Dr. Richard D. Johnson

Dr. Richard D. Johnson, a former resident of Los Altos Hills, passed away on Nov. 26, 2020 in Pleasanton, CA at the age of 86.  He was born in Zanesville, OH but grew up in Whitefish Bay, WI.  He attended the American University in Cairo, Egypt and the Sorbonne in Paris, France before transferring to Oberlin College where he received his A.B. in Chemistry in 1956; earned an M.S. and Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon in 1960 and 1962; and did a Post-Doc at UCLA in 1963.  After a brief stint at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Richard was invited to join NASA at the Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA where he worked from 1964 to 1985.

Richard’s proudest accomplishments at NASA were as a member of the team that first examined the Apollo 11 lunar samples in the Lunar Quarantine Facility at Johnson Spacecraft Center before they were released to the scientific community; his work on Viking, the first spacecraft to land on Mars, which earned him NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal; and his work on the joint NASA-Stanford 1975 Summer Study that culminated in the publication of Space Settlements: A Design Study.  After earning his M.S. in Management as a Sloan Fellow at MIT (1981-1982), Richard took early retirement from NASA and worked as an international technology consultant for Stanford Research Institute.

Marceia Ljubojevic

MarceiaLjubojevic onlineOn November 19,2020, Marceia Ljubojevic, loving wife, daughter, mother, and grandmother, passed away at her home at the age of 81. 

Marceia was born in the town of Wyandotte Michigan on September 14, 1939 to Marcena and Charles Richard Blackman.  Marceia’s parents passed away at young ages, leaving behind Marceia and her older sister, Riki.  Marceia and Riki, always agreed that although they lost their parents early, they were the very best and gave the two girls a strong foundation for life.

Marceia was a strong, sophisticated and worldly woman and always believed her multitude of early life experiences were enough to fill several lives.  In her early years, she had a full life with her parents in Kansas City; a life of dinner parties, restaurants and jazz, Billie Holiday to mention one.  The years after her father died, 1945 and 1946, were spent in Los Angeles and all its charm at that time; Malibu with hardly a house on the beach.  Then in mid 1946, her mother moved herself and two daughters to southwest Missouri and the foothills of the Ozarks, beautiful country, and they lived on Grandmother Molly’s farm.  Electricity was brought in 1947, and Marceia went to a one room school with neighboring children, and she maintained these friendships all her life. 

Tom Smith

TomSmith onlineThomas Woodward Smith (Smitty), 83, died peacefully at his home in Los Altos, CA on November 28th, 2020 surrounded by his wife and loved ones. Born in St Louis, MO on May 31, 1937 to Thomas B. Smith and Florence Mae Woodward, his family lived in Webster Groves, MO until they moved to Burlingame, CA in 1950.

Tom graduated from Burlingame High School and San Francisco State University, served two years in the U.S. Army, and then traveled in Europe before starting a career in engineering with IBM. He met his future wife Marjorie L. Ayers in Stuttgart, Germany where she was working for the American Red Cross. Tom and Marge married in 1965 and had children Kathryn, Jennifer, and Mark. They have 3 grandchildren, Connor, Nicholas, and Zoe. Tom was a loving, dedicated, and faithful husband, and a loyal, compassionate, accepting friend and father.

Retiring from IBM after 33 years, Tom became a teacher at St Francis High School in Mountain View, CA, teaching computer literacy and mentoring the robotics club. A licensed ham radio operator, he was active in the Southern Peninsula Emergency Communication Service and was the Emergency Coordinator for Los Altos for many years.

William (Bill) August Scharfen, Jr.

WilliamScharfen onlineAugust 26, 1931- November 15, 2020

Resident of Cupertino

Bill was born in San Francisco to William August Scharfen, Sr, and Jewell Marie Scharfen. He passed away peacefully at the age of 89. 

Bill, his parents and sister,  moved to Palo Alto as a child.  He graduated from Palo Alto High School. While at Paly, he met Jane, his high school sweetheart, and they married soon afterward. 

After high school Bill took an apprenticeship as an electrician.   He worked for Progress and Stanford Electric for many years, then he started his own electrical business, Scharfen Electric, as his father had done. He worked all over Silicon Valley, on commercial and residential buildings, and installing street lights and traffic signals. Later, he invested in real estate where he purchased and improved residential and commercial property. 

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