Obituaries • 11-28-12 | Print |  E-mail


FIELDS, Larry M.

HOOK, Frederick R. III

JOHNSON, Arthur Edwin W.

PEMBERTON, Billy George



DESCHNER, Velma M., of Castro Valley, passed away in her home on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, at age 79. A native of Oakland, Ms. Deschner attended St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, graduating in 1951. She had a long career in banking and had retired in 2008 from Union Bank of California in Hayward. Services were held Nov. 26 at Our Lady of Grace Church in Castro Valley.


FIELDS, Larry M., Sr., of Castro Valley, passed away at the VA Hospital in Palo Alto on Saturday, November 10, 2012, after a battle with cancer. He was 68. A native of Oakland, Mr. Fields was a decorated U.S. Army veteran of  the Vietnam War. He had retired from the Carpenters Union Local 713. A funeral Mass was held at All Saints Catholic Church in Hayward on Nov. 27.

HOOK, Frederick R., III, Oct 21, 1955 – Nov 12, 2012, resident of Pittsburg. Fred Hook passed away suddenly in his sleep at his home in Pittsburg from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. Throughout his life, his large heart and expansive personality brought joy and color to everyone around him. Fred was born the fifth of six children in Cambridge, England to Fred and Mary Hook, and was raised in Castro Valley. After graduating from Canyon High School, he attended school, traveled extensively and held a variety of interesting jobs. Since 2006, he served as the Fleet Services Coordinator for PG&E in Hayward. Fred was known as an accomplished BBQ chef and master home-brewer with an enviable green thumb. He was also a life-long learner, with an insatiable intellectual curiosity, who never met a stranger. Fred had a tireless zest for life, and whether it was exploring, gardening, hiking, boating or riding his bike, he loved being outdoors. Fred was predeceased by his father, Fred Hook, Jr. He is survived by his mother, Mary of Walnut Creek; his brothers and sisters, Kathleen (Rick) Meyer of Lafayette, Pat (Kathy) Hook of Seward, Alaska, Jenny (Bill) Rainwater of Dallas, Texas, Marianne Hook of Pittsburg, and Matt Hook of Abuja, Nigeria; as well as his partner, Rod Washington, many dear and devoted friends, nieces, and nephews — all who will miss him tremendously. Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Fred’s life on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. at EJ Phair Brewery Taproom, 300 Cumberland, in Pittsburg. Memorial donations can be made in Fred’s name to the Yosemite Conservancy (

JOHNSON, Arthur Edwin White, October 8, 1932 – October 23 2012, resident of Castro Valley. Arthur passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 23, at the age of 80, at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, after a brief reoccurrence of cancer. The family wishes to thank the staff of Kaiser for their excellent care of Arthur during his final days of life, as well as to Baywood Court where he lived for the past two years. Arthur is preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Janice, (2008); his son, David (2008), and granddaughter Tara (2010). He is survived by his twin children, Linda (Pat) and Lloyd (Gaby) Johnson; grandchildren, Stephenie Relva Spradlin  (David) and Kirsten Relva, and Baylee and Kyle Johnson; and great-grandchildren, Ryder, Sage, Wesley, Damian and River. Art was born in Pittsburg, California and raised in Lafayette, California, graduating from Acalanes High School in 1949 at the age of 16. He attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, ultimately earning his BS in Economics and Masters Degree in Industrial Relations at Cal Berkeley. Art served two years in the United States Army, where he was stationed at The Presidio in San Francisco. Art began his career at Shell Oil refinery in Martinez, California, where he met and married Jan. In 1958, they relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, where Art worked at Proctor & Gamble. He then went on to Personnel Manager at Kroger, where he was transferred many times during his career, including Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Houston, Texas. In 1971, he and Jan took the opportunity to return to their beloved Bay Area where Art was Labor Relations Consultant at California Metal Trades Association (CMTA) in South San Francisco. He truly respected the many contacts and friends he made throughout his career. Arthur thoroughly enjoyed sports of all kinds, and was very active in many events through Cal Berkeley. Art took over the responsibilities of the Volunteer Usher program for the Cal men’s basketball games for more than 20 years. He was a generous donor to the Cal Athletic department, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s softball, baseball, and track. Art’s road trips to attend Cal games were legendary. Go Bears! He also enjoyed supporting the Young Musicians Program. Art was also involved in many other volunteer activities, including Lake Merritt Breakfast Club (Fairyland), and served as a senior volunteer with the CHP in Castro Valley. He was well known for his political views and was in charge of polling sites during elections. Art never slowed down! As a bowler most of his life, Art once achieved a perfect “300” game at Castro Village Bowl. Art was an avid fan and attended most Oakland Athletic baseball games. He most recently enjoyed spending his spare time watching his granddaughter Baylee’s travel softball games. A celebration of Arthur’s life will be held from 12 noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, at  Willow Park, 17007 Redwood Road, in Castro Valley (510-537-8989). A memorial service will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m. All are welcome.

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