Candace Linvill Berg
April 11, 1952-July 30, 2018
Portola Valley, California
Dr. Candace Linvill Berg died peacefully on July 30, following a 15 year battle with leiomyosarcoma. She was 66. A gifted clinical psychologist, and a loving wife, daughter, sister and aunt, Candy led an extraordinary life in the service of others, a life enriched by her intelligence, personal warmth, and fearlessness in facing challenges with great courage and a compassionate heart.
Candy was born in Morristown, NJ in 1952 to John and Marjorie Linvill. She lost her sight in infancy due to retinoblastoma. The family moved to California in 1955 when her father, Dr. John G. Linvill, joined the Electrical Engineering faculty at Stanford University. Her mother, Marjorie, taught Candy to read and write Braille at an early age and took classes in Braille transcription in order to Braille all of Candy’s books and classroom materials, thus allowing Candy to be “mainstreamed” in the local public school rather than being sent to the State School for the Blind. Candy attended Portola Valley schools from K-8th grade. She attended Woodside High School where she met her future husband, Chris. She then entered Stanford University where she graduated with a B.A. in Psychology with Honors in Humanities.
Inspired by his daughter’s courage and motivated by his desire to help Candy achieve her full potential, John Linvill conceptualized a reading machine that would give blind people direct access to print, rather than relying on Braille transcription. A pioneer in the development of solid state electronics and integrated circuits, John worked with a small team at Stanford and SRI to develop the Optacon, a portable reading machine which allows blind people to read print directly. Candy was involved in the development and testing of the Optacon. The Optacon was commercially produced in Palo Alto by Telesensory Systems beginning in 1971 ,and was distributed worldwide for over 25 years to thousands of people who used the Optacon in school, employment and in daily living. Candy started to use the Optacon while she was an undergraduate at Stanford, and she continued to use it throughout her life.
Upon graduation from Stanford, Candy and Chris were married in Stanford Memorial Church in June 1974. Candy went on to pursue her graduate studies, earning an M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. After completing her post-doctoral internship at the VA Hospital, Menlo Park, she joined the Department of Psychiatry at Kaiser Redwood City in 1981 where she was in practice until she retired. An insightful and compassionate therapist, she worked with adults and couples, focusing on treatment of addiction and depression.
Candy served on the Board of Trustees of Sensory Access Foundation, an organization founded by Marjorie Linvill, which for 30 years worked with visually impaired and hearing impaired people to expand employment opportunities by utilizing access technology. Candy also served on SAF’s Advisory Council for many years and was active in fundraising.
A passionate cyclist from the age of 7, Candy enjoyed tandem cycling with Chris for almost 50 years. They travelled internationally with their tandem, and developed their own itineraries to explore many regions of France, a country and culture they both loved. A family home at Pajaro Dunes was a favorite starting point for rides along the coast and through the hills and redwoods of Santa Cruz County.
A lover of literary fiction, Candy was a dedicated reader of the New York Times Book Review. She and Chris enjoyed reading together and discussing and sharing her “picks” with family and friends. Music was central to her life, and she enjoyed playing several instruments throughout her life, including flute, guitar, recorder and harp.
Candy and Chris built a home at Portola Valley Ranch in 1984. She loved hiking the trails with Chris and making many friends in the Ranch community over her 34 years there.
Candy is survived by her husband, Chris Berg of Portola Valley, brother Greg Linvill (Betty) of Belmont, and nieces Angela Linvill (Mike Cicio) of Tennessee and Alyssa Ramsaran (Satesh) of Florida. We all miss her, and are so very grateful that she was in our lives.