Thu05262016

Obituaries

DEE ROPERS

OBIT DeeRopers

Dee Ropers, a long time Los Altos resident, passed away on October 25th, 2015 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She is survived by her three children: Kelyn Dewar of Los Altos Hills; Karen Ropers of Tahoe City; Mark Ropers of Ashland, Oregon; their spouses and six grandchildren.

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ELLEN COOK OTTO

OBIT EllenOtto

July 25, 1944 - February 10, 2016

Born to Lyle and Olive (Freeman) Cook in 1944, Ellen grew up with her three siblings in Menlo Park, California. She was a proud Stanford University alumna graduating with a degree in history in 1966. Stanford introduced her to many wonderful people in her life including her husband, Jim Otto, whom she married in December, 1965. The marriage lasted until Jim's untimely death due to melanoma in 1998.

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HELEN CONE

OBIT HelenCone

Helen Irene Bailey was born on October 18th, 1925 to Wilbur and Letitia Bailey in San Jose, California. She was their fourth child, preceded by two brothers and a sister, all of whom predeceased her. Helen passed away on February 5, 2016 after a brief illness.

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DONALD LEROY HILLESTAD

OBIT Donald Hillestad

Donald Leroy Hillestad, 87, of Sun City West, AZ and long term resident of The Northwoods, passed away peacefully February 8, 2016.

Don was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend.  He LOVED Football, which began when he played in high school and then became his passion watching it up until the night prior to his death.  We believe he needed to see the Super Bowl before he left this world.  He loved representing his business, watching Fox News, gardening, fishing, cruising on his tractor and spending time with his family.

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TRENNA KNUDSON

OBIT TrennaKnudson

Trenna Knudson, 81, passed away December 11, 2015 at her home in Scottsdale, AZ. Born in St Anthony, ID, she moved to Mesa, AZ at a young age and graduated from Mesa High School. She continued on to Arizona State University from which she received her degree in Education in 1956. Trenna, her husband David, and her daughter Kari moved to Palo Alto, CA in 1965.

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MABEL GOMES FRELIER

OBIT MabelFrelier

At rest in Los Altos, January 29, 2016. Beloved wife of Late Roger L. Frelier, loving Mother to Roger (Maureen) Frelier, Paul (Eileen) Frelier, and Marc (Francine) Frelier, devoted Grandmother of Michele (Matt) Davis, Nicole (John) Andrews, Frank, Marc and Michael Frelier; and dear Great Grandmother to Madison and Charlie Davis, Max and Mia Andrews. She was a graduate of San Jose State College, a member of Black Masque Women’s Honor Society, and a native of San Jose.

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JAMES “PHIL” FERGUSON

OBIT JamesFerguson

James “Phil” Ferguson passed away peacefully at home with family by his side on January 15, 2016. He was 85 years old.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he was a graduate of Southern Methodist University and then served 5 years as an Air Force fighter pilot, stationed in Alaska, during the pioneering days of jet technology. He was passionate about flying jets; however, after being honorably discharged and true to his maverick spirit, he decided to leap into a different pioneering adventure.

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VIRGINIA “GINGER” CARLSEN

OBIT VirginiaCarlsen

Long-time Los Altos resident Virginia “Ginger” Carlsen passed away from complications of Alzheimer’s at the age of 83 on January 19th, after a long, happy and active life.

She was born in Southern California on January 13th, 1933 to Emmett and Myra Show. Her fondest childhood memories were of living on The Strand in Hermosa Beach and spending the summer barefoot on the beach with family and friends.

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JEANNETTE NATTEL ZEITMAN

January 19, 1926-January 28, 2016 

Jeannette Nattel Zeitman “Jean” passed away peacefully in her sleep at Palo Alto Assisted Living. She was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Gary, Indiana. Resided in Los Altos with her belated husband, Harold, their children, and grandchildren. Jean was a talented cook, loved attending operas, and was involved in Jewish traditions. She is survived by her children, Sandra, Barbara, Allen and Paul, and her 2 grandchildren from Switzerland, Lea and Lukas. 

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ALAN RODNEY MILLS

OBIT AlanMills

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpool, England and McGill University in Canada where he received his PhD in chemistry. He enjoyed playing golf, tennis, cribbage, bridge and doing crossword puzzles.

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ALISON MINSHALL NAGY HOFFMANN (

OBIT AlisonHoffman1   OBIT AlisonHoffman2

Alison Minshall Nagy Hoffmann died January 8, 2016 at the Maui Memorial Medical Center in Wailuku, Hawaii, after a four year battle with cancer. She was on a holiday vacation to Maui with her husband, Alec, and their two daughters.

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JAMES STEPHEN ROBINSON

OBIT JamesRobinson

1926 – 2016

James Stephen Robinson passed away on January 24, 2016 at age 90 after nine weeks of hospitalization and attempted rehabilitation. Jim was a resident of Los Altos for more than 40 years; the last 26 of which was at the Toyon Farm townhouse complex. 

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ROSEMARY FRASER

Rosemary Fraser, age 81, a long-time resident of the Los Altos/Palo Alto area, died peacefully Friday, the 22nd of January at her home. It was a sudden death; hypertension was the underlying cause.

Born in 1934 in Florence, Arizona, Rosemary enjoyed her extensive volunteer work at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital.  She was a life long Giant's fan.

Rosemary was a life long fan of cinema, having begun her love of the movies when an usherette at the Varsity Theater in Palo Alto. 

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EVE ZOMBER BINGHAM

OBIT EveBingham

Eve Zomber Bingham passed away on December 11, 2015, at home with her family in Los Altos. Born in Germany on December 20, 1923, Eve spent her childhood in Berlin and Amsterdam. She and her family emigrated from Europe in 1939 on the SS Simon Bolivar, which tragically struck a mine and sank in the English Channel. After being rescued from the icy water, Eve ended up on her own in London during the World War II bombings. She finally learned that her father and brother were being held on the Isle of Man; her mother was never found. When reunited, the three continued to South America and eventually to New York City.

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VIRGINIA ‘ANNETTE’ CLELAND BOYENGA

OBIT VirginiaBoyenga

Our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to many, Virginia ‘Annette’ Cleland Boyenga, passed away peacefully at home on December 26, 2015 in Los Altos Hills, CA. She was 83.

Annette was born on March 8, 1932 to Orlando and Sylvia Cleland in Pasadena, CA. She graduated from the University of Redlands with a degree in Liberal Arts in 1954 and took a job soon after at the YWCA in Michigan, where she met her husband, Charles Boyenga, who was a group counselor. Annette and Charles were married on November 28, 1954 and moved to Santa Monica where Charles worked for Lear Corporation and Annette was a Social Worker for the City of Los Angeles. 

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ROBERT BOND HARRISON

OBIT RobertHarrison

August 25, 1924 – January 10, 2016

A 50 year resident of Los Altos Hills, CA, Bob Harrison passed away at his current home at the Vi, Palo Alto, CA due to congestive heart failure at the age of 91.

Bob was born in Hermosa Beach, CA to Olive Mae Phillips and Benjamin Demas Harrison. A resident of Altadena, CA, he graduated from Eliot Junior School in 1940 where he was President of the student body. He then attended Pasadena Junior College for his last 2 years of high school, graduating in 1942 after serving as President of his senior class. He enrolled at UC Berkeley, but after his freshman year his college education was interrupted when he enlisted as a navigator in the Army Air Force during World War II.

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JOHN PAUL GACHINA

OBIT JohnGachina2

January 22, 1951 – December 27, 2015
Resident of Los Altos, California

John Paul Gachina, 64, was the founder, CEO and President of Gachina Landscape Management and a loving husband and father. Born in San Jose, John passed away peacefully at his Los Altos home surrounded by his family on December 27, 2015. 

He leaves behind his wife, Jaclyn Ishimaru Gachina, and his sons Michael Gachina and Dominic Gachina. He is also survived by his sister Joan Marie Ramage, her husband Ed, his niece, Shannon Mees and nephew, Scott Smith and their families. His parents, Peter and Dorothy Gachina of Cupertino, preceded John in death.

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THOMAS AQUINAS FENTON

OBIT ThomasFenton

Thomas Aquinas Fenton, father of nine, World War II transport pilot, rocket scientist and longtime Los Altos resident and Lockheed employee, died Jan. 7 following a brief illness. He was 92.

Fenton was born August 1, 1923, to Harry and Mary Harriet Butler Fenton. Harry Fenton was a plant manager for a series of hosiery mills in the South and Cuba and the family lived in Havana for a time.

Thomas Fenton graduated from Murray High School in Murray, Kentucky in 1942 and went on to Murray State Teacher's College. The war was on and he dropped out of Murray State in 1943 to enlist in the Army.

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JAMES EDWARD SPRINGGATE

OBIT JamesSpringgate

James Edward Springgate of Los Altos Hills died January 8, 2016.  He was 89 years old.

Jim was born January 3, 1927 in New Haven, Missouri, the eldest son and third of five children of Clyde Price and Alma Patton Springgate. He joined the U.S. Army in 1945. Following 18 months’ active service he attended the University of Missouri, graduating with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He later received his Masters in Chemical Engineering from Washington University. In 1950 he joined Monsanto Company in St. Louis, where he met Jane Reckamp. They were married in 1955 and had two children, John Springgate and Ann Springgate. Jane, his wife of 57 years, passed away in 2013.

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MARJORIE “JODY” MUELLER COPELAND

OBIT MarjorieCopeland

Marjorie “Jody” Mueller Copeland, of Laguna Woods California, passed away unexpectedly on January 18th. Born in St. Louis Missouri, Jody moved to Anchorage Alaska with her family and graduated high school from Anchorage High School. Jody was the youngest of three girls born to Lil and Hap Mueller. After graduating high school Jody attended Webster College and moved to Sun Valley and was a ski instructor before being hired by Northwest Airlines as a flight attendant. Jody met and married the love of her life, Bob Copeland, in Seattle. They settled in Southern California before moving to Los Altos, California to raise their family. Jody loved attending her two boys’ sporting events and was very involved in their activities in Los Altos.  She worked for several Silicon Valley start-ups before settling into the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for 10 years.

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WILLIAM MOREHEAD YOUNG

William Morehead Young, long time resident of Los Altos Hills and third generation Californian, passed away peacefully at the age of 92 on January 2, 2016. His was a long and productive life. He was born on August 17, 1923 to George Demming and Olivia Rudolph Young on Mountain Boulevard in the Oakland hills.  His youth was spent there with his two brothers, George and Bob, and three sisters, Winnie, Jean, and Marion; three survive him.  Bill loved roaming the hills on foot or horseback, fishing, hunting and trapping, building things, and helping with the family dairy.   

During WWII, Bill graduated high school early to enlist in the Navy in 1941 at age 17 ½. He attended pre-flight school at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, got his flight training in Corpus Christi, Texas, and was stationed in Florida where he was a flight instructor for fighter planes until the war ended in 1945. Bill served in the Navy Reserves after the war, attended Purdue University for three years, and graduated from USC with a BS degree in aeronautical engineering in 1950.  

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