William Stryker Sr.
William “Bill” Stryker Sr. died March 30, 2003, at home in San Martin.
Mr. Stryker was born in San Francisco 69 years ago and was a resident of Los Gatos for 35 years. He was a member of the Cupertino Host Lions Club, Shelter Bay Yacht Club, and also the Christ Child Church in Los Gatos. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, working on race cars and golfing.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Betty Stryker of San Martin (formerly of Los Gatos); son and his wife Bill and Kelly Stryker of San Martin; daughter and her husband Lori and Chris Bradford of Morgan Hill; daughter and her husband Teresa and Darryl Adair of Morgan Hill; son Greg Stryker of Los Gatos; grandchildren Krista Stryker of San Martin, Joey Stryker of San Martin, Nick Tanner of Morgan Hill, Jenna Tanner of Morgan Hill, Michelle Tanner of Morgan Hill, Caroline Bradford of Morgan Hill and Shasta Adair of Morgan Hill; and siblings Harry Stryker of Washington, Dan Stryker of Arizona, Tom Stryker of Nevada, Rich Stryker of Sutter Creek and Mary Wetmore of Washington.
Vigil Service will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at Habing Family Funeral Home in Gilroy. Services begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the funeral home and then proceed to St. Catherine’s Church for Funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Gavilan Hills Memorial Park, Gilroy.
The family asks that any donations be made to the Cupertino Host Lion’s Club, P.O. Box 642, Cupertino, CA 95015 or a favorite charity.
Margaret B. Farrell
Former Gilroy resident Margaret Bensberg Farrell died March 23, 2003, at the age of 97.
Born in Metairie Ridge, La., as the second of 12 children, Mrs. Farrell attended Loretta Heights College and taught chemistry at Cripple Creek High School from 1926-27. In 1928 she became a nurse in Chicago and was with a convent from 1928-47, working with the Iron Lungs for polio patients. Also, she nursed at Evergreen Park/Little Companyof Mary in Chicago through 1947.
She married Dennis Farrell on Dec. 23, 1949, near Chicago. They moved to Phoenix, Ariz., in the 1950s where they retired. She remained there until moving to Gilroy in 1994, and finally Petaluma in 2001.
“Margie” was an avid card player and a master at Scrabble. She also had a deep interest in opera, the theater and had traveled extensively.
She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and younger brother Charles Bensberg of Maryland. She was the sister of the late Patti Glines of Gilroy.
Willie McGeever died April 7 at his home in Morgan Hill.
Willie was 19 years old and lived much too short a life to those who knew and loved him.
Willie was the beloved son of Bill and Evelyn and brother to his much-loved sister, Amy. His grandparents, Bob and Mona McGeever and Ruth Carpenter and many aunts, uncles and cousins all share in their love for him. To the many friends, teachers, parents, neighbors and co-workers who knew him, he was just Willie, no last name needed.
From the day he was born, he was always just a little different. As a youngster he had to have his head covered and if there wasn’t a hat available then a Tupperware bowl or pot would do just fine. He taught himself to read by age 3 by watching Sesame Street and his family only found out when they were grocery shopping and he told them what aisle the cereal was in.
At Nordstrom Elementary, he was known as the little professor and when someone messed up it was called “pulling a Willie.” He starred in the sixth-grade play, and until the day of the play everyone was biting their nails because he wouldn’t stop goofing off, but the night of the play he pulled it off with a flawless performance.
At Britton Middle School, he was elected to the King court. The school called and said the good news is he’s on the court, the bad news is he has too many demerits to attend. Each year he was voted “most unique.”
At Live Oak, he kept the school on its toes for his three years there. His family didn’t know until the very last week if he would graduate, but in the end he was there with all his friends, proud to be among them.
The family would like to thank the Morgan Hill School system for always trying to be his champion; they recognized that he was indeed a free spirit. Willie had the wit and insight of the true individual that he was. His unique sense of humor was a delight to all that knew him. He was always in the middle of something; you just never could be sure what that was.
Willie found something special to him his whole life. First it was Legos, baseball cards, acting, making videos and finally his true love, music. He loved his music most of all. He taught himself to play the bass, guitar, cello and the drums. Willie wrote beautiful music. He had true talent in so many areas and everyone whose life he touched recognized it.
But in the end Willie was just too sensitive for this world. Every feeling, every experience, each encounter was magnified for him and caused him great pain and confusion. “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you” Willie.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Suicide Prevention or any mental health organization of choice.
Family, friends and anyone whose life he touched are invited to celebrate his life on Saturday, April 12, at noon at St. Catherine Church, 17500 Peak Ave.
Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home.
Gilbert A. Rael Jr.
Gilbert A. Rael Jr. died April 4, 2003, after a sudden illness. He was 31 years.
Friends and family will always remember Gilbert as the life of the party. He loved to sing and dance. He had a generous heart and was a wonderful father to his son Gabriel.Gilbert will be terribly missed by so many people whos love he touched.
Survivors include his parents Gilbert Sr. and Sharon Rael; a son Gabriel; and brothers Anthony and Raymond.
Funeral Mass was at 10 a.m. today at St. Catherine Church. Interment, under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home, was at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Gordon L. Scoville
Gordon L. Scoville, born May 9, 1908 in Hebron, Neb., died April 7, 2003, in Morgan Hill. He was 94.
Gordon was a longtime member of the Teamsters Union having been retired for almost 30 years. He was a Morgan Hill resident for 20 years, 18 years in Woodland Estates and two years in Valley Pines.
Gordon was renowned for “scooting” around Morgan hill in his white and red two-door toyota until age 92. He was fondly known to all who saw him as “Flash” Gordon. He was quite proud of having had his driver’s license renewed for five years at age 91, and he proudly displayed a 5x7 photograph of it on his mantel. Gordon had many many friends in Morgan Hill area who always enjoyed his firm handshake, positive attitude, and gracious smile. Almost everyone around town knew him by his first name.
Gordon was the patriarch of hte Scoville family. He is survived by his two daughters, Gay Harries of San Jose and Joy Burke of Westiminster; seven grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
Gordon’s wife, Helen, died in 1997 at age 95. They are now happily together for eternity.
Arrangements were under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home, Morgan Hill.
Leo Knabke, 87, a lifelong Santa Clara County farmer and orchardist, died April 4, 2003 in San Martin.
Leo, born March 20, 1916, was the sixth son of Joseph and Anna (Niehaus) Knabke, German immigrants and pioneer Santa Clara orchardists. Joseph and Anna raised George, Joe, Frank, Bill, Robert and Leo on their prune ranch on Reed Avenue in Santa Clara (now Sunnyvale). Leo attended St. Clare’s Grammar School and Santa Clara High School, both in Santa Clara.
On August 19, 1945, Leo married Katherine M. Imwalle of Santa Rosa. They, too, raised a family and farmed on Reed Avenue, as did Leo’s brother, Bill.
Leo won awards for tomato production tonnage in the 1960s.
As northern Santa Clara County became Silicon Valley, Leo and Katherine (Kay) looked for a more rural farm site. In 1970, they moved to San Martin and raised pears and walnuts.
For the past 15 years, Leo was “officially” retired, but tended the fruit trees surrounding his house and his abundant summer garden. Until this year, he could be seen on his tractor, “working the ground.”
Leo was a member of St. Mary’s Parish, an Elk, a former member of the San Martin Planning Committee and the Farm Bureau.
Leo is survived by his daughter Louise Knabke Allen and her husband Gary; granddaughters Heather Allen and Katie Bozard, all of Virginia Beach, Va.; daughter Kathy Knabke of Danville; brother Robert Knabke of Acampo; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins of the Voss, Imwalle and Knabke families.
Funeral Mass was Wednesday, April 9, at St. Mary’s Church. Burial was at St. Mary’s Cemetery
under the direction of Habing Family Funeral Home., Gilroy.
Leo appreciated the good works performed by St. Joseph’s Family Center for the community of Gilroy. The family asks that in lieu of flowers any donations be made to St. Joseph’s Family Center, 7950 Church St. Gilroy, CA 95020.