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Ardizoia, Rinaldo - San Francisco  
Rinaldo Joseph "Rugger" Ardizoia Rinaldo Joseph "Rugger" Ardizoia was born in Oleggio, in Piemonte, Italy, on November 20, 1919. He immigrated to the United States with his mother, Annunziata (Mossina) Ardizzoia, at when he was two to join his father, Carlo Ardizzoia. The family settled in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. He took up baseball at an early age at Jackson Park, attended SF's High School of Commerce, and was named as a pitcher on the All-City team. He was elected to the SF Prep Hall of Fame. During his prep days, he played with or against such well-known SF baseball legends as Joe DiMaggio, Tony Lazzeri, and Frank Crosetti as well as other lesser known athletes. One of his best friends was Yankee Catcher Charlie Silvera, with six World Series Championship rings, but was prevented from being better known by another catcher on the team, Yogi Berra. In 1937, at the age of 17, Rugger (now Ardizoia) was signed by SF's Mission Reds of the Pacific Coast League. The team moved a year later, and became the Hollywood Stars. He was signed by The New York Yankees in 1941, but his promising career was interrupted by World War II. He joined the Army Air Corps and served in the Pacific Theater until 1945. In 1946, he played for the Oakland Oaks, managed by Casey Stengel. He rejoined the Yankees in 1947, and appeared for two innings against the old St. Louis Browns, making him one of only seven native Italians to play in a big league game. In all, he played 15 years of professional baseball. Following that, he spent 30 years with National Linen Service until his retirement in 1981. For a recent account of his life, see the April 27, 2015, edition of The New York Times, for an article entitled "Rinaldo Ardizoia, the Oldest Living Yankee, Reflects on His Career," by Louie Lazar, and the Society for Baseball Research for a complete biography, which is included in the book "Bridging Two Dynasties: The 1947 New York Yankees" published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2013. Rugger Ardizoia passed away on Sunday, July 19, one week after suffering a serious stroke, at his home of 75 years in the Excelsior neighborhood of SF. His wife of 61 years, Mary (Castagnola), passed away in 2003 and his daughter Janet, died in 2010. He is survived by his son, Bill (wife, Pat Duffy) of Santa Rosa; Janet's son, Chris Crawford (wife, Phuong and son, Luke) of Santa Clara; Janet's step-daughter, Wendy Dennis (husband, Dave, and three daughters) of Cedar Rapids Iowa; and the Mossina family of Oleggio, Italy, the place of his birth where he is still fondly remembered. He was a past president of the SF Old Timers Baseball Association and the Marino Perreti Memorial Luncheon Group, and gave freely of his time to charitable and baseball-associated organizations. He was remarkably active and lucid in his later years, and served as the source of both background and anecdotal information for authors of numerous books on baseball history. One of the most notable is "56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports" by Kostya Kennedy of Sports Illustrated. Rugger's family wishes to thank all of the family members, friends, neighbors, and baseball aficionados for sharing his years of fun, laughter, and stories during his full life. Particular thanks go to the staff at UCSF Medical Center for their care and attention during his last days. A memorial mass and celebration of Rugger's life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 7, at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 666 Filbert Street, San Francisco, CA. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Pacifica's Environmental Family/PBC, 601 Beaumont Blvd, Pacifica, CA 94044.
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 2, 2015
Bacigalupi, Richard - San Francisco  
Richard Dante Bacigalupi In SF on July 24, brother of Renald J. (Anna) and loving son of the late Renald D. and Josephine M. Bacigalupi. Memorial Mass pending. Please visit www.halstedngray.com for service information as it becomes available.
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 2, 2015
Banta, Violet - San Francisco  
Violet passed away peacefully and painlessly on June 25, surrounded by her family. Violet is survived by her daughters Carol (husband John), Leslie (husband Roger), Justine (husband Dan), and her son Ronald; her grandchildren Tim, Frisco, Sharon (husband Ed), Mark, Rebecca, Elisabeth; and her great-grandchildren Chris and Ron. She has one surviving sibling from a family of 13 - her brother Horace, at 97 years young- and has many nieces and nephews on the East Coast. Our dear Violet will be forever loved by her family, and adored by her many friends in her beloved city by the bay. Those wishing to honor her memory may donate to her favorite charity, Family House (an organization that provides temporary housing to families whose children are undergoing cancer treatment at UC Hospital) 50 Irving St., San Francisco, CA 94122.
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on July 5, 2015
Benison, Irene - San Francisco  
Irene Maria Katharina Benison (Maltzan) Irene Maria Katharina Benison (Maltzan) passed away on July 19, 2015, after a courageous fight against Alzheimer's. Born January 7, 1938 in Schwerin, Germany, Irene grew up amidst the hardships of World War II, but also with the love of her parents, brother Hans Heinrich, and sisters Inge and Leisl. She ventured away from Germany as a teenager, traveling Europe as an au pair. Eventually she made her way to New York, where she used her brilliant language skills to work as a translator. In 1968, she met William Benison in San Francisco, as she was walking up a hill, and he offered her a ride. They were married for 47 years, and had two children, Audrey (husband Paul) and Gregory (wife Effie). Irene loved opera, practical jokes, cross-country skiing, tennis, and a good long walk, and shared all of those things with her many lifelong friends. She was a beloved grandmother to Kevin, Hazel, Kate, Lucy and Samuel. Irene spent her final two years in the excellent care of the staff at Revere Court in Sacramento.
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 1, 2015
Bray, Alexander "Bill" - Atherton  
Alexander William Bray Bill Bray, a longtime resident of Atherton, California, passed away in his sleep on July 5, 2015. He was 86. He was born August 16, 1928, in Longview, Washington, to Minnie and Alexander Bray and had two sisters and a brother. While his siblings have passed, Bill is survived by his sons, Alex of Atherton, and Julian (Jennifer) of Tacoma, WA. He is also survived by three nieces, a nephew, and other family living in the Pacific Northwest. He was a graduate of R.A. Long High School, Lower Columbia College, and the University of Oregon from which he earned a master's degree in history. He proudly served in the United States Army and was honorably discharged in 1952. He was an expert salesman and a tremendously hard worker who earned numerous sales awards in several companies after he left the service. He also excelled as a tennis player, a sport he played as long as he was able, and was frequently a victor in tournaments in the Bay Area. He met his wife Elizabeth (Betty) in San Francisco and they eventually moved to Atherton to raise a family. Betty passed away in 1991. Bill founded Bray and Company Realtors in Menlo Park and for many years took great pride in helping families find homes throughout the area. He was extremely active in the Menlo Park Board of Realtors and and was respected for his integrity and diligence in that organization. Bill is also survived by his companion of many years, Alberta (Bear) O'Brien of Menlo Park. Bill enjoyed spending time with Bear and her family. A memorial service will be held to honor his life on Saturday, August 8, 2015, at 2 p.m. in the chapel of the Woodside Village Church (3154 Woodside Road). Donations in Bill's name may be made to the charity of your choice. Arrangements by Cusimano Family Colonial Mortuary, 650-968-4453.
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 2, 2015
Brewster, Mary Jane - Berkeley  
Mary Jane Brewster January 23, 1928 - July 28, 2015 Mary Jane was born and raised in Portland OR, the only child of George and Jennie Brewster. She spent most of her life in Portland, along with stops in Albany CA, Indianapolis, Seattle, Los Angeles, Juarez Mexico, and in her final years, Berkeley. She passed away with family at her side. Her work and outside interests were informed by a strong sense of fairness and social justice that lives on with her children David, Dan and Cecily and their families, grandchildren Danise, Emma, Juliet and Mahlik and great-grandchildren Azariah and Israel. Funeral service will be conducted August 5 at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito CA to be followed by a memorial celebration at Botella Republic in Berkeley. Donations in her name may be made to East Bay Community Law Center, 2921 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703, or through this link: www.gofundme.com/3b2jm32k8 .
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 2, 2015
Caballero, Rafael - San Francisco  
Rafael Caballero Entered into rest on July 29, 2015, at the age of 65, surrounded by his loving wife and family. Loving husband of Maria Caballero; loving father of Mara and Melissa; loving grandfather of Hugo, Lorena, Iliana, Alexia and Natalie. Rafael is also survived by his loving relatives and friends. Friends may visit Wednesday, after 10am and are invited to attend Rafael's Celebration of Life at 11am at DUGGAN'S SERRA MORTUARY, 500 Westlake Ave, Daly City.
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 2, 2015
Channell, Patricia "Patty" - Lafayette  
Patricia "Patty" Channell Oct 15, 1924-July 22, 2015 Patty Channell passed away on Wednesday July 22 due to complications from Alzheimer's Disease, with her daughter and son by her side. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, the Honorable William R. Channell. She is survived by her loving children, Nancy Dunn (Steve), and Bill Channell Jr., and grandchildren Katie Dunn and Andy Dunn. Patty grew up in Piedmont, graduating from Piedmont High School and Stanford University. She taught school at Havens Elementary School in Piedmont. She and Bill moved to Lafayette in 1949 where they lived the rest of their lives together. Patty served on many community committees and boards including President of the Junior League of Oakland East Bay. She loved golf and spent many happy hours with friends at Claremont Country Club where she was a 50 year member and a past club champion. At her request, services will be private. Donations in her honor may be made to Alzheimer's Association or Vitas Hospice.
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 2, 2015
Cooper, Ann - Walnut Creek  
Ann Phillips Cooper November 6, 1930 - July 17, 2015 Ann was the daughter of Bert and Helen Lambing Phillips. She grew up in Piedmont and Oakland, graduating from Oakland Technical High School in 1948. She and John Cooper were married in 1951, when they were Juniors at Cal Berkeley, where she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega. John's career moves in the Army and with Pacific Gas & Electric Company were adventurous and took them to Georgia, Washington state, Maryland, and Kensington, California before they settled in Moraga in 1970. Ann made her family's favorite foods, including lemon pudding, tapioca, and runny custard, on 19 different stoves over the years. Ann loved family, friends, animals, flowers, mountains, seashores, and bible study. She generally held alternate viewpoints to the standard biblical interpretations, considering herself to be a "gleaner"; entitled to harvest ideas that have been dropped, overlooked, or growing outside the established field. She always looked for the compassionate viewpoint. Her favorite memories included many summers at the family cabin at Lake Tahoe, as well as cold winter afternoons when children came to her house to use the player piano, make cookies, and work jigsaw puzzles on the dining room table. She usually had a hedge of daisies which she'd cut when neighborhood children wanted to take bouquets home to their Mommies. Over the past few decades, she enjoyed traveling to the UK, France, Croatia, Austria, Germany, China, and numerous trips to Hawaii. Ann's greatest memory was of a recent Thanksgiving dinner with seventeen family members in her home. The dinner table was stretched with card tables and as she looked at the scene, she saw that John's and her extended family included a diverse mix of races and religions, gay and straight. She felt she'd had a privileged peek at the world to come. We will remember Ann for her big heart, warm smile, generous nature, and her unconditional love of her family near and far. She truly was a friend to all who knew her. She leaves, for a little while, John, the love and center of her life, their four children, Ken Cooper (Karen, Modesto), Joyce Cooper (Nevada City), Ellen Fraser (David, Piedmont), and Tom Cooper (New York City), grandchildren; Sarah Cooper, John Cooper (Megan), Erik Cooper-Flowers (Betty Jane), Lisa Brenner, Katie Fraser and Claire Fraser; great grandchildren Elizabeth Cooper, Emma Cooper and Aria; her sister Mary Phillips, nephew Ray Stevens (Kim) and innumerable beloved relatives from Wales, Maryland, New York, Nevada and California. A memorial service will be held at 1pm on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church. Because of her love of the Hawaiian Islands and their serenity, you are welcome to honor that by wearing Aloha attire. Donations may be made to Hospice of the East Bay, whose staff were so caring and helpful in Ann's last days. HOEB, 3470 Buskirk Avenue, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523.
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Aug. 1 to Aug. 3, 2015
Deely, Ione - Petaluma  
Ione Marie Lara Deely November 14, 1957 - July 14, 2015 On July 14, 2015, Ione Marie Lara Deely passed away peacefully at home in Petaluma with many friends and family by her side, after a 2 year battle with breast cancer. She is survived by her loving husband of 21 years, Charles, her children, Sean and Alyssa, her mother Ione, brothers Dan, Bill, and Robert Lara, sisters June Lara and Jennifer Rangel, nieces Nicole and Paige Lara, and niece and nephew Dan and Maria Lara. "Onie", as she was known to her friends and family, was born in San Francisco on November 14, 1957. She attended Serramonte High School and was proud to call herself a "Gael", having graduated from Saint Mary's College. Onie had a way of making everyone feel welcome, whether it was her infectious smile or the sincerity that you felt when you were with her. She loved to recount her summers spent at Port Sonoma with her family and friends, and playing tennis with her aunts Dee and Maggie. She met her husband Charlie in 1987 and they were wed in the Swedenborgian Church in San Francisco in 1994 and moved to Petaluma to begin their new life. She retired from her career at Delta Dental in 1998 to raise her beloved children Sean and Alyssa. She was the ultimate mom and loved nothing more than sharing the kids many accomplishments, whether it was baseball, music, school projects, or any one of the many joys they brought in to her life. She was an avid Giants fan, "win or lose". She loved the simple things. Playing tennis with her daughter Alyssa, or a hard fought game of Monopoly with her children and their friends on game night at the house were among her favorites. She was always eager to try the more adventurous things, 'living large' as she and her brother Bill used to like to say; whether it was driving a fast car, riding an off-road motorcycle, skiing, shooting a machine gun, or going for a stunt flight in a Stearman biplane. She wanted to, and did, try everything. She always carried herself with grace, brought a smile to everyone she met, and always knew the right thing to say. She was not only beautiful, she was a beautiful person and will be missed by many! A celebration of her life for family and friends will be held September 19th. Email icdeely@sbcglobal.net for details.
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle from July 31 to Aug. 2, 2015
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