Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories
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Steven Richard Sommer
March 4, 1955 - July 13, 2017
Menlo Park, CA

Steven Richard Sommer died in his home on July 13, 2017, in Menlo Park, California, due to complications following a valiant battle with metastatic thyroid cancer. He was 62. Steve was born on March 4, 1955, in New York City, the second child of Sandra and the late Morton Sommer. He spent his childhood in the greater New York area and went on to study chemical engineering and business at MIT. After a few years in the workforce, Steve received his MBA at Harvard Business School. Steve most recently served as the Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of Marketing at Splunk. Previously, he held a variety of executive positions in fast-growing enterprise software companies including SVP Marketing at ArcSight, SVP Marketing & Business Development at Portal Software and VP Worldwide Marketing at Informix. Earlier in his career he worked as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company. Steve’s zest for adventure and challenge made him a delightful father, friend and companion. His intelligence, curiosity, high-energy, humor and desire to enjoy every day live in his three adult daughters. He shared many unforgettable experiences with them—brownie baking, dog-l...

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Russell Charles Evarts
April 7, 1947 - July 11, 2017
Palo Alto, California

Evarts, Russell Charles, 70, a 31 year resident of Palo Alto, passed away Tuesday 11 July 2017 at home with family at his side. Russ was born 7 April 1947 and raised in Milford, Connecticut. His love of history, the great outdoors, and maps drew him to his interest in geology. He completed his undergraduate degree at Franklin and Marshall College and his doctorate at Stanford University. Dr. Russell C. Evarts spent his career with the U.S. Geological Survey, primarily conducting field studies and mapping in the Pacific Northwest. He was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and was granted the Meritorious Service Award of the Department of the Interior. He is survived by his wife, Alice Frances (Stiewing) Evarts of Palo Alto, and their son, Matthew Aaron Evarts and his wife Maria Pauline (Johnson) Evarts of Redwood City, CA. In addition, Russ leaves behind his granddaughters Sophie Sierra Evarts and River Aria Evarts of Redwood City, CA. He is also survived by his brothers and sisters, Brian Frederick Evarts of Colchester, CT, Wendy Anne (Evarts) Phillips of Palo Alto, CA, Evelyn Alice Evarts of Warren, VT, and Frederick Savage Evarts of Killingworth, CT....

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Donald Mayall
May 2, 1932 - June 28, 2017
Palo Alto, California

Donald H. Mayall of Palo Alto died on June 28 after a brief illness. He was 85. Born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, he grew up with nature and a family farm nearby, which instilled a life-long, deep attachment to the natural world. His family moved to the Los Angeles area when he was twelve. Attending the University of California, Berkeley, he completed a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in sociology. His main profession was labor market analysis, including positions with state and federal Departments of Employment. In the 1980s, he authored several occupational guides, published by Jist Publishing, and founded two job market research companies. He worked for SRI during the 1970s. His last professional position was as a planner for Ohlone College, where he was also president of its California School Employees Association (CSEA) local, leading them in a successful strike. After moving to Palo Alto in 1979, he joined the local chapter of the California Native Plant Society in the mid-1980s, quickly rising to leadership positions, including chapter presidency and chair positions for field trips, rare plants, invasive exotics and more. He was in the first class of docents at Edgewo...

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Marion Hideko Dumont
Jan. 9, 1930 - June 27, 2017
Menlo Park, California

Marion Hideko Dumont, died peacefully at home on June 27. At age 87, she had led a full life after her initial diagnosis of laryngeal cancer in 1993. Marion was born in Palo Alto to Hideo and Misao Kaneko on January 9, 1930. Along with her family, she was interned during World War II in Topaz, Utah. Upon return to the Bay Area, Marion graduated from Sequoia High School in Redwood City in 1947. She received a scholarship to train in physical therapy at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and worked at the Palo Alto Clinic upon return in 1951. She was briefly married to Kozo Nakabayashi and had one daughter, Kemi, in 1961. She spent the rest of her career working at Palo Alto Veterans Administration Medical Center and its Menlo Park division until her retirement in 1992. In 1978, Marion married longtime family friend Andre Dumont. Marion and Andre traveled extensively including to New Zealand and Australia, Asia and many trips to Europe. They also enjoyed entertaining dinner guests in their home in Menlo Park. Marion was an active volunteer as a member of the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple and the local American Cancer Society laryngectomee "Lost Chord" club. Ma...

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Frederick Willard Olson
Sept. 29, 1932 - June 12, 2017
Palo Alto, California

In Loving Memory Frederick W. Olson 9/29/32 - 6/12/17 Frederick W. Olson passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 12, 2017. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Dr. Frederick A. Olson and Geneva Lynn Olson on September 29, 1932. Fred is survived by his wife of 56 years, Nancy Olson; daughter, Mary “Mo” Olson (Christopher Friesen); brother, Francis “Gus” Olson (Jane); sisters, Sarah Turner (Jim) and Maryel Olson (David Brooks); and many much-loved nieces and nephews. He graduated from Fortuna High School (Humboldt County). He worked as a forest fire fighter the summers before and after his senior year. He then attended U.C. Berkeley as an engineering student. He left before graduating and joined the army where he was stationed in Germany. He used any time off to “see” Germany, Paris and London. When he left the army he returned to college as an Economics major. He was hired by IBM in San Francisco in 1957. Over the years, he served the company in many capacities working directly with his customers. He received many company awards and received many letters of gratitude from his customers. In 1958 he met Nancy when she was one of his customers and the...

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Most recent memorials

Joseph A. Gist, Jr.
Jan. 15, 1925 - Dec. 20, 2017 Palo Alto, California

Joseph Andrew Gist, Jr., former resident of San Jose and Palo Alto, passed away on Dec. 20, 2016. He was 91 years old. Joseph loved to tell the story of how he was born on a cold, windy January night in Garland, Wyoming, in 1925. His father was so excited that he forgot to drain the radiator in t...

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Janet M. Hermsen
Aug. 20, 1934 - July 2, 2017 Palo Alto, California

Janet Hermsen passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by family. Janet attended Beaumont Elementary and Grant High Schools in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Oregon State College in Business Education in 1956. She married Robert Hermsen in 1957, and they made their home in Palo Alto. A p...

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Anne Flegel
1943 - June 26, 2017 Atherton, California

Anne Hartwig Flegel, a former first-grade teacher at St. Joseph's School in Atherton, an active member of Peninsula Volunteers, and a longtime Atherton resident, died June 26 at age 74. Ms. Flegel suffered from dementia since 2011, and spent several years at the Sequoias Memory Center in Portola Va...

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Tom Ashton
May 21, 1939 - June 26, 2017 Palo Alto, California

Palo Alto resident Tom Ashton died at home on June 26 surrounded by his family after a long illness. He was born in Brockton, Massachusetts, and grew up and attended high school in Abington, Massachusetts, where he was senior class president and a football star during an undefeated season. He ear...

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