He was born July 10, 1935. A native of New York, he spent the last 34 years living in Contra Costa County. He graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University and received his masters degree in business administration from UC Berkeley. He served in the U.S. Army during 1955 and 1956.
He was a certified public accountant and worked at Price Waterhouse in New York for 14 years. He was vice president and controller of Transamerica Corp. for 25 years, retiring in 1999. He will be remembered for his keen intellect, high integrity, great sense of humor and his love of his family.
He is survived by his loving wife of 34 years Anne, his daughter Chelsea, his sister Elizabeth Valley of Huntington Beach, and many brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. A Memorial Mass was celebrated April 21 at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Danville. Interment is at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Lafayette. In lieu of flowers, the family requested contributions to the charity of choice.
Kathleen A. Carter
Kathleen A. Carter, a resident of Alamo, died April 8 at the age of 58 after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer.
She was born Dec. 22, 1949, in Berkeley, spent her childhood in Walnut Creek, and graduated from Pleasant Hill High School. In 1973, she graduated from Stanford University and, apart from her academic achievements, she was particularly proud of accompanying the Stanford football team to the Rose Bowl as a cheerleader.
She enjoyed her 37-year career with Chevron where she treated each employee with care and respect. Her illness forced her to leave her last position as vice president and general manager of Chevron Business and Real Estate Services.
Family was the center of her life. She is survived by her husband of 18 years, George K. Carter; children and step children, Julie and husband Kregg Baur, Megan and husband Jeff Tarpley, Michael Brandford, Caitlin and husband Mark Guthrie, and Seth Carter; six grandchildren; siblings James and wife Mary Ellen, Debbie and husband John Pinkston, Lynn and husband Bob Schmitt; and seven nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Mass service was celebrated April 14 at St Isidore Catholic Church in Danville. Donations can be made to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation or the American Cancer Society.
Howard E. McDonald Jr.
Howard E. McDonald Jr. died April 9 at the age of 61.
He was born Jan. 30, 1947, in Oakland, grew up in Hayward and Fremont, and lived in Danville for the past 13 years. He retired from Lucky stores in 1999 after 30 years in transportation management.
He was preceded in death by his father Howard E. McDonald Sr. and brother William Wyatt McDonald. He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Sharon Freitas McDonald; son Howard (Chip) E. McDonald III; and mother, Louise McDonald.
Funeral services were held April 12 at Wilson and Kratzer of San Ramon Valley in Danville. Burial is at the Santa Clara Mission Cemetery in Santa Clara.
The family requested donations in his name to Bruns House, 2849 Miranda Ave., Alamo.
Vernon Christian Johnson
Vernon Christian Johnson, a long-time resident of Danville, died April 11 at the age of 95.
He was born Dec. 27, 1912, at the Booth Ranch across the South Umpqua River from Ruckles, Ore. He grew up in rural Oregon and studied engineering and pre-med at Oregon State University for two years before joining the Army Air Corps in 1935.
In the Army he passed the exams for flying cadets and flew for the Army Air Corps. When he was honorably discharged he began flying for American Airlines.
He and Katie Benatar were married and lived in Fort Worth, Texas, for about a year before he was called back to active duty. During World War II he evacuated families in North Africa and was later sent to India and flew the "Hump." He flew more than 100 successful missions to China and was never turned back.
When he returned to the U.S. he was stationed in Montana as a squadron commander and was promoted to major. He received the Chinese Medal of Honor and five other honor medals.
He returned to flying with American Airlines when he left the service in 1945, initially flying on a project bringing war veterans home. He was the captain of his aircraft and retired on his 60th birthday in 1972. He was proud to be recognized by those he flew for as a superior weather pilot throughout his military and civilian careers, and liked to point out that he never put one scratch or dent on any plane he flew.
He seldom talked about his years in the military and was most well-known as the man who could build, repair or improve just about anything. He welcomed anyone to his garage shop and would gladly take on any project he was asked to fix, which he did to perfection.
As he grew older, he invented gadgets that helped him to continue living as independently as possible. He also enjoyed playing tennis, hiking, backpacking and rock climbing for years after retiring.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years Katie, his daughter and son-in-law Bonnie and Paul Keck, his son and daughter-in-law Rich and Eileen Johnson, his three grandchildren, and nephew and niece.
There will be no services, per his request. His ashes will be flown and spread over the slopes of Mount Diablo on his final flight in an airplane. Donations may be made to Vitas Innovative Hospice Care, 365 Lennon Lane, Walnut Creek 94598.
Elvira Hermansen Badal
Danville resident Elvira Hermansen Badal died April 7 at the age of 79 after a lengthy battle with a rare form of Sarcoma Cancer.
She was born Feb. 20, 1929. She attended elementary and high schools in Ripon, Calif., Modesto Junior College, and earned a Bachelor of Education from San Francisco State University in 1954. She later attended Cal State University at Hayward where she received a Master of Science Degree in Special Education.
Following her marriage in 1950, she served as a primary grade teacher and junior high art instructor in Newman, Calif., and later in the Los Altos schools. After a brief stop in San Leandro, her family moved to Moraga in 1963 where she focused her time and efforts primarily as a mother and homemaker for her growing family.
A developing interest in special education led her eventually to the Mt. Diablo Rehabilitation Center where she served as an educational therapist and later as director of educational services. Later, her interests led to a successful career in real estate.
She was a member of the Community Presbyterian Church in Danville, participated in a number of local area Bible study activities, and was recognized for her strong foundation of faith.
She loved to travel, was an active member of the Crow Canyon Country Club 4C Niners golf group, and enjoyed playing recreational bridge. A lifelong lover of the arts, she was an accomplished oils and acrylics painter, with many of her original paintings adorning her home and those of her children and friends.
She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Dr. Alden Badal; son Terry Badal of Walnut Creek; daughter Karen and husband Rick Hacker of Mission Viejo; son-in-law Barry Brinker; and four grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her daughter Darlene Badal Brinker.
A memorial service was held April 19 at the Community Presbyterian Church in Danville. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a cancer foundation of choice.
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