Deaths | November 30, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - November 30, 2012


Thomas E. Holland

After a year-and-a-half battle with brain cancer, Thomas Holland died in Zarautz, Spain, on Nov. 9. He was 57.

Born in Palo Alto, Calif., to Sally Bubb Holland and Harry A. Holland, Jr., he grew up in Portola Valley, attended Portola Valley elementary schools, Woodside High School, Ca–ada Junior College and the University of Texas at Austin some 20 years later (bachelor's degree in English, 1995; Secondary English Teaching Credential, 1996). In 2002, he earned a master's degree in educational linguistics from Stanford University. He loved to boast that he was the "oldest and thickest" student in his university classes.

He spent more than 20 years in the hospitality industry as a restaurant server and manager, the last eight in fine dining with the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons chains.

He then spent nearly 20 years in the classroom as a teacher at various high schools in Texas, Massachusetts and Spain, before ending at the Centro de Linguas, University of A Coru–a in Galicia, Spain.

He is survived by his brothers and their spouses — Harry, John and Charlotte, Bob and Kelly — as well as by aunts, cousins and extended families in Brazil, France and Spain. He married Mar'a Eizaguirre Altuna in January 1995, accruing more than 20 years together since they met in 1991. As the last of 10 siblings, Mar'a and her close-knit family provided 20 nieces and nephews and, so far, six of the grand generation.

Joan Marie Vellequette

Joan Marie Vellequette, a resident of Los Altos, Calif., for 51 years, died Nov. 13.

She is survived by her husband, Murlin Vellequette; her sister, Margaret Bouthillier (and husband Conrad); her brother-in-law, Roger Vellequette; her sister-in-law, Bernadette Hall; and her eight children: Joseph Vellequette (and wife Suzy), John Vellequette, David Vellequette (and wife Mary), Mayr Singleton (and husband D.J.), Ann Frates, Mark Vellequette (and wife Mary Beth), Michael Vellequette (and wife Kim), and James Vellequette. She had 21 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Born in Chicopee, Mass., her family later moved to Michigan where she attended the University of Detroit as a chemistry major graduating in 1951. She dated Murlin Vellequette in college and they married in 1952.

Over the next nine years, they lived in Huntsville, Detroit, Fort Wayne, Cincinnati, and then moved to California in 1960 when Murlin accepted a position with Fairchild Semiconductor. In Los Altos, they bought one of the first homes in the Highlands area, where they made many close friends. Recently, with family and some long-time friends, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Early on she worked as a chemist for Ethyl Corp. and then devoted herself to raising eight children. She returned to college and obtained a master's degree in counseling psychology from Santa Clara University in 1977. She also volunteered for many years with the St. Simon Catholic Parish ministries, the El Camino Hospital Auxiliary and St. Francis High School. Later on she enjoyed being the office manager and psychological testing coordinator for the Behaviordyne Psychological Corp. in Palo Alto, and she also acted as the bookkeeper for the family business.

Her personal interests varied from celebrating and quietly helping her family, to frequent travels, to reading. Her travels included India, Europe, China, Australia and many trips with family to destinations all over the U.S.


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