Please take a moment to honor these classmates who left us all too soon. We could not find pictures of Victor Canastrino, William Colbert, Mark Galvan or Gregory Juarez..

We were sad to hear of Larry Bengiveno's passing
, prompting our first update to the webiste since our reunion last September. Your committee sends condolences to Larry's survivors, and wishes of good health and safety to all.
See a tribute to Thomas below.
See a tribute to Thomas below.
See below a tribute to Larry by his wife, Valerie
See below a tribute to Larry by his wife, Valerie
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Paul Chamberlin
Paul Chamberlin
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John 'Roski' Coykendall  (from 1967 yearbook)
John "Roski" Coykendall (from 1967 yearbook)
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See Larry's obituary below.
See Larry's obituary below.
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See Rory's obituary below.
See Rory's obituary below.
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See Alan's obituary below.
See Alan's obituary below.
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See Melanie's obituary below.
See Melanie's obituary below.
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See Diana's obituary below.
See Diana's obituary below.
See tribute to Scott below.
See tribute to Scott below.
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Greg Simmons  (from 1967 yearbook)
Greg Simmons (from 1967 yearbook)
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See Charles' obituary below.
See Charles' obituary below.
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See Frank's obituary below.
See Frank's obituary below.

 

The following obituaries and tributes were contributed by classmates, friends and family.


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Thomas Barnes

December 6th, 1951 - October 18th, 2007

Thomas Barnes had a nack for photography, business, climbing, and fishing. He attended Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara and was inspired by Ansel Adams. He was the CEO of an INC 500 Company, Computer Service Supply, INC, in 1994. He enjoyed climbing half dome in Yosemite. He loved fishing, he had fished the Pacific ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the gulf of Mexico, and finally near Baja California where he fished for marlin in Mexico and caught one, in the 90s. The one he never caught, a blue fin tuna. He loved the ocean and all its creatures, he dove with the sharks in Florida. I miss my dad often, when I look at certain art pieces or think of the ocean, I think of my dad.

God grant that I may fish for trout until my dying day, and when I come to my last cast I'll then most humbly pray, when in the lord's safe landing net I'm peacefully asleep, that in his mercy I'll be judged as good enough to keep.

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Thomas "Tom" Barnes passed away in Clearwater Florida on, Oct 17 2007, where his last days he lived with his parents, he was struggling with Diabetes and eventually passed due to complications. He is survived by, his mother Nancy, Brother David, Niece Kendra, and his daughter Alicia, and 4 grandchildren; Daniel 30, Brittany 28, Chelsea 24, and Megan 21, and 3 gt grandchildren: Eli 8, Ryder 3, and Emma 2.

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Larry Bengiveno

March 16th, 1951 - May 18th, 2020

I did not plan to put an obituary in the local newspaper. I've reached out to close to 300 people in the last 3-weeks and appreciate you putting out to his classmates his sudden passing.  He was always sharing stories of Willow Glen HS.  He loved Mexico and we have been coming to Zihuatanejo for the last 34-years.  He loved everything about it; the people, the beaches, the sunrises/sunsets, exploring the area, so much so we made the decision to move here permanently.  He kept up with his sports and his passion was golf and painting, besides me.   March 16, 1951 "-" May 18, 2020.  The most important was how he lived the dash "-: , with great joy and his big smile and heart.  He was much loved by all. On a side note, he adopted my son Anthony.  His two grandchildren, Andrew 17 and Sasha 15 are both into sports, painting, guitar playing and singing. They took after him.
 

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Diane Butterfield (Pierson)

- - August 1st, 2019

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From Elizabeth "Biddi" (Deaver) Gleason on September 3rd, 2019
Diane Butterfield (Pierson) was born October 22, 1951. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January 2019 and she died July 29, 2019. She is survived by her husband, brother, three sons and three grandsons. Although they lived in Texas, she loved Idaho and spent most summers in McCall, Idaho. When in Idaho, Diane volunteered with World Welcome and helped refugees resettling in Boise. She helped them to procure furniture and provide life skill teaching to help them acclimate to their new culture. When Diane and her husbnd were in Texas she did the same for foreign students there.
 

Georgina Castro (Solares)

December 20th, 1951 - January 25th, 2012


 

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Georgina A. Solares-Castro
12/20/1951 - 01/25/2012
Resident of Yuba City, Born in Phoenix, AZ, raised in Willow Glen, CA.. A loving giving kind Wife, Mother and Grandmother who lived a faithful life. Please join her family in celebrating her life on Wed 02/01/12 at 10:30am at Chapel of Flowers. Burial to follow at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery 490 Lincoln st. Santa Clara, CA

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Paul Chamberlin

June 12th, 1951 - January 7th, 2020

Obituary

Paul George Chamberlin
June 12, 1951 - July 1, 2020
Missoula, MT
Paul George Chamberlin, 69, of Missoula, Montana, passed away on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at St. Patrick Hospital, after a long battle with cancer.

He was born on June 12, 1951, in Oakland, California, to Bill and Kay Chamberlin, the middle of five children. As a young boy he kept his family laughing with his antics and keen sense of humor—a characteristic which continued throughout his life.

While in High School he was the top hurdler on the varsity track team and was very active in Willow Glen Methodist Church's Methodist Youth Fellowship. His creative and technical mind-set was demonstrated early as his bedroom was a miniature electronics laboratory complete with a pneumatic door opener. He attended San Jose State University for a time and was on the track team with Tommy Smith and John Carlos.

Paul entered his career in firefighting at the CAL FIRE Smith Creek Station in Santa Clara County. He left California in 1971 to join the Smokejumpers in Missoula, Montana and stayed there. He married in Missoula in 1992 and enjoyed a close lifelong friendship with his stepson Tyler Cross.

Paul was a legend among the Smokejumpers, having made the leaderboard with 450 career jumps. A Paul Gleason Lead by Example Award recipient, he mentored scores of new recruits and introduced many equipment innovations, including the Model 52, a fire engine that mounts on the back of a flatbed truck. Designed for rough terrain, equipped with a small water tank and a pump, exposed plumbing for easy repair, and storage compartments, the Model 52 is a practical and versatile unit still used all across the country.

Paul served as Incident Commander, and was best known for his safety innovations and incident investigation processes, ultimately traveling around the world lecturing large groups of firefighters on the simple yet effective concepts of L.C.E.S., a streamlined method to ensure everyone is safe on even the most dangerous forest fires.

He had a passion for creating wooden and metal art objects (including a fine violin), and the specialized tools needed for their manufacture. He was a tinkerer and do-it-yourselfer, and with his skill and craft he repaired and enhanced many homes of friends and family. He was a rummage sale aficionado and his accumulation of "great buys" that he would fix someday was daunting…

Paul was a skilled sailor and enjoyed sailing his Catalina 25 on Flathead Lake. His many other interests included stargazing with the local astronomy club, supporting the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and sitting on its Board; aiding the Missoula's spectrUM Discovery Area children's science museum, and giving back to his community through other projects such as the bicycle path he created.

Survivors include his Stepson Tyler, Tyler's partner, Rosa, and grandson Theodor (Missoula), sister Kathryn (Rabat, Morocco), brothers Edward (Grand Junction, CO), Robert (Alameda, CA), and Douglas (Asti, CA), and a multitude of very dear friends and family gathered and kept close throughout his life.

A Zoom-based celebration of Paul's life for close friends and family is being planned for August 15 at 2:p.m. (Mountain Time). Those interested in attending may send an e-mail request to

paulchamberlinmemorial@gmail.com

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Paul's name to spectrUM Discovery Area

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From Paul Gardner on September 11th, 2020
After looking into this further, Paul Chamberlin did not graduate from Willow Glen. A close friend of us at Willow Glen yes but Paul graduated from Del Mar.
 

Larry Dionne

December 23rd, 1950 - March 17th, 2011

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Lawrence Edward Dionne
Resident of San Jose
Passed away March 17, 2011 of natural causes.

Larry was born in Logan Utah, December 23, 1950. His family moved to San Jose several years later where he graduated from Willow Glen High School in 1969 and attended San Jose State University majoring in Environmental Studies, while also spending time as an Air Force Reservist. He was married to Debbie Cogliandro on August 03, 1975 and they resided in San Jose where their daughter Brianna was born in 1984.

Larry spent twenty years with the Carpenter's Union working for multiple major construction companies in the Bay Area and recently retired from the city of San Jose where he was employed for over eleven years as a Senior Construction Inspector.

Larry was predeceased by his father Professor Edward Dionne and is survived by his daughter Brianna R Dionne, his mother Charlene L Dionne, Pamela D. Harding and numerous other family members and friends.

His presence in our lives is a gift we will always be thankful for and his loving and generous manner will be missed by all.

Services will be held at St. Christopher's Church, 2278 Booksin Ave. San Jose, CA. 95125 (on the corner of Booksin and Curtner Ave) March 31, 2011 at 11:00am. Following the service, a luncheon will be held in his honor at Il Fornaio restaurant in the Hotel St. Claire, 302 South Market St., San Jose, CA 95113.
 
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Mar. 27, 2011

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Rory Gnekow

June 21st, 1951 - September 20th, 1995

Rory Gnekow and I were next door neighbors on Jansen Avenue in Willow Glen for 15 years.  I got to know the Gnekow family quite well during that time.  Rory went to private school and I went to public school at River Glen Elementary.  It is always very sad to hear that someone has left us early in life.  I try to remember all the fun things we did as kids on Jansen Avenue and in the prune orchard across the street.  We love you Rory and miss you!

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From kelley ramsey on September 7th, 2019
I rember Rory.  He was always a real good guy to me.  I am sorry he is gone.
 

Alan Hatley

- - February 3rd, 2018

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Mr. Alan Hatley, 67, formerly of Knobel, AR., passed peacefully in his sleep Friday, March 2, 2018.

He was born to the late Christine Mason Hatley and Calvin J. Hatley of Knobel, AR., on December 16, 1950. He lived in Knobel, AR., Memphis, TN., Livonia, MI., and San Jose, CA. Alan graduated from Willow Glen High School and San Jose Community College. He worked in the electronics industry in Silicon Valley during its heyday.

Alan is survived by his son Matthew; sister Carolyn Burton; brother-in-law Sam Burton, nephews Daniel and Scott Burton; aunts Carolyn Mason of Knobel, AR., Nita Cox and Berneta Baird of Saint Louis, MO., area; uncles James, Euell and Carl Hatley; and many cousins.

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From Paul Gardner on September 11th, 2020
Alan was always the guy to know where the parties were in high school and college. Alan asked me to be the best man at his wedding, of which I was honored to be. Years later we went our separate ways and I lost track of him. Sorry to hear of his passing.
 

Melanie Juarez

November 17th, 1951 - November 15th, 2014

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Scott Ramsay

July 21st, 1951 - October 15th, 2015

Scott was one of the most unique and interesting persons I have ever known.  I was kind of emeshed in his family life at the end of our high school time, and knew Scott, his sister and brother quite well, as well as his mom and dad. He was a great athlete but after high school had no interest in sports and became more of an intellectual. He finished college at Standord Univ. and went to work in Silicon Valley, eventually becoming a manager at Ross Perot's company, EDS.  We lost track of each other for a long time, but reconnected when I found out he was battling brain cancer in the early 1990's.  The surgery and radiation stopped the cancer, but unfortunately left him disabled, along the lines of a stroke victim.  I still  think fondly about the interesing times we had together in high school and college and our wide-ranging conversations over the meaning of life and how us humans fit it. 

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Charles Thorsell

September 28th, 1951 - January 7th, 2016

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Charles Henry Thorsell, born September 28th 1951, living in West Linn, Oregon passed away January 7th, 2016. 
 
After graduating from Willow Glen High School, he went on to earn an A.S. in Electrical technology from ­San Jose City College.
 
Sometime later he joined IBM Corp. where he fulfilled a diverse set of technical and leadership roles, including Programmer, System Support Specialist, and later Technical Lead, and Project Manager by the time he retired after 19 years there. During his time with the company he met his future wife in 1986: Kim Ann Tran who also worked for IBM. They married August 12, 1989.  In 1996 he retired from the professional workforce to become a full time dad.
 
He is survived by his loving wife (Kim Thorsell), daughter (Kimberly Thorsell), son (William Thorsell), two brothers (Greg & Leonard), and sister (Dianne). All miss him dearly.

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From Kim Thorsell on March 5th, 2019
My dad was often found at the side of a lake, with a ranger hat tipped over his eyes, and fishing pole wedged into the ground. At other times I recall him spending an entire day tinkering in his shop. He laughed easily and cherished his friends and family. It seems to me that he found his greatest joys in the simplest things in life.
 
He told me once, it's not all about the quality of time you spend with those you love, it's the quantity too. He always made the effort to be present in our lives. He supported us, cheered us on, and always made sure each and every person felt appreciated and knew that they mattered. He held us all to high standards with his belief in each of us.
 
Charlie stayed true to his simple, straight forward, and often unintentionally eccentric nature until the very end of his 5-year battle with Leukemia. He requested a simple and no fuss funerary arrangement. He insisted on a cremation, without service, and that his ashes be carried out in nothing more ostentatious than a coffee can. In fact, he bought the coffee can. It was from Costco.  I still chuckle about this whenever I think about it; I think he may have intended it that way.
 

Frank Woessner

May 10th, 1951 - -

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From Sandy Holeman on August 30th, 2019
Image Frank was a natural athlete. His two sports in high school were soccer and baseball. Baseball was his passion, and he went on to join the San Jose minor league team, always hoping to get into the majors. He lived in Santa Cruz for some time and was an avid surfer. Later on he lived in Hawaii. Frank was devastated by the tragic early death from cancer of his older brother, Mike.