Obituaries | March 20, 2013 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - March 20, 2013


John Harris Stewart

John Harris (Jack) Stewart of Menlo Park, an authority on the geology of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau regions of Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona, died March 1. He was 84.

Mr. Stewart was born in Berkeley. He graduated from Berkeley High School and the University of New Mexico with a degree in geology. In 1951, he began his 62-year career with the U.S. Geological Survey. He later obtained a doctorate in geology from Stanford University.

In 1962 he was married to Sally Dwight and they had two children, Ed and William. The family spent many summers in Nevada, where he performed extensive field work.

For his achievements in the field of geology in western North America, Mr. Stewart was granted the Distinguished Service Award by the Department of the Interior in 1994.

In 1990 Mr. Stewart married Joyce Colbath, who survives him. He is also survived by his sons, Ed and William; sister Jill Evenson; stepchildren Mary McCurdy, John Plungy, Elizabeth Ramaley, and Mark Plungy; two grandchildren, and eight step-grandchildren.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Truckee-Donner Land Trust.

Ronald Ferrando

Ronald Rio Ferrando, a school bus driver for the Las Lomitas School District for 30 years, died Feb. 18 in Menlo Park. He was 59.

Mr. Ferrando, son of Ezzio and Rita Ferrando, grew up in Menlo Park. An avid drummer, he spent much of his retirement perfecting his drumming skills. He also had a passion for restoring muscle cars.

He is survived by his son, Mark, and brothers Bob and Randy.

Donations in his name may be made to the American Cancer Society. Remembrances may be mailed to P.O. Box 831 Menlo Park, CA 94026.

William Harrison Heflin

William Harrison Heflin, whose wife, Jean, was one of the Almanac's three founders, died March 2 in Mount Vernon, Washington. He was 86.

The Heflins lived in Portola Valley from 1960 to 1971. In 1965, Jean Heflin, Hedy Boissevain and Betty Fry founded the Country Almanac as a community newspaper for residents of Woodside and Portola Valley.

All members of the three women's families played a part in the early days of the fledgling weekly. Mr. Heflin was pressed into service collecting outstanding advertising accounts. The Heflins left Portola Valley in 1971, moving first to Ottawa and then the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Heflin was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1941, the family moved to Redwood City. After graduating from Sequoia High School in 1943, Mr. Heflin joined the Naval Reserve and was sent to the University of Colorado, graduating in 1946. He received an MBA from Stanford School of Business in 1948.

Active in the electronics business in Canada and the United States for years, Mr. Heflin served as president of the Western Electronics Manufacturers Association in 1965. His working life was spent in the telecommunications industry, both in the manufacturing and operating sides, say family members.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jean of Mt. Vernon; daughter Sue Ellen Heflin of Samish Island, Washington; son William James Heflin of Victoria, B.C.; one grandson; and two great-grandsons.