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Heaven gained a beautiful soul as Barbara Jane Soden Brooks, a long-time resident of Alameda, died March 6, 2019, at San Leandro Hospital. Barbara was reunited with her beloved Sam, who preceded her in death in 2016.

Born in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Canada, on June 9, 1929, to Percy and Pearl Soden, Barbara enjoyed volunteering at the local hospital and knitting hats and scarves for military personnel overseas. Barbara was a dedicated mother first and foremost and raised two amazing boys who she loved fiercely.

One of Barbara’s favorite memories as a child was dressing up her cats in hand-made clothes made by her mother and parading them up and down the street in a pram.

Barbara loved good food and socializing, enjoyed going to movies and plays with friends. She had a wonderful smile that could light up a room.

Barbara was a needlepoint expert and ran a local needlepoint group for many years. She was an avid reader, often speaking about her favorite author, Ken Follett.

Barbara is survived by her two sons, Andrew and Micheal Brooks, two grandchildren, Jarod and Ethan Markus-Brooks, Heidi, wife of Micheal, Kimberly, wife of Andy and many extended family and friends, all of whom she loved and touched deeply.

Join the celebration of her life this Saturday, April 13, at 2 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 1700 Santa Clara Ave. Reception to follow in the church’s parish hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Episcopal Church at

Father John Baldwin, 85, passed away on April 1, 2019, in Auburn, Calif. He was born in Chicago, Ill., to John and Marie Baldwin. He is survived by his sister Genevieve Sudges, brother Thomas Baldwin and wife Nancy along with numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.

He was a graduate of Quigley Preparatory Seminary; with bachelor and master’s degrees from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Ill., and a masters in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. Father John was ordained as a Catholic priest by the Archbishop of Chicago, on May 7, 1959.

After serving parishes in the Chicago area, Father John entered active duty in the United States Navy in 1968. During his career in the Navy, he served as chaplain in many capacities and locations, including San Diego; two deployments in Vietnam; Lakehurst, N.J.; Okinawa, Japan; Alameda; Norfolk, Va.; Newport, R.I.; Treasure Island; Iwakuni, Japan; London, England; and Monterey, Calif. He received numerous awards and decorations. 

Perhaps the most important aspect of his service and associated travels was comforting U.S. troops and helping men and women access God in the most difficult circumstances. He retired from the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps as a Captain in 1995.

As a well-traveled man of God, Father John was a true conversationalist who cared deeply about religion, family and history. The only thing he liked more than telling stories was hearing them. Family and friends were a priority and he made every effort to bring people together, understand their history and encourage them to chart their future. 

Family meals began by gathering in a circle to join in prayer followed with a song accompanied by him at the piano. He traveled regularly to Chicago and Ireland to visit family and friends.

A funeral mass will be held this Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m., St. Philip Neri Church, 3101 Van Buren St.

Agnes M. Ringo of Alameda passed away peacefully with her family by her side on March 30, 2019. She was born on Sept. 3, 1923, in Alameda. Agnes loved being around her family and friends as well as participating in various activities within the community. She was loved by many and will be greatly missed. 

Agnes is survived by her son Ed; grandchildren: Olivia, Victoria, Megan, Kelsey and her great grandchild Maverick. She was predeceased by her daughter Dolly. She is the mother-in-law of Steven Small.

Private crypt-side services were held at the Mountain View Cemetery Mausoleum in Oakland on April 9. For more information contact Harry W. Greer, funeral director (FDR-745).