Obituaries • 02-28-13 PDF  | Print |  E-mail



CONTI, David T. Sr.

HARMEYER, Joseph Robert


MUTO, Mary Virginia

NICHOLS, Shirley J.

PEDRO, Charles A.

PHILPOTT, Virginia M.

PRICE, Marie

THOMAS, Jacqueline D.

BETTENCOURT, Joseph Kip, born in Hayward, on December 4, 1953, went home to be with the Lord on February 24, 2013. Kip graduated from Castro Valley High School in 1972 and continued his education with a scholarship to Cal Berkeley where he graduated and earned a degree in Architecture. Kip was also a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity throughout his college years. He went on to pursue a career in his chosen profession and then moved to Oklahoma as Department Director for Oklahoma Historical Society where he stayed until his passing. Loving son of Joseph (deceased) and Anita Bettencourt, father of Tyler Bettencourt and his wife Abigail, devoted partner of Michael Dixon, brother of Debbi Aro and her husband Duanem and Suzi Phillips and her husband Gary, caring Uncle to many nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will be held on Friday, March 1, at 10 a.m. at Jess Spencer Mortuary, 21228 Redwood Rd., in Castro Valley.

CARNESI, Ben C., of San Lorenzo, passed away at his home on Thursday, February 14, 2013, at age 98. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Mr. Carnesi was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II who served as Gunners Mate in the Pacific Rim. In 1968 he started “Ben’s RV Service” in San Leandro, retiring in the late 1970s. A Celebration of Life is planned for a June 15. For details call 510-673-2200.

CONTI, David T. Sr., 55, of San Leandro passed away with his family by his side on Sunday, February 24, 2013. Born August 9, 1957 to Melvin and Shirley Conti, he grew up and lived most of his life in San Leandro. David was an incredibly loved man who will be most remembered by his caring smile and comedic personality. He loved his job as a cook at Eden Medical Center and was well loved by his coworkers. He enjoyed cooking, camping, spending time with his children and grandchildren, playing cards (especially cribbage), and loved the New England Patriots. He will be truly missed by his children, grandchildren, brother, and many nieces, nephews and extended family. Memorial Services will be held on Saturday, March 2, at 11:30 a.m. at Faith Fellowship Church, 577 Manor Blvd., in San Leandro.

HARMEYER, Joseph Robert, of San Leandro, passed way from complications of congestive heart failure at his home on Tuesday, February 19, 2013. He was 90. Mr. Harmeyer was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and recipient of a Purple Heart. He worked for the Alameda Bureau of Electricity for 21 years. A funeral Mass was said Feb. 25 at St. Felicitas Church

MALKASSIAN, Joetta Kalakian, passed away in Palo Alto, California on February 26, 2013. Joetta was born on May 10, 1942 in Oakland to Albert and Louise Kalakian.  She is survived by her husband, Robert A. Malkassian; her son, R. Patrick Malkassian; her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Nalbandian Malkassian; her 2 granddaughters, Sofia and Alexandria Malkassian; and many cousins, in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Nalbandian, Louise Nalbandian, and dear friends. As a young girl, she enjoyed school, art and athletics. During high school, she actively participated on the debate team. She spent considerable time visiting her father’s home town of Fresno, California to see her extended family who she loved dearly. Joetta was thrilled to participate in Girl Scouts. She continued on with scouts through high school and, as a young adult, enjoyed running camps for girls in the Mendocino area and the Sierra Nevada mountains near Lake Tahoe. Joetta is a graduate of Stephens Women’s College of Columbia, Missouri; she loved participating in many activities: debate, fencing, politics and art. Later, she returned to the East Bay and finished her formal education at California State University at Hayward. During this period of her life, she enjoyed travels to Spain, Germany, France and Mexico. As a young adult, she entered business with her parents at the Kalakian Insurance Agency.  In 1966, she married Robert A. Malkassian. During the late 1960s, she and Robert traveled to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In 1971, Joetta gave birth to her only child, R. Patrick Malkassian. During the 1970s and 1980s, she continued to lead an active life in her community with the League of Woman Voters, the Girls Club and raising her son. From the 1990s forward, she used her life skills and worked with her husband and son to found Ropama, Inc. in Oakland. She worked alongside her family to develop a company that is now recognized globally in the leather industry. In her last months, she fell ill; however, she was allowed the opportunity to reflect upon her rich life. She was a strong woman whose greatest wish, in the end, was to instill her values in the granddaughters she loved so much. Joetta Kalakian Malkassian’s funeral service will be held at St. Vartan Armenian Apostolic Church, 650 Spruce Street, in Oakland on Tuesday, March 5, at 10:30 a.m. Arrangements made by Santos-Robinson Mortuary in San Leandro (510-483-0123,

McCARTHY, Cora Lee, who formerly lived in San Lorenzo for many years, passed away on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at age 85. Ms. McCarthy worked as a Specialist Clerk for Alameda County Social Services for 20 years. A celebration of her life was held Feb. 22.

MUTO, Mary Virginia, who lived in San Leandro since 1948, passed away at her home on Sunday, February 17, 2013, after a long illness. She was 91. Services and interment were held Feb. 26 at Holy Angels Funeral Home in Hayward.

NICHOLS, Shirley J., Shirley lived her life with an attitude of gratitude! Working in the family business, Nichols Insurance, for over 50 years, she always had a contagious smile on her face. She passed away at her home surrounded by her loving family and best friend, Toy Boy (her doggie). Wife of the late Robert L. Nichols for 48 loving years (1985). She is survived by her daughters, Lonnie Helgeson and Sally Ann Nichols; and loving brother, Raymond Main — Cherished Grammy of Tiffany Nichols, James, Taylor, Melina and Chaska Helgeson. Friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Her Life on Saturday, March 2, at 1 p.m. at St. James Lutheran Church, 993 Estudillo Ave., in San Leandro. Donations can be made to St. James Lutheran Church.

PEDRO, Charles A. “Big Charlie,” August 15, 1925 – February 22, 2013, 87, a resident of San Leandro and Gustine, California, passed away on Friday, February 22, 2013 at Stanford Hospital, surrounded by loving family. He was born August 15, 1925 in Knightson, California to Mary and Miguel Pedro (Laragticha). Charlie was raised in the Oakley area. He was an elementary student of “Iron House School” in Oakley and attended other schools in the Brentwood area. He served in the Army in WWII from 1944 to 1946 and honorably discharged with rank of Sergeant. After military service, he briefly entered into the trucking business and then transitioned into the construction business. He was a 61-year member of Operating Engineer’s International Local 3. He first worked for Rose & Matoza Construction in Castro Valley, Lee Construction in San Leandro, and many years for Silva Brother’s Construction in Fremont before starting his own business, C&H Contractors. After retiring from the contracting business, he later settled into farming walnuts in Gustine. He had a love for tractors and heavy equipment, and a special place in his heart for animals. He is survived by two sons, Charles H. Pedro and John H. Pedro of Gustine and San Leandro; his grandson, Christopher C. Pedro and wife, Lisa, and newly born great-grandson Dylan Anthony Pedro of Livermore; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary; father, Miguel; sisters, Evangelina D. Smith and Clementina (Tina) L. Eggers; and brothers, Leonardo J. Largaticha, Antone P. Largaticha, Joaquim Pedro Largaticha and Richard G. Largarticha. A visitation will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 1, at Santos-Robinson Mortuary, 160 Estudillo Ave., in San Leandro (510-483-0123). A graveside Service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, at Holy Cross Cemetery, 2200 E. 18th St., in Antioch, California (925-757-0658). In lieu of flowers and for Charlie’s love for animals, the family requests donations be made to Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center, P.O. Box 298, Hughson, CA 95326 (209-883-9414, or to a charity of your choice. Arrangements made by Santo-Robinson Mortuary in San Leandro (510-483-0123,

PHILPOTT, Virginia M., of San Lorenzo, passed away onFriday, February 22, 2013, at age 84. A naive of Alexander, North Carolina, Mrs. Philpott was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. A service for immediate family members will be held today, Feb. 28, at Grissom’s Chapel at 9 a.m. A committal service will be held at 1 p.m. at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella.

PRICE, Marie, May 18, 1919 – Feb. 21, 2013, long-time resident of San Leandro, passed away on February 21, 2013 at the age of 93. She was widely known in the Washington Manor neighborhood as the “lady in blue,” because of the blue jogging suit she always wore when she walked. From 1970 to 2004, Marie could be found on any given day walking a three-mile stretch through the Manor, waving at people going to work and children on their way to school. Marie always greeted everyone with a smile and made many friends over the years. In 2004, Marie left her usual route and began walking with her husband at the San Leandro Marina. She made new friends there, including the resident squirrels. Everyone seemed to enjoy her company. Her family loved being asked if they were related to the “lady in blue,” and seeing how happy she could make people with just her smile and cheery demeanor. Marie stopped her daily walking routine in 2006, when her health began to decline. Her family figures she walked approximately 39,000 miles in her lifetime, which works out to about one and a half times around the earth. For the last five years, Marie has lived at an Alzheimer’s care facility in Castro Valley, earning the nickname “Smiley.” Even as she battled a debilitating disease, she loved life and tried to pass that on to others. Marie was the oldest of 14 children. She is survived by her daughter, Georgina Ruff; son-in-law, Dan Ruff; granddaughter, Sabrina Chicas; grandson-in-law, Mike Chicas; great-grandchildren, Alexander and Madilyn Chicas; sisters, Irene Arruda and Olinda Lee; brothers, George Borges, Manuel Borges and Albert Borges; and many, many nieces and nephews. She was greatly loved and will be missed by all.

THOMAS, Jacqueline D., a resident of San Leandro, has passed away. A visitation and chapel service were held Feb. 27 at Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward.



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