Obituaries

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Rev. Jack R. Buckley, 78, died on July 20, 2019, at his home in Berkeley. 
Born on Sept. 25, 1940, in Philadelphia to Albert and Mary Buckley, he was the fifth of seven children, with four older brothers and two younger sisters.

Jack grew up in Newark, N.J., and graduated from high school in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He moved to Berkeley in 1971 with his wife and three young children after completing seminary in St. Louis, Mo.

In Berkeley he founded and led Covenant Circle, a study center ministry, helped start Fellowship of His People house church, helped create Berkeley Christian School and contributed to several local Christian organizations and publications.

In 1983 he joined staff at the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley to direct their adult ministries, singles ministries and world missions. In 1993 he became the pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Alameda where he served until his retirement in 2012. His involvement in the San Francisco Presbytery included serving as the moderator of the presbytery in 2003.

While Jack’s professional life involved formal Christian ministry, Jack’s personal life was one of everyday ministry to everyone he met. Jack was active in the community as a member of Rotary Club of Alameda, Mariner Square Athletic Club and as a regular at local restaurants, gift shops, book stores and coffee shops. 

Jack is lovingly remembered by his wife of 57 years, Joanne; his three children: Steven, Robert (Dorothy) and Sharon (Victor) Hernandez; six grandchildren: Melissa, Christina, Mateo, Jacqueline, Annelin and Cash; two sisters and many nieces, nephews, colleagues, friends and community members.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Alameda, 2001 Santa Clara Ave.

Donations can be made in Jack’s memory to First Presbyterian Church, Alameda, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at www.LLS.org or the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation at www.cholangiocarcinoma.org.

 

Editor’s note: During the early days of the Alameda Sun, Rev. Buckley threw his full support behind the publication of this paper. He penned a column for several months on the Sun’s page dedicated to spiritual matters. He will be missed.

Gary MacDonald, a lifelong resident of Alameda, passed away on July 21, 2019. He leaves his daughter Tiara and countless friends to cherish his memory. 

Gary was born at Alameda Hospital and graduated from Alameda High School where he met his beloved wife Bonny, who preceded him in death. They were married in 1961 and together they raised their daughter Tiara. 

As a family they shared a love for the Oakland Raiders. Gary held season tickets since the 1970s. At one time he also held season tickets for the Oakland A’s and the Golden State Warriors. Gary was also an avid duck hunter and a member of the California Waterfowl Association. He also loved going to concerts and was a huge fan of oldies music. 

Gary had a long career at Del Monte Foods, where he worked for 45 years, most of those years at Plant No. 48 in Alameda. 

At Gary’s request, no services will be held at this time.

Connie was born at home in St. Paul, Minn. She was the fifth of six children born to Nora (Loetterle) Heyne and Rev. Edwin Theodore Heyne. She grew up in Lutheran parsonages in St. Paul and Long Prairie, Minn.

The thread that carried her throughout her life was singing the sacred music of her faith. Connie loved all of the facets of church liturgy and she loved to sing. Whether she was soloing, singing in a choir, listening to others sing, leading a choir or giving voice lessons, she was the most alive singing. She also loved playing the piano and the pipe organ. She would direct the church choirs with her head while playing the organ with her hands and feet. And we all loved singing with her.

Connie was the daughter of a minister and while completing her bachelor of music at the St. Louis Institute of Music with a major in voice (of course). There she met, and then married, Charles Nahnsen who was completing his ministerial studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. 

They married in 1949 and then headed out to California where two of her sisters lived. Their first call was to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Red Bluff, Calif., which was where Victoria and Mark were born. Their next parish was Messiah Lutheran Church in Santa Cruz where Emily was born. From Santa Cruz they flew across the ocean to serve at Christ Lutheran Church in Hilo, Hawaii, where Lisa Luana was born. Their last and longest parish was Immanuel Lutheran Church in Alameda. 

Connie and Chuck loved their lives. Their commitment and love for their faith and the church and their commitment and love for each other and their family was their foundation and their joy. 

Connie loved living across the bay from “The City.” Connie, Chuck and their daughter Tori had season tickets to the symphony which they joyously attended. With family and friends, Connie attended countless musical and theatrical events in the Bay Area. Connie was one of the earliest members of the Bay Area Lutheran Chorale, now known as Soli Deo Gloria. She sang in her beloved choir for more than 20 years. She loved to sing and when she sang, she always had a smile on her face. 

Connie’s four sisters: Essie, Ruth, Lois and Carmen, and even her brother Ed for a while, all settled in the Bay Area. Of her siblings she shared, “Their friendship has been a priceless gift.”

Other gifts that she had and shared were creating a beautiful home. On a minister’s and music teacher’s budget, she would create beauty out of objects like manzanita branches that she would bring back from Lake Tahoe summer vacations. She created a colorful palette in her home with pieces of beautiful cloth and artwork on every wall, including her own watercolor paintings. She painted rooms and furniture. She once painted a kitchen table, Chinese Red. Boy did that thing pop. Her home was filled with color and art. 

Into this home she hosted countless dinners and other gatherings with family and friends, including other ministers and their families. There was always laughter and joy at these gatherings. The food was always good and the wine was always flowing.

Connie and Chuck also loved to travel. Their farthest adventures took them to The Holy Land, Egypt and Russia. Connie sang in choirs that toured in Europe on two occasions. Music was her passion and joy.

Connie has joined Chuck and her siblings: Essie, Ruth, Lois and Ed in God’s heaven. She leaves behind her younger sister Carmen Aiken (Andrew), her children: Victoria Nahnsen (Larry Tierney), Mark Nahnsen (Wendy Weinrich), Emily Nahnsen (Chad Williams) and Lisa Skubis (Bob) as well as eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.  

A few days before she passed, the hospice chaplain and the music therapist came and sang for her. Even though she wasn’t responding, we knew that she loved it and that she was already in heaven, singing.

The Nahnsen family would like to express deepest gratitude to the staff at Twin Lakes Manor in Santa Cruz for their tender, loving care of Mom during the last 3 years of her life. Donations may be made in Connie’s name to Soli Deo Gloria at www.sdgloria.org or to Hospice of Santa Cruz at www.hospicesantacruz.org. 

A service for Connie will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Alameda. We will be celebrating with music!

Arrangements have been entrusted in the care of the Carroll family of Ave Maria Memorial Chapel, www.avemariamemorialchapel.com.

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