Jim passed away in Sonora, Calif., a place where he found complete peace among nature, trees and sky — where his ashes will be respectfully scattered at a future private gathering.
He was born and raised in Alameda, attended Edison and Lincoln schools, graduated with the Alameda High School (AHS) Class of 1977 and completed courses at Chabot College. Jim played water polo, swam and in his younger years, played many competitive holes of golf at Chuck Corica Golf Course. He also organized many golf tournaments for St. Philip Neri.
Weightlifting and working out remained an important part of his daily routine throughout his life.
He was a skilled masterful machinist for more than 30 years with General Grinding in Oakland, was brilliant with numbers and a fix-it kind of guy. More recently, he earned several customer service awards as a Walmart associate in Sonora, where loyal return customers often requested him by name.
He loved to go duck and pheasant hunting with his grandfather’s guns, along with his father and Chesapeakes Max and Gus.
Jim was super-passionate about 427 Cobras and all things fast on four wheels. He lived by the motto: “Bigger, Faster and Louder.” His most recent hot rod was a gorgeous 2015 Dodge 392 Hemi Challenger with a specialized Flo Master intake exhaust system. His favorite Sunday of the year was the Indy 500 every May, and he loved to watch Street Outlaws any day of the week. His other passion was all things Led Zeppelin. He happily bragged about seeing this iconic band live at the Oakland Coliseum on July 23, 1977.
His love of cooking (and eating) started at the age of 10 when his Grandmother Gagie let him make breakfast. This grew into another passion that helped him relax and unwind. He was famous for his delicious crab mold (made with real fresh crab), potato salad, Spanish rice, spaghetti, fresh blueberry pies, homemade pesto, lamb chops, crusty chicken, barbecue ribs and Grillin-N-Chillin on his Traeger.
He lived for the Farmer’s Market in Sonora every May to October and never passed up a good chili relleno, Five Guys Burger, lamb shank, prime rib, lemon cream pie from Nation’s, strawberry watermelon sparkling ice or a cup of Hawaiian hazelnut coffee.
Jim had a treasured pipe collection, loved a good cigar and the aroma of Cavendish tobacco.
He enjoyed history, World War II, Patton, MacArthur, Johnny Carson, Hogan’s Heroes, Boston Legal and The Lion King. He was “Pappa” to dozens of hummingbirds and faithfully filled their feeders with sweet nectar juice. A good guy who would not hesitate to help a friend or neighbor any day, anytime, anywhere.
He loved to play Crazy 8’s, despised UNO and was a master at Cribbage. He always made time for a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond, with coupons in hand, and the Harte of the Kitchen Store in Twain Harte, Calif.
A man of many hilarious voices, including the Swede, Irishman, Englishman and the ever popular “Old Man,” he had an infectious laugh, a silly grin and a witty, quick sense of humor. One never knew what was going to come out of his mouth!
Jim was also a grateful and humble member of Alcoholics Anonymous, where lifelong unity, support and fellowship kept him in check with unconditional love, welcome and hugs wherever he went. He gained strength, courage and wisdom from so many who embraced him here and in the Mother Lode.
Predeceased by parents Lois and George Raymond Blom, and grandparents Mabel and Charles Blom and Myrtle and James Mills, Jim was the proud father of Matthew Blom and Rebecca Miramontes, grandfather of Leila Miramontes, loving brother of Ed Blom and sister-in-law Stacy, a special uncle to nieces Chelsea Waldrup and Melanie Blom and the longtime friend of Debbie Hinton.
Also left behind to cherish his memory are: childhood best friend “Dr. Bob” Kleinhans and his wife “dudette” Kelli of Sonora; Beloved roommate and “sister from another mister” Vivian Jones of Turlock, Calif.; Debbie Hinton, mother of Matthew Blom and forever friend of Jim, his “Pammie” (Pam Williams) who was the bright light, his number one cheerleader and the love of his life since they were 17.
A mass will be offered for the repose of his soul this Saturday, May 4, at 5 p.m. at St. Joseph Basilica, 1109 Chestnut St. A gathering at Five Guys Burgers located at South Shore Center will follow.
A celebration day for Jim will be held on Friday, May 17, at the Alameda Elks Lodge from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will include companionship, food, memories and music. Another Celebration Day is being planned for a later date in Sonora.
In closing, Pam Williams, his loyal girlfriend, has been left to honor, grant and carry out Jim’s last and final wishes. He stated that the following persons are not welcomed or invited to attend the planned celebration days and are asked to let him rest in peace: Karen Blom Boswell, Wallace F. Boswell, Christopher J. Boswell, Elena Goldblatt, Wesley Boswell, Ryan W. Boswell and Jodie.
Mario Galetto, 89, passed away peacefully in Alameda on April 17, 2019. He was born in Piepasso, Italy, to Nicola and Leonilda Galetto on Dec. 16, 1929.
He moved to Alameda in 1956 after he married his wife of 63 years, Albina Mary Tesconi, in Italy. He lived in Alameda ever since and had many happy memories of spending time with family and friends. He was a partner in the Oakland Scavenger Company, a lifelong member of the St. Phillip Neri Parish, as well as Italian Catholic Federation Branch No. 10. In his retirement years, he was also a cook for the Colombo Club, the Italian American League and other Italian-American clubs in the East Bay.
He is survived by his devoted wife Albina, children: Mark, Christine (Tom), Paul, John and Patrick (Lisa) and his grandchildren: Robert, Marie (Andrew), John, Nicholas, Michael and Sofia.
A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, April 27, at 11 a.m. at St. Albert the Great Parish, 1022 Holly St., Alameda, CA 94502, with reception immediately following.
Private Interment at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Oakland.
For more information, call Harry W. Greer, funeral director (FDR-745).
Patti Heimburger passed away on April 3, 2019, from an unexpected heart condition. She was 75 and had just returned from one of her many adventure trips, this one to India.
Patti was born in Long Beach, Calif., and was a first-generation Californian, along with her sister Carolyn and brother Hans. After graduating in 1961 from Wilson High School in Long Beach, she headed to Greenbrier College in West Virginia. Patti’s interest in drawing and painting — a lifelong passion — began in her early years of college.
Not long after marrying Leo M. Breithaupt, Jr., also from Long Beach, they moved to the Seattle area, where she worked for Blue Cross, took up boating and skin-diving and enjoyed her beloved Samoyed, Kimo. Patti and Leo were married for nine years, and some years after their divorce, she decided to attend UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) and completed her bachelors’ degree in studio art in 1986.
Patti’s training and degree from UCSB gave her just the push she needed to move to the Bay area to focus on a serious career in art, with part-time work for financial support. The community of artists in Oakland, along with galleries who showed and sold her work, as well as the Open Studio program, provided encouragement and great satisfaction.
As Patti’s involvement in the Oakland and Alameda community deepened, through the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Rhythmix Cultural Works, Oakland Symphony, Alameda Hospital Foundation, Altarena Playhouse, Friends of the Alameda Library, Super Stars Literacy, East Bay Community Foundation, Oakland Museum, Girls Inc. and many educational and environmental organizations, her life became more fulfilling each year. She was active in the AAUW-Alameda Tech Trek scholarship program, College of Alameda scholarship program, Peralta Community College fundraisers and other local activities. Patti served as president of the Alameda chapter of AAUW.
Patti’s sister took her to Paris for several weeks in the mid-1980s and to Greece and Turkey a few years later. Those immersions in culture and history sparked an interest in adventurous world travel, which Patti delved into with enthusiasm during the last 15 years of her life. Her travels took her to Mexico, the Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, South Africa, Israel and Jordan several times, Italy several times, Spain, Portugal and India.
At the time of her passing, Patti was looking forward to a summer trip to Sicily. All her travel broadened her horizons, resulted in new friendships around the world and widened the network of projects she supported.
Alameda was Patti’s beloved community, but the world was part of her family as well. She supported the African Library Project, helped fund the building of a school in Sierra Leone and supported global relief organizations, among others.
Patti was the genealogist in the family, especially following the six ancestors arriving on the Mayflower. She was a member of the John Howland Society and Daughters of the American Revolution. She spent 10 years developing a manuscript about that branch of her family.
Patti is survived by her sister Carolyn Gannon and brother-in-law Terry Gannon of Woodside, Calif., her brother Hans J. Heimburger of Long Beach, as well as cousins Phil Brattain of Belmont, Frances Garber and her husband Gary Garber of Virginia, Shuler Arent and his wife Sharon of South Carolina, and Shirley Dyer of Virginia. Patti also felt especially close to the Garbers’ grown children: Amber, Nikola and Asa and their children.
Patti will be missed by her family and her wonderful and large network of friends. Her message to us all might be “make the world beautiful and be good to all.” In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to AAUW-Alameda, Rhythmix Cultural Works or an organization of choice.
Family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of life service in honor of Patti on Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m. at Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave.