Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - February 4, 2011

Deaths

Steven Geiger

Steven Thomas Geiger, 79, a resident of Palo Alto, died of pneumonia Jan. 18.

He was born was born Jan. 23, 1931, in Budapest, Hungary. When he was 13, he and his family survived the Nazi occupation by hiding with 3,000 other Jews for almost three months inside the infamous Glass House. Because he faced imminent death more than once and at such an early age, he no longer feared it but rather felt that the remainder of his life was a bonus, loved ones said. After another decade of Communist rule, he also learned the value of freedom, his wife recalled.

In 1956, he graduated from the Technical University in Budapest with a degree in electrical engineering. By late October of that year, the Hungarian Revolution erupted in the streets. On the night of Nov. 11, 1956, he escaped into the freedom of Austria. After a two-year stay in Australia, he immigrated to the United States. He worked as an electrical engineer in the field of satellite communication at various companies, retiring in 2001 from CPI in Palo Alto.

The anchor of his large extended family, he was kind, steadfast, intelligent, handsome, funny, eccentric, philosophical, and extremely lovable, loved ones said. He valued open minds and respect for others. He loved classical music, history, desserts (especially the pies his wife made him nearly every week of their 30-year marriage), birding, ping-pong and films. His greatest love, however, was his family. In the weeks before his death, he said, "This is what I have done best and am most proud of."

He had friends all over the world, including several who made the trip from Switzerland just to attend what would have been his 80th birthday party.

He is survived by his wife, Kristin of Palo Alto; son Marc Geiger of Sherman Oaks; daughter Nicole Geiger Laddish of Berkeley; step-daughters Jennifer Morrill of Emerald Hills and Jessica Prentiss of San Carlos; and seven grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Eva Horvath of Budapest, Hungary; and several nieces and cousins.

A memorial service is being planned. In lieu of flowers, a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank or www.KDFC.com would be appreciated by the family.

Clarice Vaughan

Clarice Haylett Vaughan, 88, former medical-program director of the San Mateo County Department of Mental Health, died Oct. 5, 2010.

She was born July 22, 1922, and grew up in Long Beach, Calif. She graduated with honors from both Stanford University (1949) and Stanford Medical School (1951). She worked for the Marin County Health Department as a public health officer for a number of years before returning to school to complete her psychiatric training at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. She returned to California and became the medical-program director of the San Mateo County Department of Mental Health at Chope Hospital. She retired in 1985.

She was married to Dr. Warren Taylor Vaughan, Jr. Together they traveled the world, attending conferences, visiting clinics and presenting lectures. She also as a board member on a number of institutions, including the Common College of Woodside.

Her hobbies included photography, fly fishing, bird-watching, gardening and music. When not organizing photos, checking her garden on Farmville or planning a dinner party, she could often be found with her numerous cats or enjoying the squirrels who shared her bird-feeder, loved ones said.

She is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Anne Vaughan of Portola Valley; son, Richard Vaughan of Redwood City; and five granddaughters.

A memorial celebration will be held in Portola Valley Feb. 5, 2011. For information on this event, contact rvaughan@mpcsd.org.

Any donations may be made in her name to Pathways Hospice Foundation.

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