Danville Express

Community Pulse - February 2, 2007


Laura Jean Loftin

Danville resident Laura Jean Loftin, 81, passed away Jan. 5 after a long illness.

She was born Jan. 30, 1925, in Indiana and graduated in 1948 with a degree in business from Indiana University in Bloomington. She and her husband, Clay Loftin, came west to New Mexico and then California, and she worked as a teacher for many local schools including Chabot Junior College. She also worked as an administrative assistant for Sandia Labs, Lawrence Radiation Lab, Lockheed International, Alameda County and Chevron International Oil Co., from which she retired in 1994.

She is survived by her two daughters, Penny Culley and Lynne Everhart; son-in-law Terry Culley; and four grandchildren. A service to celebrate her life was held Jan. 10 at Memory Gardens Memorial Park Chapel in Livermore.

Robert R. Powell

Robert R. Powell, a former resident of Danville, died in Pioneer, Calif., on Jan. 13 after battling cancer for 16 years.

He was born to Read and Connie Powell in Liberal, Kan. His father was a very mobile engineer, so he attended 25 schools before graduating in l946 from South High School in Denver, Colo. Immediately after high school, he entered the U.S. Navy and was stationed aboard the aircraft carriers USS Kearsarge and the USS Midway.

He attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Denver, which led him to eight years in the motion picture and advertising business. While with an advertising agency, he met and married Nancy Elizabeth Anderson.

His career was in municipal finance and investment while they raised their three children in the Danville area. During the last several years before his retirement, he built a family home in Mace Meadow in Pioneer, and in 1984, it became their full-time residence.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years Nancy; daughter Keely Rochon of Kona, Hawaii; daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Dave Brining of Bermuda; and son and daughter-in-law, Read & Carolyn Powell of Walnut Creek; and six grandchildren. He is also missed by his canine companion, Scooter.

In accordance with Bob's wishes, there will be a small family Celebration of Life. Contributions may be made to the angels of Hospice of Amador County or your favorite charity.

Heather Ross

Alamo resident Heather Ross, 41, died at her home Jan. 14 after a long illness.

She was born Sept. 5, 1964, in Edinburgh, Scotland. She went to the University of Edinburgh in 1983 where she met her future husband, Ken Ross, and went on to graduate with a degree in psychology. Following graduation, she married Ken and moved to London where she joined KPMG and passed examinations to become a chartered accountant.

They moved back to Scotland in 1991 and had two children, Duncan and Eleanor.

Heather focused her career on nonprofit causes, first with a housing association in Edinburgh, and later, when the family moved to California in January 2000, with the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland.

She is survived by her husband; 15-year-old son Duncan and 12-year-old daughter Eleanor; parents Anne and Craig Ramsay; and brothers Craig and Alan.

A service celebrating her life was held at Hull's Walnut Creek Chapel. At her wish, her ashes will be taken to Scotland where a service will be held in April. Memorial donations may be made to the National Center for Youth Law, on-line at youthlaw.org.

Elizabeth Ann Symons

Elizabeth Ann Symons, a former resident of Danville who was better known as Betty Symons, passed away recently after living in Graeagle since 1984.

She grew up in South Pasadena as Betty Harper and graduated from South Pasadena High School in 1954. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1958 where she was a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority. She earned her teaching credential at Occidental College and taught in the Pasadena school district. She then returned to the Bay Area, got married, and was known there as Betty Wilson while she taught in the Walnut Creek elementary schools for more than 20 years while living in Danville.

Upon retiring, she and her husband to Graeagle where Betty lost her first husband, Jack Wilson, to cancer. She then met and married Dave Symons with whom she enjoyed 15 good years before his untimely death in 2005. She enjoyed boating, camping and traveling with family and friends. She attended Graeagle Community Church.

She is survived by her brother Gordon Harper; stepdaughters Gretchen Lee, Rebecca Lemieux and Jennifer Meek; five step-grandchildren; a nephew and three nieces. Contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 10445 Old Placerville Road, Sacramento, CA 95827, or the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 4142, Quincy, CA 95971. A memorial service was held Jan. 19 at the Graeagle Community Church.

Vern Earl Curtis

Alamo resident Vern Earl Curtis passed away Jan. 17 at the age of 72.

He was born on May 29, 1934, in Chandler, Ariz., and spent nearly 70 years in California, both in Southern California and Northern California. He lived the last 33 years in the Alamo area with his wife of 52 years, Karla May Miller Curtis, who preceded him in death.

After an almost 20-year career in the banking industry, he started his own commercial finance company, Gateway Acceptance Co., in 1978.

He was known as "the loveable guy with a big heart and huggable as a teddy bear." He had a passion for the Boy Scouts of America and shared it as a Scout leader and was a recipient of the prestigious Silver Beaver award. He was a member of the Alamo 1st Ward, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was involved in the Liahona Organization, which provides camps for LDS young women. His interests included golf, cooking, traveling and spending time with his grandchildren.

He is survived by six children, Richard (Ann) Mesa, Ariz.; Susan Hill (Elvin) Antioch; Robert (Lisa) Alamo; Michael (Allison) Concord; Scott, Portland, Ore.; Nancy Jacobs (Scott) Walnut Creek; 16 granddaughters and four grandsons. He is also survived by his parents, Orson & Lucinda Curtis of Seal Beach, Calif., and a sister, Sandra Dearmore, of San Jose.

A funeral service was held Jan. 26 at the Alamo LDS Chapel.


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