Dr. Robert “Robby” B. Beyers JD ’00, MBA ’01

On Monday, April 12th, 2021, Dr. Robby Beyers passed away at the age of 62 from complications of ALS.

Robby was born on June 20th in Ann Arbor, MI to Bob and Alice M. Beyers and grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. Being one of the most hard-working, intelligent, and stubborn people you’d ever meet, Robby worked his way to having five degrees: an MS, BS, and PHD from Stanford University and an MBA and JD from Santa Clara University.

For many years Robby worked as a material scientist at the IBM Almaden Research Center, years where, amongst other accomplishments, he co-invented single-wall carbon nanotubes and developed microscopy techniques which are now used throughout the semiconductor industry. His knowledge of material science leant itself well to his next career as a patent attorney, where he authored hundreds of patents, including the “iPhone Patent” (U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949) for the iPhone’s user interface. As a partner at Morgan Lewis LLP he mentored over a hundred aspiring law students.

The job Robby loved most was being the unofficial photographer for the Stanford Marching Band. For over 40 years he captured the RTFO antics of Stanford University’s famous scatter band. Even after his diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s Disease in 2018, Robby continued to work on new projects. Despite his growing paralysis, he photographed two more seasons for the band alongside his son Danny, wrote and published a self-help book, compiled decades of band shots into photo books, and even managed to travel across the country to visit his beloved summer home in Vermont. At the time of his death he was participating in an experimental brainwave mapping study through UC San Francisco which will aid future ALS patients and others by allowing computers to directly translate brainwaves into communication. His signature dry humor never wavered throughout his treatment and he was known to claim “ALS Privilege” whenever a situation arose that required him to get preferential attention or an extra serving of his beloved Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Robby was preceded in death by his father, Bob. He leaves behind his mother Alice, wife Elena, sons Bobby and Danny, brother Bill, sister Amy and her husband Craig, nephews Kurtis, Kris and Nik, stepson Will, and countless friends, mentees, caregivers, coworkers and band members.

Philip S. Bianco ’55, JD ’60

In the courtroom of life, Philip Steven Bianco, Attorney at Law, has rested his case. Following a brief illness, he died peacefully surrounded by family on December 28, 2021, at the age of 88. Phil was born in Visalia, CA, on November 13, 1933, to Luke and Goldie Bianco, owners of Bianco Fine Foods and later, Bianco Wine and Roses. Growing up in the thirties meant struggles for Phil that translated to things like pumping his older (and much bigger) sister, Elinor, to and from school on the handlebars of his bicycle, along with helping in the grocery store every afternoon. He attended George McCann Memorial School, where he was voted class clown, followed by Visalia Union High School, where he medaled in shot put, and graduated with the class of 1951. Anxious to spread his wings, Phil went to college at Santa Clara University where, in addition to his studies, he joined ROTC. He graduated in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. After serving two years in the army, he went back to Santa Clara University for law school, and earned his law degree in 1960. Moving back to Visalia, he initially worked for McKinney & Jordan before hanging the shingle on his own private law practice in 1968. While in law school, Phil met Maureen O’Hara at one of those dances the all-boys’ schools organize to meet women from the all-girls’ schools. They danced that evening and the two started dating. They dated and danced and eventually married on September 12, 1959. They continued to dance through life and marriage for 62 years. Phil is survived by Maureen and his six children, Lisa (William) Marich, Luke (Elie) Bianco, John (Suzanne) Bianco, Deirdre (David) Mangine, Yvonne (Theo) Papanickolas, and David (Megan) Bianco, along with 15 grandchildren. He is also survived by his younger sister, Gloria Bianco. As a father, Phil instilled in his children the value of hard work. Sunday mornings started with church, followed by a hearty breakfast, and then it was get your work clothes on, and everyone headed out to do yard work and chores. In the evening, wages earned that day were recorded in the red book. Very few of his six children ever remember receiving a payout from said red book brilliant from a parent’s perspective. Education was also very important to Phil, and he worked hard to provide each of his children with a college education, fully supporting their individual career endeavors. As a young family, Phil, Maureen, and the kids spent summer vacations at Huntington Lake, often hosting family and friends (most notably, cousin/babysitter Dave Franey). There Phil enjoyed sailing, biking and tennis. Later in life, he caught the travel bug, so he and Maureen took their vacations abroad, visiting several countries over the course of many years. Aside from spinning Maureen on the dance floor during their regular dancing club events, another passion of Phil’s was cooking. His father used to brag that by the time Phil was ten, he could make an entire meal from soup to nuts. Dinner at Phil and Maureen’s was always special, whether they were hosting their gourmet group or cooking Christmas dinner. Phil even taught David Vartanian of the Vintage Press how to make braciole, and he joined him in presenting a master cooking class at the restaurant. Phil looked forward to his Saturday morning coffee with Basil and friends, and enjoyed working in his yard, the occasional football game, and doling out treats to his poodle Mitzi. Never interested in retirement, Phil wanted to die with his boots on. He was a fixture in the Tulare County Superior Court for six decades. He mentored young lawyers, always willing to give advice about their case. He was an old school lawyer, courteous and professional to the other side, and had a true passion for the law. When asked the type of practice he had, he would say that he practiced people law, and that all God’s children need legal representation. He was actively practicing law when he passed away, going into the office five days a week and appearing in court as often. Ask anyone who practiced in Tulare County, and they’ll gladly share a Phil Bianco story, which the family would love to hear.

Philip T. Bird JD ’75

Philip T. Bird, law school cum laude grad of 1975, died June 17, 2021. No further information is available.

The Hon. William “Bill” F. Brown Jr.’55, JD ’60

William F. “Bill” Brown was born on September 1, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York. He lived in a three flat house with extended family until the family decided to move to San Jose, California in 1947.

Bill attended Bellarmine and paid for his tuition with a paper route. After high school he attended Santa Clara University where he met many lifelong friends.

He aspired to go to Law School, but first served as a 2nd lieutenant for two years in the Army in order to finance Law School at Santa Clara. In 1959, Bill married Donna Lou “Lou” Brown, a teacher. In short order his children Liz and Greg arrived.

Bill practiced law for eleven years before he was appointed to the Municipal Court by Governor Ronald Reagan in 1975. In 1983, he was appointed to the Superior Court in Santa Clara County by Governor George Deukmejian.

Bill died on October 12, 2021. He was pre-deceased by his parents, William F. Brown, Sr. and Jean Brown, and his sisters Dorothy and Kathleen.

He is survived by his wife, Lou, his children Elizabeth (Ron) and Gregory (Anne), his granddaughters Nicole (Alex), Corinne (Dennis), Catherine, Hannah, and Claire, and many nieces and nephews.

Richard S. Carlone JD ’71

Richard was born in Napa, CA June 22, 1946 to Salvatore and Elaine Calone. He passed away peacefully on May 21, 2021 in Stockton, CA. His youth was spent in Pittsburg, CA and upon graduating High School, he went on to attend the University of Norte Dame where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Rich continued his education and went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara School of Law and a Master’s Degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University. He was also a Certified Specialist in Taxation in the state of California and worked as an attorney for the IRS before launching his own law firm, Richard S. Calone, Inc. in 1989.

During his continued education, Rich was involved in ROTC and served in the Army Reserves as a Tank Captain. He was an avid bird hunter, enjoyed trap and skeet shooting, loved the San Francisco Giants, good food and absolutely CHERISHED the time he spent with his family and friends. He loved life and all its challenges, and will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved him.

Rich is survived by his loving wife Sharon, daughters, Heather Coldani (Troy), Charise DeCoito (Daniel), son Salvatore Calone, step sons, Blake and Eric Alley, brother Robert Calone, sister MaryAnn Ingram and his dogs Buddy and Molly and his cat Elvis.

William P. Cummings JD ’76

William P. “Bill” Cummings, 73, passed away in the late evening of Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Bill was born in San Diego, California to the late Guy and Angela (McDermott) Cummings on July 5, 1948 A huge baseball fan, Bill graduated with a Juris Doctorate law degree from the Santa Clara University Law School, in Santa Clara, California. Bill practiced the art of law for many years. He was an active member of the Kentucky Bar Association. Bill leaves to mourn, the love of his life, his devoted wife Betty Ann (Paruch) Cummings and his sister, Mary Virginia “Ginny” Garelick of Morro Bay, California.

The Hon. Anthony “Tony” De Cristoforo Jr. JD ’58

Sacramento, California – Anthony DeCristoforo, Jr. passed away on May 1st at the age of 90. He was the son of Italian immigrant parents, Antonio and Anna DeCristoforo. Antonio immigrated alone in 1906 at the age of 14 from the province of Abruzzo. His only formal education was third grade in Italy. Anna was born in Barrafranca, Sicily, and came with her family to Chicago where she met and married Antonio after his discharge from the United States Army in 1919. She never attended school. Their first born, Joseph, was an Army Captain in World War 11 and in Korea and was chief deputy district attorney in Sacramento before entering private practice with Anthony for ten years. Joseph went on to become a Superior Court Judge and then Justice of the Third District Court of Appeal.

Anthony, known as “Tony” was born in Lodi, California on March 27, 1931 and moved with the family to Sacramento in 1933. He attended Washington Grammar, Sutter Jr. High, Sacramento High and graduated from the University of California in Berkeley and Santa Clara University Law School. He played high school Manhart Legion and Cal baseball briefly and was senior class president, student body boys’ vice president and represented Sac Hi at California Boys State. Before his graduation from law school, he served two years in the U.S.Army and was with the Staff Judge Advocate in Austria and Italy.

After practicing law for 26 years, Tony was appointed Superior Court Judge in 1985 where he handled virtually every civil and criminal assignment available to judges. He had an impressive track record for settling cases and bringing parties together. After retirement in 1999, he continued to preside over jury trials as an assigned judge until he devoted his time exclusively to arbitration and mediation before enjoying total retirement. During and after his practice of law he became involved in various community service activities including Mercy Hospital Foundation Board, U.C. Davis Hospital Leadership Council and Jesuit High School Board of Trustees. He was a member of the International Academy of Trial Judges and California Judges Association. He belonged to Del Paso Country Club for many years and achieved lifelong membership in the Sutter Club. He was a member and past president of the Grandfathers Club and enjoyed the comradery of the Over the Hill Gang. In addition, he was elected to the La Salle Club Baseball Hall of Fame.

Of greatest importance to him, however, was his wife and family. He considered himself the most fortunate man alive for the happiness he shared with his beautiful wife of 57 years. He married Elinor Templeton on June 29, 1963. And they were blessed with four wonderful children and five grandchildren: Lora (Cindy) and Max, Cara, Tony (Michele) and Elise and A.J., and Joe (Theresa) and Reese, and Joe’s daughter, Cathy. The family met often and regularly and agreed those occasions were the best and most fun gatherings of all their activities. Tony cherished all of his friends-old and new and lived by the mantra “the more the merrier” and was always a gracious host.

Tony loved to cook, grow tomatoes and travel. He and Eli, and at various times their children and grandchildren, traveled extensively in various parts of the world, measuring stays from India, Dubai, Singapore, Tahiti and Hawaii, to Rio and Buenos Aires, to Ireland, Scotland, England, Scandinavia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Eastern Europe, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Morocco and of course Italy which they visited over twenty times staying with dear friends in Viareggio.

Among the expected elements of enjoyment brought by travel, Tony and Eli appreciated the great fortune we have by living in America. His parents came to this country penniless and uneducated. They succeeded in retail business only to lose everything to Chicago hoodlums when their house was blown up and their lives threatened at gunpoint. They came to California and again were successful raising grapes in Lodi only again to lose everything to the Great Depression. Resiliency and determination again prevailed in Sacramento when his father, by now working and tending his own bar, built and established low cost housing units now known as Loaves and Fishes. All was accomplished without financial assistance from outside sources. They were too proud to accept charity and too determined to make it on their own. Tony’s parents instilled the values of dignity, kindness, character and education to their sons. Both boys became judges.

August summers at Lake Tahoe were a highlight hosting friends of all ages, water skiing, barbecues, wine and tall tales. Fall Saturdays brought out the Blue and Gold starting with tailgates and ending at Club Pheasant. Whether it was coaching little league or timing swim meets, Tony was the proud and enthusiastic father and grandfather. His family and friends and most of all, the love of his life Eli, brought him immeasurable joy. Tony and Eli’s deep and abiding love for each other has been a beacon to their family. May our Tony, magnificent Husband, Father, Papa, Grampa rest in peace until we meet again. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

Donald “Don” J. De Geller JD ’52

Donald Joseph DeGeller of Novato died peacefully of natural causes August 9, 2021, with his wife Maureen by his side. Son of Joseph and Marguerite DeGeller, he was born at Fabiola Hospital, Oakland, January 12, 1926. Don spent his early years in Ukiah and Tulare, California, and Nampa, Idaho, where his father was employed as a manager of Montgomery Ward stores. The family settled permanently in Redwood City where Don graduated from Sequoia Union High School. After serving as an Aviation Radioman Third Class in the United States Navy during World War II, he was honorably discharged in 1946. He graduated from San Jose State College (now San Jose State University) in 1950 and received an L. L. B. degree from the University of Santa Clara School of Law in 1952. He practiced patent law for IBM in San Jose and was a patent lawyer and partner at Townsend and Townsend, San Francisco.

In 1975 Don and artist Joseph Neary opened “The Gallery” to sell paintings in the Montecito Shopping Center in San Rafael. Don and Maureen expanded the business to two separate locations in the Montecito Shopping Center, one devoted to needlework supplies and the other to art sales and custom picture framing. In 1985 they closed the needlework shop and relocated the art and custom framing business, renamed as Frame Crafters, to locations in the Bon Air Center, Greenbrae, and on Grant Avenue, Novato. They retired from the business in 1989.

A highly skilled still and motion picture photographer, he wrote, produced and filmed a 22-minute, 16MM color film on the U. S. Patent System, “Incentive to Progress,” as well as “Olympic Footprints,” which focused on the 1960 Winter Olympics held in Squaw Valley (now Palisades Tahoe), California.

Don’s family had a cabin at Homewood, California and throughout his life he spent many summers boating on Lake Tahoe and winters skiing at resorts in the Tahoe region.

As owner of the classically built wooden 36-foot ketch “Sea Waif,” for many years he sailed the waters of San Francisco Bay, the San Joaquin River Delta and off the coast of California, as well as participating in several Master Mariner’s Regattas on the Bay. He earned his private pilot’s license in 1972, eventually becoming a certificated flight instructor while flying his Grumman/American airplanes out of Gnoss Field, Novato.

Don is predeceased by his parents and his daughter Marguerite Spear. He is survived by his wife, Maureen, and sons Gregory (Marla) and Phillip (Valerie Edwards), grandson Martin Hamilton (Martha), granddaughters Kathryn DeGeller, Sarah DeGeller, Shannon Defoor and Kristina Spear and great-granddaughters Stella and Sofia Hamilton, as well as his ex-wife, Florence Diepenbrock Stronck.

Michael P. Diepenbrock JD ’66

With loving family and friends by his side, Michael Philip Diepenbrock, born November 22, 1941, died February 12, 2022, after battling cancer. The eighth of nine children, Michael was born to prominent San Francisco physician Dr. Anthony Bernard Diepenbrock and Genevieve Claire McCarthy in San Francisco. Michael grew up on the San Francisco Peninsula, attended St. Catherine of Siena School in Burlingame, Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, and received his law degree from Santa Clara University in 1966.

In July 1966, a month after law school graduation and a student draft deferment, Michael was drafted to serve in the United States Army in the Vietnam War. He started as an NCO Private and was stationed at Fort Ord on Monterey Bay. There, he performed military legal services under the supervision of Captain James (“Jim”) P. Hargarten, who would later become his brother-in-law and lifelong friend. While stationed at Fort Ord, Michael and Jim would go visit Michael’s sister, Patricia, who was in a graduate program at the nearby Monterey Institute for International Studies. Patricia’s roommate, Viorica Marian, quickly became the love of his life and the two married on November 30, 1968 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Boulder Creek, CA. Shortly thereafter, Jim and Patricia also married, and the close friendship between the two couples flourished throughout the half century that followed. Michael was discharged from the Army in November 1969, as NCO E6, Army Specialist 6.

Michael is survived by his beloved wife Viorica of 53 years, to whom he was deeply devoted, and their five children: Ted of Sammamish, WA, Michelle (Jeff) Egan of Windsor, Phil (Andrea) of Mill Creek, WA, Ann (Adam) Eberts of Santa Rosa, and Paul (Nicole) of Vallejo. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren: Laura, Claire, Mary, Caroline, Bernadette, Jakob, Clara, August, Damian, Jesse, and Andrei.

Michael is also survived by sisters Claire Diepenbrock of San Francisco, Florence (David) Stronck of Union City, and Patricia (James) Hargarten of San Francisco. He was preceded in death by parents Dr. Anthony and Genevieve Diepenbrock, sisters Mary (Frank) Draeger, Clotilde Diepenbrock, Rebecca (Lawrence) Del Santo, and brothers Melchior “Hubert” Diepenbrock and Anthony (Marjorie) Diepenbrock.

Michael was gifted with a keen intellect. He had an enduring interest in theology, philosophy, and the law, and could often be found deeply immersed in literature pertaining to these topics. Following in the footsteps of his big brother, San Francisco lawyer Anthony B. Diepenbrock (d. 2009), Michael was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1966. As a lawyer, Michael’s polished and persuasive writing skills were well-employed. He was eloquent, gentle-spirited and soft-spoken; he enjoyed light-hearted banter and clever word play. He loved food and cooking, especially preparing feasts for his large extended family. Michael was a devout Roman Catholic who loved his faith and the Blessed Mother. Through his longstanding parishionership at The Cathedral of Saint Eugene’s, he was a member of the Catholic fraternal service order, The Knights of Columbus. Michael loved to visit Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz, and Lake Tahoe with his family, as he often did growing up as a child.

Joseph W. Di Leonardo ’65, JD ’68

Joseph Wright DiLeonardo, 78, husband of Sharon Purcell DiLeonardo, of Abbeville, South Carolina died Sunday, November 7, 2021, at his residence. He was born in Palo Alto, CA to the late, Anthony and LaVina Sartain DiLeonardo. Mr. Joseph W. DiLeonardo graduated from University of Santa Clara in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. At the same time, he was commissioned as a Reserve Officer in the United States Army. In 1968 Mr. DiLeonardo graduated from University of Santa Clara with a Juris Doctor degree. He commenced active duty in 1968 completing infantry and intelligence training before being ordered to Vietnam in May 1969. Joseph was assigned Chief Order of Battle Section for the 635th MID of the America Division. In June 1970 he was returned to the United States having been awarded the Bronze Star Medal with first Oak leaf; the Army Commendation medal; two Gallantry Crosses from the Republic of Vietnam. Joseph practiced law upon return from his service in the Army. He authored two books, Vietnam War and Red Wave Task Force 2020. Following his retirement, he and his wife, Sharon moved to Angel Fire, New Mexico, where Mr. DiLeonardo worked various jobs and enjoyed helping with the Veterans Parade. From Angel Fire, New Mexico to Elizabeth, Colorado where Mr. DiLeonardo was an active member of the Elbert County, Colorado Republican Party and the Elbert County VFW. Later he relocated to Abbeville, SC. His love of horses, Republican Party, Veterans organizations and his family were well known. He has been married to his wife, Sharon since 1979, they have one daughter, Christina Ann DiLeonardo and her husband Aaron Gravit; one grandson, Harrison Finn Gavit; four brothers, Anthony, Gregory, Christopher and Carl DiLeonardo; two sisters, Elaina Williamson and Maria Casey.

James J. Egan JD ’83

Law school friends of James recall several group adventures in Ensenada and Jamaica. He is missed by his friends and clients. James died on May 22, 2021.

He practiced with several defense firms in San Jose before striking out on his own. James relocated to Hawaii, where he continued his practice. In 2001 he returned to continue his family law and civil litigation practice in Santa Rosa.

James was a sports fan, especially of basketball, and he loved his chocolate lab Kona. James is survived by his brother Tim.

Eugene “Gene” E. Feltz JD ’51

Gene was born in Portland, Oregon, Oct. 29, 1927 to parents, Emil and Anna Feltz. He attended Sacred Heart grade school in southeast Portland and Columbia Prep High School in North Portland.

With a strong sense of patriotism and duty, Gene joined the Navy immediately after high school graduation in May 1945 and was assigned to the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier. World War II ended while the USS Intrepid was docked for repairs in the San Francisco Bay and Gene humbly testified that the majority of his Navy career was therefore spent scraping, painting and guarding the vessel in the bay until his discharge from active duty in August 1946. Despite the menial work, pride of service and love of country was firmly etched into his character.

After Navy service, Gene attended the University of Portland for two years until 1948 when he enrolled in law school at the University of Santa Clara in California. Gene graduated law school and became a member of the Oregon State Bar in 1951. He returned to the University of Portland to complete additional courses in accounting before joining the law firm of Jacob, Jones, and Brown in 1953. In 1963 Gene joined the firm of Casey, Palmer & Feltz (now Smith, McDonald, Vaught & Rudolph, LLP) where he practiced estate planning and general law until his retirement in 2001. The legal profession was a natural fit for Gene as he relished a vigorous debate and loved to dispense advice, solicited or not.

Gene met and married Elizabeth “Betty” Louise Altstock in 1952. Together they raised nine children, traveled extensively, and enjoyed an active social life both in Portland and their beloved Cannon Beach. Gene and Betty were married 66 years at the time of her death in 2018.

During his lifetime, Gene served on the boards of many local charitable, religious, and civic organizations. He was one of the founders of the Blanchet House of Hospitality in 1952 and remained a member of its honorary board until his death. He received an honorary degree, Doctor of Public Service, from the University of Portland for his work for the Blanchet House of Hospitality. Other charitable and religious boards included: Holy Family School Endowment Fund, Catholic Charities, Catholic Youth Organization, Camp Howard, Serra Club, Providence Child Center, LaSalle Catholic College Preparatory, Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows Inc., Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, Mt. Angel Abbey and DePaul Industries. Civic boards included the City of Portland Planning Commission and the Portland Zoo Commission.

Gene was predeceased by his wife, Betty; infant daughter, Mary; daughter, Carol Lee Feltz Bluhm; and brother, Tom. He is survived by his brother, Paul; and his children, Dan, Joe (Marguerite), Steve (Kim), Marianne Gunderson (Dave), Sharon Schlechter (Joe), Laura (Gar), Maureen Cortopassi (Tom) and Diane Slaughter (Tim); and son-in-law, Jim Bluhm. Grandpa Gene will be dearly missed by 20 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren who enjoyed his gruff humor and many pearls of wisdom.

Arthur “Art” J. Gemmell LL.M ’05

Dr. Art Gemmell grew up in New York and after graduating from Hunter College, he entered the business world. He worked for companies such as Fujitsu America, Warner Communications, and PepsiCo. After his retirement, he entered Lincoln Law School of San Jose. Upon receiving his JD in 2004, Dr. Gemmell was named the class Valedictorian. In 2005 Dr. Gemmell obtained an LL.M. from Santa Clara University and in 2007 a S.JD (Doctor of Comparative and International Law) from Golden Gate University of Law. Dr. Gemmell has studied law at Oxford, Strasbourg, France, Geneva, at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and in Beijing and Shanghai, China. Dr. Gemmell also received a Practice Diploma in International Arbitration from the College of England and Wales; received a Fulbright nomination, and was also named a Fellow in the Chartered Institute of Arbitration. In addition, Dr. Gemmell has had a book published on Chinese arbitration and had a number of articles dealing with comparative law matters appear in leading legal publications and Law Review. Dr. Gemmell has also delivered speeches on International Affairs at Berkeley Business Club, University of San Francisco, Harvard Business Club, and the Commonwealth Club, among others.

Dr. Gemmell is survived by his wife, Barbara, and his three sons Keith, Kenneth (Darlene), and Kevin (Rebecca). Dr. Gemmell was blessed with four grandsons.

John S. Gerhardt JD ’63

John Gerhardt passed away peacefully surrounded by love on Nov 10. John was raised in Spokane, WA where he graduated from Gonzaga Prep. Son of Vera and Charles Gerhardt a Law School graduate of Georgetown. John had 11 siblings: Arthur, Evelyn, Charles, Margaret, Louise, Vera, Carolyn, Nancy, David, Ann & Jim. John obtained both his BA and Law Degree from Santa Clara University. John practiced law for 57 years and proudly owned Gerhardt Law Firm at the Pruneyard Towers. John and Sandra loved traveling to Hawaii, spending weekends in Carmel and visiting their children and grandchildren for weekly dinners, sports events and costume parties.

A devout Catholic, John was an active parishioner of St. Catherine’s in Morgan Hill and at St. Anthony’s in Almaden. He believed in giving service to all by volunteering at Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen and at Kaiser, where he escorted new moms and babies to their cars. In 1973 he began 50 yrs of volunteering first at South Valley YMCA and later at Mount Madonna YMCA where John was the founding member and received the Heroes Award for 50 years of service. Above all, he loved his family, his beloved wife Sandy, his 8 children: Chuck, Julie, Paul, Tim, John, Alisa, Stephen &Teri and his 15 grandchildren, Rhiannon, Rachel, Olivia, Pablo, Gianna, Tiger, Mateo, Tej, Asha, Anik, Shrayes, Phoebe, Kai, Mason & Rhylan. He adored his grandchildren with whom he assigned a specific song and story to each, individually. By all accounts, John was witty, fiercely intelligent, compassionate and larger than life. He will be missed beyond measure as he was one of a kind.

Mark B. Hames JD ’73

Resident of San Jose. Mark Hames passed away peacefully on October 2 , 2021 in San Jose, California after a courageous struggle with multiple health issues.

Mark was a proud native Californian, born in Oakland, California. He moved to the South Bay in 1968 to attend Santa Clara University Law School. While in law school he met his wife Joanne, his wife of 48 years. Law school was interrupted for a time when Mark joined the Army National Guard of California and spent 6 months of active duty. After graduating from the law school Mark joined the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. He was especially proud of his work in consumer protection and prosecution of elder financial fraud. Mark remained with the District Attorney’s Office until his retirement in 2002.

Upon his retirement Mark became an avid tennis player until an injury limited this. However, he discovered that he could now devote more time to two of his greatest passions—computers and photography. He volunteered with an Almaden Valley senior group teaching and developing a variety of classes. He made several friends here and became a popular teacher in part because of his wonderful sense of humor. He continued with this until the pandemic forced the closure of classes.

Mark’s greatest passion, however, was his family. He was dedicated to his family and family always came first. He was a devoted husband and father. He was always a supportive husband and always played an active role in the lives of his children. If there was a high school tennis match or theatrical performance he was always there, cheering for them. In recent years, his greatest pride and joy have been his 6 grandchildren.

In addition to Joanne, he is survived by his loving children, Kerry Erickson (Craig) and Brian Hames (Rosie) and his 6 grandchildren, Tenaya, Ella and Alex Erickson and Will, Henry and Brynlee Hames.

Brian N. Lawther JD ’68

Brian Lawther loved a good story, especially when he was telling it.
A respected attorney specializing in Workers’ Compensation, Brian often played David to wealthy companies advocating for the unjustly injured. “He loved being able to make a difference in people’s lives,” says his wife, Jill, who benefited firsthand from Brian’s superior litigation skills. In February of 1975, then Jill Alario, who suffered an industrial accident, recalls meeting Brian when, “I hobbled into his office on crutches” in the Boccardo Law Firm. The day Jill’s case was settled, Brian invited her to dinner, and the two were together until his death on May 27.

Brian Nicholas Lawther was born in Norfolk, VA. The Lawther family moved to San Jose when Brian was four. He graduated from Lincoln High School; earned his degree in philosophy at the University of Georgia in Athens; and went on to Santa Clara University law school. Upon graduation in 1968, he joined the distinguished Boccardo Law Firm. Becoming a partner, he spent his entire career at the firm, retiring in 2008.

Brian was an outstanding golfer. He became a member of the San Jose Country Club in 1975. He won the club championship in 1988. Brian was also a member of the prestigious Olympic Club in San Francisco. “Brian was a first-rate golfer, a tough competitor, a smart dresser, and he had a truly fine Hoganesque swing,” says his brother, Christopher, who often joined him on the links.

Brian and Jill purchased a home directly facing the Rose Garden in 1982, and Brian was a familiar figure there walking their King Charles Spaniels. Brian had been fighting Parkinson’s disease for several years. While walking around the Rose Garden, Brian fell, sustaining a severe brain injury, which led to his death.

In addition to his beloved wife, Brian is survived by his sisters Marcia Lawther of New York City and Jean Lawther of Lafayette; his brother, Christopher Lawther and his wife Marianne of Norwalk CT., and many nieces and nephews.

Rodney “Rod” L. Levin JD ’93

Rodney “Rod” Lawrence Levin, 52, loving husband of Christine (Monahan) Levin and father of Lily Kate Levin, passed away peacefully at his home in San Jose on Jul. 10, 2021. Rod was born on Sept. 8, 1968 in Lompoc, CA where he was raised by his loving parents Alvin and Ann Levin. Rod looked back fondly on his time in Lompoc where he enjoyed spending time with his brother Monty, playing golf and baseball, and attending Lompoc High and La Purisima Mission school.

Rod graduated with honors from both UC Riverside in June of 1990 and later from Santa Clara University where he received his Juris Doctorate in May of 1993. After passing the Bar in December of 1993, he clerked for several judges and practiced civil litigation until 2000. Upon formation of McArthur & Levin, LLP, he focused exclusively on representing public agencies in special education. His intelligence, knowledge, and empathy were ubiquitous, and his focus on social justice in every aspect of his work and personal life was unparalleled. In 2001, the Santa Clara Bar Association recognized Rod for his outstanding contributions in pro bono work.
Rod married the love of his life, Christine Marie Monahan. They welcomed their precious daughter Lily Kate in December of 2010. Rod cherished his time with his family and together they enjoyed hiking, going to concerts, taking in the local county fairs, and walking their beloved dog, Jet. He was an avid reader and history buff, and his sharp and intelligent sense of humor will be missed by many. If you didn’t pay attention, you could miss his subtle yet cleverly crafted wit.

In 2015, Rod was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and subsequently, fought a courageous battle for almost 6 years. He never gave up hope and continued to work with the same clarity, care, and compassion throughout his illness. He is predeceased by his parents, Alvin and Ann Levin and his father-in-law, Warren Monahan. Rod is survived by his wife, Christine and daughter, Lily of San Jose. He is also survived by his loving brother, Montgomery “Monty” Levin, his dear mother-in-law, Patricia Monahan, and many siblings-in-law as well as nieces and nephews.

Robert A. Loeher II JD ’75

Robert Allen Loehr, II, Stanford, (1968), Biological Sciences; Santa Clara University School of Law, (1975), LLB, of San Jose Calif., passed away on May 16, 2021, after a long battle with multiple myeloma.  Bob was the in-house attorney for the San Jose and Great Oaks Water

Companies.  He loved to play bridge and golf, travel with his family, grow vegetables and cook. He especially enjoyed the family vacation home in Pacific Grove. He had a wonderful sense of humor; friends always loved hearing the new joke of the day. He is survived by his wife Claire, stepsons David and Darren, granddaughter Harlow, siblings Mary Margaret, Rich and Jim Loehr, and multiple nieces and nephews.

Robert J. Mertz JD ’47

Bob tidied his desk and departed this life on February 1, 2022. He was born on June 3,1923 and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he would later meet his wife, Gwen, whom he was happily married to for 78 yrs.

Bob married his childhood sweetheart, Gwen Klein, on September 2, 1944, and was discharged from the US Army at Ft. Ord on December 16, 1944. He later attended Marquette University and graduated from Santa Clara Law School in 1947.

After graduation, Bob and Gwen explored the central valley for possible sites to establish his law practice from Madera to Marysville. After several offers, they decided Lodi was the ideal place to start a family and build a practice. With the encouragement and support of Attorney Robert Rinn, Bob commenced his career of some 68 years. He served many families in Lodi during this time while he and Gwen raised four children. Paul, Steve, Wendy, and Tom all survive their father, including seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

During the last 12 years of his practice, he, with the able assistance of his long-time administrative assistant and family friend of 50+ years, Haru Oga, concentrated on trusts and estate cases. Bob served as City Judge for three years in 1952, and he and his wife were active members of Woodbridge Golf and Country Club for many years.

The Mertz’s have had a fulfilling life traveling with Ben and Geri Schaffer throughout Europe, the UK, Spain, and Portugal, all while never forgetting to bring their golf clubs. They golfed in many countries during their travels, including Hong Kong and Japan.

For over 30yrs, Bob and Gwen lived in Ione, CA, overlooking the North Shore of Lake Camanche, where they enjoyed many holidays and Sundays full of swimming, family, and sun. They also shared with the Mardee, Kidd and Podesto families, a beautiful condo on the ocean at Poipu on the island of Kauai.

Paul A. Pelosi JD ’73

Paul Pelosi passed away after a year-long battle with Lymphoma. He was the son of Anthony and Aline Pelosi who predeceased him. He was a devoted father and grandfather. He leaves behind his best friend and wife of 40 years, Karen, his children; Julie Malech (Tom), PJ Pelosi (Tazia), John Pelosi (Janine), his grandchildren; Hudson, Presley and Harry Malech, Merrill and Sofia Pelosi and Ella Pelosi. He also leaves his siblings; Diane Harrington (Joe, deceased), Marilyn Brady (Ed, deceased), Tom Pelosi (Iris), John Pelosi (Birgit) and Chris Deppmeier (Tim) and a large extended family.

Paul grew up in Cupertino, attended St. Josephs, Bellarmine College Prep, Princeton University and Santa Clara University School of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of California, Santa Clara County Bar Association and has practiced law since 1970. Paul was involved in the Diocese of San Jose. He was a member and past president of the Catholic Professional and Business Club. Paul was an avid sports fan and coached all of his children’s teams in Almaden Valley. His greatest joy was going to his grandkid’s games and school performances, family get togethers and holidays. Nothing will be the same without him.

John B. Rasche JD ’82

John Bernard Rasche, 75, passed away due to heart complications the afternoon of Monday, May 17, in Richmond, Kentucky. John was born in Bronx, New York, and earned degrees from St. John’s University, Duquesne University School of Pharmacy and the University of Santa Clara Law School. He was an active member of the Richmond Lions Club and St. Mark Catholic Church. John was a devout Catholic, and he tried his best to instill those values in his only child John Rasche Jr. He is preceded in death by his parents, August and Theresia Kaeppler Rasche. He retired from a long career as a pharmacist in 2016 and enjoyed regular visits to Hillsdale College in Michigan, his son’s alma mater. John was a loving father and a friendly stranger, always greeting new people with a large smile and a jovial demeanor. He is deeply missed by those who knew him best. He will be laid to rest at Madison County Memorial Gardens on Monday, May 24. Public viewing will be held at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Mark, followed by a funeral Mass. In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to Leader Dogs for the Blind, a nonprofit that trains service dogs and provides them forever homes after their retirement. Thanks to this organization, John was able to care for Annie, an affectionate black lab, during his decline. It is only fitting to end with the final line of his favorite sitcom Cheers: “Sorry, we’re closed.”

Delbert M. Siemsen JD ’72

Delbert M. Siemsen died peacefully on the evening of July 4th after a battle with Parkinson’s Disease and Heart Disease. Del was born on June 14th, 1937 to Nellie and Albert Siemsen of Holyrood, Kansas and was the fourth child of six, having four brothers and one sister. He was raised on a farm near Holyrood and graduated from Holyrood High School in 1955. After studying at the University of Kansas and serving in the US Army where he attained the rank of Sergeant in 2 years, Del received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wichita (the predecessor to Wichita State University) in 1963. After graduating, he moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he worked as a computer programmer for AO Smith Corporation. During the time he lived in Milwaukee, he met and married his wife, Margaret Gould. He and Margaret were married on July 1st, 1967 in her hometown of Saratoga, Wyoming. Shortly after they married, he and Margaret moved to California, spending time in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara before moving to Oroville and finally to Durham where they resided for over forty years. Two significant events marked the Bay Area years. The first was the birth of their daughter, Shannon (1971) and the second was Del earning a law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. The move to Oroville was prompted by a job offer from the County Counsel’s Office for Butte County. Del served several years as Assistant County Counsel and one term as County Counsel before moving on to private practice. But Del discovered his true calling was farming. Over the years, he and Margaret farmed two orchards and were early adopters of the Chandler variety of walnuts. Del devoted increasing time to the orchards, beginning with evenings and weekends and eventually farming full-time, doing nearly all of the work himself. About a year ago, due to his failing health, Del and Margaret moved from the Durham farm to Chico. Del is survived by his wife of 54 years, daughter Shannon Cross (Robert) of Short Hills, NJ, two grandchildren, Tyler and Sidney of Short Hills, NJ, two brothers Donald (Carol) and Harold (Patsy) Siemsen of Holyrood, Kansas, and his sister Marilyn Smith (Dennis) of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was predeceased by his parents, two brothers, Albert and Gerald and an infant son. He is also survived by a large extended family.

Mark A. Solomon JD ’75

Mark Alan Solomon, of Las Vegas, Nevada, passed away on Sunday, April 18, 2021, at the age of 70. He was born on August 30, 1950 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and was predominantly raised in San Jose, California.

Eric K. Spangenberg JD ’85

A long-time resident of Portola Valley and Palo Alto, Eric Karl Spangenberg passed away at his home on November 28, 2021. A proponent of life-long learning, he enjoyed practicing simultaneous careers during his lifetime. He graduated with a Masters in Physics from San Diego State in 1969, and worked with the injection group at Stanford Linear Accelerator. He completed a Master of Science in Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering and Management from Stanford University in 1979 and earned his Juris Doctor, School of Law from Santa Clara University in 1985. He was licensed as a Real Estate Broker, Civil Engineer and a Member of the Bar. He applied his broad background to Real Estate Construction and to practicing law from Portola Valley over the last three decades. Eric Karl Spangenberg was born in Palo Alto on October 31, 1945, the loving son of Karl Rudolph Spangenberg and Ruth Beahrs Spangenberg and brother to Kristin L. Spangenberg (John E. Gilmore), Karen Spangenberg (Gloria D’Alessandro), Karla Lane (Bix Lane and family and Cleo Lane-Bailey and family), Kathy Spangenberg (Kimberly Aldinger) and Rudolph (Rudy) Spangenberg.

The Hon. Michael G. Virga ’78, JD ’81

Sacramento, California – Michael G. Virga was born March 26, 1956 in Santa Clara, CA. He passed away peacefully in his home in Sacramento on Father’s Day, June 20, 2021. He is preceded in death by his father Michael James Virga. He is survived by his beloved wife of 40 years, Debbie Virga, adoring Mother, Betsey Virga, daughters Nicole Bautista (Jayme) and Natalie Panagotacos (Gus), siblings Julie Virga (Todd), Gregory Virga (Laura) and David Virga (Shawna), grandchildren Avery and Benicio Bautista, Michael, Leo and Marcus Panagotacos, nephews Michael Virga (Michelle), Jake Virga and Nico Virga, Uncle John Virga (Wendy), and cousins John Virga (Alicia) and Megan Virga (Sam), as well as several other relatives of his large Virga family.

Michael graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1974 where he played varsity baseball. He was an avid baseball player playing Pacific LL., Land Park Pony and Colt, Kennedy High school and American Legion. Michael followed his father’s footsteps and attended Santa Clara University for both undergrad and Law School.

Despite both attending Kennedy High School, Michael and Debbie didn’t meet until he was in college. When they met, it was love at first sight. They were married on December 28, 1980 in Sacramento at St. Anthony Parish where they established strong ties to their faith community and raised their two daughters, building a life full of love and joy.

Michael began his legal career with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office in 1981. Michael was elected to the Municipal Court in 1993, and was elevated to the Superior Court in 1994, filling his father’s seat. Michael served as the Presiding Judge of the Sacramento Courthouse from 2004 to 2005 and received a number of accolades as a judge, including recognition as the “Judge of the Year” by ABOTA, CCTLA, and the Sacramento County Bar Association. Michael served on the bench for 23 years until he retired in 2016 and started a successful career as a mediator with Judicate West.

Michael grew up in a home rich with love and laughter, and the Virga family home was the hub of the neighborhood with family and friends gathering often. It was here that he learned about the importance of family, kindness and character. This strong family bond has shown over the years, and became evident as Michael’s siblings supported him through his cancer treatments. His brother Greg was his constant companion and attended nearly every appointment and provided tremendous support for Michael during his valiant battle with Lymphoma.

Michael was an involved father staying active in all of his daughters’ events. He enjoyed playing tennis at Park Terrace and played softball for the DAs office softball team, “G Street Blues”. He enjoyed playing golf; his favorite partner being his mom Betsey. Debbie and Mike were 49er season ticket holders for many years and sat alongside Michael’s lifelong friend Kevin Wright. Despite his many accolades and accomplishments Michael’s most cherished role was being “Paw” to his five grandchildren. He spent as much time as possible with them and delighted in being a grandfather.

Michael and Debbie’s strong faith and deep love for one another helped fortify them through Mike’s courageous battle with Lymphoma; Debbie and daughters were by his side when he drew his last breath.