Almanac Online - Lasting Memories
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Willis T. Sperry
June 16, 1926 - July 20, 2016
Hughson, California

Willis “Bill” Turner Sperry, age 90, passed away on July 20, 2016, in Hughson, California. Bill was born on June 16, 1926 in Algona, Iowa. He graduated from Greene High School. He graduated from Upper Iowa University with a bachelor's degree and received a Master’s degree from Drake University in Iowa. He was a World War II veteran and trained to be a pilot in the Naval Air Corps. He was a school teacher and administrator for eight years in Iowa and 30 years in Palo Alto, California. He spent the 1960-61 school year teaching at Kamehameha School in Honolulu, Hawaii. He received Teacher of the Year award from Palo Alto in 1969. In addition to his teaching duties, he coached football, basketball and wrestling at the junior high and high school levels. He was an elder in the Presbyterian church in various cities. He taught Sunday school for junior high and high school students. After retiring, he and Eileen did volunteer mission work for one year, teaching at Menaul School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2004, Bill and Eileen moved to Samaritan Village in Hughson, California. A great story teller, Bill entertained family and friends with both stories and magi...

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Judith E. Allen
Jan. 25, 1921 - July 18, 2016
Palo Alto, California

Judith E. Allen, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, passed away in Menlo Park at the age of 95. She is survived by her two daughters Kristina Pikke and Heidi Elise Allen; two grandchildren, Sean and Tristan Conway; and her beloved cats Tiggy and Maz. Judith was a native New Yorker, born in January 25, 1921, the eldest daughter of Norwegian immigrants and grew up on the Hudson River. She became the first person in her family to achieve a college education receiving her Bachelor of Arts at the Cooper Union University in June 1944. This was a historic period in the world of art and advertising in New York. She was a graphic artist, painter and art director before being called into service by the US government to help with the efforts in post-war Europe during the reconstruction. She was an art teacher and recreation supervisor developing programs and training personnel in Germany. There, she met her future husband, Kenneth Paige Allen, who was also stationed there. They were later married in 1956 in London and celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2006. Kenneth P. Allen was a language arts teacher at Jordan Junior High School, part of the Palo Alto Unified School District, for over ...

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Gladys "Laddie" Hughes
Jan. 24, 1925 - July 17, 2016
Palo Alto, California

Laddie Hughes passed away on July 17, surrounded by her family. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and community member. Those she knew and loved will remember her love for her husband and family, her fondness of music, her organizing genius, dedication to learning, commitment to social justice, leadership with respect to women’s rights and active involvement in politics. Laddie was born on January 24, 1925, in Minnesota to Norwegian immigrants Carl T. and Hilda Lund. She grew up in the small, Northern Minnesota farming community of Trail and often credited her self reliance, work ethic and sense of humor to growing up on the farm as the youngest of nine children. Laddie took pride in her educational success, serving as the salutatorian at Gonvick High School and early enrollment in the “big University of Minnesota.” While attending nursing school in 1943, Laddie was recruited into the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps which led her West to positions at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in San Francisco and Stanford Hospital. She met her husband, Donald Hughes, while dancing with friends at the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill. They enjoyed a wonderful San Francisco ...

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Wilbur Raymond Morton
Aug. 11, 1919 - July 16, 2016
Palo Alto, California

Wilbur Raymond Morton, resident of Palo Alto for 58 years, passed away on July 16. He was 96. For the last four years he called the Palo Alto Commons his home. Born and raised in Campbell, CA, he was the son of Gladys L. Morton and Herold W. Morton. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 1941 with a degree in electrical engineering. He was a top marksman and member of the ROTC. Will met the love of his life, Jean Fairfax Pell, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where they were married at the Edgewood Presbyterian Church on Dec. 23, 1944. After starting a family in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, they relocated to Richmond, California in 1951. Will began working for Hewlett-Packard when the growing family moved to Palo Alto in 1958. He worked in the Special Handling Department and retired in 1982. The couple joined the First Congregational Church of Palo Alto and were very active there. Will was a proud member of the Chancel Choir and Oratorio Society. Will and Jean loved traveling abroad on numerous church choir trips. His photographs from these trips were inspirational to Jean's artwork. Will volunteered his time as Sunday school teacher and also as assistant scout master for Boy Scou...

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Caroline Templin Finch
Aug. 20, 1924 - June 25, 2016
Medford, Oregon

Caroline Templin Finch, a longtime Palo Alto resident, passed away June 25, 2016, at the Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Oregon. Caroline, 91, remained active until the end, wearing her pedometer and logging her daily miles until the day before she entered the hospital. Lighthearted, outgoing and a friend to all, Caroline was also a deeply spiritual person whose life reflected a constant search for truth. She combined an appetite for new-age exploration -- meditation retreats, drum circles, goddess workshops -- with timeless, unswerving compassion for others. Caroline was born in Patricia, Alberta, Canada, and raised in Montana. She built a beautiful and rewarding life with her husband of 66 years, Barden Finch. They raised their family in Palo Alto before moving to Medford in 2004. Caroline is survived by Barden; a brother, Bill Templin; children, Richard Hancock, Zoe Laidlaw and Peter Finch; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Delsie Watson, passed away in 1973....

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Most recent memorials

Michael D. O'Connell
Feb. 12, 1941 - July 18, 2016 Woodside, CA

Surrounded by most of his immediate family, Michael passed away peacefully in his sleep. Having suffered from a neurological degenerative disease for 6 years, it was his time. Michael will truly be missed as he was loved by so many. His humor and his presents was always special, people would say...

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Annette Z. Long
Oct. 16, 1920 - July 17, 2016 Sandpoint, Idaho

Annette Sophie Zaepffel Long, a longtime resident of Los Altos, was born on October 16, 1920, in Woodside, CA, and passed away peacefully in her sleep, in her own home, in her own bed, at the Alpine Vista senior apartment complex in Sandpoint, Idaho, on Sunday morning July 17th, after suffering a d...

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Gordon D. Fink
April 25, 1966 - July 13, 2016 Granville, Ohio

Gordon David Fink, 50, passed away unexpectedly due to deep vein thrombosis that caused a pulmonary embolism Wednesday, July 13. He was born in Palo Alto to Walter E. and Margaret Fink and graduated from Gunn High School in 1984. He has lived in Granville, Ohio with his family for the past 25 years ...

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Evalyn T. Hutzel
1916 - July 11, 2016 Medford, Oregon

Former Palo Alto resident Evalyn T. Hutzel, 100, of Medford, Oregon, died July 11, 2016, with her family by her side. She was born in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada, and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She received bachelor’s and nursing degrees from the University of Michigan and later, in her 60s, ear...

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