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Home arrow News arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for January 30, 2003

Obituaries for January 30, 2003

Jack Richard Curley

May 12, 1928 – Jan. 28, 2003

Jack Richard Curley, 74, of Twain Harte died Tuesday at his home of complications related to esophageal cancer diagnosed in July 2002.

A native of San Francisco, he was a fourth-generation Californian, the fourth of five sons of Clyde and Mary (Lamb) Curley. He had lived in Twain Harte for the past five years.

He was a 1945 graduate of San Francisco's Lowell High School, a 1949 graduate of University of California, Berkeley, and a 1968 graduate of the UCLA Graduate School of Business Executive Program.

He served in the Army in the Korean conflict as a private and a 2nd lieutenant.

He was a business executive with three newspapers: Minneapolis Star & Tribune, San Fernando Valley Times and Orange Coast Daily Pilot, Costa Mesa-Newport Beach from 1964 to 1980.

Most recently, he retired from a 14-year post as chief financial officer of the Koret Foundation, a grant-making, private foundation in San Francisco.

Mr. Curley was a co-founder of the Sonora Area Prostate Cancer Support Group, treasurer of the Tuolumne County Democratic Club, a member of the Tuolumne County Democratic Central Committee and had been a campaign treasurer and election-compliance officer of Paolo Maffei's campaign for Tuolumne County Supervisor.

In 2000, he was elected a Bill Bradley delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.

Mr. Curley was a member of the Brentwood Lake Club and Twain Harte Sons in Retirement and a regular tennis player at both the Twain Harte and Columbia College tennis courts.

He was a nine-year survivor of bladder cancer and an eight-year survivor of prostate cancer and a longtime member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Elva Bennetts (Harding) Curley of Twain Harte; four children born to himself and his first wife, Norma Elkington Curley of Irvine; three stepchildren; three grandchildren; and one step-grandchild.

The adult children, spouses and grandchildren are: Jean Catherine Curley of Long Beach, John Richard and Denise Curley and child, Morgan, of Pacifica, James Norman and Roxanne Curley and children, Scott and Georgia, of New Canaan, Conn., Janis Margaret Kell of Laporte, Colo., Elva Doris Harding and husband Samus Vanecko of San Francisco; Bradley Miles Harding and wife Lucrecia Ceruti and son Toms Richard, of El Cerrito, and Edward James "Ted" Harding of San Francisco.

He also is survived by two brothers and sisters-in-law, Robert and Frances Curley of Modesto, and Charles and Nancy Curley of Larkspur; three brothers-in-law and their wives, Edward "Ted" and Dorothy Bennetts of Neutral Bay, New South Wales, Australia, Ralph and Edna Bennetts of French's Forest, N.S.W; Geoffrey "Teck" and Pat Bennetts of Chatswood, N.S.W.; many nieces and nephews; four of his five Goggin family cousins, including friend and tennis coach, Jim Goggin and his wife, Maria, of Twain Harte.

He was preceded in death by brothers Clyde Curley Jr. and William "Bill" Curley, and brothers-in-law John Bennets of Wentworth Falls, N.S.W, and Paul Bennets of West Mackay, Queensland.

A celebration of Mr. Curley's life will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Marin Art and Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross, Marin County.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sonora Area Foundation, 20100 N. Cedar Road, Sonora; Columbia College for its tennis courts; the Twain Harte Tennis Court Renovation Project, P.O. Box 577, Sonora, CA 95370; or Visiting Nurse Association-Hospice of the Sierra, P.O. Box 4805, Sonora 95370-1805.

Verna Mullin

March 25, 1903 — Jan. 27, 2003

Verna Mullin, a native of Tuolumne, died Monday in Palo Alto after a brief hospitalization. She was 99.

Mrs. Mullin had lived in Palo Alto since 1959. One of four children born to Byron and Mary Whittaker, she grew up in Tuolumne and was a graduate of Summerville High School. A second-generation native Californian, she lived her entire life in California.

After she received a bachelor of arts degree at University of California, Berkeley, she moved to San Francisco, where she worked in advertising until she married Ward Mullin in 1927. Following his death in 1948, she opened a linen shop, selling items she designed and created with her sister Dorothy.

In 1951, she began working as an executive secretary in Stanford University's department of preventive medicine. She returned to U.C. Berkeley for a certificate in social work and then moved to Palo Alto to continue working for Stanford.

After she retired in 1971, she began another career. After studying European services and housing for the elderly, she became a volunteer worker for the Palo Alto Senior Coordinating Council, also called Avenidas, and Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program. She worked at this career until 1976.

While living in the Bay Area, she made trips to Tuolumne to stay with her mother each summer until the 1970s, when her mother died.

Mrs. Mullin traveled extensively, was an avid sports fan, loved to cook, put up preserves, sew, garden and entertain in her home. Her family said she was self-sufficient and lived alone after her husband's death.

They said because she shared her love and knowledge of domestic arts so generously, she left a rich legacy to many in younger generations. They said she will be remembered for her orange marmalade and ravioli, curiosity about the world and its people, love of hard work, humor and independent spirit.

Her family said she was fond of her cat, Millena.

Mrs. Mullin is survived by a nephew and his wife, Gary and Wanda Whittaker of Mountain View, and their daughter, Melanie, of Modesto; a niece, Merry Conway-Cosandey and husband Frederic of New York; and many friends.

Visitation will be from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at Roller Hapgood and Tinney Funeral Home, 980 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. A reception will follow at Mrs. Mullin's home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Avenidas, 450 Bryant St., Palo Alto 94301, or Gamble Garden Center, 1431 Waverly St., Palo Alto 94301.


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