Inspiration for Olivia's Miles
Olivia Janelle Andrea Kemist died December 4 surrounded by her parents, Adam and Micheline Kemist, and her younger sister, Hannah. She was 2 years old.
Olivia suffered from Krabbe disease, a hereditary, degenerative disorder that affects the nervous system.
To help combat the disease, in June 2004 the Kemists hosted Olivia's Miles -- 1-mile and 5K runs held in Menlo Park.
The race attracted more than 400 runners and walkers and raised more than $30,000 for the Sparks Foundation, a nonprofit that grants money for treatment of children like Olivia, and provides funds for research to find a cure.
Olivia's parents are owners of the Runners High and OH, a retro clothing store, in downtown Menlo Park.
A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Raymond Catholic Church on December 9. Donations may be sent to the Sparks Foundation, 1727 West Selby Lane, Redwood City, CA 94061.
Marie A. Alums, a 50-year resident of Menlo Park, died December 2 at Stanford Medical Center. She was 95.
Ms. Alums was a native of Lavaca, Alabama, and a former private nurse. She is survived by her children, Calvin Charles Brown of Milpitas, Mane Brown-Fisher of Oakland, Theresa Brown-Carr of Menlo Park, James Arthur Alums of Austin, Texas, Lois Alums-Cobb of East Palo Alto, and Robert Alums of Austin, Texas; and 21 grandchildren.
A memorial service was held December 9 at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witness in Mountain View.
Active in schools
Virginia Schrup Blach of Menlo Park died December 5 after being diagnosed with cancer. She was 73.
Ms. Blach was born in Dubuque, Iowa, the youngest of nine children. She attended Clarke College before moving to Chicago. In 1960 she moved to San Francisco, where she met her husband, the late Donald C. Blach. They were married in 1962.
Ms. Blach was an active volunteer and fundraiser for her children's schools, including St. Raymond School, Sacred Heart Prep, and Bellarmine College Prep. After the children were grown, she worked for the California State Automobile Association in the touring department.
Ms. Blach is survived by her children, Donald Anthony, Mary Frances and William Powers; her sisters, Louise Linn, Margaret Bickel and Anne Miller; her brothers, John and James Schrup; and six grandchildren. Her husband, Donald C. Blach, preceded her in death.
A funeral Mass was held December 9 at St. Raymond Church in Menlo Park. Memorials may be made to the St. Raymond School's Scholarship Fund, 1211 Arbor Road, Menlo Park 94025; or St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park. Arrangements were under the direction of Menlo Colonial Chapel.
Menlo Park resident
Thomas Joseph McCarty, a longtime resident of Menlo Park, died December 4. He was 52.
He is survived by his mother, Yvonne McCarty of Menlo Park; his five brothers, Bob McCarty of Georgetown, Mike McCarty of Menlo Park, Bill McCarty of Sacramento, Matt McCarty of Cool, California, and Phil McCarty of San Jose; his sisters, Ann and Peggy McCarty, both of Mountain View; and 10 nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass was held December 10 at St. Raymond Church in Menlo Park. Memorials may be made to the St. Anthony Foundation, stanthonysf.org. Arrangements were under the direction of Menlo Colonial Chapel.
Johnny's Smoke Shop owner
Rosetta Facchino of Menlo Park, who with her husband, the late Johnny Facchino, owned Johnny's Smoke Shop on Oak Grove Avenue in Menlo Park from 1948 to 1973, died November 24. She was 96.
Ms. Facchino was born in northern Italy. She came to the United States with her family at age 11and settled in Santa Clara. She worked on a farm and in a cannery until her marriage to Johnny Facchino in 1929.
The couple moved to their home in Menlo Park in 1935, and Ms. Facchino continued living in the house for the next 70 years. After staying home to raise her two sons, she began working in the smoke shop in 1948. She and her husband at one time also owned a newspaper dealership, the Golden Churn Creamery, and J & A Sales, all based in Menlo Park.
Mr. Facchino died in 1975, shortly after he retired. As a widow, Ms. Facchino enjoyed caring for her garden and preparing Italian meals featuring her homemade ravioli and gnocchi. She was a fan of late-night talk radio, say family members.
Ms. Facchino is survived by her sons, Dennis Facchino of Palo Alto and John Facchino of Ahwahnee, California; 12 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Services were held December 5. Arrangements were under the direction of Spangler Mortuaries in Menlo Park.
Presbyterian Church deacon
A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Tuesday, September 6, at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, 950 Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park, for James Stanton Clansky, a Menlo Park resident who died August 30 after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.
Mr. Clansky was born in Evanston, Illinois, and grew up in Wheaton, Illinois. He attended Elgin Academy and graduated from Northwestern University's School of Commerce. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
In 1952 Mr. Clansky moved to California to work for U.S. Steel. Several years later, he started his own company, PSM Supply, a railway supply company.
Mr.Clansky was a deacon in the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and on the board of directors of New Hope International, a ministry to youth,, children, and families in Eastern Europe.
An avid golfer, he took golf lessons throughout his life, always looking to improve his golf swing. He was a member of the Peninsula Golf & Country Club and Kiwanis.
Through his long illness he never complained, kept a sense of humor, and grew in character, in his faith, and in compassion for others, say family members.
He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Jean Crawford Clansky of Menlo Park; daughters Sherry King of San Carlos and Deborah Clansky of Mountain View; son James Clansky of San Jose; brother Roy Clansky Jr. of Roseville; and five grandchildren.
The family prefers donations in his name to Menlo Park Presbyterian Church for Missions; New Hope International, PO Box 25490, Colorado Springs, CO 80936; or the University of California at San Francisco, Attention: Dr. Charles Ryan, Prostate Cancer Research, 1600 Divisadero St., third floor, San Francisco, CA 94115.
Former Atherton resident
Rosamond Ballentine Horton, a resident of Atherton for 46 years, died August 28 in Vancouver, Washington. She was 90.
Ms. Horton was born in Piedmont. While living in Atherton, she was active in the Peninsula Volunteers and as a volunteer at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Menlo Park.
She is survived by her children, Charles Horton of Ohio, Stephen Horton of Seattle, Laurie Kinsey of Vancouver, Washington, and Dana Saxten of San Diego; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She was married for 63 years to Charles Horton who died in 2001.
A memorial service was held September 2 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
Longtime Portola Valley resident
Opal Juanita Champlin, who lived in Portola Valley for 51 years, died at her home on August 30. She was 94.
Ms. Champlin, who was born in Stella, Nebraska, is survived by her daughters, Betty Lucas of Los Altos and Joy Ramies of Portola Valley sister, Mildred Stock of Casper, Wyoming; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held September 2 at Crippen & Flynn Woodside Chapel in Redwood City with interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, Menlo Park.
Robert A Mund
Retired teacher, Portola Valley resident
Robert A. Mund, retired high school teacher and Portola Valley resident for 35 years, died suddenly October 27 while taking his morning hike in the Hayfields area near his home. He was 67.
A celebration of Mr. Mund's life will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, November 2, in the Redwood Chapel, 847 Woodside Road, in Redwood City. Visitation will begin at noon.
Mr. Mund and his wife, Earlyne G. Mund, lived in Portola Valley for the 35 years of their married life. Both had retired from teaching careers and enjoyed traveling to unusual and interesting destinations here and abroad.
He taught at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo for 35 years. Mrs. Mund taught in the Portola Valley School District for 36 years, most recently in second grade at Ormondale School until she retired in 1998.
"Robert was a hard worker and a loving husband and father," said his family.
Born in San Francisco in 1938, Mr. Mund received his teaching degree from San Jose State University and a master's degree in science from the University of San Francisco.
He is survived by his wife, Earlyne; their son, Erik Mund and his wife Lindsey of San Luis Obispo; his mother, Winifred Mund of Millbrae; brother Bruce Mund of San Jose; a niece Krista Mund of San Jose; and nephew, Marc Mund of Capitola.
The family has requested that donations be made to the American Heart Association or Olde Knights Scholarship Fund, in care of Hillsdale High School, 3115 Del Monte, San Mateo, CA 94003.
Arrangements are under the direction of Redwood Chapel.
Janitorial service owner
Robert Edward Rose, a resident of Menlo Park and Atherton for more than 30 years, died at Lytton Gardens Health Care Center in Palo Alto on October 22. He was 90.
Prior to his retirement in 1985, Mr. Rose and his wife, Viola, were owners of Deluxe Janitorial Service Inc., providing janitorial services on the Peninsula for 39 years.
Mr. Rose began his years of community service when he joined the East Palo Alto chapter of Lions Club International in 1953. He served two terms as president and headed dozens of committees during his 53-year membership. He was also a 20-year member of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce.
He retired to Placerville, where he was also active in community affairs, but moved back to the Bay Area in 2004 and continued his participation in Lions International until shortly before his death.
He is survived by daughters Marsha Stivers, Cynthia Rose Camuso, and Sheila Rose, all of Menlo Park; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Services have been held, with arrangements under the direction of Spangler Mortuaries. Memorials in Mr. Rose's name may be made to Pathways Hospice, 585 N. Mary Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085.
School resource specialist
Elizabeth Seitz Giarrusso of Lincoln, California, died October 22 in Roseville. Ms. Giarrusso, who lived in Atherton from 1969 until last June, was 68.
Ms. Giarrusso was born in Farmington, New Mexico, and graduated from the University of New Mexico. She was an accomplished equestrian and pianist, say family members.
After her marriage to Dan Seitz, the couple moved to the Bay Area, where she gave piano lessons while raising her family. Later in life, Ms. Giarrusso became a resource specialist in special education for the Ravenswood School District for 18 years.
In 2000 Ms. Giarrusso married Joe Giarrusso and, in retirement, moved to the Del Webb community in Lincoln.
She is survived by her husband, Joe of Lincoln; children Pam Kahle of Fair Oaks, California, Carol Chase of Fremont, and Julia Andersson of San Carlos; and 11 grandchildren.
Graveside services were held in Sacramento on October 28. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or to a favorite charity.
A vigil and funeral services are planned for Woodside resident Palmira Zuffi, 94, who died Sunday, October 30. The vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, November 4, at the chapel of Valente Marini Perata & Co. at 4840 Mission St. in San Francisco. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Epiphany at 827 Vienna St. in San Francisco. The Almanac will publish an obituary at a later date.
Former Portola Valley resident
Joyce Townsend Johnson, who worked for many years at Animal Crackers in Ladera and the Valley Pharmacy in Portola Valley, died September 8 after a year long battle with cancer. She was 75.
Ms. Johnson was born and raised in Bellevue, Washington. She was a 1951 graduate of Stanford University and began her teaching career in Palo Alto. She moved to Ladera in 1955 and lived in Portola Valley from 1959 to 1977 when she moved to Los Altos Hills.
When her children were in school she was active in the Portola Valley PTA and supported many sports activities in the valley. She was a member of the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary to the Children's Hospital during the 1960s and 1970s, volunteering at Allied Arts Guild.
Ms. Johnson enjoyed playing paddle tennis and tennis and was an avid sports fan, say family members.
She is survived by her children Elisabeth Alden Whitcomb of Fremont, Kenneth McLeod Johnson of Menlo Park, and Todd Townsend Johnson of Los Altos; sister Patricia Townsend Long; and seven grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to Pets in Need, the American Lung Association or the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.
Real estate developer
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Raymond Richard Lyon of Atherton is scheduled at 3 p.m. Tuesday, October 25, at Stanford Memorial Church. Mr. Lyon died October 18 at Stanford Medical Center. He was 76.
Mr. Lyon was raised in Escondido and spent his summers in Idyllwild and Del Mar. He attended the University of California at Berkeley for two years.
After spending two years with the U.S. Army in Korea, he finished his undergraduate work at UCLA and attended the Stanford University School of Business.
After a brief period in his father's business, he purchased a seat on the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange and became involved in several entrepreneurial areas as a small business investor and real estate developer. He was involved in a landmark California Supreme Court case, Lyon vs. State of California, involving property rights along non-tidal waterways.
Mr. Lyon and his wife, Margaret (Nin), moved to Atherton in 1969. He was a patron of the San Francisco Opera and once performed as a guard in a performance of Verdi's "Il Trovatore."
He traveled widely to Europe, Japan, China, Vietnam and India, as well as on family trips. His favorite local places were Stanford's libraries, bookstore, the Memorial Chapel, and Kepler's book store, say family members.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Margaret (Nin) Lyon of Atherton; children Grant Lyon of Atherton, Trish Lyon and Todd Lyon of Ross, and Suki Lyon Eyre of Portola Valley; brothers Melvin Lyon of Santa Barbara and Ed Lyon of Escondido; and eight grandchildren.
The family prefers memorials be made to the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford or to a favorite charity.
Clara C. (Mickey) Butler died October 12 in Menlo Park at age 79. A native of San Francisco, she was a dietician at Doctors Medical Clinic in Modesto, prior to her retirement to Redwood City.
She is survived by her son, David Butler of Menlo Park; sister Josephine Gurnsey of San Francisco; two grandchildren and one-great-grandchild.
Private services have been held. Donations in her memory may be made to a favorite charity.
Technical editor, writer
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 17, at Wesley United Methodist Church, 470 Cambridge Ave. in Palo Alto, for Gretchen Hargis of Menlo Park, who died August 17 of respiratory failure due to chronic lymphocytic leukemia. She was 61.
Ms. Hargis and her husband, Thomas Sharp, were politically active in the Willows in the early 1990s after becoming concerned about traffic in their neighborhood. They helped elect Menlo Park city council members who were sympathetic to their cause.
Ms. Hargis was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Wilmette and Northfield, Illinois. She graduated from McGill University in Montreal, and worked as an editor for Science Research Associates, a textbook and exam publisher in Chicago.
In 1969, she moved to Palo Alto. After the Palo Alto branch of Science Research Associates closed in 1984, she became a technical editor, writer and manager at the IBM Silicon Valley Laboratory.
She was a member of the Dymaxion Dance group, a regular at the Yoga Center of Palo Alto, and a member of Wesley United Methodist Church. She enjoyed gardening, sewing and riding her bicycle, and loved languages, say family members.
She is survived by her husband, Thomas Sharp; daughter Kathryn Hargis; and brother Gerrit Wolf.
Donations may be made in her name to the Helen Sprietsma Wolf and Gretchen Hargis Memorial Fund at Hope College, Advancement Office, P.O. Box 9000, Holland, MI 49422-9000.
Ruth Humphrey Swan
Retired Stanford medical school secretary
Ruth Humphrey Swan, a retired secretary for Stanford University's School of Medicine, died at her home in Emerald Hills on August 11. She was 83.
She was born and raised in Methuen, Massachusetts, and was an active member of the Rainbow Girl service organization; she served as the "grand worthy advisor" of the Massachusetts Grand Assembly in 1942 and 1943.
She met her future husband, Lawrence W. Swan, during World War II while working as a colonel's secretary in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The couple settled in Redwood City. She worked as a secretary for the medical microbiology department at Stanford from 1966 to 1987.
Family and friends remember her as an accomplished pianist and organist with a friendly smile who combined organization, charisma and appreciation for imagination.
She was preceded in death by Lawrence, her husband of 54 years. Ms. Swan is survived by her children Rhonda Jane Swan of Pasco, Washington, Sharon Swan Schaller of Emerald Hills, and Pamela Diane Swan of Chandler, Arizona; her sister Dorothy Wickersham of Tucson; and one granddaughter.
No service is planned, but memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice Foundation of America, 12000 Biscayne Blvd. #505, Miami, FL 33181; or to the Sempervirens Fund, Drawer BE, Los Altos, CA 94023.