June Whitson, a pioneer in midwifery and postnatal care on the coast, died peacefully at her La Honda home on Jan. 30, 1998, following a battle with breast cancer. She was 62.
Mrs. Whitson was herself born at home near Stratford-upon-Avon in England on June 25, 1935. Her birth at home, not unusual in Europe, paved the way for her later work as a certified nurse midwife in her adopted home of America, a country that she could never believe didn't practice home birth. While in England, she became a psychiatric nurse and was trained as a nurse midwife. She came to America in her early 30s and settled first on the East Coast, later migrating to San Francisco. She met her future husband, Arthur, at La Honda's Boots and Saddles Lodge and married him in 1969. Shortly thereafter, the couple settled in La Honda.
Following the birth of the couple's two daughters, Mrs. Whitson took a refresher course in nurse midwifery and became a certified nurse midwife. While on the South Coast, she pioneered a group approach to pre- and postnatal care on the Coastside, supporting women's wishes to give birth at home. Her work drew women from all over the Bay Area. Her approach encouraged women to trust themselves and their unborn babies in the processes of transformation in pregnancy and birth. She would bring together teams of midwives with pregnant women and their partners, parents and families, meeting together in circles and forming bonds as birth supporters.
"This was a woman who lived with such grace and taught such great lessons," said Janet Ferrare of Pescadero, a friend who had worked with Whitson since 1986. "She also died with such grace, and will teach us, I know, forever." Upon Arthur's death in 1989, Mrs. Whitson became involved with hospice care, as a home hospice volunteer with Mission Hospice in Burlingame. Mrs. Whitson is survived by her daughters, Elayne Whitson of Sacramento and Jessica Whitson of Mountain View, and her brother, David Crowle of England. A memorial celebration of Mrs. Whitson's life is being planned. The date and location will be announced.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Mission Hospice, 1515 Trousdale Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010, or to the California Association of Midwives.
Jessie Hartzell Cooper, an 18-year resident of Half Moon Bay, died Dec. 10, 1997, in Redwood City after a brief illness. She was 80. A native of Alliance, Ohio, Mrs. Cooper was raised in South Pasadena. She lived in the Bay Area for 25 years.
Mrs. Cooper was an accomplished artist in many different media, and a member of several Southern California art groups. When she relocated to the Bay Area, she joined several art groups, including the Menlo Art League and the Sequoia Art Group. Her artwork won her awards at various local art exhibits and the San Mateo County Fair.
Mrs. Cooper was active for many years as a den mother, Girl Scout leader and PTA volunteer. A graduate of South Pasadena High School and Pasadena Junior College, she attended Frank Wiggins School of Fashion Design. She eventually earned a nursing degree at Garfield Hospital in Southern California.
Mrs. Cooper is survived by twin sons, Robert Cooper of Redwood City and Kenneth Cooper of La Honda, and two daughters, Jessica Parker of Huntington Beach and Marianne Martin of Arcadia. She also leaves six grandchildren: Shannon Parker of Costa Mesa, Cristen Martin of Berkeley, Erin Martin of Kawasaki, Japan, Sunshine and Jacquie Cooper of Redwood City, and Jessica Cooper of El Granada.
Alfred Wiebe, a former resident of Montara, died Dec. 28, 1997 in Marion, Kan. He was 79.
Mr. Wiebe is remembered for his concern for the environment and enjoyment of the outdoors. He assisted his father Henry with farming in Kansas and served as lay pastor at several small churches in eastern Kansas. Mr. Wiebe is preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Eliese Regier Wiebe. He is survived by his sister, Gertrude Roten of Elkhurst, Ind., and his brothers, Wilberty Wiebe of Whitewater, Kan. and Leonard Wiebe of Aurora, Colo.
Those wishing to share remembrances of Mr. Wiebe may call Mr. Nelson at 726-3495.
Doris Ann Romani, a lifetime resident of California, died Jan. 30, 1998, in Burlingame. She was 69.
Mrs. Romani worked as an account specialist for Mills-Peninsula Hospital for 30 years. She was also a member of Our Lady of the Pillar Church in Half Moon Bay and the Y.L.I. in Half Moon Bay. She is preceded in death by her husband, Peter Romani, who died in 1990. She is survived by a son, John Romani; a daughter, Clori Romani; a sister, Dorothy Canadas; and three grandchildren, Milena, Gian and Jessica Romani. A visitation and vigil service were held Tuesday at Our Lady of the Pillar Church. A funeral Mass was scheduled to be celebrated Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Our Lady. Interment will be at Skylawn Memorial Park. Arrangements were by the Miller-Dutra Coastside Chapel.
While a busy dancing school with classes and shows revolved around him, Leonard Hayward - "Grampy" to all who knew him - remained a popular and beloved figure to students and teachers alike. He was an avid fan, and his cheering was always distinctive.
Mr. Hayward, father of Susan Hayward of the Susan Hayward School of Dancing in Montara, died peacefully on Nov. 20 at the age of 85 at his home in Montara Gardens, the old schoolhouse where the Hayward dancing school is based. He had been a Montara resident since 1980.
"Many of (the students) grew up with him," said Susan Hayward, adding that some older students asked after him and sent flowers.
Born Nov. 27, 1917, Mr. Hayward was a native of Bath, England. He served in World War II with H.R.H. Royal Marines at the Battle of Britain and the Battle of Crete (1941) in which he was wounded and captured. He spent two-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war in Germany, and was repatriated to England in October, 1943.
After the war, Mr. Hayward worked as a printer for the Ministry of Defense in Bath, retiring in 1980. Then, he and his wife, Audrey, and son, Christopher, emigrated to America and Montara to be near his daughter Susan. His older son, Rodney, and family had emigrated a few years earlier.
Mr. Hayward enjoyed watching his older son's soccer games, playing golf or fishing with his younger son and grandsons, or helping them with schoolwork. He was also involved with the family business, an English-style tea shop called "The Village Green."
He was deeply involved with the dancing school as a bookkeeper, program editor and enthusiastic audience member. At his 80th birthday celebration in 1997, he was presented with his own seat and a plaque that read, "No. 1 fan."
As his health declined in recent years, his daughter said, he lived his life with a rare dignity.
"I think my father was a very brave person," she said, recounting how, after discussion with his doctor, he elected to discontinue his medication. "He faced his own ending in a fantastic way. That's something I hope I can remember in my own day, how he did that in a very dignified way."
Mr. Hayward was preceded in death by his wife, Audrey, who died in October, 1993. He is survived by his son Rodney Hayward and wife Christine of Manteca, daughter Susan Hayward and longtime part-
ner Larry Fosnot of Montara, and son Christopher Hayward and wife Malia, all of Half Moon Bay.
He is also survived by grandchildren Heidi Wright Patterson and husband Jeff of San Bruno, Harvey Wright and wife Georgina of Montara, Neil Hayward of Manteca, and Claire Hayward of Oakhurst. And he is survived by great-grandchildren Ramsey Smith, Kyle Patterson, Michael Wright, and Katrina Hayward.
He is also survived by a brother, Edwin Hayward, and sisters Phyllis Knight and Joan Foot, all of Bath, brother Ronald Hayward of Australia, and nieces, great-nieces, nephews and great-nephews in England and Australia.
Services were held Nov. 25 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Moss Beach. A celebration of Mr. Hayward's life is planned Sunday, Dec. 7, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Montara Gardens, at 496 Sixth Street in Montara, to which students and friends are welcome.
"Grampy," his daughter said, "was very special to them. He was the No. 1 fan. Always standing, applauding and cheering."
Richard Robert Holland
Richard Robert Holland of Half Moon Bay died Dec. 28 at age 78 at the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto, after a valiant fight with cancer.
Mr. Holland was born April 28, 1925, and grew up in Oakland. He served as a machinist's mate, second class, in the Navy from 1942 to 1946, on the USS Mississippi and the USS Guam. He was then honorably discharged with five medals.
In 1955 he moved to Modesto from Oakland, due to a career change with the Milk Producers Association where he was promoted to safety manager. Later, he drove trucks for various trucking companies.
"He was a very friendly and witty man who found humor in everything," said his daughter, Julie Harris of Vacaville.
In 1997, he relocated to Half Moon Bay with his wife, Frances. They lived in Canada Cove, where Mr. Holland met many new friends, enjoyed sunsets, played bingo, fished and had picnics by the sea, said his daughter.
"He will be truly missed by family and friends," she said.
Mr. Holland is survived by his wife of 55 years, Frances Cecelia Holland of Half Moon Bay, and his daughters, Cecelia Blair and her family of Modesto, Julie Harris and her family of Vacaville and Renee Holland of Half Moon Bay.
He is survived by eight grandchildren: Michelle Conrad of Broken Arrow, Okla., Nicholle Keeney, Jeremy Gideon, Jake Blair and Dennis Carey Jr., all of Modesto, and Desiree Schneider, Denise Erickson and Kristin Reynaud, all of Vacaville, and 11 great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by a sister, LuRea Yale of Isleton, Calif.
Mr. Holland will be buried at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery. Services are currently pending.