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News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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ROBERT EMMETT "BOB" CUNNINGHAM

OBIT RobertCunningham

Long-time Los Altos resident Robert "Bob" Cunningham will be remembered Thanksgiving weekend at a funeral Mass on November 30, 11:00 a.m., at St. Nicholas Church in Los Altos. Mr. Cunningham passed away peacefully on September 5, 2013, at his home at The Forum at Rancho San Antonio, after spending time with all five of his children and many of his grandchildren. He was 89 years old.

For more than 30 years, he was a highly regarded human resources executive at a biotechnology firm in the Silicon Valley, Beckman Instruments, before retiring in 1988. Having served with distinction in the Navy and Marine Corps during World War II and the Korean War, his remains will be interred with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, alongside his wife of nearly 50 years, Mary Lou (Stueck) who predeceased him in 1999.

Bob Cunningham was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1923. He was the second son of Barbara Dorn and Bernard Cunningham, brother of Bernie Cunningham and is survived by his sister, Madge Marten of Florida.

A true Renaissance man, he began taking art classes at the Art Institute of Chicago at age 10 and continued to paint and enroll in community art classes until his death. Bob attended high school at the downtown Chicago campus of Loyola Academy, and remained active in their Bay Area alumni association. When his parents moved further up the North Shore, he transferred to New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. At New Trier he had the opportunity to share the stage with the young actor Charlton Heston. Bob would fondly recall his own one line in the play, “It is only a rumor.”

Upon graduation, Bob attended the University of Illinois. As the U.S. entered World War II, Bob enlisted in the Navy in the hopes of being a fighter pilot. Instead he was sent to electronics school and was deployed to the South Pacific. As a radio operator, he landed on the shores of New Caledonia and the Philippines to signal Japanese troop status to nearby ships. He recalled being issued winter gear, in anticipation of the invasion of Japan, but his tour ended in the South Pacific with the Japanese surrender.

Bob returned to Chicago and joined the Marine Corps Reserves. With a long-time interest in architecture, he re-entered college at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and studied under legendary Bauhaus architect, Meis Van de Rohe, earning a B.A. degree in 1948. Named “Man of the Year” his senior year, he was offered a position on the faculty as Assistant Dean of Students upon graduation.

Soon Uncle Sam came knocking and Bob was called back for active duty in the Marine Corps for the Korean War. He attended officer candidate school at Quantico, Virginia, and was deployed to Camp Pendleton, in Southern California, where he led a tank commander-training unit as a First Lieutenant. He never crossed the Pacific during the war, but did travel to Los Angeles where he met his future wife, Mary Lou Stueck. 

After a short courtship, they were married on July 5, 1951. They spent their first year of marriage in Chicago, where Bob remained on the Illinois Tech faculty. With their first child on the way and the lure of more temperate California climate, Bob and Mary Lou returned to Southern California where he accepted a job in human resources with Fullerton-based Beckman Instruments.

His 30-year career took him from Southern California to offices in Northern California, Geneva Switzerland, and back to Palo Alto where Bob headed up human resources for the medical instrument company’s Spinco Division, retiring in 1988.

They settled in Los Altos in 1966, where Bob lived until moving to the Forum at Rancho San Antonio last year. He and Mary Lou were active in St. Nicholas Church, Villa Sienna, and their children’s schools, including Stanford University’s Committee for Art. They were also passionate about travel and their unique experiences included bowing to the King of Thailand, audiences with the Pope, exploring flea markets in Europe, safaris in Africa, volunteering for Mother Theresa in India, boat rides down the Nile and riding public buses in Damascus, Syria. He continued his travels, after Mary Lou's death, with his close friend and companion, Janis Black of Los Gatos.

Bob enjoyed playing some of the world’s greatest golf courses, yet equally enjoyed playing at the local Shoreline Golf Course as a Shoreline Senior. But nothing mattered more to him than family, friends and colleagues. All will remember his Irish charm and signature smile. He is survived by his adoring children Kathleen Matthews (Chris), Maureen Cunningham, Ann Kauffman (Jim), Robert Jr. (Sherri), and Carol Seitz (Tom,) as well as his 11 grand children and one great-granddaughter. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, where his wife was an active volunteer.

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