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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Deaths Deaths (May 09, 2001)

Loretta J. Baggenstos

Loretta J. Baggenstos, a longtime resident of Menlo Park, died April 23. She was 91.

She was born in San Francisco on January 18, 1910.

She retired from the Santa Clara County Juvenile Probation Department where she worked as an accounting supervisor.

She is survived by her sister Catherine Scott, two nieces, two nephews, three great-nephews and one great-niece. Services have been held.
Kurt Lavalle Johnson

Kurt Lavalle Johnson, a longtime Palo Alto teacher, died April 12. He was 54.

Born on February 4, 1947, he grew up in Southern California near Chatsworth. After earning his bachelor's degree in English literature from Pomona College, he chose a career in secondary education. He obtained his master's degree and teaching credential from Stanford University in 1969.

Over the course of 32 years at Palo Alto High School, he taught English and social studies and, inspired by his commitment to supporting students with different learning needs, spearheaded several alternative learning programs.

His love for nature drew him to Mendocino County in 1989. He and his wife first lived on Pine Mountain, where he nurtured 80 fruit trees, 50 rose bushes, a large berry patch and a small vineyard. In March 2000, he and his wife, along with four trailer loads of trees and other plants, moved to Mendocino. In order to continue to teach in Palo Alto, he commuted every week with his wife to the Peninsula, where he maintained a boat at Pete's Harbor.

He is survived by his wife, Diana Chambers Johnson of Mendocino; his mother and stepfather, Ingrid and Lowell Thompson; his father and stepmother, Ray and Dorothy Johnson, all from southern California; and stepson Christopher Chambers-Ju, of Massachusetts.

Memorial donations may be made to the Sempervirens Fund 2483 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View, 94040 or any wilderness conservation organization.

A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 East Charleston Road, at 4 p.m. on May 22.
Jack McCullough

Jack McCullough, a Bay Area native and member of the Varian Associates board of directors, died April 28 after a short period of deteriorating health. He was 93.

A co-founder of Eitel-McCullough, Inc. in 1934, he manufactured radio and microwave tubes. By 1945 he met military needs by shipping 3,500 vacuum tubes per day. After the war, he refocused the company to become the worldwide leader in the broadcast tube industry. In 1965, the company merged with Palo Alto's Varian Associates, and he served on the board from 1965 to 1974.

He is survived by his wife, Martha Helen McCullough; a son, Jack Jr.; a daughter, Joan Jordan; and six grandchildren.
Harvey Richards

Harvey Richards, a resident of Menlo Park, died April 20. He was 88.

A native of Oregon, he began work as a merchant seaman, taking his first ship across the Pacific to China in 1930, as a member of the National Maritime Union. He then worked with the WPA in Boston, and under the Worker's Alliance he organized a series of labor union jobs in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

After moving to the West Coast, he worked as a ship painter, machinist's apprentice, journeyman machinist and shop steward for Bethlehem Steel Corp. He worked throughout World War II installing gun turrets, diesel engines and propellers on Liberty ships and other ships of war.

He began his career as a photographer in 1955, making his first documentary in 1958. A one-man production company, he made 22 documentaries in 20 years, giving his films to such movement organizations as the United Farm Workers, the Sierra Club, the Packinghouse Workers Union, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and Women for Peace. His films and photography are available through Estuary Press, PO Box 577, Oakland, 94604.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Alice Schott Richards of Menlo Park; his two sons, Steffen Richards and Paul Richards; stepson David Meigs; and four grandchildren. Services will be held May 26 at 2 p.m. at the Friends Meeting House in Palo Alto. The family requests contributions in his name to the Nature Conservancy.
Mary Frances Scroggs

Mary Frances Scroggs, a 41-year resident of Stanford, died at home on April 19 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. She was 87.

A native of Yakima, Wash., she majored in French and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Washington. She earned an elementary teaching credential from Western Washington College of Education and worked as an elementary school teacher in Seattle both before and after World War II, as a substitute teacher in Palo Alto in the 1960s, and later as an instructor for severely hearing-impaired children in the pioneering computer-assisted learning program at the Jackson Hearing Center.

She was married to Joseph C. Scroggs in 1938. During World War II, she moved five times, following her husband's assignments, returning to Seattle in 1946. From 1953 to 1955 she lived in Manila, Philippines. In 1955 she settled in Mountain View where Joseph became Stanford University's personnel director.

In 1959, they moved to Stanford's Pine Hill residential subdivision. She was a member of the Stanford Faculty Women's Club, and an active participant in Los Casados Ballroom Dance Club and in Stanford's Bechtel International Student Center's English-in-Action and Homestay programs.

With her husband, she traveled widely, racking up more than 13 cross-country drives, numerous summer camping trips to Yosemite and other national and state parks, more than 12 international trips during the last 30 years, and 20 Elderhostel programs during the last 15 years.

She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Joseph C. Scroggs of Stanford; a daughter, Elizabeth Ann Scroggs of Stanford; a sister, Mildred Pearson-Quist of Olympia, Wash.; and one grandson.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 9 at 1 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto. Contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 625 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, 94301 or to Midpeninsula Pathways Hospice Foundation, 65 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, 94025-5232.
Arthur B.C. Walker

Arthur B.C. Walker, II, a 27-year Stanford physics professor, died April 29. He was 64.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he received a baccalaureate degree in physics with honors from Cleveland's Case Institute of Technology in 1957.

He was also a member of the Sigma Pi Phi fraternity (Gamma Chi Boule).

He earned a master's degree in 1958 and doctorate in 1962 from the University of Illinois with a dissertation on the use of radiation to produce the particles that bind protons and neutrons together in the atomic nucleus.

He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1962 as a first lieutenant and was assigned to the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, where he developed instrumentation for an experiment that involved the rocket launch of a satellite to measure Van Allen belt radiation in the Earth's magnetic field. Upon completing his military duty in 1965, he joined the space physics laboratory of the Aerospace Corporation, where for nine years he conducted pioneering physics experiments to study the sun and upper atmosphere of the Earth.

After arriving at Stanford, he directed the student observatory and taught astronomy courses including the popular Applied Physics 15 ("The Nature of the Universe") and Physics 50 ("Observational Astronomy"). Largely due to his efforts, Stanford led the nation's major research universities in educating graduate students from underrepresented groups in physics.

Astronaut Sally Ride, America's first woman in space, was among his graduate students. The month before his death, he presided over the National Conference of Black Physics Students, hosted this year at Stanford.

At a celebration in his honor on Sept. 15, 2000, NASA officials surprised Walker with a Distinguished Public Service Medal in recognition of four decades of distinguished scholarship, achievements in experimental space sciences and extensive service to NASA and the nation on many advisory and review boards.

He is survived by his wife, Victoria T. Walker, of Stanford; a daughter Heather M. Walker of Los Altos Hills; stepsons Nigel D. Gibbs of Los Angeles and Eric D. Gibbs of Temecula; and four grandchildren.

Services have been held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the A.B.C. Walker II Memorial Fund for the greater inclusion of ethnic minorities and women in the sciences. Checks should be made payable to Stanford University and sent to: Department of Physics, c/o Jennifer Conan-Tice, Stanford University, Stanford, 94305-4060.


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