Obituaries

The most recent submissions appear first. CLICK HERE to create an obituary online or send an email to Eric at ekos@alamedasun.com with text and photos attached. The fee is $75 per 250 words, and $25 per photograph.

 

Richard Grant Baxter, 93, passed away in the early evening of Jan. 16, 2019. During his last weeks, his son and daughter surrounded him with love and support, comforting him in his final days and easing his journey to a joyful reunion with his beloved wife, Nancy.

Richard was the second of three sons born to Earl and Lizzie Baxter. He grew up on the family farm in Illinois. At the age of 19, he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. He flew over Italy during World War II, proudly serving his country as an airplane armorer-gunner.  After his honorable discharge in 1945, he returned home to Illinois for a short while. He then migrated to California, where he met his future wife. 

Richard and Nancy were married for 58 years and raised their family in Alameda. In their retirement, they enjoyed traveling and their life in the beautiful town of Paradise, Calif. Richard was active in his church and community. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.

Richard began his career in commercial construction as a laborer and worked his way up to a project manager. During his 40 years in the business, he was responsible for many of the hospitals built across the state.

Richard is predeceased by his wife, Nancy, and his eldest brother, Ken Baxter. He is survived by his younger brother, Ralph (Sylvia) Baxter; sister-in-law Starley Baxter; son Scott (Karen) Baxter; daughter Susan Baxter; grandson Ken (Michelle) Baxter and great-grandson Christopher Baxter.

The family wishes to thank AEC Elders Inn in Alameda for all their help and guidance during Richard’s stay.

There will be a memorial service and reception held on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 10:30 a.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 1700 Santa Clara Ave., in Alameda. Donations in the name of Richard Baxter may be contributed to a favorite charity.

Patricia Winifred Bonino passed away at home on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, surrounded by her loving husband, daughter and sister.

Patricia Lima, known by family and friends as Pat, was born at home in New Bedford, Mass., to Joseph and Winifred Lima. At the age of nine, Pat and her family came to Alameda by bus while her father was at sea in the Navy during World War II.

Pat graduated from Alameda High School. From there she attended Providence College of Nursing and graduated as a registered nurse. Pat worked as a nurse in a doctor’s office in Alameda and as a visiting nurse for the Navy-Marine Corp Relief Society for 40 years before she enjoyed retirement.

Pat was introduced to her husband Robert Bonino by a friend. They were married at St. Joseph Basilica in Alameda on Nov. 10, 1956, and shared 62 years together.

Pat’s pride and joy were her two grandchildren, Gianna and Nicolas. She lived for her grandchildren and attended all their school activities while they were growing up, but her greatest pleasure was just spending time with them.

Pat lived for her family and friends. She enjoyed visiting with people and always took an interest in their lives. If she thought they needed her help, she would offer it without hesitation. She had a dry sense of humor and usually played the game of trying to out whit someone — usually her grandchildren.

She had a love of reading books and poetry. She was also an exceptional writer and wrote many stories in her younger days. More recently she enjoyed her weekly Pinochle game with friends. 

Pat was accepting of everyone she met, she was a strong woman no matter what came her way. She was a loving person and would give her love to anyone freely. Pat will be missed by all, especially her husband, daughter and grandchildren.

Pat was predeceased by her son, John Bonino, her parents, Joseph and Winifred Lima, and her brother Joseph Lima. Pat is survived by her loving husband, Robert Bonino, her daughter, Susan Solis, her son-in-law, Michael and her grandchildren, Gianna and Nicolas. She is also survived by her sister, Eleanore Mason. 

For further information, contact Harry W. Greer, funeral director (FDR-745).

 

Stephen Hale Shahbazian’s final at-bat was Jan. 22, 2019.

Known fondly as “Shah” and “Boomer,” Shah was a sportsman. He played all sports growing up, a ping pong aficionado, and he loved to fish, especially with his sons, dad, brothers, and friends. He even earning another nickname of distinction from the Cruz family in Hilo, Hawaii: “da’fishaman.” 

But it was baseball where Boomer excelled, and that prowess earned him a scholarship to play catcher and clean-up hitter for Cal State Hayward. He graduated with a degree in business administration and finance, which was his lifelong professional field until his illness worsened. He was a fulltime coach for his two boys, too. He never missed their games and always supported his many nieces, nephews and family friends.

Shah could debate just about any topic, perhaps that’s why he was a whiz at crossword puzzles — he knew so many words. Boomer had an amazingly graceful and steady golf swing, a sport he loved to play with family, friends and workmates, on courses near and far. He played growing up and living in Alameda and later while buying homes in San Lorenzo and Danville. 

Steve was a patient man, especially evident in his patient, generous love for his wife of 32 years, Jerry (Harbinson). His patience showed as a tender, caring father for sons, Robert and Stephen, Jr. Steve was patient and strong-willed enough to witness son Robert fall in love and recently add daughter-in-law Kimberly to the family. 

He met his wife-to-be, Jerry, at the Rusty Pelican in Alameda in 1982, maintaining his self-determination while they dated and grew to know each other. He demonstrated his stubbornness by sustaining his faith they would one day marry. That wedding day was Aug. 23, 1986, and their love has grown ever since. The very first words Steve spoke to Jerry when they met were, “You’re the girl I’m going to marry.” The very last words he spoke to Jerry were, “I love you.”

Shah liked challenges, and he took on the challenge and victoriously battled Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1990. Shah’s participation in all things family and fun never wavered, even as he underwent multiple sessions of radiation treatment and chemotherapy. 

Then, through 27 years of battling leukoencephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that resulted from that earlier illness, Boomer showed the heart and courage of a lion, or rather a wildcat — a Rittler Wildcat to be exact. He dealt with all of it with strength, biting humor, laughter and deep love. Shah is cheered on by many friends and teammates from those Wildcats, the Alameda Pirates, Encinal Jets, American Legion teams, Cal State Hayward Pioneers, the Fellas, Cleavers and the Willies. 

Steve loved games of chance, cards, track, board games — all games. He was a lifetime Bay Area sports fanatic, settling on the Warriors, Giants and 49ers for his favorites. All the other teams were only good for yelling at. In fact, so were the Warriors, Giants and 49ers, but only with positive criticism, loud positive criticism.

His father, Bob, has already been called home. Waiting ahead with Steve’s father to welcome Shah home are Jerry’s mom, Josephine, and brother, Rome.

Steve is survived by his mother, Barbara. His surviving family include his brothers and spouses, Michael and Cindy, Richard and Lamar, and John and Martine; nephews and nieces: Christopher, Carly, Brian, Katelyn, Ethan, Oliver and Krystel and great-nephews, Lucas and Noah. 

Steve is also survived by many members of Jerry’s Harbinson family; her sisters, Cindy and Mary (Johnny Moore), their children: Madeline, Sophina, J.L. and Austin; Jerry’s Uncle Ray (Julie) and the beautiful Cruz family; and many more nieces and nephews, including Eleanor (Ricket) and their baby, Orin.

The Boomer swung with all his might and hit a grand slam homerun all the way up to Heaven, then he slid safely into the Pearly Gates just for the fun of it.

A small family service will be held. Family and friends will be invited to a celebration of Steve’s life at a later date. Visit www.greermortuary.com to access the extended obituary and leave condolences to the family.

 

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