandchildren are Andrew Crews, Bethany Crews, Emily Crews, Brian Crews, Langston Waddy-Reynolds, Moira Waddy-Reynolds, Neemah Waddy-Reynolds, Helena Victor and Liam Reynolds.
William T. Olson Jr. ’54 was fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church on Nov. 1, 2014. He passed away on Nov. 2, 2014. Beloved husband to the late Mary C. "Kitty" Olson (nee Cunningham); devoted and loving father of William T. Olson III, Edwin J. (Mary) and Caroline M. Olson; dear brother of James A. Olson (Jody) and the late John M. Olson; dear brother-in-law of Nancy Olson; beloved grandfather of Will, Taylor, Grace, Michael and Julia; dear uncle and cousin, and friend to many. He was born July 25, 1933.
Theodore Martin Welp '55 and Dolores Elaine (Bruno) Welp of Boise, ID, died Sunday, March 8, 2015, unexpectedly and tragically in their home. Ted was born in Colma, CA on June 13, 1934. Elaine was born in her Grandmother Rose's cabin at the base of Mount Borah in Custer County, ID on May 8, 1938. They were devoted to each other for 57 years, and through the combination of Ted's optimism and Elaine's love, they created a truly incredible life together. They were devoted parents to their four children, making numerous life choice to guarantee that their deaf son Tom had a life full of opportunities and experiences equal to those available to their other children.
As a kid, Ted work with his father Martin in the landscaping and walnut growing businesses. He attended Santa Clara University on a baseball scholarship, going on to play baseball for the US Army team. He loved playing golf and had a 7 handicap. He never met a dessert he didn't like; one of his favorites was a chocolate dipped ice cream cone. He was lauded as a financial genius, working for GE, PG&E, TEP and Alamito. To his kids he was just Dad.
Elaine was a fantastic cook, a member of the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild, an avid reader, and proud of her rough and tumble Mackay roots. She was an early advocate and supporter of the value of sign language for the deaf, as well as an early and continuous supporter for the Community Outreach Program for the Deaf in Tucson, AZ. Elaine also directed the Dove Foundation which supported various causes, many of which focused on eye research, Catholic charities and the deaf and blind community. Mom's cowgirl spirit brought them back to Idaho in the early 90's, where she and Ted spent summers in Stanley, ID surrounded by the peace and beauty of nature, and the love of their children, grandchildren and friends. In our family, there were two spoken rules: education is number 1, and always take care of your family. There was also an unspoken rule: love as big as you can.
They are survived by their children and their children's spouses, Katherine (Jim) Nesci, George (Tiffany Roberts) Welp, and Lori (Guy) Hudson. In addition they are survived by their grandchildren who they loved dearly, Katie, Clay, Lily, Evy, Alexandra, Victoria, Ean, Dylan and Jace, as well as Ted's sister and her spouse, Rosie (Joe) Keebler, his brother-in-law Harold Schulz and their nephews and nieces: Kenneth P. Schulz '81, Douglas, Audrey, Katie and Paula. They were preceded in death by their son Martin Theodore Welp who died of complications soon after birth; and died at the same time as their devoted and caring son, Tom. They were also preceded in death by their parents, Martin and Paula Welp, George and Miriam Bruno, and Ted's sister Betty Schulz.
Victor A. Bertolani '56, J.D. '60, an influential lawyer and educator who opened doors to the legal profession for many judges, prosecutors, and litigators, died April 5 of an aortic abdominal aneurysm, his family said. He was 80.
James Patrick Connolly '61, M.S. '72 was born in Oakland in 1938 to James P. and Mamie W. Connolly. He attended Napa Union High School and graduated in 1956 and married Sharon in 1997. James passed away in San Jose on February 2, 2015. He was a retired engineer and manager whose career spanned 49 years at NASA, managing the design and development of Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and small spacecraft payloads. He joined the Peace Corps in 1964, and spent 2 years working on road and building projects in Tanzania. He graduated from Santa Clara University with an MS in Electrical Engineering in 1972. James is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Sharon and his children Tim Connolly of Campbell, Thad Connolly of Oakland, and Michael Sommese of San Jose.
Robert B. Yonts '63, J.D. '68, who served as a Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge for 13 years and spent more than two decades in private practice before that, died April 9, 2015. He was 73 and a resident of Soquel. Yonts served in the U.S. Army from 1963 until 1965 and was stationed in Germany as a lieutenant in the 7th US Cavalry, according to the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc., for which Yonts was an arbitrator.
Judge Yonts was born in Seattle, Washington, and raised in California. Judge Yonts was very proud of his duties in the army, and shared his many fond memories with family and friends. His successful private law practice in Santa Cruz led him to an appointment as a Superior Court Judge in Santa Cruz County. Practicing for more than 16 years, Judge Yonts leaves many dear colleagues who will miss his leadership and generosity. Upon retirement from the bench he remained involved in numerous civic activities and organizations including JAMS, CASA, and the Santa Cruz Rotary Club. He was member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Capitola, and enjoyed numerous activities with family and friends.
William A. "Bill" Sullivan J.D. '67, age 76, died Nov. 28, 2014, at his Pasadena, Calif., home. Bill was born in the San Francisco to Marian and Harry Sullivan, and earned a bachelor's from Stanford University. After serving four years of active duty with the U.S. Air Force, he attended law school at Santa Clara University then clerked for a justice of the California Court of Appeals. Following several years in the private practice of law, he joined Lockheed in Burbank and spent 28 years in its corporate legal department, retiring in 2002. He remained in the Air Force Reserve after active duty, becoming a judge advocate, and retired as a colonel after more than 30 years of duty (with the award of the Legion of Merit). Bill volunteered in the City of Pasadena for many years, including 7 years with the Utility Advisory Commission (3 years as chair) and several years with the Pasadena Police Department. He served as foreman of the Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury (2003-2004) and as a member of the County Economy & Efficiency Commission (2004-2005). He joined the Quality and Productivity Commission in 2006, serving as chair for 2 years (2011-2012). He also served as a temporary judge with the Los Angeles Superior Court since 2005.
He leaves his beloved wife of 15 years, Nancy; his daughter Marian Sullivan of Arlington, Virginia, and her husband John L. Corso and their two sons, Michael and John Jr; his daughter Margaret Wise of Vienna, Virginia, and her husband, Bradley and their two daughters, Lindsay and Margaret; and Nancy's daughters Susan Strong and Linda Cantey. He also leaves his brother Robert and Robert's partner Susan Betz of Morgan Hill, Calif.
Ed Niland '68, J.D. '75 died on August 4, 2015. Ed's death was due to complications associated with the treatment of esophageal cancer. Ed lived in Scotts Vallley. He practiced law from his office in Los Gatos. He is survived by his wife Julia and daughters Jessica and Danielle.
Daniel Sullivan Mezger '68 passed away on June 10, 2015, in Woodland, California. Dan was born in Woodland in 1945, the third child of Thomas and Rosalie Mezger and was fourth-generation Californian. He attended Holy Rosary Academy and as a young boy was active in the Boy Scouts of America, attaining the Boy Scout "Eagle Rank" status. Dan was a graduate of Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose and a 1968 graduate of Santa Clara University where he obtained a BA in finance.
He excelled in sports, most notably football and track and field. While in his sophomore year at Santa Clara University he was named "Rookie of the Year" for the football team. For the rest of his life, he lived "full on" in any activity he undertook. Upon graduation from college, Dan moved to San Francisco to work at the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. He then joined his father Tom and brother Mark in their family's grain storage operation, Farmers Grain Elevator, est. 1937, and Mezger Trucking in 1971. Dan co-owned and operated the companies for the next 45 years with his brother Mark.
In 1977 Dan married Elizabeth Heenan of San Jose and had two children, Dan Jr. '99 and Meara. Throughout his life, Dan was active in the community, founding member of the Woodland Sunrise Rotary Club and a past president of the Yolo Fliers Club. He also took time to help kids in the local community further their education by tutoring them in mathematics. He never retired but took time off, as he was an avid and skilled golfer and enjoyed doing so in the company of his son, Dan Jr., daughter, Meara, and with numerous lifelong friends from high school, college and business associates. Dan took the greatest delights in his family, children, grandchildren, friends, and Ellen Burriss his partner of the last 15 years.
He is survived by his partner Ellen Burriss, son Dan Mezger, Jr.(Sonia), daughter Meara Wallace (Justin), grandson Jake Wallace, granddaughter Quinn Wallace, brothers Tom Mezger (Mary Lynn) and Mark Mezger (Kerry), sisters Muvvie Marks (Steve) and Michelle Wark (Brett) along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas B. Mezger, brother, Matthew S. Mezger, MD, Matt's wife, Mary Patricia Hughes and his mother, Rosalie S. Mezger.
Daniel Conrad Harrington '68, age 68, a resident of San Jose, passed away surrounded by his loving family on February 23. Dan is survived by his devoted wife of 46 years, Patricia Ann '68, M.A. '91 (Wright) Harrington; children Jennifer Harrington (Chris Derossi), Brigid Shaheen (Rodger), Colleen Fleming (Mark), Teresa "Tracy" Partridge (Craig); grandchildren Grayson and Miranda Derossi; Coleman and Casey Shaheen; Owen, William and Maeve Fleming; and Scarlett Partridge. He is also survived by his brothers, Michael Harrington and Tim Harrington, brother-in-law Michael Wright '69 and nephew Ryan Wright '99. He was pre-deceased by his sister, Kathleen "Katie" Hosford and his parents Walter and Teresa Harrington.
Dan was born in Salinas, California and raised in Redwood City. He attended elementary school at St. Joseph School in Menlo Park. A proud graduate of Bellarmine College Preparatory (1964), Dan led the Bells to victories both on the football and baseball fields. He was inducted into the Bellarmine Athletic Hall of Fame for baseball in 1999 and was a member of the Hall of Fame 1963 football team. From Bellarmine, Dan went on to attend Santa Clara University during the heyday of Bronco baseball, where he continued to excel on the baseball field before graduating in June 1968. Dan cherished his Jesuit education and truly embodied the Jesuit philosophy of being a "Man for Others."
In September of 1968, he married Patti and they embarked on two years abroad in Germany where Dan served as First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Air Defense Artillery division and Commanding Officer of the Hawk Missile Site in Bamberg. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service in recognition of his outstanding leadership and dedication to duty. Upon returning to the Bay Area in 1971, Dan began a 43-year career in commercial insurance, most recently as Vice President at National Financial Partners (Thoits Insurance) where he dedicated 22 years of service.
Dan was a compassionate, faith-filled man with a quick Irish wit and an unforgettable smile. He taught us to love, to believe, and to laugh. His creative spirit shone through in his humor and his talent for writing. Dan had a way with words and he filled many a birthday card and valentine with heartfelt poems and sincere sentiments – all with beautifully perfect penmanship! Throughout his life, Dan was an active athlete, an avid San Francisco Giants fan, a car and music aficionado and a beach lover. He had a photographic memory – people, places, batting averages – he remembered it all.
Dan's family was his greatest joy. He had an adoring and unwavering devotion to Patti, his best friend and the love of his life. He patiently raised a house full of daughters, and especially loved now being Papa to his eight grandchildren. In recent years, Dan could often be found cheering on the sidelines of their games, applauding them as they performed onstage, or simply enjoying their company at home. He was his kids' biggest fan.
A dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, Dan is deeply loved and will be greatly missed. And just as he remembered everything, we will remember him. We will carry his legacy with us every day. As his three-year old grandson so poignantly said, "Papa left his heart here."
Dan was a long-time member of St. Martin of Tours Parish in San Jose.
Christine Sorensen '68, of Camarillo, California, peacefully passed into eternal life on Wednesday morning, May 27, 2015, after a 3 1/2 year battle with breast cancer.
She was born in Oxnard, July 10, 1946, to her parents, Paul O. Sorensen and Margaret Leonard Sorensen. She and her sister Sally were raised in Santa Barbara where they attended Marymount School through the ninth grade. For grades 10 - 12 they attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Menlo Park, CA., graduating with the class of 1964. Christine graduated from Santa Clara University with a BA in philosophy.
Chrissy dealt with Bi-Polar disorder until 1995 when improved medication, and perhaps a miracle, allowed her to resume a normal life. She will long be remembered for her joy-filled countenance and loving spirit. She brought the love and light of Jesus Christ to all who knew her.
Chrissy is survived by her sister and brother-in-law Sally and Burr Allegaert of Warrenton, Oregon; nephew Patrick McCloskey, wife Alison, and children Madeline, Chloe, Rocky, and Summer, of Huntington Beach; and a niece Michaela McCloskey of Newport Beach. All of whom loved her dearly.
Frank H. Filice Jr. M.A. '71, a resident of Los Gatos, passed away on June 1. He was a strong, passionate, and kind man who loved God, his family, and friends. Frank spent 39 years in the Campbell Union High School district as a coach, drafting teacher, counselor, vice principal, and principal.
Frank was born in 1937 in San Jose, graduated from San Jose State University, and earned his master's degrees in counseling and education at Santa Clara University. He was married in 1974 and had two children. He was a devout family man who enjoyed coaching his children's sports teams, playing golf, volunteering for the church and community, and playing cards and chess.
Frank is survived by his loving wife, Frances; devoted children Frank and Christy; daughter-in-law Heather; and grandchildren Nico and Cora.
Patrick G. Reding M.A. '74 June 14, 1932 - November 22, 2014. Reding, 82, passed away peacefully in Roseville, CA. Patrick was born in Santa Cruz, CA to John and Agnes Reding and grew up in San Jose, CA where he attended St. Mary's and Bellarmine H.S. (1950). He also obtained a BA in Education and MA in Education from San Jose State and a MA in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University. Pat had many accomplishments during his life which included serving 20 years in the Navy and Navy Reserves, partially during the Korean war, finishing with the rank of chief, as well as teaching for 31 years with Alum Rock U.S.D., retiring in 1991. Pat loved golf and travel, participating in both as often as possible. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Jim Reding. He is survived by his loving wife of over 51 years Janice Reding, his daughter Kathleen Jettlund, son-in-law Vernon Jettlund and sister Marge Pospishek. His nephew is Timothy J. Reding ’75, and two nieces include Carol Sisney ’82, MA ’07 and Mary Reding ’98.