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California Obituary and Death Notice Archive

California Obituary and Death Notice Archive - Page 275

Posted By:
Date: Sunday, 20 July 2014, at 10:40 p.m.

James T. Unger

Longtime Montara resident James T. Unger was a decorated military man who excelled in business and owned a company.

But what distinguished him as much if not more was integrity, compassion, devotion to family and a happy habit of following his heart.

Military "morals and ethics were something he transcribed and took into later parts of his life," said Mr. Unger's son, Charles, of Dallas. "In his professional and personal life, he was a very giving person and had an infinite amount of patience to help people see the way he saw the world."

Mr. Unger's wife, Ruth Unger of Montara, noted that the West Point motto of "duty, honor, country," with the addition of "and family," fit her husband well.

Mr. Unger died Oct. 30 at Stanford Hospital at age 61 after suffering cardiac arrest in the course of treatment for cancer.

He was born Oct. 17, 1943, in Mississippi into an Army family, and grew up around the United States and Europe. A year after finishing high school he folowed his father's footsteps and entered the U.S. Military Academy, graduating in 1966, the same year he married his first wife, Virginia Iglesias.

He volunteered for duty in Vietnam, and as a result was deployed to Southeast Asia in 1967 as a second lieutenant.

There, as an infantry platoon leader, he spent a year in the jungle in combat. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, medals for valor, the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge, and was promoted to first lieutenant.

Later he served in the Advanced Airborne School, receiving commendations and a promotion to the rank of captain. His sons were born in this time.

In 1970, at his request, he transferred to the Air Force to fly high-performance combat aircraft. He volunteered for a second tour of duty in Southeast Asia, and served again in Vietnam, flying 42 combat missions and ultimately receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and additional medals.

"He wasn't about showing off his medals," said his son Joseph Unger of Augusta, Ga., adding that his father "was very, very patriotic."

He also taught Strategic Air Command procedures.

During his military service Mr. Unger lived across the United States, but upon resigning from the military in 1975 he moved his family to the East Coast, worked his way through Harvard Business School to an MBA, and then relocated to California in 1978 to work for Southern Pacific as a production manager.

At that time he rediscovered his passion for teaching and lectured in management at California State University, Sacramento. Separated from his wife and later divorced, he moved in 1983 to Montara, near the woman who became his second wife, Margit Schaut.

A few years later, he left the corporate world and followed his heart again, while still continuing to teach management systems at Golden Gate University.

Wanting to build houses and spend more time with family, in 1988 he started CPM General Construction, based in Montara.

That was different from his previous life of military service and business. "He threw it away to do what he wanted and follow his heart," said son Charles.

"He enjoyed working with his hands, creating something where nothing was before," said Joseph.

On the Coastside, he was active in the local Rotary Club and American Legion, and was a special commissioner for San Mateo County.

He battled esophageal cancer in 1992. It went into remission, though he lost his wife to the same disease in 1997. In 1999, he married Ruth Larkin of Pittsburgh.

Mr. Unger's family pointed out his dedication to faith. "He was a man of strong religious beliefs, and faith dominated his life," said his wife. "Part of the reason he was the person he was, (was) becaue of his strong belief in God."

Mr. Unger is survived by his wife, Ruth Unger of Montara, sons Charles Unger of Dallas and Joseph Unger of Augusta, Ga., his stepson Billy Pivirotto of Montara - with whom he shared a love of Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers games - five grandchildren, and niece Bayly, of Alexandria, Va.

A public viewing will be held at the Miller-Dutra Coastside Chapel from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4, followed by a noon funeral service at Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church in Half Moon Bay. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Cancer Society.

Rita Bracciotti

Rita Bracciotti, a 55-year resident of the Coastside, died Nov. 5 at Seton Medical Center, Daly City, at age 85.

Mrs. Bracciotti was born in San Francisco. She came to the Coastside on the occasion of her marriage, when in 1949 she wed local carpenter Gino Bracciotti, a member of a longstanding Coastside family.

Mrs. Bracciotti worked for 25 years in the billing office of the former Chope Hospital in San Mateo, now known as the San Mateo Medical Center.

She also became a familiar figure around the Coastside, said her niece, Denise Murphy of Walnut Creek.

"She was very popular here," Murphy said. "Very friendly. Outgoing, and sociable."

Mrs. Bracciotti was very active in her church, Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church, where she was a parishioner for 55 years.

She was an active member of a local sewing club, and loved to go to Reno.

Mrs. Bracciotti is preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, Gino Bracciotti, who died in 1989. She is survived by her son, David Bracciotti, of El Granada, her granddaughter Jennifer Bracciotti of Reno, her sister, Nancy Miller, and niece, Denise Murphy, both of Walnut Creek.

A Rosary service will be held at 6:30 p.m. this evening, Wednesday, Nov. 10, at the Miller-Dutra Coastside Funeral Home at 645 Kelly Ave. in Half Moon Bay. A funeral Mass will be celebrated tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church in Half Moon Bay, followed by interment at Golden Gate National Cemetery.

Manuel J. Soares

Manuel J. Soares, a 30-year El Granada resident, died Oct. 28 at Kaiser Hospital on the Peninsula, at age 83, following a brief illness.

Mr. Soares was remembered by his family as a generous man who made others feel part of his own family.

"He was helpful to everyone. He made neighbors and friends his family," said Mr. Soares' daughter, Georgina Pennebaker, of Turner, Ore. "Our friends, when we were in high school, he made a part of our family.

"He helped everyone. He never said no to anyone's request."

Mr. Soares was born Aug. 25, 1921 in Stratford, Calif. He lived in many California cities including Cayucas, Morro Bay, Pixley and San Jose, where he worked as a herd man for large dairies. He married his wife, Mary, on Sept. 2, 1945. The couple raised two children and moved to the Coastside in 1963.

While on the Coastside, the Soares family lived in several communities before settling in El Granada in 1974. Mr. Soares held a variety of jobs here, working first for the San Francisco YWCA at Camp Jones Gulch on the South Coast and then for the La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District. Finally he worked for the San Mateo County, for which he did road work and drove heavy machinery before retiring in 1984.

Mr. Soares was a member of the I.D.E.S. Society of Cayucas for more than 70 years.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mary G. Soares, of El Granada, his son Manuel Soares Jr. of Twain Harte, Calif. and daughter and son-in-law Georgina and Glenn Pennebaker of Turner, Ore.

He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Services have been held at Miller-Dutra Coastside Chapel on Monday, followed by a funeral Mass at Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church on Tuesday. Interment took place at Skylawn Memorial Park, followed by a luncheon for family at the Bell Building.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Cancer Society.

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