Deaths | June 21, 2006 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - June 21, 2006


Frank W. Charles

Frank W. Charles, 79, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, died at his home on May 4.

He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Upon graduating from high school, he worked as a police officer with the Vancouver City Police.

In 1960 he moved to Palo Alto, where he did house painting and bartended at Ethan’s, formerly known as The Island. He enjoyed gardening and woodworking, proving himself to be a jack-of-all-trades. He also loved watching his grandson, Tony Hockings, play football. He could often be seen riding his bike on El Camino and was described by family as "a lovable, real California nut."

He is survived by three children, Lynn Sater of Abbotsford, British Columbia; Nick Charles of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia; and Billie Boyd of Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition, he is survived by eight grandchildren. Family will celebrate his life with a picnic on the shores of English Bay, where he was a lifeguard growing up.

Stanley Thomas Dixon

Stanley Thomas Dixon, 87, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, died on June 12.

He was born on January 25, 1919 in San Francisco. During his 49 years in Palo Alto, he was an associate engineer at SRI International. He was a member of the SRI Alumni Association.

In WWII he served as a chief radioman in the U.S. Navy.

He is survived by his wife, Jo Ann Dixon; his sister, Dolores Semereau; his children Joelle Nunes, Stephen Dixon, Donna Bellucci, Lisa Dixon; and his stepchildren, Beth Jones and Boyd Arnold II. He is also survived by his five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Private funeral services has been arranged.

Helen Carter King

Helen Carter King, 98, a resident of Los Altos, died on June 14.

She was the winner of nearly 100 poetry prizes, including the Ina Colbrith Award and the First Prize in 1972 from the New York Forum. The classical sonnet was her specialty, for which she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Warsaw. She was a member of the National League of American Penwomen, the Chaparral Society, the World Poetry Society and the California State Poetry Society. She was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Ina Colbirth Society. She also devoted her time to helping many younger poets and struggling publications. Her lighter verse was seen often in the Los Altos Town Crier.

Born in New York City on April 3, 1908, she spent most of her youth in Washington, D.C. At 19, she was the youngest member ever admitted to the prestigious Washington Arts Club. She was already a published poet, a violinist and a budding actress as well. In 1942, she had a poem published in the Saturday Review.

In 1932, she married Phillip B. King, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey. A city girl, she began a peripatetic existence as he did research in West Texas and various locations in the Southern Appalachians. She was active in the Parent Teacher Association and helped set up a school lunch program and a textbook-distribution program in the elementary school in Gatlinburg, Tenn., where her husband was stationed for eight years.

The couple settled in Los Altos in 1955 when her husband came to work at the U.S. Geological Survey office in Menlo Park.

She became active again as a poet. Most of her awards were earned after she was 60 years old. She also taught small classes in art and poetry and volunteered at the Los Altos Library. Denied a college education in her youth, she enabled several young people to achieve degrees. She was widowed in 1987.

She is survived by her daughter, Gertrude “Myrrh” Reagan of Palo Alto; and two grandsons, Jeffrey Reagan and Russell Reagan. Memorial gifts can be made to the Truck of Love, P.O. Box 269, Los Altos, CA 94023.

Richard Keith Petty

Dr. Richard Keith Petty, 55, a native of Palo Alto and a resident of Hayward, died at his family home on June 16 from mantle-cell lymphoma.

He and his wife Christine moved to Hayward in 1981 to begin his medical career as a family-practice physician, which grew into an extensive practice. A doctor for more than 28 years, he served as the chief of staff at Eden Hospital and as the president of the Eden medical staff.

A graduate of Palo Alto High School, Stanford University and Northwestern Medical School, he was also an active member in the Hayward First Ward, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There he served in many capacities, including Sunday-school teacher, counselor in the bishopric and member of the High Council. He was a gifted singer, speaker and writer, and as such was often called upon to share his talents with others, relatives said.

He is survived by his wife of more than 33 years, Christine (née Sessions) of Hayward; four children, Jeremy Petty of Sherman Oaks, Emma Addams of Manhattan, N.Y., Alice Petty of Palo Alto, Samuel Petty of Berkeley; two sisters, Kaye Paugh of Palo Alto and Jane Taylor of Los Altos; and a brother, Scott Petty of Salt Lake City, Utah.

He is remembered by loved ones as a devoted and loving grandfather to his two grandsons and a beloved son-in-law of Dr. and Mrs. Sterling Sessions.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, June 20 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hayward. Memorial donations may be made either to Stanford University for Lymphoma Clinical Research at 326 Galvez Street, Stanford, CA 94305-6105 attn: Gift Processing or to the Perpetual Education Fund c/o The Church of Latter-day Saints at 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84105.

Barbara Jean Smith

Barbara Jean Smith, 51, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, died May 30.

She was born in 1954 in Santa Cruz and graduated from Cubberley High School.

Relatives recall her as a caring and loving wife, mother and grandmother who loved to cook, sew and take care of others and always remembered birthdays and anniversaries. With her artistic flare, she enjoyed arranging floral decorations, crafting blankets and making Halloween costumes for her family.

She also devoted time to her community, volunteering at her children's school and spending hours planning events and parties.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Carole Robertson.

She is survived by her husband of 27 years, Kevin Smith of Palo Alto; her children, Justin Smith of Pacific Grove, Melinda Smith of Modesto, and Collin Smith of Palo Alto; her father, William Lipp of Palo Alto; her stepmother, Soon Lipp of Palo Alto; her stepfather, Earl Robertson of Clearlake; her brother, Bill Lipp of Discovery Bay; her sisters, Leanne King of Castro Valley and Julie Kohls of Rio Vista; and a grandson, Trevor.

A memorial service was held at Valley Presbyterian Church in Portola Valley. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Barbara Jean Smith Memorial Fund set up for her son, Collin, at Washington Mutual Bank, Palo Alto, acct. #3110645378.

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The Palo Alto Weekly's Transitions page is devoted to births, weddings, anniversaries and deaths of local residents.

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The Weekly reserves the right to edit for space and format considerations. These notices are published on Wednesdays as space is available.


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