Portola Valley resident
Thomas S. Koo, a Portola Valley resident and native of Shanghai, died February 18 at his home in Portola Valley. He was 81.
Mr. Koo is survived by his wife Zona of Portola Valley; brothers T.Z. and T.C. of Mountain View; and sisters Theresa of San Francisco, Frances of Palo Alto, and Paula and Mary of Shanghai.
Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Following a memorial Mass held Friday, February 25, Mr. Koo was interred at Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, with arrangements by Spangler Mortuaries in Mountain View.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, for Betty Lohman of Menlo Park, who died February 23 at the age of 83. The service will be at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church at 950 Santa Cruz Ave.
Telephone industry executive
Kenneth E. Durey of Menlo Park died of pneumonia February 11 at Stanford Medical Center. He was 73.
Mr. Durey was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and graduated from UCLA in 1953. After serving two years in the U.S. Army, he joined General Telephone Company of California. He had a 27-year career with several GTE subsidiaries. His final GTE position was vice president of marketing for GTE Lenkurt of San Carlos.
After retiring, he held leadership positions with Candela Electronics and Voice Mail International. He also founded MarCom Services, retiring in 1994. During his career, he was active in the United States Independent Telephone Association, and also active in Junior Achievement and Rotary International.
During retirement he became interested in the Sand Hill Road project and attended many Menlo Park City Council meetings on the issue. He will be remembered for his love of beautiful gardens and his passion for cars, boats, home improvement projects and family camping trips, say family members.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara; a son, David Durey of Mountain View; a daughter, Karen Povey of Gig Harbor, Washington; and two granddaughters. Arrangements were under the direction of Menlo Colonial Chapel. Services will be private.
Menlo Park resident
Clara Minadale McFarland of Menlo Park died February 11 at age 90. She was the last surviving member of a family of 14 children.
Ms. McFarland is survived by her daughters, Marilyn McFarland and Nancy Mouser of Menlo Park; a grandson; and a great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Robert E. McFarland, and son Robert E. McFarland Jr.
Private family services have been held. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 2065 W. El Camino Real, Suite C, Mountain View, CA 94040-2217. Arrangements were under the direction of Menlo Colonial Chapel.
Executive director of Catholic Charities
Helen S. Hansen, the founding executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of San Jose, died April 24 at age 93. A longtime resident of Menlo Park, she lived at the Forum in Cupertino in recent years.
She was born in Hastings, Nebraska, and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1934 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She later received a master's degree in social work from the University of Nebraska, where she met her husband, Wilbur W. Hansen.
During the 1940s and 1950s, Ms. Hansen served as director of social services at Mercy Hospital in Chicago. In 1955 she and her husband moved to Menlo Park.
That year Ms. Hansen was hired as the executive director of what was then known as Catholic Social Services, now Catholic Charities of the Diocese of San Jose. In the beginning, the organization consisted of Ms. Hansen, a secretary and a part-time social worker. The budget was $14,000 a year. Today, Catholic Charities serves 50,000 people annually.
Ms. Hansen also served on the County Retardation Commission and as a founding board member of the Legal Aid Society.
After retiring from Catholic Charities in 1983, she continued to serve on many boards and commissions.
She is survived by two sons, Bill Hansen of Dearborn, Michigan, and Judge Tom Hansen of San Jose; six grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. Her husband, Dr. Wilbur W. Hansen, died in 1985.
A funeral Mass was held April 29 at Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park, with burial at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Cupertino.
Arrangements were under the direction of Roller Hapgood & Tinney.
The family prefers donations to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of San Jose.
Wayne S. Vucinich
East European scholar
A June 3 memorial service at Stanford University is being planned for Wayne S. Vucinich, a longtime Stanford professor who died April 21 of heart failure at a nursing home in Menlo Park. He was 91.
Born into an immigrant Serbian family in Montana, Mr. Vucinich lost his parents in the influenza epidemic of 1918 and went to live with family in Herzegovina, Stanford officials said.
After years as a shepherd in a mountain village, he returned to the United States at the age of 15 and later attended the University of California at Berkeley. He earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in Slavic languages and history between 1936 and 1941.
After graduating, Mr. Vucinich joined the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency, and later served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve. In 1946, he accepted an offer to teach in Stanford University's history department.
Mr. Vucinich taught Western civilization and Russian and East European history, and was instrumental in founding the Center for Russian and East European Studies, which he directed from 1972 to 1985. He wrote and edited many studies on the region.
Mr. Vucinich's wife of 48 years, Sara "Sally" Vucinich, died in 1990. He is survived by two daughters, Annette Davis of San Francisco and Connie Vucinich Furlong of Bainbridge Island, Washington; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to Stanford University for the Wayne S. and Sara Stys Vucinich Fund for Slavic Studies. The address is Stanford University, Attention: Gift Processing, 326 Galvez St., Stanford, CA 94305-6105.
Engineer, athlete and scholar
A memorial service will be held at the Woodside Village Church in Woodside at 2 p.m. Friday, May 6, for Charles Edward Schmidt. Mr. Schmidt, a Woodside resident for 35 years, died April 25 at his home. He was 71.
Mr. Schmidt was born in San Francisco and served in the U.S. Army. He received his bachelor's degree and advanced academic degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He spent most of his professional life at Lenkurt Electric in San Carlos, where he designed integrated circuits. He retired in 1997.
Mr. Schmidt had many interests and referred to himself as a bon vivant and scholar, say family members. In his younger days he was a skier and won many tennis tournaments, playing with Woodside's SWAT (Somewhat Awful Tennis) group.
He sang with a local men's chorus, The Quackenteers, organized by John Quackenbush. He was a voracious reader and had a passion for learning, continually taking classes, say family members. He also played the piano and composed music.
Mr. Schmidt is survived by his wife of 51 years, Rae Schmidt of Woodside; his children, LeeAnn Sosa of Walnut Creek and Charlie Schmidt of Woodside; a brother, Tom Schmidt of San Diego; and five grandchildren.
William Curtiss Jr.
Former Ridge Vineyards president
William Hanford Curtiss Jr., a resident of Woodside from 1963 to 2000, died April 26 in Carmel. He was 86.
Mr. Curtiss was born in Corning, New York, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy as a navigation officer. He went on to his own command of the USS PC 485, assigned to protect convoys in the Aleutian Islands, and later in the South Pacific.
He married Jean McGay, whom he met in 1937 when they were teenage camp counselors, in 1942.
After completing his Navy service with the rank of lieutenant commander, Mr. Curtiss joined Owens Corning Fiberglas in 1946. He served in many executive positions, including vice president and general manager of the Pacific Coast Division, culminating in his appointment as senior vice president of corporate planning, office of the president, Toledo, Ohio. He retired from Owens Corning Fiberglas in 1983 after 37 years of service.
After retiring, Mr. Curtiss served as president of Ridge Vineyards for the next five years.
Throughout his life, Mr. Curtiss maintained a close association with his alma mater, Williams College, and served as president of its board of trustees. During his 60th reunion in 2000, he received the Joseph's Coat Award, presented to a member of the old guard classes (post 50th classes) who is held in high esteem by the college and fellow alumni, say family members.
Mr. Curtiss served on the board of directors of the California Academy of Sciences, the board of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and the board of governors of Filoli. He was also a past chairman of the Lincoln Club of Northern California.
He was a member of the Menlo Country Club, the Cypress Point Club, John Gardiner's Tennis Resort, and a former member of the Pacific Union Club.
He is survived by his wife, Jean; two sons, Alan Curtiss of Manhattan Beach and William "Tony" Curtiss of Ross; sister Ruth Leggat of Westford, Massachusetts; two grandchildren; and two nephews.
According to his wishes, no services are planned. Memorials in his name may be made to Williams College, 75 Park St., Williamstown, MA 01267; Family Service Agency of San Mateo County, 24 Second Ave., San Mateo, CA 94401; or a favorite charity.
George G. Kirchner
Longtime Woodside resident
George G. Kirchner, a retired general contractor and longtime Woodside resident, died March 16 at his home in Willow Glen Villas in San Jose. He was 93.
Mr. Kirchner was born in San Francisco and raised in San Carlos. He graduated from Sequoia High School in 1930 and attended community college in San Mateo.
He was one of the original employees of Ampex Corp., then worked 10 years with the architectural firm of Martin Stedman.
For the next 30 years, he was a self-employed general contractor, and then spent five years as a Woodside-based real estate agent.
Mr. Kirchner had a lifelong love of baseball, which he played in college, and he had season tickets to the San Jose Giants, family members said. He attended many Stanford baseball games, and treasured his extensive baseball card collection.
For the past three years, Mr. Kirchner lived at Willow Glen Villas, a senior facility where he was an active member of the Resident Council. He was well known for his trademark saying, "Keep smiling," family members said.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Helen Kirchner; his children William Kirchner and Carol Jones; his stepson Jeffrey McCabe; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
At Mr. Kirchner's request, no services will be held and burial arrangements were through the Neptune Society. His family prefers contributions in his memory be made to the charity of the donor's choice.
Alice Phillips Rose
Red Cross volunteer
Alice Phillips Rose, a longtime member of the American Red Cross, died March 6 at her home in Atherton. She was 97.
Known as Bindy to her friends, she was a third-generation San Franciscan.
She attended the University of California at Berkeley, Yale University graduate school, the Smith College School of Social Work and earned a degree in administration from Columbia University.
She was married to Dr. Milton Rose, a prominent Peninsula psychiatrist, for 55 years, until his death in 1984.
Beginning the 1950s, Ms. Rose was an active member of the American Red Cross and assumed many leadership positions at the local, national and international levels, family members said. Locally, she was appointed the consultant in social services to the board of the Palo Alto chapter of the American Red Cross, and honored with the chapter's lifetime achievement award in 1999.
She served as a delegate to national and international Red Cross conferences, as a panelist to national conventions, and was a technical presenter on the structure of the International Red Cross.
In 1987, Ms. Rose received the National Harriman Award, the highest volunteer award given by the Red Cross. Ms. Rose's research led her to discover the original, handwritten founding documents of the League of Red Cross Societies in the archives of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
She was appointed the American representative to the Henri Dunant Institute and a consultant to the ethics committee of the League of Red Cross Societies, both in Geneva. She also was a member of the advisory board of the historical resources division of the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Rose is survived by her daughters, Belinda Rose of Menlo Park and Allison Rose of New York City.
In lieu of flowers, her daughters prefer that donations be made to the Cleo Eulau Center, 415 Cambridge Ave., Suite 21, Palo Alto, CA 94306-1608.
Kathryn Brennan Reimer
Community leader and volunteer
A memorial service will be held Sunday, February 27, for Kathryn (Kay) Brennan Reimer of Portola Valley, who died January 30. She was 77.
The celebration of her life will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the Woodside Priory School Chapel, 302 Portola Road, Portola Valley.
A resident of Palo Alto and Portola Valley since 1956, Ms. Reimer was active in several volunteer organizations. She was a past president of the Friends of Filoli, and a continuing member of the Filoli Advisory Board since 1979. She served as president of the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, and committee chair for the Woodside-Atherton Garden Club. She was named Peninsula Volunteer of the Year in 1983.
Most recently, she volunteered as a teacher's assistant at St. Elizabeth Seton School in Palo Alto.
Ms. Reimer was born in Placer County, the daughter of James J. and Martha Brennan, a fourth-generation family of orchardists. She graduated from the University of Nevada, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
She met her future husband, Paul Reimer, at the university and they were married in 1951.
Ms. Reimer fought a two-year battle against lymphoma. However, she was able to take part in her grandson's wedding two weeks before her death.
She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Paul Reimer of Portola Valley; her children, Dr. Mark Brennan Reimer of Colleyville, Texas, Paul David Reimer of San Rafael, and Kristie Kathryn Reimer of Pacific Grove; three sisters, Martha Gay Krpan, Jean Munley and Patricia Harper; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Memorials in Ms. Reimer's name may be made to the Presidents' Steps Project at Filoli, 86 Canada Road, Woodside, CA 94062; St. Elizabeth Seton School, 1095 Channing Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301; or Woodside Priory School.
Retired purchasing agent
A memorial Mass will be held Saturday, February 19, for Helen Marie Quilfelt Musso, who died January 30. Ms. Musso, who was born and raised in Menlo Park, died in her sleep at the Forum in Cupertino. She was 89.
The Mass will take place at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Nativity, 210 Oak Grove Ave. in Menlo Park.
Ms. Musso graduated from Stanford University and became the first woman purchasing agent for the state of California, family members said. She retired in 1975 after a 35-year career with the state. In 1990 she and her husband moved from Atherton to the Forum retirement community in Cupertino.
Ms. Musso's husband, Fred Musso, preceded her in death.
Following services, there will be private interment at Holy Cross Cemetery in Menlo Park. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.
William (Bill) Riley Simons of Palo Alto, a former Atherton resident, died January 26 at the age of 77.
Mr. Simons was born in Sacramento and moved to Palo Alto with his family in 1931. His father, a baker, owned the bakery at Liddicoat's Market for several years.
Mr. Simons attended Palo Alto schools, graduating from Palo Alto High School in 1945. He graduated with honors in accounting from San Jose State University after serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
As an accountant, Mr. Simons worked for Arthur Anderson in San Francisco, Sunlite Bakery and television station KNTV in San Jose. He took early retirement because of his health. In later years, he enjoyed traveling and woodworking, making furniture for the family home, say family members.
The Simons were former members of Ladera Oaks Swim and Tennis Club.
Mr. Simons is survived by his wife of 53 years, interior designer Jane Simons of Portola Valley; sons John Simons of Mountain View and Robert Simons of Pacific Grove; and a grandson.
Memorial services will be held at a later date. The family prefers memorials to the Hospice Unit, Attention: Sheila Kennedy, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, 3801 Miranda Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94304. Arrangements were under the direction of Roller Hapgood & Tinney.
Shirley Theis of Redwood City, who taught math at McKinley and Hoover schools in Redwood City, died June 4 after a 12-year battle with auto-immune hepatitis. She was 64.
Ms. Theis was the wife of David Theis, principal of Menlo-Atherton High School from 1990 to 1995.
Ms. Theis was born in Manila in the Philippine Islands, the oldest of nine children. The family immigrated to the United States in 1945. She graduated from Cal State Los Angeles and taught at St. Michael's High School in Los Angeles, where she met her future husband. They were married in 1970.
Ms. Theis worked as a registered nurse at Kaiser Hospital before renewing her teaching credential and resuming a teaching career.
She is survived by her husband, David Theis; daughters Shelly Theis of Jersey City, New Jersey, and Danielle Theis-Guyon of Los Angeles; and siblings Pat Robinson, Lorie Buck, Marian Gahie, Joe Skiles, Bill Skiles, Art Skiles, Ramon Cardona, Marie Forman and Mary Priscilla Sullivan.
The family prefers memorials to Pets in Need or the Humane Society.