Community - May 11, 2011


Colin Charles Eldridge

Colin Charles Eldridge, a 56-year resident of Menlo Park, died at home on April 19 after a seven year battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 91.

A graduate of Cornell University, Mr. Eldridge worked for the Burlington and Western Pacific Railroads and retired as chief transportation engineer for the Bechtel Corp.

Although he worked as a mechanical engineer, he was a practitioner of "people engineering," say family members, "helping all with his integrity and attention to detail, building friendships all over the world." He lives on in the railroads and trains he helped build and the people he befriended worldwide, they say.

Mr. Eldridge is survived by his children, Mary Joy Parker, Carol Root, Marjorie Eldridge, and David and John Eldridge; his sister, Anne Strickland Longman of Aptos, California; 13 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marian Edgar Eldridge, and eldest daughter, Wendy Eldridge Gansereit.

Lois R. Blackmarr

Lois R. Blackmarr, a longtime Menlo Park resident, died April 26 of congestive heart failure. She was 93.

Ms. Blackmarr grew up in Burlingame and graduated from Burlingame High School. She received both bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Mills College.

In 1941 she married Donald D. Blackmarr, moving to Mobile, Alabama, where he served in the Coast Guard. In 1952 they moved to Menlo Park.

In addition to raising her four children, Ms. Blackmarr gave piano lessons and worked as an elementary school teacher's aide. She belonged to numerous organizations, including the Stanford Music Guild, the Stanford Music Library, and the Palo Alto Area Mills College Club.

She and her husband also played musical duets in local churches and senior centers. In 1975 she earned a master's degree in library science from San Jose State University. An active member of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, she volunteered in the church library for many years.

Ms. Blackmarr is survived by her children, Anatta Blackmarr Riddle, Gail Blackmarr Heim, and Philip and Richard Blackmarr; brother Atherton Mitchell, sister Alison Thompson; and five grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Donald D. Blackmarr, who died in 2001.

Jack Ruetz

Jack Ruetz died at his home in Woodside April 1 from prostate cancer. Mr. Ruetz, who held a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University, had a long career at Varian Associates, where he developed microwave amplifiers for radar systems, electronic countermeasure and communications applications.

Mr. Ruetz was born on a farm in Remus, Michigan, in 1926. After graduating from high school in 1943, he entered the U.S. Navy, where he worked as a radar specialist in post-war Japan.

After his discharge, he attended the University of Michigan, earning bachelor and master's degrees in electrical engineering, For several years he worked at RCA in Princeton, New Jersey, before attending Stanford, where he met his future wife, Dolores.

After retiring from Varian in 1995, Mr. Ruetz spent leisure time at his house on the lake at Lake Tahoe, skiing, kayaking and enjoying his love of music, say family members.

He is survived by his wife, Dolores; sons Eric, Peter, and Matthew Ruetz; daughter Renee Stockwell; and four grandchildren.


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