Obituaries | September 6, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - September 6, 2019


Paul Roy Sibcy

Paul Roy Sibcy died Aug. 7. He was born in Hamilton, Ohio. He was the youngest of five children born to MaryLou and Wallace Sibcy, who owned a 160-acre dairy farm. He served in the military on the East West German border during the Cold War period, then returned to his home town, where he married his first wife and began a factory job. It didn't take him long to realize that factory work was not his calling, so he went to Miami University at age 25 and got a master's degree in English literature.

He moved to California in 1972 and got his first job as an English college professor. This also did not prove to be his calling. At age 33, he had a spiritual awakening in the mountains of Utah, where he realized that he needed to devote his life to spirit, and that is exactly what he did.

His path became clearer when he met Fritz Smith and Aminah Raheem, the founder of Soul Lightening International, and began studying process acupressure. He also met his guru, Sathya Sai Baba, to whom he made many spritual pilgrimages, and who remained embedded in his heart always.

Other great spiritual influences for him were Swami Muktananda, Paramahansa Yogananda, Roy Eugene Davis and Ramana Maharshi.

In 1990, He co-founded Integrated Healing Arts (IHA) with Dr. Larry Freeman in Palo Alto. This center remains a thriving alternative health center. At the same time, he founded Pathways to Self Healing. Pathways was the spiritual arm of IHA. Pathways originally followed the lineage of Paramahana Yogananda, but then became more inclusive over the years to embrace teachings from all spiritual traditions and not adhere to any one path.

He taught meditation classes for 40 years. He was the heirophant, the spiritual teacher, embodied. He channeled this energy and was gifted as a spiritual teacher.

He was also a very gifted writer and had one book published during his lifetime, "Healing Your Rift With God," but had been working on many books during the last 20 years, which his family plans to publish posthumously for him.

Another great gift he had was his voice. A shy man by nature, he would not easily display this gift to others, but when he did people were amazed by the exquisite beauty of his voice, his family recalls.

Paul is survived by his son, Abraham Sibcy; his wife, Deborah Olenev-Sibcy; his stepchildren, Andrei Olenev and Nastassia Olenev-Mulleady; his two grandchildren; and his stepdaughter Stacia Retchless and her children. Paul has a large family in Ohio, including his sister, Linda Zehler; his double first cousin Carolyn Hacker; and many nieces, nephews, and their children and grandchildren. He's also survived by his cousin Alfred Sibcy and his friend Michael Smith, as well as numerous clients and friends for whom he cared very deeply.

A memorial service will be held at Unity Palo Alto located at 3391 Middlefield Road on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 10:30 a.m. There will be a catered lunch. RSVP to Memorial donations may be made to Finca International ( or Heifer International (

John Harbaugh

John W. Harbaugh, a longtime resident of Stanford, died on July 28 in Santa Barbara where he resided in an assisted living facility. He was professor emeritus of geological and environmental sciences at Stanford University since 1999. He started his academic career at Stanford in 1955 and served as department chair in the late 1960s. He taught in several departments within the school of earth sciences. A significant portion of his career was dedicated to the development of applied computational methods in geology.

The eldest of five children, he was born Aug. 6, 1926, in Madison, Wisconsin. His father, an economic geologist, and his mother, originally trained as a landscape architect, created a nurturing environment for their family. He attributed much of their influences in encouraging him to explore both the imaginative and natural worlds while living in small midwestern towns in northeastern Oklahoma in early childhood, and later during adolescence, in Hudson, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.

He graduated from high school in 1944, at the top of his class, and then enlisted in the V-12 Navy College Training Program as WWII was winding down. After a year at Denison University in Ohio, He transferred to the University of Kansas where he completed his undergraduate degree in geology in 1948. In 1950, he received his master's degree from Kansas, as well, and he maintained a close relationship with the university for many years. Afterward, he spent the next five years traveling extensively in the midwest and Rocky Mountain area while working for the United States Geological Survey and the Carter Oil Company. During this time he was introduced to Josephine Taylor, a resident of a small town in northeastern Oklahoma, near where he had grown up. After courting for several years and following her receipt of an undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma, they married in 1951.

In 1955, he completed his PhD at the University of Wisconsin in geology and was offered a faculty position at Stanford University. He moved his young family to a home on the Stanford campus, where he was to remain for some 62 years.

He was instrumental in the creation of the Geomathematics program at Stanford. He went on to become a founding member of the International Association of Mathematical Geology and received the association's Krumbein Medal in 1986. He mentored over 40 master and PhD students and wrote over a dozen textbooks. He acted as Stanford's NCAA faculty athletic representative for 12 years, starting in 1969 and interfaced with many luminaries in the then PAC-8 conference. His tenure was during an exciting epoch in college athletics when rapid changes were occurring, such as the Title IX amendment, which paved the way for greater gender equity in college sports.

In addition, among several joint efforts in academia, he pursued collaborative studies with archaeologists using geology to assist in interpreting archaeological excavations, as well as with botanists, in attempts to address how the distribution of plants reflects the geochemistry of underlying rocks. He testified before a congressional subcommittee in Washington, D.C., about the wisdom of storing radioactive wastes underground, where he emphasized due caution.

After retirement, he spent much of his time traveling, building wood furniture and cultivated his Tudor style home, which is listed among the historic homes of the Stanford campus. He developed far-reaching friends throughout the world and shaped the lives of many with whom he interacted.

John's first wife, Josephine, died in 1985. He is survived by his wife, Audrey Wegst — a health physicist whom he met while traveling in the fjords of Chile — of Fairview, Kansas; his son Robert (Kathy) of Santa Barbara; his son, Dwight (Elizabeth Miller) of Palo Alto; his son, Richard of Redwood City; his sisters, Marjorie Bennett and Sylvia Rountree; his brother, Phillip Harbaugh; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Stanford Memorial Church, Thursday, Nov. 14 at 2:30 p.m.

His family would like to thank Heritage House Assisted Living, Santa Barbara for their exemplary care and professionalism as well as Assisted Hospice for their dedication and service. Remembrances can be made to environmental nonprofit organizations (e.g. Peninsula Open Space Trust) or to educational institutions (e.g. Stanford, University of Kansas or University of Wisconsin general education fund).


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