Walnut Creek Death Notices

Some of the people with ties to Walnut Creek who passed away recently

Marjorie P. Benson, a former resident of Walnut Creek, served at Mt. Diablo Elementary School and in the American Association of University Women. She also lived in Lafayette and Clayton. After retiring as an assistant bank manager for Wells Fargo, she moved to Massachusetts and Ohio to be near her daughter. Benson died on Jan. 14 at the age of 72.

John R. Gotelli, a resident of Walnut Creek, was born and raised in San Francisco. He held a number of jobs in San Francisco. Among them were driving horse-drawn ice wagons, working in the shipyards, working for Levi Strauss and serving as a lieutenant in the city's volunteer fire department. He eventually retired from his job at the U.S. Post Office in Burlingame. Gotelli died on Jan. 14 at the age of 103.

Janet Gustafson, a resident of Walnut Creek, was born in Oakland. She graduated from San Francisco State University. She was a founding member and executive director of The California Women's Retreat. She was also a member of Grace Episcopal Church in St. Helena. Gustafson died on Jan. 12, the day after her 79th birthday.

Christian John Herman, a resident of Walnut Creek, grew up in Orinda. He studied at Harvard and graduated from Principia College with a degree in math and then from U.C. Berkeley with a master's in industrial engineering. Herman worked for several years as a software designer, then ran his own company, CJH Solutions, for 13 years. In 2013, he joined Brown and Caldwell. Herman died Dec. 30 at the age of 49.

Kim Blake Johnston, a former resident of Walnut Creek, was born in Palo Alto. He grew up in Walnut Creek, graduating from Del Valle High School in 1966 as class president. He earned a business degree in business administration from San Diego State University. He worked in the gas and water pipeline industry. He was president and owner of Pacific Pipeline Products. Johnston died on Dec. 22 at the age of 65.

Louise Owens, a resident of Walnut Creek, was born in Nebraska and raised in Richmond. She played saxophone in the Richmond High School band and studied music at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. While raising her children, Owens played the saxophone and piano for friends and family. She also performed in a number of bands, most notably "The Hot Flashes." Owens died on Jan. 4 at the age of 86.

Dr. Benjamin Pavone, a resident of Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, was a retired professor and dean of the UCSF School of Dentistry, where he taught for 43 years. He was also a dentist in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He also practiced dentistry in Berkeley for 41 years, retiring in 1986. He was a past president of the Academy of Restorative Dentistry and Epsilon Alpha Honor Dental Honor Society. Pavone died on Jan. 2 at the age of 97.

June Simon, a resident of Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, was born in Australia. She came to the United States in 1940. She and her husband lived most of their adult life in San Francisco before moving to Rossmoor. Simon died on Jan. 11 at the age of 93.

Joane L. Summers, a resident of Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, was born in Concord. She worked for many years for the State Compensation Insurance Fund but also enjoyed careers in real estate, home decorating and medical office management. She lived in Santa Rosa, Bakersfield, Sacramento and Hawaii before moving to Rossmoor in 2008. She was a member of the community's Ballroom Dance Club, Penguin Club and Cotillion Club. Summers died on Jan. 11 at the age of 68.


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