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.

Birth Date: 
Jan 1, 1931
Date of death: 
May 15, 2021

Barbara Joyce Lewis passed away in her home on May 15, with her family by her side at 90 years of age.

Barbara was born in Clearfield, Penn., the youngest of three siblings. After graduating high school, she attended Allegheny General Hospital Nursing School in Pittsburgh, Penn., where she graduated in 1951 as a registered nurse. In 1956 she moved to San Francisco, where she worked at UCSF Hospital for two years. Following her marriage in 1959, Barbara moved to Alameda in 1960. She worked at Alameda Hospital for 37 years until her retirement in 1997.

Barbara’s life was dedicated to working full-time as an RN until her retirement. She was a member of Eastern Star and Trinity Lutheran Church. At Trinity, she sang in the choir and served lunch for the Senior Lunch Program. Additionally, Barbara was also a volunteer at the Alameda Animal Shelter and was a docent at the Alameda Museum. Keeping her needs and wishes unspoken, Barbara would always care for others first, always willing to help others in need.

Birth Date: 
Dec 9, 1951
Date of death: 
Mar 30, 2021

Resident of Alameda

Patricia Carol Colburn, who we called Pat, passed away March 30, 2021 at her home in Alameda, Calif. Pat was born in Owensboro, KY on December 9, 1951 to Charles and Carol Colburn. She grew up in Kentucky among many siblings and cousins. Early on Pat showed a passion for art, theater, writing and other forms of expression and communication. After Owensboro High School, she attended Murray State University. Pat later developed her photography and journalism skills at The Army’s Defense Information School, Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. She became a free-lance photographer and active with Valley Watch Evansville during its early formation and focus on the lower Ohio River Valley, particularly battling what was then known as “synfuel” plants. Her sense of adventure and her curiosity eventually brought her to the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-1980’s, and then to Alameda.

Arriving with a wonderfully genuine and infectious smile along with a positive disposition, she continued to communicate and persuade. She was a member of the “Measure D” committee which sponsored the 1990 countywide charter amendment raising over 100 million dollars for recycling programs in Alameda County. She founded the Alameda Art Center to support local artists. Combining her passion for art with her desire to protect our shared environment, she created the Alameda Earth Day Art Show which promoted art made from found objects.

Pat was an energy consultant, green building advisor and green realtor. Often energetic and engaged in the present, she was likewise a wonderful, compassionate listener. She could also be found with a contagious smile on a local dance floor when Cajun or Zydeco music filled the air. Her infectious smile could even be seen when volunteering with Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda to “Trash Talk” at a local outdoor event.

Pat was preceded in death by her father, Charles Colburn, and her brother, Mark Colburn. She is survived by her mother, Carol Colburn; sisters, Linda Seagle and Sandy Adams; brothers, John Colburn and Jason Colburn; and her partner, Hank Reekers, who loved her dearly.

Birth Date: 
Apr 29, 1958
Date of death: 
May 31, 2021

Beloved father, brother, mentor leader friend and coach.

Stephen Phillip Burnett was born April 29, 1958, to the late Eugene Howard Burnett Sr. and Mary King Burnett in Philadelphia, PA where he grew up and graduated from Edison High School with honors. Following his father’s blueprint and footsteps, Stephen excelled in sports at an early age. He went on to star locally in the park and recreation leagues and on the football field and basketball court in high school. Stephen studied at Texas Southern University, in Houston, TX, and Alabama A&M University, in Huntsville, AL, respectively.

Stephen was an avid swimmer and his early jobs included Lifeguarding at the Y.M.C.A. and Hartranft Community Center in Philadelphia.

In 1980 Stephen enlisted in the US Army. He quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant. Stephen served in the 82nd Airborne Ranger Battalion. During his tenure, he served in Germany, Saudi Arabia, Panama, and Kauai. Most notably, he served heroically in Operation Desert Shield during the Gulf War. He retired with numerous awards, commendations and accolades in 1994.

Stephen relocated to Alameda from the East Coast after he retired from the service. For two decades, he served as a Campus Supervisor at Alameda High School. Stephen coached many sports at Alameda H.S., football, ping pong, and badminton are just a few. However, this was not his biggest accomplishment, basketball and women’s golf was where he shined! With a competitive nature and drive to win, he taught students a spirit of excellence and determination. It paid off! Coach “B”, which the Alameda community knew him as, rarely lost a game, championship, or tournament under his leadership. He was especially proud of his record versus crosstown rival Encinal claiming to “never losing to Encinal in anything.” In a casual conversation, you could catch Coach “B” saying, “I hate kids,” but the community knew this was far from the truth as he attended sporting events for students year-round, coaching and cheering from the stands.

His genuine, authentic character touched the lives of thousands of students who walked the halls at Alameda High and was a legend in the community. His laugh was contagious, and his relentless pursuit to see everyone excel made him a strong pillar throughout the Alameda community.

Coach “B’s” favorite pastimes included traveling, fine dining, fancy cars and family. Coach “B” was dedicated to his Alameda High School Family. He somehow knew everyone’s name, their story and always made each student he met feel supported, loved and special.

Stephen is survived by 1 brother Eugene Jr., 3 sisters, Cynthia, Dominique (Debbie), and Marsha, his daughter Danielle, 2 stepsons Patrick & Damien Jackson, and a host of nephews, great nieces/nephews, and friends.

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