Todd Robert Estrella, a former resident of Danville, died at the age of 37 while attempting to secure an unmoored tugboat in Marin County during the big storm Jan. 5.
He was born Sept. 24, 1970, in Walnut Creek and raised in the Danville area, attending Palmer School and graduating from San Ramon Valley High School in 1989. He was an Eagle Scout and loved the outdoors, rock climbing, snowboarding, jet skiing, golfing, soccer (player and referee), and any activity that presented him with a challenge. He served as a Master Acolyte and sang in the Youth Choir at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church. He also loved to party and have fun.
He worked in a variety of occupations including bartending and food service, and discovered his true calling as a Certified Commercial Diver. He graduated from the Divers Institute of Technology in 2004 and went to Japan where he inspected nuclear reactors. He also worked in Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast and Louisiana where he made repairs to offshore oil rigs. He also had a part-time endeavor, Hilights, installing Christmas lights for well-known restaurants in the Bay Area, Napa and Los Angeles.
After settling in Sausalito on a floating home, he worked for Dave's Diving Service, cleaning boat hulls, rescuing disabled vessels, and performing miscellaneous salvage operations. His life was cut short in a tragic rescue accident in Marin County while attempting to secure an unmoored tugboat and prevent damage to other harbor vessels during one of the Bay Area's worst storms. Efforts on the part of paramedics and Marin General Hospital doctors and staff were unsuccessful and he died due to extreme hypothermia.
He is survived by his parents Gary and Marcia Estrella of Danville; brother Christopher Estrella (Laura) of San Ramon; sister Deborah Davis (Mike) of San Ramon; grandmother Betty Hager of Danville; two nieces; a step niece and nephew, aunts, uncles, cousins and his beloved Kerri Luchs and her two sons, Bradley and Christopher. A celebration of his life was held at Crow Canyon Country Club on Jan. 13 and his ashes will be scattered at sea. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to either the Boy Scouts of America, Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council, 800 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill 94523 or to the Divers Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 70667, Seattle, WA 98127 where a scholarship fund is set up.
Patricia Fawn De Julio
Danville resident Patricia Fawn De Julio passed away peacefully on Jan. 4 in Danville.
She was born May 22, 1926, and raised in Oakland.
She worked in the business office at Doctors Hospital in San Leandro for many years. She enjoyed trips to Tahoe and Reno, playing Keno and the slot machines, and was a frequent lottery hopeful, proudly earning the nickname G.G. (gambling grandma) from her grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her sister Virginia Chick and her brother James Britton. She is survived by her children Claudia Payette of San Ramon, Nancy Voll of Centennial, Colo., Anna Bettencourt of Danville, Harold De Julio of Danville, and Marilyn De Julio of San Ramon; son-in-law Jim Payette; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; her sister Marilyn King and brother-in-law Roy King of Sacramento. A memorial Mass was celebrated Jan. 19 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in San Ramon.
Robert Edwin Dade
Robert Edwin Dade, a resident of Danville, passed away suddenly Jan. 8 in San Ramon at the age of 63.
He was born March 9, 1944, in Mineola, N.Y. He graduated from Acalanes High School and Chico State University, and served as a captain in the U.S. Army for four years. He was a successful contractor and business owner for 37 years and had recently retired. He enjoyed boating with family and friends and was a member of the Benicia Yacht Club.
He is survived by his wife Margaret; his five children Rob, Bryanne (Jeremy), Michael (Debbie), Patrick and Brendan (Crystal); three grandchildren; his brother John; sister Margo (Bob); brothers-in law Seamus (Tula), Maurice, Patrick and Richard (Colleen); sister-in-law Mary (Eamon); mother-in-law Alice O'Reilly and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service was held Jan. 11 at Community Presbyterian Church in Danville. Donations may be made to the Christian Children's Fund, 2821 Emerywood Parkway, P.O. Box 26511, Richmond, VA 23294.
Monica M. Thomas
Danville resident Monica M. Thomas passed away peacefully Jan. 11 at the age of 76. She was born April 15, 1931.
She is survived by her husband Miles G. Thomas; her children Brenda Schulte of Wichita, Kan., Pamela Novak of Vacaville, Benjamin DeCorso of Woodstock, Ga., and Patty Crawford of Livermore; 11 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; sisters Angie Ahne and Renalda Christensen; and brothers Bernard Newman and George Newman. A memorial service was held Jan. 17 at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Danville.