Obituary: Hal Cenedella

Attilio Harold "Hal" Cenedella, who operated the real estate company, Cenedella & Co. Inc. in Menlo Park from 1969 to 1995, died peacefully at his home in Charlottesville, Virginia, on July 18. He was 89.

Mr. Cenedella was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, and moved to California with his family at age 10. He attended Berkeley High School and graduated from UC Berkeley.

He joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 and served in the Pacific on the USS Vestal during World War II. After the war, he attended Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.

As a young man, he had many jobs, starting in high school delivering newspapers in Berkeley and waiting on tables at the Jolly Roger at the San Francisco World's Fair on Treasure Island in 1939.

After the war, he co-founded Rancho Cenedella and operated a dairy farm in Marysville with his brother for 10 years.

The Cenedellas lived in Los Trancos Woods, in Portola Valley, for 23 years. Locally, he began his real estate career working for August Associates. He later founded his own company, Cenedella & Co. Inc.

Mr. Cenedella sold many rural San Mateo County properties and at one time had a branch in La Honda, according to his wife, Virginia. He expanded his real estate company and opened a branch in Charlottesville, as well as his investment companies, Cenedella-Burns Investment Co. and Virpac Associates.

In 1995 he moved to Charlottesville to manage his real estate investments of houses and office buildings, retiring in 2001 at the age of 80.

He is survived by his wife, Virginia Burns Cenedella of Charlottesville; son Arn Harold Cenedella of San Carlos; brother Robert Cenedella; and two grandsons. He was preceded in death by his parents, Attilio and Rosina Cenedella; an infant son, Bart; and son Brant William.

At his request, there will be no funeral service. A memorial will be announced later.

Visit to sign the guest register. Donations may be sent to Caring for Creatures, 352 Sanctuary Lane, Palmyra, VA 22963.


Like this comment
Posted by Harriet Kaplan
a resident of another community
on Nov 22, 2010 at 11:22 am

Hal and Virginia Cenedella were instrumental in the founding of Charlottesville's Peabody School. In 1994, After a long and fruitless search for a building for the new school (which had thirteen children ready to begin school), Hal and Virginia rented us space in one of their office buildings despite the potential noise and disruption that the school's young scholars might, on occasion, create. Furthermore, Hal was always ready to help out the school by changing the interior space to suit our growing school. The children knew Hal as "Mr. Cinderella," and they thought that if they were "bad" they would be sent to the Head of School (me) but if they were "really bad," they would be sent to "Mr. Cinderella." When we outgrew the building and moved to our own building in 1997, the Cenedella's decorated our stairwell with balloons and a "Best Wishes" sign. My husband, Eric Kaplan, and I will never forget the kindness of the Cenedellas as well as the fact that, were it not for their creative thinking, Peabody School (which now serves almost 140 students) might never have opened. We send to Virginia our sincere sympathy at the loss of this dear, dear man.

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