Seven honored for outstanding contributions to Palo Alto community

Avenidas Lifetimes of Achievement awardees measure accomplishments by lives they've transformed, hopes that have been re-born

Achievement is often measured in dollars and cents, in CVs that go on for pages, in titles bestowed and power attained.

But the seven people honored with this year's Avenidas Lifetimes of Achievement awards measure their greatest accomplishments by the lives they've transformed, the community ties that they've helped strengthened and the hopes that have been re-born.

By the world's standards, they are accomplished professionals in architecture, business, education, technology and government. But as the following profiles reveal, their own standards center on rich relationships and the satisfaction of seeing hard work on behalf of others pay off.

Congratulations to this year's Lifetimes honorees: Bill Busse, Martin Deggeller, Judy Koch, Dick and Jerry Smallwood, and James and Emy Thurber. To celebrate them and their lives well-lived, the nonprofit Avenidas and the Palo Alto Weekly will host a garden party at a local home on Sunday, May 15, 3-5 p.m.

Tickets for this public event are $75, with proceeds benefiting Avenidas' programs for older adults throughout the area.Tickets can be purchased by contacting Avenidas at 650-289-5445, emailing or visiting, where additional information about the awards can also be found.

Click on the links below to read about this year's Lifetimes of Achievement awards honorees:

Bill Busse: Hard work and optimism have been hallmarks of architect's life

Martin Deggeller: Creating environments for future generations

Judy Koch: Bringing high-quality books to all children

Jerry and Dick Smallwood: Couple sets up scholarship fund, the gift that keeps on giving

Emy and Jim Thurber: Chance, adventure, politics and partnership define the shared life of Los Altos couple


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— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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7 people like this
Posted by Nayeli P.
a resident of Midtown
on May 6, 2016 at 10:22 am

Nayeli P. is a registered user.

We could learn much about civics through wonderful people like this. Thank you for your service to this community!

6 people like this
Posted by Life well lived.
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 6, 2016 at 11:17 am

Just before my grandmother died she said to me, "Live a life that will make you proud. Make GOOD memories. In the end when your body fails, those memories, faith, and the love of family and friends will sustain you."

Great advice from a woman who lived with grace. She was poor as a church mouse--but generous with her time and her love. Her contributions to family and community live on. I'm sure these good people also profoundly touched many lives.

This is an inspiring story about lives very well lived with generosity and love. Thanks, PA Weekly! You brightened my day.

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