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Publication Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Obituaries Obituaries (January 29, 2003)

David Richardson Wendell

Former Woodside resident

David R. Wendell, a former assistant to President Gerald Ford, a lead singer and guitarist for the blue-grass band Bitter Root, and a business executive and entrepreneur, died from brain cancer January 22. He was 49. He lived in Essex, Massachusetts, and previously resided in Woodside and Palo Alto.

On September 22, 1975, during a visit to San Francisco, Mr. Wendell was just behind President Ford as he left the St. Francis Hotel and Sarah Jane Moore fired a .38-caliber pistol at the president. The bullet ricocheted off the hotel entrance.

In the 1976 national political campaign, Mr. Wendell was named assistant press secretary to vice-presidential candidate Bob Dole.

While a student at Dartmouth College in the 1970s, he organized the band Bitter Root with six friends, and it became "the band" for fraternity parties. But the group's fame soon generated regular gigs at the Holiday Inn, local bars and roadhouses. After graduation, Mr. Wendell played in Vail and Europe.

After graduating magna cum laude from Dartmouth in 1975, Mr. Wendell joined the Ford Administration to handle the media on domestic and international trips.

He graduated from Stanford Business School in 1979 and began his business career in Menlo Park with Saga Inc., rising to chief development officer. He then became chief operating officer of Western Athletic Clubs in San Francisco, a vice president at Montgomery Securities, and strategic adviser to several food companies.

As an entrepreneur, he built and operated the Mackinaw Inn in Lake Tahoe. He had served as a director of Lyons Restaurants, California Cafe, and XyberNet.

Mr. Wendell was an avid athlete, fisherman, hunter and sailor.

He contributed a professionally produced CD of his music to help the University of California, San Francisco, raise money for its new brain-tumor research center.

Survivors include his wife Jane; children Sarah and David of Woodside; stepdaughter Teal of Essex; brother Harlan Wendell of Menlo Park; sister Thayer Adams of Woodside; and his father and mother, Bud and Dickie Wendell of Menlo Park.

A memorial service will be held in the First Parish Church, Congregational, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, at 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 29.

The family prefers contributions to the University of California at San Francisco Foundation, Brain Tumor Research Center, in memory of David Wendell, and sent to UCSF Foundation, Box 0248, San Francisco, CA 94143-0248.

Evelyne Conquaret

Antique dealer

Evelyne Conquaret of Menlo Park, a well-known San Francisco antique dealer, died of cancer January 22 at Stanford Medical Center. She was 69.

A native of Gascony in Southern France, Ms. Conquaret studied law and political science at the University of Toulouse, France. She moved to Paris, where she had a successful business career.

In 1975 she moved to the Bay Area and opened her first antique shop in San Francisco's Jackson Square. A few years later, she relocated to Showplace Square, where Evelyne Conquaret Antiques became known for 18th and 19th century country French antiques.

Ms. Conquaret served on the board of directors of the Alliance Francaise Commerce and worked on many causes and projects of the French community. Among antique dealers and interior designers, she was admired for her knowledge and ability to choose unique pieces, as well as the elegance of her store, according to close friends.

Funeral services were held January 27 at St. Denis Church, Menlo Park. Donations may be made in her name to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements were under the direction of Roller Hapgood & Tinney Funeral Home, Palo Alto.

Margaret Anne Morgan

Former Atherton Dames president

Margaret Anne Morgan, a former 20-year resident of Atherton and local business owner, died January 7 at her home in Freeport, The Bahamas, after a lengthy illness. She was 65.

After raising her family, Mrs. Morgan had a 14-year career in fashion, owning two women's clothing stores, Ports International and Alfred Sung, at Stanford Shopping Center.

A native of North Bay, Ontario, Mrs. Morgan was a graduate of the University of British Columbia. She taught first and second grade classes in elementary school, as well as music, in Burnaby, B.C., to support her medical student husband, Dr. Robert W. Morgan. After his graduation, they moved to Victoria and lived in Vancouver, Boston and Toronto before moving to Atherton in 1979.

Mrs. Morgan was a former president of the Atherton Dames and active in local fundraising activities. A master gardener, musician and collector of fine antiques, Mrs. Morgan was also an expert chef who loved to cook and entertain, say family members.

She was proud of her Irish and French-Canadian heritage and once hosted a Canada Day celebration where a "Mountie" greeted guests on horseback, while giant "bears" wearing hockey sweaters paddled canoes in the pool, says her son Reynolds Morgan.

In 1998 the Morgans moved to The Bahamas where she enjoyed raising orchids and walking the beach with her Irish wolfhound, Rosebud. Mrs. Morgan belonged to the American Women's Club, with which she raised thousands of dollars for Bahamian children's scholarships.

Mrs. Morgan is survived by her husband of 43 years, Dr. Robert W. Morgan of Freeport, The Bahamas; sons M. Reynolds Morgan of Menlo Park, Joseph J. Morgan of Freeport, and Cassin Morgan of New York; daughter Margaret Anne Morgan of Menlo Park; and five grandchildren. Mrs. Morgan's daughter Mary preceded her in death.

A funeral Mass was held January 13 at Mary, Star of the Sea Church in Freeport. Memorials may be made to the American Women's Club Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box F40757, Freeport, The Bahamas.

Richard R. Bilek

Menlo Park resident

A memorial Mass will be held Saturday, February 1, for Richard R. (Dick) Bilek of Menlo Park, who died January 11 after a brief illness. He was 90.

The Mass will begin at 11 a.m. at St. Albert the Great Church, 1095 Channing Ave., Palo Alto. Interment services have been held.

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, he met Florence Fleissner in 1931 and they were married in 1938. Mr. Bilek served in World War II as a U.S. Army Air Corps B-29 tail-gunner.

In 1965, Mr. Bilek, his wife and son moved to California to be with his daughter. He worked for many years in personnel placement for Adia Personnel Services. They lived in Palo Alto for more than 30 years, and in 1997 moved to the Glenwood Inn Apartments in Menlo Park.

Mr. Bilek had a wonderful sense of humor and a zest for life, a member of his family said.

He is survived by his wife, Florence Fleissner Bilek of Menlo Park; daughter Barbara Bilek Kent of Menlo Park; son Bob Bilek of Aptos; a grandson; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be sent to: American Red Cross Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 37243, Washington D.C. 20013; or to Our Lady of Good Counsel Free Cancer Home, 2076 St. Anthony Ave., St. Paul, Minnesota 55104.


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