|Bob Barnes – Chairman: Bocce Ball & Open; Bocce Ball – League|
|Personal History:||I was born and raised in Canada – Ontario and Manitoba provinces. I immigrated to the USA (San Francisco) in 1963. I married Laurie in 1969. We have 2 sons and 1 daughter plus 1 grandson and 2 granddaughters. I have lived in the Bay area since 1963 and other than 20 months in Istanbul (48 month contract was cancelled).|
|Locations Lived:||Toronto, Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Bay Area; Istanbul, Turkey;|
|Schools attended:||I dropped out of San Francisco State due to the free speech rallies. Later I graduated from the University of San Francisco with a BSc in Business Administration.|
|Employment:||All Information Technology: IBM (Service Bureau Corp); Wells Fargo (Wellsco Data); Bank of America (Decimus) – from 1964 to 2004 all in the Bay Area|
|Hobbies:||Toy Collection, 33/78 Record Collection, books – fiction (gradually reduce as we have no room}.|
|Interests:||Travel (love to wander): Bridge (card game); Read (primarily fiction – sold about 150 science fiction pocket book (ACE double novels) collection prior to our trip to Istanbul); Computers – Windows based|
ED BENSON – Chairman for SIRS IN THE KITCHEN, BRANCH 8 BBQ, SIR BARGAIN WINES
I’m an Oakland kid, and I lived there 15 years before the family moved to San Leandro. Graduated HS, went to Cal and flunked out in a year (long, but familiar story). Brought grades and units up at College of San Mateo, and graduated with BS and MS in business administration from San Jose State University, where I’m still involved as a member of the Lucas College of Business Board.
Worked primarily in the human resource field for Western Electric Company on the Peninsula, Weyerhaeuser Company in Tacoma and North Carolina, Bechtel (back to Bay Area), partner with Hay Management Consultants and ended the last 12 years of my 42 year career as an independent consultant.
Consulting specialties included employee/executive compensation, opinion surveys, culture change, strategy development and implementation, customer service improvement and executive coaching. I consulted with some of the US’ largest companies and some really small ones too. I spent a lot of time working with utilities. They aren’t the most exciting places to consult, but they pay their bills on time… The most fun companies I consulted with were my casino clients.
Married to Ms Donna (my third, her second). One daughter and two grandsons. They live in the Cleveland area. Hobbies include cooking, playing with my collector cars, finding cheap wine, San Jose State University, SIR and Branch 8.
Sirs in the Kitchen will turn ten years old next year, and we will need a gala celebration. We started with eight guys, and now have 49 members. We typically turn up 25 to 30 for our monthly luncheons. We took on the Branch BBQ six years ago when we lost our previous venue. Bargain Wines was started to introduce our winos and spouse/partners to wines $10 and under. I’ve also had a hand in starting Sirs Dine In, Book Exchange, Wine Finders and Cellar Fillers. If you can eat it or drink it we’re likely there.
In our branch I started the Member Relations Committee and served as a Director, Little Sir and Big Sir. I’m also the Area Governor of Area 2. Next year I’ll be the Region 6 Region Director and the State Chairman for Growth and Membership. I will also be leading Project 2016, and you will be hearing more about this later this year. Of course as outgoing Big Sir I’ll remain on our board for one more year and be the Chairman of our Nominating Committee. As I’ve said many time, I love SIR and our branch. It’s changed my life and Ms. Donna’s too.
Dick Brewer – Write Your Life Stories
I am Richard Brewer but my SIR friends call me Dick. I am the Chairman of a happy group called “Write Your Life Stories.” More about that later.
I was born and educated in the Midwest: Iowa, Kansas and St. Louis. I moved to Pleasant Hill from Portland, Oregon, fifty years ago. I am a retired Lutheran minister who, unlike most clergy, spent 32 years in one parish. My wife, Bernita, and I raised our four children in Pleasant Hill and have lived in the same house all this time. One child and one grandchild live in the area, one of our sons lives in Oregon and the other two with their families live in the San Antonio, Texas area.
Some forty years ago I developed the hobby of organizing groups for trip abroad. I’m was not the guide, but the group leader. It was a very satisfying hobby as we were enabled to travel all over the world. I also traveled independently – travel is my passion and I’m still doing it. Last count of countries visited was something around 80. I’m also a reader and enjoy two book clubs, one of which is Branch 8’s own.
When I joined SIR I signed up for “Writing Your Life Stories” led by SIR Roger Sperling. When Roger wanted to step down, he asked me to take up the task of chairing the activity. I asked the group if they would accept my leadership, they said yes, and so I’m in my second year as the leader. I simply follow the syllabus I inherited from Roger and it works. We meet once a month (4th Tuesday, 10-11:30 AM) to read a story (optional) and talk about the process and also to spend time writing. We do exactly what our title says, namely, write stories about our lives. To keep our memories going we use “triggers” from the syllabus like My first bike. We also get memory prompts from our shared stories. We encourage one another to keep on writing at home.
The goal is to leave a legacy of written out stories for our children, grandchildren, and all who come after us. We wish that we had our parents or grandparents stories. What hooked me was the simple question “If you don’t do it, who will?” The answer is no one else can. The results of our labors vary. One member of the group has actually published his stories. Some have a binder full. I have a stack of printed pages just over one inch high plus a legal pad full of what I have written in class. That is satisfying for me. An added bonus is the fun we have had sharing our stories with one another. As we all agreed recently, this is a very pleasant way to spend a morning. If this sounds good to you, why not join us?
David Bushnell Chairman – Sirs at the Opera
I am a retired exploration geologist recently returned “home” to California from a career in Texas and overseas. A native of the Oregon coast, educated at Oregon State and Northwestern universities. My interest in operatic music began early, with a role in a high school production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore, followed by several years earning easy A’s in the college chorus. Ten years ago, I was tempted to attend the first Metropolitan Opera HD broadcast, and was so impressed I bought season tickets as we left the theater that day. My wife and I have attended several of the HD broadcasts each year since and enjoyed them all .
Ron Cassano – Chairman of Lets Dine In #1 and Winefinders #2
Personal History – Born in Santa Rosa, Calif. Married Karen in 1964. We have three daughters and four grandchildren. Lived in Walnut Creek since 1969.
Education – Graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in Accounting.
Career – Obtained CPA license in 1967. Worked for small regional and national accounting firms until 1978 when I formed my own CPA Firm. Retired from accounting in 2011. Presently serving my fifth term as Walnut Creek City Treasurer.
Retirement – Hobbies include gardening and water color painting. Like to travel and read. SIR has been the best. Made many new friends.
Biography of Rich Cheney Chairman Dine In #3
I lived all around the Bay Area growing up. I attended UC Davis, and graduated from Berkeley. I received my Air Force commission as a Second Lieutenant and completed flight school at Mather AFB. Active duty assignments took me to McGuire AFB, NJ; Clark AB, Philippines; Patrick AFB, FL; Pope AFB, NC; Los Angeles AFB, CA; and Ramstein AB, Germany. We loved Germany; Linda and I eventually remained there for 21 years, raising our 3 children. I finished my last two years in Europe in England before retiring and returning to California in 2014. My second career was as a Defense Department contractor in Germany and the UK, working for CSC, Northrop Grumman, and L-3 Communications.
I have a Masters in Asian Studies from University of the Philippines and a Masters in Geophysics from Texas Tech University. I’m currently enrolled in the Masters of Public Administration at San Francisco State. ALL of my college work was paid through either the Air Force or Veterans Administration.
I spent the first year in retirement renovating and selling my mother’s-in-law house, assuring her retirement. I serve as the secretary for my investment group, the Dollar Devils – many of whom belong to SIR. I work as a docent on the astronomy deck at Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland. I was a poll worker for the County during this election cycle. I am also active in my local VFW post in Martinez.
SIR is a great organization and Branch 8 has so many wonderful activities. I play 18-hole golf. I love playing poker (and always sit next to my mentor, Dan Franklin), attend Bargain Bites, BBQ, and SIR at the Games. I’ve focused much of my energy in getting Dine In 3 up and running. Any success I have is due to the enthusiasm of all our couples and the enjoyment of sharing food, wine, and conversation. What more could a person ask for?
William Mongomery Cooke. Activity Chairman – Pub Games
I was born in Belfast N. Ireland in 1935 one of four boys, three of which now live in California. I was five I rode the trolley bus to Cregagh Elementary School. When Belfast was being bombed our family often listened to my father playing the banjo under the stairs. After elementary, I attended Belfast Technical High School..
My dad got me a job in an accountant’s office, where I could use my math skills, unfortunately, I could not whistle there so I quit. I then began an apprentice electricians position with the Cooperative Society. During my apprenticeship, I attended evening classes at the College of Technology. I earned a degree in electrical engineering in 1957.
My good grades at college earned me an interview with MI5 for a draftsman’s position at Aldermaston Atomic Weapons test facility in England. There engineers designed laser guns and magnetic levitation bearings for high speed cameras to film the tests. While living in Berkshire I met Brenda, and we have been married for 54 years. I played soccer for Brenda’s father’s home team Newbury Town.
My next position was an electrical engineering one, with Ethicon Ltd in London who designed and constructed a Gamma Ray unit for sterilizing medical sutures and surgical instruments for Edinburgh University Scotland. The plant had shutdown so I drove the 400 miles, opened the labyrinth door to the concrete structure, saw ultra violet light from the source and thought I had been sterilized. Fortunately, it was only the light from the fluorescent fixtures.
A new position with English Electric involved a move to Leicester, so Brenda and I bought a house.. I was recruited for a position with CF Braun in Los Angeles. The company moved our family which now included a daughter to Pasadena where I completed a specification for a Fast Breeder Reactor sodium heating system.
I later accepted a position with Reactor Controls who were a subsidiary of an Italian Company. During my stay I wrote a contract for the Reactor temperature monitoring electrical wiring system design and construction for a power plant. After winning the contract the project engineer and I flew to Milan during time which we were wined and dined.
I started an engineering position in Control Systems with Bechtel in 1972. We moved our family, which now, included a son to Orinda then to Walnut Creek and then to Concord. I was able to continue playing soccer and played until I was 55. During this time I formed an over 30 team and coached boys, taking our under 14 boys team to the State championship.
In 1973 I became a United States citizen and a Professional Engineer in California. My last overseas assignment as a group supervisor was in the Czech Republic near Prague engineering a petroleum pipeline to India from Saudi Arabia. I retired from that assignment in 1995, deciding not to go to India.
I was fortunate to be sponsored by Ken Hodges to Sirs about 10 years ago. At this time I do the newspaper crosswords and enjoy the golf, lunches, bridge and pub games and give thanks to those who give their time and energy to run the branch.
Paul Derby – Chairman: Couples Golf
Locations Lived: Millbrae, CA, Eugene, OR, Newport, RI, Pensacola, FL, DaNang, Vietnam, San Francisco, CA, Albany, CA, Alameda, CA, Fresno, CA, Sunnyvale, CA, Sacramento, CA, Brea, CA, Syracuse, NY, Detroit, MI, Manila, RP, Tokyo, Japan, Lafayette, CA
Educational Background: BS Political Science, Univ. of Oregon
Career: Commissioned US Navy, 1963-1967, Del Monte Foods 1967-1999, Sunsweet Growers 1999-2001, REI 2003-2006
Hobbies: fly fishing, snow shoeing, hiking, golf
Interests: volunteering with hospice, Meals on Wheels and American Cancer Society
Experience as related to SIR Branch 8 activity you chair: happily married 48 years and enjoy golf.
Ron Draper-Cribbage Chairman & Poker Co-Chairman
I’m a Bay Area native. I was born, raised, and married In San Francisco.
I graduated from Balboa High in 1956 and went to work for Pacific Bell Co.
In 1958 I enlisted into U.S Army six year active duty reserve program. The program included six months of active duty and 5-1/2 years of active reserve. Upon completing my active duty time three things happened:
I got married, went back to work for Pacific Bell, and joined the active reserve Bomb Disposal Squad at the Presidio in San Francisco to fulfill my active reserve time. In 1961 the Berlin Crisis came about and the Government activated many reservists to active duty. Our nine man squad was included. We were sent to the US Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal School in Indian Head, Maryland to be trained on Ground and Nuclear Weapons after receiving a Top Secret Clearance. Upon completion of the training our squad destination was Germany but the crisis subsided and we were eventually discharged back to the Presidio in San Francisco.
For the third time I went back to Pacific Bell in various management positions in San Francisco and Walnut Creek and retired in 1991 after 31 years of service. Then I decided to work as Project Engineer Contractor for nine years, officially retiring in 2001.
I moved my young family to Walnut Creek in 1965 and commuted to San Francisco via the Greyhound bus service before BART. “The good old days.”
On a personal note I’ve been married to my wife Irene for 58 years. I have two daughters, one granddaughter and one grandson. As a family we spend a lot time at Bodega Bay and Pinecrest Lake.
As far as activities I’m an avid runner. I still try to do 15 miles a week and walk 5 miles a week. In my early years of running I participated in serval Corporate runs as a member of the Pacific Bell Track team. I ran the San Francisco Marathon, Oakland Half Marathon and numerous 10k races around the Bay Area.
I enjoy reading, traveling, playing card games mostly Cribbage and Poker.
During tax season I’m in my 11th year of volunteering as an AARP Tax Aide doing taxes for seniors and others.
Pertaining to the two card activities I’m involved with you couldn’t ask for a better group of guys. IT’S FUN!
Luis Figueroa Associate SIRs Branch #8 Hotline Editor.
He has over over 30 years of experience in technology strategy, planning, research, development, and integration for the aerospace and defense industry, including rapid start-up environments within those domains. His technical expertise has included fiber optics/photonics, optical/RF sensors, semiconductor lasers, communication & networking systems, and electromagnetic technologies, including electromagnetic pulse (EMP) effects and mitigation. He has written numerous technical articles in peer reviewed journals and several book chapters.
His career has spanned both the industrial and academic sectors. He has held industrial research, and management positions at Hughes Research Labs (now part of Raytheon), TRW (now Northrop-Grumman), and Boeing. He has also held academic positions in Electrical Engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of Florida, where he was a tenured faculty member. He also taught high school science for several years, while living in Palm Springs.
Over the years he has lived in a wide variety of places including: Habana, Cuba, Key West, FL; Berkeley, CA; Southern California, Raleigh, NC; Bellevue, WA; Palm Springs, CA; and currently Brentwood, CA. Over the years he and his wife Tina have visited a number of U.S. states, major European cities, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
He received his B.S. M.S. and Ph.D degrees in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley.
He is currently retired but occasionally is involved in technology consulting. He and his wife, Tina, enjoy participating in several SIR activities, including Bargain Wines, SIRs at the Games, and Dining Out. He is an avid book reader, poker player, a one time motorcycle enthusiast, and most recently started learning to play the guitar.
Dennis Fitzpatrick – Asst. Treasurer
B.S., Economics University of Oregon
Career was mostly in Bank Management.
Asst. Treasurer, Sir Branch 8
Banking experience is helpful in treasury knowledge
Dan Franklin Poker Chairman
Born at Kansas City Mo . Spent 43 years in the Paper industry. Changed companies in 1970 and moved from Chicago to San Francisco, to join Blake Moffett and Towne, a 100 year old company. Retired as Vice President Unisource Corp.
Schooling— left school in 8th grade to join the US Navy in 1942 at age 16. Served in the Navy on Landing Craft. Delivering troops to the beach head. Participated in the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach, Normandy France on June 6th 1944 Received the French Legion of honor medal, their highest honor.
Been playing poker since my teen years, especially during my stint in the Navy, during WW2.
Activity Branch—- Co Chairman Explore and Eat—–Assistant chairman Poker committee
Bill Hunter – Activity Chairman – Astronomy
I was born in Indiana and lived in multiple cities in Indiana and Illinois before moving to California when I was 12. I went to Middle and High School in Modesto, then to UC Berkeley and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration in 1961. After graduation I went to work for Del Monte Foods, which was known as the California Packing Corporation in those years. After starting out in Distribution and Marketing my career at Del Monte was interrupted by a 6 month Military obligation. When I returned to Del Monte I was transferred to the Operations Research Division and sent back to school part time to study mathematics and statistics.
I eventually earned a Masters degree in Applied Mathematics at Cal State Hayward and was promoted to Manager of the Operations Research Division at Del Monte in 1972. Between 1970 and 1974 I also taught evening classes at the Graduate School of Business at Golden Gate University, consulted part time for the Oakland Police Department, and was Chairman of the Northern California Chapter of the Institute for Management Sciences.
In 1974 I was offered an opportunity to transfer to Del Monte’s Eastern Region to form a group for developing production systems. The primary goal was to develop a Crop Forecasting/Planting Scheduling System for all vegetable crops processed by Del Monte canneries. In addition to Crop Forecasting we developed systems in Materials Requirements Planning and provided statistical support for the Quality Assurance Department.
In the early 80’s the administration of Del Monte’s Production Regions was consolidated to a single location. At that time I was given the responsibility of heading the group for installing and programming a network of mini computers. The purpose was to enable the individual production facilities to process much of their own administrative functions. In 1984 I was transferred back to San Francisco where I continued as Manager of Manufacturing Systems until I retired in 1992,
After retiring from Del Monte I worked for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) for three years developing systems in Production and Marketing. After retiring from EDS I consulted on systems development with Del Monte, EDS and a Frozen Food Broker until 2003 when I joined Branch 8.
My participation in SIR activities has included Poker, Hiking, Book Club, Single SIR’s Eat Out, 18 hole Golf, Couples Golf, Sums Investment Group, SIR’s at the Games and Astronomy.
I was Asst. WEB Master from 2006 to 2008, then WEB Master from 2009 to 2011, and am currently Asst. WEB Master. I was also a Director on the BEC from 2011 to 2013.
My interest in Astronomy has been on going over several years. I have no specific background in it other than a general interest in Science and Mathematics. Two years ago Larry Lange, who was then Chairman of the activity, was not able to continue and I volunteered to take his place. Our group has been very active taking field trips, having guest speakers and watching a series of astronomy videos.
SIR BIOGRAPHY OF STAN JOHNSON
Stan Johnson was born in Illinois. His father was a farmer and his mother a homemaker. As with most farm boys, Stan did a great deal of farm work along with his father.
He started playing basketball in seventh grade. He was the only seventh grader on the team that went to the state tournament (finishing in a tie for fifth). This was when there were no school size divisions in Illinois. Stan played varsity basketball for all four years in high school and lettered three years. He was all conference, high scorer, and Most Valuable Player his senior year. He also played football, cross country, and track and field. Stan graduated with honors in the top 10 percent of his class, a member of the National Honor Society, and junior class president.
Deciding that farm work was not really for him, Stan attended Michigan Tech (Michigan Technological University) after high school, situated in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Stan majored in Engineering. He graduated with honors in the top 1% of his graduating class and top in his department. He was president of his junior class and vice president of the Student Body/Student Council his senior year. He played four years of varsity basketball and earned three letters.
After graduation, Stan took a job in advanced materials research for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft. They make jet engines, such as for the Boeing 747. He was co-author of a research paper that was printed in an international scientific journal. After two years, he was accepted to Stanford University to their doctorate program in Material Science Engineering. After a year and a Masters degree, he decided that he wanted to get into business rather than do more research. He joined Pacific Telephone (later Pacific Bell and then AT&T). He took early retirement in 1996. At that point he was Director of Engineering.
After taking a couple stretches of time off and taking on two temporary consulting jobs, Stan joined SIR is July 2004. He accepted the job of 9 hole golf chairman after a year in the branch. He held this position for six years and then became Little Sir (although he didn’t look the part) in 2012 and Big Sir for 2013. He was a Director of the Branch Executive Committee in 2014. He was chairman of the Member Relations Committee for 2014 and 2015. He continues as a member of the MRC.
Stan tries to participate in as many activities as his time allows. Currently, he takes part in 18 hole golf, 9 hole golf, walking, hiking, Cribbage, Basic Bridge, Dine Out 1, Explore & Eat, Sirs in the Kitchen, Astronomy, Bocce, and SUMS. This makes him one of the more active members of our branch.
Chuck Joyce. Hotline Editor
I am one of the HOTLINE editors. I was born in Stockton, California; raised in San Francisco, and now reside in Walnut Creek. I attended San Francisco State, before being drafted into the Army. My plan was to teach on the high school level and coach baseball and/or basketball. Logically, I ended up in the Radio-TV-Film department.
Eventually I spent 43 years as a film, video tape, then digital, video editor for KRON-TV (29 years), several years freelance, and 7 years with KGO-TV. Two popular shows I worked on: Bay Area Backroads (KRON) and View from the Bay (KGO). I have edited everything from ten second promos to 2 hour documentaries.
When the American Broadcasting Company went High Definition (KGO is owned by ABC), they created the Live Well Network. I edited a half hour Home improvement show (Home with Lisa Quinn) and two cooking shows (Good Cookin’ with Bruce Aidells and Food Rush) for the network.
I have been married 34 years to my wife Nancy. We have 3 grandsons and one granddaughter. My wife is a Marriage Family Therapist who specializes in trauma.
I retired in 2013, and joined SIR shortly thereafter. Ed Benson coerced me to co-produce, shoot and edit the Branch 8 video to entice new members. A shorted version can be found on many branch websites. I also co-produced and edited the SIR Ramp training videos. These are used to train struggling branches to improve recruitment, activities, membership and publicity.
Recently, I recorded and edited the first video installment by 2017 SIR State President, Jerry Strain. Occasionally, these will be sent to all of SIR to keep you informed about what’s happening at the State level.
Bob Kahl – Duplicate Bridge
My family on my father’s side settled in California prior to 1860. While I was born in Reno, Nevada, nearly all of my schooling was in the Bay Area, graduating from Lincoln HS (SF) and UC Berkeley. Communication Engineering was my field and after a stint in the US Army Signal Corps, I spent over 30 years with the Bell System where I held a variety of jobs, including one with Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. I retired as Director of Technology in 1985. My high school sweetheart, Marietta, and I married in our last year of college and were soon blessed with a family of seven children (5 boys and 2 girls) before our 30th birthday’s. Our family now includes 17 grandchildren, BUT no great grandchildren. My main activity over the years has been swimming and I have been fortunate to have competed at the local, national, and international levels. When healthy, I still swim at least a mile 3 times a week. Playing bridge and fly fishing (including some rod building and fly tying) have been interests throughout my adult life. I also collect telephone insulators and enjoy participating in an investment club (Dollar Devils) that is composed of mostly SIR men. The friendships I have made while participating in SIR activities, that include Fishing, 9 Hole Golf, SIRs in the Kitchen, Dining Out, and Bridge, have been very rewarding. Lastly, as chair of the Duplicate Bridge I activity, I get a sense of payback while making an activity available to other SIRs
TOM KERNS – BOOK EXCHANGE CHAIRMAN & SIRS AT THE GAMES, ASST. CHAIRMAN
I was born in Nebraska and spent my formative years in Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa, mostly on farms and ranches. When I was 12 years old, my family moved to Vacaville, CA where I began my stay in Northern California. I moved away from home at 17 and lived with my aunt and uncle in Boonville, CA for my senior year of High School. I graduated from Anderson Valley HS with a total class size of 24. I was one of two graduates who went on to a 4-year college. I received a BS degree from UC Davis in Zoology and Biochemistry. I then started to work on a MS degree in Catfish Parasitology at UC Davis. During this time, I met my future wife, Cathy, and we later married. I was putting myself through school at this point by working in the UC Davis library. After 4 years, I finally realized that the field of catfish parasitology had no jobs. So I left the Masters program at UC Davis and entered a Master program at UC Berkeley in Library and Information Science. I received my Masters from Berkeley in one year and had 3 job offers before graduating. I took the one that offered me the most money, Chevron. I worked for 30 years at Chevron, eventually being in charge of its US records centers and libraries with over 200 people reporting to me.
During my time at Chevron, Cathy and I had two sons…one of whom has given us a grandchild. Also during this time Cathy and I found our passion for hiking. Over a 10-year period, we hiked about 300 miles per year to complete the entire Pacific Crest Trail. I retired at the end of 2008 and joined Branch 8 in early 2009. I had always wanted to play golf, but never had the time, so I started soon after retirement…but I needed some golf buddies. Branch 8 offered me that. I joined the 18-hole group and the 9-hole group. Of course I also joined the Hiking group…and with my love for cooking, I also joined SIRs in the Kitchen. About 2 years after joining Branch 8, I became an Assistant Chairman for the Book Exchange and a year later I became its Chairman.
Over the last 6 years Cathy and I have started chipping away at our 54 item “Bucket List”. We have traveled to Thailand, the Mediterranean, Peru, Ireland, the Caribbean and many other places. We have continued to hike and have hiked the 1000 mile California coast, the Inca Trail in Peru, the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland and we are working on the Appalachian Trail in pieces, to name a few. In the future, I will continue to get involved in various SIR activities and involve Cathy whenever possible. We will continue to hike, work on our Bucket List and visit family and friends. Just what I had planned to do in retirement!!
Rob Laaback – Hotline Publisher, Voucher Runner at Luncheon Meetings
B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Washington
M.B.A., University of San Francisco
From Everett, WA
Moved to San Francisco in 1965
Moved to Walnut Creek in 1977
1962 to 1965 – Seattle District, Corps of Engineers on design of Snake River dams
1965 to 1969 – San Francisco District, Corps of Engineers, designing Warm Springs Dam near Healdsberg
1969 to 1978 – Twelfth District, U. S. Coast Guard, designing shoe facilities and managing real estate
1978 to 1988 – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, inspecting dams of licensed hydro-electric power projects
1989 – California Department of Highways – Developing permits for use of
989 to 2002 – Contra Costa Costa Water District, overseeing the design and construction of Los Vaqueros Dam
My wife, Gay, and I married in 1968. Our daughter, a world traveller, is currently living in Fiji. Our son lives on the Big Island. Neither have children.
Served on the Branch Board of Directors. Publisher of the Hotline for those who desire hard copies mailed to them. Am one of four of we members who keep the Book Exchange going for the benefit of all Branch members. Deliver the lunch vouchers at the monthly luncheons to the lucky raffle and birthday winners.
Am an avid hiker with the SIR hikers. Play cribbage, occasionally bocce ball, am a member of the Car Enthusiasts activity. Both my wife and I enjoy the wine tasting groups, Bargain Bites, and Explore and Eat.
Chick Lowry, Car Enthusiasts Activity Chairman:
Hi! I’m Chick Lowry, your Sir’s Branch 8 Car Enthusiasts Activity Chairman. I was California born and raised on the San Francisco Peninsula in Redwood City.
I married my wife, Elaine, 51 years ago and we are still talking to each other. We have 5 adult offspring, 4 boys and a girl, and 5 grandchildren, 4 girls and a boy.
We moved to Walnut Creek in 1979 when I was transferred to Chevron’s Oakland Operations offices after working many years for Standard Oil in San Francisco. The change in commute methods, from train to car, was just too time consuming. We have been a Bay Area family for a long time.
I went to work in a Standard Oil Service Station in Redwood City as a summer job following graduation from San Carlos High and somehow managed to stay employed for 47 years with Standard and then by Chevron, when the corporate name changed. I worked in 11 different operating companies of that period acquiring job experience in Marketing, Exploration, Service Station Construction and Maintenance, Computer Services Installation and Maintenance and Corporate Building Operations and Maintenance Management, ending my Chevron career at the Corporate Financial Center in Concord. Fortunately, I was able to work my entire career in the Bay Area. For a High School Grad it was certainly an “E Ticket” ride.
I have always had an interest in automotive related activities, thus, a Car Enthusiasts. I enjoy working on classic vehicles and the challenge of diagnostic problem resolutions. It is becoming more difficult to work on the computerized late model vehicles. I did some straight line racing (1/4 mile stuff) in my younger years. The Car Enthusiasts thing seemed to be a natural path for a Sir’s activity, so we started one. We currently have 26 Sir’s Car Enthusiasts in our activity. One of these days I will find the project car that meets my dreams and I will get started on a restoration of my own. I also enjoy small project woodworking.
Other Sir’s activities I currently participate in or will attempt to add, include; Bocce Ball, Dominos, Model Trains, Photography (my skills are lacking for that one), Hiking and maybe Sir’s in the Kitchen as have a few dishes I can prepare well with a need to learn how to do more.
Give me a call if you have an interest in being a Car Enthusiasts!
Larry McEwen – Chair, Winefinders III; Co-chair, Explore & Eat
Born (1938) and raised in New London, CT. Lived in NYC, New York; Alexandria, VA; San Francisco, CA and Walnut Creek (1989). Married to Kathleen McKeown since 1986.
US Naval Academy, 1961; Wharton School of Business, 1970.
US Navy 1962-1968 (destroyers, submarines). Ted Bates Advertising Agency 1971: (Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid: Madge the manicurist: “you’re soaking your hands in it!”, Stretch & Seal Food Wrap; US Environmental Protection Agency: managed national special waste recycling programs (waste oil, tires and steel) 1972-1978; Registered Investment Advisor/real estate investor 1979-1988; US Department of Energy, Oakland, CA: Managed radioactive and hazardous waste cleanup of Agency sites at Stanford University, UC Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, UC Davis Laboratory for Energy-Related Health Research. 1989-2005.
Enjoy art, tennis, birding, gardening, travel and reading. Active volunteer with neighborhood association, Mount Diablo Interpretive Association, Lindsay Wildlife Experience and local investment club.
Participate in Sirs in the Kitchen, Dine-in II, digital photography, Explore & Eat, and Winefinders III.
Ken Main – Chairman Dine Out 1 & Couples Bridge
My name is Ken Main (currently Activity chairman for the Dine Out 1 and Couples Bridge). I joined Sir Branch 8 in 2006 and really enjoy the camaraderie, friendships and the many fun activities of our branch. In addition to bridge and dining out, I participate in golf, poker, hiking, the cooking and the book group. I was born in Framingham, Mass. As a military family (Army brat), we moved every 2-3 years (from Ft Bliss, Texas to Germany to New York City). I worked my way through college at New Mexico State University (Las Cruces) and earned BS in Civil Engineering. I was commissioned via ROTC program @ NMSU (Corp of Engineers) and served 7 1/2 years (mostly inactive reserve duty). I worked for Chevron Oil Company for over 31 years (in Denver, LA and SF) as a project Engineer and Safety Specialist. I also taught high school math for 3 years at Mount Diablo High School in Concord, CA. My wife Maureen and I, have 3 sons, 1 daughter in law and 2 wonderful grandchildren. I enjoy music, travel, most sports and of course, visits with my grandchildren and extended family. Both our Moms are currently in their 90’s, living in Denver with our sisters).
Nick Maufe – Chairman of the Book Group
I was born in London but spent most of my pre-teen years living in Scotland, where my father, a great outdoorsman, instilled in me a love of nature and the outdoor life. So it was that, many years later, at the end of an extended (15 month) trip that culminated in northern California, Shirley and I decided that this great place was the place that we wanted to put down roots and enjoy not only an outdoor lifestyle but a more enjoyable climate than that of the UK!
In between that early life and migrating to California, I earned a degree in Developmental Psychology from the University of Sussex, met Shirley, my wife to be, and started and ended my first attempt at a career – in social work. By 1982, within 3 years of our return to the UK from that trip to the Americas, we had married and had our first of 3 girls. At that point, I managed to land a job with Chevron in San Francisco in the relatively new business of computer programming. By 1985 we had moved to our current house in Walnut Creek and since then, we have brought up our 3 girls as true Californians, albeit with a little of the British mojo (an appreciation of football and Monty Python!).
I spent the next 30 years of my career with Chevron in a variety of positions related to IT, ending with 8 years as a Project Manager. That was enough! At 60 I retired (and joined SIRS).
Now in retirement, the 3 activities that consume most of my time are playing with my grandchildren, several outdoor activities and world travel:
- Our 3 girls have stayed or moved back into the Bay Area and we now have 7 grandchildren, all under 5, with an 8th on the way!
- I have been mountain biking since my 40s locally plus a couple of biking vacations a year (Oregon, Lake Tahoe, etc.), and the delight has not dimmed with the years. As well as biking, I do lots of local hiking and recently have returned to the enjoyment of backpacking both in California and much further afield with trips to Patagonia, Corsica and Mt. Rainier over the last 3 years.
- As you might expect coming from abroad and with many trips into mainland Europe in my youth, a desire to explore other countries and cultures comes naturally. Since retiring we have taken 1 or 2 overseas trips a year, often including the UK to visit old friends and relatives.
So how could such an active SIR be chairman of the Book Group? I have to say that I have always loved to read and in recent years as part of a book club managed to read a book a month. Now in retirement I have stoked that fire a little and get a lot of enjoyment from this second Book Group with SIRS.
Lawrence Mersmann Sunshine Committee—Branch 8
Born on a farm near Richmond, Kansas
Graduated from the local rural high school
Spent seven years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Attended St. Benedicts College in Atchison, Kansas and Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia.
After graduation became a U.S. Civil Service Commission Management Intern and went to Washington D.C. to learn about governmental operations and procedures. At the completion of the internship became a budget analyst in the U.S. Department of Commerce in D.C. After three years in that job moved to the U.S. Department of Education Regional Office in Kansas City, Missouri continued working as a budget analyst. After three years in that location moved to the U.S. Department of Education Regional Office in San Francisco and became an institutional review specialist. Visited postsecondary educational institutions to monitor their compliance with Federal Student Aid Programs for the next twenty years.
Married, three children, five grandchildren.
Hobbies have been jogging, reading, gardening, and keeping up with current events.
Branch 8 activities include bocce, dominos, and cribbage.
Carl Moyer – Chairman Fishing
Born in Williston, North Dakota in 1942. Moved to Saint Thomas Orphanage in Great Fall, Montana in 1947.
Worked full time for the Montana Air National Guard from 1960 to 1968 as the Munitions Supply Sergeant. Graduated College of Great Falls in 1968.
Came to San Francisco. California in 1970. Worked for Liquid Air Inc. and Western Temporary Services as Office Services Manager from 1970 to 1990.
Worked in Office Services for Robert Half to finish work in 2005.
Married to Marcia for the past 20 years. Have 3 children, 3 step children, 6 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, and 2 boats.
In Sir I have been: Chairman of Branch 8 fishing group for 10 years, author of the Area 2 monthly fishing report for 10 years, participant in the poker group, SIR’s in the kitchen, pinochle group, bridge group, and Explore and Eat.
SIR has enriched my retirement unmeasurably. Created the monthly fishing report for 10 years, participant in the poker group, SIR’s in the kitchen, pinochle group, bridge group, and Explore and Eat. SIR has enriched my retirement unmeasurably.
Dave Perkins, Orientation Chairmen, Email Distributor
In 1930, another “Desert Rat” was born in Tucson, Arizona; they named him David. My entire education, 1st grade through college (University of Arizona, BS in Marketing Administration) was in Tucson.
On a blind date in my High School Junior year I met JoAnne Hobbs. We were married in 1950, after our Freshman year in College. We raised four children, have eight Grandchildren and four Great Grandchildren.
After college, I taught tank gunnery at The Armor School at Fort Knox, KY, as well as to the Japan Self Defense Force on Hokkaido, and Honshu, Japan. I retired from the Army as Captain, USAR.
1955 I joined Standard Oil of California (Chevron) in Tucson as a warehouse man/truck ents on both coasts as Clerk, Product Salesman, Department Supervisor, Sales Manager and Regional Sales Manager. My last office was in San Francisco as Manager, Marketing Operations Services. I started as a warehouse man/truck driver and 37 years later retired as Marketing’s Functional Manager of all warehousing, product delivery and Environmental issues in the US.
I joined SIR Branch 8 in 1994, was Little Sir in 1999, and Big Sir in 2000. At times, I feel as I am back with Chevron, as over the years I enjoyed working with 9 of our current Branch 8 members.
In 1996, at the request of Big Sir, Vern Ingersoll, I assembled the first e-mail distribution list with 68 Branch e-mail addresses. In 2002, Past Big Sir Ed Myrtle developed the first ever SIR Orientation process and asked me to join him. I remain active in both efforts today. It was a great surprise to be recognized as an Honorary Life Member in 2011.
JoAnne wishes to thank all Branch 8 members for keeping me busy, away from the house and out of her hair.
BILL PHELON Chairman Digital Photography & Branch Photographer
Most of the exciting adventures of my life were shared with the “Writing your Life Stories” activity several years ago. Leaving something about yourself for your descendants (kids and grand kids) is a really great idea. I highly recommend the activity.
My knowledge of SIR goes back to the 1950’s when a family friend was part of a Palo Alto SIR based founding group. My Dad did not join since he did not play golf and that SIR group was primarily focused on golf in those days.
Fast forward to the 1990’s and I was reintroduced to SIR by Gene Roberts, a yachting friend, who spoke highly of some Travel activities being led by Bob Hagler of Branch 8. When I finally retired in 2004, Gene took me to a Branch 8 luncheon and introduced me to Bob. Bob was gracious enough to sponsor my membership in the branch and I’ve been here ever since.
Some demographic statistics: I was born in Burbank, CA, but we moved to Northern California in 1942 when Dad went to work for United Air Lines. At the end of the War, we moved to our San Mateo County “estate” near Redwood city, and after attending six elementary schools, I managed to spend four years at Sequoia High School (and graduate!).
Moving on to higher education, it was two years at the University of Oregon, three years in the Army, two years at (then) San Mateo JC, two years at San Francisco State and four years at UC Berkeley. I attempted to continue my vagabond education path, but Mary (spouse) put her foot down and said, “get a job, I’m pregnant!”
With a recommendation from my thesis advisor, I found myself employed in the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington DC. Six months of living “back east,” and I was looking for ways to get back to California! It took seven more years to find my way back, including several interviews with the California AG’s office. Then, in the early 1970’s, the FTC began moving economists into regional offices and I just happened to be willing and able to move to San Francisco! I remained in the San Francisco Regional Office from 1973 until I retired in January, 2004.
Counter to my past somewhat vagabondish history, I’ve lived at the same address in Orinda since we moved back from DC. This means that our daughter and son both graduated from Miramonte High School after being in the Orinda school system for nearly their whole of their primary and secondary educations.
Since joining SIR in 2004, I’ve enjoyed traveling with former member Bob Hagler, participating as attendance chair in the Area 2 Computers & Technology activity and being chair person (and Xmas party director) for the Digital Photo Group. I would have also been active in the Hiker’s group, but I managed to have a heart attack following my first hike with them! (The attack had more to do with COSTCO hot dogs and chocolate chip cookies, than any hiking activities.)
SIR may not be for everyone, but it has been a great source of activities and comradery for me!
David Platter Golf Chairman
Personal History: Locations lived. Denison-Fort Worth-Dallas-Abilene-Texas, New York City, Edina-Bloomington-Wadena-Minnesota, Hanna City-Illinois, Sioux City-Iowa, Buena Vista-Colorado, Lawrence-Kansas, Sewanee-Tennessee, Walnut Creek and Lafayette-California.
Schools—University of Kansas, Bradley Master Program, Merrill School of Economics. United States Air Force. Captain
Business: Aircraft Company, Food Brokerage Firm, Kaiser Aluminum, Merrill Lynch. Summer and School Jobs: Sold private postal labels, Warehouse Labor, Commercial Ovens Bakery, Milk Truck delivery, Gas Station, Professional Rodeo, Horse Trainer, Encyclopedia Salesman, Camp Counselor, Professional Baseball, Disc Jockey, News Reporter, Journalist.
Hobbies. Writing Books, Music Compositions, Local School Coaching. Old Hobbies. Mountain climbing USA and Europe. Skeet and Trap shooting, Tennis, Senior Baseball.
Married 1958, four children, eight grandchildren
First game of golf was when I joined SIR Branch 8
Biography of Bob Price Chairman Winefinders #1
I joined SIR in 2008, sponsored by a long time neighbor Ken Powlesland, and early on was reacquainted with SIR Rob and Gay Laaback (from our swim team days) who introduced us to the WINEFINDERS activity group. My second or third wine tasting I was asked and accepted the chairmanship as long as we all agreed to make it simple. The SIR adventure had begun!
Out in the working world! Graduated 1964 spent two years in Coos Bay Oregon and designed public school facilities, commercial, residential and church fellowship halls. Then spent 14 years with Aaron Green and Associates, architects, San Francisco with multiple well known projects including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Marin County Civic Center and Library complex. A number of rough circumstances occurred at the Marin project including Judge Harold Haley’s assassination, the court bombing, and the Angela Davis trial, all in the early 70s. Added to all this, Aaron Green’s “house of the year” design, 1966, near Santa Cruz was marred by the horrific 1970 mass murder of Dr. Victor Ohta’s entire family by an itinerant hippy named John Frazier, who later hung himself in his cell.
I met and married my wife Sandy in 1971 and raised two children. I spent two years with a design build firm in the Bay Area specializing in midrise concrete office buildings, much of what you see south of the SFO airport, using WWII era Henry Kaiser Technology for waterproofing concrete cargo ships.
The most recent 24 years have been as an officer of a smaller firm in the Danville area, doing multi residential, a 220 room Holiday Inn in WC, Country Clubs (Diablo, Crow Canyon) and the award winning marble and glass Mercedes Benz dealership in WC.
I retired in 2006 and have been enjoying SIRS Branch 8 functions, raising our grandchildren, golfing, traveling and being retired. I am completing my seventh year as SIR and as WINDFINDERS -1 Chairman. Sandy and I also enjoy participating in couples golf, SIRS in the Kitchen, Dine Out 1 and 2, Dine in 2, Explore and Eat, Bargain Bites and all wine activities.
Danny Rinaldi, Chairman Dominoes, Co-Chair Mexican Train, Co-Chair Bocce
Hi I’m Dan Rinaldi, I’m the activity chair for the Domino’s group, co-chair for Mexican Train Domino’s and co-chair for Bocce. I’ve been asked to share some background about myself. I was raised in Concord California. I went to grade school, middle school, high school Pleasant Hill High and Diablo Valley College right here in Concord. Met my wife and was married in Concord. That’s a lot of staying in the area. I joined the Air Force in 1966 thought I’d be seeing the world. I spent my four years in Lancaster California. In 1970 I started working for Xerox Corporation. I started as a technician worked my way up to management. In 2010 I retired, still in Concord. Joined Sirs shortly thereafter, became involved in Domino’s, the Car Club and Bocce. I’ve met some great men in this organization and always hear stories about there past. Enjoy the general meeting every month and the speakers that they provide. It truly is a group that you can get involved in things to do and make some great friends.
Dan Smith, Editor for Newsletter
I was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and have family there. I like to say that I grew up from Maine to Florida so as to include upstate New York. It turned out that during these years we lived either close to or on various bodies of water; thusly I spent a lot of time on the water. This and my mother’s family having a shipyard influenced my decision to become a naval architect. I graduated from Virginia Tech (BS) and MIT (MS) with degrees in naval architecture and marine engineering.
I went to work at Newport News Shipbuilding when I graduated. While there I got to research the application of a computer based structural analysis (NASTRAN) to the design of the Los Angeles Class submarine. I left Newport News because of a divorce and came to California by way of Texas. I met my wife Lynda in LA. We soon ended up here in the Bay Area. I’ve worked for several different companies here before going back to Rosenblatt over 20 years ago where I became their Chief Naval Architect. I still retain that position in which I work part time. They haven’t figured out that if they want to get rid of me, they need to find someone to replace me. At least we have young, well-educated guys that can do the work.
There have been two aspects of the marine field that I have particularly liked; the diversity of work and the worldwide travel. When I tell someone that I weigh ships, I get a quizzical look in response as to how you do that. I tell them that we measure the hole it makes in the water, which is pure Archimedes. I’ve lost count as to how many vessels that I have either performed a deadweight survey or an inclining, an additional test where we heel the vessel to determines its VCG. I’ve inclined drill rigs, naval ships, ferries, oceanographic ships, a cruise ship, even floating caissons (gates) for dry docks. I have also been involved with structural analyses for many different projects and I get involved with marine systems.
My hobbies range from gardening to carrying out home projects. I like to play cribbage and bridge with the guys. I also like to walk. I recently opted to help out with the newsletter, but I am yet to carry out that function. I assist Ron Draper with cribbage. I had started a genealogy activity, but this activity didn’t take. I do occasionally provide guidance for anyone looking to pursue their own genealogy. My wife and I do travel. We also participate in the dining groups.
Steve Schramm – SIRS AT THE GAMES
Growing up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin was quite an experience. We claimed to be the Bratwurst Capital of the World. No offense to all of the towns in Germany that made the same claim. My early years were filled with organized sports, high school debate, and eating a variety of local sausages.
After degrees in Economics and Human Resources at the University of Wisconsin, I relocated to California with PG&E in 1983. I held Human Resources positions in Fresno, Moss Landing, and San Francisco during my six years with PG&E. My HR career continued in the Bay Area with high tech and biotech companies. Leadership roles at these companies enabled me to work globally with regular trips to Europe for business and pleasure. My working career concluded with several project consulting roles primarily with PG&E.
Since my retirement in 2014, I have become a Planning Commissioner for the city of Pleasant Hill. My familiarity with local zoning regulations, development plans, and property rights has increased exponentially. Joining SIR Branch 8 was a natural as I enjoy golf, reading, and many of the activities offered by our branch. Currently, I am chairman of SIRs at the Games, and look forward to becoming one of the directors of our branch in 2017.
My wife, Kay, and I have been married for 31 years. We enjoy Cassie, our Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and are both quite active in our community. In retirement, we look forward to travelling, reading, and lots of quality time at our home in Pleasant Hill. We are hopeful that SIR Branch 8 will be part of this picture for a long time to come.
Jim Sowell, Chairman Wine-Cellar Fillers
My roles in SIR have been Little Sir-2009, Big Sir – 2010, Chair of Cellar Fillers Wine Activity, Asst Chair of Sirs in the Kitchen, Member Relations Committee, and Ride Share coordinator.
My artistic wife, Sandra and I have two children, two grandchildren, one step grandchild, and one great-step-grandchild. .
I was born in Knoxville,TN and moved to rural Kentucky after WW II. I earned a BA in Math at the Univ of Kentucky, a MSc in Systems Management at the Univ of Southern California with a 4.0/4.0 GPA, and a two year Certificate in Hazardous Materials Management at the Univ of Cal Irvine, with a 4.0/4.0 GPA. I studied Latin, French, German, Dutch, Vietnamese, and Spanish.
I have lived in the Netherlands, Germany, and Vietnam and traveled to 22 other countries and all the states except Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
My military career began with the Army Reserves and ROTC where I was on the rifle team and took flight training. My first duty station was Ft Bliss, TX for Air Defense (AD) Artillery school. Next to the Boston region as a Nike AD Missile Battery officer during the Cold War. After AD I transferred to the Transportation Corps, attended Basic and Career Officer courses at Ft. Eustis, VA and served tours in Vietnam as a stevedore company commander and adviser to ARVN transportation units in Qui Nhon.
Other jobs were in port operations, motor pools, and logistics staff at the Benelux Terminal in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Ft. Bliss, TX, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, Kaiserslautern, Germany and . Ft MacArthur, CA, rising to the rank of Major. Next was a 30 year career with the SoCal Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) and its successor agencies, the LA Co. Trans Commission, and the LA Co. Metro Trans Auth,
In 2004 I retired and followed our daughter and grandchildren to Walnut Creek where I joined SIR in 2006. I have participated in the SIR activities of astronomy, barbeque, bocce ball, book exchange, bridge, car enthusiasts, computers and technology, digital photography, explore and eat, hiking, Sirs at the Opera, Sirs In The Kitchen, SUMS in Retirement, walking, wine tasting, and yoga. Outside of SIR my interests have been skiing, hunting, fishing, competitive shooting, camping, acupressure and massage, woodworking, modifying and repairing pre-1990’s Volvos, and bird watching.
ROD SPICER – Chairman Rubber Bridge & Basic Bridge
I became a member of SIR in January, 1997 not realizing what a sharp group of men I had joined. The previous and present members have revealed such accomplishments that it is humbling to realize that an average person can make it to retirement also.
I was born in south central Indiana and started school in a small farm and light manufacturing town. After WWII my family moved to a small farm town in western Nebraska where I finished the ninth grade. I learned to accept responsibility in a small country school because there were only two boys in the class and somehow the teacher always knew who pulled the prank in class. We then moved on to Denver for my high school years. These years were filled with working at gas stations and restaurants while trying to complete the course requirements for engineering school entrance.
My college years were extended. Scholarships did not come through. Student loans were unheard of so my option was “Pay as you go.” I attended the University of Colorado, went to CU Extension School and took correspondence classes until my wife put me through Engineering School at Colorado State University.
My college years work experiences were extremely varied and included many part-time jobs such as house painter, oil field laborer, lab technician and suitcase assemblyman. The lab technician job had me testing items such as wool, auto seat belts, soil, dried milk and hydraulic fluids that were used for the Titan Missile Rocket System. The most interesting job was for Coors. No, I did not make the beer, I just drank it. My job was classified and we made nuclear fuel for a rocket system. Our team (with side arms) made midnight runs to a country airport to load DC-3s with our products.
At last! Graduation! Hurrah! Now the real work begins and I joined Standard Oil of California as a design and construction engineer. I traveled the country designing and building pipelines, crude oil marine terminals, chemical plants, refinery plants, lube oil plants and marketing facilities. I got my first clue that I would be retired in the not too distant future when I walked into the company museum and saw the model of one of my plants on display.
Goodbye, Chevron; Hello, SIR! Our branch activities are great. I am completing my eighteenth year as the Rubber Bridge Chairman and Co-Chairman because I enjoy playing bridge regardless of my skills. I also enjoy my participation in golf, cribbage, Explore and Eat, Dine-out and Travel “Ain’t Retirement Grand?!”
Dean J. Steichen , Honorary Life Member
Born and raised in eastern South Dakota, I studied Chemical Engineering at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology for two and one half years before dropping out and entering the computer field with Litton Industries in Southern California. After working for 2 years, I returned to Dakota Wesleyan University and graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Economics with a Chemistry Minor.
I didn’t remain a bachelor for long as I married Marilyn Rennich of White, S.D. the weekend after graduation and soon departed for the University of Washington’s MBA Program. Upon graduation in 1968 from the UW, I worked for Standard Oil Co. of California (Chevron) Computer Services Department in San Francisco for 12 years and taught Information Systems Classes at night for Golden Gate University (GGU). I worked for Lucky Stores as EDP and Corporate Audit Manager, Mervyns as Director of Information Security and The GAP as Information Center Director and Director of Information Security before retiring in 2002.
Marilyn and I moved to Danville, Ca. and had two children (Adrianne and Geof). Adrianne is an Architect in Oakland and Geof is a supervisor for Vivint (Home Security Monitoring) and is a US Army Reservist in Provo, Utah. I have 2 grown grandchildren (Signy and Colin)
I joined Sons In Retirement in 2002, and served in Branch leadership positions including several committees, Attendance Secretary, Little SIR, Big SIR and BEC. I continue to serve as a Director and Presenter for the Area 16 Computers & Technology Activity and other Branch or Area Committees. I was elected Area 2 Governor in 2009, Region 6 Director in 2011 and State Chief Administrative Officer in 2017 & 2018. I am a member of the State Growth & Membership Committee, State Training Chairman 2017 and the Chairman of the State INFOSYS Committee. I was awarded a State HLM in 2013 for my SIR State contributions.
Dave Sutton (co-chair) – $UMs in Retirement (Area 2 activity), Branch Auditor
I collect money and do name tags and other admin work; Tom Henry of Branch 174 gets the speakers and runs the meetings.
I was born in Milwaukee, WI 80 years ago and also lived in Lansing MI and South Bend IN when I was a kid. By time for high school, we returned to Milwaukee and I eventually graduated from the U of Wisconsin (Madison) with a BBA in Accounting.
The day after graduation in June 1960, I was on active duty in the Army at Ft Riley KS. After some training stints, my wife and I wound up in Heidelberg Germany where I spent 3 ½ years in the Signal Corps, then back to the US for eventual discharge as a captain. Next we moved to the Bay Area in 1964 where I have lived ever since, mostly in my home in Concord, and mostly without my now ex-wife. I have no kids.
As a civilian, I started off working for Ernst & Ernst (Big 8 accounting firm) where I earned my CPA. After that a series of financial jobs (controller, treasurer, CFO) mostly at small local companies and one public one with branches in Europe. It was a very interesting and varied career in a variety of industries: audio visual sales, high tech scientific instruments, equipment leasing, and two bio type start-ups, one of which still exists as a division of a public company.
My hobbies include travel, photography, camping and singing. I’ve done a lot of overseas travel, most recently in Spain and Portugal. Last summer with my significant other, Andree Moran, we took a 9,200 mile, 62 day cross-country road trip to the East Coast and back. I go on several car camping trips a year and am part of the leadership of a Sierra Club camping group. I sing barbershop and choral music, and am currently active in two choruses in Danville: Chromatica (where I serve as treasurer) and Blackhawk.
I greatly enjoy my SIR activities which include Astronomy, Car Enthusiasts, Computers and Technology and of course $UMs, along with wine tastings, dine outs and travel. I just began a stint as an auditor of Branch 8 finances.
Phil Trapp – ACTIVITY COORDINATOR & BBQ CHAIR
I was born in October 1938 in Chicago, Illinois the third of six sons (and no sisters). I have a daughter Cynthia living in Alamo from my first marriage and two young adult grandchildren. Melody and I will celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary this coming December.
It seemed that the farm country west of Chicago was just about the only area that could handle six noisy boys who got into a lot of trouble. I have vivid memories of going to grade school in an old decommissioned church where there were two teachers. Grades 1-4 were in the community room, with grades 5-8 in the old church. The family moved to Costa Mesa, California, where I finished high school in 1956. I graduated from UCLA in 1962, with a BA in English and a minor in math. To finish my formal education off, I was sponsored by my employer Crown Zellerbach to attend the 1975 Stanford Business School Executive Program.
Six years enlisted, 3 years commissioned 1st Lt Artillery, California Army National Guard; two years fulltime on a Nike Ajax air defense missile site in LA.
My 45-year working career was spent in the Information Technology in a variety of positions: IBM Data Processing Division branch sales manager; CIO for Crown Zellerbach and Health Applications Systems, two Bay Area companies; VP sales and marketing for Measurex, a Cupertino-based process control company; CEO of Silicon Valley three start-up companies; president of TRW Financial Systems in Berkeley, and several years of industry consulting as a “retirement” activity.
While doing my consulting work, my daughter Cynthia, my wife Melody and I spent three rewarding years homeschooling our two grandchildren. Son-in-law John was up to his ears (still is) running his landscape architecture practice.
Real retirement didn’t occur until I quit consulting and got certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as personal trainer for seniors. I’m now in my 9th year as a trainer and enjoying it enormously. I train my clients three morning a week in Danville.
I enjoy regularly working out in a gym, hiking, cooking, gardening, theater and reading. We spend a lot of time with our family and grandchildren in Alamo. Family dinners are frequent and tons of fun, with son-in-law (and buddy) John and me doing the cooking.
SIR Branch 8 came along at a perfect time for me. Sir Art Sturgess (now deceased) was one of my clients and got me interested. I was fortunate to have the opportunity during my first year in the branch to become chairman of the Hiking activity when Ray Tenzer wanted to retire as chairman. Two years later Dave Davis took over Hiking when I joined the BEC as Activity Coordinator in 2014. I’m currently a member of Sirs in the Kitchen, assistant chairman of the Book Group and chairman of the annual BBQ event.
SIR is a wonderful organization for us retired gents: many new friends, fun activities and a convivial atmosphere.
Jim Warner, Chairman Bargain Wines
I began my life in Pasadena, CA only to move to Berkeley, CA at 6 months of age. I attended all public schools graduating Berkeley High in the fall of 1957. At graduation I looked at colleges in CA asthe money was tight and decided upon San Jose State. I figured it was the right distance away from home and excellent for a Bus. major.
During my senior year, I met my future wife Sandy who was a few years my junior and we just celebrated our anniversary.
A month prior to graduation I received my draft notice and decided not to jeopardize the degree and joined the Army National Guard. After spending 6 months in Fort Ord, CA I was released into “real life” returning home to figure out how I was going to make a living. I did a number of interviews with large firms and found the jobs being offered were never in CA. I did not like the idea of working for a huge corporation anyway, so limited my pursuit to the Bay Area.
A friend of the family had recommended Moore Business Forms as a good sales training option, so I opted to give it a try. In hindsight, the training was good and I lasted four years but realized it was too regimented for me so started looking again. I found my new venture with a company called Tab Products Co. in 1967 which was at the fore-front of the lateral filing & color coding industry.
We started a family in 1969 with our first daughter and had two more daughters in short time. We now enjoy 5 grandkids and travel often to Colorado or Oregon to visit.
While I enjoyed a fruitful and enjoyable time at TAB, wanted a future and at least a partial ownership which was not offered. I then became determined to start my own business specializing in most of the same products as well as business forms. JAK Enterprises began and still operates in a limited fashion. I took early retirement in 1994 and Sandy and I started to do some traveling. We tried various ocean & river cruises and enjoyed both. We also followed two of our daughters who were traveling in Europe with a group called Up With People.
I joined SIR in the fall of 2009 and got involved with the 18 hole golf group and two of the wine groups taking over as chairman of Bargain Wines and Assist Chair of Cellar Fillers.
|Dan Weller – Chairman Bowling & Heads Up Walkers|
I was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. I was 16 when my parents move to Lakewood, Calif. There was a major culture shock moving from a small isolated city to the smog-polluted Los Angeles basin.
I received a BS degree in Electrical Engineering after spending two years at Loyola University of LA and 2 ½ years at Long Beach State, aka Cal State Long Beach.
I could not find a job as an EE, so I accepted a programmer position at North American Aviation in Downey, CA. To my wonderment, NAA was the prime contractor for the Apollo Program. I spent 11 years working on programs and databases that supported the Apollo and Space Shuttle program. Very cool.
We moved to Walnut Creek in 1976 to work at Crocker Bank in SF. I was at Crocker for 10 years, then Fireman’s Fund for three years, and then with APL for 16 years. I spent most of my career on data-related topics, such as database design, data modeling and data architecture.
Carol and I got married in 1967 and we are looking forward to our 50th anniversary in a few years. We have two daughters and five grandchildren.
I have several interests and hobbies. The earliest one is bowling. I started in high school, bowled for the CSULB intercollegiate team, and a few work sponsored leagues. I was not able to bowl in the last 20 years of working. One of the reasons I joined SIR was their extensive bowling program.
My other interests are woodworking, woodturning, hiking, and computer system design and programming.
SIR has invigorated my pent up technical talents. I have been able to design, program, test, implement, and be a user of a web-based integrated database system that supports many Branch 8 functions.
In addition to my Activity Chair and AMS duties, I am the Hotline Coordinator / Editor, and I a member of the Activity Coordination Committee. I am also on the SIR State Infosys team and I’m the web master for the SIR State Bowling website.
I am very glad to have joined SIR. I have made many new friends both in Branch 8 and in several other branches. And, my various SIR positions have helped make my retirement very
Leary Wong – Chairman Birding
I have been a member of Branch 8 since 2007 and am amazed to find so many wonderful guys and fantastic activities.
Starting up the Birders activity is going to be a welcomed challenge & I hope it grows strong wings and fly’s high.
I was born in San Francisco and never left the Bay Area (Is there a better place to live?). During the Viet Nam war era, I was drafted into the Army and they stationed me at the Oakland Army Base. I guess I was too valuable to ship overseas.
The GI bill helped me obtain a BS degree in Civil Engineering from SFSU. I performed Civil Engineering work for the cities of Daly City, Vallejo & Pleasant Hill. In Pleasant Hill I was able to participate in the creation of its downtown, the widening of I -680 and many infrastructure, housing and commercial projects. Working for cities allowed me to see firsthand how governments function.
I am currently co-chair for the Sir’s Astronomy group and have recently stepped down from the Sums activity. When I am not playing golf, I participate with the Mt Diablo Astronomy Society and the Mt. Diablo Audubon Society’s public outreach programs.
Whenever I meet retired men or their wives, I inform them of the benefits of joining Sirs.
Ron Woods Explore and Eat
Grew up in Berkeley California and attended Berkeley High School and the University of California. I served 4 years as an Officer in the Navy on three different ships, homeported on both coasts. Enjoyed a 31 year Sales and Management Career with New York Life Insurance Co., followed by 17 years as a self-employed teacher in Life and Health Insurance and Estate Planning. Retired on my 76th birthday. Played in competitive tournament and league tennis events for over 50 years. Have enjoyed hiking and backpacking with SIR and the Berkeley Hiking Club for the past 20 years. Been an avid horse racing fan since 1949 and have visited racetracks all over the Country. Branch 8 SIR and Explore & Eat specifically has allowed me to meet a group of great guys!
Larry Yarberry – Chairman Traveling Sirs
I was born in Brooklyn, New York and moved to California when I was six years old. When I started school I was put into a speech class to get rid of my Brooklyn accent. My dad was in the Navy and I attended 11 different schools in my 12 years. I graduated from San Francisco State University and have a BS degree with a major in Accounting.
We moved from San Francisco to Concord in 1967. I went to work for Southern Pacific Railroad in 1964 as an auditor. I worked for Southern Pacific for 33 years and retired as their Chief Finance Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. After retiring I worked as a consultant for another Transportation Company. I worked there for 10 years leaving as their Chief Finance Officer. I am married to my wife Holley for 53 years and we have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.
I enjoy Sirs and their activities, golf, wine tasting, couples activities. I have been Asst. Treasurer, Treasurer and now Travel Chairman. I have been a member for 5 years.
Update 12/28/2020 DDA