Publication Date: Wednesday Dec 6, 1995


Nancy Prior Ritchey, community volunteer and human rights commissioner Publication Date: Wednesday Dec 6, 1995

Nancy Prior Ritchey, community volunteer and human rights commissioner

Nancy Prior Ritchey, 50, a lifelong resident of Palo Alto, died of cancer at home on Dec. 2. She was remembered as a giving person who was always involved with the world she lived in and "gave tirelessly to our family, friends and community," said her husband, Craig Steven Ritchey.

"Her guiding principles were truth, beauty, goodness and compassion, and she embodied all of them," he said.

Born at Hoover Hospital at Stanford, she graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1962. She then earned a bachelor's degree in art history at the University of California, Berkeley and was a member of Delta Gamma sorority.

Following her marriage, Nancy obtained a teaching credential and taught first grade at Selby Lane School in Redwood City. After her two sons were grown, she obtained a master's degree in social work from San Jose State University and worked for a year at Family Services of San Mateo County until her illness prevented her from continuing.

Her volunteer work included long service to Beyond War, and she was an intern for Families in Transition and for Woodlands Transitional Housing Project, both in East Palo Alto. She was involved in Global Volunteers and Amistad Foundation, addressing rural sanitation and health problems in Mexico. In 1990, she completed the Leadership Palo Alto training program and was appointed to the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission. She also helped establish the Palo Alto Diversity Network and was involved in starting a school tutoring program in East Palo Alto.

She is survived by her husband of 29 years, Craig Steven Ritchey of Palo Alto, who was her high school sweetheart at Paly; two sons, Jed Scott Ritchey of Santa Clara and David Evan Ritchey of Chico; her parents, Roberta Prior Wheeler and Roderick David Wheeler of Palo Alto; two sisters, Rebecca Wheeler of Mountain View and Caroline Wheeler of Palo Alto; an aunt; and an uncle.

A memorial service is planned at Stanford Memorial Church on Dec. 8 at 3:30 p.m., followed by a reception.

Contributions can be made to Adolescent Counseling Services, the Palo Alto Mediation Program, or the cancer research being done by Dr. John Hausdorff at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Garth Humberto Allen

Garth Humberto Allen, 34, died Nov. 12 after being crushed by a boulder while on a hiking trip. A Palo Alto resident until he was 12, he attended De Anza Grammar School and Wilbur Junior High School, then went to high school in Prince George, British Columbia. He worked at Dodge Ridge in Tuolumne County as a ski instructor and race-team coach from 1981 to 1993, then became a racing coach in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for the past two years. Two of his proteges have reached world rankings and are considered potential Olympians. He returned to Tuolumne County during the summer and ran the windsurfing concession at Pinecrest Lake. He is survived by his mother, Gail Bliss Allen of Palo Alto; and his father, Thad Allen of Bowen Island, British Columbia; and a brother, Caleb Dixon Allen of Palo Alto. Contributions to a fund being established in his name for promising young ski racers at Dodge Ridge can be sent to Caleb Dixon Allen at 972 Clara Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94303.

Isabel Gomez

Isabel Gomez, 87, died Nov. 25. She was a native of El Salvador and a longtime resident of Palo Alto who was self-employed as a seamstress. She is survived by three children, Mariaelena Gomez of Redwood City, Victor Morales Gomez of San Jose and Eduardo Morales Gomez of Palo Alto; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Mary Ann Kozumplik

Mary Ann Kozumplik, 73, died Nov. 17 of pneumonia after a short illness in Grass Valley, where she had lived for the past decade. She was born in Chinook, Mont., and grew up in Wellsville, Mo. A graduate of the University of Chicago, she moved to Palo Alto in 1957. She was an elementary school teacher in the Palo Alto Unified School District, and was active in Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, where she served as principal of the school of religion for 10 years. She is survived by her husband, William Kozumplik of Grass Valley; two sons, Peter Kozumplik of Clifton, Va., and Michael Kozumplik of Orangevale; a daughter, Molly Kuzumplik Miller of Littleton, Colo.; and six grandchildren. Contributions can be made to Catholic Ladies' Relief Society, care of St. Patrick's Church, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Services have been held.

James Mackay Lomasney

James Mackay Lomasney, 77, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, died Nov. 16. Born in Chicago, he enlisted in the Civilian Technical Corps before World War II and then served in U.S. Army Eighth Air Force 91st Bombardment Group during the war. Following his military service he graduated with distinction from the Illinois Institute of Technology, worked as an electrical engineer and retired from SRI International. He dedicated much of his time to public service. As an amateur radio operator he was active with the American Red Cross and the California Department of Forestry, providing emergency communications during disasters. He was also a longtime volunteer with the Boy Scouts. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Marie Lomasney of Palo Alto; two daughters, Elaine Lomasney of Mountain View and Carol Thomas of Stockton; two sons, Edward Lomasney of Mountain View and David Lomasney of San Jose; and three grandchildren. Contributions can be made to the American Red Cross, 400 Mitchell Lane, Palo Alto, CA 94301 or the Pacific Skyline Council, Boy Scouts of America, P.O. Box 51538, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Services have been held.

Nella Alma Perry

Nella Alma Perry, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, died Dec. 1. Born in San Francisco in 1902, she was a third-generation Californian. She is survived by a daughter, Bille Corinne Sarzin. Private services have been held.

Beverly Jeanne Sheldon

Beverly Jeanne Sheldon, 50, died Oct. 26. A Palo Alto resident, she was a fan of 1950s rock 'n' roll, loved ballroom dancing, made and collected miniatures and had a great enthusiasm for flying. She is survived by her husband, Jerre Sheldon of Palo Alto; a daughter, Autumn "Cynthia" Sheldon; her parents, Max and Audrey Kehoe of Urbandale, Iowa; and a sister, Lex Kehoe of Scottsdale, Ariz. Contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society. Services have been held.

Anna Nechama Simkin

Anna Nechama Simkin, 75, died Nov. 26 in Coarsegold, Calif., after a long illness. A native of Canada, she was a former resident of Menlo Park. She was a schoolteacher who became a massage therapist and returned to college at 55 to earn a master's degree in psychology, after which she became a successful psychotherapist. She is survived by two sisters, Adelle Mitchner of Menlo Park and Ida Sigler of Calgary, Alberta; three daughters, Helene Simkin Jara of Santa Cruz, Sharon Sue Simkin of Coarsegold and Josefa Simkin Hendry of Corralitos; and eight grandchildren. Contributions can be made to the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra or the National Yiddish Book Center, 48 Woodbridge St., South Hadley, MA 01075. Services have been held.

Helen Byrdine Spears

Helen Byrdine Spears, 84, died Nov. 27 at Lytton Gardens in Palo Alto. Born in Lake Andes, S.D., she moved to California in 1948. She was an active member of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Palo Alto until illness prevented her from attending. She is survived by a son, Richard Spears of Palo Alto; two daughters, Judy Jennings-Moritz of Portola Valley and Linda Emmick of Sacramento; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. No services will be held.

Donald E. Weed

Donald E. Weed, 74, died Nov. 19 after suffering a stroke while vacationing in Puerto Rico. He was a Palo Alto resident for 25 years before moving to Los Altos in 1994. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served in World War II on the USS Dewey and USS O'Brien. He worked as a stockbroker for 40 years, retiring in 1991 from Kidder Peabody. He was a longtime member of the Palo Alto Elks Club and the Foothill Tennis and Swim Club. He is survived by his wife, Lona Weed of Los Altos; two sons, Steven Weed of Menlo Park and Kenneth Weed of Novato; two sisters, Jane McGuire and Nancy Weed of New York; a brother, Lawrence Weed of Vermont; and two grandsons. Contributions can be made to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 51538, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Services have been held.

Gene T. West

Gene T. West died Nov. 28. A West Virginia native, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps twice, graduated from the University of Maryland's school of business administration and earned a master's degree from American University. He rose to the position of senior vice president at Consolidated Freightways Inc. and helped foster the trucking industry in Washington, D.C. He retired in 1988. An avid golfer, he was a member of Menlo Country Club and Desert Mirage Country Club in Rancho Mirage. He is survived by his wife, Twink West of Portola Valley; two sons, Gene West Jr. and David West; and a brother, Russell West. Contributions can be made to the Valley Presbyterian Church in Portola Valley.

Marion Stowell Younger

Marion Stowell Younger, 89, died Nov. 27 of a stroke in Palo Alto. She had been a resident of Channing House since 1984. Born in San Francisco, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a member of the American Association of University Women. She traveled widely, and maintained a strong bond with the University of California. She and her husband donated 40 acres of land in Santa Cruz to the university; the site would eventually include the Long Marine Lab and the Younger Lagoon Marine Reserve. She is survived by her daughter, Helen Younger Goode of Santa Barbara; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Contributions can be made to the Division of Marine Sciences, Long Marine Laboratory, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. Services will be private.

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