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Obituary Notices


He raised the food we ate and cultivated the love we shared....

Joseph Anthony Francia, our beloved father, brother, grandfather, great grandfather and uncle has passed, but will never be forgotten.

Born June 13, 1922, in San Jose, to Michael and Serafina Francia, passed peacefully on Fri, March 23, 2007 at his farm home in Mt. View with his family at his side. A local and still active farmer for over 65 years, he loved working the land growing his crops, but mostly he loved spending time with his family and friends.

Joe moved to Mt. View with his parents and attended the old Mt. View High School before entering the US army during the early years of WWII. He was captured in Germany spending several years in German concentration camps before being released at the end of the war. For his services, Joe received numerous awards including receiving a Purple Heart. Upon his honorable discharge, Joe worked for the US postal services as a mail carrier until returning to the family farming business.

Joe enjoyed sports but few knew Joe was an avid baseball player and for many years managed his own teams playing locally throughout the Santa Clara valley.

In 1949 Joe met and married Lydia Marino, a native of San Francisco. Together they raised a family and supported the local farming community growing fruits and vegetables, supplying many of the local canneries before the valley became the technology center of the world. Joe often reflected on the valley of the past, the vast orchards, vegetables and flower growers, recounting the beauty of the "Valley of Hearts Delight" as Joe would say, and days long gone. Joe and his older brother Ben, working along side their son's Gabe and Mike, remain some of the last true local farmers. Their apricot orchard in Mt. View and their farm "The Corn Palace" in Sunnyvale has become a reminder of what once was, when the valley helped to feed the world. For the past fifteen years you could also find Joe working the Sunnyvale and Mt View farmers markets each weekend along side his daughter Josie and niece Sara. Joe enjoyed selling his corn but mostly enjoyed the time working alongside his family and the people he called friends.

Joe is survived by his son, Michael Francia, daughter Josie Angelo, son-in-law Don Angelo, grandchildren Deanna and Scott Angelo, Kevin Citko, great-grandchildren, Michael, Ashley, Nicholas & Julianna Angelo-Citko, brother Ben Francia, sister Julia and husband Frank Rivas, and several niece's and nephew's. Joe was preceded in death by his sister Rose and husband George Luiz. "Daddy, you will be truly missed....give mom our love"

Rosary service was Wednesday, March 28 at Spangler Mortuary, 799 Castro St. Mt. View. Church service Thursday, March 29 at St Joseph's Church, 582 Hope St, Mt. View, followed by Cemetery service at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, 490 Lincoln, Santa Clara.


Long time Los Altos resident, Vivian C. Rosenberger passed away peacefully at her home during the evening of March 22, 2007. Her son Triston was by her side. Mrs. Rosenberger, known to her friends as Viv, had been battling several health issues, including lymphoma, for more than a year.

Vivian, her late husband, Donald A. Rosenberger, and their son, Triston, moved to Los Altos from San Mateo in the summer of 1956. Viv loved life in Los Altos. She was a devoted wife and mother, an avid gardener, a skilful decorator, a prolific seamstress, a genteel bridge player, and a world traveler. Over the years, she invested her time and energy in several local organizations, including the Federated Women's Club of Los Altos and the El Camino Hospital Auxiliary. She was very social and had many friends. Viv enjoyed entertaining, and she and her husband, Don, loved to dance.

Vivian is survived by her son Triston, a resident of Walnut Creek. A memorial gathering will be arranged in the near future.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in Vivian's memory to Hospice of the Valley or the America Cancer Society.


Stagi, Louise Mary, at rest in Los Altos March 27, 2008. Widow of the late William Stagi (1988). Mother of George Stagi of Santa Cruz, Helen Rogers of Los Altos & Rosemarie Scheiff of Los Altos. Grandmother of 7, Great Grandmother of 4 and Great Great Grandmother of 1. Age 96.

A vigil service and mass of Christian burial was held Monday, April 2, 2007 at Saint Nicholas Catholic Church, Los Altos. Interment, Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Los Altos. Arrangements by Spangler Mortuaries, 399 So. San Antonio Rd. Los Altos.


October 15, 1926 -

March 24, 2007

Joe was born in Tucson, Arizona, and spent his early childhood on the nearby Santa Margarita Ranch, named after his mother, Marguerite Ronstadt Smith. His father was Harold Daniel Smith, a hero of World War I.

After graduating from high school in Phoenix, he joined the U.S. Navy which sent him to the University of Colorado in Boulder where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in 1948 and a Master's degree in Business in 1950.

He and his wife, Joyce McKeon Smith, married that year and later became the parents of two children.

On completing his thesis, which investigated the possibilities of growing the new oilseed crop, safflower, he was hired by Pacific Vegetable Oil Corporation in San Francisco, first as a chemist, and finally as vice president of research and production, producing the Saffola brand of safflower oil and margarine.

Joe moved on to become president of a new company, Agricom International, Inc. which expanded its business to Japan, Mexico, Australia and Spain. During this time he studied Japanese, and was able to communicate in that language. His business ventures gave him the opportunity to travel the world, often with Joyce, and to build many lifelong friendships.

His next company, Oilseeds International, Ltd. (OIL), added a new oil-rich sunflower, originally developed in Russia, to its production. Oleic sunflower is now farmed throughout the world.

Joe served on many committees and trade associations and in 1993, he received the University of Colorado's Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award. In 1996, the National Association of Oilseed Products awarded him a lifetime membership. His book, Safflower, a definitive history of the industry, was published in 1996.

Upon retirement, he traded in his dark business suits and somber neckties for colorful golf clothes, enjoying golf in California and Hawaii. His interest in aviation history was expressed through the model airplanes that he built, and he presented many pilot friends with treasured models of planes that they had flown. He was a lifelong jazz enthusiast and an avid record collector with an appreciation for all forms of music, which he passed on to his entire family.

He was healing well from his recent knee replacement surgery when chest pains sent him to the hospital on Friday, March 23rd. He passed away quite unexpectedly that night from heart failure at age 80.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joyce, his daughter Sally Smith Fauske, and her husband Svein Harald Fauske of Aptos, son Allan Kent Smith, and daughter-in-law Sarah Wasley-Smith of Lafayette, and four granddaughters, Rachel and Diana Smith, and Kristin and Sonja Fauske. Burial will be private.

His family would like to invite his friends to a celebration of his life at the Los Altos Golf and Country Club on Saturday, April 14th from 4 - 6 pm. Please RSVP to the Club at (650) 947-3100.


Diane Susan (Rea) McBurnie, passed away after a three-month struggle with liver cancer on March 27, 2007. She was lovingly nurtured and cared for by her close circle of friends. Because Diane had successfully battled two other cancers in her life, she remained optimistic throughout her ordeal. She was 62.

Diane grew up in Detroit where her father, Roy Matchko, worked at Detroit Diesel as a foreman of shipping and receiving for 35 years and her mother Adela was a homemaker to her three children: Roy Jr., Diane ("Susie"), and David (who passed away at the age of 26). She received a B.A. in Journalism and an M.A. in English and took her first job as a marketing manager with Fairchild Semiconductor in Farmington, Michigan. She continued with Fairchild in their California offices supporting their sales efforts during the boom years. She subsequently worked for a variety of other companies including Business Woman Magazine where she was chief editor. Diane taught English and Journalism at San Jose State and was considered a tough but fair teacher. Diane's last position was in the marketing communications department at Business Objects writing and editing a variety of outbound marketing materials.

Diane's creativity was not only limited to the written word-she took amazing photographs and created many scrapbooks for family and friends. From 1997 to 2000 Diane traveled the world. She meticulously documented the people, places, and experiences she had and along with her photographs created amazing travel books for all to enjoy.

Diane was a member of the Los Altos Country Club taking up golf at age 50 and becoming quite proficient. She was the co-chair of the Ladies Annual Tournament in 2004 where she was the first to secure sponsors which ensured the success of future tournaments. Diane also enjoyed roller skating, bowling and pool. She loved cacti and at one point nurtured over 100 plants of all sizes, shapes, and varieties.

Diane had a deep love of dogs, owning several throughout her life with Roxie being the last. They were regulars at Peet's coffee in Los Altos where Roxie will still be found most mornings lying on her bench waiting for attention and treats from friendly passersby.

Diane is survived by her circle of friends, her black Labrador and faithful companion Roxie, brother Roy Matchko and his wife Sharon, nephew Eric Matchko, niece Mieke Parker and her husband Todd Parker and their daughter Michaela Ortiz.

Services were held at Spangler's mortuary in Los Altos on Saturday March 31, 2007 with a reception immediately following. Diane asked that donations be made to the Peninsula Humane Society or the charity of your choice.

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