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Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - July 13, 2012

Deaths

Michael Steven Coffron

Michael Steven Coffron, who grew up in Palo Alto, died in his Chico home June 27 after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 65.

He was born to Al and Julie Coffron in Tulsa, Okla. He grew up in Palo Alto with three brothers, graduated from Cubberley High School, served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz.

He lived in the Chico area for the past 24 years. He worked for Child Protective Services in Butte County and Tehama County for 18 years. Following his passion for construction he pursued real estate development.

He enjoyed traveling, good food, museums, theater, classic movies and books, and spending time with his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Karen Coffron of Chico; his mother, Julie Coffron of Chico; his brothers, Jim Coffron (Katty) of Atascadero and Wayne Coffron (Marilyn) of Linden, Va.; uncle, Bill Coffron (Ritva) of Colorado; his children, Tammy Coffron Nurisso (Fred) of Redwood City, Brock Coffron (Lynn) of Stevensville, Mont., Beau Coffron (Linnea) of Fremont, Rob Coffron of Petaluma, Daniel and Alex Coffron of Chico. He is also survived by grandchildren, Matthew, Ariana and Bradley Nurisso, Colby and Chase Coffron, Abigail and Zachary Coffron, and numerous nieces and nephews. His father, Al Coffron, and brother, John Coffron, predeceased him.

A memorial service will be held July 15 at 3 p.m. at the Bidwell Presbyterian Church, Chico.

Heinz Furthmayr

Heinz Furthmayr, an emeritus professor of pathology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, died of a heart attack May 1 while on a trek in Nepal, two days before his 71st birthday.

His early work examined the basic chemical and biological properties of cell membranes and interstitial tissues and their relationship to medical problems, which more recently included Marfan syndrome and other microfibrillar disorders. He published more than 120 scientific articles. He was elected to membership in the Pluto Club, an organization of experimental pathologists working at universities in the United States.

He often collaborated with Uta Francke, professor emeritus of genetics and pediatrics and his wife of 25 years.

He was a pilot, as is his wife, and the two of them traveled the world. They went on safari in Africa, learned Spanish in Central and South America, and watched penguins being born in Antarctica. He also ventured on his own, taking overland trips through Europe and Asia and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro twice.

He was born in Linz, Austria, in 1941 and grew up in the nearby village of Ansfelden. His father was a baker who owned his own bakery and his mother had a general store in the village. He earned his doctorate at the University of Vienna Medical School. He completed his clinical pathology internship at Hanusch Hospital in Vienna and his medical residency at the Hospital of Mistelbach, Austria.

He came to the United States in 1972 as a postdoctoral scholar studying red-cell membranes in the lab at Yale School of Medicine, becoming a faculty member in the Department of Pathology there in 1976.

He and his wife met in Colorado over mutual interests in science and skiing. They married in 1986 near the top of Mount Tamalpais. His appointment at Stanford began in 1989. He retired in 2005, and had since spent five months a year traveling.

He is survived by his wife, Francke, of Los Altos Hills, Calif.; three sisters, four brothers, his mother, and numerous nieces and nephews, all in Austria or Germany, as well as his two godchildren in Palo Alto.

Jeannie Pasturel

Jeannie Heidel Pasturel, daughter of Agnes Waters of Palo Alto, died at her home in Oregon on April 21 after a battle with breast cancer. She was 49.

She was surrounded by her husband of 25 years, Patrice Knut, her daughters, Gabrielle Rose and Caitlin Heather, and Patrice's parents, Marc and Ragni Pasturel.

She grew up in Palo Alto, graduating from Palo Alto High School in 1981. Her love of animals, especially horses, led to a degree in animal science equine husbandry from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in 1986.

She and her husband met during their junior year in high school and were married in 1987. They moved to Oregon two years later to buy a farm where she could breed, train, show and care for horses.

She trained or bred the champion and/or reserve-champion Friesian mare six consecutive years. An advocate for horse health and a leader in the protection of U.S. horses against a communicable breeding disease, she established one of the first USDA approved quarantine facilities on the West Coast.

To advance research for a cure, contributions in her honor may be made to Hope Rugo, M.D., UCSF, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1600 Divisidero St., 2nd floor, San Francisco, CA 94115.

Comments

Posted by Molly McIntosh Brown, a resident of Community Center
on Jul 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm

May you rest in peace Jeannie knowing that you are loved and missed. You will live on in my heart forever. Every time I see a horse I will think of you my friend. The wonderful memories of our childhood together will heal the pain. You were an amazing person I am proud of you Jeannie, it was a tough journey and I cherish our time together. I feel so fortunate to have had the chance to say goodbye. I love you. Molly ("Fren-Sis")