Services are set for January 7 for Rocco Erario of Menlo Park, who died January 4 at the age of 73. The memorial Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m. at St. Denis Church, 2250 Avy Ave., Menlo Park.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Erario was the owner of a livery business.
Mr. Erario is survived by his wife, Carol H. Erario of Menlo Park; daughters Diane, Debra, Ellen and Kathy, all of the East Coast; sons Jeffery Sammet, Michael Sammet and Philip Sammet; sisters Josephine Chidichimo and Antoinette Brunetti of New York; and 12 grandchildren.
Entombment will be at Skylawn Memorial Park, Colma. Arrangements are under the direction of Spangler Mortuaries, Menlo Park.
The family prefers that donations be made to Pathways Hospice Foundation, 201 San Antonio Circle, Suite 104, Mountain View, CA 94040.
Space exploration pioneer
Reginald R. Kearton, head of the Space Division of Lockheed Missiles and Space Division during the pioneering days of space exploration, died January 1 in Menlo Park. He was 92.
Mr. Kearton's career spanned 34 years in the aerospace field. He joined Lockheed in 1949 as a senior engineer in Burbank. After serving as a key member of the team that established the Lockheed operation in Marietta, Georgia, he moved back to California in 1955 to serve as executive vice president of Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale.
Mr. Kearton was involved in the Agena and Gemini space programs, as well as many other classified space programs in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was instrumental in building the corporate foundation, which led to the manufacture of such airlift resources for the U.S. Air Force as the C-130 Hercules, the C-141 Starlifter and the world's largest cargo airplane, the C-5 Galaxy.
Mr. Kearton was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, earning an engineering degree with a specialty in aeronautics. In 1957 he attended Harvard University's advanced management business program.
Because of his many business trips to France, Mr. Hearton became interested in French culture and in 1982 co-founded the French Heritage Society (formerly Friends of Vielles Maisons Francaises). The international society, which now has 18 chapters and more than 2,000 members, has raised $8 million to restore and maintain historical properties in the United State and France. Mr. Kearton was chairman emeritus of the society at the time of his death.
Another of Mr. Kearton's interests was dominoes. In 1971 he won the San Francisco Chronicle's world championship, according to family members.
He is survived by his wife, the former Frances Peace Adams; sons by a previous marriage, Regnar Kearton of Whidby Island, Washington, and Porter Kearton of Anchorage, Alaska; and a stepson, Al Adams of San Francisco.
Arrangements were under the direction of John O'Connor's Menlo Colonial Chapel, Menlo Park.
Russell M. Van Tuyl
Retired United Airlines captain
Russell M. Van Tuyl, who lived in Menlo Park for 50 years before moving to LaGrange, Georgia, in 2001, died January 3. He was 96.
Mr. Van Tuyl was a World War II Navy veteran and a retired United Airlines captain. He married Rachel Pinson Van Tuyl in 1939, and they lived in Chicago until 1951, when they moved to Menlo Park.
In his spare time, Mr. Van Tuyl enjoyed playing golf and would regularly play on the Stanford course, according to his family. The Van Tuyls moved to LaGrange to be close to family and friends during Mr. Van Tuyl's illness.
He is survived by his wife Rachel; and two nephews and a niece.
Hannah A. Miller
Community volunteer and homemaker
Memorial services for will held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 18 at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church for Hannah A. Miller, a longtime resident of Atherton, who died January 13. She was 85.
Mrs. Miller was born in New York City and graduated as a dietician from Pratt Institute in 1937. During World War II, she managed the food service at Wright Aeronautical in New Jersey, feeding thousands of workers.
She loved to dance, and met Thormund Miller at an Officers Service Club dance. They were married in 1946.
The Millers lived in Bethesda, Maryland, for 16 years where Mrs. Miller was active in her church and the schools her daughters attended. In 1966, the couple moved to Atherton.
Mrs. Miller became involved in many local organizations including the Lunch Bunch, the Atherton Dames, the Allied Arts Guild, and the Atherton Civic Interest League. She liked organizing activities and parties, making people feel welcome and building community, say family members.
Mrs. Miller is survived by her husband of 57 years, Thormund Miller; two daughters, Karen Van Gerpenof Hollister and Christine Westall of Granite Bay; and three grandchildren.
Graveside services for the immediate family will be January 17 at Skyline Memorial Park in San Mateo.
The family prefers donations, for purposes of research, to the Alzheimer's Association, 2065 West El Camino Real, Suite C, Mountain View, CA 94040; or Stanford University, 326 Galvez St., Stanford CA 94305-6105, attention gift processing.
Tai chi instructor
A memorial Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, January 21, for Lorraine Sphar, a longtime resident of Menlo Park, who died January 14. She was 88.
The Mass will be held at 11 a.m., preceded by a visitation at 10 a.m., at St. Raymond's Catholic Church in Menlo Park. Interment will follow at Alta Mesa Cemetery.
Born in San Francisco, she attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in home economics.
In 1938, she married Clark Herbert Sphar, and in 1941 they settled in Menlo Park to raise their family. Mrs. Sphar was active in her children's schooling, including with the PTA and in scouting, family members said.
She was manager of the gift-wrap department at Bullock's department store until her retirement.
In her late 60s, Mrs. Sphar began practicing tai chi. She enjoyed the practice so much that she formed and taught a women's senior citizens class, the family said.
She is survived by her sons Michael Sphar of Santa Clara and John Sphar of Palo Alto, and four grandchildren.
The family prefers donations to a charity of the donor's choice.
Evelyn H. Ferris
Evelyn H. Ferris, who lived in Woodside and Menlo Park for 26 years, died January 9. She was 79.
A native of Oklahoma, Mrs. Ferris worked for Western Skate and Sales and Keith Cole Photography after raising her four children.
She was married to Orley S. Ferris, who died in 1987. After living in Woodside and Menlo Park, she moved to Burbank to be closer to a son and his family.
Mrs. Ferris is survived by three sons, Gordon R. Ferris of Valencia, David L. Ferris of Austin, and Gregory B. Ferris of Chester; daughter Orlene K. Ferrando of Tracy; brother James Bowen of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and seven grandchildren.
Graveside services were held January 16 at Skylawn Cemetery.
The family prefers donations to a charity of the donor's choice.
Gwyneth Auston MacNicholl
45-year resident of Menlo Park
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 25, at the Holy Trinity Church in Menlo Park for Gwyneth Auston MacNicholl, a 45-year resident of Menlo Park who died December 13. She was 80.
A native of Montreal, Mrs. MacNicholl moved to Washington, D.C., at age 20 to work for the British Embassy. In 1945, she traveled to Honolulu to visit her uncle, and liked the city so much she stayed for eight years. She met her husband Robert during that time, and gave birth to her daughter Diane.
In 1954, they moved to Menlo Park where Mrs. MacNicholl worked in the medical profession as a receptionist. After retiring, she enjoyed traveling to places such as Paris, Istanbul and Italy, family members said. She also enjoyed spending time with her daughter's family, especially her two grandchildren, Christine and Robert.
Survivors include daughter Diane Ogbom of Menlo Park; twin sister Peggy Harding of Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada; sister Helen Shopolovich of Ashland, Maine; and two grandchildren.
A reception will follow the memorial service. The family prefers donations to a charity of the donor's choice.
Elementary Spanish teacher
A memorial Mass will be held in Menlo Park this week for Carmen Dossola, a resident of Menlo Park for 38 years, who died January 17 at Stanford Hospital due to complications related to diabetes. She was 56.
The service will start at 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 22, at St. Raymond Catholic Church, 1100 Santa Cruz Ave.
Born and raised in Mexico City, she met Aldo Dossola, whom she married, and they moved to Menlo Park.
Mrs. Dossola spent many years teaching Spanish at several elementary schools on the Midpeninsula.
Trained in classical piano, she enjoyed music of every kind, family members said.
Survivors include her husband of 38 years, Aldo L. Dossola; daughter Loretta Dossola of San Francisco; sons Aldo L. Dossola Jr. of Danville and David C. Dossola of Menlo Park; daughter Karla Dossola of San Francisco; father, Antonio Garcia of Menlo Park; sisters Yolanda Kelly and Patricia Alonso of Menlo Park; and one granddaughter.
The family prefers donations to the Diabetes Society of Santa Clara Valley, 1165 Lincoln Ave., Suite 300, San Jose, CA 95125.
David Richardson Wendell
Former Woodside resident
David R. Wendell, a former assistant to President Gerald Ford, a lead singer and guitarist for the blue-grass band Bitter Root, and a business executive and entrepreneur, died from brain cancer January 22. He was 49. He lived in Essex, Massachusetts, and previously resided in Woodside and Palo Alto.
On September 22, 1975, during a visit to San Francisco, Mr. Wendell was just behind President Ford as he left the St. Francis Hotel and Sarah Jane Moore fired a .38-caliber pistol at the president. The bullet ricocheted off the hotel entrance.
In the 1976 national political campaign, Mr. Wendell was named assistant press secretary to vice-presidential candidate Bob Dole.
While a student at Dartmouth College in the 1970s, he organized the band Bitter Root with six friends, and it became "the band" for fraternity parties. But the group's fame soon generated regular gigs at the Holiday Inn, local bars and roadhouses. After graduation, Mr. Wendell played in Vail and Europe.
After graduating magna cum laude from Dartmouth in 1975, Mr. Wendell joined the Ford Administration to handle the media on domestic and international trips.
He graduated from Stanford Business School in 1979 and began his business career in Menlo Park with Saga Inc., rising to chief development officer. He then became chief operating officer of Western Athletic Clubs in San Francisco, a vice president at Montgomery Securities, and strategic adviser to several food companies.
As an entrepreneur, he built and operated the Mackinaw Inn in Lake Tahoe. He had served as a director of Lyons Restaurants, California Cafe, and XyberNet.
Mr. Wendell was an avid athlete, fisherman, hunter and sailor.
He contributed a professionally produced CD of his music to help the University of California, San Francisco, raise money for its new brain-tumor research center.
Survivors include his wife Jane; children Sarah and David of Woodside; stepdaughter Teal of Essex; brother Harlan Wendell of Menlo Park; sister Thayer Adams of Woodside; and his father and mother, Bud and Dickie Wendell of Menlo Park.
A memorial service will be held in the First Parish Church, Congregational, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, at 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 29.
The family prefers contributions to the University of California at San Francisco Foundation, Brain Tumor Research Center, in memory of David Wendell, and sent to UCSF Foundation, Box 0248, San Francisco, CA 94143-0248.
Evelyne Conquaret of Menlo Park, a well-known San Francisco antique dealer, died of cancer January 22 at Stanford Medical Center. She was 69.
A native of Gascony in Southern France, Ms. Conquaret studied law and political science at the University of Toulouse, France. She moved to Paris, where she had a successful business career.
In 1975 she moved to the Bay Area and opened her first antique shop in San Francisco's Jackson Square. A few years later, she relocated to Showplace Square, where Evelyne Conquaret Antiques became known for 18th and 19th century country French antiques.
Ms. Conquaret served on the board of directors of the Alliance Francaise Commerce and worked on many causes and projects of the French community. Among antique dealers and interior designers, she was admired for her knowledge and ability to choose unique pieces, as well as the elegance of her store, according to close friends.
Funeral services were held January 27 at St. Denis Church, Menlo Park. Donations may be made in her name to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements were under the direction of Roller Hapgood & Tinney Funeral Home, Palo Alto.
Margaret Anne Morgan
Former Atherton Dames president
Margaret Anne Morgan, a former 20-year resident of Atherton and local business owner, died January 7 at her home in Freeport, The Bahamas, after a lengthy illness. She was 65.
After raising her family, Mrs. Morgan had a 14-year career in fashion, owning two women's clothing stores, Ports International and Alfred Sung, at Stanford Shopping Center.
A native of North Bay, Ontario, Mrs. Morgan was a graduate of the University of British Columbia. She taught first and second grade classes in elementary school, as well as music, in Burnaby, B.C., to support her medical student husband, Dr. Robert W. Morgan. After his graduation, they moved to Victoria and lived in Vancouver, Boston and Toronto before moving to Atherton in 1979.
Mrs. Morgan was a former president of the Atherton Dames and active in local fundraising activities. A master gardener, musician and collector of fine antiques, Mrs. Morgan was also an expert chef who loved to cook and entertain, say family members.
She was proud of her Irish and French-Canadian heritage and once hosted a Canada Day celebration where a "Mountie" greeted guests on horseback, while giant "bears" wearing hockey sweaters paddled canoes in the pool, says her son Reynolds Morgan.
In 1998 the Morgans moved to The Bahamas where she enjoyed raising orchids and walking the beach with her Irish wolfhound, Rosebud. Mrs. Morgan belonged to the American Women's Club, with which she raised thousands of dollars for Bahamian children's scholarships.
Mrs. Morgan is survived by her husband of 43 years, Dr. Robert W. Morgan of Freeport, The Bahamas; sons M. Reynolds Morgan of Menlo Park, Joseph J. Morgan of Freeport, and Cassin Morgan of New York; daughter Margaret Anne Morgan of Menlo Park; and five grandchildren. Mrs. Morgan's daughter Mary preceded her in death.
A funeral Mass was held January 13 at Mary, Star of the Sea Church in Freeport. Memorials may be made to the American Women's Club Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box F40757, Freeport, The Bahamas.
Richard R. Bilek
Menlo Park resident
A memorial Mass will be held Saturday, February 1, for Richard R. (Dick) Bilek of Menlo Park, who died January 11 after a brief illness. He was 90.
The Mass will begin at 11 a.m. at St. Albert the Great Church, 1095 Channing Ave., Palo Alto. Interment services have been held.
A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, he met Florence Fleissner in 1931 and they were married in 1938. Mr. Bilek served in World War II as a U.S. Army Air Corps B-29 tail-gunner.
In 1965, Mr. Bilek, his wife and son moved to California to be with his daughter. He worked for many years in personnel placement for Adia Personnel Services. They lived in Palo Alto for more than 30 years, and in 1997 moved to the Glenwood Inn Apartments in Menlo Park.
Mr. Bilek had a wonderful sense of humor and a zest for life, a member of his family said.
He is survived by his wife, Florence Fleissner Bilek of Menlo Park; daughter Barbara Bilek Kent of Menlo Park; son Bob Bilek of Aptos; a grandson; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be sent to: American Red Cross Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 37243, Washington D.C. 20013; or to Our Lady of Good Counsel Free Cancer Home, 2076 St. Anthony Ave., St. Paul, Minnesota 55104.
Carol Grace Busch
17-year-old Atherton resident
A memorial service for Carol Grace Busch of Atherton will be held Friday, February 7, at 2 p.m. at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, 950 Santa Cruz Ave. A reception at the church will follow.
Ms. Busch died peacefully in her sleep January 24 at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital after a long illness caused by a brain tumor. She was 17.
Born in 1985 in San Jose, Ms. Busch attended Hillview Middle School in Menlo Park, and St. Lawrence Academy in Santa Clara.
Her family and friends remember her for her interests in art, drama, and fine handcrafts.
She is survived by her mother Betsy Colby of Atherton and her step-father Barry Herman; brother Jason Herman of Atherton; father and step-mother David and Minde Busch of Hollister; and grandparents Jean Colby of Palo Alto, and Robert and Marylou Busch of Los Gatos.
The family suggests donations be made to the National Brain Tumor Foundation, 414 13th St., Suite 700, Oakland, CA 94612-2603; or Lucile Packard Children's Fund, 770 Welch Road, Suite 150, Palo Alto, CA 94304.
Joel Rodney Harry
Longtime resident of Menlo Park
Joel Rodney Harry, a longtime resident of Menlo Park, died January 26 after a long illness. He was 54.
Mr. Harry was a native of Iowa, and moved with his family to Palo Alto in 1950. He attended Ravenswood High School, where he met his wife, Kathleen. After their wedding in 1970, Mr. and Mrs. Harry settled in Menlo Park to raise their family.
Mr. Harry loved nature walks and bird watching. His wife said he was a wonderful father and husband, and always put his family's needs before his own.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Harry is survived by two sons, Christopher Harry and Brian Harry; his mother, Lillian Harry of Menlo Park; three brothers, Douglas Harry of Fremont, Norris Harry of San Jose, and Alan Harry of Placerville; his sister, Anne Fowkes of Menlo Park; and several nieces and nephews.
Memorial services were held on February 3 at the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.
The family prefers contributions be made to Mission Hospice of San Mateo County, 151 West 20th Ave., San Mateo, 94403.