Obituaries

Most recent submissions appear first. Please 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. 

With great sadness, we lost a good man, James Albert Chapin, Jr. He was 95 years old.

On Oct. 27, 2018, James, as he was affectionally called, passed peacefully at his home, surrounded by his loving caregiver. Per his wishes, James asked that he pass in the comfort of his home.

The only son of the late Ina Thompson Chapin and James Albert Chapin, James was born in Oakland and moved to Alameda as a toddler. His parents started The Chapin Stationary Store, the first of its kind in Alameda, that spanned more than 70 years. After his parents passed, James continued to manage the store with the help of Nancy Anderson, the store accountant. People often labeled the store as the “white lady’s store,” because most of the employees and clientele had white hair! Due to a lot of competition in the business world, James and Nance decided to retire and closed the store in 1986.

After graduating from Alameda High School, James enlisted in the army and was stationed in Europe and the Philippines. As a World War II veteran, James loved travelling the world. He had a passion for golf and photography and was an avid member of the Elks Club for many years.

James is survived by his only cousin, Ron Jones (Teri) of Reno, Nev., his caregiver of 23 years, Rodrigo Emperador and Elenita Vicentio and Allan Cruz, his caregivers for 13 years.

Family and friends are invited to attend funeral services in James’ honor. Visitation will take place on Friday, Nov. 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. with a vigil service at 7 p.m. at Greer Family Mortuary and Cremation Services. A funeral mass will take place this Saturday, Nov. 3, at 10 a.m. at St. Philip Neri Church. James will be laid to rest at Mountain View Cemetery.

Charles ‘Charlie’ W. Wolf, a longtime resident of Alameda, passed away on Sept. 29. Charlie was a member of Temple Israel for more than 50 years. He taught religious school, served as Temple President and led many Sunday morning services. 

Charlie served in the United States Army in the 1950s. He taught school for 37 years, including for the Alameda Unified School District at Wood Middle School. He was the longtime president of B’nai Brith in San Leandro. He was the father of Edward and Michael Black and the uncle of Harold Lesch and Jeannette Philan of Oregon. 

Please join family and friends at Charlie’s memorial services, which will be held at 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 4, at Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Road in Alameda.

We have lost a man with a genuine kind soul, who never prejudged anyone and will be remembered by many for his ever-present smile.

Bill was born June 18, 1928, in Alameda, to Olga and Otto Heck, the first of two children.

After graduating from Alameda High School in 1946, he enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley for one year, then decided to enter the Franciscan Seminary in Santa Barbara, then on to the seminaries in San Miguel and San Luis Rey. While at San Luis Rey, he earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy. In 1955, after getting his teaching certificate from the University of San Francisco, he taught school for three years in the Bay Area.

Then it was time to travel the world, teaching history to middle and high school students at the various U.S. military bases. His first stop was Japan, then on to Germany, England, Turkey, Ethiopia and Spain. In 1988, he returned to the States and was a substitute teacher until finally retiring in 1992. Long after he retired, Bill would receive letters from his former students full of praise and saying he was a great teacher.

A life-long stamp collector, he was lifetime member of the East Bay Stamp Club. As his health started to decline, he eventually was unable to attend the meetings, but would try his best at making it to the stamp shows.

He learned to ski in Japan, and while living in Europe, he skied at some of the major resorts. His love of skiing continued after he returned to the States. He made frequent trips to the Lake Tahoe resorts and also traveled to Aspen, Whistler, British Columbia, Grand Targhee, Jackson Hole and Bariloche, Argentina.

Because he was well traveled, he had a world view and breadth of knowledge that was impressive. Languages seemed to come easy to Bill. He could hold his own in German, Spanish and Japanese. He loved to attend his weekly German conversation group at the Mastick Senior Center.

Bill was a member of Saint Philip Neri Parish in Alameda and rarely missed attending mass. A longtime Vincentian, he served as St. Philip Neri Parish, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Conference President. He often found time to volunteer at their dining hall, greeting folks with a big smile. Bill always found time to visit sick family members and friends in the hospital or convalescent homes.

When his father became ill, he was a devoted caregiver. He was very close to his sister, Joann Williams, who preceded him in death in 2016. He is survived by his partner of 21 years, Clancy Woolf, and many cousins that he stayed in touch with through the years. 

Family and friends are invited to a visitation today, Thursday, Oct. 25, 3 to 8 p.m., vigil at 6 p.m. at Greer Family Mortuary, 2694 Blanding Ave. A funeral mass will take place Friday, Oct. 26, at 10 a.m. at St. Philip Neri Parish, 3101 Van Buren St.

Pages