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Boatright, Barbara Buckles Mirsky  
Barbara Buckles Mirsky Boatright Mar. 19, 1940 Aug. 21, 2015 Barbara Boatright passed away at her home on the Eel River north of Potter Valley, CA early Friday morning. The quiet, picturesque property on the Eel River just outside Potter Valley was truly home for Barbara and the place where she was most at rest and at peace. She is survived by her devoted husband, Lee Boat-right, brother Robert "Bob" Buckles, her son Michael "Kevin" Mirsky, daughter-in-law Elise and three beloved grandchildren Rennic, Belen and Jude Mirsky, along with her stepson, Craig Boatright and his children Colton and Lauren. Barbara, who was known affectionately by friends as "Barbie", was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Along with her parents and brother Bob, she moved to California at an early age. She attended Menlo - Atherton High School and went on to graduate from UCLA. Barbara was a substitute school teacher and classroom volunteer for many years in the Potter Valley and Ukiah school systems, where her passion for life and learning touched many young people. Ever an adventurous soul, Barbara lived life to the fullest powered by a relentless often restless pursuit of being in the great outdoors. Together with her husband Lee, she hiked, climbed and camped her way through the Sierra's and throughout the mountains of the West. She lived aboard and frequently sailed a 36 foot sailboat in Sausalito, traveled extensively from Baja to British Columbia and across the world to China, India, New Zealand and beyond. Not only a force of nature, Barbara was a force in nature. Barbara touched everyone she met and she will be greatly missed by all. A memorial service in her honor will be held in the near future. If you wish to make a donation to honor her, please send it to: Potter Valley School District, Attn. Jennifer Meyer, P.O. Box 219, Potter Valley, CA 95469. It will go to the Potter Valley Elementary School.
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Published in Marin Independent Journal on Aug. 28, 2015

Obituaries from Two Days Ago

Bozio, Raoul Orlando  
Raoul Orlando Bozio Passed away peacefully on August 13, 2015 in San Rafael, CA. He was 72. Raoul was born in San Francisco and grew up in the City and in Sausalito. He graduated from Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley and from St. Mary's College in Moraga. He was on the tennis team in both high school and college. He earned his teaching credential from the University of San Francisco. He taught History and Civics at Madera High School for 20 years and also coached tennis. In his retirement he enjoyed going to the beach, walking dogs, and entertaining his granddaughters. Raoul is survived by his wife of 43 years, Barbara; his sons, Ryan and Raoul; his daughter-in-law, Megan; and his granddaughters, Audrey and Olivia. He is also survived by a large extended family, including his aunt, Cicely Muldoon of Sausalito, and many cousins. He was always there for us. Well done Raoul! Memorial contributions may be made to The Marin Humane Society, 171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Novato, CA 94949-6105.
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Published in Marin Independent Journal from Aug. 22 to Aug. 26, 2015

Obituaries from the Past Three Days

Breece, T. Howell  
T. Howell Breece Born Thomas Howell Breece in Boston on December 6, 1916, the only child of Ruth and Tom, Howell finished his life at home in his own bed in Sausalito on July 26, 2015. Howell loved us all so much - a family man who welcomed and accepted all he met. He was a friend, teacher, animal lover, humanitarian, pacifist, linguist, and scholar. At age 2 Howell moved with his English professor parents to Peking, China where he lived until graduating as valedictorian of Peking American School. He left China proficient in Mandarin, English, French and Latin to attend UC Berkeley where he lived at I-House and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1938. He took a Masters in English, though he preferred studying Ancient Greek, married his first wife, Eileen Lynch, and moved to attend Japanese Language School as a naval lieutenant in Boulder, CO where his first son was born. Stationed in China during WWII, he was flown "over the hump" to Chunking where he translated Japanese radio transmissions and played in high stakes poker games. After the war, he returned to California to teach English at Napa Community College, San Quentin Prison, and College of Marin putting three sons through college on a teacher's salary. Divorced from his first wife, he met and married Joan Bernardi and had two more sons. With his family, he traveled extensively in Mexico, Europe, and camped along the west coast of the U.S. and Canada. After retiring from COM in 1983, he and Joan continued to travel and make lifelong friends everywhere as they attended Dixieland Jazz festivals and tent camped on Hornby Island until he was 96! He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Joan; sister-in-law, Gene Bernardi; sons and spouses, Conrad (Joan), Teddy (Alyse), Timothy (Susan); grandchildren, Kirsten (Jason), Katie, Nina, Thor; great granddaughter Maddie; and many friends. Thank you to Hospice by the Bay, all his care givers, and especially May Vang who took such tender care of him in his last year. Howell was a true renaissance man who could hot wire a car, recite Chaucer in Middle English, speak/read 6+ languages, build a house, fix a pipe, and answer ANY historical or grammatical question. Dashing and brilliant, he appreciated beautiful women, good wine, and single malt scotch. He enjoyed reading, sailing, teaching, telling dirty jokes and singing sea chanties. Always resistant to change, he influenced and changed so many while himself changing so little. Sail on dear Dad; sail on. As Howell wished, there will be no funeral. Come celebrate Howell's life on August 29, 1:00-4:00 PM at Tamalpais Community Center, 203 Marin Ave, Mill Valley. For a reminder and directions send an email to thbreece126@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice by the Bay 17 E Sir Francis Drake Blvd Larkspur, CA 94939 or The Nature Conservancy at conserveca.org .
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Published in Marin Independent Journal from Aug. 9 to Aug. 25, 2015

Obituaries from the Past Week

Bonbright, Shirley Vallerga  
Shirley Vallerga Bonbright April 12, 1931 -- July 29, 2015 Shirley Vallerga Bonbright died the way she lived her life -- on her own terms and with her loving family by her side. Shirley was born on April 12, 1931 in Oakland, CA to Lucille Monte Vallerga and Victor Vallerga. Shirley lived virtually her entire life in Marin County. Shirley was a talented child actress who entered the Tefler School of Dramatic Arts in San Francisco at the age of 7 and regularly performed in plays at the Little Theatre at the Fairmont Hotel over the following six years. At 14, Shirley continued her studies under Mary and Fred Harris at the University of California, Berkeley. By the age of 16, Shirley had her own radio show on KTIM Radio with listeners as far away as Arizona and New Mexico. She co-wrote, directed and had the starring role in a live radio program, The Candy Jameson Show, with her teenage boyfriend, Peter Markopoulos. At UCLA, she took a course in directing and found her passion. She graduated from San Francisco State University in 1954. A few months later, Shirley married Irving Wayland Bonbright, III and shifted her focus to the domestic dramatic arts of raising their three children. Her love of theatre never waned. Through the mothering years, she worked as the Director of The Masque Unit Theatre of Marin, a troupe of adults who preformed plays for school children as well as the greater community. She held this voluntary role for 22 years and during this time she co-wrote 7 plays that she also directed for Masque Unit. In addition, Shirley took on the job of playwright and director for Marin Jr. Theatre Summer Workshop for 15 years which entailed working with between 85-110 children ages 6-18 for 12 weeks each summer to produce a play (often her own work), coordinate costumes, and design and construct a set. Each child had a role on stage as well as behind the scenes. Later, Shirley founded and directed the Young Performers Theatre of San Rafael and kept it alive for 12 years. Throughout her adult life, Shirley wrote and directed countless community musicals and PTA fundraising productions. She even wrote and directed plays for the residents of Smith Ranch in San Rafael, where she and Wayland lived joyfully among good friends during their final years. Wayland and Shirley Bonbright travelled the globe extensively and spent endless hours sailing and motoring on San Francisco Bay and on waterways near and far. They were married for 57 memorable years, taking great joy in the success and love of their family and friends. Shirley Vallerga Bonbright is survived and sorely missed by her children: David Wayland Proctor-Bonbright of London, England and his wife Elaine; Elizabeth Marie Bonbright of Tacoma, Washington; and Christopher Vallerga Bonbright and his wife Lisa of Beverly Hills, California. She is also survived by her six grandchildren: Paris McShane Bonbright and Eden Vallerga Bonbright of Beverly Hills; Megan Lucia Thompson and Heidi Victoria Thompson of Tacoma, Washington; and Lucia Proctor-Bonbright and Jacob Wayland Proctor-Bonbright of London, England. The family will observe a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests tax-deductible donations in Shirley Bonbright's name to the Conservatory Theatre Ensemble, Tamalpais High School, 700 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941.
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Published in Marin Independent Journal on Aug. 23, 2015
Bunnell, Alexander John  
Alexander John Bunnell July 29, 1967 - Aug 12, 2015 Alexander John (Alex) Bunnell, much loved son of Catherine (Kit) Bunnell of Half Moon Bay, California and Walter. A. (Tony) Bunnell and his wife Martha of Albuquerque, New Mexico passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in Novato, CA on August 12, 2015 of a heart attack. Alex was 48. He will be fondly remembered and missed by his brother Chris Bunnell and his wife Carolyn, uncle Al Stoffel and his wife Sally, cousin Christy Stoffel Mulkerin, her husband Bill and children John and Michael, cousin Nick Stoffel and many friends. Alex was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Half Moon Bay and spent many years in Marin County. He attended Sir Francis Drake High School and worked at Lucky supermarket in Novato for nine years. Alex's great love was the sport of bowling. He played with leagues at Nave Lanes and Country Club Bowl. He was very proud of rolling a sanctioned 299 game (1 pin less than a perfect 300) and was awarded a ring from the National Bowling Association. The family would like to thank Lifehouse of Marin for all the help they gave Alex over the years, especially staff members Dori McDonnell and Anja Hansen. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation to Lifehouse of Marin.
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Published in Marin Independent Journal on Aug. 23, 2015
Burke, Delores Marie  
Delores Marie Burke Sept 18, 1927 - Aug. 16, 2015 Delores Marie Burke died peacefully at home on Sunday, August 16 after a lengthy illness. Delores was born in Chicago to Henry C. Distel and Emeline W. Distel, the eldest of six children. She remained proud of her Chicago roots throughout her life. After working for several years at Illinois Bell Telephone Co. in Chicago, she moved to San Francisco in 1954 to work as a stewardess for TWA because of the opportunities for international travel the position afforded. She retained her love of travel throughout her life. Delores met Mervyn F. Burke, MD while working as a volunteer at San Francisco General Hospital, where he was a UCSF Surgical Resident. Delores and Mervyn were married on January 30, 1960 at the Presidio Chapel. After her marriage, Delores' main focus was always her family. She was exceedingly proud of her three children and their many accomplishments. Other than her tireless work as a wife and mother, she was a devoted and active Roman Catholic and contributed many hours as a church lector, CCD teacher, Eucharistic minister and Cathedral docent. In addition, she found time to work in the women's fashion industry and in Mervyn's surgical office. Delores greatly enjoyed belonging to the Northgate Group in Marin and the Town and Country Club in San Francisco. She also dabbled in acting and modeling and was a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Delores and Mervyn lived in San Francisco, Boston and Kentfield. She is survived by her husband and by her three children, Cynthia Ciardella (Richard) of Redwood City, John Burke (Laura) of Great Falls, Virginia, and Stephanie Robinson (Mark) of Kentfield; and her eight grandchildren, Courtney and Shannon Ballagh, Katherine, Mary and John Burke, and Christopher, Matthew and Peter Robinson; and by her brothers Merle (Nancy) of Highland, Indiana and Dale of Chicago, Illinois. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Anselm's Church in Ross on Wednesday, September 16 at 11:00 AM, followed by a reception at the Robinson home in Kentfield. Her ashes will be scattered at one of her favorite places - the family home at The Sea Ranch.
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Published in Marin Independent Journal on Aug. 23, 2015
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