Obituaries

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Eric Leigh Otzen passed away in Hayward on March 26, 2018. Born in Alameda on Jan. 7, 1946, he lived all of his life in the Bay Area (Alameda, Berkeley and Oakland), except when he traveled the world. 

Eric visited five continents and New Zealand, omitting only Australia and Antarctica. In 1969 he hitchhiked from Amsterdam to New Delhi and back, a trip that included lengthy stops in Goa and Kathmandu. He lived with friends in Mexico for a time. He backpacked and river rafted in Idaho. He loved to hike in Berkeley’s Tilden Park, taking photos and enjoying the flora and fauna. 

Eric was a connoisseur of the human comedy whose self-deprecating sense of humor delighted us all. An habitué of the Berkeley Rose Garden, where his backhand on the court and his volley in political discussions were equally respected, he was an excellent tennis player despite an admitted lack of the killer instinct. Eric was in the best of health until he had a serious stroke in 2001. With some assistance he was able to defy the neurologist’s predictions and live independently until 2018. Gratitude to the many who helped him and very special thanks to Lee.

“He was kind, brave, and truthful and had his quirks and passions. What more could be needed?” 
— Vladimir Nabokov

His freedom to come and go was an essential part of Eric’s being. His forays on his power wheelchair at all hours and in all weather around the Lake Merritt and Piedmont Avenue neighborhoods of Oakland, with only sweat pants, T-shirt and scarf protecting him from the elements, were legendary. Eric passed away after a short illness. He travels now in the heavens, free of body and wheelchair. We may have seen him sitting on a cloud with a cat in his lap.

He is survived by his brother Kurt, sister-in-law Amanda and niece and nephew Eleanor and Peter, all of Wellington, New Zealand. He is missed by his many friends.

Oscar Barry, 91, of Dalkey, County, Dublin, Ireland, passed away peacefully May 8, 2018, with his wife, Bess and daughter, Eithne by his side. 

He was husband to Bess for 63 years and an amazing father to Ciaran, Eithne, Ronan, Aidan, David and Brian. He will be missed but many moments of laughter will be shared as the family and friends gather in Ireland over the weekend to say goodbye. 

Oscar worked for Doric Development in Alameda from 1972 to 1984 and helped make Harbor Bay Isle into the reality it is today. Although there were many times that the project was controversial in the eyes of the community in Alameda, all would agree that Oscar, with his unmistakable smile and laugh, garnered respect from all involved.

Donna Dahlen was born in the East Bay. She died in Sugar Pine, Calif. She is survived by her three children: Christy McKinnon of Sonora, Calif.; Alicia Sienkiwicz of Duncan Mills, Calif., and Andrew Payne of Modesto, Calif.; Three grandchildren: Emberlynn Payne, Zeth Clark and Anna Sienkiwicz and soon-to-be born Finnegan Duke Sienkiewicz.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Everett and Eloise Beth, brothers, Duke and Charles Beth and sister, Corrine Beth.

Donna worked in retail sales providing bookkeeping and office management services. She was also a small business owner and homemaker for her children and spouse. Donna enjoyed cooking, reading, helping people and spending time with her family and friends. 

She was a wonderful mother, wife and friend. She will be greatly missed.

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