Obituaries

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Debbie Rowney Lassor, 58, passed away peacefully the morning of May 18, 2018, in Sonora, Calif., due to cancer. Debbie was born in Alameda on May 11, 1960, to Jim and Barbara Rowney. 

Debbie married her soulmate, Ray Lassor, in 1991. She had two children, Sara and Danny Westfall, by a previous marriage and welcomed two more, Jason and Justin Lassor, when she married Ray. 

Debbie loved to love on people.  She sought to instill in her children and grandchildren a zest for life, a commitment to family and friends and the power of a smile.

She is survived by her husband of 27 years, Ray, mother Barbara, daughter Sara, son Danny (Ashley), sons Jason and Justin (Nessa) and grandchildren: Layla Tarantino, Lucas and Hailey Lassor. She also leaves behind her brothers, Mike Rowney (Joann), Scott Rowney (Jen), and Matt Rowney (Cheryl) plus many nephews, nieces, aunts and uncles.

She was preceded in death by her father, Jim; grandparents, James and Nancy Rowney, and Charles and Frances Mowbray.

Debbie was inspiring, giving, selfless, caring, wise and most of all, our hero. 
Her hands were rarely still. They held her sewing needles, wooden spoons and her grandchildren. One of Debbie’s passions was to take long trips on motorcycles with her husband Ray and great friends Steve and June Smith.  

Debbie loved to cook. She was known for her potato salad and chicken enchiladas, recipes she wouldn’t share.  

She sewed, she loved to go glamping and travel to visit with family. She grew up swimming and became a member of the Alameda swim team and the Encinal High School team. 

Debbie graduated from Encinal High School in 1978.

A celebration of life potluck for Debbie will be held Saturday, June 23, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lower Crystal Falls Lake and Clubhouse, 21725 Crystal Falls Dr. in Sonora. 

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to Adventist Health Center Cancer Fund, 900 Greenley Road, Suite 902, Sonora, or Adventist Health Hospice, 20100 Cedar Road North, Sonora, CA 95370.

Gerald “Jerry” Minot, 90, gently passed away in his Alameda home on May 19, 2018, surrounded by family, friends, his Carmelite prayer group and a surprise guest. A great Cooper’s Hawk holding a dove visited Jerry on a perch above his head for a few minutes before flying towards the heavens with its charge.

Soon after Jerry’s birth to George and Helen Minot in 1927 in Denver, Colo., his family moved to Alameda where Jerry would spend the rest of his life making countless friends and devoting time to his family and the Saint Philip Neri parish. A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Jerry made his life about whole-hearted service to his country, family, community and church.

Following military service, Jerry married Clarice Minot, the love of his life, and went to Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. After graduating, he joined the San Francisco Chronicle where he worked in the advertising department for 30 years before starting his own advertising service.

A regular at the Harbor Bay Club, Jerry swam up to a mile three or four times a week from college until the month he died. He understood exercise, veggies and prayer — as well as the occasional chardonnay — would allow him to keep doing all the things he loved for his entire life. These included watercolor painting, tending his zen-like garden and bonsais, playing bridge, praying every day at church and regularly with the Carmelites, cheering all the Bay Area teams, organizing annual Saint Joseph’s High reunions for the class of ’45, and generously helping others. 

He could be seen just about every day somewhere in Alameda in his cowboy hat with his son, Bob, at his side enjoying every minute of life with joy, laughter and great reverence for the spirit of God in everyone and everything.

Gerald is survived by his children, Karen and Robert; grandson, Jacob; and siblings, Roland and Elaine. 

He is further survived by nephews, nieces, dear friends and the many lives he touched and people he cared about.

Family and friends may visit tomorrow, Friday, June 8, after 6 p.m. and attend a vigil service at 7 p.m. at Greer Family Mortuary and Cremation Services, 2694 Blanding Ave. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, June 9, at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Philip Neri, 3101 Van Buren St.

Paul Knight Davis, 89, passed away on April 30, 2018.

Paul lived a very large life. He spent three years in the Navy where he was awarded the World War II Victory Medal. After the military, he was a passionate and successful inventor, pilot, photographer, engineering consultant, craftsman, father and patriot. 

In 1961, he founded and began operating his company, Pacific Roller Die Company, Inc., where he designed and fabricated large-diameter pipe-manufacturing systems sold globally. He held 11 patents related to his metal-processing equipment, including spiral-corrugated and smooth-wall pipe. 

In 1969, he invented the Davis Pulsating Blood Pump, a piston-and-cylinder artificial heart. He worked with the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco. He and a team of doctors kept a calf alive for five days. This was considered a pioneering effort in the future development of artificial hearts by many in both the medical and engineering fields.

In 1998, he invented and patented a very successful Male Incontinence Clamp (MIC), which restored dignity and freedom of activity for many men here and abroad.

Paul never stopped inventing ways to help better the world. His progressive vision included exploring hydrogen fuel cells, aircraft anti-collision systems and running for public office.

He is survived by his wife of 37 years, JoAnn, and his children: Jim Davis, Kathy Betz, Sally Stevenson, Steve Davis, Jeannette Antognazzi, Dan Davis, Todd Bailey and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Paul was predeceased by his parents, John and Helen, and older brother John.

Paul’s life will be celebrated by close family and friends. He is laid to rest at the Newcastle Cemetery in Newcastle, Calif.

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