Camilla Ayers Boden died on August 13 at her home in Atherton. She was 82.
A native of Detroit, she graduated from the University of Michigan and earned a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Columbia Teachers College in New York City.
While in Michigan, she was president of the Grosse Point Symphony. After moving to California in 1967, she continued to support young musicians and helped provide music scholarships. She was active in the Burlingame Music Club and Mu Phi Epsilon, a music fraternity.
Mrs. Boden was also active in the American Association of University Women, serving as president and historian.
Mrs. Boden's husband, Marshall, died in 1994. She is survived by her brothers Chalmers Ayers, Thomas Ayers and Hugh Ayers; and 13 nieces and nephews.
Services were held in Michigan. A memorial service is being planned as a tribute to her contributions to the field of music and her encouragement of young musicians.
James Vincent Vitale, a former computer executive with the Burroughs Corporation, died September 8 at his home in Portola Valley. He was 81.
Mr. Vitale was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and moved to Los Angeles as a child. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in business administration. He served as a navigator on a B-24 during World War II and was shot down over Germany where he was a prisoner of war for 15 months. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three clusters. He spoke every year with the remaining survivors of his crew.
After the war he joined Burroughs Corporation and served in management in offices around the country, including Menlo Park. He retired in 1978 as Western District Manager in San Francisco.
After retiring Mr. Vitale became interested in Native American and Hispanic cultures and began collecting representative artifacts, including pottery and baskets. He also became interested in coins and kept a supply of newly minted coins to give children.
Mr. Vitale is survived by his wife of 58 years, Margaret, of Portola Valley; son J. Damien Vitale of San Carlos; daughter Rebecca Vitale Mandich of Palo Alto; and five grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to the Indigenous Language Institute, 560 Montezuma Ave., Suite 201A, Santa Fe, NM 87501, attention: Dan and Francis Namingha; or Cornerstones Community Partnerships (restores old adobe churches and buildings in pueblos and New Mexican villages), 227 Otero St., Santa Fe, NM 87501, attention: Nancy Meem Wirth. A private celebration of his life will be held by his family.
Ralph E. Hartwig
Retired business executive
A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 6, for Ralph E. Hartwig of The Sequoias retirement community in Portola Valley, who died September 30 after a short illness.
The service will start at 4 p.m. at Christ Church, 815 Portola Road in Portola Valley.
Mr. Hartwig was born in 1914 in Riga, Latvia (then Russia), where his father was with the U.S. State Department.
The family returned to the United States in 1918. Mr. Hartwig grew up in New Jersey and New York, attending New York University.
He worked as a journalist before beginning a 32-year career with Johns-Mansville Corp.
After living in several cities _ Peekskill, New York; Truro, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; and Sutter Creek _ the Hartwigs moved to Portola Valley in 1996.
At The Sequoias, Mr. Hartwig was editor of The Sequoian publication. He was also an active member of Christ Church.
Mr. Hartwig leaves two daughters, Anne Hartwig Flegel of Atherton and Jane Hartwig Mandel of Los Angeles; sons-in-law Mark Flegel and Robert Mandel; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a nephew and two nieces. His wife of 59 years, Eleanor Robinson Hartwig, died in 1999.
Donations may be made to the Ecumenical Hunger Program, 1836 Bay Road, East Palo Alto, CA 94303, or the American Red Cross,
Giovanna 'Geni' Della Morte
Menlo Park resident
Giovanna "Geni" Della Morte, a native of Wyoming, died at her home in Menlo Park on September 10. She was 90.
Mrs. Della Morte, a homemaker who loved to cook, grew all her own vegetables in her garden.
She was the wife of the late Giovanni Della Morte of Menlo Park. Survivors include her daughter Alderina Maganini of Menlo Park, son Antonio Della Morte of Menlo Park, sister Marina Orazi of Italy, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
A Mass was held at St. Raymond's Catholic Church in Menlo Park. Arrangements were under the direction of the Menlo Park Chapel of Spangler Mortuaries. Donations may be made to the Mid Peninsula Hospice Foundation, 65 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025, or the American Heart Association, 1 Almaden Blvd., Suite 500, San Jose, CA 95113-2214.
47-year Menlo resident
Margaret Matthews, who lived in Menlo Park for 47 years, died September 20 in Santa Cruz. She was 86.
Mrs. Matthews was born in Rock Island, Illinois.
She was a member of the Women's Guild at St. Raymond's Church and St. Denis Church, and an active member in the Dominican Oaks Residence Council.
Her husband Joseph Matthews Sr. died in 1986. She is survived by sons Joseph Matthews Jr. of Jackson, California, William Matthews of Menlo Park, and Thomas Matthews of Santa Cruz; daughters Mary Ann Silva of Collington, Maryland, and Susan Scott of Santa Cruz; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Services have been held. Donations may be made in her memory to Villa Siena Foundation, 1855 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View, CA 94040.
Constance "Connie" Ellis
Little House Member
A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 13, at St. Raymond's Catholic Church, 1100 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park, for Constance Joan Ellis, who died September 11 at Stanford Medical Center of a heart attack. She was 84.
Mrs. Ellis was a member of St. Raymond's Catholic Church, Little House and Mid Peninsula Golf Group. She also was a volunteer at the Allied Arts Guild.
She will be remembered as an energetic, fun-loving woman who loved to dance and play golf, say family members.
She is survived by her daughter Jean Rigg of Woodside; son John Kelly of Massachusetts; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Memorial donations may be sent to Little House, 800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025.
Former Portola Valley resident
Lola Oliver Elsner, who lived in Portola Valley for 23 years, died October 1 at The Forum retirement community in Cupertino. She was 86.
Mrs. Elsner was born in Ogden, Utah, and graduated from the University of Missouri in 1937. In 1939 she married Paul Elsner.
Mrs. Elsner was an avid gardener "who had a special place in her heart for the many quail that roamed her hilltop home in Portola Valley," say family members.
Mrs. Elsner was active for many in years in the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary to the Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. She volunteered at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, and, as a member of Friends of Filoli, as a gardener and docent at Filoli.
Mrs. Elsner is survived by her daughter Paula MacQuiddy of Sunnyvale and son Lee Elsner of Redwood City; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson. Her husband, Paul Elsner, died in 1991.
Private graveside services were held at Alta Mesa Memorial Park Cemetery. The family prefers contributions to the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park 94025; Friends of Filoli, 86 Canada Road, Woodside, 94062, or the American Cancer Society.
Former Atherton resident
Jeffrey Alan Clarke died of natural causes at his home in Houston, Texas, on September 2. He was 42.
Mr. Clarke was born in Salinas and moved to Menlo Park with his family when he was 13. He attended La Entrada School and Woodside High School. The family later moved to Atherton.
For the past 17 years he lived in Houston where he was a caterer with Aramark Corporation.
Mr. Clark is survived by his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Julius Clarke of Atherton; sister Leslie Mullins of Mountain View; aunts Yves Warren of Palo Alto and Peggy Renton of Reno; and uncle George Vasquez of Reno.
Private services were held October 6 with burial in Alta Mesa Cemetery.
Culinary Academy graduate
Natalie Conley of Menlo Park died suddenly of cardiac arrest October 1 at Stanford Medical Center. She was 49.
Mrs. Conley was a native of San Francisco. She attended San Francisco City College and Sonoma State University. She was a graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and an accomplished cook. "I always think of her standing at the stove stirring something," says her mother-in-law Mildred Conley.
A convert to Catholicism, Mrs. Conley was very active at St. Denis Catholic Church. She edited the newsletter and compiled a cookbook of recipes from parishioners.
"She was always helping out, serving coffee and donuts after Sunday Mass," says Mrs. Conley.
Natalie Conley leaves her husband Thomas J. Conley Sr.; children Ian Haddock and Linn Haddock; stepchildren Scott D. White, Thomas J. Conley Jr., and Joseph M. Conley; her mother Anastasia Bordokoff of Fremont; and brother Alex Bordokoff of San Diego.
A funeral Mass was held October 6 at St. Denis Catholic Church in Menlo Park.
Sister Margaret Robinson
Sacred Heart teacher
Sister Margaret Robinson, whose ties to Sacred Heart Schools date back to 1923 when she entered the boarding school at Convent of the Sacred Heart in Menlo Park, died September 27.
A prayer vigil was held in the chapel at the Oakwood residence where she lived on the Sacred Heart campus since her retirement from teaching at St. Joseph's School. Her memorial Mass was held at Oakwood and a prayer service was held in her memory last week on Robinson Court at St. Joseph's School.
Born in 1914 in Carson City, Nevada, Sister Robinson was "home schooled" by her mother in Carson City for the first three grades. Her coming to the convent as a boarder marked the beginning of her first formal school experience. After her graduation from Sacred Heart "Menlo" in 1930, she went on to receive her bachelor of arts degree from Lone Mountain, San Francisco College for Women, in 1934. She then returned to Nevada, where she taught for six years, some of that time in a one-room schoolhouse.
She entered the Society of the Sacred Heart on November 12, 1940. After her first vows in 1943, she returned to Menlo Park to teach. She made her final profession in Rome in February 1949.
Sister Robinson continued her own education and received a master's degree in education from Stanford University in 1950.
Sister Robinson served the Society of the Sacred Heart's educational mission at Sacred Heart's Atherton campus for 52 years, and also taught four years at the Convent of the Sacred Heart at Broadway in San Francisco.
She started teaching the first grade at St. Joseph's School in 1956, and she soon became recognized for her ability to teach children how to read. "If Sister Robinson can't do it, no one can," many said of her.
Sister Robinson retired from St. Joseph's in 1999 after 43 years of continuous service there.
Sister Robinson's work was recognized in October of 2000 when she was presented with the school's St. Madeleine Sophie Medal. Just last month Sister Robinson agreed, in spite of her modest nature, to be interviewed for a video for the school archives. She told some favorite stories of her time on campus. The video was shown for the first time October 14 at the opening of the school's new library.
She is survived by her cousin Margaret M. Duff of San Francisco, and by two nieces and a nephew in other parts of the country.
Sister Robinson requested that she be buried at Sacred Heart, where she spent most of her life.
John Bruce Schoenfeld
Menlo Park podiatrist
John Bruce Schoenfeld, who ran a podiatry practice in Menlo Park for 45 years, died October 5 at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Santa Clara after suffering a stroke at his Mountain View home. He was 77.
A native of Portland, Dr. Schoenfeld moved to California when he was 3.
In 1943, he enlisted in the Navy and served in a Seabees construction battalion in the South Pacific during World War II.
After the war, he returned to the Bay Area, where he obtained a doctorate in podiatric medicine from the San Francisco School of Podiatry. He ran a practice in Menlo Park for 45 years, until he retired in 1994.
Dr. Schoenfeld was active in the Boy Scouts of America (all three of his sons became Eagle Scouts), as well as the Masonic Lodge of Menlo Park.
Stories of Tarzan fascinated Dr. Schoenfeld when he was young, and after visiting Africa several times, he described it as his favorite place in the world, according to his family.
Dr. Schoenfeld is survived by his wife, Merry; his sons, John of Belmont, James and Richard; his sister, Jean of Los Altos; and two grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, October 21, at Unity Palo Alto Community Church, 3391 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.
Dr. Schoenfeld had a history of diabetes. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Diabetes Association.
Electronic engineer, executive
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, October 18, at the Colonial Mortuary of Crosby-N. Gray & Co. in Burlingame for Ralph Vaerst, a longtime Atherton resident, who died October 11 in Peninsula Hospital. He was 73.
Private interment will be at Skylawn Memorial Park in San Mateo. Viewing will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, October 17, at the Mortuary Chapel.
Mr. Vaerst, an electronic engineer and executive, is credited with helping popularize the term Silicon Valley. He suggested that writer Don Hoefler use it in a series of articles in Electronic News in 1971.
Mr. Vaerst was born in Surabaya, Indonesia, on November 21, 1927, the only child of Dr. Louis and Mrs. Sarah Vaerst. In 1946 he moved to Holland to finish his engineering studies at the University of Amsterdam.
In 1958 he immigrated to the United States and settled in Boston as an engineer for High Voltage Engineering Corp., a manufacturer of large particle accelerators. In this job he worked with famed physicist Niels Bohr in Denmark.
In 1962 he married Bodil Orbell, the daughter of Frans Orbell, the mayor of a Stockholm suburb. That year they moved to Palo Alto were he was one the first employees of Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC). He worked there until 1968.
In 1970 he was among the founders of Ion Equipment Corp., one of the first companies that attorney Larry Sonsini took public in 1971.
Since then he founded or invested in a variety of companies. With some European partners he was a principal and director of NMS-France, a company that produced electronic displays for the European auto industry. That company was sold to TRW in 1992.
He was also a principal and president of NMS-Switzerland, a company that produced most of the electronic modules for the Swiss watch industry. NMS-Switzerland was sold to a Swiss holding company in 1997.
Until his death, he had been chairman of the board of Borg Instrument, a $200 million company in Germany that produces electronic systems and telematics for the European auto industry.
For the past 20 years he lived in four cities: Atherton, Hillsborough, Paris, and Bastad, Sweden.
He is survived by his wife Bodil; his children Sunna Vaerst, Peter Vaerst and Mary Ann May; and six grandchildren.
William T. Ricktor
Longtime Menlo resident
William T. Ricktor, a longtime resident of Menlo Park, died October 6. He was 61.
Originally from Baltimore, he moved to the Bay Area in 1967. He worked in sales and real estate for most of his life and was currently employed with TheatreWorks. He also served in the U.S. Army.
He is survived by Joyce Miller Ricktor and their son Matthew Ricktor; Mary E. Pimentel and their children, Mark Ricktor and Shelly Ricktor Moglia. He was preceded in death by their son, Thomas Ricktor, in August of this year. He also had two grandchildren, Joseph and Elizabeth Ricktor.
He is remembered by his family and friends for his love of skiing, travel, reading, sports and politics. A memorial service will be announced at a later date, pending the birth of his third grandchild, family members said.
Donations may be made in his memory to the American Red Cross to aid the families of the September 11 tragedy.
Constance 'Connie' Ellis
Allied Arts volunteer
Constance "Connie" Ellis, a Menlo Park resident for 13 years, died on September 11 of a heart attack. She was 84.
A native of Boston, Mrs. Ellis is remembered by her family as an energetic, fun-loving woman who loved to dance and golf. She was a member of St. Raymond's Catholic Church in Menlo Park, Little House senior center in Menlo Park, and the Mid Peninsula Golf Group. She also was a volunteer at Allied Arts Guild.
Mrs. Ellis is survived by a daughter, Jean Rigg of Woodside; a son, John Kelly of Massachusetts; a sister, Dorothy Dingee of Florida; a brother, Edward Di Natoli of New York; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
A memorial service was held October 13 at St. Raymond's. Arrangements were under the direction of the Menlo Park Chapel of Spangler Mortuaries.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to Little House, 800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park, 94025.