Community - March 30, 2011


Laurel Crittenden

Laurel E. Crittenden grew up in Portola Valley, taught in Portola Valley schools as a substitute teacher, and helped design gardens there from her outpost at the Ladera Garden Center, where she worked for about 10 years.

Ms. Crittenden died March 18 at her home in Washington state, relatives said. She was 58. A memorial service is set for 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, at the Valley Presbyterian Church at 945 Portola Road in Portola Valley.

Washington, D.C., was Ms. Crittenden's birthplace, and the University of California at Santa Barbara her alma mater. She graduated college in 1973 and lived in Portola Valley from 1985 to 2005, her daughter Roxanne told the Almanac.

Ms. Crittenden was a popular substitute teacher. "She filled up her calendar completely because she was so much in demand," her daughter said.

Ms. Crittenden spent a lot of time outside, whether hiking, long-distance swimming or working in gardens. She swam at the Alpine Hills Swim & Tennis Club for about 15 years, her daughter said. She also did open-water swimming in San Francisco Bay and occasionally competed in the swimming leg of triathlons.

She was "an especially devoted mother" who knitted sweaters for her young relatives and made stuffed animals for sale, her daughter said. She loved the companionship of dogs, particularly Labrador retrievers.

Ms. Crittenden is survived by her daughter Roxanne of Berkeley; and sisters Beth Schwarzman of Cape Cod, Joan Crittenden of Jackson Hole, and Susan Zoller of Portland, Oregon.

The family is asking that donations in Ms. Crittenden's memory be made to the Sempervirens Fund at 419 South San Antonio Road, Los Altos CA 94022, or to the Puget Sound Labrador Retriever Association at

Go to to share memories of Ms. Crittenden.

William Malkmus

William Hull Malkmus, a long time Woodside resident, died peacefully on Feb. 27 in Palo Alto after suffering complications from pneumonia. He was 76.

A celebration of his life will be held at Christ Church, Portola Valley, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 16.

Born in Los Angeles, he graduated from Harvard School of North Hollywood, and in 1958 from Stanford University, where he was president of his fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi. He served in the U.S. Marines Reserve. He went on to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1961.

In 1961 he began his business career with Checchi and Co. of Washington, D.C., doing economic consulting in Somalia and Bangladesh. Upon returning to California, he worked as an investment banker for many years with J. Barth, Dean Witter and Bateman Eichler. Later he was CFO of Vivra, a healthcare service company.

A budding oenophile, he began making wine in his San Francisco garage in the 1970s. This led to the founding of Tualatin Vineyards in Forest Grove, Oregon, in 1973. From planting the first vines, to winning Best of Show for both red and white categories at the London International Wine Competition, he and winemaker Bill Fuller were pioneers of the Oregon wine industry. In 1997 Tualatin merged with Willamette Vineyards, and he served on the board.

He is survived by his son, James; daughter Reven; brother Stephen; stepchildren Anne, Shelly and Jim; and four grandchildren. Also surviving are his first wife, Lizbeth McCulloch Malkmus, and second wife, Luanne Grupe Rottici.

He enjoyed skiing, hiking, jogging with his dogs, Stanford sports, fine wines, and good times, family members said.

In his later years, Bill mentored young entrepreneurs and tutored exchange students. He enjoyed tending his vegetable garden, going to church, and watching his grandchildren play, the family said.

The family prefers donations to the Peninsula Humane Society or the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

Barbara Noble Haines

Barbara Noble Haines, a former resident of Menlo Park, died of cancer March 15 in Bennington, Vermont, after a short illness. She was 70.

Born in Rochester, New York, she attended Brighton Schools and graduated from the University of Rochester in 1962.

She was the feature editor for the Columbus (Ohio) Times before moving to Menlo Park. A former editor and staff writer for the Almanac — then called the Country Almanac — and the Redwood City Almanac, she also taught writing.

Ten years ago, she moved to Manchester Center, Vermont.

She is survived by her son, Russell T. Haines of La Honda; sisters Penelope Tobey of Amsterdam, New York, and Karen Noble Hanson of Rochester, New York; and a brother, Scott C. Noble of Stowe, Vermont.

Services will be held in Manchester, Vermont. A memorial service will be held May 28 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Rochester, New York, with burial at White Haven Memorial Park.

The family prefers memorial gifts to Vermont Public Radio in her memory: Vermont Public Radio, 365 Troy Ave., Colchester, VT 05446.

Margaret (Peggy) Morris

Margaret (Peggy) Morris died at her home in Menlo Park on March 3. She was 87.

A memorial service was held March 21 at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.

Born in Michigan City, Indiana, she moved, at age 2, with her family to Germany, where her father worked as a grain exporter. Five years later, the family moved to High Bridge, New Jersey, and later, Park Ridge, Illinois.

She was voted "most likely to succeed" of her 1941 graduating Maine High School senior class. In 1946, she married 1st Lt. Rex Morris, who was home from the Pacific at the end of World War II, and they moved to the Pacific Northwest, where Rex started his career in the paper industry.

In 1965, the family, now grown by sons Roy, Bill and Ken, and daughter Karen, moved to Menlo Park.

Before the children arrived, she worked as a medical secretary. Afterward, she focused her attention on raising her family.

She enjoyed travels with her husband to Europe, North Africa, and throughout the United States, family members said.

She did volunteer work at schools and hospitals, and with the homeless and youth, the family said.

She was preceded in death by her husband Rex, and her daughter Karen. She is survived by her sons, Roy of Los Angeles, Bill of Santa Cruz, and Ken of Boulder, Colorado; and nine grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the donor's local SPCA.

George McDonald

George Daniel McDonald, a Menlo Park resident since 2005, lived a long life with an employment history that reflected his times, including work in a logging camp, on an ocean-going vessel, and in a foundry. He also had a link to a famous family feud. Mr. McDonald died Feb. 20 at the age of 100.

His father, (Archibald) Daniel McDonald of the Arizona territory, cooked in Canadian lumber camps; his mother, Mary Elisabeth Hatfield of Kentucky, had been orphaned in the feud with the McCoy family, relatives said.

While still in school, George followed his father into logging as a whistle punk, a safety-oriented occupation running a steam-powered whistle to alert workers to ongoing operations at the camp, according to a logging glossary.

After a time as a competitive runner for Oakland Technical High School and the Olympic Club of San Francisco, he signed on to a banana boat that plied the waters between San Francisco and Hawaii, relatives said.

His life's work was patternmaking, a meticulous craft of making wooden originals of what were to become iron parts. The patterns were packed in sand, which held its shape after the patterns were removed so that molten iron could be poured in.

Mr. McDonald, who was a 32nd degree Mason, worked at Macaulay foundry in Berkeley for decades, relatives said. One day on a streetcar en route to work, he met his future wife, Barbara Sainsot.

Mr. McDonald's wife preceded him in death and he is survived by his daughter Sally McDonald Menzel of Irvine; sons Warren McDonald of Menlo Park and Michael McDonald; seven grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. No services are planned.

"George will be greatly missed by all who had the great fortune to know him," his daughter Sally said.


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