Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories
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Karen Gopen
March 31, 1946 - Dec. 2, 2023
Capitola, California

Karen Gopen, 77, of Capitola and a longtime resident of Palo Alto, passed away December 2, 2023 with family by her side. She was born to the late Jean Dunaway and William Rasmussen in 1946 in Watsonville, California. She graduated from Awalt High School in Mountain View and studied at Foothill College. She worked at Fairchild Semiconductor, where she met her future husband, Howard, and at Track & Field news, before devoting her time to raising her children. She and Howard got married in 1980 and lived in Palo Alto for 40 years before relocating to Capitola. A mother of three - Philip, Anna and Daniel - Karen was immensely proud of her children. She spent many years volunteering at schools, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, earning a leadership award from the latter. She enjoyed puzzles, games, camping, reading and the redwoods. Karen was a great cook and a wonderful hostess. She took great pride in her Halloween decorations and haunted houses. She is survived by her husband Howard Gopen, children Anna Gopen (Adam Seger) and Daniel Gopen, grandson Max, and siblings Wendy (Mike) Sides and Ken (Kim) Rasmussen. Karen was predeceased by her son Philip Rau....

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Doris Reiner
Jan. 25, 1925 - Nov. 21, 2023
San Jose, California

Doris Reiner, a woman of remarkable versatility and spirit, passed away at the age of 98 on November 21 in San Jose, CA. Born in 1925, in Philadelphia, Doris led a life that spanned continents and industries, leaving an indelible mark on each. Doris grew up in Philadelphia and later in Bayonne, NJ. She met her first husband while in high school. During summer vacations, she attended a program at NYU, mastering shorthand and typing, skills that would lead her to work as a legal, medical, and public relations secretary in over 100 different offices. Her professional journey took her to various institutions such as Oakland City Hall, Wall Street in NYC, Standard Oil in San Francisco, Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles, Cedar Sinai Hospital, Northrop Aerospace, and Walt Disney Studio. Doris's career path reflected her diverse interests. She also worked in London for Gwenda Crone and the Rolls Royce Company, and even had a stint as the social Hostess for Grossingers in the Catskills. Her passion for design led her to study interior design at the New School of Interior Design. Doris showcased her talent working for Breuners in Lafayette, CA, and Bullocks in Los Angeles. He...

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William Ernest Critzer
Aug. 11, 1934 - Nov. 15, 2023
Menlo Park, California

Bill passed away peacefully after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born August 11, 1934 to Ernest Critzer and Gertrude Bell Critzer. He is a graduate of the University of Miami (Florida) and served in the US Air Force from 1954 to 1958. He and his wife, Pat, and young son arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1960, and have lived in Cupertino, Los Altos, Portland, Oregon, Los Altos Hills and in Menlo Park since 1999. He worked as V.P. of Finance at Consolidated Freightways in Menlo Park and was President and CEO of Freightliner Corporation in Portland, Oregon, then CFO at the National Federation of Independent Business while it was located in San Mateo. Post retirement, in 1996, he became Director of Finance and Administration at Avenidas in Palo Alto. He was the founding President of the Menlo Park Library Foundation and was a continuing volunteer for the Foundation until 2014. He was a loving husband and father, devoted to his family and known for his sense of humor and generosity. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Patricia Critzer, and sons, Stephen Critzer and David Critzer....

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Lynn Porter
Oct. 12, 1944 - Nov. 13, 2023
Menlo Park, California

Lynn Porter, a longtime resident of Menlo Park, passed away November 13th from heart complications. From an early start volunteering at Stanford Hospital she continued working in the medical field, shifting from Stanford’s ER to paralegal work with a San Francisco law firm. In 1994 she changed course and became owner of Home & Garden & Kids too! on Santa Cruz Ave. Lynn enjoyed providing a personal touch for her customers, with many returning with their children and grandchildren.  Lynn enjoyed breakfast at Ann’s Coffee Shop, rooting for the 49ers, playing in her garden and being in the company of her friends. It was her family and friends who brought her love, laughter and support. She is survived by twin sisters Pat (Gary) Hedden and Joan (Peter) Carpenter and their families - Hilary Hedden (Claudio Martonffy), David (Laura) Hedden, Jill (Brian) Davidson and grand nephews and nieces James, Stella, Luca and Sierra Rose. In memory of Lynn, donations may be made to a charity of your choice....

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Dorothy West Beachler
Feb. 28, 1921 - Nov. 13, 2023
Portola Valley, California

Dorothy West Beachler passed away at her daughters home in Portola Valley, CA on November 13th. She was 102 years old. Dorothy was born in Palmyra New York and was the oldest child of James and Cecile West. She was the first woman in her family to attend college and received her Bachelor's Degree from Miami University of Ohio. She got her pilot's license in her early twenties and was a member of the famous 99’s group that helped the government ferry planes in the US during the second World War. She also worked for the weather bureau preparing forecasts for the pilots in the Akron, Ohio area. She met her husband, Bob Beachler, while at college and they moved to Southern California in the late 1940s where they had an aerial photography business taking shots of the Los Angeles Basin and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. With the birth of their daughter, Megan, Dorothy turned her focus toward raising her child. Through Megan’s interest in 4-H Clubs, she volunteered as a 4-H leader, including helping start a new club, assisting at the local fair, and supporting and encouraging other 4-H kids that affectionately called her “Mrs B”. She would constantly tell them it was imp...

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Richard Charles Ittner
Oct. 17, 1935 - Nov. 7, 2023
Menlo Park, California

A lifelong resident of Menlo Park, Richard Charles Ittner passed away peacefully in the early morning of November 7 with his beloved caretakers at his side. He was 88 years old and in cognitive decline. Richard is survived by his daughter Wanda Finch of Casper, Wyoming, two nephews, Peter (El Granada) and David (Hawaii) and his cousin JoAnn Shain of San Francisco. His parents, Al and Svea, bought a home in the Stanford Park neighborhood in the early 1930’s when the area was “mostly orchards.” Richard and his older brother Don shared a small bedroom in a small house but loved to spend their days “exploring” and watching the community grow. After high school graduation, Richard spent several years in the U.S. Navy. He then landed a job with the U.S. Geological Survey, learning how to survey and map remote areas. He loved being outdoors and worked in several Nevada locations as well as Palau in Micronesia. Richard loved cars, especially his 1964 Ford Mustang, as well as woodworking. He also built a sailboat in his backyard which he berthed in Redwood City for several years. Richard was unfailingly gentle and kind, beloved by many friends....

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Eleanor Rose Eisner
May 12, 1937 - Oct. 26, 2023
Palo Alto, California

Eleanor Rose Eisner (“Ellie”) died peacefully in her apartment at the Vi of Palo Alto at age 86 on October 26th, 2023, after a long illness. She was surrounded by her children in her last hours. Ellie was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 12th, 1937 to Isidore “Izzy” Rose and Iva Sachs. Ellie attended South Shore High School and was active in her synagogue youth group, serving as President of her chapter. She met the love of her life, Elliot Eisner, at a Jewish Federation summer camp and the two were married on January 6th, 1957. She and Elliot, along with their two young children, relocated to Palo Alto from Chicago in 1965, when Elliot accepted an offer of an Assistant Professorship at Stanford University. In 1968, they moved into a beautiful house on the Stanford campus which Ellie and Elliot had helped design. Ellie remained in her beloved house until 2014, then moving into the Vi after Elliot’s death the preceding year. Ellie was a caretaker at heart, whether it be family, friends or those less fortunate. She served as President of the the Palo Alto Unified School District Human Relations Committee and President of the Lucille M. Nixon Elementary School PTA...

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Alfred M. Dau
March 16, 1929 - July 23, 2023
Atherton, California

Alfred M. Dau passed away peacefully at his home in Atherton on July 23, 2023, surrounded by friends and family. He was born on March 16, 1929 to Alfred Jensen Dau and Beatrice Schmitt Dau in Petoskey, Michigan. He attended Petoskey High School and then went on to graduate from the University of Michigan in 1950. He served 4 years in the United States Air Force, as a navigator and First Lieutenant where he was awarded three Air Medals and a Distinguished Flying Cross for missions over Korea. He finished his service while stationed at Mather Air Force base in Sacramento, and then moved to Redwood City and later built their home in Atherton in 1960. He began a long career as a stockbroker working in San Francisco with Hooker & Fay, and after many mergers and company name changes, retired at Shearson Lehman. He was a long time member of Sharon Heights Country Club in Menlo Park and the Fellowship Forum of Palo Alto. He is preceded in death by his wife Lee Ann of 68 years and is survived by his children, Susan Dau of Santa Barbara, Sally Carmichael of Atherton, John Dau of Los Angeles, Paul Dau of Redwood City, seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Per his reques...

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Most recent memorials

Ron Tinseth
July 7, 1958 - Nov. 24, 2023 Redwood City, CA

Ron was born in Sacramento, CA where he attended Crocker, Cal, and McClatchy schools. After high school Ron entered the Marine Corp. He served the bulk of his military service at Subic Bay, Philippines achieving the meritorious distinctions of Mortarman and Rifle Sharpshooter. Ron was very ...

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Lucy L. Lunt
Oct. 25, 2008 - Nov. 18, 2023 Menlo Park, CA

Lucy was an aspiring writer, amazing student, and even better friend. She lifted everyone around her with her positivity and humor. Lucy Louise Lunt, 15, of Menlo Park, CA, passed away at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital on Saturday, November 18, 2023, of complications relating to her neuromuscu...

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Frances K. Dias
June 15, 1923 - Nov. 9, 2023 Santa Rosa, California

Frances K. Dias passed away peacefully in Santa Rosa, California on November 9, 2023; she was 100 years old. Frances was born to Frank and Rosalie Kracha in Two Rivers, WI on June 15, 1923. She leaves behind three daughters Marianne Dias, Therese Tierney, and Perri Kimono, three grandchildren and...

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Maria T. Allo
Sept. 11, 1946 - Nov. 9, 2023 Los Altos, California

She was class valedictorian of Barringer High School in Newark, New Jersey. Maria went on to graduate with honors from Smith College. She pursued a Master’s Degree in zoology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, followed by studies at the Woman’s Medical College of Philadelphia and the Univ...

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