Theresa Talmadge Solomon
Theresa Talmadge Solomon died at her Menlo Park home on March 18. She was 85.
Born in Ilo Ilo, the Philippines, she spent her early years in Cebu and Manila. She was studying to be a teacher when World War II broke out, and she was ordered to report as a prisoner to the Santo Tomas internment camp, her family said.
After liberation, she moved to San Francisco, where she met and married Jack Solomon. The two lived in Redwood City and raised their daughter, Jacqueline.
Ms. Solomon believed in the importance of education and was intensely proud of her Jewish heritage, her family said. She enjoyed travel and experiencing the customs and traditions of different cultures.
She is survived by her brother, Bill Talmadge of Daly City; her daughter, Jacqueline of Ferndale; and many nieces and nephews.
A cryptside service was held for Ms. Solomon's family and close friends on March 21 at Salem Cemetery in Colma. Arrangements were under the direction of John O'Connor's Menlo Colonial Chapel.
Family members said they would like to give special thanks to Anne Lassahn, Ms. Solomon's conservator; Maria Dizon, her caregiver; and Katie, the nurse from Pathways Hospice, whom they said helped make Ms. Solomon's last hours peaceful.
Verna Carmel Witzel
Verna Carmel Witzel, a longtime resident of Menlo Park, died at her home on March 29. She was 83.
Born in Redwood City, she attended Sequoia High School and was a cosmetologist for more than 35 years. She was an active lifetime parishioner of St. Anthony's Padua Church near Menlo Park, and volunteered at Kaiser Permanente's Redwood City hospital for more than 15 years.
Ms. Witzel was preceded in death by her husband, Wilbur.
She is survived by her sons, Wilbur and John; daughter-in-law, Jacqueline Witzel; and one grandson.
A Rosary was recited and a Mass of Christian burial held at St. Anthony's, with internment at Holy Cross Cemetery in Menlo Park. Arrangements were under the direction of Crippen & Flynn Woodside Chapel.
Travel agency owner
Carne Linder, a resident of San Mateo County for more than 80 years, died January 5 at her home in Menlo Park.
Ms. Linder was born in 1918 and grew up in San Mateo.
A graduate of Stanford University in 1940, she operated a travel agency in San Mateo until retiring and moving to Menlo Park 12 years ago.
Ms. Linder said the loves of her life were her church and Stanford University, say family members. She arranged trips for Stanford, especially "sentimental journeys" for members of her class of 1940. She was an active member of the Stanford Historical Society, and a scholarship has been named for her.
Ms. Linder was one of the first two women inducted into the Serra Club, a Catholic organization devoted to fostering vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Ms. Linder never married and is survived by her nephew, Ian Wade Linder, and nieces Jo Anne Arrouzet and Susan Kelly.
A funeral Mass was held January 15 at St. Denis Church in Menlo Park; burial was at Holy Cross Cemetery.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Suite 350, 770 Welch Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304; or the Serra Club of San Mateo, P.O. Box 1107, San Mateo, CA 94403.
Longtime Varian employee
A memorial service will be held Friday, February 4, for Eugene Spielman, a Menlo Park resident for 43 years, who died January 25.
The service will start at 4 p.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church at 330 Ravenswood Ave. in Menlo Park.
Mr. Spielman was born in Beverly Hills. He moved to Los Altos as a child and graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1946. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1948, stationed at Treasure Island.
He studied engineering and business at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the ROTC.
After graduation he went back into the Navy, where he served as a communications officer on the USS Walker for two years, stationed in Pearl Harbor. In 1958 he received his MBA from Stanford University.
In 1959 he wed Nancy Bradley. The couple settled in Menlo Park, where they raised four children.
Mr. Spielman worked at Varian Associates in Palo Alto for 30 years. He enjoyed sailing, flying, working with computers, attending Stanford football games, and taking family vacations in the mountains, say family members.
After retiring at age 62, he became involved in civic service. He served as foreman of the San Mateo County Grand Jury and was a member of the Menlo Park Rotary Club for more than 10 years.
Mr. Spielman is survived by his four children, Julie Borden of Hillsborough, Joan Hendershott of Belmont, Carol Crofts of Campbell and Brad Spielman of San Francisco; brother Jerry Spielman of Woodside; and eight grandchildren. His wife of 35 years, Nancy Bradley Spielman, preceded him in death.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sequoia Hospital Foundation, 170 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City, CA 94062.
Equestrian, owner of B&D Tack
A memorial service for Donna Tozi, a mainstay of the local equestrian community and the owner of B&D Tack in Redwood City, is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, February 5, at the Peninsula Christian Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Redwood City.
Ms. Tozi died at her Redwood City home January 9 after a three-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 65.
A lifelong resident of Redwood City, she was a devoted horsewoman since her teens. She became a junior member of the San Mateo County Horsemen's Association in 1954. In 1996, she was the SMCHA president.
Ms. Tozi was a past president of Los Viajeros riding club and active with the San Francisco Horsemen's Association. She was an aficionado and breeder of paint horses, which she boarded in Woodside, and she participated in numerous horse shows and rodeos.
She and her husband, Bruce Doran, used to ride on their paint horses in the Redwood City Fourth of July parade dressed as American Indians.
In connection with B&D Tack, Ms. Tozi spent many weekends setting up shop at rodeos and horse shows. She was an enthusiastic sponsor for many cowboys, cowgirls and show events.
For many years she and her husband operated the Woodside Mercantile in Woodside Plaza. They gradually shifted the focus from antiques to Western gear, then opened B&D Tack on Main Street 15 years ago. Five years ago, B&D (which stands for Bruce & Donna) landed on Broadway.
She always said that she wanted to live to 98 and die being bucked off a horse in Huddart Park, recalled her close friend Sue Sheehan.
In addition to her husband, Donna is survived by her children, Catherine Fries and Robert, and three grandchildren.
A celebration of Ms. Tozi's life was held at the Mounted Patrol Grounds in Woodside on January 13 and drew 250 people.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Ms. Tozi's name to SMCHA, P.O. Box 620092, Woodside, CA. 94062. A scholarship is being established for the Junior Horsemen.
William Ray Cheney
William R. Cheney, a Menlo Park resident for 39 years, died February 10 after a battle with brain cancer. He was 76.
A graduate of the University of Washington, Mr. Cheney was art director for several Bay Area advertising agencies, instigated and taught a professional practices program at the College of San Francisco, served as president of the Artists and Art Directors Club of San Francisco, and worked with cartoonist Marty Links creating drawings for Hallmark greeting cards.
In 1966 he joined the editorial staff of Sunset magazine and moved to Menlo Park. Retiring as art director 24 years later, he was active in the Peninsula Outdoor Painters and the San Mateo Arts Council.
Mr. Cheney began drawing with Larry Lippold of Stanford's Continuing Studies program, highlighted by sketching trips to Italy, France and England.
His volunteer work in Filoli's Nature Education Program included leading nature walks for Peninsula school children, and teaching nature drawing classes.
Mr. Cheney retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1988.
For many years he enjoyed and supported the San Francisco Ballet, the San Francisco Symphony, and the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, family members said.
Mr. Cheney is survived by his wife of 52 years, Louise; sons Richard of New York City and James of Santa Rosa; daughter Catherine Curtis of Fairfax, Virginia; and four grandchildren.
A private celebration of his life will be held.
The family suggests donations to: "Walking for Ben," the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 675 North First St., Suite 1100, San Jose, CA 95112; or Asian Liver Center at Stanford University, 300 Pasteur Drive, H-3680, Stanford, CA 94305.
Dora Margaret Wolfe
71-year Menlo Park resident
Dora Margaret Wolfe died February 17 at the age of 91.
Ms. Wolfe was born in Birmingham, England and came to the United States in 1919. She spent the rest of her life in California, living in Menlo Park for 71 years.
She loved her garden, and enjoyed writing and history, family members said. She died surrounded by her family.
She is survived by her son Lowell Wolfe of Redwood City; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Services were held. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to the American Heart Association.
Thomas J. Henderson
Executive and civic leader
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 5, for Thomas J. Henderson, a Menlo Park resident for the past 22 years, who died February 14 at Stanford Hospital. He was 73.
The service will start at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto.
Mr. Henderson grew up in Winona, Minnesota, and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1954. In the same year he married Mitzi Gebhard.
After serving in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps, he entered the heavy construction business, working for 33 years for Guy F. Atkinson Co. of South San Francisco, ultimately becoming president, CEO and chairman of the company before his retirement in 1994.
Mr. Henderson was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, serving as an elder and in other lay leadership roles. In 2003 he led a major church capital campaign.
He served for many years on the board of the Mid-Peninsula YMCA, whose Red Triangle award he received in 2004. He facilitated the merger of the Sequoia YMCA into the Mid-Peninsula YMCA and was active in planning the development of a new East Palo Alto facility.
He chaired the YMCA of the USA National Board from 1999 to 2001 and served for 11 years on numerous committees of the national YMCA.
At the time of his death, Mr. Henderson chaired a committee for the development of a new YMCA national headquarters.
He was trustee of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley for 11 years, and served as the school's acting and interim president from April 1994 to June 1996.
Mr. Henderson joined his wife in longtime activism for social justice for gays and lesbians. He was chapter president of the San Jose/Midpeninsula Chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays) from 2001 to his death.
Mr. Henderson is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mitzi Henderson of Menlo Park; four children, Alec Henderson of Menlo Park, James Henderson of Denver, Elizabeth Esty of Cheshire, Connecticut, and Celia Jaffe of Huntington Beach; and seven grandchildren.
Korean War veteran, gardener
Frank Fregoso, a longtime resident of Woodside, died January 27 at the age of 75.
A native of California, he was raised in San Francisco. Mr. Fregoso worked for Pan Am as an aircraft mechanic before enlisting in the U.S. Army. He served in the Korean War from 1953 to 1954.
Mr. Fregoso loved airplanes and photography, and took numerous photographs of his artillery base, family members said. After the war, he worked on Kwajalein Island in the South Pacific before returning to the Bay Area.
Mr. Fregoso moved to Woodside in 1969 with his wife and two children. In later years, his passion turned to gardening. After taking a horticultural course, he pursued a career as a gardener until his retirement in 1991.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Fregoso; children Laura Rubinchik and Tony Fregoso; and one grandson.
A private inurnment was held at Skylawn Memorial Park. Family and friends will be invited to a celebration of life at a later date.
Adrienne Olzak, a resident of Menlo Park since 1992, died February 18. She was 86.
At the age of 18, Ms. Olzak won a four-year scholarship to the University of Chicago, writing a proposal for establishing a world organization of nations to ensure peace, her family said. She graduated with a degree in social statistics in 1941.
Ms. Olzak and her husband moved to California in 1976, where she was a homemaker and they raised two daughters, Susan and Lynn. She is survived by her daughters and their families.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Menlo Park chapel of Spangler Mortuaries. Memorial donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation in Ms. Olzak's name.
Kirke 'P.J.' Sonnichsen
Composer, sound designer
A memorial gathering will be held later this month for Kirke "P.J." Sonnichsen, who died February 16 at the age of 45.
Family members said he took his own life in his Menlo Park home.
Born at what is now the Hoover Pavilion at Stanford Hospital, Mr. Sonnichsen attended local schools, including Peninsula and Menlo-Atherton High. His father, Deke Sonnichsen of Menlo Park, said he was the first and youngest person to be issued a student balloon pilot's certificate, at age 14.
After passing the state high school equivalency exam at 15, Mr. Sonnichsen took computer music courses at Stanford University and at other schools. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, where he was president of the student body.
Mr. Sonnichsen married actress Beth Donahue in Reno and they moved to Cape Cod, Mass., where he worked as art director for Cape Cod Life Magazine, changing the publication from manual paste-up to fully computerized layout and production, his father said.
When the couple returned to California, Mr. Sonnichsen worked as director of the sound division of Berkeley Systems Inc., which was known for the "flying toaster" screen saver and the "You Don't Know Jack" computer trivia game. He also worked with theater groups such as the Hyannis Center Theater Company in Cape Cod and the Shotgun Players in Oakland.
Mr. Sonnichsen and Ms. Donahue were divorced and had no children.
Besides his father, Mr. Sonnichsen is also survived by his uncles, Donald Sonnichsen of Palo Alto and David Sonnichsen of Eugene, Oregon. A memorial gathering is being planned in the Menlo Park/Palo Alto area.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Neptune Society. Memorial donations may be made to the donor's favorite charity.
Sanford Lowengart Jr.
Sanford Philip Lowengart Jr., a Portola Valley resident and longtime investment counselor, died February 14 at Stanford Hospital. He was 87.
Mr. Lowengart graduated in 1938 from Stanford University and received a master's degree in business from Harvard University in 1940. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II and was discharged as a major in 1946. He was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
Mr. Lowengart worked for 50 years as an investment counselor in San Francisco. Among his favorite memories were his years -- from 1979 to 1990 -- as a docent at the de Young Museum, said his wife Eleanor "Lynn" Lowengart. For a time, he was an executive at Fort Mason Center.
Locally, Mr. Lowengart served as treasurer of Friends of the Library and as a member of Valley Presbyterian Church's Mission Committee, which distributes funds to charitable organizations.
Mr. Lowengart is survived by his wife Eleanor "Lynn" of Portola Valley; sons Philip of Washington, D.C., John of Vancouver, Washington, and Sanford III of San Francisco, all of whom are from previous marriages; and sister Sally Lilienthal of San Francisco.
At Mr. Lowengart's request, there will be no memorial service. Arrangements were by Roller Hapgood & Tinney Funeral Home in Palo Alto.