Stanford business school dean
Samuel "Pete" Pond, a longtime Woodside resident who drove a PT boat in the South Pacific and served for 20 years as associate and acting dean of Stanford's Graduate School of Business, died October 14 at Stanford Hospital after a short illness. He was 90.
Mr. Pond, who always considered himself a "work in progress," was known for kindness, good humor and dry wit. Professionally he was known as an accomplished, low-key and friendly executive with what one colleague called "an invisible management style."
Pete Pond was born in 1914, the same year his family bought a summer home in Woodside on Canada Road between Olive Hill Lane and Woodside Road. He was a third-generation Californian, with both Pond and Ames grandparents coming to California in the early 1850s.
His grandfather, Edward B. Pond, was mayor of San Francisco from 1886 to 1890, and then ran for governor -- unsuccessfully -- against Leland Stanford.
Before settling down as an investment banker, his father, Samuel Pond, chased the lure of gold to the Yukon and climbed the infamous Chilkook Pass twice. He also briefly shared a cabin with Jack London, and learned to hate him, Mrs. Kip Pond recalls.
In the summer, kids growing up in Woodside had a glorious time, riding, swimming, and playing tennis. Mr. Pond remembered winning a tennis tournament at Why Worry, the Roth estate, when he was about 10. He even went to Woodside School for a few years when it had three grades in one room.
Pete Pond attended Thacher School in Ojai, California, where he learned to play wicked soccer on the dirt field. Then he went to Yale, where he won the first "Y" for a minor sport as captain of the undefeated soccer team, and was later named All-American. He graduated in 1936, and went on to earn a degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1939.
During World War II, Mr. Pond captained PT Boat 108 (a sister boat to John F. Kennedy's PT 109) in the Solomon Islands, where he chased down Japanese supply barges at night.
After the war, Mr. Pond worked for Pan American World Airways in labor relations, and held jobs in FMC Corp. and Chemetreon Corp.
Meanwhile, Mr. Pond took a fateful ski trip to Sun Valley and met two attractive young women in a ski class. "He said, eeny-meeny-miny-mo, and Jean Kennedy (John Kennedy's sister) lost," recalls Mrs. Pond. They married in 1951.
Mr. Pond came to the Business School as associate dean in 1961 in response to a midnight phone call from his old buddy, Ernie Arbuckle, then its legendary dean. They moved back to Woodside, and built their home on Family Farm Road.
From 1961 to 1981, Mr. Pond filled top positions in the business school during its rise to world prominence. "He became known at the school for his good humor and light touch, as well as for creating business systems that served the school well," according to an obituary prepared by Stanford University.
Mr. Pond was acting dean in the tumultuous Vietnam War years of 1968 and 1969, between the tenures of deans Ernie Arbuckle and Arjay Miller. Mrs. Pond remembers one 11 p.m. phone call when Mr. Pond was asked to come down and defend Encina Hall.
Mr. Pond also loved nature and the outdoors. "He was a wise man of good humor with a repertoire of silly songs, who took immense joy in his family and the out-of-doors, especially horse-packing in the High Sierra," wrote his son Sam.
Mr. Pond supported numerous charitable and environmental causes. He was one of the original backers of the Country Almanac when it started as a community newspaper in 1965. He worked hard for Hidden Villa and for his first alma mater, the Thacher School, where he was a trustee for many years.
Mr. and Mrs. Pond moved to The Sequoias retirement community in Portola Valley in 2003.
Mr. Pond is survived by his wife, Kip of Portola Valley; a son, Sam Pond of San Francisco; two daughters, Kate Pond of Ojai, and Eliza Pond Poolman of Waimea, Hawaii; and three grandchildren.
A private gathering is being planned. The family suggests donations to the Nature Conservancy, the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), or the Thacher School.
Clara Dinkelspiel lived in Atherton almost 80 years
Clara Bransten Dinkelspiel, who lived in Atherton almost 80 years and was the wife of the late town judge and councilman, John Dinkelspiel, died peacefully in Portola Valley October 16. She was 94.
Mrs. Dinkelspiel was widely known as a lively, energetic woman who threw herself into causes such as the Atherton Library, Filoli and the Stanford Art Gallery.
Having moved to Atherton in 1913 at age 3, she was always bubbling with stories of halcyon summers riding ponies, doing drills for events at the Circus Club, and swimming at the James Flood pool in Lindenwood.
"Mrs. D. was my second mother," said Judy Harris of San Mateo, grand-daughter of Clarence Walter, who drilled local kids to perform in community circuses that evolved into today's Menlo Circus Club and Tally Ho benefit for Children's Hospital at Stanford. "She was a real history buff, very well-read, and told wonderful stories."
Clara Bransten, a fourth-generation San Franciscan, was born in 1909 into the family that founded MJB Coffee. When her father had a brush with tuberculosis, the family moved down the Peninsula, where the climate was better. Unlike their friends who came down in the summers to escape the fog, Clara and her family lived in Atherton year-round.
In an oral history recorded by Atherton historian Sally Bush, Mrs. Dinkespiel recalled getting her first pony and cart for her 6th birthday. "My pony was a mode of transportation for me," she said.
Mrs. Dinkespiel described busy summers spent riding -- always bareback -- sliding down a haystack, and swimming with her San Francisco buddies.
Especially exciting was practicing for the kids' circus. Ringmaster Clarence Walter kept the children drilling stunts and quadrilles by promising ice cream. "He was a taskmaster. If you did it right, you got an ice cream cone," said his granddaughter, Mrs. Harris.
Winter was more routine. Clara first attended Miss Harker's Seminary for Girls, and, later, Castilleja. She said that starting when she was 8, she would sometimes drive herself to school in an automobile. "Father taught me to drive on his lap when I was 4," she recalled.
In 1931, Clara Bransten married John Dinkespiel, a promising young attorney who went on to be town judge in Atherton, and later a much beloved councilman and mayor. "John handled the only murder trial in Atherton," recalled former councilwoman Nan Chapman.
In Atherton, Mrs. Dinkelspiel became very involved in the community. "She had a lot of energy and curiosity," commented longtime Atherton friend, Elizabeth Gerstley.
John and Clara Dinkelspiel shared their passion for fly fishing with Jim and Elizabeth Gerstley on numerous trips to the Makenzie River in Oregon and elsewhere. "We shared many fish fries together," said Mrs. Gerstley.
In 1992, John and Clara Dinkelspiel moved to The Sequoias in Portola Valley. Mr. Dinkelspiel died in 1998.
Mrs. Dinkelspiel is survived by a daughter, Jean D. Chaitin of San Francisco, and three grandchildren.
At her request, no services were held. The Neptune Society handled arrangements.
The family suggests memorial contributions to Pathways Hospice Foundation, 201 San Antonio Circle, Suite 101, Mountain View, CA 94040.
Art gallery partner
Sue Baratian Hamamjian, who operated the Sharon Park Gallery in Menlo Park with her daughter for 11 years, died October 6 in Saratoga. She was 79.
Ms. Hamamjian was born in Massena, New York, to Armenian parents.
In 1984, after retiring from the corporate world, she and her daughter began operating the Sharon Park Gallery in the Sharon Heights shopping center. She then worked in the Tercera Gallery in Palo Alto owned by her son, Seb, and her daughter, JoAnn.
In recent years, she helped develop the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, co-founded by her son and daughter. The new museum opened to the public on October 23. The courtyard garden at the museum's entrance is dedicated to Ms. Hamamjian's memory.
She is survived by her children, George Hamamjian of Sebastapol, Seb Hamamjian of Santa Cruz and JoAnn Edwards of Palo Alto; a grandson; siblings Vi Baratian of New York City, Jenny Sellers of Quincy, Illinois, and Vic Baratian of Leonard, Michigan.
Donations in Ms. Hamamjian's name may be made to the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, 550 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94102; or to cancer research.
Donna Skrabo Gaetano, member of a pioneer Portola Valley family, died October 29 at her home in Portola Valley. She was 59.
Ms. Gaetano was born in Redwood City on March 27, 1945, the daughter of Eileen and John Skrabo, and grew up in Menlo Park. She attended Holy Cross High School in Mountain View and Ponce College of Beauty in San Mateo.
After she and her husband, John Gaetano, were married, they lived in Sharon Heights before moving to the family homestead in Portola Valley, which they remodeled 20 years ago.
Ms. Gaetano was active in many charitable endeavors, say family members, especially Students Rising Above Scholarship, which was founded by her friend, television personality Wendy Tokuda.
She had also been active in Peninsula Volunteers, I Care, the Florence Crittenden Home, Ronald McDonald House, and parent organizations at St. Raymond School, St. Francis High School, and Menlo-Atherton High School.
Ms. Gaetano is survived by her husband of 37 years, John, of Portola Valley; children Nicole Gaetano Hughes and Nino Gaetano of Menlo Park, and John-Nick Gaetano, a graduate student at Columbia University in New York City; mother, Eileen Skrabo of Portola Valley; brothers, Jack Skrabo of Redding, Mark Skrabo of Davis and Paul Skrabo of Portola Valley; and one grandson.
The family prefers that memorials in her name be made to Students Rising Above Scholarship, c/o Peninsula Community Foundation, 1700 South El Camino Real, Suite 300, San Mateo, CA 94402.
Services were held November 5 at the Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park. Arrangements were under the direction of Menlo Park Chapel of Spangler Mortuaries.
Longtime Menlo Park resident
George R. Pryal, who had lived in Menlo Park since 1945, died October 29. He was 88.
Mr. Pryal was born in San Francisco. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army with the 80th Armored Medical Battalion. In 1943 he married before being shipped overseas.
Mr. Pryal was a member of Teamsters Local 85 for many years before his retirement. He was an avid golfer, playing frequently at Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course, and a NASCAR racing fan, say family members.
Mr. Pryal is survived by his wife of 61 years, Virginia; children, Ginny Raymond of Beulah, Colorado, Alfred Pryal of Gastonia, North Carolina, Fred Pryal of Glenvil, Nebraska, and Janet Shockey of Johnston, Iowa; 11 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Services were held November 5 at the chapel of Roller, Hapgood & Tinney, Palo Alto, with interment at Alta Mesa Memorial Park, Palo Alto.
Sister Nancy Salisbury
Sister Nancy Salisbury, who was headmistress of the Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City's oldest independent school for girls, died September 27 at Oakwood Retirement Community in Atherton. She was 74.
Sister Salisbury was a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, the Roman Catholic order she entered in 1952.
In her 20 years as headmistress at Sacred Heart, which runs from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, Sister Salisbury overhauled curriculum and upgraded facilities during a period when enrollment nearly doubled, according to an announcement by the U.S. Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart. In 1990, the school received a Blue Ribbon Award for Academic Excellence from the U.S. Department of Education.
Sister Salisbury was also vice chairman of the board of the New York State Association of Independent Schools and head of its accreditation commission.
Charles "Chuck" Angelo of Woodside died September 11 at Mills-Peninsula Hospital in Millbrae after a yearlong illness from a stroke. He was 58.
Mr. Angelo grew up in Menlo Park and graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School. He worked in the family business, West Coast Screen, located in Menlo Park. He was an avid duck hunter and managed a softball team for many years, playing at Burgess Park.
Mr. Angelo was the son of the late Beth and Charles Angelo. He is survived by his siblings, Yvonne Angelo of Mill Valley, Jerry and Jim Angelo of Palo Alto, and Paul Angelo of Menlo Park.
The family hopes to donate a bench and plant a tree in Fremont Park in downtown Menlo Park in Mr. Angelo's memory, according to his sister. His father, Charles Angelo, installed a Nativity scene in the park at Christmas for many years, she said.
Former Syntex vice president
Paul George Gilles, a resident of Menlo Park since 1965, died November 4 after a brief illness. He was 82.
Mr. Gilles was born in Cleveland, Ohio. During World War II, he was a B17 pilot with the 15th Air Force in Italy. He flew 35 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and a Purple Heart.
He graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, in 1946 and in 1947 married Margaret Hogan in Lakewood, Ohio.
Mr. Gilles was vice president of sales and marketing for Syntex Laboratories (now Roche) in Palo Alto and also worked for J. Walter Thompson Advertising in San Francisco
Mr. Gilles served as a lector at St. Denis Church in Menlo Park for almost 40 years. He was a longtime baseball fan and proud of the fact that, when he was a child, he met Babe Ruth. Mr. Gilles was an active sportsman, playing golf, swimming and cycling, say family members.
Survivors include his wife, Margaret of Menlo Park; children Anne Kennelly, Paula Maurano, Mark Gilles and Kathleen Gilles, all of Menlo Park, and Teresa O'Rourke of San Ramon; and seven grandchildren.
A funeral Mass was held November 8 at St. Denis Church. Arrangements were under the direction of the Menlo Park Chapel of Spangler Mortuaries.