J. Earle 'Lefty' May
An August 10 memorial service will be held at the Stanford Sunken Diamond at 4 p.m. for J. Earle "Lefty" May, who died August 3. He was 95.
Born in Brunswick, Georgia, Mr. May moved to Los Angeles in 1920 and entered Stanford University at age 16. Friends said he spent much of his time playing baseball and playing saxophone in both his own band -- which headlined at the opening of Palo Alto's Cardinal Hotel -- and the Stanford Band.
After graduation, he returned to Los Angeles, playing semi-professional baseball and eventually becoming a trainee at the stock brokerage of Blyth Witter & Co. He moved into the trading department, where he witnessed the Great Crash of 1929.
In 1928 he married Mary Ruth Dickson. The couple remained married until her death in 1985. Mr. May was married a second time in 1987, to Margaret Ayer of Palo Alto.
After what family members characterized as several lean years as a stockbroker in New York and San Francisco, the family relocated to the Menlo Oaks area of Menlo Park. The family moved to Arlington Way a month before Pearl Harbor.
Turned down for military service, Mr. May worked in the Palo Alto stock brokerage of Needham & Co. In 1945, armed with his own license, he set up shop as an independent broker. With the beginnings of initial public offerings of stocks in the late 1940s, Mr. May began investing, thus helping provide seed funds for such companies as Hewlett-Packard and Varian Associates.
His firm eventually merged with the regional brokerage Mitchum, Jones & Templeton. Mr. May worked there until July 1 of this year.
He was a longtime member of the Palo Alto Elks Lodge, a charter member of the Sharon Heights Country Club, and a past president of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce (in 1953). He also coached youth baseball teams in what was the forerunner of Little League.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret Ayer May; sons Roger May of Ladera and John May of New York; nephew Howard May; and five grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the May Family Foundation Charitable Trust, 415 Conil Way, Portola Valley, CA 94028.
Alvin Jack Arata
Founded auto dealership
A memorial Mass is scheduled for Wednesday, August 18, at 10:30 a.m. for Alvin Jack Arata of Atherton, who died August 15 at the age of 83.
A native of Colma, Mr. Arata was a Pontiac dealer for 52 years, starting Arata Pontiac/Equipment Co. with his brother, David, in 1936. The business started in South San Francisco, and eventually moved to Burlingame. Mr. Arata retired in 1986.
An avid golfer, Mr. Arata was a member of the Greenhills Country Club for 50 years. He had a passion for restoring old cars, and his midget cars were seen in Redwood City Fourth of July parades. He also was one of the first members in CYO, becoming involved with the youth organization 40 years ago, according to his family.
Mr. Arata is survived by his wife of 61 years, Evelyn; one daughter, Arlene Andrews; three sons, David, Alvin and Don; a sister, Onorine Bersaglieri; nine grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Allyn.
The memorial Mass will be at St. Pius Church, 1100 Woodside Road, Redwood City.
The family prefers memorial donations be made to Midpeninsula Hospice, 201 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View, CA 94040; or to CYO #1, St. Vincent Way, San Rafael, CA 94903.
M. Marjorie Collins
Former Hewlett-Packard employee
M. Marjorie Collins, a resident of Menlo Park for 26 years and a resident of Portola Valley for 17 years before that, died on July 11. She was 83.
Ms. Collins, who was known as Marge to her family and friends, was born in the Yakima Valley in Washington. She studied cosmetology and became a licensed beautician and cosmetologist.
She married William W. Collins, a doctor and naval officer. After his death in 1952, she moved to this area and became an administrative assistant at Hewlett-Packard, where she worked until 1981.
Ms. Collins enjoyed many activities, including golf, bridge and fishing for salmon in her boat near Santa Cruz. She also travelled, going to Hawaii, Mexico and travelling through the Panama Canal several times on cruises.
Ms. Collins had two sons. One son, Michael, preceded her in death. She is survived by her son, William, of Menlo Park; a grandson, Kale Houppermans; a granddaughter, Kristen Collins; and relatives in Washington and California.
Joseph O. Carter
Longtime resident of Woodside
Services will be held Wednesday, August 18, for Joseph O. Carter, who died August 14 at his Woodside home. He was 73.
A native of Washington state, Mr. Carter was educated at Stanford University, receiving his doctorate in mathematics in 1956. An avid Stanford football fan, he never missed a game, say family members.
Mr. Carter operated one of the first data processing services in the Silicon Valley -- Carter Associates.
A 36-year resident of Woodside, Mr. Carter enjoyed ballroom dancing with his wife of 44 years, Yolande.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Carter is survived by four children, Brad of Clayton, California, Susan Currey of Yorktown, Virginia, David of Glendale, California, and Cinthia DeRosa of Campbell; and by 11 grandchildren.
Services are set for 11 a.m. August 18 at Crippen & Flynn Chapel, 400 Woodside Road, in Redwood City. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos.
The family prefers memorial donations be made to the Parkinson's Institute, 1170 Morse Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94089.
Evan F. Thomas
Volunteer for Episcopal Church
Evan F. Thomas, a longtime resident of Atherton, died July 31 in Palo Alto. He was 93.
Born in New York City in 1906, he graduated from Rice University in Texas. His family moved to Atherton in 1928. Retiring from San Jose's Grinnell Company in 1966, he and his wife moved to Channing House in Palo Alto.
After retirement, Mr. Thomas was involved with St. Mark's Episcopal Church in ushering and organizing rummage sales. Family members said he was also an avid fisherman and member of the Palo Alto Flyfishers.
He is survived by his sister, Bea Johnston of Palo Alto; brother Sydney Thomas of Chico; sons Jack Thomas of Palo Alto and Evan Thomas of Maryland; and two grandsons. His wife, Julia Thomas, preceded him in death in 1987.
Private services have been held. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to California Trout Association, 870 Market Street, Suite 859, San Francisco, CA 94102.
Longtime Menlo Park resident
Vlista Esplund, a Menlo Park resident for more than 45 years, died on July 21.
Born in Czechoslovakia, Ms. Esplund came to the United States when she was two years old, She married Howard W. Esplund in Chicago, before moving to Seattle, and later to Portland, Oregon.
After moving to this area, Ms. Esplund worked in the San Mateo County Assessor's Office until 1976.
Ms. Esplund is survived her daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Joe Hamm of San Jose; her daughter Kandace Reeves of Menlo Park; and four grandchildren: Jennifer White of Santa Cruz; Craig Hamm of San Jose; and Stephanie and Garrett Reeves of Menlo Park.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Bethany Lutheran Church in Menlo Park.
Robert B. Parker
Robert Butcher Parker of Redwood City, a former resident of Woodside, died August 5 of respiratory heart failure. He was 84.
Mr. Parker was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, and was a graduate of Williams College. During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy and was second in command of a submarine chaser during the Normandy invasion.
Mr. Parker worked for several advertising agencies in the East as either a creative director or principal writer. He also started his own company called Fairways International. He was the author of "Mature Advertising," "The Doctrine of Reader Reaction," and a novel entitled "Story Brook."
Formerly married to Harriet Jones of Philadelphia, Mr. Parker was the father of four children, and had five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
When he moved West 20 years ago, he was married to Elizabeth Shoemaker McFarland.
An excellent golfer, he belonged to the Farmington Country Club in Connecticut for 30 years. After moving West, he joined the Menlo Lunch Club.
There will be no services. Mr. Parker's ashes will be scattered at sea from a sailing ship by a friend.
Edna K. Palmer
Former Menlo resident
Edna K. Palmer, a resident of Menlo Park from 1990 to 1995, died August 8 in Colfax, California. She was 96.
Graveside services were conducted in San Bernardino on August 12.
For more than 30 years, Mrs. Palmer was executive secretary to the editor of the San Bernardino Sun-Telegram. After retiring in 1975, she was a volunteer worker with Campus Crusade for Christ in San Bernardino.
Mrs. Palmer was a member of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, and before 1990 was a member of First Presbyterian Church of San Bernardino for more than 60 years. She was a member of P.E.O. sisterhood until the last few years.
Her husband, James Dwight Palmer, ran an insurance agency in San Bernardino for many years. He died in 1958.
She is survived by her children, Joanne P. Hitchcock of Meadow Vista, California, and James D. Palmer Jr. of Menlo Park; and by five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sutter-Auburn Faith Hospice of Auburn, California, or to Bethany House of Colfax, California.
Business executive and community leader
Donald W. Hatch, a 43-year resident of Portola Valley, died August 14 at age 70. Services were held at Christ Church in Portola Valley.
Born in Oakland, Mr. Hatch attended St. Mary's College and graduated from Armstrong Business College in Berkeley. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War.
Mr. Hatch was vice president of operations for Argonaut Insurance Group until he left to operate his own business as president of Sunset Associates. He belonged to many organizations and served as vice president of the Western Insurance Information Service; board member of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce; president of San Mateo County Safety Council; and president of Theta Phi Chi fraternity.
He was a member of the Merchants Exchange Club of San Francisco, Jonathan Club of Los Angeles, Islam Shrine, A.I.C., Menlo Town Club, Sequoia Club, Shack Riders of Woodside, Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, and was a Master Mason. He served as usher and treasurer at Christ Church for many years.
Mr. Hatch is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sharon; sons Peter, Russell, Gregory and Clifford; sister Barbara Nissen of Belmont; brothers Robert Hatch of Los Altos Hills and Harold Hatch of Cape Cod, Massachusetts; three grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
Memorial donations may be given to the American Heart Association or a charity of choice.
Real estate agent
Julie Bergeson Haefner of Menlo Park died August 17 at Stanford Medical Center after a short illness. She was 66. A memorial service was held at St. Bede's Episcopal Church in Menlo Park.
A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Mrs. Haefner was a resident of Menlo Park for 33 years. She worked as a real estate agent for Cornish & Carey and was a community volunteer, serving as a Pink Lady at Stanford Medical Center, delivering groceries to the needy and working for the blind.
An avid traveler, she had planned to travel to Antarctica in December. She enjoyed tennis, golf, bridge, and spending time with her golden retriever, Fred.
Mrs. Haefner's first husband, Ronald L. Titley, died in 1965. She later married Paul Haefner, who also preceded her in death. Survivors include her children: Ann Baker, Allison Titley, Andrew Titley and Scott Titley; brother Milo Bergeson, and four grandchildren. She is also survived by five step-children and nine step-grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to the Outreach Program of St. Bede's Episcopal Church, 2650 Sand Hills Road, Menlo Park 94025.
Joyce Selig, a Woodside resident for 25 years, died July 20 at Stanford Medical Center after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 58.
Mrs. Selig was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in Santa Barbara. She attended Colorado College where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She studied at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, the Graduate Institute of International Studies, and graduated from Mills College.
Mrs. Selig volunteered as a teacher's aide and coached her children's athletic teams. She had managed a restaurant and was a real estate agent with Cornish & Carey, now Coldwell Banker, in Palo Alto for many years. She worked as a marketing associate for her husband's company, Davis Instruments, and was a partner in Selig Construction and Development.
Mrs. Selig had many interests. She enjoyed painting, photography, travel, and playing the piano. She ran marathons and was a master's swimmer. Mr. and Mrs. Selig received the 1996 Alumni of the Year Award from Colorado College.
She is survived by her husband of 38 years, Bob of Woodside; mother Janine Archer of Santa Barbara; children, Erik and Wendi Selig-Aimonetti of Redwood City and Robin Selig of Santa Barbara, and three grandchildren.
At Mrs. Selig's request, there will be no services. Memorial donations may be made to the Gynecological Cancer Foundation, 401 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611-4267.
Harold (Hal) W. Mason, a resident of Windsor, Calif., died of lymphoma August 13 at the Atherton home of his daughter, Nancy Mason. He was 77.
Mr. Mason was born in Stanford, Illinois. He served in the Navy during World War II and completed a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois. He went on to work with Goodyear Tire Co. He and his wife, Marjorie, retired to Windsor in Sonoma County in 1989.
He is survived by his wife, Marjorie; daughter Nancy Mason and son-in-law Christopher Poda of Atherton; daughter Katherine Logsdon and son-in-law Thomas Logsdon; sister Louise Gordon; brother Walter G. Mason; and four grandchildren.
Mary Winston Nelson Fisher
Longtime Atherton resident
Services will be held in Virginia for Mary Winston Nelson Fisher, a 40-year resident of Atherton who died August 9 in Leesburg, Virginia. She was 81.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary in 1937, she received her master's degree from Columbia University. Upon graduation, she began working for Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.
She lived in Atherton and Woodside for many years after marrying Robert Dover Fisher, a vice president of Del Monte Corp. in San Francisco. She raised three daugthers here. She relocated to Middleburg, Virginia, after her husband's death in 1997.
Mrs. Fisher supervised the Human Performance Laboratory at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. She was also a member of the Allied Arts Guild and the Los Altos Hunt.
She is survived by Page F. Dimos and Katherine D. Fisher of Middleburg; Anne R. Caldwell of Encinitas, California; and three grandchildren.
Contributions may be made to: the Harry Z. Izaacs Foundation, P.O. Box 241, Millwood, VA 22646; Middleburg Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 122, Middleburg, VA 20118; or the Middleburg Humane Foundation, P.O. Box 1238, Middleburg, VA 20118.
Irma Hazeltine Winter
Longtime resident of Menlo Park
Irma Hazeltine Winter, a resident of the Atherton-Menlo Park area since 1955, died August 17. She was 79.
A native of Corvallis, Oregon, Mrs. Winter was the daughter of an Army colonel and spent much of her youth traveling. She lived at Fort Davis in the Panama Canal from 1928 to 1931, and attended Central High School and the American School in Manila from 1935 to 1939. The family also lived on Army posts in Washington, Montana and Texas before settling in Pebble Beach in 1943.
She was a 1943 graduate of Stanford University, and that same year married Frank Counsel Winter, whom she had met while at college. She was married to Mr. Winter, who became an ophthalmologist and later chief of staff at Stanford Hospital, until 1968.
Family members said Mrs. Winter had a lifelong love of art and architecture, Middle Eastern history, Chinese antiques, and the temples of Southeast Asia. She was also a member of Alpha Phi sorority, the Committee for Art at Stanford, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Menlo Circus Club.
She is survived by her children Michael, Elizabeth and Peter; her sister Rita; granddaughter Valorie Winter; five nieces and nephews; four step-grandchildren; and three step-great-grandchildren. Services have been held.