Mary passed away peacefully at home four months after her 100th birthday surrounded by family and her wonderful caregiver.
Known for her inquisitive mind and soft blue eyes she will be missed by all those she touched in a long and productive life. She was an excellent listener and generous with her encouragement and support. When any of us were discouraged we could always count on her to help us see a brighter path. She also had a very sensitive BS meter and didn’t hesitate to call out a perversion of the truth.
Mary was born on a farm in South Dakota, second to the last of eight children, and emigrated to California during the Great Depression. Here she met her life partner, Gene Hewitt, who she married a few months before the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Gene enlisted in the Army and was deployed in the western Pacific until the end of the war. When he returned they finished their house on San Leandro Bay in Alameda and started a family. They remained devoted to each other for more than 70 years until Gene died two years ago just a few weeks shy of his 99th birthday.
Mary was characteristic of her generation — humble, hard working, and generous. She enlisted with the Red Cross during the war years, worked in retail, manufacturing and in the office. She didn’t hesitate to take on a job if it was interesting and challenging — she once organized logistics for a house moving company. She was also active in Scouts, PTA, her church and numerous civic and social groups. In 1980 she and Gene moved to San Ramon where they enjoyed their retirement years traveling, entertaining and taking care of grandchildren.
She is survived by her children and daughters-in-law: Roger and Mary Kay Hewitt, David and Valerie Hewitt, Carolyn Hewitt and Joanie Mass; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Services will be held Saturday, Aug. 9 at St. Raymond’s Church, 11555 Shannon Ave., Dublin, at 10:30 a.m., followed by a celebration of Mary’s life at her home at 168 Dogwood Place, San Ramon. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your local non-profit hospice.
Hank died at home in the company of his wife, Frances. Hank was born and raised in Alameda. He went to Alameda High School and was a member of the class of 1936. He worked for Kaiser Shipyards before being drafted into the US Army in World War II. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge where he lost a finger.
After the war, Hank drove a delivery truck for Langendorf Bread. He married Hazel Catelli with whom he had two children, Denise and Jeffrey.
At the age of 41, Hank joined Big O Tires and eventually ran and owned several stores in the greater Bay Area, including the store in Alameda.
In 1972 Hank met and married Frances Borsuk Harris. With her came her two children Jerrilyn and Marvin. Together, in retirement, Hank and Fran traveled the world, played golf, bridge, and celebrated life by entertaining their many friends and growing family. He was a proud member of the Old Alamedans.
Hank is survived by his wife of 42 years, Frances, children Denise (Elliott) Handwerker and Jeff (Jan) Cohen, stepchildren Jerrilyn (Robert) Kaplan and Marvin Harris. Also grieving his passing are his grandchildren Nikki Kaplan (Blake Echols), Dara Sue (Alan), Rachel Handwerker, Josh, Jenni and Ben Cohen.
In lieu of flowers please send contributions to Alameda Junior Golf, Alameda Meals on Wheels, Temple Israel of Alameda, or a charity of your choice.
Greer Family Mortuary and Cremation Services FD 1408
Margaret Dana passed away after a brief illness. She spent her last days surrounded by friends, family, music, and a great deal of love.
Born in Mayslick, Kentucky, she went to school in Hollywood, where her cultural interests blossomed. She earned her B.A. and Ph.d in English from UC Riverside. As a tenured professor at California Baptist College in Riverside, she inspired countless students to think critically and love literature. After retiring to Alameda, she continued to study, read voraciously, attend opera and theater, and cherish the community at Grace North Church.
She is survived by her daughter Cathy, sons Greg and Paul, grandson Maxfield, and granddaughter Shannon. Her wit, passion, and intelligence will be deeply missed.
Friends and family are warmly invited to celebrate her life at a memorial service and gathering on Saturday, August 30, from 1 to 4, at Grace North Church in Berkeley, 2138 Cedar Street.