Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - December 30, 2011

In Memoriam 2011

Oneida 'Mother' Branch, East Palo Alto humanitarian

Oneida "Mother" Branch, 92, who for years collected and provided food and clothing for East Palo Alto's needy, died of natural causes March 22.

Paul Baran, Internet trailblazer

Paul Baran, 84, a resident of Palo Alto, died March 26 of cancer. He is best known as a co-creator of the technology behind the Arpanet, a precursor to the modern Internet.

Duncan Williams, Winter Lodge founder

Duncan Williams, 90, the founder of Palo Alto's Winter Lodge skating rink, died from complications of a brain tumor April 11.

Leonard Ely, Palo Alto philanthropist

Palo Alto businessman and philanthropist Leonard Ely, 87, died April 29. Ely, a retired auto dealer and the grandson of Stanford University's third president (Ray Lyman Wilbur), with deep roots in the community, devoted much of his later life to philanthropy.

Jack Rominger, Palo Alto architect

Jack Rominger, a longtime Palo Alto community member, died of a heart attack April 28 while traveling in Italy.

Gerald M. Meier, Stanford economist

Gerald M. Meier, a leading economist and former Stanford business and economics professor, died from complications of a brain tumor at his home on the Stanford campus June 21.

M. Kenneth Oshman, Silicon Valley pioneer

Silicon Valley pioneer and Jewish community center benefactor M. Kenneth Oshman, 71, died Aug. 6. Oshman, an Atherton resident, co-founded ROLM in 1969 and had been executive chairman of Echelon, a San Jose clean-tech company, since 1989.

Ben Parks, celebrated football and wrestling coach

Longtime Menlo-Atherton football and wrestling coach Ben Parks, 77, passed away in his sleep Aug. 19. Known simply as "Coach Parks," he profoundly influenced thousands of students, not just the athletes he coached.

Steve Jobs, Apple's creative genius

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple and the creative force behind the company's transformation into one of the world's most iconic and pace-setting technology giants, died Oct. 5.

Agnes Robinson, former Palo Alto school board member

Agnes Robinson, 92, universally known as "Aggie" during a lifetime dedicated to progressive activism, died Sept. 27 at her residence at Palo Alto Commons.

Diana Steeples, the 'voice' of Avenidas

Diana Steeples, one of the creators of today's panoply of senior services in the Palo Alto area, died Oct. 3 at Channing House following a period of failing health. For many years she was the "voice" of Avenidas and its predecessor, the Senior Coordinating Council of the Palo Alto Area, Inc.

John McCarthy, Stanford professor

John McCarthy, 84, a retired Stanford University computer science professor who coined the term "artificial intelligence," died Oct. 24.

Ruth Spangenberg, Palo Alto icon

Ruth Beahrs Spangenberg, 92, co-founder of the Committee for Green Foothills and a longtime contributor to the Palo Alto school system, died Oct. 30.

Jim Burch, former Palo Alto mayor

James E. Burch, 85, former Palo Alto mayor, military veteran, advertising executive, and lifelong anti-war and environmental activist, died Nov. 28.

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