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Danville Express

Community Pulse - June 27, 2008

Obituaries

Minnie M. Avola

Minnie M. Avola, a former resident of Alamo, passed away May 30 in Ventura at the age of 98.

She was born Aug. 29, 1909, in a log cabin on the Big River in Mendocino, to Raffaelo and Emelia Paoli. She had five brothers and a sister.

She married Bob Halter in 1934; he passed away 10 years later at the young age of 32. She remarried in 1950 to Carmallo Avola, who passed away in 1961.

She spent a big part of her life serving the Catholic Church. For more than 20 years she cooked for the priests at St. Teresa's in Oakland and St. Mary's in Walnut Creek.

She is survived by her daughter Dolly Efishoff, sons Bob and Jim Halter, 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren.

A Memorial Mass was celebrated June 4 at St. Anthony's Church in Mendocino.

Sumner Warner White Sr.

Sumner Warner White Sr., a resident of Danville, died May 29 of pneumonia in San Ramon at the age of 83.

He was born Nov. 9, 1924, and was a native of Chicago. He attended Wentworth Military Academy and graduated from Northwestern University.

He served honorably in the U.S. Navy during World War II, entering the U.S. Air Force in 1950. After serving in many critical assignments, he retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1969.

Residing in Northern Virginia, he then worked as a consultant for Logicon Inc. for 17 years. He and his wife moved to Danville in October 1998. Throughout his life he was committed to family and had a passion for golf.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Gloria; his son Sumner and daughter-in law Karen of Castro Valley; daughter Susan and son-in law Jean-Pierre Lallement of Zurich, Switzerland; and four grandchildren.

His memory was celebrated on June 7 at Crow Canyon Country Club Estates in Danville. Donations are appreciated to your favorite charity.

Roma F. 'Kay' Lusche

Roma F. "Kay" Lusche, a resident of Danville, died June 2 at John Muir Medical Center where she was being treated for a malignant brain tumor.

She was born June 29, 1931, in Schuyler, Neb,. to Frank and Rose Kopecky. She was educated in Schuyler schools and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor's degree in education. She married Robert Lusche in 1953 and helped him through college to earn a bachelor's in civil engineering from Wyoming University.

They moved to California in 1956 where Bob worked for Standard Oil of California and they raised their three children. They were avid boaters and enjoyed water skiing, primarily on Lake Berryessa. They are 37-year residents of Danville and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in August 2003. Her loving presence will be missed by her family and many friends.

She was predeceased by her son Kent, who died in July 1987. She is survived by her husband Bob Lusche, her son Bill and daughter-in-law Sharon; her daughter Diane and son-in law Steve Piersol; her sisters Evelyn Whitaker and Louise Paone and brother-in-law Cosmo Paone; two granddaughters; and many nephews and nieces.

A memorial service was held June 9 at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Lafayette. Private interment was held at Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette. Contributions can be sent to Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1035 Carol Lane, Lafayette.

Robert Irwin Berger

Danville resident Robert Irwin Berger died June 6 at the age of 76 after a valiant fight with brain cancer.

He was born July 29, 1931, in Oakland where he was raised in Piedmont. He graduated from Piedmont High School and attended the California College of Arts and Crafts. He was a long-time member of Temple Beth Abraham.

He spent his career following in his family's footsteps as co-owner of California Furniture company in Oakland and owner of Fashion Furniture in San Leandro. He was interested in serving his community and held a position on the San Leandro Planning Commission in addition to running for City Council.

Since retiring in 1993, he and his beloved wife Dena spent time traveling many areas of the world, playing golf and tennis, and spending time in Palm Desert. A recent pleasure was his involvement at Westover Winery and his creative woodcarvings; he entered several items in the 2006 Alameda County Fair and was awarded blue ribbons.

He dearly loved his many years of fishing, boating, tennis and skiing at Discovery Bay; over 50 years of regular get-togethers with the "potluck group"; summers (in the 1960s) at the Lair of the Bear, Camp Gold; annual trips to Alaska with his fishing buddies; and his many years of competitive tennis at the Harbor Bay Club, Crow Canyon Country Club and Shadow Mountain.

He is survived by his loving life of 34 years, Dena Berger; children Sharon Berger Kinkade (Randy), Sandy Berger, Steve Berger, Wade Dishman, Lyndon Dishman (Erika) and Jill Smyth (Bill); sister Geri Monheimer and brother-in-laws Jim Barnes and Lavoice Miller; four grandchildren; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. He was predeceased by his sister Marlene Casper.

Services were held June 11 at the Home of Eternity Cemetery in Oakland. Donation may be made to the Berger Family Scholarship Fund at Temple Beth Abraham, 336 Euclid Ave., Oakland, 94610 or Hospice of the East Bay, 6500 Dublin Blvd., Suite 100, Dublin, 94568.

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