Patron of the arts
Janet Grosser of Menlo Park, a multi-talented woman and patron of the arts, died August 30 after a 19-month battle against lung cancer.
She was born in 1932 and grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut. Her childhood lessons in art, piano and ballet launched interests that remained with her for life, say family members. She learned to fly at 16 and graduated at the top of her high school class.
Ms. Grosser entered Massachusetts Institute of Technology at 17. While earning a bachelor's degree in chemistry, she was a cheerleader and an avid sailor, and wrote for the yearbook. She became engaged in her senior year to fellow student Morton Grosser.
She was awarded the Coats & Clark graduate fellowship for her master's degree in fiber mechanics from the MIT mechanical engineering department, then became a research associate in the biology department.
The Grossers moved to Menlo Park in 1958, and Ms. Grosser returned to study art in graduate school at Stanford University. While working as a particle trajectory calculator for the Stanford Linear Accelerator, she earned a life-teaching credential in ceramics. She taught ceramics at Foothill College for Palo Alto Adult Education for eight years. Her first one-person show opened the week her son Adam was born.
In 1978 Ms. Grosser founded a calligraphy and graphic-design studio, Janet Grosser Design, in Menlo Park. That same year, she and her husband became members of the Gossamer Albatross team, and she built components for the human-powered plane that won the 100,000-pound Kremer Cross-Channel Prize. She became a pilot of the Gossamer Albatross II, and one of the few people in the world to fly a successful human-powered airplane, her family says.
During the 1980s, she became active with the MIT Club of Northern California and the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary. She served as vice president of both organizations and as president of the ballet auxiliary.
In 1995 she became a director of the MIT Club of Northern California and was elected chairman of board in 1999. She was re-elected a week before the onset of her final illness.
In 1997 she received an MBA in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco.
Ms. Grosser was a voracious reader, accomplished cook, delighted traveler and warm hostess, say family members. She was author of "ABC of Ballet," a dance primer that sold many thousands of copies.
She designed and made many stitcheries, and was a member of the European Train Enthusiasts and a model builder, say family members.
Ms. Grosser is survived by her husband, Morton, of Menlo Park; son Adam Grosser of Hillsborough; and two grandchildren. The family prefers donations in her name to the MIT Music Library and the Stanford Lively Arts. At her request, there will be no memorial service.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, September 9, at the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church for Jean Auld Grotewohl, who died August 21 in Roseville. A reception will follow at the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club. She was 77.
Ms. Grotewohl was born in Chicago and earned a bachelor's degree in music at Northwestern University. She moved to Menlo Park in 1955.
She was a popular piano teacher, giving lessons to hundreds of children in her home. Her spring recitals attracted alumni and outside friends, as well as students and their parents.
She played the piano for the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church Sunday School and, later, First Church of Christ Scientist Sunday School in Menlo Park.
She was a volunteer in many civic groups, including the PTA, Menlo Mothers Club, Family Service Agency, Mid-Peninsula League of the San Francisco Symphony, and Menlo-Atherton Auxiliary to the Retarded Children's Guild (now Community Association for Rehabilitation). She was a golfer with the women's 18-hole group at the Stanford Golf Course.
She was a superb hostess and enjoyed giving theme parties featuring flower arrangements from her garden, say family members.
Ms. Grotewohl is survived by her two sons, David and Mark Grotewohl of Sacramento, daughter Julie ten Doesschate of Manhattan Beach, and seven grandchildren. Her mother, Neva Auld, whom she cared for, died in 2001 at the age of 108.
The family prefers memorials to the Family Service Agency of San Mateo County, 24 Second Ave., San Mateo, CA 94401-3828.
Former Menlo Park resident
Inez B. "Honey" Williams of Sublimity, Oregon, died August 29. She was 83.
Born in Monterey, she graduated from Burlingame High School and College of San Mateo.
For 15 years she served as a secretary for St. Pius Church in Redwood City. She was a loyal San Francisco 49er fan, say family members.
Ms. Williams is survived by her daughters, Barbara Kiernan of Salem, Oregon, and Phyllis Fornasero of Sacramento; stepsons Hal Williams of Portola Valley, Patrick Williams of San Carlos, and Gregg Williams of San Jose; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. After the death of her first husband, Philip Eldredge, in 1971, she was married to Hal Williams, who died in 1997.
The family prefers memorials to a charity of choice. Private services will be held at a later date.
Reginald Lowell Ausmus, a resident of Portola Valley since 1960, died at home July 18. He was 77.
Mr. Ausmus was born in Oregon and grew up in the Santa Clara Valley. He served with the U.S. Army in the Panama Canal Zone in World War II.
Mr. Ausmus was an engineer with Westinghouse Corp. in Sunnyvale for 45 years. He enjoyed photography and hiking, say family members.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth Ausmus of Portola Valley; a sister, Darleen Dockins of Stayton, Oregon; six children, Jack Ausmus of Ridgecrest, California, Walter Ausmus of Henderson, Nevada, Regina Constancio of Henderson, Nevada, Raymond Ausmus of Indian Springs, Nevada, Catherine Gurierrez of Fontana, California, and Garidon Ausmus of Denver, Colorado; and 15 grandchildren.
Private services have been held. Donations in his memory may be made to: Pathways Home Health Hospice, 201 San Antonio Circle, Suite 135, Mountain View, CA 94040.
Carriage House Foods founder
Albert R. Basini, a longtime resident of Atherton, died July 16. He was 89.
Mr. Basini was born in San Francisco and graduated from the University of San Francisco. He was co-chairman and founder of National Preserve Co. (Carriage House Foods), past president of The Foodsters, a board member of the CYO, a charter member of Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, and a Sequoia Hospital Foundation supporter. He was also an outdoorsman and golfer.
Mr. Basini is survived by his wife of 64 years, Esther; his children, Buzz Basini of Livingston, Montana, and Donna Hirschbein of San Carlos; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A funeral Mass was held July 19 at Church of the Nativity, Menlo Park. Memorials in Mr. Basini's name may be made to the Sequoia Hospital Foundation Fund, 170 Alameda, Redwood City, CA 94062. Arrangements were under the direction of Woodside Chapel of Crippen & Flynn, Redwood City.
Albert T. Cook
Longtime Woodside resident
Albert T. Cook, a resident of Woodside since 1962, died July 20. He was 91.
Born in San Francisco, Mr. Cook graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in 1934 and a law degree in 1939. While at Stanford, he met and married Margaret Munro. Mrs. Cook, his wife of 63 years, died in 2002.
Mr. Cook practiced law in San Francisco until 1941. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy, where he achieved the rank of lieutenant commander. Following the war, he owned and managed Brookdale Lodge in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
In 1950 the Cook family moved to Atherton, and later to Woodside. Mr. Cook was the founder of a real estate development business, Cook Properties, with offices in Mountain View.
Mr. Cook enjoyed the theater, getting together with friends and family, and traveling the world, say family members. He was an avid golfer and a member of the Menlo Golf and Country Club since 1956. He was a loyal supporter of Stanford sports, say family members.
Mr. Cook is survived by three sons, Bob of Encino, Bill of Redwood City, and Gary of Los Altos.
Private services were held under the direction of Woodside Chapel of Crippen & Flynn.
Adam Borden Polson
Pediatrician and psychiatrist
Dr. Adam Borden Polson, a longtime resident of Portola Valley, died September 4 at Sharon Heights Care and Rehabilitation Center in Menlo Park after a long illness. He was 91.
The fourth child of William and Margaret Polson, he was born June 1, 1913, in Hoquiam, Washington. He married Mary Hague Babson in 1937. They divorced right after World War II, and he married Jeanne Evans in 1948 in Palo Alto.
Dr. Polson graduated from the University of Oregon in 1934 and received his medical degree in 1938 from the University of Oregon Medical School in Portland. After residencies in pediatrics at Denver and Los Angeles children's hospitals, he started practicing in 1941 in Westwood Village, just south of the University of California at Los Angeles.
When World War II broke out, he volunteered to serve in the Army Air Force Medical Corps. During the war, he was stationed at several air bases in the western United States.
From late 1945 to 1961, Dr. Polson practiced pediatrics in Westwood Village. He participated in the establishment of the subspecialty of pediatric cardiology, family members said, and was a member of the clinical faculty of UCLA Medical School. He also served as pediatric chief of staff of St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica.
In 1961, Dr. Polson and his family moved to Portola Valley, and he entered a residency program at Stanford Medical School in child and adult psychiatry. Upon completing the program, he started a private practice in Menlo Park. Later, he joined the staff of the San Mateo County Health Department. Dr. Polson retired in 1978.
As an avid gardener and lover of nature, Dr. Polson enjoyed tending his roses, dahlias and gardens in both Southern California and Portola Valley. In addition to gardening, he spent many hours in the kitchen, inventing countless recipes that quickly became family favorites, relatives say.
This creative instinct and good taste extended into his passion for art and literature, family members say. While his extensive library encompassed all genres of writing, Dr. Polson had an affinity for poetry, especially the verse of the Indian poet Tagore. He was a connoisseur of fine cuisine, inspiring literature and good company.
The family will have a memorial gathering on September 25.
Dr. Polson is survived by his wife, Jeanne; four children, Adam Polson Jr. of San Jose, Janet Smith of Portola Valley, Alex Polson of University Place, Washington, and Peter Polson of Boulder, Colorado; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
The family prefers that donations be made to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District or the donor's favorite charity.
Wayne Michael Bridgeman
Sharon Heights resident, businessman
A celebration of Wayne Michael Bridgeman's life will be held on Tuesday, October 5, at 3 p.m. in the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder.
Mr. Bridgeman died September 11 in Menlo Park after a long illness. He was 80.
Born in Santa Ana, Mr. Bridgeman grew up in Marin County and San Francisco. After graduating from Polytechnic High School, he joined the Marines. He was wounded on Iwo Jima and was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Presidential Unit Citation for bravery under fire.
He worked for Kaiser Aluminum in West Virginia and California, and for Prudential-Bache Securities in Palo Alto before retiring.
The Bridgeman family moved to Sharon Heights in Menlo Park 37 years ago. A member of the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club for 35 years, he enjoyed golf as his main recreation. He was also very interested in the lives of his wife, children and grandchildren, according his family. As an elder in the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, he served in a variety of roles for many years.
Mr. Bridgeman is survived by his wife of 52 years, Margaret Bridgeman; sons Wayne of Corpus Christi, Texas, Jeffrey of Solvang, and David of Salt Lake City; and eight grandchildren.
Arrangements were made by John O'Connor's Menlo Colonial Chapel.
Gaby Marie Klimenko
Longtime Menlo Park resident
Services for Gaby Marie Klimenko, who lived in Menlo Park for the past 42 years, were held September 18 at the Chapel of the Serbian Cemetery in Colma.
Mrs. Klimenko died September 11 at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City. She was 85.
Born in Paris, Mrs. Klimenko worked as an office clerk for 20 years for Shell Oil Company in San Francisco until she retired in 1963.
She is survived by her sons, Christian Klimenko of Menlo Park and Nicholas Klimenko of Santa Rosa, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She was preceeded in death by her husband, George Klimenko, in November 1998.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pets in Need, 853 Fifth Ave., Redwood City, CA 94062.
Arrangements were made by the Woodside Chapel of Crippen & Flynn.
Portola Valley resident
Manuel Ramies, who lived in Portola Valley for many years, died September 8. He was 86.
He worked in the area as a landscape gardener, and was a longtime member of Our Lady of The Wayside church in Portola Valley.
He is survived by his sisters Mary Garcia and Laura Mangini, and a brother, Martin Ramies.
The funeral service was held September 13 at the Woodside Chapel of Crippen & Flynn in Redwood City. Interment was at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Menlo Park.
William Arthur Swinerton
Retired construction executive
William Arthur Swinerton, a longtime Woodside resident, died at his home September 26. He was 86.
He was born in San Francisco to Alfred and Jane Swinerton in 1917. The family moved Woodside in the 1930s, and he forever rued the town's decision to pave its roads, family members said.
Mr. Swinerton attended the Thatcher School in Ojai, and received his bachelor of science degree in industrial administration from Yale University in 1939.
He attended Stanford University's business school, but left after one year to become an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. During World War II, he served in a construction battalion in the South Pacific Theatre, saw action at the battle of Guadalcanal, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his military service.
In 1943, Mr. Swinerton married Mary "Polly" Nichols Clark, and the following year the first of their four children was born. In 1958, he built the Woodside home where he and Polly lived for the rest of their lives.
Mr. Swinerton in 1939 began working summers for Lindgren & Swinerton, the leading commercial construction company in San Francisco. After World War II, he joined the company full-time.
He is credited with guiding the company's expansion into the Denver market in the 1950s, and into Hawaii in the early 1960s. He became the company's president in 1963 and then chairman of the board in 1976.
Notable projects during his tenure include the Denver Coliseum, the renovation of Ghirardelli Square and the California state capitol building, and the construction of Sheraton hotels in Maui and Waikiki.
He retired in 1988 and devoted time to his many interests -- duck hunting, salmon fishing in Scotland, trout fishing in Montana, walking his beloved dogs, tracking down rare postage stamps from the British colonies and playing a mean game of dominoes at the Pacific Union Club, family members said.
He was involved with various charities, was a great fan of the Oakland A's, devoured spy novels and enjoyed teaching his grandchildren the finer points of the sporting life, they said.
Mr. Swinerton is survived by his children, Leslie Swinerton of Geary, Oklahoma, Susie McBaine of San Francisco, Sarah Swinerton of Woodside and Jim Swinerton of Chicago; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to California Trout, 870 Market St., Suite 528, San Francisco, CA 94102; or the charity of the donor's choice. A private memorial service will be held.
Richard V. 'Pete' Poe
Engineer, 33-year Ladera resident
Richard V. "Pete" Poe, a retired nuclear engineer, died September 18 from cancer at his home in Ladera, where he had lived for the past 33 years. He was 66 and a native of Siler City, North Carolina.
Mr. Poe began his 33-year career with General Electric in 1960 after receiving his bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering from North Carolina State University. His work was concentrated in the technical and marketing areas of commercial nuclear power plants.
In 1968, he received a master's degree in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in nuclear engineering from Stanford University under the Honors Cooperative Program. He was a registered professional engineer and a longtime member of the American Nuclear Society.
After Mr. Poe retired in 1993, his passion for travel led him to all parts of the world, said his wife, Carolyn. He was an enthusiastic member of the Buck/Cardinal Club, Vintners Club of San Francisco and Humanities West. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather, said his family.
Mr. Poe is survived by his wife of 45 years, Carolyn B. Poe of Ladera; daughter Julie Menge and son-in-law Walter Menge of Elk Grove; son Mitchell Poe and daughter-in-law Stephanie Poe of Bellevue, Washington; and two grandsons.
A private memorial service for the immediate family will be held in Genoa, Italy, at Santa Chiara on the Mediterranean coast.
Memorials may be sent to Humanities West in San Francisco.
75-year Menlo Park resident
Marian Kearney Morey, who was known for her years of devoted service to the cloistered nuns of Corpus Christi Monastery in Menlo Park, died September 18.
Ms. Morey was born in San Francisco and moved to Menlo Park 75 years ago. She was married at the Church of the Nativity to John B. Morey of the well-known Morey family, and was a member of St. Raymond Parish.
Ms. Morey is survived by three sons, Tom, John Jr., and Donald, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Her husband, John B. Morey, and grandson, Peter Michael, preceded her in death. A Mass of Christian burial was held September 22 at St. Raymond Catholic Church with burial in Holy Cross Cemetery in Menlo Park.
The family prefers memorials in her name be made to Corpus Christi Monastery, 215 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park, 94025, or to a favorite charity. Arrangements were under the direction of the Menlo Park Chapel of Spangler Mortuaries.
Native of Maine
Martha T. Burrill, a Menlo Park resident for 57 years, died at home September 15. She was 84.
Ms. Burrill was born in Fairfield, Maine. An educator, she was a member of the Menlo Circus Club, Allied Arts, the Order of the Eastern Star (Masonic), and the San Mateo County Mounted Patrol in Woodside. She was the biggest fan of Burrill family sports, according to family members.
She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Dr. Leland C. Burrill; children, Michelle Burrill of Oakland, Richard Burrill of Chester, California, Robert Burrill of Milpitas, and Susan Brodbeck of Menlo Park; and five grandchildren.
Private family services have been held. The family prefers memorials to Little House, 800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park, CA, 94025, Pathways Hospice Foundation No. 104201 San Antonio Circle, Suite 135, Mountain View, or a favorite charity.
Arrangements were under the direction of Spangler Mortuaries.
Patricia "Pat" Bennett Sjostrom
A celebration of life will be held in Atherton at 3 p.m. Thursday, September 30, for Patricia "Pat" Bennett Sjostrom of Menlo Park, who died September 17 at age 67.
The celebration will be held at the pavilion at Holbrook-Palmer Park, 140 Watkins Ave.
A 30-year resident of Menlo Park and Atherton, Mrs. Sjostrom was a mother, grandmother and teacher who focused her life on the care of children, family members said.
Born in New York City, she grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, and graduated from Centenary College in her home state, coming to Atherton in the early 1970s. She lived through a bout with breast cancer and, according to her daughter-in-law, Jean Sjostrom, "was a ferocious letter writer in an age where people don't write letters."
Jean Sjostrom describes her mother-in-law as an "unstoppable networker" who had about 200 friends.
Mrs. Sjostrom was a member of the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary and the Allied Arts Guild for 21 years. She was on the board of directors of the Community Education Center in Redwood City.
She enjoyed hiking, tennis, gardening, and taught preschool, family members said.
Mrs. Sjostrom is survived by her daughter, Lesli Sjostrom of San Francisco; a son, Doug Sjostrom of San Carlos; two grandsons; and many nieces and nephews.
The family suggests donations to the following organizations: Woodside-Atherton
Auxiliary Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Foundation (www.bcrfcure.org);
and the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.
Menlo Park resident
A memorial service will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Wednesday, September 15, at the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church for Stephanie Sanko Brown, who died September 11. A reception will follow immediately. Ms. Brown, who was a greeter at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church for 30 years, was 90.
Ms. Brown was born in Chicago and worked in business and advertising until her marriage to Samuel B. Brown in 1942.
After moving to Menlo Park, she became a homemaker and volunteer for the Girl Scouts, PTA, March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society and Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.
She was an accomplished seamstress, knitter, gardener and loving grandmother, say family members.
She is survived by her son, John B. Brown of Pocatello, Idaho; her daughter, Stephanie D. Brown of Menlo Park; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
The family prefers memorials be made to the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, 950 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park, CA, 94025; or the American Cancer Society, 1650 Amphlett Blvd., San Mateo, CA, 94402 (or call 1-800-227-2345).
60-year Menlo Park resident
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 15, at St. Raymond Catholic Church for Guido John Ferranti of Menlo Park. Mr. Ferranti died September 10. He was 91.
A vigil service was to be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 14, at St. Raymond Church.
Mr. Ferranti was born in San Francisco, where he was a member of the Drum and Bugle Corps of the Italian Catholic Federation. From 1937 to 1954 he was production supervisor at Remler Products in San Francisco. During World War II, the company made radio parts for the military.
In 1954 he moved his family to Menlo Park and started his own business, Automatic Bar Production, in San Carlos, producing precision parts. After he sold the business in 1975, he returned from retirement twice to work for former employees.
Mr. Ferranti "was a generous guy with a terrific sense of humor," says his son Art Ferranti. He recalls his father built a lighted revolving Christmas tree in 1941 that became a family tradition and was displayed in the Ferranti home every Christmas. "He even won a prize for it in the Chronicle," says Art Ferranti.
Mr. Ferranti is survived by his daughter, Christine Cooper of British Columbia; sons Art Ferranti of Redwood City and Rick Ferranti of San Carlos; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. His wife, Dina, died in 1995.
Entombment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma. The family prefers donations to a favorite charity.
Menlo Park resident
A celebration of the life of Doris Jane Rector will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, September 16, at Spangler Mortuary, 399 South San Antonio Road in Los Altos. Ms. Rector, a 56-year resident of Menlo Park, died at home September 4. She was 96.
She was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and moved to California at age 13. In 1927 she married Ormond Rector in Gilroy, where they resided for 22 years.
They moved to Menlo Park in 1949 when Mr. Ormond opened the Menlo Square Market. Shortly afterward, he opened Los Altos Rancho Market and Moonlight Market in Santa Clara.
The Rectors were active in community affairs, especially Rotary Club activities. Ms. Rector was a member of the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and the Order of the Eastern Star.
She is survived by two daughters, Norma Marshall and Judy Meyer, both of Mountain View; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Her husband of 70 years, Ormond Rector, died in 1997.
The family prefers memorials be made in her name to: Rotary Club of Menlo Park Foundation, Ormond and Doris Rector Scholarship, P.O. Box 876, Menlo Park, CA 94026.
Robert John Warren died September 2 at his home in Woodside. He was 46.
Mr. Warren grew up in Menlo Park and attended Menlo-Atherton High School. During his high school years, he worked the graveyard shift at Draeger's, stocking shelves. He later worked in construction as an independent contractor.
He had a green thumb and cared about the welfare of animals, always having cats as pets, say family members. He enjoyed surfing and riding motorcycles.
Mr. Warren is survived by his parents, Donna and Glen Warren of Los Altos; and his brothers, James and Rick Warren, both of San Francisco.
Donations in Mr. Warren's memory may be made to the Golden Gate Community Church, 3170 23rd St., San Francisco, CA 94110. Arrangements were under the direction of the Los Altos Chapel of Spangler Mortuaries.