Obituaries

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

Rudolph Beserra, 86, passed away Dec. 13 in Alameda. 

He is survived by his brothers Leo and Richard, sister LeNore Beserra and sister-in-law Michele Beserra. His extended family included: Thelma, Jay and Richard Guzman, nieces Allison Jordan (Andy) and their child Nicole Cox as well as many cousins and close friends.

Born in Jerome, Ariz., on Jan.  11, 1933, Rudy was raised by his mother, Nora, and stepfather, Leo, Beserra. 

Rudy lived in Los Angeles, and then moved with his family to Long Island, N.Y., where he played high school football with Hall of Famer Jim Brown.

Rudy joined the army during the Korean War. Rudy lived after military service in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Colorado Springs and finally in the Bay Area where he worked for KABL Radio in San Francisco for more than 25 years. He also hosted a local radio program showcasing Bay Area activities and catering to local Latino community events.

Rudy spent his retirement years in the Bay Farm Island community surrounded by many friends and neighbors. He attended many local events and was active in both political and community activities. 

As many in the local community learned of his passing, all expressed what a wonderful person he was, and that he will be truly missed. 

For more information, call Harry W. Greer, funeral director (FDR-745).

Ginger Elaine Cowan, 85, passed away peacefully on Dec. 17, 2019, surrounded by loved ones. She was a devoted mother to Brad, Scott, Greg and Kirk, a grandmother of 12, and a great-grandmother to three with a fourth great grandchild due in February. 

Ginger was born in Alameda on May 23, 1934, to Kenneth and Esther Stanton. She was the younger sister to Barbara Stanton Gibbs and older sister to William “Bill” Stanton. She had an early passion for care-giving and after graduating from Alameda High School (AHS) in 1952 she attended UC San Francisco and Berkeley to pursue a career in nursing. 

She wed her AHS sweetheart Ronald H. Cowan in 1955, her ex-husband who preceded her in death in 2017. During their 20-year marriage they lived in Alameda and raised a family of four boys. Following her divorce Ginger completed her nursing credentials and enjoyed a 25-year career at UCSF, during which she advanced to a neurology operating room nurse.

Ginger was fiercely independent and spent the last 37 years hiking and gardening in her lovely home tucked in the coastal redwoods at the base of Mount Tamalpais in Mill Valley. 

She was compassionate in her care-giving, in nurturing her sons and their families and in generously giving her time to extended family and close friends whenever one needed home care and her special brand of nursing and organizational improvements. Wherever she was needed most is where Ginger most wanted to be. Everywhere she went, she left behind improved health and spirits, as well as new household supplies and meticulously organized drawers and cupboards. Her selfless drive to help others was symbolized when Ginger received a police commendation for stopping along a highway in response to a father’s cry for help, to deliver a baby in the backseat of a car.

During her years at UCSF she re-organized the entire operating room floor on her own time and touched hundreds of lives with memorable kindness and curiosity so each person felt special, heard and cared for. She will be remembered and missed by her close family and many friends.

A celebration of life for family and friends will be held at Pier 29 Restaurant, 1148 Ballena Blvd., on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m. For any questions please contact Kirk Cowan at kirkecowan@gmail.com.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the UCSF Pancreatic Cancer Research efforts to aid with research and testing of early detection techniques so that this aggressive cancer can be treated at the early stages. 

Donations can be sent to: UCSF Foundation, PO Box 45339, San Francisco, CA 94145-0339 and designate on the memo line of a check that the gift is in memory of Ginger Cowan to support the Dr. Andrew Ko Cancer Research Fund. You can also give online by visiting www.makeagift.ucsf.edu. Click “direct your gift” and enter the gift fund name in the other box.

Born in Duluth, Minn., to the late James J. and Evelyn P. O’Connell, Mike was the beloved partner of Toshie McGovern. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Timothy J. O’Connell.

Mike is survived by his brother, James J. O’Connell (Michelle Banik-Rake); sister, Chireen R. O’Connell; brother, William J. O’Connell (Judy) and many nieces and nephews.

Mike served in the U.S. Navy prior to working in Volvo sales. He later became sole proprietor of O’Connell Volvo and most recently, O’Connell Electric.

Mike was sponsor of a very successful local softball team for many years. He was a sports enthusiast, especially his Raiders and A’s. He will be missed by many. 

 

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