Auto dealership owner Bernard "Bernie" L. Magnussen, 78, died on Jan. 3 at his home in Atherton after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Magnussen spent nearly 40 years as an automobile dealer, owning many franchises, including Magnussen Toyota of Palo Alto and Magnussen Lexus of Fremont.
Born in Chicago, he was an accomplished golfer both at New Trier High School and Stanford University, which he attended on a scholarship and where he received a bachelor's degree in business administration.
He was a member of the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club and the Palo Alto Club.
Magnussen ran his dealerships with a customer-first mentality and won many automotive business awards, family members said. He treated others as he wished to be treated, both in business and personal life, they said.
He "touched many lives with his generous heart, playful sense of humor and positive outlook on life," the family said.
Magnussen is survived by his wife of 45 years, Sandra; children, Kendall, Bo and his wife Heidi, Ryan, Carey, and Alicia and her husband Darren Phelan; and six grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, at Stanford Memorial Church, 450 Serra Mall, Bldg. 500, Stanford. A celebration of life will follow at the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, 2900 Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park.
The family says that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alzheimer's research at Stanford University, c/o Anne Longo, 3172 Porter Drive, Suite 210, Palo Alto, CA 94304. Note on the check: Gift for Alzheimer's research in memory of Bernard Magnussen. Donations may also be made to Rosener House, 800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025, or online at penvol.org.