Menlo Park resident
Trinidad Moreno of Menlo Park died May 19. She was 85.
Known as Trini to her friends and family, Mrs. Moreno was born in Hawaii in 1917 and moved to San Francisco with her family when she was two.
She married Antonio Moreno in 1935. The couple moved from San Francisco to Menlo Park in 1959.
Mrs. Moreno went to work in 1968 in one of the dormitories at Stanford University. She made friends with many of the students, sometimes bringing the "orphans of the holidays" home to her family, according to her daughter Joyce.
She went back to school in the early 1970s to earn her GED. She loved to travel, had a great sense of adventure, and was always willing to try new things, from attending the final Beatles concert to riding her daughter's horse. She was a tough survivor and a generous spirit, her daughter said.
Mrs. Moreno was preceded in death by her husband and daughter Antoinette. She is survived by her son Anthony and daughter Joyce; her brothers Joe and John Valverde; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Los Altos. Arrangements were by Menlo Park Chapel of Spangler Mortuaries, Menlo Park.
Professor of applied psychology
Thomas W. Harrell of Portola Valley, a professor of applied psychology at Stanford, died April 17. He was 90.
Starting at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1952, Mr. Harrell spent much of his career studying the earning power and psychological attributes of successful MBAs, tracking members of the Stanford Business School's classes of 1961 through 1965.
A professor emeritus since 1977, he remained active in academia, authoring studies in the late 1980s on gender differences in the career paths of Stanford MBA graduates. His study, published in 1991, found that marriage helps the careers of male graduates, but hurts the careers of female graduates.
Preceded in death by his wife Margaret, Mr. Harrell is survived by daughter Susan Abrahamson of Minnesota, and son Tom Harrell.
The family suggests donations to the American Cancer Society and MidPeninsula Hospital Foundation in Menlo Park.
Former Atherton resident
Helen L. Doolittle, a former resident of Atherton, died May 19. She was 82.
Born in Boise, Idaho, Mrs. Doolittle moved with her family to the Bay Area as a young girl. She attended Castilleja School and the College of San Mateo.
Mrs. Doolittle was a longtime member of the Children's Health Council Auxiliary.
Preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, William P. Doolittle, she is survived by her son William A. Doolittle of Carmel Valley, her daughter Diane Doolittle of Palo Alto, and two granddaughters.
Services have been held. Arrangements were by Los Altos Chapel of Spangler Mortuaries, Los Altos.
Mary Alice Thornton
LCSW and hospital volunteer
A memorial Mass will be celebrated Friday, May 31, for Mary Alice Thornton, a longtime Portola Valley resident, who died on May 9 after a brief illness. She was 63.
The Mass starts at 11 a.m. at St. Denis Church, 2250 Avy Ave. in Menlo Park, and will be followed a reception.
Educated at Pine Manor College, the University of California at Berkeley, and Catholic University in Washington D.C., Ms. Thornton worked as a licensed clinical social worker at Mills Hospital in San Mateo for many years.
She was an auxiliary volunteer at Stanford Hospital clinics and at Mission Hospice in San Mateo.
Ms. Thornton is survived by her brother, Sam Thornton.
Donations may be made to a charity. Arrangements were by Roller, Hapgood & Tinney of Palo Alto.
Robert Thomas Onorato
Television industry animator
Services will be held Saturday, May 18, for Robert Thomas Onorato, a former Menlo Park resident who died May 7 in Woodland Hills, California. He was 54.
The services will begin at 11 a.m. at Gates, Kingsley and Gates Praisewater Mortuary, 6909 Canoga Ave. in Canoga Park, California.
Born in Menlo Park, Mr. Onorato graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School in 1972. He earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of California at Los Angeles.
As an art director, character designer, associate producer, and storyboard artist in the animation industry for 23 years, Mr. Onorato worked on "Scooby-Doo," "Capital Critters," "What a Cartoon," and "Popeye and Son."
A member of the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonist Guild, he was employed by Universal Studios, Sony, Dreamworks and Warner Brothers.
The family prefers donations to a charity of the donor's choice.
Menlo Park resident
A memorial celebration is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at Our Lady of the Wayside Church in Portola Valley for Agnes Michaels, who died May 9 after a bout with cancer. She was 78.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Ms. Michaels moved to Washington, D.C., to work as a secretary shortly after World War II began. She moved to Palo Alto in 1959, and eventually to Menlo Park, said her attorney.
Her hobbies included interior decorating, gardening, travel, cards and volunteering to work with children.
She is survived by a nephew, two grandnephews, three great-grandnieces and one great-grandnephew.
Funeral arrangements are to be made by Menlo Colonial Chapel in Menlo Park.
Blanche Jacobson Rosen
Co-founder of Ridge Vineyard
Blanche Jacobson Rosen, a 40-year resident of Atherton and co-founder of Ridge Vineyard, died unexpectedly June 10 at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City. She was 80.
The daughter of Eastern European immigrants who came through Ellis Island, Mrs. Rosen was born and raised in New York. She was 14 when she met Canadian Charlie Rosen at a resort in the Catskill Mountains, where he was working as a waiter. They married five years later.
In 1957, Mr. Rosen left General Electric in Syracuse for a job at SRI, where he became a nationally recognized expert in the then-young field of robotics. The family moved to Menlo Park, living in Linfield Oaks before moving to Atherton.
The Ridge story began when Mr. Rosen and SRI colleague Dave Bennion were looking for investment property in the hills. In 1959, they came on 80 acres already planted with some cabernet grapes, says longtime friend and Ridge co-founder Sue Crane of Portola Valley. In 1960 Ridge Winery was bonded; it was a pioneering small winery specializing in fine wine.
For the next 26 years, the winery dominated the lives of the six SRI-based founders: the Rosens, Dave and Fran Bennion, and Hew and Sue Crane. While the men grew grapes and made wine, the women took care of domestic duties.
"We camped weekends with the kids and made wonderful meals," says Mrs. Crane. "Blanche was known for cooking and entertaining."
As the winery grew, the parties for picking, crushing and bottling became popular community events. "Blanche's cooking became a focus," says Mrs. Crane. "She was noted for her bread and challah."
Mrs. Rosen was also a painter and maker of stained glass, an avid reader, and a lover of literature and the performing arts, says her daughter-in-law Sue Rosen.
When her children were grown, Mrs. Rosen completed her college education. She had started studying physics in Syracuse to be able to understand her husband, Mrs. Crane says. At San Jose State University, she completed a degree in art.
While many friends have Mrs. Rosen's paintings and stained glass works, Mrs. Crane especially admires the stained glass abstract, in a dark barrel room at Ridge Winery, that glows when the sun hits it. "It was made with a barrel hoop as frame; it's very, very beautiful," says Mrs. Crane. "She was very proud of it."
Mrs. Rosen is survived by Charles, her husband of 60 years; her sons, Hal of Saratoga, and Steve of San Francisco; daughters Naomi of Sebastopol, and Sema of Burlingame; and four grandchildren.
The family suggests that donations be made to Mateo Lodge, 363-8125; Support for Families of Children with Disabilities, (415) 282-9494; or the Arthritis Foundation, Northern California Chapter, (415) 356-1230.
Church secretary and mother
Services will be held for Marjorie Langdon of Menlo Park at 1 p.m. on June 26 at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Langdon, 89, died on June 14.
Mrs. Langdon was born in Germantown, Indiana. She served 30 years as church secretary at Westgate Friends Church in Columbus, Ohio, where she was also directory of the nursery school. She was known for her hospitality and often hosted Sunday dinners for her sons and their college friends, and she enjoyed cultivating roses, her family said.
She is survived by her husband, Paul Langdon; a son, Larry Langdon; a brother, Lloyd Clark; and six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son Robert Langdon.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to the Missions Department of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.
Robert L. Gantenbein
Robert L. Gantenbein of Menlo Park died May 27 at the age of 90.
Mr. Gantenbein was born in Portland, Oregon, the grandson of a pioneer family that settled in that area. After earning a degree in accounting from the University of Oregon, Mr. Gantenbein took a position with the Internal Revenue Service. He joined the Army Air Corps, serving for much of World War II, including nine months in the Philippines.
After the war, Mr. Gantenbein returned to Portland, where he earned a living as a CPA before moving with his family to Menlo Park in 1956. He worked as head accountant for Consolidated Freightways and later was employed by Varian Associates.
After retirement, he and his wife traveled extensively and were members of a local group of watercolor painters.
Mr. Gantenbein enjoyed trout fishing, sailing, and the out-of-doors, his family said. He often fondly remembered his days as a surveyor with the Bureau of Public Roads, a job he held between terms while in college, they said. He was a member of a team that laid out many of the major roads that still exist in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.
Mr. Gantenbein is survived by a daughter, Gail McGrath of Clio, California; a son, Robert L. Gantenbein, Jr., of Gresham, Oregon; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Mabel Buss Crittenden
Portola Valley's wildflower lady
A memorial service for Mabel Buss Crittenden will be held Tuesday, July 16, at 5:30 p.m., at Valley Presbyterian Church, 945 Portola Road, in Portola Valley.
Mrs. Crittenden, a longtime Portola Valley resident who brought her love and knowledge of wildflowers to thousands, died at home July 1 after a short illness. She was 85.
"Mabel was a perpetual teacher," says longtime friend Esther Litton of Portola Valley. She taught generations of children in Portola Valley Schools about wildflowers. She was a docent at Stanford's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.
When she went on dory trips down the Grand Canyon, she would teach her companions about the plants, Mrs. Litton remembers. On an Elderhostel trip to Iceland, Mrs. Crittenden got down on her hands and knees to explain the flowers. "They didn't grow very high," she says.
Born in Provo, Utah, at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, Mabel Buss moved to Palo Alto with her family when she was small. She attended Palo Alto schools, and graduated with distinction in biology from San Jose State College, where her father was a professor of geology. After graduate study at Stanford, she taught high school biology for several years in Lodi, California.
In 1942, she married the late Max D. Crittenden Jr., a classmate at college and geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. They spent the rest of the war years "in the field" across the West, where Max assessed manganese resources while Mabel acted as field assistant, typist and project botanist. The Crittendens lived in Salt Lake City with their four daughters before moving to Portola Valley in 1956.
For many years, summer field camps in the Wasatch Mountains were high points for all the Crittendens. Mrs. Crittenden and her daughters -- and later grandchildren -- camped and observed wildflowers, while Dr. Crittenden studied the rocks and geology of the range.
In Portola Valley, the Crittendens built their own house, and worked together to establish a garden. Mrs. Crittenden earned a master's degree in library science. About 1960, she became librarian for the Portola Valley School District, starting at Portola School, which is now Town Center. Dr. Crittenden was active in the efforts that led to incorporation of Portola Valley as a town in 1964.
During some 15 years with the Portola Valley schools, Mrs. Crittenden was immensely popular. She developed a system for teaching young children about wildflowers, and also developed a writing contest where children produced books, and got prizes for both writing and illustration, recalls Robin Toews, a close friend and longtime fourth-grade teacher.
"She was amazing," says Mrs. Toews. "She connected with so many people at so many levels."
Working with Corte Madera Principal Dorothy Telfer, Mrs. Crittenden incorporated her method for teaching about wildflowers into a book. "Wildflowers of the West," published in 1975, makes botany understandable to children -- and others -- by grouping plant families by the number of petals.
The book also tells what plants are used for; shows smiley faces for edible plants and frowny faces for poisonous ones; and has a final chapter on "belly flowers" -- flowers so small you need to get on your belly to see them.
"It's really a great book," says Jean Lane, longtime friend and co-docent at Jasper Ridge.
Since retiring, Mrs. Crittenden has written books about wildflowers of the East, trees of the West, and ferns. At the time of her death, she was working on a book about one of her favorite subjects, desert wildflowers. The family plans to complete the book, says her daughter, Susan Zoller.
"One of her great loves was the desert," says Mrs. Lane. She gave a talk on desert wildflowers to the Westridge Garden Club just last March, she notes.
Mrs. Crittenden also served on the board of the Sempervirens Fund, and was active in the California Native Plant Society and the Western Horticulture Society.
Mrs. Crittenden is survived by her daughters Beth Schwarzman, of Falmouth, Maine, Joan Crittenden of Truckee, California, Susan Zoller of Bellingham, Washington, Laurel Crittenden of Portola Valley; her sister, Helen Halsey of Jersey Island, California; her brother, Robert Buss, of Palo Alto; and five grandchildren.
The family suggests donations to the Sempervirens Fund, Drawer BE, Los Altos, CA 94023; 650-968-4509.
Former Menlo Park resident
Rose DiMuro, who resided in Menlo Park with her son and family before moving to a care facility in San Jose, died July 2. She was 88.
Mrs. DiMuro was born in Southern Italy and came to this country as a child with her parents and eight brothers and sisters. The family lived in the Bronx where she worked as a bookkeeper and clerk after high school until marrying her husband, the late Romano DiMuro. The couple lived in the Bronx and later built a home in Crestwood, Yonkers, New York.
She eventually returned to bookkeeping work at a local commercial refrigeration company. After retirement, the couple divided their time between Florida and New York, then moved to Delray Beach, Florida.
Mrs. DiMuro enjoyed telling her grandchildren about her life as a young child in Italy. When living in the East, she took the grandchildren on many outings in New York City.
She is survived by her son, Peter DiMuro, and wife, Lucille, of Menlo Park; sisters Sylvia Piscitelli and Tillie Coppola of New York; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A funeral Mass was held July 5 at Church of the Nativity, Menlo Park, with interment at Holy Cross Cemetery. Arrangements were under the direction of the Menlo Park Chapel of Spangler Mortuaries.
Former Menlo resident
Augusta Brown died in her Los Altos home June 28 at the age of 84. She was born in Taconic, New York, and worked as a teacher in New York and New Jersey. She moved to California to be close to her children after the death of her husband in 1990. She lived in Menlo Park from 1991 until 1994.
Ms. Brown is survived by two sons, Terry Brown of Redwood City and Russell Brown of San Jose; a daughter, Susan Brown of Palo Alto; and four grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the American Heart Association or Johns Hopkins University.
Sister Rosemary Thompson
Former principal at Sacred Heart Prep
Sister Rosemary Thompson of the Society of the Sacred Heart, who served as high school principal at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton from 1978 to 1983, died suddenly July 9 in San Diego just five days after her 60th birthday on July Fourth.
Sister Thompson was the last principal to serve at the high school before it became co-educational in 1983.
From 1992 to 1994, she was director of Oakwood, a retirement community for members of her order, located on the Sacred Heart campus in Atherton.
Sister Thompson was born in Nicaragua in 1942, one of eight children of John and Mary Thompson. She entered the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1963. She was a graduate of Lone Mountain College (acquired by the University of San Francisco in 1978), with a master's degree in administration from the University of Notre Dame, and a master's in theology from Chicago Theological Union.
Sister Thompson held many administrative positions in her order. After leaving Atherton, she worked for five years in a variety of pastoral and administrative roles related to religious life in the Philippines. After returning to the United States and serving as assistant principal of Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Houston, she moved to Boston in 1994 to become director of novices for the Society's U.S. Province.
For the past year she had been on sabbatical in Florida, and had just moved to San Diego where she was to become the director of Sofia Immigration Services, an organization offering legal aid and other assistance to immigrants.
Sister Thompson's contemporaries say she was a highly organized, but low-key administrator, known for her contagious laugh. "Her laugh filled what ever space she was in. Even at large gatherings, it soared above everything in the room," says Sister Margaret Phelan, the Society's archivist in St. Louis."
Sister Thompson is survived by her mother, Mary Frawley Thompson of Los Angeles; sisters Agnes Kelly of Managua, Nicaragua; Janie Kirimichiu of Playa del Rey; Alice Knipe of Newbury Park; and brother John Thompson of Newbury Park.
A funeral Mass was celebrated July 13 at Frances Danz Memorial Chapel, Oakwood Community of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, in Atherton.
Menlo Park schools volunteer
A memorial service for Sharon Multhauf of Menlo Park, who died July 5, will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. She was 59.
Mrs. Multhauf was a graduate of Westmont College and an elementary school teacher in San Jose. She first became interested in publishing when she worked for Sunset Books. After her marriage to Lloyd Multhauf and adoption of children, Brian and Diana, she became an active volunteer for the city of Menlo Park schools.
She published a monthly newsletter at Laurel School and directories for both Laurel and Hillview Schools, earning her PTA service awards. She published calendar-directories for Menlo-Atherton High School for five years, taught vocal music at Laurel School, and, for a time, was the unofficial school photographer at Encinal School.
After she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Mrs. Multhauf conducted extensive research into the disease on the Internet. One of her resources was the Breast Cancer Mailing List, where several hundred participants shared information and mutual support on a daily basis. She and her husband attended all of the mailing list's annual meetings across the United States.
Mrs. Multhauf produced three volumes of a booklet called "Faces of Our Friends," with photographs of participants on the mailing list. She was also the longest survivor of 26 contributors to a book by Musa Mayer that grew out of the mailing list called "Advanced Breast Cancer: A Guide to Living with Metastatic Disease."
Determined to live fully, say family members, Mrs. Multhauf and her husband traveled to North Dakota, Nebraska and Arkansas, so she could finish seeing all 50 states. In March she defied her illness to go kayaking during a cruise to Australia and New Zealand.
Mrs. Multhaf is survived by her husband Lloyd of Menlo Park, and children, Brian and Diana Multhauf, both of Menlo Park. Donations in her name may be made to the Community Breast Health Project, 770 Welch Road, Suite 370, Palo Alto 94304. Arrangements are under the direction of Roller Hapgood & Tinney, Palo Alto.
Tom Refvem, a Portola Valley resident for 40 years, building contractor and community volunteer, died at his home July 13 after a long illness. He was 71. The family is planning a memorial service in August.