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Publication Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Obituaries Obituaries (July 31, 2002)

Elmer Dohrmann Community leader

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church for football great Elmer Dohrmann of Atherton, who died July 25. He was 87.

Mr. Dohrmann, a former IBM executive, served on the board of trustees of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and its predecessor, the Palo Alto Medical Research Foundation, since 1966.

He became involved in the foundation because of his acquaintance with Dr. Robert W. Jamplis, who like Mr. Dohrmann, was named to Sports Illustrated Magazine's Silver Anniversary All-American football team. Mr. Dohrmann received the honor in 1962. "He was very proud of that," recalls his daughter-in-law, Diana Dohrmann.

Born in Staplehurst, Nebraska, Mr. Dohrmann attended the University of Nebraska, where he earned 11 letters in football, basketball, baseball and track: more than any other athlete in the school's history. In the 1938 East-West Shrine football game at San Francisco's Kezar Stadium, he was named outstanding lineman of the game for catching seven passes. It was a record that wasn't broken until 1962.

After graduating Mr. Dohrmann was drafted by the Washington Redskins, but a knee injury ended his chances at a pro career. He then went to work for IBM where he worked in various marketing and executive capacities for 35 years. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy. He and his wife, Betty, moved to Atherton 35 years ago.

In 1987 Mr. Dohrmann served as chairman of the West selection committee for the East-West Shrine game.

Mr. Dohrmann is survived by his wife, Betty; children Stephen of Atherton, Susan Moore of San Raphael, and Richard of Deerfield, Massachusetts; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Carol Penney Guyer

Daughter of JC Penney founder

A memorial service celebrating the life of Carol Marie Penney Guyer of Woodside will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, August 26, at Stanford Memorial Church. Mrs. Guyer, an international social activist, died at home July 7 of complications from cancer. She was 72.

Mrs. Guyer was the daughter of retail magnate James Cash Penney, who opened his first Golden Rule store in 1902. The department store chain, JC Penney, now operates 1,075 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Mrs. Guyer graduated from Stanford University magna cum laude with a degree in international affairs. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation, she moved to Pakistan and worked at several United Nations refugee camps. In Karachi, Pakistan, she married fellow Stanford graduate David Leigh Guyer in 1952.

She continued her social advocacy work in India, where she worked to promote cultural exchanges between the United States and India, including bringing renowned sitar player Ravi Shankar and other artists to the United States.

After returning to the United States, Mrs. Guyer spent more than 30 years promoting various social programs and political projects. She later served as president of the James C. Penney Foundation and, most recently, the Penney Family Fund. She served on the advisory board of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University. Recent recognition for her work included the Shining Star Award from the Children's Council of San Francisco in October 2001.

Mrs. Guyer was an accomplished photographer. She had a lifelong interest in the arts, regularly attending and supporting the theater and ballet. An excellent equestrian, she loved to swim and was an avid gardener, say family members.

She is survived by six children: Shelly Guyer, Marion Guyer and Leigh Guyer, all of the San Francisco Bay Area; Cynthia Guyer, Grant Guyer and Alissa Keny-Guyer, all of Portland, Oregon; sister Mary Frances Penney Wagley of Baltimore, Maryland; and 11 grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, David Leigh Guyer, longtime president of Save the Children.

The family requests donations be made to either Mercy Corps ( or to a nonprofit organization of the donor's choice.

Courtney Catron

Business executive, World War II veteran

Courtney James Catron of Woodside died July 21. He was 88.

A native of Denver and a graduate of Dartmouth College, Mr. Catron attended Harvard Graduate School of Business. During World War II, he spent three years in the Pacific as an officer with U.S. Navy Fleet Air Wing Two.

After the war, he settled in Reno, where he purchased a perlite plant. He is credited with developing the first commercial process to expand perlite glass into a commercial lightweight aggregate.

Family members said he later joined two San Francisco associates to establish the first publicly traded venture capital company, Continental Capital Corp., which made more than 125 loans to start-up companies located in what was to become "Silicon Valley."

During the 1950s Mr. Catron became president of Grey Reid's in Reno, the only department store in the state. He was also an early developer of industrial property behind the University of Nevada.

In 1968 Mr. Catron moved to Woodside with his wife, Harriet June Catron, and two children. Harriet Catron died in 1978. In 1980 Mr. Catron married Margaret Blunt Robertson. They divorced in 1999.

For many years Mr. Catron served as chairman of the Luke B. Hancock Foundation, through which he became involved with helping the Paiute Indians in Nevada improve their standard of living, family members said. They named him an honorary "Chief White Arrowhead."

An avid duck hunter and golfer, Mr. Catron was a member of Menlo Country Club, St. Francis Yacht Club, Canvas Back Duck Club, Wild Goose Club, Palo Alto Club and Peninsula Investors.

He is survived by his daughter, Linda Catron of San Francisco; sister Joan Fearing and her husband John of Atherton; sister-in-law Susan Masi; and several nieces and nephews. His son Courtney James Catron Jr. died in 1992.

Services were held July 26 at Christ Church in Portola Valley.

Catherine Schleicher-Dietz

Student, 22 years old

A visitation is scheduled for Thursday, August 1, from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. for Catherine (Kitty) Schleicher-Dietz, who died July 20 at the age of 22. The visitation will be held at the Menlo Park Chapel of Spangler Mortuary, 650 Live Oak Ave.

Ms. Schleicher-Dietz was attending school in Riverside County, and had hoped to provide social services to children after completing her educational training, according to her family.

She is survived by her mother, Harriet Schleicher-Dietz of Menlo Park; two step-brothers, Jason and Chris Willowby of Idaho; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Burial services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, August 2, at Alta Mesa Memorial Park, and a memorial service is set for 1 p.m. Friday at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, 950 Santa Cruz Ave.


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