Publication Date: Wednesday May 24, 2000


Doris Moses Babcock

Doris Moses Babcock, 89, a resident of Palo Alto, died May 18. A native of Hope, Ark., she grew up on a farm. She attended Arkansas College in Batesville for two years before the Great Depression made it impossible for her to continue her education. Returning home to Hope, she taught fourth and fifth grade in a small country school. She was paid in scrip because cash was hard to come by in rural areas, and saving the nickel required to buy a Coke was difficult. In 1933, she moved to Washington, D.C., and she married her college sweetheart, Henry Allen Babcock two years later. The couple settled in Hyattsville, Md., where Henry Babcock established a legal practice. After her husband died in 1982, she moved to California. She had a great capacity for friendship and fun, a strong sense of personal style, and was a talented artist. She enjoyed attending events at Stanford University Law School, where her daughter is a professor. She is survived by her children, Barbara Allen Babcock, of Stanford; David Henry Babcock, of New York; and Joseph Starr Babcock, of San Francisco; her sister, Ardell Moses Cook of Lodi; her nieces Gail Colter of Murphys and Susan Maze of San Francisco; and six grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the Doris Babcock Memorial Fund, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, 950 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park, 94025. Services are pending.

Donald E. Davenport

Donald E. Davenport, 79, a resident of Palo Alto, died May 2. A native of Washington State, he grew up on a small farm in Yakima. He attended local schools and then Yakima Valley Community College, putting his way through school by picking fruit. Before World War II, he joined the volunteer Civil Air Corps, where he learned to fly seaplanes. He attended the University of Washington in Seattle, receiving a bachelor's degree in physical chemistry in 1942. He had begun work on his doctorate when one day, he was visited by two FBI agents who gave him a deferment signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The University of Washington gave him a master's degree in physical chemistry for the work he had done to that point, and the government then sent him to New York to work as a research scientist on the Manhattan Project. After the war, he finished his doctorate in physical chemistry and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1948. His professional career began at General Electric Co. in Hanford, Wash., as the head of exponential pile physics. After moving to California in 1955, he worked for seven years at Stanford Research Institute, where he ultimately succeeded Dr. Thomas Poulter as director of the Poulter Research Laboratories. He held a number of other research and executive positions, applying his work to space technology. NASA presented him with an Apollo Achievement Award in 1969 for his work on explosive devices for Apollo 11, and he was invited to attend the launch of Apollo 16 in 1972. Before retiring in 1986, he was chief scientist for the San Ramon division of Tracor Aerospace, during which time he received several awards for outstanding contributions. He authored many publications and was a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Theta Kappa, American Men of Science, Phi Lambda Upsilon, and The American Chemical Society. In his earlier years, he had been involved with Toastmasters International. He had also spent five years as a Committeeman with the Boy Scouts of America, and led yearly troops on hikes through the Sierra Nevada mountains. He enjoyed hiking, camping, deep-sea fishing, and gardening. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Kathleen Davenport of Palo Alto; two sons, Roland Davenport, of Midlothian, Texas, and Roger Davenport, of Mountain View; a stepson, Lawrence Kells, of Palo Alto; a stepdaughter, Kathleen Kells, of Los Altos Hills; two brothers, Robert Davenport, of Los Altos Hills and Allen Davenport, of Des Moines, Wash.; four grandchildren; and five great-granchildren. A private memorial gathering is pending.

Dorothy Haas Dwight

Dorothy Haas Dwight, 91, a 50-year-resident of Menlo Park, died May 5. A native of Peru, Ind., she enjoyed playing the piano in her younger days. She was a member of St. Raymonds Parish in Menlo Park. she was preceded in death by her brother Louis Haas. She is survived by two sons, Kenneth Dwight of Palo Alto and Randall Dwight of Portola Valley; and four grandchildren. Services are pending. Donations can be made to the Midpeninsula Hospice, 201 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View, 94040.

Artemas Alma McCann Ginzton

Artemas Alma McCann Ginzton, 86, a 50-year resident of Los Altos Hills, died May 10. Born in Kansas, she grew up in Etowanda in Southern California before attending UC Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English as well as a master's degree in education. After earning an education specialist degree from Stanford University, she taught elementary school in Fresno and adult school in Palo Alto. She married Edward Ginzton in 1939, and raised four children before embarking on a career of activism on behalf of trails, hostels, and unrecognized architectural masterpieces. She had an eye for the unusual and an appreciation for the land, both wilderness and open space. Some of the projects she worked on included the preservation of the Fremont Older House and the Senior Men's Hall on the Berkeley campus, the conversion of Pacific coast lighthouses into hostels, and the Santa Clara County master plan for trails. She had many other interests, including travel, books, art, the beauty of her house and garden, and her friends and family. She is survived by her two sons David Ginzton of Sandpoint, Idaho; and Leonard Ginzton of La Canada; and two daughters, Nancy Ginzton of Los Altos Hills; and Anne Cottrell of Berkeley; her brother Norville McCann; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild; Toward completion of a bridge connecting two trails of which she dreamt, donations may be made to the Artemas Ginzton Memorial Fund at The Peninsula Open Space Trust, 3000 Sand Hill Road, Suite 4-135, Menlo Park, 94025.

Walter A. Gong

Walter A. Gong, 77, a nearly 50-year resident of Palo Alto, died May 16 of complications from diabetes. A native of Merced, he grew up working in his family's laundry and grocery business. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy as a radar instructor, achieving the rank of chief petty officer. After earning bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Stanford University, he dedicated his professional life to teaching. He taught at Sequoia High School in Redwood City and then began a teaching career at San Jose State University that lasted from 1959-1993, when he retired. While at San Jose State, he directed one of the most popular general education science programs and was honored with a Distinguished Teaching Award for California State Colleges. He also consulted about science education and improving learning and teaching for many organizations, including the Palo Alto Unified School District, Brigham Young University, Ricks College, IBM, and NASA. He was active in the Palo Alto Second Ward congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and served as a Sunday School teacher, stake missionary, single adult advisor, bishopric counselor, and patriarch. During the last seven years of his life, he had a close relationship with a group of church friends who provided both transportation to his dialysis treatments and camaraderie and support. He also loved to spend time with his family, regularly organizing family gatherings. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Jean Char Gong of Palo Alto; two sons, Gerrit Gong of McLean, Va. and Brian Gong of Madbury, N.H.; a daughter, Marguerite Hancock of Palo Alto; his brothers and sisters, Lai Kong of San Jose, Kathleen Wing of Claremont, Bill Gong of Merced, and Marilyn Mah of Tucson, Ariz.; and 11 grandchildren. Services have been held. Memorial gifts can be made to the Walter A. and Jean Char Gong Endowed Scholarship Fund, to support students aspiring to become teachers, c/o Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602.

Thomas William Murphy

Thomas William Murphy, 87, a 35-year resident of Menlo Park, died May 15. He graduated from New York University, did graduate work at Columbia University, and then obtained his Certificate of Public Accountancy in Denver, Colorado. In 1965, he moved to Menlo Park and worked for the Stanford Research Institute until his retirement in 1977. Following that, he taught business courses at Menlo College and consulted for several local firms. He enjoyed books, tennis, travel, and music. He also took great pleasure in taking advantage of the rich cultural life of the Bay Area, enjoying season tickets to the San Francisco Opera, concerts at Stanford University, and weekly visits to the Menlo Park Library. Services have been held. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent to either St. Anthony's Padua Dining Room, 3500 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, 94025, or to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, Md. 21203.

Carole Ann Lipp Robertson

Carole Ann Lipp Robertson, 65, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, died May 9. After raising four children, she worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator for 15 years. She spent the last years of her life using Clearlake as a home base while she traveled around the state. She also enjoyed panning for gold, collecting, fishing, computers, and spending time with her grandchildren. She is survived by her husband, Earl M. Robertson of Clearlake; her son Bill Lipp, of Discovery Bay; three daughters, Barbara Smith of Palo Alto; Leanne King of Hayward; and Julie Kohls of Rio Vista; her stepson Drew Robertson of Alaska; and two stepdaughters, Diane Robertson of Arizona; and Rayleen Bowen of Los Angeles; her ex-husband, William J. Lipp of Palo Alto; her sisters, Jean Dallas of Santa Clara; Violet Buering of Campbell; and Gayle Clayton of Nevada; Onie Fifield, of Penn.; and 20 grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her stepson Stanley Robertson. Services have been held. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of choice.

Lewis V. Sayler

Lewis V. Sayler, 83, a resident of Menlo Park, died May 11. A veteran of World War II, he worked as a building contractor. After retiring, he was active as a member of the Palo Alto Elks Lodge, and the Menlo Park Lions Club. He is survived by his wife, Rose Ann Sayler of Menlo Park; his daughters, Rita Attebery of Seattle, Wash. and Lyonie Gorsline of Vancouver, Wash.; his three brothers, Dr. James Sayler of San Diego; Delbert Sayler of Seattle, Wash.; and Roland Sayler of Goldendale, Wash.; his sister, Ruth Wasselle of Walnut Creek; three grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Private family services have been held.

Kate Clemans Snitjer

Kate Clemans Snitjer, 94, a longtime real estate agent in the Palo Alto-Menlo Park area, died May 9 at her home in Palo Alto. Growing up in the mountains of Washington, her father owned an isolated lumber camp near Snohomish. She roamed the woods with her two sisters and danced with lumberjacks, attending grammar school and high school only sporadically. At 15, she matriculated at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, after passing the entrance exam. She later transferred to Stanford University where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority and met her future husband, William C. Snitjer. She graduated in 1925. She began her career in real estate at Cornish & Carey in 1950 after her husband retired due to illness. In her early years in business, she led in the industry, and during the 1950s and 1960s sold many homes in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside and Atherton. She is survived by a daughter, Babbette Latham of Palo Alto; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. No services are planned.

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