Obituaries

The most recent submissions appear first. CLICK HERE to create an obituary online or send an email to Eric at ekos@alamedasun.com with text and photos attached. The fee is $75 per 250 words, and $25 per photograph.

Our dear friend Robina Kaer passed away Jan. 10, 2019. 

She was born in Portland, Ore., on Sept. 19, 1945, to Evelyn and Robert Kaer. After graduating college, this Southern California girl moved to Alameda with her mother to accept a position with Homeland Security on Coast Guard Island. Her 33 years of service earned her a marvelous commendation that she proudly mounted on her wall along with a commemorative, encased American flag.

Robina enjoyed traveling to several states. An avid walker, she visited Mastick Senior Center often especially to help out with bingo. She served as a greeter at her parish, Christ Episcopal Church.

Robina loved dressing up for Halloween and won many costume contests. The Price is Right, McDonald’s and chocolate were among her favorite things. 

She’ll always be remembered for being “so sweet” to everyone who knew her. She made friends everywhere she went. 

Robina is survived by her Christ Episcopal Church Parish family. Her memorial will be held at the church, located at 1700 Santa Clara Ave., on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 12:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary. A small reception will follow the service. Please feel free to bring pictures of Robina for all to enjoy and remember her by. All are welcome.

God needed another angel and called home his chosen one, Priscilla May Vaughan, 91, on Jan. 29, 2019. 

Priscilla was born Nov. 12, 1927, in Boston, Mass. She was raised at 604 Webster St. in Needham, Mass., across the street from the high school from which she graduated. Following high school Priscilla attended Cazenovia College in New York and worked as a secretary in Boston.

Priscilla married the love of her life, Joseph James Vaughan, on May 26, 1951. Over the next few years she gave birth to a son and a daughter.

When her children were very young, Priscilla’s husband was transferred from Boston to Southern California. Initially this move was very hard for Priscilla because she was homesick and missed all her relatives on the East Coast. However, Priscilla eventually embraced the California lifestyle. Her adjustment was made easier by annual family trips to Carmel, Palm Springs and Del Mar as well as an extended stay in the famous Chateau Marmont Hotel in Hollywood when she first arrived in California. None of these wonderful vacation spots could replace Cape Cod, which always remained her first love.

When her children were young and at home, Priscilla focused on being the best mother and wife she could be. The best evidence Priscilla achieved that goal could be found in her nickname “Heady” bestowed on Priscilla because she was the undisputed “Head” of her household. Once her children went off to college, Priscilla went back to work as a hostess in a Mexican restaurant. Priscilla was an avid conversationalist, and her job as a hostess allowed her to express a skill set that came quite naturally to her. Priscilla’s favorite customer was Carl Karcher, the owner of Carl’s Jr., who gave her free coupons for hamburgers. 

Priscilla’s husband died in 1993 after 42 wonderful years of marriage. In 2000 Priscilla moved to a home in Harbor Bay in Alameda to be closer to her children and grandchildren. She loved to spend time with them and talk on the phone with her family in Boston and her close friends in Southern California. 

Her favorite meals were hamburgers at Carl’s Jr. and turkey dinners at Harry’s Hofbrau in San Leandro. Her preferred beverage was a glass of Kendall-Jackson chardonnay. Her favorite hobbies were hunting for bargains at Ross and buying birthday and holiday cards for her friends and family at Trader Joe’s in South Shore Shopping Center. Priscilla also very much enjoyed talking to all the employees at the Harbor Bay Safeway market and CVS pharmacy.

In more recent years Priscilla resided at Waters Edge assisted living facility in Alameda and most recently Lake Park Skilled Nursing facility in Oakland. Priscilla’s family wishes to express gratitude to all the humanistic staff at both these special places that treated Priscilla with kindness, compassion and dignity.

Long before the age of computers and social media Priscilla understood how to form real human connections with the people she cared about. Whether connecting with people by writing letters, talking on the phone or conversing in person, everybody felt better after interacting with Priscilla. 

She somehow instinctively understood a concept stated most eloquently by a famous President, “People don’t care how much you know, until they now how much you care” (Theodore Roosevelt). Priscilla cared a lot.

Priscilla was preceded in death by her father, Harold Clark Wilkinson; her mother, Gladys (Sweetser) Wilkinson; her step-mother, Mildred Wilkinson; her husband, Joseph James Vaughan and her sister, Virginia Galarneaux. 

Priscilla is survived by her son, Christopher Mark Vaughan M.D. (Jocelyn Ner R.N.); her daughter, Nancy Ellen Vaughan (Rick Bohner); her granddaughters, Jessica Lindsey Vaughan M.D. and Samantha Erin Vaughan; her sister Virginia’s daughters, Debra O’Neil and Susan Mollica; and a caring host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. 

Priscilla will be going home to be laid to rest with her parents in Needham Cemetery in Needham, Mass.

 

 

Richard Grant Baxter, 93, passed away in the early evening of Jan. 16, 2019. During his last weeks, his son and daughter surrounded him with love and support, comforting him in his final days and easing his journey to a joyful reunion with his beloved wife, Nancy.

Richard was the second of three sons born to Earl and Lizzie Baxter. He grew up on the family farm in Illinois. At the age of 19, he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. He flew over Italy during World War II, proudly serving his country as an airplane armorer-gunner.  After his honorable discharge in 1945, he returned home to Illinois for a short while. He then migrated to California, where he met his future wife. 

Richard and Nancy were married for 58 years and raised their family in Alameda. In their retirement, they enjoyed traveling and their life in the beautiful town of Paradise, Calif. Richard was active in his church and community. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.

Richard began his career in commercial construction as a laborer and worked his way up to a project manager. During his 40 years in the business, he was responsible for many of the hospitals built across the state.

Richard is predeceased by his wife, Nancy, and his eldest brother, Ken Baxter. He is survived by his younger brother, Ralph (Sylvia) Baxter; sister-in-law Starley Baxter; son Scott (Karen) Baxter; daughter Susan Baxter; grandson Ken (Michelle) Baxter and great-grandson Christopher Baxter.

The family wishes to thank AEC Elders Inn in Alameda for all their help and guidance during Richard’s stay.

There will be a memorial service and reception held on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 10:30 a.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 1700 Santa Clara Ave., in Alameda. Donations in the name of Richard Baxter may be contributed to a favorite charity.

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