Issue date: February 02, 2000

Obituaries <em>Obituaries (February 02, 2000)

William L. Lowe

First mayor of Woodside

William L. Lowe, who was elected first mayor of Woodside in 1956 following the town's incorporation, died January 23 at Stanford Medical Center. Mr. Lowe also served as assistant dean of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business for 20 years until retiring in 1979. He was 84.

Mr. Lowe and his wife, Peggy, lived in Woodside for 45 years before moving to Redwood City in 1985. During his years in Woodside, he also served on the Town Council until 1968.

A fifth generation San Franciscan, Mr. Lowe graduated from Stanford University and the Graduate School of Business. During World War II, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, including duty aboard the aircraft carrier, Kalinin Bay, in the South Pacific. He worked for Fibreboard Corporation in San Francisco and was the owner of the Blue Gate Candle Company in Montara.

Mr. Lowe was a past president of the Filoli Foundation and served on the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula. Last June the Lowes celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with their entire family in Carmel. He loved dominoes, travel and his summers at Glenbrook at Lake Tahoe.

Mr. Lowe is survived by his wife, Peggy; son David and wife Sandy of Boca Raton, Florida; daughters Jeanie Lowe of Paso Robles and Ellie Kinzel and husband Carl of Oakland; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A private ceremony for the immediate family was held in his home. Donations in Mr. Lowe's memory made be made to The William and Margaret Lowe Fellowship at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Stanford 94305; Filoli, 86 Canada Road, Woodside 94062; or the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, P.O. Box 1029, Menlo Park 94026.

Henry Page

Educator, community contributor

Henry Page, principal of Palo Alto Adult School since 1982 and called a "magnificent contributor" to the community, died suddenly January 29 at his Menlo Park home.

Co-workers and friends were shocked to learn of the death of the 51-year-old educator. He was described as a rare individual whose wide interests spanned his leadership of the adult school, his co-founding the Palo Alto Jazz Alliance, and his becoming a Black Belt Master and judo teacher.

Mr. Page had experienced flu-like symptoms and saw a doctor on January 27. He collapsed and died two days later. The cause of death has not been determined, according to school officials.

Memorial services for Mr. Page will be held Monday, February 7, at 4 p.m. in Covenant Presbyterian Church, 670 East Meadow Drive, at the corner of Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. He is survived by his wife Yolanda, son Abel and daughter Audrey, who live in Menlo Park.

A native of San Francisco who was raised in the Bay Area, Mr. Page graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in journalism and sociology.

Mr. Page began his teaching career in 1971 as a journalism teacher at Palo Alto's Cubberley High School. He became a counselor at Cubberley before it was closed. In 1982, he was selected as principal of the Palo Alto Adult School, which now serves about 8,000 students annually in a wide range of classes from "English as a second language" to parent education, computers and cooking classes. The adult school in the Palo Alto Unified School District also serves adults with disabilities.

Known as a private person who separated his career and personal life, Mr. Page received respect and admiration from his co-workers. "Everyone enjoyed working for him," said Kara Rosenberg, coordinator of the district's English-As-A-Second-Language Program. He helped people to do their jobs and let them to do them, offering any assistance he could, she said. He was "a rare individual, extremely positive, and he never said anything derogatory about anyone," said Mrs. Rosenberg. She is temporarily filling his position at the adult school.

Mr. Page worked with a wide range of people both as the adult school principal and in his community service. He was an active member of the Kiwanis Club of the MidPeninsula and a board member of the Ross Road YMCA, Palo Alto Senior Coordinating Council and the Palo Alto Foundation for Education.

With Dr. Herb Wong of Menlo Park, Mr. Page co-founded the Palo Alto Jazz Alliance, a volunteer group that supports jazz education and the needs of young people.

A Henry Page Memorial Scholarship is being organized through the jazz alliance to support Mr. Page's interest in helping students at Cesar Chavez Academy in East Palo Alto. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Palo Alto Jazz Alliance in care of the Palo Alto Adult School, 50 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto, CA 94301.

Starr J. Colby

Aeronautical engineer and Atherton volunteer

Starr J. Colby, an Atherton community volunteer and an aeronautical engineer who pioneered developments in airplanes, rockets, missiles and spacecraft for 44 years, died at Stanford Hospital January 23 of pneumonia complicated by heart disease. He was 76.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 12, at 3 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Road (corner of Embarcadero) in Palo Alto. A reception will follow the service.

Mr. Colby will be missed locally as one of Atherton's most dedicated volunteers. After retiring from Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. in 1988, he plunged into volunteer work with the Atherton Civic Interest League, the Lindenwood Homes Association, the League of Women Voters, Habitat for Humanity, and the Northern California Conference of the United Church of Christ.

"Starr never said no," Lindenwood colleague and former Atherton Councilman Bob Huber recalled. "If you needed someone to help, you could always count on him. He gave himself."

Mr. Colby's most visible memorial is the big gate to Lindenwood on Frederick Avenue. Mr. Colby designed the gates to incorporate the flavor of James Flood's two gates to his Linden Towers estate on Middlefield Road, said Marion Oster of the Atherton Heritage Association. "You could always count on Starr. Even last December he stuffed envelopes for us," she said.

Mr. Colby was born in Montclair, New Jersey, grew up in a family of five children, and enjoyed summers at Piseco Lake in the Adirondacks. He graduated from high school in a class of 15 in Aruba in the Dutch West Indies, where his father managed the Standard Oil plant during World War II.

During three intense years studying engineering at the University of Michigan during the war, he met and courted college friend Jean McKaye. They married in 1945.

Toward the end of the war, Mr. Colby began his life work of front-line research and development of advanced airplanes and missiles, said his son Stephen Colby of Boulder, Colorado. He worked for a while at the Glenn L. Martin Co. in Maryland, taught a year at Boston University, and earned a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan, before joining Douglas Aircraft Co. in Los Angeles in 1950.

At Douglas, Mr. Starr was manager of advanced planning in the Missiles and Space Department, where they developed supersonic planes and rockets, and did early work on guided missiles. During those 12 years, the Colbys also raised a family of three sons and two daughters.

From 1963 to 1965, Mr. Colby worked in the Pentagon as assistant director for space technology under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, and soon-to-be Secretary of Defense Harold Brown. At that time he moved into management, working on space-age technologies, including bombs, rockets, space weapons, and remote controls for planes and rockets.

"These strands wound throughout his professional careers," said Steve Colby. "They fed the later development of the space shuttle, anti-ballistic missiles, and the remotely piloted planes that gather intelligence over Kosovo today."

The Colbys moved to Atherton in 1965 when Mr. Colby joined Lockheed Missiles and Space Co., where he worked for 23 years as manager of the Remotely Piloted Vehicle project and director of business development for the Research and Development Division. He was honored as a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The Y03A, a super-quiet observation plane developed by one of his teams, hangs in the Hiller Aviation Museum today, Stephen Colby said.

The Colbys left Atherton for Channing House in Palo Alto about three years ago.

Mr. Colby was known to his friends as a talented organizer and leader. His hobbies included painting, genealogy, yard work, lawn bowling and poker.

Mr. Colby is survived by Jean Colby, his wife of 54 years; sons Stephen, Peter Colby of Menlo Park, and David Colby of Santa Fe, New Mexico; a daughter Betsy Colby of Atherton; and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by daughter Sara Starr Colby.

The family suggests donations to: Music Program, First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303; Cardiac Therapy Foundation, 655 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306; Piseco Company, SJC Memorial Fund c/o Julia Damkoeler, Deerpath, Piseco, NY 12139-9703; or a charity of choice.

T. Kevin Mallen

Irish philanthropist

T. Kevin Mallen, founder of a philanthropic foundation to support Irish education and culture, died at his Menlo Park home January 18, following a long illness. He was 94.

Born in County Wicklow, Ireland, Mr. Mallen was a descendent of three generations of school teachers and grew up in an Irish-speaking home. He graduated from Rockwell College and served in the Irish Air Corps from 1922 to 1925. He represented the Gestetner Company throughout Asia and opened the first IBM company in the Philippines, serving as its general manager until World War II forced his departure.

Mr. Mallen became an American citizen and enlisted in the U.S. Army on the same day. He joined the Air Commandos in what was then Burma, and used his knowledge of its terrain to help his fellow airmen evade capture. Mr. Mallen left the Army as a lieutenant colonel and received a Bronze Star and Presidential Citation.

Following the war, Mr. Mallen worked for Ayala Associates in San Francisco, serving as its CEO, then joining Sutro and Co. as its vice president. He was a member of Sutro and Co.'s board of directors until 1996.

Mr. Mallen's major contribution to philanthropy was as a founding member and later president of the American Irish Foundation in 1964. The foundation merged with the Ireland Fund to become the American Ireland Fund, a charity which distributed grants throughout Ireland.

Mr. Mallen was a trustee of the University of San Francisco for 20 years and was a trustee of the College of Notre Dame in Belmont. He was a Knight of Malta and a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre and was a benefactor of many local charities, including the Peninsula Volunteers.

Mr. Mallen was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Jane Rice Mallen. He is survived by his six daughters: Wendy Lee of Portola Valley; Patricia Torcat of Sunnyvale; Janice Mallen of Modesto; Margaret Mallen and Terese Mallen both of Hilo, Hawaii; and Seana Atkinson of London; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Services were held. The family prefers that memorial donations be made to one of the following charities: Peninsula Volunteers, 800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park CA 94025; Museum of American Heritage, P.O. Box 1731, Palo Alto, CA 94306; C.A.R., 525 East Charleston Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306.

Virginia Thoits

Community volunteer

A memorial Mass will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 12, at Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic Church in Portola Valley for Virginia (Ginnie) Newman Thoits, who died January 25 in Auburn. The former Portola Valley resident was 78.

Mrs. Thoits was born in Medford, Massachusetts, and moved to California in 1937. She attended the University of the Pacific and served three years in the WAVES during World War II.

She was a member of the Retarded Children's Guild, the Community Association for the Retarded, the Stanford University Medical Center Auxiliary, and Our Lady of the Wayside Church, where she sang in the choir and served on various committees. She lived in Portola Valley for 37 years until illness caused her to move to University Convalescent Hospital, then to Auburn.

Mrs. Thoits' husband Willis Thoits died in 1981. She is survived by two stepchildren, Charlotte Grady of El Dorado and Willis C. Thoits of Palo Alto; brother Robert Newman of Sun City, Roseville; four grandchildren; and five nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Our Lady of the Wayside Church, Stanford Medical Center Auxiliary, or to a favorite charity.

William Charles Holding

Prison guard, school district employee

William Charles Holding, a Menlo Park resident for over 50 years, died December 27. He was 94.

Born in Salt Lake City, Mr. Holding spent his youth living and working at the Salt Air Resort on the edge of the Great Salt Lake. He spent three years on the big island of Hawaii on his Mormon Mission.

Following his missionary work, Mr. Holding worked as a guard at the McNeil Island Federal Prison in Washington State. He transferred to Alcatraz when it opened as a federal prison and worked as a guard there during a time when Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly and the Touhe brothers were inmates, according to family members.

During World War II, Mr. Holding was chosen to head the police force inside the Tule Lake War Relocation Center, where Japanese-Americans were interned. It was there he met his future wife Rosemary.

While working for the Las Lomitas School District, he helped his father-in-law build the Menlo Park home where he raised his family. Mr. Holding retired from the school district in 1971.

He had a lifelong interest in geology and minerals, and at one time owned a uranium mine on Sonora Pass. He was a founding member of the Palo Alto Geology Society and was active in Little House's lapidary program.

Mr. Holding is survived by his wife Rosemary; his daughter Catherine Thompson of La Honda; his sons William Holding Jr. and Hal Holding; and four grandchildren.

The family prefers that memorial donations be sent to the VNA and Hospice of Northern California, 700 S. Claremont #220, San Mateo, CA 94402.

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