Barbara Huston: Co-founder of Festival of Lights Parade


Mrs. Huston

Barbara “Bobbie” Huston, co-founder of the annual Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade, died Dec. 3 after battling cancer. She was 92.

Mrs. Huston was born July 26, 1927, in Hettinger, N.D. Her childhood was shaped by loving parents who partnered in making a living in South Dakota.

Barbara (Bobbie) Huston

Barbara Bobbie Huston onlineCo-Founder of Festival of Lights Parade -enjoyed by generations Bobbie Huston, co-founder of the annual Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade that continues to be enjoyed by multiple generations, passed away peacefully December 3, 2019 after her courageous battle with Cancer. All those whose life has been touched by Bobbie, will dearly miss this thoughtful and delightful woman. Bobbie was 92. Barbara Ginter Huston was born in Hettinger, North Dakota on July 26, 1927. Her childhood was shaped by loving parents that partnered in making a living in South Dakota. Her daughter Maridee Charlton recalls:” Mom was an only child and her imagination and ingenuity were fully utilized in entertaining herself while growing up in what she admitted was in the middle of nowhere. She loved of to dance and always wanted to be a professional dancer. She grew up dancing, and ultimately wanted to be a Rockette, at but 5'2" she wasn't tall enough.” Daughter Robin Johnston also remembers: “In high school in Marshalltown, Iowa, she was a very good drummer and Mom competed in state competitions leading up to college and was state champion for 2 years.

Gregory Thomas Vistica

Greg Vistica onlineOn December 16, 2019, Gregory Thomas Vistica, with family by his side, left this earth from his home in Los Altos Hills for his new home in Heaven.  Greg treasured his family, especially Margaret, his beloved wife of 70 years, his three daughters and their husbands, Diane Noriega (Bruce), Cynthia Vistica (Michael Barbieri), and Suzanne Demo (Thomas) and his four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.  Sharing repast with family and friends was also a great joy in his life.  Greg was born in Stockton, CA, to immigrant parents, Nicolina and Martin Vistica, from Yugoslavia and spoke Croatian to the very end.  When Greg was four years old, his pleasant life in Stockton became a very difficult one when his father died from health complications contracted while serving in WWI.  Greg’s young, widowed mother moved him and his sister, Anne, to Sunnyvale to live in the Libby’s Cannery Camp before settling into a relative’s home on Fremont Rd where Greg had to pick apricots and perform other jobs to buy his own shoes and necessities.

Owen “Bud” Elliott Pallakoff

Bud Pallakoff 122519 onlineSeptember 16, 1930 – November 17, 2019 Bud Pallakoff, beloved husband, father, grandfather & friend passed away at home surrounded by his children, at age 89. Born in 1930 in Kansas City, Missouri, Bud moved to Salinas, CA as a young boy. He started studying piano at age 10 with Leonard Cooper, who’s family is written about in Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley. He attended Salinas High School & earned bachelor and master degrees in electrical engineering from UC Berkeley. Bud & his wife Florence, who died last year, were married 62 years. They met at UC Berkeley when she sang songs in a college musical that Bud wrote & played. Their wedding was at the Claremont Hotel & they lived and raised their family in Los Altos. They are survived by daughters Pamela & Kathryn, son Mathew, his wife Kimberly & their children Daniel & Casey. Bud was lured into the field of microwaves & traveling-wave tubes (TWTs) by the writings of John Pierce of Bell Labs. He started his career at Varian Associates in 1956. He knew Sig & Russ Varian, who invented the klystron microwave tube; & Ed Ginzton, who developed the two mile linear accelerator at Stanford. Bud reminisced that the Varian brothers founded Varian to provide a working environment for creative scientists, not to make money.

Shirley Ann March

Shirley March 2 122519 onlineShirley Ann March, devoted mother of five and loving wife of Robert Sterling March, passed away peacefully in her home on February 27th 2019 at 8:25 p.m. with family by her side. Shirley went by the name of Shan and was survived by her four children Pamela, Cynthia (Cindy,) Philip, and Peter, daughters-in-law Katy, Nancee and Taisha, grandchildren Sabrina, Austin, RebShirley March 1 122519 onlineecca, Brandon, and great grandchild, Sawyer. She lost one son named Hollis on February 22, 2003 in Alameda, CA, her husband Bob on December 7, 1997, and her sister Jo Ellen Crankshaw October 5, 2018. Shirley was born in Kansas, January 29, 1930, to Willie Maude (Ragan) Young and Arthur Lewis Young, and grew up in Kansas and Oklahoma. She had many family ties to Arkansas, Baton Rouge, and particularly, Thibodaux, Louisiana.

She met Bob in Boston, MA, and after marrying, resided in Maryland, until she and Bob (a former attendee of Stanford University) moved to Sunnyvale in 1957, and then to Los Altos Hills in 1964. She graduated from University of Tulsa in Oklahoma in 1951. She was social chairman of Chi Omega, president of Future Teachers of America, secretary of Student Council, involved with Mortar Board, Who’s Who, TU “Y”, Botany Club, Board of Publications, Windbags, and Christian Science Organization.   Shan loved to hike at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills and enjoyed seeing the baby animals that were born every season. She also treasured the wildlife that lived in her own backyard including deer, rabbits, and birds. She was a vocal advocate for the local wildlife, and spoke out in support of humane backyard wildlife practices, such as keeping water available for the animals. She was an avid supporter of Hidden Villa, as well as other organizations, including humane societies in Palo Alto and Silicon Valley for homeless pets. Shan was not only a devoted mother but she also ran her own successful real estate business as a broker/owner of Shan March Properties in Los Altos Hills for many years.

Bert George Hickman, Jr.

Bert G. Hickman online 121119October 6, 1924 – November 23, 2019 Dr. Bert G. Hickman, Stanford University Professor Emeritus of Economics, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully surrounded by family in Palo Alto on November 23, 2019. Dr. Hickman was born in Los Angeles, CA on October 6, 1924 to Bert George Hickman, Sr. and Caroline Elizabeth (Douglas) Hickman. He graduated with a Ph.D in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1951. From 1954-1965, he served on President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisors and was a member of Senior Staff at the Brookings Institute from 1958-1966. He joined the Department of Economics at Stanford University in 1966 where he served as Department Chairman from 1975-1978. In 1969, Dr. Hickman co-founded and served as Chairman of Project LINK, a continuing international collaborative research group for econometric modelling sponsored by the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs. He retired from Stanford in 1996 as Professor Emeritus of Economics.


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