Publication Date: Wednesday May 31, 1995


George A. Garrett

George A. Garrett, 84, a 21-year resident of Menlo Park, died May 21 after an illness of several months. Born in Sardis, Miss., he graduated from the University of Mississippi and received a doctorate in mathematics from Rice University in Houston. He began his career as the party chief of a seismographic crew, until World War II, when he worked as a civilian for the Navy at MIT, developing and testing airplane sonar. After the war, he worked in the burgeoning nuclear field at Oak Ridge, Tenn., where he developed peaceful uses for atomic energy and helped to design the nuclear power plant installed at Paducah, Ky. After years at Oak Ridge, he became director of information processing for Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale. In 1977 he transferred to the position of senior scientist for Bechtel Corp. in San Francisco. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Olie Low Garrett of Menlo Park; a daughter, Pat Iverson of Roundup, Mont.; a sister; three grandchildren; and a nephew. Services have been held.

Ruth June Johnson Gutshall

Ruth June Johnson Gutshall, a resident of Los Altos for 35 years, died April 23. She was 80. Born in St. Louis, she worked as a secretary at SRI in Menlo Park for several years and was a member of the League of Women Voters. Services have been held.

Kathryn B. Hyle

Kathryn B. Hyle, 88, a Bay Area resident for 28 years, died May 13 at the Palo Alto Nursing Center. A native of Latrobe, Pa., she was a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University. She moved to Palo Alto from New York in 1967, when her husband retired. She is survived by a daughter, Elinor H. Ovenshine of Palo Alto; two sisters, Jane Bair Keltz of Latrobe and Sally Bair Belcher of Nitro, W.Va.; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Contributions may be sent to the Friends of the Palo Alto Library/Children's Library Branch, 270 Forest Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301.

John M. 'Jack' Oram Sr.

John "Jack" Oram Sr., 72, died May 25 in Sunnyvale. A native of Canada, he was the son of the late Charles Oram, the former mayor of Menlo Park. A resident of Menlo Park for 30 years, he graduated from Stanford University in 1944 and received his master's degree in 1951. He served as an officer in the U.S. infantry in World War II and was an employee of Varian Associates for 27 years. He is survived by his wife, Patsy J. Oram of Sunnyvale; a son, John M. Oram Jr. of Menlo Park; a granddaughter; and a brother. Services have been held. Contributions in his memory may be made to St. Joseph Elementary School, 150 Valparaiso Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025.

George Edward Reader

George Edward Reader, 79, a Palo Alto resident for five years, died May 17 at Stanford. A retired shipping manager for Imperial Nurseries in Windsor, Conn., he served in the Pacific during World War II and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Elks Club. He also served as a scout leader and was a district commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America. He is survived by a daughter, Cynthia Wilstein of Palo Alto; a son, Ronald Reader of Connecticut; and three grandchildren, including Tara Wilstein of Palo Alto. Family services were held in Connecticut.

Donald F. Rowles

Donald F. Rowles, 78, a noted thoracic surgeon in the Bay Area for 40 years, died May 20. Born in Rushville, Ohio, he graduated from Ohio State University in Columbus with bachelor's and M.D. degrees before joining the Army in 1943. The past president of the Santa Clara County Medical Society and a senior member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the American College Chest Physicians and the Western Thoracic Surgical Association, he served as clinical professor of surgery at Stanford University from 1983-1993. He then moved to the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital, where he wore many hats, including director of surgical intensive care, chief of thoracic surgery, and assistant chief of surgery. He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Phoebe Rowles of Atherton; two daughters, Elizabeth Arnow of Palo Alto and Lisa Rowles of San Francisco; two sons, Stephen Rowles of Huntsville, Ala. and John Rowles of Charlottesville, Va.; three stepchildren, Pam Jonekait of Los Altos, Donn Reisen of Menlo Park and Bart Fiebelkorn of Santiago, Chile; and nine grandchildren. Donations may be made to Sequoia Hospital Foundation, Whipple Avenue and the Alameda, Redwood City, CA 94304, or Palo Alto Veterans Child Development Center, P.O. Box V51, 3801 Miranda Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94304. Services have been held.

Jackson L. Sothern

Jackson L. Sothern, 77, of Palo Alto, died May 25 in Schenectady, N.Y., where he was attending a high school reunion. Born in Brooklyn, he graduated from Boston University in 1941 with a degree in accounting and earned his MBA from New York University in 1943. He was a CPA with Cluett & Peabody in Troy, N.Y. for 34 years, until his retirement in 1982. He moved to Palo Alto in 1984. He was a member of Stanford Memorial Church; vice president of Sons in Retirement; and past president of the Palo Alto Farmers Market, benefiting the Senior Coordinating Council of Palo Alto. He also was treasurer of the Perfins Club International, the Foothills Stamp Club, the Western Philatelic Library and Environmental Volunteers. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Budlong Sothern of Palo Alto; two daughters, Nancy Catherine Sothern Mueller of Palo Alto and Cynthia Budlong Sothern of Ruxton, Md.; a sister; and two grandchildren. A service was held in New York; services in Palo Alto will be held at a later date. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Senior Coordinating Council, 450 Bryant St., Palo Alto, CA 94301, or Environmental Volunteers, 3921 E. Bayshore Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303.

Rhodella Wilkins

Rhodella Wilkins, 85, a native of Palo Alto, died May 17 in Oakhurst. After studying chemistry at Fresno State University and the University of California, Berkeley, she worked as a chemist, becoming the first woman head of the fertilizer laboratory at the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Chemistry in Sacramento. She retired in 1973, and after several years of travel, moved back to Palo Alto in 1987. Her love of the High Sierra began when she worked summers at Camp Curry in Yosemite Valley in her early teens. She also enjoyed flying, having earned her private pilot's license in 1946. She is survived by five children, Louis Lawrence of Palo Alto, Edgar Wilkins of Coarsegold, Janet Janssens of Santa Ynez, Roger Wilkins of Santa Cruz and Lynn Roderick of Sacramento; a brother, Austin Thomson of Fresno; a sister, Margery Allison of Kerman; two nieces; five nephews; 15 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. Services have been held. Contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 330 Distel Circle, Suite A, Los Altos, CA 94022, or the Yosemite Fund, P.O. Box 637, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389.

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.

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