Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories
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Patricia Birkel
Sept. 16, 1931 - Nov. 28, 2020
San Diego, California

Patricia (“Pat”) Birkel passed away on November 28th with her five children surrounding her with love: Julie Birkel, Linda Birkel, Laurie Birkel McCaskill, Pam Birkel and Doug Birkel. All her grandchildren were also grateful and blessed to have spent special time with her during the last few weeks of her life: Jack McCaskill, Sam McCaskill, AJ Chaikovsky, JJ Chaikovsky, Bruce Birkel, and Eloise Birkel. She was an amazing and loved mother-in-law to Tim Chaikovsky, Bryan McCaskill, John Borowczak, and Nikia Clarke. Pat’s home was full of love, and music and joy in the end as it was throughout her life. Pat was born on September 16, 1931 in Portland, grew up there and in Molalla, Oregon, attended Oregon State University, and then made Palo Alto her home after she transferred to Stanford University. She met the love of her life there, William (“Bill”) Birkel, who died in 1997. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree and then a Masters in Education at Stanford. After a stint teaching high school Speech and Debate, Pat poured her love, intellect, joy of learning, integrity, grace, and wonderful laughter into raising her children, while contributing in numerous ways to th...

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Elizabeth Susan Neumann
Feb. 28, 1940 - Nov. 23, 2020
Palo Alto, California

Elizabeth Susan Neumann, nee Susan Dal Juvet, slipped away peacefully on November 23, 2020. She is survived by her husband Peter G. Neumann, son Mark B. Luntzel, and stepdaughter Helen K. Neumann. She was predeceased by her son Timothy B. Luntzel in 2017. She was private in life, and remains private in death -- per her request. She will be deeply missed by many. Liz played tuba for many years in the Peninsula Symphonic Band, the Foothill Symphonic Winds, the Los Altos Olde Towne Band, and her own Shasta Brass Quintet. She leaves an extensive collection of her photographs....

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Joel Norman Rossen
June 22, 1927 - Nov. 19, 2020
Palo Alto, California

Joel Norman (“Norm”) Rossen, 93, of Palo Alto, CA, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on November 19, 2020 at his residence, after a long illness. Norm was born in Detroit, MI, on June 22, 1927, the son of Louis and Bessie Rossen. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Weeks Rossen, his sons, Jonathan and David (Joyce), and his daughter, Rebecca (Chris). He is also survived by his five grandchildren, Shaina, Audrey, Aaron and Ethan Davis and Sarah Rossen. He was predeceased by his first wife, Barbara C. Rossen, in 2000. After graduating from George Washington High School in Alexandria, VA at the age of sixteen, Norm attended Georgetown University, where he discovered that he didn’t want to be a dentist after all. After a short stint in the Navy, he returned to college and received chemical engineering degrees from M.I.T. (B.S., 1947, M.S., 1948). While at M.I.T., Norm met a young Lasell Junior College student named Barbara (“Bunny”) Cohan, eventually convincing her to marry him and move to Virginia, where he would begin his first job at the Atlantic Research Corp. When Norm traveled to San Francisco on business, he was enthralled by the beauty of the B...

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Jerry Tinklenberg
Nov. 25, 1939 - Nov. 18, 2020
Palo Alto, California

On Wednesday November 18, 2020 Jared (Jerry) Tinklenberg, M.D. passed away at age 80 with his wife and daughters by his side. Jerry was born on November 25, 1939 in South Dakota. His father was a chaplain in the US Navy, serving in World War II. Jerry was a football and track star in high school and after graduation he volunteered for six month active duty training in the US Army and then eight years in the Reserves. He received his Bachelors and Medical Degree from the University of Iowa. In 1964 he married Mae Van der Weerd and they moved to New Haven for his internship at Yale. In 1966, Karla was born and they moved to California for Jerry’s psychiatry residency at Stanford. In 1968, Julie was born and they bought a home in Palo Alto in which they resided for the rest of his life. Jerry then joined the Stanford Faculty, where he focused on psychopharmacology research. In 1974, he was selected to serve on the White House Drug Abuse Council, so the family moved to Washington D.C. for a year. Jerry then expanded his research at the VA Alzheimer’s Center and he received tenure in 1977. In honor of his long-time work at Stanford, in 2017 his daughters endowed the Jar...

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Barbara Jean Roberts
Aug. 24, 1924 - Nov. 13, 2020
Palo Alto, California

Barbara Jean Kirn Roberts passed in her sleep on 11/13/20 after 96 vibrant, full and meaningful years. She was the third of four children born to Ida Hagen and Gerald Kirn of Council Bluffs, Iowa. After earning her BA in English and Early Childhood Education at St. Olaf College, she made her way west and became a California Girl, living in Palo Alto all her married life. She was a dedicated wife, a loving mother to six, a beloved aunt to many and a trusted friend to countless people around the world. Barbara was full of cheerful, passionate energy. She and her husband, Dr. Lester A. Roberts, built a marriage of love, respect and adventure that lasted 64 years until his death in 2013. They especially enjoyed traveling, backpacking in the Sierras, and attending concerts and the theater. While managing a large household, Barbara tirelessly contributed to her community. She was an active member of many groups, including AFS, Mid-Peninsula Symphony League, Stanford University Women's Club, JustREAD, PEO, Samaritan Counseling Center and Grace Lutheran Church. She served as president for many of these. She volunteered hundreds of hours tutoring at-risk children and working with f...

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Walter Eric Jaye
Oct. 21, 1925 - Nov. 9, 2020
Menlo Park, California

Walter E. Jaye - formerly Walter Jakubowski – passed away November 9 at his home in Menlo Park. He was born in Berlin, Germany in 1925 and was a Holocaust survivor. He became a French citizen and was a decorated veteran, being awarded the Legion d’Honneur in 2015 for military service in WW II. He came to the United States on a student fellowship and earned his BS in Electrical Engineering with Honors in 1951 from the University of Rhode Island and his MS in EE from Stanford University in 1952. He was naturalized as a US citizen in 1959. As a teenager he escaped a French internment camp and was sheltered from the Nazis in the French village of Le Chambon sur Lignon, a community made famous by the willingness of the local population to risk their own lives to shelter Jews and other refugees. Both of his parents were deported from France and died at Auschwitz. He ultimately escaped occupied France with the help of the French resistance and went on to serve in the Second Armored Division of the Free French Army, the famous Dèuxime “DB” that liberated Paris and Strasbourg. He was proud of his long work at SRI International although he could only share details of his w...

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Ronald P. Reis
Feb. 11, 1947 - Oct. 31, 2020
Menlo Park, CA

If the true measure of a life well lived is achieving heartfelt happiness, then Ronald P. Reis, known to all as Ron, was a master of living well. The longtime Menlo Park resident welcomed all with smiles of enthusiasm and often a joke or two. He was friends with many, most of whom shared his passion for family life, golf, tennis, card games, magic tricks and a good laugh. On Saturday, Oct. 31, Ron’s joyous life came to an end as he lost his long battle with lymphoma at UCSF Medical Center. His loving wife Barbara and their family were at his bedside. The music of Carole King and James Taylor, his favorites, was playing softly. Ron Reis was a native San Franciscan who was raised on the Peninsula. His parents were Bob and Kato Mendelssohn Reis. Kato was a classical pianist and music teacher who taught piano to Ron and his brothers. Bob Reis was the founder of DataSafe, a South San Francisco-based records management company where Ron served as executive vice president during his second professional career. Ron and his brother, Tom Reis, co-owned and managed the company. Ron graduated from Woodside High School, where he was senior class president in 1964, and received ...

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Philip R. Lee
April 17, 1924 - Oct. 27, 2020
Manhattan, New York

Dr. Philip R. Lee was a dynamic and trail-blazing leader during challenging times. He showed leadership as a practicing physician, advocate, teacher, mentor, researcher, policymaker, adviser, and academic administrator. He had an unswerving commitment to the needs of the disadvantaged, including the elderly, the disabled, and those without access to care. At the same time, he was able to encourage even-handed and respectful policy debate among parties with divergent views that facilitated and led to innovative, effective and enduring solutions. Dr. Lee’s career was devoted to improving health care and public health for all people, and he did this by helping to shape policy at the local, state, federal and international levels. Born in San Francisco in 1924, Dr. Lee later moved with his parents, three brothers and sister to the Portola Valley area, not far from the group practice founded by his father. As a member of the US Naval Reserve, he was on active duty as a physician from 1943-46 and again from 1949-51 during the Inchon invasion in Korea. Dr. Lee completed his undergraduate and medical training at Stanford followed by fellowships at New York University and the Mayo Cli...

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Most recent memorials

Michael S. Weersing
Feb. 23, 1965 - Nov. 12, 2020 Mount Lyford, North Canterbury, New Zealand

Mike passed away at his Mt. Lyford home in New Zealand, close to the soils and landscape he so loved. Mike attended Portola Valley schools, Woodside High School, and Stanford University. He worked for winemakers in Europe and Australia, then followed his passion to New Zealand with his partner Cl...

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Norman J. Blears
Jan. 19, 1955 - Nov. 7, 2020 Atherton, California

Norman Jeffrey Blears passed away peacefully on November 7, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his loving wife and family. Norm lived and truly enjoyed a full life with family, close friends and colleagues, and encouraged others to do the same. Norm was born in James...

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Wilma Murray
April 19, 1956 - Nov. 4, 2020 Stockton, California

Wilma Murray, 64, peacefully passed away with her loving family at her side on November 4th, 2020. She was born to Ida and Willem Terluin in The Hague, Netherlands. She was raised in Palo Alto, CA and graduated from Palo Alto High School where she excelled in multiple sports and was named Female Ath...

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Mary K. Randolph
Nov. 6, 1930 - Nov. 4, 2020 Palo Alto, California

Mary was born in Santa Barbara, California. She graduated from Santa Barbara High in 1948 and from the University of Oregon in 1952. She met her future husband, Tom Randolph, in 9th grade. They began dating during their college years - Tom attended Stanford. Mary and Tom were married two weeks a...

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