Ryan James Kelley
Ryan James Kelley of El Granada died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Nov. 28 at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City, due to leukemia, against which he had waged a determined battle since January 2002.
"Ryan endured his treatment with great patience and bravery. He fought his disease so hard knowing he would be well one day," said his mother, Marnie Kelley of El Granada.
Mr. Kelley was born July 10, 1984 in Redwood City, but lived on the coast, attending Los Ninos Nursery School, El Granada Elementary, Cunha Intermediate and Half Moon Bay High schools. He had been enrolled at the College of San Mateo when he became ill.
Mr. Kelley's interests revolved around things that were creative and active. He loved to cook, his family said, particularly favoring Japanese food.
"His bread was delicious," his mother said.
Mr. Kelley also loved snowboarding, and was deeply interested in oceanography and marine biology. He loved video games, Comedy Central and hanging out with friends.
He also loved his jobs. He worked at the former Cooking Sensations in Half Moon Bay and A.G. Ferrari, an Italian deli, in Belmont.
"Ryan was so sad when he had to leave his job to go back to the hospital," his mother said.
The last year of Mr. Kelley's life was exciting. He traveled twice to Europe. He went first for a snowboarding trip to Switzerland with his family through the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Then, in August, he went to Italy and France with a large contingent of his family that included grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
"Everyone who knew Ryan described him as a fun-loving, kooky person, yet sensitive to others' feelings," said his mother.
She added that a close relative had once said that what she had loved most about him was his "incredible ability to relate in a meaningful way to all ages."
She also pronounced him "the best hugger in the world," and someone who had a great imagination and an uncanny knack for inventing things. Among his inventions was a gadget made with two cups for holding medical equipment easily in the hospital.
Part of his treatment involved a bone marrow transplant with marrow donated by his sister Camille.
Mr. Kelley is survived by his parents, Marnie and Mark Kelley, and sisters Camille and Emily Kelley, all of El Granada, grandparents Joan and Jim Owens of Montara and Bev and Jim Landess of Half Moon Bay, and great-grandfather Vern Vincent of Montara.
A celebration of Mr. Kelley's life will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Greater Bay Area Make-a-Wish Foundation or to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
Nitya, a resident of Pillar Point Harbor who frequently went about town greeting friends in his easygoing, friendly manner, died Dec. 7 at the harbor at age 62, due to an aneurysm.
Nitya was born Edwin Gallman on Nov. 3, 1941 in Wellsville, N.Y. In his early years he drew away from his family and came west, where he worked in a variety of capacities, according to his friend from the harbor, Rod Schoenlank. At one point, he spent a few years in the Navy, worked as a ski instructor in Aspen, and drove a race car.
While driving his race car, he had a crash and spent several weeks in a coma. After he recovered, he became acquainted with a guru and changed the course of his life: embarking on a dream that he followed for the rest of his life.
He called the dream "Windtrance" after the sound that the wind would make on the strings of his guitar.
He would play the instrument for hours, though he did not know how to form chords or read music.
Windtrance, said Schoenlank, "was imbued with the idea of a peaceful world in which people of all nations would be able to share the wealth of the world equally and be able to live happy, loving lives."
Nitya came to the harbor more than 20 years ago, and at one point had a boat. Friends remembered that, every day, rain or shine, he would climb to the top of the mountain where the tracking station stands, and invoke the help of his avatars or spirit guides to help realize his dream that "the world could become that world he perceived - in which love and friendship would be global," said Schoenlank.
"Nitya experienced a vision of the world at peace after an 11-year vision search," said friend Laury McCloud.
"In his own words, his music 'combined together two of Mother Nature's most expressive voices: the voice of the wind and the songs of humpback whales.'"
Nitya reached his goal, his friends said.
"He lived his dream and attempted to promote his vision of a world at peace, in harmony, with everyone acting out of love and kindness," Schoenlank and McCloud wrote.
Nitya is survived by his son Andy, 11, of Walnut Creek, and sisters Karen Rine and Helen Lansberry, both of Jamestown, N.Y.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20, on the hill above the harbor.
Nowell J. Thomas
Nowell J. Thomas of Half Moon Bay died Dec. 7 in Albuquerque, N.M., as a result of a massive stroke he suffered while on a road trip to Texas. He was 46.
A native of California's gold country, Mr. Thomas was an 18-year Half Moon Bay resident. He moved here to manage the Half Moon Bay office of Buck's Propane, which later became Northern Energy.
He was also the owner of Bay Area Heater Repair.
Mr. Thomas is survived by his grandmother, Veronica, his sister LeAnna, and a great many friends.
A memorial celebration will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20, at Mr. Thomas' former Coastside residence at 121 Balboa Blvd., located at the west end of Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay.
Norma Picchi Bettencourt
Norma Picchi Bettencourt, who had grown up in Half Moon Bay until entering high school in the 1920s, died in Sacramento at age 94 on Dec. 23, 2003.
"She was a great lady and will be missed by all," said her son, Tom Bettencourt of Sacramento.
Mrs. Bettencourt was born in San Francisco in 1909, and grew up in Half Moon Bay. She graduated from the Stanford School of Nursing in 1935 and embarked on a colorful career in the field, beginning with working as a visiting nurse in San Francisco's North Beach from 1935 to 1942.
Then, during World War II from 1942 to 1946, she served as an army nurse in Europe, with Stanford's own 59th Evacuation Hospital. Working as a recovery nurse in an evacuation hospital, she followed Gen. George Patton's army through North Africa, southern France, the Rhineland, Sicily and Rome.
"It was an interesting experience, (she) being Italian," said her son.
Discharged with the rank of captain, Mrs. Bettencourt returned to peacetime nursing in 1947 to work with elementary school-age children in Burlingame for a couple of years. She retired in 1947 to marry Anthony Bettencourt, and then to raise the couple's three children.
Her son Tom Bettencourt describes his mother as a "very outgoing" woman who loved to be around people. "She loved to laugh," he said. "She liked to be around people, and loved to meet new people."
Among those people she kept in touch with were friends from Half Moon Bay.
She lived in Redwood City from 1947 until 1995, when she relocated to Sacramento.
Mrs. Bettencourt is survived by her three children and their families; her son Ron and wife Kathleen of Roseville, Calif., and their children Joe of San Diego, Claire of Sacramento and Anthony of Roseville; daughter Donna Bettencourt and son Paul Bettencourt of Sacramento and son Tom and wife Mimi Bettencourt of Sacramento.
A funeral Mass will be held in Half Moon Bay at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 9 at Our Lady of the Pillar Church, to be followed by interment at Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto.