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.

Michael Burch Ryan, 82, passed away peacefully at home with family by his side on Jan. 2, 2020, in Alameda.

Mike began his journey in Coshocton, Ohio, in 1937. After spending his early years in Ohio and Florida with his parents Edward and Lillian and his three brothers Edward Jr., Patrick, and Timothy, the family moved across the country and settled in Los Angeles in 1944. 

As a youngster in Los Angeles, Mike and his twin brother Pat were put to work by their mother as child actors and models, at least until they decided they would rather not. He appeared in several movies including A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and The Woman in White and on the cover of Parents magazine. He also was a paperboy for the LA Times for seven years. 

He graduated from Chaminade High School in Los Angeles in 1955. While in high school, Mike was a lifeguard at Zuma Beach and at Los Angeles public pools, played on the football team as a linebacker and met his first wife Judy. Together, they raised three children: John, Robert, and James.

After high school, Mike worked his way through college and obtained a bachelor’s degree in history from Cal State LA. He wanted to become a teacher and began pursuing a master’s degree. After teaching a philosophy class at the college level, he decided it was not the type of teaching he wanted to pursue. However, his love of teaching, history, literature, philosophy and poetry never stopped.

Mike entered the business world as an insurance underwriter before moving into sales. He managed the Los Angeles office of an insurance company for many years before transitioning into finance, with an emphasis in financial planning. 

He started his business RAM Financial in Pasadena, Calif., and met his wife Susana. Together, they raised two children, Catherine and Christopher. In the last phase of his life, he transitioned his business to Haussmann Financial and moved with his wife to Alameda. He was a congregation member of St. Philip Neri Church, and he enjoyed activities at the Mastick Senior Center, where he was a devoted member of the book club.

Mike operated his business in Pasadena for more than 30 years. Being a financial planner and investment advisor was his favorite job. Every morning before going into the office, he would stop for breakfast at the Pie N Burger, where he earned the affectionate nickname of Smiley. He was a founding member of Business Network International (BNI). He was active in his church and philanthropic groups throughout the years. 

One group that held a special place in his heart was the Pacific Friends School in Temple City, California, where he served on the Pacific Ackworth Friends School Concerns Committee and Foundation for more than 30 years. He also was a member of the finance committee of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center in Sierra Madre, Calif., where he cherished attending annual retreats.

Mike enjoyed reading and traveling, and he took the family on road trips to various parts of the country and on numerous trips to Mexico. He hiked to the top of Mount Whitney with the Boy Scouts. In his later years, he enjoyed trips with Susana to several places that had always fascinated him, including: China, Turkey and Greece.

Throughout his journey, Mike was always moving forward and faced life with a positive attitude and a never faltering sense of humor. The glass was always half full. He was a mentor to many. He was always available to provide guidance and wisdom to those around him and never lost his desire to learn and grow. He was loved and will be missed but will always be in our hearts. He is now at peace in God’s everlasting love.

Mike was preceded in death by his father, mother Lillian and three brothers. He is survived by his wife Susana, his five children: John, Robert (Janet), James (Nancy), Catherine and Christopher, 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held this Saturday, March 7, at the family’s home in Alameda.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mastick Senior Center and/or the Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center.

Ben Yamanaka, 88, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Feb. 15, 2020. He was the youngest of seven children born to Tayemon and Kikuno Yamanaka. 

Ben is survived by his wife Helen; sons Benjamin and Bruce Yamanaka; grandchildren: Branden Yamanaka, Brady Yamanaka, Nenita Reyes, Natishae Basconcillo and Noel Basconcillo; great-grandchildren: Sharissa Daquioag, Adrian Zuniga, Hamala Johnson, Camila Zuniga and one brother Henry Yamanaka. Ben is preceded in death by siblings: Miyoko Doi, Hideko Ishikawa, Sam Yamanaka, Hisako Mizota and Ken Yamanaka.

Ben was born in Warm Springs and during World War II he and his family were relocated to Tanforan Race Track and interned in Topaz Relocation facility in Utah.  

Along with his other siblings, he attended and graduated from Washington High School. He served in the United States Army and returned home to attend and graduate from San Jose State University with a degree in accounting.   

Ben then went to work for the federal government as an auditor for the Department of the Navy and Defense. He retired from after more than 30 years of service.

In retirement, he loved playing golf and spending time with family.   Ben was a loving and devoted husband, caring and supportive father and a loyal friend to many.  

Memorial services will be held this Saturday, March 7, at 11 a.m. at the Buddhist Temple of Alameda, 2325 Pacific Ave. In lieu of flowers consider a memorial donation to the charity of one’s choice.

Lucille Schaefer, 101, a longtime resident of Alameda, passed away peacefully on Feb. 5, 2020, in Alameda. Lucille was born Sept. 13, 1918, in New Castle, Pa., to Jennings Potter and Lillian Randall. 

She is survived by her daughter Karen Awad, son Mark Schaefer, her three grandchildren Lisa, Christina and Josh, nine great-grandchildren, and her dearest friends, Madonna and Bryan. 

Lucille followed her husband Clarence west when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Following in her footsteps soon after, her four sisters and brother also came to California. Her husband’s work took them to New York and Wisconsin, but after retiring they returned to California and settled in Alameda. 

Lucille will always be remembered for her loving heart, her generosity and her wonderful sense of humor.

Pages