May 30, 2001
Bruce Kuschner threw himself 100 percent into everything he did, whether it was teaching, coaching, tending his garden, reading, being a dad or hand-crafting birdhouses and stained glass stars as gifts for his friends.
May 29, 2001
A memorial service is set for today in Cloverdale for Daniel Edward Keyes, a craftsman and artist who died Saturday, a day short of his 58th birthday.
April 30, 2001
Lillian G. Vendice, a longtime Sonoma County resident who was active in the Catholic Church and the Fun After Fifty Club of Rohnert Park, died Wednesday at a Petaluma care facility after a long illness. She was 86.
Vendice had suffered from diabetes for many years.
A native of Charlestown, Mass., she moved to the Petaluma-Cotati area 48 years ago with her husband, the late Salvatore Vendice. She was a homemaker all of her adult life, dedicated to raising her children and then assisting with the care of her grandchildren.
"Her family was very important to her. She was a wonderful grandmother," said her daughter, Josephine Ruminson of Rohnert Park.
In addition to her family, she enjoyed reading and the company of a close circle of friends.
Vendice was a member of St. Josephs Catholic Church and the Fun After Fifty Club, a social group for seniors that meets weekly for bingo and other activities.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by her son, William Vendice of Los Angeles; her sister, Marie Foley of Arlington, Mass.; and by three grandchildren and one great-grandson.
A funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. today at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Cotati. Burial is at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Petaluma.
The family suggests memorial contributions to Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma 94952, or the Fun After Fifty Club, 6800 Hunter Drive, Rohnert Park 94928.
April 13, 2001
Longtime Rohnert Park resident Michael Cicanese did something few people do in mid-life: He gave up a steady job and pursued his dream -- cooking.
April 12, 2001
For the family and friends of Lauren Alyse Charp a light has gone out.
City's first police chief dies
Cotati's first police chief, "Honest John" Curtis, a lifelong Sonoma County resident who made headlines nationwide as a teen-ager when he found $2,000 on a Santa Rosa street and returned it -- and got a 5 cent tip, died Tuesday at age 77.
April 11, 2001
Petaluma rose grower Gianni "John" Neve, founder of Sonoma County's first and largest cut-flower nursery, died Sunday at age 76.
April 10, 2001
Jack Domenichelli, a four-time mayor of Cloverdale, liked being in the middle of things.
April 9, 2001
Brecht memorial service Thursday
A memorial service is being scheduled for Thursday for James Brecht, the Santa Rosa developer, architect and community leader who died Saturday while bicycling.
April 8, 2001
Edwin Lawson Duckles, who had a long career working for the American Friends Service Committee, died March 26. He was 86 years old.
April 7, 2001
Veteran jockey Hummel succumbs to cancer
Veteran Northern California jockey Chris Hummel died Monday of cancer at his mothers' home in Burbank.
Sylvia Hanshaw, one of the women personified by "Rosie the Riveter" during World War II, spent two years riveting airplane parts at Lockheed in Los Angeles.
March 9, 2001
Eben Rising Bloom
Eben Rising Bloom was a young man who had such passionate feelings about the environment that he lived for a time in old-growth forests to prevent logging.
Bloom, a 22-year-old Sonoma man, was killed March 1 in Fresno while apparently trying to catch a ride on a moving freight train.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at the Sonoma Community Center's Andrews Hall, 276 E. Napa St.
Originally from Connecticut, Bloom lived most of his life in Sonoma County and graduated in 1997 from Sonoma Valley High School.
He attended the Marin Waldorf school in San Rafael, which emphasizes arts and music. The school had a lasting effect on Bloom, said his brother, Jesse Bloom of Santa Cruz.
"He was a very artistic young man," Jesse Bloom said, "and that gave him chance to express himself freely through painting and drawing."
He was always an activist for environmental causes, Jesse Bloom said, and that showed in his art.
"He was not your average materialistic conformist," his brother said. "He was a little nontraditional, interested in having opinions that were different than the mainstream. He was definitely an independent thinker."
While attending the College of Redwoods in Humboldt County, Eben Bloom became active with the environmental group Earth First!
At times during the two-year period Julia Butterfly Hill was perched in a tree, Eben Bloom participated in the logging protest, his brother said.
The train accident occurred when Eben Bloom was apparently trying to catch a ride back to Sonoma.
Eben Bloom is also survived by his parents, Linda and Charlie Bloom of Sonoma; a sister, Sarah Bloom of Santa Barbara; his grandmother Hilda Lipman of Sonoma; his grandfather Abraham Cooper of Pompano Beach, Fla.; and several cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Circle of Life Foundation, P.O. Box 1940, Redway 95560.
February 21, 2001
Living just a few miles from the epicenter of the great earthquake of 1906, James Richard Alberigi felt the full force and lived to tell the story. He died Feb. 5 at age 99.
Alberigi was 4 when the quake hit, centered not far from Inverness Park, where his family lived. The tiny town is between Point Reyes Station and Inverness in west Marin County.
While much of San Francisco was leveled and burned, the Alberigi family's two-story home also was hit hard. Alberigi was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom when the house was moved 6 feet off its foundation.
"It was a really scary moment. He remembered being knocked out of his bed. He heard his father hollering downstairs, 'Earthquake, earthquake.' He went into his parents' bedroom and his mother was on the ground praying," said Alberigi's eldest son, James Alberigi of Petaluma.
Alberigi would recall those scary moments during the annual commemorations of the quake in San Francisco. Either he or other family members attended faithfully, with Alberigi making last year's event.
Alberigi lived much of his life in the Inverness and Point Reyes Station area, where he worked and raised five children with his late wife, Margaret.
He worked in hardware and grocery stores before finding his niche as an independent distributor of gasoline, oil and propane gas.
Alberigi's son, who worked with his father in the early years, said it was hard work. Yet Alberigi stayed at it until he retired at age 70.
Ranchers, garage owners and homeowners all were customers.
Gasoline was used for motor vehicles and farm equipment. Oil and propane heated homes.
He carried gasoline and oil in 5-gallon buckets to tanks and carted propane tanks to remote areas that were often hard to reach.
Alberigi's son said his father worked six-day weeks. He took over for his father sometimes so his parents could take occasional vacations to Lake Tahoe.
"He was strictly on a commission. He really had to work hard," James Alberigi said.
Alberigi also was involved in his community for decades. He was a member of the Point Reyes Lions Club and the Point Reyes Knights of Columbus.
He also was instrumental in helping found the Olema Cemetery Association to preserve and restore the burial ground. He was past president of the association.
Alberigi moved to Novato with his wife in 1972. He celebrated his 99th birthday with family in his home Jan. 20.
A funeral Mass was Friday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Olema. Alberigi was buried at the Olema Cemetery.
Alberigi is survived by sons James of Petaluma and Michael of Sonoma, and a daughter, Marie Gibson of Rohnert Park.
February 7, 2001
Albert G. Woltzen, 81, a retired postal worker, lived and worked in Healdsburg more than half a century.
February 6, 2001
Mildred Peterson, a rancher who raised thousands of animals over the years, died of pneumonia Fridayat Sebastopol Convalescent Hospital. She was 89.
Peterson was born in San Francisco and moved with her family to the farming community of Roblar near Petaluma when she was 2. She attended Dunham Elementary School, Petaluma High School and Sweet Business College. Peterson and her late husband Jake started a poultry ranch on Canfield Road in Sebastopol, raising as many as 40,000 chickens, cows, pigs and sheep over the years.
As a child she was a member of the Roblar 4-H Club and later became a community leader of the club. Peterson also was active in the Sonoma County 4-H Council and other 4-H activities, including the junior department at both the Petaluma and Santa Rosa fairs.
"She was dedicated to helping young people," said her daughter, June Bertoni of Sebastopol. "Her main goal in life was helping young people mature. She just loved kids."
Aside from Bertoni, Peterson is survived by sons Arthur Peterson of Sebastopol and Rich Peterson of Mena, Ark.; 18 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren.
Services were Monday at Pleasant Hills Memorial Park's Chapel. Donations are preferred for Palm Drive Hospital in Sebastopol, the Sonoma County 4-H Center in Rohnert Park or the Hessel Church Building Fund.
February 5, 2001
Thomas M. Torgerson, an old-fashioned physician who made house calls and worked tirelessly to help improve the lives of the elderly, died Jan. 31 of pneumonia at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. He was 90.
Torgerson touched the lives of many people in Sonoma County over six decades of community work and 38 years in medical practice.
As a young internist, Torgerson admitted the first patient to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital when it opened in 1950. He later went on to serve as the hospital's chief of staff and helped to found its coronary care unit.
In 1968, Torgerson organized a team to plan a 14-story retirement home for low-income elderly in Santa Rosa. The retirement home, Bethlehem Towers, opened in 1972. Torgerson served as chairman of the board for the retirement home from its opening until he left the board in 1999.
Torgerson also served as a consultant to several other retirement homes, including the Chanate and Oakmont Gardens.
Patients and colleagues will remember Torgerson as "a very kind and generous person," said daughter Kathleen Ellen Marley of Santa Rosa.
"He was willing to help not only organizations, but also individuals," Marley said. "He had an ability to speak to anyone. He always was very interested in people and wanted to know about them. He would know a person five minutes and he would know where they went to school, where they grew up, about their family, and what they did. It was amazing how he could draw people out."
Torgerson was active in many community groups, including the Redwood Empire Mission, the Salvation Army, the Redwood Empire Heart Association, and the California and American heart associations.
He was an active member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church from his arrival in Santa Rosa in 1939. He served as president of the congregation several times and chairman of the building committee for two of its churches.
Born in 1910 in Grafton, N.D., Torgerson graduated from St. Olaf College and the University of North Dakota. After earning his medical degree in 1936 from the University of Chicago Medical School, Torgerson moved to San Francisco, where he did his residency at St. Luke's Hospital. He met his future wife, Sandra, while treating her at the hospital in 1938 and married his sweetheart a year later on Valentine's Day.
The couple moved to Santa Rosa, where Torgerson established a medical practice with longtime partner Dr. W.E. Rogers. He was a member of the California Academy of Medicine, an honorary organization.
During World War II, Torgerson left Santa Rosa to serve as a medical officer in the Army Medical Corps in El Paso, Texas, from 1942 to 1946.
Torgerson retired from medicine in 1977 because of illness, but continued to work actively in community groups.
He was one of the founding fellows of California Lutheran University and served on its board of regents.
In addition to daughter Kathleen, Torgerson is survived by his son, Thomas Torgerson Jr., and daughter Sandra Maria Torgerson, all of Santa Rosa; three granddaughters and one great-granddaughter.
A memorial service will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1300 St. Francis Road in Santa Rosa.
Donations in Torgerson's memory may be made to the American Heart Association, Redwood Empire Chapter, P.O. Box 844, Santa Rosa 95402 or to the charity of your choice.
Harriette Lorraine DeWitt-Peck, a retired bookkeeper and lifelong Petaluma resident, died Friday at her home of natural causes. She was 70.
The daughter of a caterer and a housekeeper, Peck was born at General Hospital and grew up in Petaluma, said granddaughter Janine Weiler of Sonoma. Peck graduated from Petaluma High School in 1948 and later graduated from Santa Rosa Business College.
Peck worked 20 years as a bookkeeper at H&L Sheet Metal in Petaluma. She was an active member of the Moose Lodge in Petaluma, and could regularly be found dining at the lodge Wednesday nights with her husband, Roy, a former governor of the lodge.
"It was where they lived, practically," Weiler said.
Peck enjoyed taking her grandchildren out for dinner at the lodge and celebrating birthdays with a meal at McGoo's. Though she relished her privacy, Peck was actively involved with her grandchildren, Weiler said.
"She did a lot for us growing up. She was always very much a part our lives," said Weiler, recalling trips with her grandmother to shop for school clothes.
"She didn't like anything I picked, but said, 'You have to wear it,'" Weiler said with a chuckle.
Peck is survived by her daughter, Lorraine Sowells of Penngrove; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Parent-Sorensen Mortuary & Crematory in Petaluma. A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Parent-Sorensen.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St. in Petaluma.
February 4, 2001
Oscar H. Hazelrigg, a missionary who traveled nine months a year building homes, schools and churches for the poor, died Jan. 25 after a long illness. He was 79.
Hazelrigg, a 39-year Santa Rosa resident, was a member of the Mobile Missionaries Assistance Program.
The group is made up of retired senior citizens who own trailers and motor homes and are willing to travel the country to build for the poor.
Hazelrigg and his wife worked with the nonprofit group for 10 years, and made a number of friends in the process.
"They were there on one of these projects with at least two other couples and sometimes more," son Robert Hazelrigg said. "They just liked to donate their time."
Hazelrigg was an Army veteran who served in the 263rd chemical service platoon, cleaning up after chemical warfare in the Philippines in World War II.
He was raised in Seaside and worked for many years as a forest ranger for the California Division of Forestry.
Robert Hazelrigg said his father stayed in Santa Rosa because he loved the small-town feel and its many golf courses.
"He really liked the fact that it was not a big city, (and) there were a lot of chances to play golf," Robert Hazelrigg said.
He and his wife also were dedicated members of the Santa Rosa Alliance Church.
In his spare time, he enjoyed gardening, completing crossword puzzles and listening to classical music.
Along with his son Robert Hazelrigg, he is survived by his son John Hazelrigg of San Pablo; his sisters, Dorothy Smith of Solano, Lilly Klingsporn of Seal Rock, and Helen Jacobson of Monterey; and five grandchildren. His wife, Helen Hazelrigg, preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. today at Santa Rosa Alliance Church.
Memorial donations may be made in his name to the Santa Rosa Alliance Church, 310 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa 95401.