Walter ‘Mike’ Michael
A memorial was held Monday, June 10 at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Napa for Walter “Mike” David Michael, a longtime senior activist in the Napa Valley, who died June 4. He was 82.
Mr. Michael was born in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1919 to Mary and Walter Michael but spent the last 12 years in Napa. He was an active part of the Napa Valley’s Senior Sevices Program during those 12 years. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Calistoga Senior Association. He volunteered for the VanGo program and was active in several Alzheimer’s support services.
He is survived by two daughters, Leisa Michael of Boise, Idaho and Linda Michael of Berkeley; one son David Michael of Alameda; two sisters, two grandchildren and three nieces.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Kitty Michael.
Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Napa Valley, 3299 Claremont Way, Napa 94558.
Helen C. Harper
A family graveside service was held April 6 in St. Helena for Helen Catherine Harper, who died Oct. 25. She was 77.
Mrs. Harper was born in Thoeny, Mont., to Allen and Anna Johnson on Sept. 1, 1923. She married Robert L Harper in 1942 in Sabinal, Texas, where he attended Navigators School during WWII. She finished her college education at Pacific Union College in Angwin. Upon graduation in 1957 she was hired as a full-time music teacher by PUC. She received a masters of arts in music in 1967. She taught special education in Napa County from 1969 until her retirement in 1999. She was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for 46 years.
Mrs. Harper is survived by her sisters, Marjorie Inggs of St. Helena and Donna Elwood of Harlowton, Mont.; a son, Dan Serruys Harper, of Petaluma, and four grandchildren.
James J. Horning
James J. Horning, 83, retired secondary teacher, died Friday at Rose Haven in St. Helena. He was a patient of Hospice of Napa Valley.
The private burial will be in Hollister. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at the St. Helena Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1777 Main St.
The son of John and Josephine Horning, he was born in Chico, Aug. 28, 1917, and educated in Central California. He graduated from Chico High School in 1935 and Pacific Union College in 1941. Eleven years later he earned a master’s degree from Chico State College.
Mr. Horning served in the United States Army during World War II, attaining the rank of private first class. He served as a medic at the Second General Hospital in New Guinea.
Following the war, he spent his professional life teaching industrial arts and special education in both parochial and public schools in Hawaii, Arizona and California. He retired from the San Benito Unified School District.
Mr. Horning lived in the Napa Valley twice, first as a student at Pacific Union College, and then for the last 18 months of his life, when he and his wife, Edythe, moved to Silverado Orchards Retirement Apartments in St. Helena.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, James Jay, of Palo Alto, and a daughter, Patricia Horning Benton, of Buena Vista, Colo.
Memorial donations may be sent to Hospice of Napa Valley, 3299 Claremont Way, Napa, CA 94558.
Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel, St. Helena.
Verdyne Lillian Toben
A memorial service was held June 8 at United Methodist Church of St. Helena for Verdyne Lillian Toben, 83, who died June 5 at St. Helena Hospital after a brief illness.
Mrs. Toben was born in Stockton in 1917, was graduated from Napa High School and worked as a secretary in the St. Helena school system for 24 years. She has lived in either Napa or St. Helena most of her life. Her sole survivor is her son, Michael, of Lynnwood, Wash. Friends remember her for her desire to help others.
Memorial donations may be made to the United Methodist Church of St. Helena.
Jerry Komes, founder of Flora Springs
Jerry Komes, the 89-year-old founder of Flora Springs Wine Company and former president of Bechtel Corporation who died of complications from Parkinson’s disease May 24, was a pioneer in the engineering business as well as a vintner.
In 1978 he bought Louis Martini Vineyard Estate as a simple retirement project. The Flora Springs Wine Company, named after his wife of 66 years, Flora, grew into one of Napa’s most prestigious and critically acclaimed family wineries, garnering numerous awards over the years. Flora Springs was named Wine Spectator’s “Top 100 Wines of the Year” in six out of the last nine years with five different varietals. Under Komes’ direction, Flora Springs was the first to use “barrel fermented” on it’s label, and was among the first to produce blended “meritage” wines (Trilogy). The family owns over 600 acres in nine distinct locations in the Napa Valley, and Flora Springs was among the first in the state to produce sangiovese and then produce it as a 100-percent varietal.
In addition, the winery is noted for innovative vineyard techniques. Flora Springs will continue to be run by Komes’ son, John, and daughter, Julie.
Komes, born in Racine, Wisc., in 1911, never attended college. He rose from meager beginnings during the Depression to become a respected San Francisco businessman and philanthropist. He served as president and director of Bechtel Corporation from 1946 until 1977. Komes served on several boards, including the Corporate Board of St. Mary’s Hospital, San Francisco, trustee for Santa Clara University, Director for Crocker National Bank, and lay board member of the Mariansts Province of the Pacific. His memberships included the Pacific-Union Club, Olympic Club, Stock Exchange, World Trade Club, Silverado Country Club, San Francisco Golf Club and the Bankers Club of San Francisco; he belonged to the Order of Malta and the Order of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Komes is survived by his wife, Flora; sons, J. Michael Komes of Houston, Texas, and John A. Komes of St. Helena; a daughter Julia K. Garvey of St. Helena; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Marianst Province of the Pacific in Cupertino, or the Farm Workers Housing Fund, c/o St. Helena Catholic Church, 1340 Tainter St., St. Helena, CA 94574.
Lois M. Anderson
A funeral service was held June 15 at Signs Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church for Yountville resident Lois M. Anderson, who died June 12 at St. Helena Hospital. She was 86.
Mrs. Anderson was born in Oakland in 1914 to Jay and Estella Ferren. She married Vernon Flory in 1936, and at the time of his death in 1986, they had been married 50 years. She married the late Dr. Carl Anderson in 1991.
Mrs. Anderson is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Virginia and Fred Harder, of Austin, Texas; a son and daughter-in-law, Wesley and Ginny Flory, of Burtonsville, Md.; a sister, Dorothy Ferren, of Yountville; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A member of Signs Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church in Yountville, Mrs. Anderson was a Pacific Union College graduate and had lived in the Napa Valley since 1976. Her interests included reading, traveling and her church.
Funeral arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel, St. Helena.
Esther Dorothy Guilfoyle
A graveside service was held June 19 at the St. Helena Cemetery for Esther Dorothy Guilfoyle, 89, who died at her home June 14. A reception followed at the American Legion Hall on Spring Street.
Born July 5, 1911, she was adopted by John and Anna Mae Holden of Conn Valley. Most of her youth was spent on a ranch in Conn Valley, where she developed expertise in horsemanship and a life-long love of animals.
Ms. Guilfoyle was retired from the Martini Winery and for many years lived on the Korte Ranch on Ehlers Lane in St. Helena.
She is survived by nieces Sharon Reese and Pam Harpster of Lake County. Memorial contributions in her name may be made to We Care Animal Rescue, 1345 Charter Oak Ave., St. Helena, 94574, or to a charity of choice.
Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.
Graveside services were held June 6 for St. Helena resident Irene Kecskemethy, who died June 2 following a brief illness. She was 86.
Mrs. Kecskemethy, a native of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., was the wife of the late Laszlo Kecskemethy, a minister in the Hungarian Reform Church. They had been married 55 years at the time of his death in May 2000.
Mrs. Kecskemethy, a retired dental technician, is survived by a daughter, Ilona Kecskemethy, of St. Helena; a son, Michael Kecskemethy, of Milwaukie, Ore.; a brother-in-law, Carl Tota, and a nephew, Michael Tota, both of Yonkers, N.Y.
Arrangements by Struble Family Funeral Services, Vallejo.
Ethel W. Wilson
Ethel “Winifred” Wilson died June 17 in her Napa home. She was 78.
Born in 1922 in Savannah, Ga. to John and Hannah Duge, she married John E. Wilson in 1949. This year they celebrated their 52 wedding anniversary.
Mrs. Wilson enjoyed crossword puzzles, antiques, loved to watch auto racing and was an avid 49er fan.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by a daughter, Ethel Wilson II, of Napa; and her brothers and sisters-in-law, John and Millie Duge and Karl and Maisie Duge.
Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.
Frank Alexander (Sandy) Waters, III
Frank Alexander (Sandy) Waters, III, died tragically in an automobile accident in Montana on June 17th while visiting an old school friend in Bozeman. Beloved father of Elizabeth Darrah Waters of Flagstaff, Arizona and Alexander Waters of Telluride, Colorado. Loving grandfather of Noah Hilt of Flagstaff, Arizona and brother Bill Waters of New Hampshire, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews throughout the United States and Europe. Educated at Kent School and Princeton University, Sandy had a distinguished record as a naval aviator during WWII, seeing action in the Pacific aboard aircraft carriers, and was highly decorated for meritorious service.
Upon his return to the United States, Sandy pursued a long and successful career in the wine industry, becoming one of the leading authorities on French, German and Italian wines in the 1970s. His passion for, and knowledge of wine, both domestic and foreign, led to his being a much sought-after speaker at many events around the world. His many friends included such luminaries as Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac, Morey St. Denis, Jean Troisgros of “Les Frères Troisgros” and many more too numerous to mention.
Sandy will be sorely missed by all those who knew him as a gentle and giving person and were privileged to have him as a friend.
A gathering of family and friends is planned for August in the vineyards of the Napa Valley which he truly called his home.
Jack Pangborn (Carson)
Jack Pangborn (Carson) passed away on June 9, 2003 in his home at The Meadows of Napa, CA after a brief battle with cancer. Her was 78. Born March 20, 1925 in Denver, CO, he was proud to discover in 1981, through genealogical research, that he was the son of Kit (Christopher) Carson, III of Alamosa, CO, who was a grandson of two famed Old West scouts and guides, Kit Carson and Tom Tobin.
Jack served in the Navy in the mid-40s and married Shirley Stockdale in 1945. They had a daughter and twin sons. In 1950, he graduated from Pacific Union College, Angwin, CA, with a B.S. degree in biology, and in 1952 settled in Davis, CA, where he lived until 1990. He began working at the University of California Davis as a technician in the Department of Bacteriology, and in 1959 received his M.A. in Microbiology from UCD. He became a specialist in electron microscopy and pioneered the development of UCD’s Facility for Electron Microscopy and Advanced Instrumentation, serving as its Director from 1959 until his retirement in 1984. He was a recognized contributor in his field, publishing over 45 scientific papers, serving as a visiting scientist and consultant for numerous universities and research facilities worldwide, and for two years after his retirement, teaching at San Joaquin Delta College.
He married Rose Marie Valdez, Professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, UCD, in 1956, and together they enjoyed their academic careers and traveled extensively, several times living and working on academic assignments in Europe and Scandinavia. While in Europe, he was able to find his mother’s Hungarian family and returned several times over the years to visit them. After Rose Marie’s untimely death in 1990, he made a happy reconnection with he widowed childhood sweetheart, Edythe (Edie) Griffin Ridgley of Ukiah, CA. They married in September, 1990 and remained in Ukiah until moving to Napa in June, 2002. He shared his love of travel and took her back to Europe, Scandinavia, and other favorite places, and to meet his Hungarian relatives.
Jack is survived by his wife, Edie; a son Tim Pangborn, M.D., of Redding, CA; a daughter Kathleen Strickland of Union Springs, NY; step-children Ron Ridgley, M.D. of Grand Junction, CO; Joanne Ridgley of Hanford, CA and Thia Ridgley Smith of Santa Rosa, CA; half-sisters Eleanor Carson Labouisse of Alamosa, CO and Elaine Carson Maloney of South Prairie, WA; two nieces and ten grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son Tom Pangborn in 1988; a half-sister Carolyn Pangborn Burns in 1985; and half-brothers, Christopher Thomas Carson (WWII POW) in 1945 and William Carson in 1997.
This loving and talented man, with his gentle wit, charm and generosity will be greatly missed by all whose lives were touched by his.
Friends and loved ones are invited to a memorial service to be held at the Ukiah Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ukiah, CA at 4:00 on Saturday, June 21.
Arrangements are under the direction of Treadway and Wigger Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Napa, CA.
Dr. Frank Howard Leeds
A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 28, at 2 p.m. at the Church of the Incarnation, 1750 29th Ave., (between Moraga and Noriega), San Francisco, for Dr.Frank Howard Leeds, 88, died of cancer June 16. He was 88.
Dr. Leeds, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept. 14, 1914, was the eldest son of Frank Henry Leeds and Edith Howard Leeds.
When he was 21, he came to California for his pre-medical studies at Pacific Union College in Angwin. He met Mabel Chavez at the United Methodist Church in St. Helena, and they were married in 1939. He went on to earn a medical degree in 1943 from UCSF. During World War II, he served in the Pacific as a doctor (Lt. Senior Grade) on a troop transport ship, the U.S.S Capps, that participated in the campaigns of Guadalcanal and Okinawa, carrying fresh troops into combat and returning with casualties. He would later say this experience affected him profoundly.
On Dr. Leeds’ return to San Francisco in 1946, he received a Fellowship to study and develop vascular surgery, an emerging field, under the guidance of Dr. Norman Freeman, an outstanding vascular surgeon. This early work led to new operations for the cure of injuries and diseases of arteries and veins. Four of these were developed by Dr. Freeman and Dr. Leeds and are now practiced worldwide. For these new procedures and for his dedication to teaching, UCSF honored him by appointing him Professor Emeritus and later Alumnus of the Year for 1993. He is considered one of the pioneers of vascular surgery.
Dr. Leeds served as Chief of Surgery at Franklin Hospital and at St. Luke’s Hospital, and was consulting physician at other San Francisco hospitals, as well. For many years, he taught at UCSF and volunteered his services at St. Luke’s Clinic and at Shriners Hospital.
During his student years, Dr. Leeds was drawn to both religion and science. He spent one year in a seminary in Buenos Aires before deciding to study medicine. Later as a physician, he considered both the spiritual as well as the physical well-being of his patients. For many years he served his church, his medical societies and the Boy Scouts. He was an avid sailor and enjoyed taking his boat out on San Francisco Bay with his family.
He is survived by his wife, Mabel; his children, Victoria, David, Frank and George, a daughter-in-law, Beth; granddaughters, Christina, Lauren, Andrea and Alexandra; and a brother, James Leeds of Buenos Aires. A sister, Evelyn Leeds Torrecill, predeceased him.
Memorial donations may be sent to the Northern California Vascular Society, in care of the Church of the Incarnation.