Publication Date: Wednesday Apr 12, 1995


Carlton E. Schwerdt, isolated polio virus Publication Date: Wednesday Apr 12, 1995

Carlton E. Schwerdt, isolated polio virus

Carlton E. Schwerdt, 78, a retired professor of medicine at Stanford whose research laid the groundwork for the polio vaccine, died of leukemia March 25. An eminent virologist, he began his work studying the polio virus while an undergraduate at Stanford University, where he went on to receive his doctorate in biochemistry and become a professor of microbiology and immunology.

"Scientists all over the world have benefited directly from his mentoring during a long and distinguished career that extended almost until the time of his death," said Edward S. Mocarski, microbiology and immunology chair at Stanford University. In 1947, he and Hubert S. Loring reported the isolation of the polio virus, research which made possible the discovery of a vaccine for the virus responsible for infantile paralysis.

He returned to Stanford as an associate professor in 1956, after posts at Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Berkeley. While at Berkeley he gained recognition for the application of a study method, crystallization, which he used to split the polio virus into infectious and non-infectious parts. This methodology allowed for improvements in the polio vaccine announced by Jonas Salk in 1955.

"He did all of the virology teaching here for more than 20 years, a major contribution to the school," said Leon T. Rosenberg, professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology. "Everybody really cherished him as a colleague. He was kindly to a fault."

After his promotion to full professor in 1961, he and his first wife, Patricia, who died in 1975, conducted joint studies of vitamin C and its potential to fight the common cold virus. A fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he was credited with important research on other viruses, including measles.

An outdoorsman as well, he built his own cabin at Fallen Leaf Lake in the Sierras last fall. He is survived by his wife, Lorrie Barnes-Schwerdt of Palo Alto; two daughters, Elizabeth Tilles of Del Mar and Karen Janssen of Corvallis, Ore.; a son, Christopher Schwerdt of Catonsville, Md.; six grandchildren; and three stepchildren. Contributions may be made to the regional redwood reforestation effort of the Sempervirens Fund, Drawer BE, Los Altos, CA 94023. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. May 5 at Memorial Church, Stanford.

Chaja Bursztyn

Chaja Bursztyn, 89, a 21-year resident of Palo Alto, died March 24 at Stanford Medical Center. A native of Warsaw, Poland, she moved with her husband and their oldest daughter to Bogota, Colombia, their home for 35 years. While in Colombia, their second daughter was born and they established a successful textile business. She moved to California from Israel, where she lived for a number of years after her husband's death. In addition to speaking five languages, she loved to travel and was interested in literature, art and music. She is survived by a daughter, Hela Pettegrew of Palo Alto; three granddaughters; and a great-granddaughter. Services have been held.

Franco Cavallaro

Franco Cavallaro, 77, a resident of Menlo Park for 30 years, died April 5 at the Palo Alto Nursing Center after a long illness. A native of Italy, he was a waiter and bartender at Dorio's Restaurant. He is survived by his wife, Lilly C. Cavallaro, and a son, Massimo D. Cavallaro, both of Menlo Park, as well as a grandson and a brother. Services have been held.

Daniel G. Donnelly

Daniel G. Donnelly, 76, a 23-year resident of Menlo Park, died April 4 at Seton Medical Center in Daly City after a long illness. Originally from Canada, he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Montreal. He was a supervisor at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco. He is survived by his wife, Mary M. Donnelly of Sonora; a daughter, Sandera Donnelly of Sunnyvale; two sons, John Donnelly of Sunnyvale and Richard Donnelly of Arizona; a sister; 12 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. Services have been held.

Sidney M. Frantz

Sidney M. Frantz, 78, died April 7 in Menlo Park. A native of Denver, he graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and served in World War II. He was a member of the Church of the Nativity since 1951 and a counselor with the Boy Scouts. He is survived by his wife, Angelina Frantz of Menlo Park; a son, Sidney Joseph Frantz of Chicago; two daughters, Mary Barbara Elliott of Arnold, Calif., and Ann Teresa Stone of Modesto; and five grandchildren. A memorial mass will be held April 17 at 6 p.m. at the Church of the Nativity, 210 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park. Donations may be made to the Sisters of the Corpus Christi Monastery, 215 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025 or to Rosener House, 1060 Middle Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025.

George Frank Hurley

George Frank Hurley, 86, a former professional football player and high school coach, died in Palo Alto on April 9. A San Francisco native, he graduated from Washington State University and received a master's degree from San Francisco State University. At Washington State, he was an All-American football player who went to three bowl games, including the Rose Bowl of 1929. He went on to play professional football for the Boston Redskins and the Washington Redskins. After serving in the Army from 1940 to 1947, he retired as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Army Reserve. A teacher of physical education and driver education, he coached many sports including football, basketball and baseball at several schools, including Palo Alto and Cubberley high schools. He retired from Palo Alto Unified School District after 40 years of teaching and continued to work as a substitute for the district until he was 82. He is survived by his wife, Minnie Austin Hurley of Palo Alto; two daughters, Audrey Hurley of Los Altos and Andrea Roveda of Alameda; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Donations may be made to the Midpeninsula Hospice Foundation, 65 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025. Services have been held.

Olga E. Pitlock

Olga E. Pitlock, 68, died April 8 in Menlo Park. A native of Pennsylvania, she had been a member of the Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park since 1950. She is survived by a son, Greg L. Pitlock of Belmont; a sister, Alice Mahan of Sunnyvale; a brother, Raymond Maestri of Detroit; and a grandchild. A mass of Christian burial will be held April 12 at 10 a.m. at the Church of Nativity, 210 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park. Donations to the SPCA are preferred.

Marjorie L. Power

Marjorie L. Power, 77, a resident of Palo Alto for 48 years, died April 8 at Stanford Hospital of respiratory disease. A native of Texas and a graduate of Texas Women's University, she taught fine art and industrial arts in Childress, Tex., where she met her husband. The family moved to Palo Alto in 1947. She was an active member of the Committee for Art at Stanford, where she continued her studies in art history and philosophy. She belonged to the First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, where she was a leading participant of the design and building committee and instigator of the development of its patio. She was also active in the Palo Alto Garden Club, American Field Service, PEO Chapter DD, Elizabeth Gamble Garden Center, United Nations Association, Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls and the PTA. She continued to practice painting and sculpture throughout her life, and enjoyed traveling the world, often in pursuit of exotic birds and art. She is survived by her husband, Jack B. Power of Palo Alto; a son, Jack Power of Ukiah; two daughters, Judy Roberti of Arcata and June Power Rees of Palo Alto; and two grandchildren. A memorial service will be held April 14 at 4 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 1140 Cowper St., Palo Alto, with a reception to follow. Memorial contributions may be made to the Marjorie Power Fund at the Elizabeth Gamble Garden Center, 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto, CA 94301, or to the First Presbyterian Church Youth Program.

Elizabeth Sarah Sumner

Elizabeth Sarah Sumner, 83, a former resident of Palo Alto, died April 3 at Hospice House in Monterey of cancer. Born in 1911, she moved with her family to Palo Alto when she was 4. After graduating from Palo Alto High School, she attended Stanford University, where she majored in art. In 1936, she became a scholarship student at the New York School of Applied Design. During World War II, she left her career in textile design to work as a volunteer for Moral Re-Armament, a program which focused on teamwork in industry and national unity, where she helped run conferences worldwide. After a long and active career in volunteer services, she returned to New York in 1974 and resumed her art studies, particularly in watercolor. She moved to Carmel Valley a year later and continued to work as an artist, opening her own in-home studio at Hacienda Carmel. Her vivid watercolors of flowers, especially irises, received acclaim both here and abroad. She is survived by a sister, Katharine Murphy of San Francisco; two brothers, Bill Sumner of Miami, Fla., and C. Hawley Sumner of Palo Alto; and six nieces and nephews. Services have been held.

Lily Chloupek Van Rysselberghe

Lily Chloupek Van Rysselberghe, 86, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, and recently of Portola Valley, died April 1 after a brief illness. She was born in San Francisco in 1908 to a family with California heritage dating to 1847. She graduated from Stanford with a degree in bacteriology in 1930. After moving to Oregon, where she taught chemistry at the Nursing School of Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene, she returned to Palo Alto 1956. Active in Girl Scouts, Palo Alto Garden Club, PEO, Current Events Club of Palo Alto and the Daughters of California Pioneers, she was known for her strong interests in history, literature and languages, as well as travel. She also loved nature and gardening. Survivors include two daughters, Jane Bernasconi of Palo Alto and Jacqueline Lazzaretti-Kauffman of Eugene, Ore.; a son, Pierre L. Van Rysselberghe of Eugene, Ore.; seven grandsons; and 10 great-grandchildren. The family suggests donations to NCPH Foundation, Tomorrow Fund, Sequoias, 501 Portola Road, Portola Valley, CA 94028, or to Phoenix Education Center (for hearing-impaired children), 1291 Hillsdale Blvd. Suite #123, Foster City, CA 94404. Services have been held.

Robert August Zander

Robert August Zander, 74, a longtime Palo Alto resident, died April 1. Originally from Aberdeen, S.D., his family moved to Palo Alto during his high school years and he graduated from Palo Alto High School. He attended San Jose State and served in the Army during World War II. After 40 years working at NASA, he retired in 1983. He served as sexton of First Lutheran Church in Palo Alto for more than 25 years. A Sunday school teacher and Boy Scout troop leader, he coached soccer and Little League. He loved backpacking and square dancing, and studied geology in his spare time. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Eva Zander of Palo Alto; three sons, Bill Zander of Seattle, Bobby Zander of Minneapolis and Brian Zander of Capitola; and five granddaughters.

Obituaries are a free editorial service. Information should be submitted, typewritten, no later than 9 a.m. Monday for Wednesday's paper. Send to: Obituaries, Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302, or fax to 326-3928. Please include a contact name and telephone number. The Weekly reserves the right to edit obituaries for space and format considerations.

Back up to the Table of Contents Page