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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Deaths Deaths (August 28, 2002)

Robert Stillson Childs

Robert Stillson Childs, 85, a 24-year resident of Palo Alto, died Aug. 15.

Born in Boston, Mass., he grew up in Canton and attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving a master's degree in both chemical and electrical engineering in 1937. During World War II he worked at Bendix Corp. and was the sole developer of the Magnetsyn compass used by all United States aircraft during the war.

He became a vice president of Bunker-Ramo Corp., headquartered in Trumbull, Conn. He ended his working career at Shearson Lehman in Palo Alto, retiring in 1992.

He had a passion for mathematics, computers and travel, with a special fondness for gaming in Las Vegas.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Margaret Childs of Palo Alto; daughter, Marcia Cleary of Darien, Conn.; son, David Childs of Franktown, Colo.; daughter, Joan Childs of Telluride, Colo.; daughter, Barbara Daines of Los Altos; daughter, Janet Lewis of Salt Lake City, Utah; and seven grandchildren.

Memorial services have been held.
George Curts

George Curts, a Stanford athlete who earned a bachelor's degree in religious studies in June, died in a fall Aug. 17 while hiking in the area of Arroyo Seco Gorge, west of Greenfield. He was 22.

He was set to begin studying for a master's degree in religious studies at Stanford.

Born Feb. 28, 1980 in Western Samoa, he attended Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park, Kansas. He threw the shotput for the Stanford track-and-field team, and served as president of the Stanford chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi Society, a co-educational literary society. He tutored at Kaplan Educational Center in Palo Alto.

He is survived by his parents, Douglas and Hana Curts; two brothers, Richard Curts and Joshua Curts; a sister, Luisa Jay To; and fiancee Lorraine Rossi.

A memorial service is planned to be held at Stanford at a later date.

Flowers and condolences may be sent to 10300 Long St., Overland Park, Kansas, 66215.
Andress V. James

Andress "Andy" V. James, a former Palo Alto resident, died July 16. He was 78.

He was born July 13, 1924, in Pittsburgh. He lived in Palo Alto for 18 years before serving in the Army Air Forces during World War II.

In 1952, he graduated from Stanford University and married Shirley Zimmer. He moved to Lake Oswego, Ore., in 1966 and owned Sartron Inc. in Newburg, Ore.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley Zimmer of Lake Oswego, Ore.; three sons, Richard James of San Francisco; Timothy James and Gregory James; a daughter, Heather Mankauski; three sisters, Alice Kimball of Bellevue, Wash.; Ruth Laba of Redwood City; and Elizabeth Offermann; and one granddaughter.

Services have been held.
Nancy Porter McMahon

Nancy Porter McMahon, a Menlo Park resident, died Aug 21 from Alzheimer's disease. She was 83.

She grew up in a ranching family in the Central Valley and worked as "Rosie the Riveter" in a defense factory during World War II. She was married to the late Lt. Colonel John McMohon.

She was a graduate of San Jose State University and the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design and had a 30-year career as an interior designer. Her work included offices and residences around the Bay Area.

She is survived by two daughters, Mary McMohan of Palo Alto; and Victoria Casad of Maine; six grandchildren; brother Al Steward of Carmel; two nephews and one niece.

A family memorial service will be held.
Annie Teresa O'Leary

Annie Teresa O'Leary, a longtime Palo Alto resident, died July 24. She was 101.

She was born in Ireland and served in the Army Nurse Corps in World War II. She also worked as a nurse for the old Palo Alto Hospital.

She is survived by many nieces and nephews in Ireland.

Services will be held on Aug 31 at Villa Siena, 1855 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View. Mass will be at 9:30, followed by reception at 10:30.
Thomas L. O'Quinn Sr.

Thomas L.O'Quinn Sr., a resident of East Palo Alto, died Aug 14. He was 82.

Born in Houston, Texas, he is survived by his wife, Bessie Mae O'Quinn of East Palo Alto; three daughters, Carol Stine of East Palo Alto; Karen Winslow of Citrus Heights; and Denise Johnson of San Jose; 11 grandchildren; and brother Arthur Baker of Houston, Texas.

Services have been held.
Janice Ann Patnaude

Janice Ann Patnaude, a Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto resident, died Aug 12. She was 40.

She was born in 1962 in Palo Alto and grew up in Los Altos Hills. She graduated from Gunn High School and attended both Chico State and Hayward State universities for her bachelor's degree. She was a starting member of the women's varsity soccer team at both colleges.

She took great pride in her 13 years of work at Stanford University Hospital that culminated in her position as a manager of materials management administration.

She was admired as a productive worker and was known for her unselfish devotion to fellow workers. She will be remembered for her unconditional love and friendship, and magnificent courage and determination.

She is survived by parents, Orlin and Patricia Patnaude; sister Alisa; three brothers Mark, Bruce and Donald Patnaude; and her partner Peter Bistrup.

Services have been held.

Donations can be made to the Lucile Packard Foundation, Children's Health, 770 Welch Road, Suite # 350, Palo Alto, 94304, or to the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
Helen J Pearson

Helen J Pearson, a San Mateo county resident, died Aug 19. She was 84.

She was born in Choteau, Mont. and spent the last 40 years on her La Honda ranch in San Mateo County. She worked as an administrator for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto for 20 years. After retirement, she did volunteer work with the Children's Health Council Auxiliary, traveled and spent time with her family.

She is survived by two sons, Chris Pearson of La Honda; and Carl Pearson of Soquel; and three grandchildren.

Services will be private.

Contributions in her memory are preferred to a charity of the donor's choice.
Edward R. Silverblatt

Edward R. Silverblatt, a clinical professor of medicine at Stanford and a practicing physician in Palo Alto for 28 years, died Aug. 19 of cancer. He was 63.

Silverblatt, a Portola Valley resident, was born in Pittsburgh, Penn. He attended Haverford College and the University of Rochester, where he earned his medical degree in 1965. He then did two years' postdoctoral training in internal medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital.

He served for two years on active duty in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander. He returned to complete his residency at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital, where he served as chief resident, and from 1969 to 1972 as a fellow in gastroenterology.

He moved to California and began his long association with Stanford University Medical Center, first as a trainee in gastroenterology and then as a clinical faculty member. He rose in the academic ranks to become a clinical professor of medicine in 1988, maintaining an active practice while continuing to teach students, residents and postdoctoral fellows. He was widely known for his skill and leadership in the burgeoning field of endoscopy and for his dedication to providing his patients with exceptional care.

He was a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a member of prestigious professional societies including the American College of Physicians, the American Gastroenterological Association and Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.

He was an avid and skilled fly fisherman and a connoisseur of fine wines. He had recently acquired a small vineyard in St. Helena.

He is survived by his wife, Elda Silverblatt; a daughter, Julie Young of Portland, Ore.; three sons, Adam Silverblatt of Portland, Ore.;William Samuelson of Prescott, Ariz.; and Gary Samuelson of Austin, Texas; and three grandchildren.

Services have been held.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to the Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, 94305.
Donald E. Spencer

Donald E. Spencer, a Los Altos Hills resident since 1960, died Aug. 13. He was 77.

Born Jan. 14, 1925, to a Navy family in Bremerton, Wash., he got his early schooling in Nicaragua, the Philippines and Shanghai.

He graduated from Rensslaer Polytechnic Institute in 1948 and from Stanford Business School in 1950. He served as a commissioned officer in the Navy before working as a market analyst for Safeway and later for Spreckels Sugar in San Francisco.

After moving to Los Altos Hills in 1960, he served as a board member and president of the Los Altos Hills Association - the original homeowners' group. He later served on the Los Altos Hills Planning Commission.

He is survived by his wife, Anne Spencer of Los Altos Hills.

Services have been held.
Laura E. Todd

Laura E. Todd, a 17-year resident of Palo Alto, died July 31. She was 89.

Born in Chicago in 1913, she lived in that area until 1964, when she and her husband retired to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. They enjoyed traveling to many countries across the world.

She moved to Palo Alto in 1985 and lived at Webster House. She was an active and enthusiastic volunteer for many years at Avenidas Senior Center, and at Cubberley High School's weekly Senior Friendship Day. She was also a regular "hugger" of babies at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, a job she always said she loved.

She is survived by her daughter, Judy Brandt; two grandsons; and two great-grandsons.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, 725 Welch Road, Palo Alto, 94304.
Neda B. Tomasevich

Neda B. Tomasevich, a 56-year resident of Palo Alto, died July 5. She was 88.

Born in Croatia (formerly in Yugoslavia), she came to the United States in 1939 with her husband and settled in Palo Alto permanently after World War II.

After raising their three children, she taught French in the Mountain View school district for 15 years. She was an excellent cook and an avid gardener.

She is survived by her three children; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

A memorial service is being planned.
Howard J. White III

Howard J. White III, a longtime Portola Valley resident, died Aug. 20 while on a fishing trip in Meeker, Colo. He was 66.

Born Oct. 5, 1936, in Evanston, Ill., he was a graduate of Menlo-Atherton High School and UC Berkeley. He married his wife Carolee in 1962.

He won numerous awards for landscaping projects, including Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and Happy Hollow Park in San Jose. In the 1980s, he founded a full-service real estate company.

He was a member of the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and a steering committee member of Young Life at Woodleaf. He had served on the board of the Church of the Pioneers Foundation.

He was a member of the Bohemian Club, the Menlo Country Club, the Beach and Tennis Club in Pebble Beach and the Elks Lodge.

He is survived by his wife, Carolee White of Portola Valley; a son, Michael White; two daughters, Marci Coggins and Michelle Dillabough; his mother, Betty White; two sisters, Susan Dove and Mimi McDowell; and seven grandchildren.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to Young Life at Woodleaf, 3632 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 94306.


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