Doug Collier was my best friend from our freshman year until his passing in 2006, just days after returning from a trip with me to spring training in Scottsdale. I doubt that I was his best friend, since Doug was very "rich with friends".
Doug was my "best man" when I got married in 1975... and I was honored to reciprocate by officiating his daughter Alyssa's wedding in 2016.
Doug was a solid, standup guy who held his friends to high standards. I still run into people who played with Doug on the National Champion softball teams sponsored by American Realty and Campbell Carpets in the 1970's. He was a stud longball hitter for those teams. I drive by the "Big C" athletic club where Doug's basketball jersey was framed on the wall in tribute. And, almost daily, I drive by the Heather Farm tennis courts where your ashes were scattered nearby. I miss you man...
From Art Plank on April 30th, 2019
I consider Doug as one of my life-long best friends. Doug was unique, and I will not be able to capture all of that here.
Doug had his own perspective on many of life’s social conventions and norms. He had outright contempt for those who acted in a way considered “phony.” “How are you?” “How you doin’?” and similar expressions drove Doug nuts. I tried to convince him those were just ways people said hello to each other, but he had no patience for hollow niceties.
Doug was truly a gifted athlete but he could not abide the coaches in high school who did not treat their athletes as thoughtful individuals, deserving of respect. He was unwilling to “go along to get along”. He made no attempt to hide his views, and that cost him. His refusal to play along derailed what likely would have been an outstanding high school athletic career.
Above all else, Doug loved his family--his mom and dad, his wife, Karen, and their children, Austin and Alyssa. Doug would do anything to help them and make sure they were safe and well-protected, all their financial and emotional needs met.
Doug was a loyal friend. He would criticize and cajole at times, but once Doug called you friend, he would always be there to offer any support he could. Over the years, Doug and I had drifted apart a bit, but when he learned that I had MS, he and Bill Wagoner drove right down to Los Altos right away to see how I was. I think, more than anything else, Doug wanted to let me know that he was there for me.
Doug battled his cancer with heroism. When it became apparent to him that he would not succeed, he faced his situation with a rueful acceptance. One year, when he knew he did not have much longer, he was determined to go to spring training. He wanted to go with both Bill and me to spend time with us and to get our perspective on the end of life.
A story from that trip to Arizona shows what kind of guy Doug was. I was still able to walk then but it had become a struggle for me. When we left the ballpark one day, Bill went ahead to get the car. As Doug and I were slowly walking along, he called for a stop. He was not thinking about himself, or his own impending death. He wanted to find a place for me to sit down so that I could rest for a moment or two. On that trip, it was Bill and I who wanted to look out for Doug. But in his always caring and sincere way, Doug was still thinking about his friends and their needs.
Doug, I miss you. And I will do my best to remember your birthday, Nov. 5th, this year. You always remembered mine and called me to wish me a happy birthday. It is with love and with an appreciation for you and your life that I have written these words.
Steven Louis Cook passed over on December 21, 2018 surrounded by his devoted and loving family. He was the son of Kenneth C. and Barbara J. Cook of Walnut Creek, CA and the youngest sibling to Leslie Lindberg of Santa Rosa, CA and Christi DeGrandi of Switzerland.
Steve is survived by Nancy, his wife of 41 years, his daughter Kristina Skinner, son-in-law Mark Skinner and their two children Amanda and Cole of Mt. Shasta and his son Chad Cook, daughter-in-law Jessica Cook and their two children Caleb and England of Sacramento, CA.
Steve was raised in Walnut Creek, CA. His childhood was filled with outdoor adventures in hunting, fishing and camping with family and friends. Following his graduation from Del Valle High School in 1969, Steve worked with students at the Las Trampas School in Lafayette. He later became a cadet in the Walnut Creek Police Department where he worked while attending Diablo Valley College. Steve graduated from CSU Sacramento with a B.S. degree in psychology in 1983. Following his graduation, the Cook family moved to Mt. Shasta where he lived for 20 years followed by 7 years in Brookings, OR before retiring to Redding, CA.
Steve worked for 22 years as a brakeman and a conductor for the Southern Pacific Railroad. His career was cut short due to a tragic accident at work which left Steve with a below knee amputation in 1994.
The loss of his leg did not affect his outlook on life or ability to enjoy life to its fullest. To say that Steve had an exuberance of life would be an understatement. He enjoyed sailing, golfing, traveling the world many times over and music, all music and especially live in concert. Above all, Steve was happiest when he was entertaining family and dear friends. When not traveling, Steve and Nancy would always be the center of gatherings at their home where all were welcomed. Besides being the quintessential host, Steve was a loyal friend, a trusted advisor, an amazing husband and father, the pillar of “his” community and the patriarch of our family. Words cannot express the loss of Steven Louis Cook, but his passion for life and his devotion to all who knew him will never be forgotten.
We will be celebrating the life of Steve Cook, Tee-Vee-Lulu, Cookie Man, Cooker, S.L. Cook on Sunday, February 24, 2019, 12:00 noon at the Redding Elks Lodge- 250 Elk Dr. in Redding.
Steve Cook was one of my two life long friends. We were police cadets together and Steve was in my wedding. we spent hundreds of enjoyable hours together. Steve lost his leg and almost his life in a railroad accident working up in the Mt. Shasta area. He never let the loss of his leg impact his life in a negative way. Most important, just prior to Steve leaving this life, I had the chance to pray with him and ensure his life was right with the Lord. Steve will be one more loved one I will look forward to seeing in heaven.
David Kenneth Crawford, a longtime resident of South Lake Tahoe, passed away at his home on Friday, April 23, 2010 after a short, valiant struggle with cancer. Dave was born in Oakland, CA on June 14, 1951 to Cal and Betty Crawford and grew up in Walnut Creek.
Dave was a graduate of Del Valle High School in Walnut Creek. He married Candise Fisher in 1976 and they had two children, Katie and Ryan, and were married 29 years. In 1986 he moved his family to South Lake Tahoe where he bought and ran his own business, Mt. Glass and Door Service and spent the last 24 years working hard to provide for his family.
Dave's infectious smile, amazing sense of humor, his uncanny skills at sneaky practical jokes and the deep caring that underlied all that he did will be missed by every one of us. Dave loved Lake Tahoe, running at Camp Richardson, spending time with his family and grandchildren and more recently trekking in the deserts of Nevada with his fiancee Linda. Dave also loved to travel to places like Belize, Hawaii, Grand Cayman and most recently a beloved trip with Linda to Italy.
Dave is survived by a large and loving family including his parents Betty and Cal Crawford; fiancee Linda Giannoni; daughter Katie Crawford Beattie (Brandon); son Ryan Crawford (John); two grandchildren Calvin and June Beattie; brother Tim Crawford (Donna); sister Jeanette Crawford Baird (Jim); aunts Marie Running, Alma Zenoni and Bernadine Innerbickler; 11 cousins; many nieces and nephews and countless friends. He was also a great friend and mentor to Linda's two children, Lacey and Ray Ficklin.
A memorial service is being held on Saturday, May 8th at noon, at St Theresa's in S. Lake Tahoe, with a reception at the church's hall immediately following,
In lieu of flowers, his family respectfully requests donations in Dave's name to St. Jude Children's Hospital or The American Cancer Society.
Don Eugene Darrimon Passed away in Antioch after a short illness on June 28, 2004. He is survived by his daughter, Heather, and his friend, Linda Petersen. He was an avid 49er and San Francisco Giants fan. At his request no services will be held.
John William Day lived from July 30, 1951, to July 10, 2018. He was Linda Who's cherished life partner, a loving brother, an uncle, and a friend. Surrounded at home by his loving "family" he transitioned to the spirit world after a brief illness and was courageous to the end as he fought the great battle. After retiring from 29 years at Contra Costa County Water Treatment plant, John enjoyed helping and hanging out with his Lake County friends and his dogs. John lived up to his favorite saying, "You got that right!"
At swim meets, Lenny and I were sometimes conscripted as judges of the diving competitions. Luckily, he knew something about it. I remember him as a sunny, quiet guy with a gentle energy that contrasted with the more typical bluster. I wish I’d known him better.
From Vicki Hansen-Scharnikow on June 15th, 2019
I knew Leonard since second grade. He was fun and funny and I always had a little bit of a crush on him. He taught me how to dance ("Loosen up!") and was great company. I am sad he died so young.
LINDBERG, RODD CHARLES Passed away unexpectedly in his Folsom home on January 12, 2003, at the age of 51. Rodd grew up in Walnut Creek and attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and CSU Sacramento. He served two tours in the US Air Force before beginning a career in hydrology, first with the US Geological Survey and then with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.
Marilyn scared me, to be honest. She was blunt and angry a lot of the time it seemed. But I also sensed a kind of honesty. She definitely stood out. I wish I’d known her better and hope to learn more from others.
Vernon E. Rominger Vernon E. Rominger died Friday, June 3, 2005 at his home in Volcano at the age of 54 years. He was born June 2, 1951 to Vernon and Henrietta Rominger in Richmond, California. Vernon lived in the Concord area 51 years before moving to Amador County 3 years ago. He worked 18 years as an auto mechanic last working for Parker/Robb Chevrolet in Walnut Creek.
He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Mary Rominger of Volcano; children, Chris Ullman and Nicole Smith both of Concord, brother, Norman Rominger of Concord; sister, Pamela Haywood of Brentwood; grandchildren, Angelina Smith, Troy Smith, and Madison Ullman. A private family graveside service was held. Interment was in Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette.
Brian Donald Rowe Resident of Concord Brian died peacefully at home after a long struggle with COPD with his loving wife of 25 years, Kathy, at his side. Devoted son of Betty Rowe of Concord; caring brother of Doug Rowe (Judie) of Sparks, Nev., and Ellie Spier Love (Mike) of Salinas. He is also survived by nieces, Amy and Holly Spier, and nephew, Tim Spier, all of Salinas; 3 stepchildren and 10 step-grandchildren.
Brian touched many lives with his gentle spirit and positive outlook on life. He was born in Oakland and graduated from high school in Walnut Creek. In his younger years Brian was an avid fisherman. In later years he became a fan of televised sports. He was particularly fond of football, baseball and basketball. He loved people, nature and animals. He made his Cursillo in 1991, a truly life changing experience. He was privileged to serve on three Cursillo teams in the early '90s. He also served his church as an usher, lector and cup bearer.
Friends and family are invited to a memorial service on Saturday, October 7 at 3 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1924 Trinity Ave., Walnut Creek. Burial in the St Paul's Columbarium will follow. Reception in the Parish Hall after the service Arrangements by the Neptune Society, (925) 944-5100. Memorial donations may be made to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, PO Box 4608, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; or to Cursillo, c/o Sarah Nelson, 5546 Maryland St., Concord, CA 94521.
Sue was cheerful and kind. She reached out .to me after Steve died.
From Vicki Hansen-Scharnikow on June 15th, 2019
I only knew Sue as a locker neighbor, as our lockers were next to each other. Still, she made a lasting impression on me for those four years. She was always laughing and enthusiastic and positive. She really brought a lot of sunshine into the room. I know she worked hard on many of the reunions, and I am grateful to her for that.
Richard F. Shand
Former Walnut Creek Resident Richard F. Shand, Ph.D., 56, died March 7, 2008, after a valiant three-and-a-half-year battle with cancer. Dr. Shand was born in Oakland, California, and grew up in Walnut Creek, CA. After graduating from Del Valle High School, he went onto UC Davis completing his BS in 1973.
He served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Western Samoa where his experience sparked a lifelong passion for teaching. While pursuing a Master's degree at CSU-Long Beach, he met his future wife, Linda Jorgensen, and they married in May, 1979. Their daughter, Stacey, was born in 1985.
Dr. Shand earned a Doctorate in Microbiology in 1986, through the Department of Bacteriology, UC-Davis. From 1986 to 1990, Dick was a postdoctoral fellow at UC-San Francisco, where he developed an interest in the biology of halophilic microbes. He next joined the faculty of the Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ as an assistant professor of microbiology in 1990 and rapidly rose to the rank of full professor. Extramural federal funding from the National Institutes of Health repeatedly supported his research. He published numerous peer-reviewed research articles and scholarly book chapters and presented his findings at national and international conferences.
In 2003, Dr. Shand chaired the Gordon Research Conference. He was an active participant in both the 2005 Oxford, UK and 2007 New Hampshire meetings. Dr. Shand will be best remembered as one of the rarest of academics, a highly gifted teacher and a committed researcher. His remarkable efforts training undergraduate students in research and providing mentorship helped many to pursue advanced degrees. He is survived by his wife Linda and daughter Stacey of Flagstaff; his parents, Frances Shand of Walnut Creek, CA, and Alexander James (Pat) Shand of Aptos, CA; brother Jim (Naomi) of Dublin, CA; sister Janice (Steve) Buchholz of Fremont, CA; stepbrother Matt (Sally) Cookson of Canon City, CO; and eight nieces and nephews. Dr. Shand will be greatly missed for his ready smile, his genuine concern and support for his students and his colleagues, and his deep love for his family. One of his great pleasures in life was summer weeks spent at the Lair of the Bear, roughing it in a hammock.
In lieu of flowers, donations are welcomed to the Richard F. Shand Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research in Molecular Biology, established in 2006 to honor Dr. Shand's commitment to the active engagement of undergraduate students in professional scientific research. The award provides financial support to students and acknowledges his contributions in mentoring the next generation of microbiologists. Donations can be sent to the NAU Foundation at P.O. Box 4094, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, and write Shand Scholarship Fund.
Dick was a smart, kind, and enthusiastic person--and my date to the Junior Prom! I was impressed by the many good things he did after high school, particularly his Peace Corps service and medical research. It was great to visit with him at our 20th high school reunion. I'm sorry that his time on earth was, as Neil Diamond might say, "done too soon."
Lance Wills was a good guy that I spent a lot of time with during our first two years at Del Valle and someone I would often search for online, even in recent years. We were "gym rats" spending most of our winter weekends playing pickup basketball at the Del Valle gym. Our DV basketball players will remember Lance as a member of the freshman team, although he didn't often get meaningful time during games. I recall one freshman game sitting in the stands and leading a "We want Wills" chant... he did finally get into the one-sided game with about two minutes remaining! Lance did not graduate with us (he's not listed in the commencement program) and no one seems to have had contact with him after high school. His half-brother, Randy Kahn, graduated in 1968 and has been "missing" from that class reunion site.
But even after 50 years, I cannot think of him without remembering those terrible days. The mounting fear and tears in Mrs. Wolf’s voice when she called to ask, was he with me? Did I know where he might be? (He was not home when they returned from church, she said, but his tea was still warm.) The impromptu interview with the bored police officer who was leaving their house when I got there: Did I know where he might have gone? Was there a girlfriend? The impossible green of the hills as we searched in teams organized by firemen, calling his name through the rain—he must have slipped and broken a leg, we would find him. The shock of learning, cold and wet on the return to the starting point, that word had just come down: he had been found. The long return to the top. The sight of the body.
And then the funeral: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”; “I shall lift up my eyes unto the hills. From whence cometh my help?”; the looks of concerned parents, ours and his; the long procession of cars as we made our way to the cemetery. And through it all, the rain.
Much later I dreamed the phone rang. It was Steve. “Where have you been?” I asked.
But Steve was more than his death. He was energy incarnate. A force, intellectually and physically. Funny. And generous. More generous, I think, than most of us. My father once said he seemed to have been born with a cape on.
I cannot remember a first meeting, but we were friends throughout high school. He read widely and fed our shared interest in the past, which we imagined as epic and brilliant. In a way, I suspect we saw stories of the past as an escape from the ordinary. But they also confirmed our sense that what people did—and what we would do--was important. We were fans of the film “Becket”-- Peter O’Toole’s manic portrayal of Henry II particularly drew him. Also, Lawrence of Arabia—he actually read Seven Pillars of Wisdom and could tell you about the strategic struggles in Arabia among the great powers between the first and second wars. All of it was fun for him. In Mrs. Hickman’s European History course (an elective), we were required to research a pivotal moment in history and report to the class. Steve chose the Battle of Marathon (490 BC), when a coalition of Greeks led by Athens turned back an invasion from the East, setting the stage for the rise of western civilization (say many). Steve stepped authoritatively to the blackboard, sketched an outline of the battle field with two oddly shaped circles, and wrote above them in big letters: BM. Everyone laughed (except Mrs. Hickman). Steve went on to present a thrilling description of how the day was won.
Eventually, we took to debating politics, including the Vietnam War, often during long walks while hunting down his ancient basset hound, Sam, a committed escape artist. (For a creature with very short legs, that dog could cover an amazing amount of ground!) Steve argued to the right; Hobie Marliave to the left; I somewhere to the middle. These battles were fiercely fought, but always friendly. Our common ground was the conviction that it mattered. At his insistence, we once sought out San Francisco-based Eric Hoffer, “the longshoreman philosopher,” who argued in 1951 (The True Believer) that mass totalitarian movements of the right and left both emerge from states of society that isolate and frustrate individuals, eroding faith in personal agency, causing people to surrender themselves to a leader or faith that directs their resentment and anger outward against a demonized other. Our phone message went unanswered. But it would never have occurred to me to phone an author and ask for a meeting. And besides, I’d never heard of Eric Hoffer.
We spent time together, too, with our younger sisters (Becky and Diane). There was once a ouija board séance, during which we tried to make contact with the ghost of Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago), one of Steve’s favorite authors. We asked the spirit to draw closer, closer. Then out of the dark came a voice (I’m pretty certain it was Steve’s), “Boris, you need a shave….”
The summer between our junior and senior years, Steve and I took a road trip south with his mother and sister (not exactly On the Road) to visit Claremont and Occidental Colleges. That fall, we began, with all of you, the final year, prepared (and not prepared) to “launch.”
We will never know what brave and surprising things Steve would have done; what stories he would tell us if he could move among among us at the Country Club this September, along with all the others whose journeys ended before ours. I suspect the stories would be interesting—and ongoing. (After all, 50 years in, I like to tell myself that even we, the survivors, are still becoming.)
I feel enriched having known him, as incomplete as my knowledge is. And when I think of his short life and all we lost when it ended, I recall the consolation Pasternak offers in Doctor Zhivago: “You have always been in others and you will remain in others. And what does it matter to you if, later on, that is called your memory? This will be you—the you that enters the future and becomes part of it.”
From Vicki Hansen-Scharnikow on June 15th, 2019
I always thought Steve was the most impressive kid in our class. He was bright, witty, passionate, smart, opinionated, and fascinating for his iconoclastic ways. I believed he would be the one to be famous either in politics or academia or publishing. I totally had a crush on him in junior high, despite our gap in political and social views. His unlikely death before he graduated was really a loss.
Betsy (Elizabeth) Yeaman was the second of five children born to Dean and Maggie Yeaman.
After High School, she graduated from Cal with a degree in Dietetics, motivated to bring nutritional guidance to a commune she and her future husband envisioned. The commune never materialized, but she and her husband did homestead for awhile in Trinity county where they lived for a few years. She was diagnosed with MS in her early twenties, which motivated her husband to attend Med School. They moved back to the Bay Area where her son Isaac Garcia was born in 1980.
At a time when treatment for MS was virtually unavailable, Betsy's condition continued to decline, especially after childbirth and even more so after her husband filed for divorce. She died of complications from MS in 1987.
Betsy was survived by her parents, son Isaac, sisters Billie and Kate, and brothers Don and Rob.
Isaac is grown up with three children of his own. Betsy's mom Maggie lives in Walnut Creek and lives an active life without the help of a cane.
Betsy was my good friend from sixth grade until her death at age 36. She was one of the most unusual people I've ever known. She loved to be the center of attention and could own a room. (In later years, when she was in a wheelchair, she told me how she loved making a grand entrance into her church, rolling down the aisle)
She loved drama and starred in several productions. Her performance in "Witness for the Prosecution" was unforgettable. She had a hilarious and unexpected sense of humor and drew funny cartoons which she amused her friends with. Her pets always had clever names.
She was smart, artistic, and musical. Sometimes we would get together and make up a song or a play or a story just for fun. I really miss her when I want someone to make up a video with. Though admittedly self-centered, she was also a kind and generous friend. She accepted people at face value and was very non-judgemental.