Deaths | July 12, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - July 12, 2013


Donald Frank Koijane

Donald Frank Koijane, 82, died on Wednesday, June 12, at Tahoe Forest Hospital Extended Care Center in Truckee, Calif. He was a previous Palo Alto resident.

Don was born Feb. 14, 1931, in Chicago, Ill., to Edward Ignatius and Lillian (Lill) Koijane. He had one brother, Edward Vernon Koijane (1926-1977). He married Minna Alicia Grace Burrell in Darien, Conn., on March 8, 1958. They were married for 39 years until her death in 1997.

He grew up in Riverside, a suburb of Chicago, in a brick home his father built.

After he graduated from Riverside Brookfield Township High School, he attended Purdue University where he received his Bachelor's in electrical engineering in 1949 and was a member of the Beta Sigma Psi fraternity. He participated in the R.O.T.C. program and then served in the United States Air Force for several years. In 1965, he earned his MBA from New York University.

After working as director of marketing with Fairchild Semiconductor, he struck out on his own in a variety of enterprises involving the emerging technology of Silicon Valley including GPS, satellite antennas and computer chip technology.

His primary interest was the history of technology and electronics. He worked for many years contributing to the Foothill College Electronics Museum and served as president of the Perham Foundation. He created several displays including a large traveling exhibit on the history of the vacuum tube and spent time learning about early radios, televisions and other technology.

He enjoyed reading, especially a good book on technology, world history, or military as well as biographies. Airplanes, golf, swimming, family history, painting with water colors and visiting museums were some of his interests. He discovered a love for the great outdoors, camping, whitewater rafting and kayak building while serving as a leader in the Boy Scouts with his son Andrew as a scout.

He met Alicia on St. Patrick's Day and they watched the parade from her office window in the Fifth Avenue RCA building in New York City. They bought their first home in Huntington in Long Island, N.Y., where their first child, Jeannette, was born. After moving to Oyster Bay, their second child, Andrew, was born. They moved to Palo Alto, Calif. in 1967 where their third child, Margaret, was born.

He is survived by his three children, Jeannette Koijane (Markus Faigle) of Honolulu, Hawaii; Andrew (Renee) Koijane of Homewood, Calif. and Margaret (Michael) Nehorai of San Jose, Calif.; and six grandchildren: Mitchell, Matthew, Michelle, and Morgan Nehorai and Bergen and Anders Koijane.

A public memorial will be held in his honor on August 10 at 11 a.m. at the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 5700 Comanche Drive, San Jose, California, 95123. The burial will take place at Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto.