Today's Obituaries and Guest Books
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Sommer, Steffen C.  
Steffen C. Sommer Nov. 20, 1967 - May 7, 2015 A beloved son, honored brother, and steadfast father has passed away. Steffen Carl Sommer is survived by two daughters, Meghan (Brian) and Madison, parents Ray and Elisabeth, a sister Dorette (Duane), and former wife Jennifer. After graduating from Terra Linda High School, he became a volunteer with the Marinwood Fire Department. His devotion to service led him to enroll at both UCLA's Daniel Freeman Paramedic School and the San Mateo County Fire Academy. Soon after, he settled into his career as a Firefighter / Paramedic with the San Mateo County Foster City Fire Station. He met and fell in love with not only Jennifer, but her 2-year-old daughter Meghan, as well. His love for Meghan ran so deep, that he adopted her as his own. In 2005, he and Jennifer welcomed daughter Madison into their midst. The family moved to Kitsap County, Washington, the home of his former wife. Steffen continued to save lives while employed for the Washington State Ferry Department. His employment led him to his most recent work as Paramedic/ Guard for the Clear Water Casino. It was not uncommon to see Steffen's photo or read of him in a newspaper that applauded his selfless acts of bravery. The lives he saved and the families he helped during his years as a Paramedic/Firefighter will not be left forgotten. Steffen's many loves belonged to music, boating, piloting, and being outdoors. But most of all, his love belonged to his daughters, Meghan and Madison. On May 7, 2015, Steffen suffered a traumatic head injury that resulted in a subdural hematoma. A memorial service for Steffen Sommer will be held on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 1:00 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church, 333 Woodland Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901 (information can be found at http://steffencsommer.weebly.com/ ). Donations on Steffen's behalf would be welcomed by the Music Department of Terra Linda High School. Please mail to Terra Linda High School, Attention: Donna Romberger, 320 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael, CA 94903, with a check memo: Steffen Sommer Memorial/Music Department.
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Published in Marin Independent Journal from May 21 to May 29, 2015
Zec, Marie Lou Costa  
Marie Cagwin Costa Zec Jan. 18, 1929 - May 16, 2015 Mary Lou, as she was known to family and friends, was born and raised in Marin County and lived in Kentfield most of her adult life. She was a proud descendant of California pioneers dating back to the Gold Rush, and shared many stories from her extensive study of family genealogy. Mary Lou was born at Ross Hospital, attended Tamalpais High School and the University of California, Berkeley where she was a proud member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. She continued friendships for 70 years with many Tam High classmates and looked forward to their annual Christmas Party. Mary Lou volunteered and taught many foreign students with the "Project Literacy" foundation in Marin. Many of her students remember her as a teacher with kindness and patience. Her family, playing the piano, and watching the Cal Bears brought great joy to her life. She will be greatly missed by her Children - D'Arcy Marie Dettner Lore, Elizabeth Anne Zec (deceased) and David Francis Theobald Zec (wife of Susan Anne Marie German-Zec) and Grandchildren - Alexandria Berton Clay, Reece Wilder Clay, Lillie Elizabeth Clay, Nicola Christina Lore, David Francis Theobald Zec III, William Charles Frederick Zec and first Great Grandchild - Hayden Wilder Clay. Predeceased by husbands Arthur George Dettner Jr. and David Francis Theobald Zec. The family has suggested that donations in her memory be made to Disabled American Veterans. Service will be private. Marie will be laid to rest at Tamalpais Cemetery. And mother finds her home and heavenly rest.
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Published in Marin Independent Journal on May 27, 2015

Obituaries from Two Days Ago

Buel, Edward William  
Edward William Buel Edward died peacefully on Saturday May 2nd, 2015 at the age of 90. He was born in Chester Pennsylvania on July 26th, 1924 to Anthony Buel and Mary Kissel. He graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree of Master of Science. After graduating Ed joined the Army and was in the Pacific Combat service. After being discharged he went on and became an instructor of Geology and also was a mining Engineer at the U.S. Bureau of mines in Denver Colorado and Spokane Washington in 1956-1959. Later he moved to Marin and was a professor at USF. Ed met and married Hilde in 1982. They were married for 33 years. He is survived by his wife Hilde and step children Steve, Connie, Irene, Eddie, Anita and Richard. Family and friends will celebrate Edward's life on May 30th, 2015 at Nazareth House where a Memorial Mass will be held in the Chapel at 11:00AM followed by a reception at the Nazareth House Hall. Monte's Chapel Of The Hills San Anselmo (415) 453-8440
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Published in Marin Independent Journal from May 23 to May 25, 2015
McIntyre, Mary Ellen  
Mary Ellen McIntyre Mar 4, 1925 - May 4, 2015 Mary Ellen was born and raised in MN. She earned her RN degree and kept it current for 62 years. She married and moved to CA where she worked for L.A. county and then Marin County while raising her family. In retirement she moved to Murrieta, CA to be near her daughter. Every where she went she made wonderful lifelong friends. A funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Loretto, in Novato, on Thursday, May 28th at 11:00. Reception to follow in fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to catholic charities, Hospice or a charity of your choice. Mary Ellen was a great believer in giving.
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Published in Marin Independent Journal from May 17 to May 25, 2015

Obituaries from the Past Three Days

Ames, John Stuart  
John Stuart Ames With dignity and a courageous spirit, after a struggle with congestive heart failure, John Stuart Ames, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 18, 2015 at his home in Larkspur, CA. Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1934, John was the youngest child of Albert and Alberta Ames, and sibling to one sister and three brothers. His family moved to Denver, Colorado when he was two, and to Northern California when he was 14. At age 19, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served in the Army Security Agency in Korea. On return he attended the University of San Francisco and St. Mary's College earning a degree in Business Administration. At age 24, he met the love of his life, Genevieve, whom he married six months later, and together, they became proud parents of three sons and a daughter. John and his family spent happy years in four California locations, Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Francisco, and Larkspur, his current home. John was the consummate entrepreneur, and starting at age 25, enjoyed being part of the pioneering technology startups in the South Bay in the 1960's and 70's. He was co-founder of Thermatest Laboratories, Data Measurements Corporation (where early stages of automated airline reservations systems and ticket printers were developed), ICOT Corporation, and in the 1980's, ASK Management Corp, a consulting firm for international technology marketing. John loved people, good conversation, books, music, fine food and Giants baseball. He was an accomplished pianist, who when asked would play Chopin, Mozart, Grieg - or - Chopsticks with his grandchildren. His energy led him to a series of adventurous and unusual activities, such as reading the 12 volume collective works of C. G. Jung, and then, out of curiosity, undergoing Jungian psychoanalyses, receiving a shiatsu massage certificate, involvement in the human potential movement of the 1970's, or doing fast flow river rafting. While chairing the Social Justice Group at St. Patrick's Church in Larkspur, he worked on affordable housing in Marin, a directory for environmental organizations, and his greatest achievement, banning gun shows and sales at the Marin County Fair. In 2004, he served as a leading grass roots organizer to get Proposition 71 Stem Cell Research initiative on the California ballot which after passing, funded the ongoing California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. John will be forever loved and missed by his wife, Genevieve, children, John Stuart Ames II, Mark Frederick Ames and his partner Catherine Salah, Mary Ames West and her husband Brian and grandchildren, Sarah, Jackson and Kennedy Ames, Sydney and Margot West, and Isabel and Joaquin Ames and their mother, Lisa Ames. John was preceded in death by his son, David Carver Ames in 2008. He is survived by one brother, Robert Ames. John's life will be celebrated with a memorial mass at St. Patrick's Church in Larkspur on Thursday, May 28th at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests contributions to Hospice by the Bay www.hospicebythebay.org .
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Published in Marin Independent Journal on May 24, 2015
Demoss, Paul  
Paul Demoss It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Paul Norris Demoss at his beloved home in Novato, California, on the morning of April 28, 2015. Paul Demoss was born to Samuel E. Demoss and Stella L. (Cunningham) Demoss on a farm in Camp Point, Illinois on January 14, 1927, the fifth of nine children. From March 1945 to March 29, 1950, Paul worked as a waiter on ships of the American President Line based in San Francisco, as a member of the War Shipping Administration, United States Maritime Service (U.S. Merchant Marine). Paul joined the U.S. Army on November 29. 1950 and was assigned to the U.S. Army Occupation forces in Japan, located at Camp Haugen, Hachinohe. Japan. His most significant duty assignment was with the HQ Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Division. He was promoted to Sergeant, and spent his remaining time in service at the Sixth Army Food Service School at Camp Roberts and the Presidio, graduating in April, 1951. He was honorably released from military service on August 22, 1952. Eventually, Paul arrived in San Francisco where he decided to stay. He took on waiting jobs at Fisherman's Wharf, settling on Fisherman's Grotto No. 9, where he remained for several years. In the mid-1950's San Francisco he met and married his wife of more than fifty years, Della Lowe, a dancer with culinary talents, which was a perfect match for Paul. He became the father of Della's daughter, Harriet, aged ten. Paul and Della were frugal and eventually saved up sufficient money to look around for a place of their own in San Francisco, but a word from a friend sent Paul to Sausalito, California, on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, to buy a bar. When he arrived there, the bar had already been sold. However, the seller told Paul there was another bar for sale across the street, on Bridgeway, which led Paul and Della to first lease the existing establishment, and a few years later in 1958, the Seven Seas Restaurant opened for business, a business which lasted some 57 years, serving generations of Sausalitans and visitors with good food, good drink, and lasting cheer. Paul greeted all visitors to the Seven Seas personally with warmth and gusto. The funny thing was that while Paul thought he was buying a building which contained a restaurant and an apartment, it turned out that the property was larger than that. He found out that he had bought two buildings instead, which over the many years housed a series of retail shops and even a cookie store, all of which helped pay the bills. For many, many years he and Della had live music at the Seven Seas, opened a Garden Court, and fed everyone generously. It needs to be said that Della closely shared life with Paul, both the good and the less good, and Paul, during the years that she spent at The Tamalpais visited and cared for her for several days each week of his life until her death. He was, as we have said, loyal to a fault, which is not a sin, but is a mitzvah, as Della might have put it. The restaurant to Paul was much more than a place in which you feed people. The Seven Seas became a very part of him. Just as a house, if you live long enough in it, becomes a living part of you. The cooks, bartenders, waitresses and waiters, and staff became to Paul a part of his family, and so it remained to the day of his death. The Seven Seas also served what was undoubtedly and absolutely the best bouillebaise in the Bay Area, if not in the world. Eventually, Paul expanded the restaurant into an outdoor dining area with a retractable roof, which still works. Paul was caring to a fault, perfectly willing to overlook the possible sins of others. He had a great many friends in Sausalito, including Sally Stanford, the Madam and Mayor of Sausalito, and to the end of his days enjoyed the comfort of a Victorian love seat from Sally in his bedroom. Most friends have since passed away, but if there are restaurants and bars in Heaven, Paul now simply joins them in an eternal glass of wine, or two, or three. Paul enjoyed holding court in the back seat of the front room, next to the bar, and greeting friends and strangers alike, sharing a glass of wine (or many more), and watching over the restaurant like a proud eagle surveying its nest. One of Paul's many talents was cracking very wry jokes, often in a deadpan and ironic way so that you didn't know, at first, whether he was serious or not; but Paul was really only and always joking or telling stories about his life, or yours, if he knew you well enough. After many years, he and Della built two homes in Novato the last one more than 35 years ago, and in that house to the end of his days, Paul lived a life to the fullest, gardening extensively, and bringing the vegetables to his friends for them to enjoy, even to his lawyer. He had a peaceful view over the hills of Marin County, and behind his house he enjoyed acres of open space. For recreation, Paul traveled often to Brazil with his cousin and friends, where he participated in Carnival and other pleasures of the day and night, outdoors and indoors, and he did so for many, many years, enjoying the beaches, the sun, and catching fish and other things. Paul was a real father to Harriet Cherin, the daughter of Della Demoss, since she was 10 years old, and her death in her early sixties brought a real time of sadness to them both. As things sometimes turn out, Paul had no children of his own. and most of his relatives lived back in the Midwest, occasionally coming to San Francisco, and whenever they did, he was a warm, loving and generous brother and uncle to his many nieces and nephews. He leaves behind two sisters, Mona Demoss Jarman of Hunnewell, Missouri and Lois Bequette of St. Peters, Missouri, and many nieces and nephews scattered all over the United States. A special note of appreciation is appropriate to Ofa, Meliki, and Emosi, for their care in the last year of his life. Paul greatly enjoyed their company and succor. All of his friends and acquaintances are welcome to a memorial service and celebration of Paul's life, to be held at the Seven Seas Restaurant on June 27, 2015, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Yes, food and drink will be served, for Paul wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Or, as Paul once put it. "He Who Does Not Love Wine, Women and Song Remains a Fool His Whole Life Long."
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Published in Marin Independent Journal on May 24, 2015
Haldeman, Helen  
Helen Haldeman Helen died May 14, 2015 after a two year battle with lung cancer. She was at home surrounded by her much-loved family: husband of 47 years, Del; daughter, Emily; son-in-law, Matt Johnson; grand-daughters, Vivian (11) and Eleanor (8). Helen was born September 26, 1940 in Cass Lake Minnesota to Grace Mary (Swinson) and Joseph Leon Henry. When she was nine months old, her parents and older brother, David, moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan so her father could work in a munitions plant for World War II. After the war, the family moved to Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where she went to kindergarten and first grade before Leon was transferred to Aberdeen, South Dakota. The family stayed in Aberdeen until after Helen graduated from high school. Helen attended Linden-wood College in St. Charles, Missouri and Washington State University in Pullman before the family moved to Boulder, Colorado where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Colorado. She taught science at Hill Junior High School in Denver until 1968 when she married her high school steady, Delbert Haldeman, and moved to Marin County. Del worked for Del Monte Foods in San Francisco and Helen taught science at the newly opened Sinaloa Junior High School in Novato. In 1970 Helen and Del bought a home in Fairfax where their daughter, Emily, was born. After a few years, the family moved to a new home in Novato. Shortly after, Del was offered a position with Del Monte in the Philippines moving the family to Davao on the southern coast of Mindanao. After the years as expatriates, the family returned to Marin and settled in Terra Linda. Helen took up computers and traveled the world working as a developer, project manager, and product manager at PBL Associates in Pt. Richmond, Fourth Dimension Software in Redwood City and GoldenGate Software in San Francisco. In 2009 Helen became a Technical Writer for Oracle Computers. A celebration of life gathering will be held at a future date. If you wish to send contributions in her name, please send to the organization of your choice; particularly one that tries to meet the needs of children and those without enough to eat, such as Marin Food Bank.
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Published in Marin Independent Journal on May 24, 2015
Johnson, Arthur R.  
Arthur R. Johnson Died peacefully one day short of his eightieth birthday at home on May 19th, 2015, after a long illness. Art was born and raised in New Jersey. He graduated from Dartmouth University in 1957 and went on to earn his MBA at the Tuck School of Business. He spent six months in the Army and retired as a Captain after six years in the Reserve. He was involved in the Investment Business Marketing Research Nationwide. In 1988, he became a Portfolio Manager with Union Bank in California, and retired in 2002 as manager of the San Francisco office. Art will be dearly missed by his wife Elaine, his son Eric, daughter Kriste, step children David and Brett Spillane, Kristin Taylor and five grandchildren. There will be no services per Art's request.
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Published in Marin Independent Journal on May 24, 2015
Lizarraga, Christian Miguel  
Christian Miguel Lizarraga April 9, 1994 May 17, 2015 Christian passed away from an unforeseen tragic train accident in Chico, CA. He attended Novato schools and was attending Butte Junior College. He could light up a room with his smile and contagious spirit. He loved wrestling and was known in the community for his outstanding talent. His mother loved him greatly and will miss his beautiful soul. He is survived by his mother Bonnie Nason Lizarraga, brother Taylor Lizarraga, father Servando Lizarraga, grandmother Tomiko Nason, and Auntie Connie Nason. On Saturday, June 6, at 2 P.M. a celebration of his life will be held at the Quest Church in Novato. Contributions can be made to the Christian Lizarraga Memorial Fund at Umpqua Bank, 999 Grant Ave, Novato, CA 94947
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Published in Marin Independent Journal on May 24, 2015
MAISEL, CHUCK  
Chuck Maisel 1927 - 2015 Filmmaker, author, communicator, human rights champion and philanthropist - Charles J. (Chuck) Maisel passed away peacefully in the arms of his husband Steve in his Oakmont home just as he wanted. He was forty days past his 88th birthday. Born in 1927 at Waco, Texas, Chuck grew up in Phillips and graduated Texas A&M after serving the U.S. Army as an interpreter in occupied Japan. A quintessential member of the "Greatest Generation", Chuck recounted experiences of the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and World War Two with objectivity and compassion. His experiences instilled a life-long dedication to humanism and charity. Chuck had a stellar career as a communicator. He began by writing for M.D. Anderson Medical Center in Houston; then, he moved to San Francisco where he wrote for Stanford Research Center and later became Editor of San Francisco Magazine. He was hired away by Walter Landor Associates for whom he wrote and directed educational films that won five Cine Golden Eagle Awards and awards from the John Muir Film Festival and the Padua Film Festival. As a freelance writer and filmmaker, Chuck created "the visitors' experience" for educational exhibits and twelve museums in the United States, Asia and Europe. His creativity is exhibited in the Vatican Library, the Smithsonian Museum, the British Royal Collection and the Library of Congress. Locally, Chuck served on the Board of Directors of the Marin AIDS Political Action Committee, The Marin County Fine Arts Museum, and the Friends of the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria. On the occasion of the Library of Congress 200th Anniversary, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey recruited Chuck to present the 6th Congressional District in a film for the Library's Local Legacies Project. Chuck is survived by Brother Ralph (Lisa) Maisel of Jackson MS, Brothers-in-law Vearl Christiansen of Monroe, UT, Melvin (Barbara) Carroll of Bountiful, UT and Charles Carroll (LuAnn) Carroll of Renton, UT, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by Steve Carroll, Chuck's companion of forty-four years with whom he was married in Novato, CA in 2008. The couple lived among numerous friends in Sausalito, Terra Linda, Greenbrae, Graton, and Santa Rosa, CA. Chuck and Steve secretly staged their memorial service three years ago at their beloved Green Center. They wanted to enjoy it themselves and their friends before any more died. In lieu of flowers, Chuck asked that his friends commemorate their friendship by contributing to the Maisel/Carroll Scholarship at Sonoma State University Academic Foundation (SSUA): Sonoma State University, University Development, 1801 East Cotati Blvd., Rohnert Park, CA 94928.
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Published in Marin Independent Journal on May 24, 2015
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