Hellen Y. Smith

Henry Nguyen

On Thursday, March 7, 2019, Henry Van Hoa Nguyen, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away at the age of 82.

Henry was born on June 21, 1936 in Dien Hoa, My Tho in Vietnam to Dinh Thi Thoi and Nguyen Van Chinh. On May 29, 1966, he married Cindy Mai Tran. They raised 2 daughters, Hanh Dung and Anne, and 1 son, Dung Anh. Before immigrating to the United States in 1992, he patrolled the ports as an officer and taught elementary school students French. On June 5, 1992, he moved to the United States, settling in Alameda, CA with his family to find a better future. Diligently providing for his children, he earned his AA degree in Baking and Pastry Arts at Laney College and delivered newspapers early morning. Retiring in 2006, he stayed home to care for his grandchildren and pursue his hobbies.

Henry had a passion for music, writing songs and singing his own compositions. He would share this passion with others, teaching others how to play the guitar and playing songs for his family. He also loved to travel, exploring different places far and close and appreciating the beauty around him. He was also an avid gardener, planting all kinds of vegetables, herbs and flowers, including his famous orchids. When he’s not playing his music or working in his garden, he liked to fix things around the house, especially creating shelves. He was known for his quick wit, his creativity, and his kind and compassionate spirit.

He is survived by his wife, Cindy; 2 daughters and their spouses; 1 son and his spouse; and 7 grandchildren.

Henry was preceded in death by his father, Van Chinh, and his mother, Thi Thoi.

Carolina Pestano de Guzman

Carolina Pestaño de Guzman passed away peacefully early on the morning of Wednesday, March 6 surrounded by her loving family following a long struggle to overcome cancer. She was a remarkably brave, strong, faithful, caring, and decent woman. All of these qualities she brought to her role as a devoted wife and mother of six, and grandmother of eight; to her profession as a nurse and leader in her field; and to the Catholic community who benefitted from her deep reverence and wise guidance. She will be deeply missed.

She is survived by her daughters and their spouses, Polly de Guzman Lim and Rolando Lim,  Noemi de Guzman and Scott Gamble, and their children respectively Matthew, Katherine, and Claire Lim and Zachary and Charlie Gamble; as well as by her sons René, Jess, and Noel de Guzman; René’s and Noel’s spouses respectively, Marnie Burke de Guzman and Julia Lau de Guzman; and Noel’s daughters, Ariel, Magdalena, and Rory de Guzman; in addition to her siblings Leonardo and Crispina Pestaño.

Carolina was born to Zacarias Gonzales Pestaño and Aurelia Padilla in the Philippines in 1932 and grew up the fifth of seven brothers and sisters in the countryside of San Leonardo during World War II. As a child, she courageously smuggled messages past Japanese military lines.

She attended the University of the Philippines in Manila where she met her beloved Roman de Guzman and many dear friends with whom she would remain close throughout her life. “Lina” and “Maning” were married on October 14, 1959. They began to raise their family as Lina honed her nursing skills and Maning took up his practice as an engineer. Even early in her career, Carolina was acknowledged for her leadership capacity working at the UP-Philippine General Hospital School of Nursing as a valued teacher and advisor.

In the mid-1960s, Carolina initiated plans for her family to come to the United States where medical care was available for their eldest son Franco who had a congenital heart condition. She and Roman brought their professional acumen and rigorous work ethic to Oakland, California in 1968. There they connected with other wonderful Filipino families who were also embarking a pioneering adventure to widen their worlds, contribute to a burgeoning economy, and build better lives for the generations who would follow. They believed sincerely in the American Dream.

Carolina began her work at Oakland’s Samuel Merritt Hospital (now Alta Bates Summit Medical Center) in orthopedics and continued to intensive care before choosing a specialty in post-anesthesia care, where she attained the highest level on the registered nurse clinical ladder. She was often a guest lecturer at Samuel Merritt College of Nursing, and founded the University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association of Northern California where she served as president for many years. She was also a past president of the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) of Northern California and a recipient of the PNA of America Excellence Award for Clinical Practice.

Roman and Carolina would also realize their hope of providing their children with excellent educational opportunities with many attending and graduating from the Bay Area’s finest colleges including University of San Francisco, SF State University, and UC Berkeley.

Sadly, the medical care they so dearly hoped would save their eldest son could not be applied to his condition in time and Franco passed away at the age of 17 in 1980.  Carolina’s husband too, departed sooner than anyone in their close community would have wished, succumbing to cancer in 1991 at the age of 60.

In the years to follow, Carolina drew on her life experience, and her grief, to benefit others, deepening the practice of her Catholic faith and becoming the head of the Solo Parents ministry of Bukás Loób sa Diyós. She also continued to nurture the deep love and abiding respect of the extended family, creating delicious feasts for Barkada social gatherings and abundant holidays and providing spiritual guidance in more challenging times.

In the mid-1990s, she resumed her studies and was awarded a Masters of Nursing Management degree in 1997 from Sonoma State University. She retired in 2000 after serving for 46 years as a registered nurse in both the Philippines and the U.S. In 2007, the University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association International honored her with their most prestigious award, the Julita V. Sotejo Medallion of Honor.

Even into her retirement, Carolina remained adaptable, pragmatic, and always learning. In recent years, she became a consummate Golden State Warriors fan, following the team’s victories and trials closely, and keeping a constant eye on her favorite player Steph Curry.

She also took great joy in being engaged in the lives and creative and athletic pursuits of her grandchildren who would grow up to attend universities and conservatories near and far. Not one but two of Carolina’s granddaughters would be selected from their college soccer teams to represent the Philippines on the FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer team playing against other stellar athletes on “football” fields from Uzbekistan to Bangladesh. Her grandsons delighted her endlessly with their musical and artistic accomplishments. Her youngest granddaughters consistently lifted her spirits during the challenging days of her illness.

Her sons and daughters would also follow her example by becoming leaders in the art, faith, and athletic communities of the Bay Area.

Carolina was a woman of steadfast yet quiet conviction, and right and responsible action, who inspired respect and love through both her deeds and words. While she had strong beliefs, she always made space for others to have and share their own. Her rare and remarkable life and positive contributions, and the gracious and constant care she offered to her family and so many in her beloved community will be celebrated in a viewing on Monday, March 18 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland; and a funeral mass at the Church of Saint Leo the Great, 176 Ridgeway Avenue, Oakland on Tuesday, March 19 at 10 a.m.

Carson Burnell Haines

Carson Burnell Haines

August 31, 1921 – March 6, 2019

Resident of Oakland, CA

Carson passed away peacefully in his sleep, at home, on March 6, 2019.  He was born to Samuel & Altie in York, Pennsylvania.

During World War II he joined the United States Navy. On his way to being stationed in Hawaii, he spent some time in the Bay Area.  At a USO dance he met Estelle “Tillie” Krueger, who after his time in the Navy was finished became his wife on March 3, 1946.

After moving back to Pennsylvania for a brief time, Carson & Tillie and their baby son, Carson, moved back to the Bay Area, where they raised their family. They were married 48 years.  Carson worked for Lawrence Berkeley Lab for 37 years and retired in 1984.

Carson liked to stay busy – he loved to work in his shop and one project he particularly loved was working on his ¼ scale steam train engine. He did many renovation projects on his home & garden, helped his children with renovations on their homes, and helped many friends with projects. He liked stamp collecting, reading, going out for rides, traveling, visiting with friends and family and playing cards and games.  He was an active member and served as Master of the Masonic Lodge, Tri Square Lodge #551.  He was also a member of SIR (Sons in Retirement) .

Carson was fortunate to find love and companionship a second time in his life with Joan Carter. Together they enjoyed living a full and active life,  and being together.

Carson was predeceased by Estelle in 1994, and is survived by his son, Carson Haines, Jr., his daughter Patricia Brennan & Son-in-Law James Brennan, and his grandson Michael Solis.

A memorial service will be held on Friday March 22, 2019 at 2 pm at Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The American Red Cross or your favorite charity.



Latrice Grayson

Martha Richie

Martha Recinos Richie, 86, of Oakland, CA passed away peacefully on March 1, 2019. She was born in El Salvador on April 24, 1932 to Serapio and Delfina Recinos. She was married to Michael Richie on August 8, 1973 who preceded her in death. Martha worked as an au pair for many years in Piedmont, Ca. She had a passion for cooking, sewing and shopping. She loved to laugh, tell jokes, and do crossword puzzles. She always put others first. Martha was a very proud U.S. citizen. She is survived by 2 sisters, Yolanda and Olympia and preceded in death by 3 sisters and 2 brothers, Lillan, Aminta, Sara, Mario and Adan. Also, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins as well as friends. She had a full and happy life, was loved immensely and will be deeply missed. A Memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 1:00 pm in the Julia Morgan Chapel of the Chimes.

Lupe Valles Ochoa

Lupe Valles Ochoa was born August 20,1922 in Rocky Ford, Colorado to the parents of Encarnacion and Juana Ochoa. His mother passed away when he was two and a half years old, and his father passed away 1 years later. As the youngest of 7 children, he was sent to live with his aunts and cousins in El Paso, Texas. As a young teen, he came to Southern California to meet his older siblings for the first time and stayed. He moved to Berkeley and attended El Golgotha Church and that was where he met his beautiful wife Nina Sanchez. They married had 12 children, even taking in another child. The children are Becky, Steve, Herman, Ale,Albert,Debra,Tina, Liz,Patty,Myra,Manuel,Melinda, and Benji.

He was the loving grandfather of 28 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren, and multiple great great grandchildren. He would tell his children and grandchildren his life story as a child living in Texas, how he found his siblings, and his time as a soldier in the Army during World War II, and how he was wounded in battle, and given the Purple Heart. Even though he was told by the doctor that he may not be able to walk well after his injury, Lupe walked everywhere he needed to go and even enjoyed his walks.

His passion in his earlier years was bowling. He had a bowling team with his sons and son-in-laws and every Friday would go bowl and win trophies. In his later years he would bowl for enjoyment with his grandson.

Though we mourn our loss, we can be comforted in teh fact that we know he is happily back with his wife 63 years and at peace. As of February 28, 1019, he now lives with Jesus, our lord and savior. He will be greatly missed by everyone that knew him.

Ronald Rodgers


                          Ronald Shawndale Rodgers



Ronald’s journey of life began, on Wednesday, September 13, 1972, in Oakland, California. GOD entrusted his life, to be born to the proud parents, Myrtle and Ronald Rodgers Sr., (to whom his father proceeded him in death in 2017).  Ronald is the youngest of four children (Kenny, Sandra & Aline). Sandra, lovingly named him Poo, as a baby.

His parents nurtured his upbringing with unconditional love, discipline, wisdom, respect to others, work ethics and strength, which he would need and carry throughout his life’s journey.

Poo, was educated through the Oakland Public School system, where he graduated from Castlemont High School in 1990.

Poo, was blessed with his first baby girl, Shanae Noel Rodgers.

Poo, was never one to be idle in life. He was always thinking of the “next grand adventure“ another way to enrich his life, by working hard, love of family, music, movies, travel and enjoying sports. (Raiders/Warriors).  Consider yourself lucky if he ever put some “music” in your ride.

Committed, to family, he married, Lethea Hale, in August 2001.  They blended their family to become as one with daughters, Shanae and Charnaye.  To this union would be the birth of a daughter, Shilah Monet` Rodgers.

If you got a chance to hang out with Poo, it would mean that you were going to be entertained with his infectious smile, his laugh and his strong will.  You might even catch a glimpse of him trash talking with his friends, you know who you are…par-taking in some libations, good music, some motivational speaking, challenging your point, stories…some true or not so true, partying, fish fry’s, bar-b-que, gumbo and just some all around good times until he made his transition home on the evening of February 18, 2019.

Cherishing his love and legacy: Myrtle Rodgers (Mother)Lethea Hale-Rodgers, Shanae, Charnaye & Shilah (daughters), Naijon (grandson), 3 siblings: Kenny, Sandra & Aline (Anthony Kelly), Chiffon (Chipper), Nyla, Shanel & Akira (nieces), Davonte & Nathaniel (Nate) (nephews), Nathanial E. Clark III (great-nephew) Luhauna & Amelia (Aunts), John Rodgers (Christine), Gerald Rodgers (Ladie) & William Rodgers (Uncles), Denice (Mother in law), Great Aunts & Uncles, host of cousins, extended family and friends.

Vibha Divakar Amin

Vibha Divakar Amin, 47, passed away peacefully in San Ramon, CA, on Saturday March 2, 2019 with her beloved Shivani, Vidhi, and Divakar by her side. Vibha, a proud daughter of Bhupendra and Saroj Patel, was born on April 17, 1972. Vibha married Divakar R. Amin on December 7, 1995.

Vibha had great passion for her family, friends, cooking, arts and crafts and most particularly the jigsaw puzzle. A great mother, Vibha was a superb mentor for Shivani and Vidhi. Working as a Phlebotomist for Quest Diagnostics, she devoted much of her career to helping others.

Vibha always brought joy to those around her with her beautiful smile. She will be remembered as a towering personality for her positive attitude about life. Vibha was a rock-solid source of strength for her family and was always cheerful.

Vibha embraced the essence of grace, dignity, and courage–a true fighting spirit–until her final breath.


Kathryn Blackburn Bessey

Kathryn Blackburn (Ann) Bessey passed away on February 24th, 2019 at the age of 94.


Born in Pueblo, Colorado in 1924, she graduated from Central High School.


Kathryn moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, California with her friend Fay Bessey where she worked at the phone company for 32 years.


Kathryn knew her husband Warner Bessey, Fay’s brother, in Pueblo but developed a relationship with him in the Bay Area where he had been stationed in the service. Kathryn and Warner loved to travel until his death in 1980.  Barbara, Kathryn’s sister moved in with her after Barbara retired and they traveled together until Barbara’s death in 2001.  After Kathryn’s retirement in 1979, she volunteered, in many capacities at Epiphany Lutheran Church in San Leandro, FESCO, and the Shoreline in Hayward.


In 2016 Kathryn left her home of 54 years in San Leandro and moved to Gold Country retirement Community in Placerville, California to be closer to her Niece.

Kathryn is survived by 10 nieces and nephews who adored her.

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