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Danville Express

Community Pulse - February 29, 2008

Obituaries

Les A. Kayser ***RUN FEB 29***

Les A. Kayser, 80, a resident of Danville since 1962, died Feb. 19.

He was born Dec. 20, 1927, in St. Helena, where he attended elementary and high school. He then went to University of Pacific and Boston University School of Theology. He also earned a master's degree in counseling from San Francisco State University. He became a licensed therapist and practiced for 20 years.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Joyce; daughter Jocelyn and her husband Dennis Dow; daughter Jennifer Kolbe; three grandchildren; brother Mervin Kayser and his wife Sally of Clinton, Wash.; and sister Gladys Campbell and her husband Elmer of Ukiah.

A memorial service was held at the United Methodist Church in Alamo on Feb. 24. Memorial gifts may be made to St. Helena United Methodist Church Library, 1310 Adams St., St. Helena.

Valda Miyuki Yee

Valda Miyuki Yee of Danville passed away Jan. 22 after a six-year battle with breast cancer.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1962, and raised in Hawaii, she attended Pearl City High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society. She graduated in 1986 from Washington State University where she received a bachelor's degree in microbiology and a bachelor of pharmacy degree.

She married Nathan Yee in 1990; they lived in Danville 15 years. She worked as a pharmacist for Longs Drugs, Summit Medical Center in Oakland, Costco, and Mt. Diablo Medical Center in Concord. She also volunteered countless hours at Sycamore Valley Elementary School.

She was preceded in death by her favorite dog, Chelsea, with whom her ashes will be buried. She is survived by her husband Nathan; children Cameron and Skylar; brother Daryl Takata; father and mother George and Kay Takata of Kaneohe, Hawaii; aunts and uncles, and many cousins and in-laws.

A memorial service was held Feb. 2 at Wilson & Kratzer, with burial following in Hawaii. Donations can be made to the Cameron or Skylar Yee Custodial Education Fund, Wells Fargo Bank, 3402 Camino Tassajara, Danville 94506 c/o Nathan.

Barbara Elisabeth Yager

Barbara Elisabeth Yager, a resident of Danville and native of Oakland, passed away Jan. 26 at the age of 82, succumbing to ovarian cancer following a nearly 17-year battle.

She was the wife of the late William Yager; mother of Susan Yager of Pleasanton, Kathleen Berendes of Lakeside, Patricia Yager-Delagrange of Alameda, Carol Bergeron of Brentwood, Heidi Ostaszewski of Sacramento, and Gretchen Deuel of Alamo; sister of the late John Frankfurth of Oakland; grandmother of 12; and great-grandmother of 11.

A Funeral Liturgy was held Jan. 31 at St. Joseph Basilica Catholic Church in Alameda.

Mick Conners

Mick Connors, a resident of Danville, died Feb. 3, after giving new meaning to "Fighting Irish" during his 14-month battle with cancer. He passed away peacefully at his home with his family by his side.

He served as chief information officer for both Mervyns and Gap Inc. and was often recognized for his achievements in retail technology. After retiring in 2000, he spent his time with his great loves: his family, friends, golf and fishing in Montana.

He was a devoted husband to his high school sweetheart, Sandy, for forty-six years; a role model to his five children: Brad (wife Lori), Kevin, Karrie, Tim (wife Michele), and Tricia. And a doting grandfather to eight. His extended family included his father Denny Connors, mother Vivian (deceased), brothers Joe, Gary and Tom, and sister Carol.

A memorial service was held Feb. 13 at St. Isidore Church in Danville, followed by a celebration of his life, at Blackhawk Country Club. Donations can be made to Hope Hospice, 6500 Dublin Blvd., Ste. 100, Dublin.

The Rev. Robert E. 'Bob' Bench ***PHOTO***

The Rev. Robert E. "Bob" Bench, a Danville resident, passed peacefully from the world of the seen to the world of the unseen on Feb. 9 in San Ramon, surrounded by his loved ones.

He was born on Feb. 15, 1918. He was an ordained minister for 65 years and was Pastor Emeritus of Hillcrest Congregational Church and Rossmoor Pilgrim Congregational Church. He always had a twinkle in his eye, and enjoyed a good laugh with friends and helping others.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 25 years, Gayle Bench; daughters Sue Will, Terilynn Bench, and Kira Ollila; son R. Kevin Bench; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; his beloved dog Tasha; his extended family members and his many dear friends. He was preceded in death by his daughter Mary Ashley.

A celebration of his life was held on his 90th birthday, Feb. 15, at Hillcrest Congregational Church in Pleasant Hill. Donations may be made in his memory to Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF).

Joseph Wilson Callaway

Danville resident Joseph Wilson Callaway passed away Feb. 3 at the age of 88.

He was born Jan. 21, 1920 in Akron, Ohio, and grew up in Evanston, Ill. He spent summers on Cape Cod where his brothers taught him to sail, which became a great passion.

In World War II he served overseas as an army captain and artillery battery commander. He was recalled into the army for the Korean War and served as a senior military advisor KMAG (Korean Military Advisory Group) officer to a Republic of Korean Army (ROKA) medium artillery battalion.

He raised his family in Alabama and later Connecticut. He had a successful career in advertising and executive management recruiting in New York City. After retiring, he lived in Danville for 20 years.

He had an extraordinarily positive outlook on life, was gregarious, and his witty, sometimes-corny jokes brought a smile to all.

He is survived by Elizabeth, his wife of 65 years; his sister Jan Kyne; his son Joe Jr.; his daughter Joy Larcom; five grandchildren and a great grandson.

A memorial service was held Feb. 14 at Wilson & Kratzer. Donations can be made to the Blue Star Moms, P.O. Box 2537, San Ramon 94583.

Elinor Jean Carter

Elinor Jean Carter, a resident of Alamo, passed away Jan. 29 at the age of 76.

She was born Aug. 11, 1932, in Illinois, where she lived until moving to California in 1954. She touched many lives with her gentle spirit, positive outlook on life and generous ways. She was very humorous and well-loved.

She is survived by sons Robert W. Haws and Terry E. Haws; two granddaughters and a grandson. A memorial service was held Feb. 7 at Memory Gardens in Concord. Donations can be made to National Multiple Sclerosis Society, P.O. Box 23664, Oakland 94623.

Marianne Duemling

Marianne Duemling, a resident of Danville, died Feb. 12, joining her late husband who passed away in 1990.

She was born June 4, 1928, in Heidelberg, Germany. She graduated from the University of Heidelberg and worked as a translator for the U.S. Army and Judge Advocates Office, where she met her husband, Herman. They were married in Heidelberg and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area after his discharge from the Army.

She taught German at Calvary Lutheran School in San Lorenzo. She and her husband established a thriving family business and raised three sons. Her joy in life was family, good friends, cooking, music, gardening and travel.

She is survived by her three sons and their wives: Rick and Judi Duemling of Pleasanton; Dr. David and Sue Duemling of Portland, Ore.; and Herman and Joyce Duemling of Livermore; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; her sister Hedwig and brother Carle of Heidelberg, their families, many cousins and extended family.

A private service was held. Donations can be made to Hope Hospice, 6500 Dublin Blvd., Suite 100, Dublin 94568.

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