Almanac

Community - February 24, 2010

Obituaries

Obituaries are based on information provided by families and mortuaries.

John Wiley Rutherdale Jr.

A memorial celebration of the life of John "Jack" Wiley Rutherdale will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 13, at Alpine Hills Tennis Club, 4139 Alpine Road in Portola Valley.

Mr. Rutherdale died peacefully at his Ladera home of brain cancer on Feb. 3, surrounded by his family. He was 86.

Born in San Francisco, he grew up in San Carlos, graduating from Sequoia High School and junior college before studying at Stanford Law School. In 1943 he was drafted into the U.S. Army and assigned to the Second Signal Service Battalion in Washington, D.C., where he translated confidential shipping messages from Japanese to English.

During this time, he met his future wife, Alice Bassett. After the war, Mr. Rutherdale earned a degree in economics. In 1947 the couple returned to California, where they settled in Los Altos and raised five children. They were amicably divorced in 1974 and remained friends.

Mr. Rutherdale was employed in an executive capacity at Pacific Bell in San Francisco for 32 years. Upon his retirement, he was involved in regulatory work for the phone company and the Public Utilities Commission.

In 1978, he met Anne Johnston on a Sierra Club hike. They were married soon after. Between the two of them, they had 10 children.

After retirement, the couple traveled extensively. He also enjoyed volunteer work for the community committee for international students at Stanford and for Mended Hearts (an advocacy group for heart patients) at Sequoia Hospital.

He will be remembered for his integrity, his gentle nature, and his great love of children and family, say family members.

Mr. Rutherdale is survived by his wife of 32 years, Anne Rutherdale; sister Catherine Carriere of San Clemente; his children, Nancy Griffith of Sacramento, Martha de La Soujeole of Fairview, Texas, Jan Rutherdale of Juneau, Alaska, and Jay Rutherdale of Sacramento; stepchildren Jean Rinaldo of Portola Valley, Michelle Fortnam, Kenneth Rinaldo of Coumbus, Ohio, Catherine Rinaldo of Oakland; 20 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his son, Larry Rutherdale, and his stepson, Brian Rinaldo.

Donations in Mr. Rutherdale's name may be made to the Peninsula Open Space Trust (openspacetrust.org), Pathways Hospice (pathways.org) or Mended Hearts (mendedhearts.org).

Gunther Sorger

Gunther Urban Sorger of Portola Valley, a pioneer in the development of microwave systems for air safety, died peacefully Feb. 10.

Mr. Sorger was born in Riedlingen, Germany, in 1925. In his youth he played soccer for the University of Stuttgart, scaled mountains with the Academic Ski Club, and soared over the Danube valleys in glider planes built by his glider flying club, say family members.

After earning a doctorate in physics, graduating cum laude, Mr. Sorger moved to the United States in 1954, joining Weinschel Engineering in Maryland as chief scientist, developing microwave test equipment and standards for airplane guidance systems. He also taught graduate courses in microwave measurement at George Washington University.

In 1970 he moved to California to work for the Eaton industrial company, where he founded the research and development center of the company's electronic instrumentation division in Sunnyvale. His contributions to the field included eight patents and many publications.

In 1985 he was elected a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and later won its Meritorious Achievement Award for his work.

Mr. Sorger was an avid soccer player and coached AYSO soccer leagues for many years. He was also an excellent tennis player, winning several tournaments and playing well into his 70s, family members said. He was a certified board sailor and enjoyed hiking in the Sierras.

Surviving members of his family are his wife of 54 years, Ursula, and sons Alex, Phil and Stephan.

Charles Edward Turkington

Charles Edward "Ned" Turkington died peacefully at his home in St. Helena on Feb. 7 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was 78.

Mr. Turkington was born in San Francisco and lived in Atherton as a youth. His father, Edward Turkington, was a member of the Atherton Town Council and the family belonged to the Menlo Circus Club.

A graduate of St. Ignatius High School, Mr. Turkington received a bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He had a long career as a stockbroker, retiring from UBS Paine-Webber in 2001.

He had a life-long love of cars and racing, as well as a passion for all sports, say family members. He was member of the Bohemian Club for more than 40 years, and a former member of the downtown Olympic Club of San Francisco.

In his early years, he was active in California Republican campaigns for Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater.

Mr. Turkington was a former member of the Grace Cathedral board of trustees and was active in the outreach programs of San Quentin Prison and the Delancey Street Foundation. After moving to St. Helena, he was a member of Grace Episcopal Church.

Recently, he was an instigating force behind the book, "For the Glory," the story of the 1924 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal rugby team, of which his father, Edward Turkington, was a member.

He is survived by his wife, Alexandra Alissandratos Turkington; his children, Tom Turkington, Anne Von Feldt, Ted Turkington, and Vittoria d'Aste-Surcouf; his sister Dana Turkington Horner; and six grandchildren.

Donations to the Michael J. Fox Foundation may be made in Mr. Turkington's memory.

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