George Lewis Helgeson
George Lewis Helgeson, inventor
of the first mobile whole body
died March 31, 2010 after suffering
a second stroke in six weeks. He was 86.
Helgeson founded Helgeson Scientific
Services in 1966 in Pleasanton,
after developing the wholebody
counting technology while
working at General Electric’s
Vallecitos facility near Sunol.
He licensed the technology from
GE and then built the detector in
a 40-foot trailer that he drove all
over the United States.
The counter allowed operators
of facilities using nuclear
materials to immediately evaluate
exposure to radiation. The
company’s equipment was used
after the Three-Mile Island reactor
accident as well as in Florida
during a radiation scare involving
milk, his brother John Helgeson
The company sold its units
world-wide, including installations
in Pakistan, South Korea
and Spain. He travelled widely to
install and service units. He also
helped write a health manual on
radiation for NATO, his family
said.In addition to the wholebody
units, Helgeson’s firm also
developed other equipment to
measure exposure to radiation
including a “mini-finger” detector
and a “Quickie” Stand-up
When he built the first machine,
he used a slide-rule to
calculate the results. He readily
embraced computers when they
became commercially available.
His love of technology started
while he was growing up. His
brother recalled that Lew had a
footlocker full of radio tubes that
he used to build Ham radio and
His fascination with technology
lasted throughout his life. He
continued to operate his company
and used state-of-the-art computers
He also was an avid photographer.
He routinely recorded
and video-taped his wife’s organ
concerts while Carolyn Helgeson
served as the choir director
at the Pleasanton Presbyterian
Lew grew up in Minnesota,
the oldest of four boys, graduating
from Denfeld High School
He enrolled in the University
of Minnesota, Duluth before entering
the U.S. Army in 1941.
He had built an x-ray machine
as a college project so the Army
trained him as an x-ray technician.
He spent World War II in
His brother recalled that Lew
managed to take a photograph
of the Queen Mother and him.
Ever the perfectionist, he reportedly
told the Queen Mum to
move away from the window to
improve the image.
After being discharged from
the Army, he returned to marry
his high-school sweetheart, Carolyn,
and then moved to Seattle.
He trained as a health physicist
at the University of Washington.
He was close to earning a
After graduating, he joined
G.E. in Hanford, WA., and then
was transferred to Pleasanton
Lew was a leader in the Presbyterian
Church and led the
campaign to build the church’s
campus on Mirador Drive in the
The Rev. Robert Stuart Vogt,
who pastored the church while
Helgesons were raising their
family, recalled, “He was so brilliant
when it came to his craft.
We’d talk and he would explain
something and I’d just think ‘Gee
The Helgeson family loved
going to Rio Del Mar Beach in
Aptos, spending many Sunday
afternoons there. Lew loved to
body surf on that beach and said
many times how much he loved
the ocean. Last September, he
attended the 68th high school
A memorial service celebrating
his life will be held at 3 p.m.
on Saturday, April 17 at Centerpointe
Presbyterian Church, 3410
Cornerstone Court, Pleasanton.
He is survived by his sons,
Peter Helgeson of Pleasanton
and Steve and his wife Sandy
Helgeson of Eureka; a daughter
Julie and husband Mark
Wilkins of Soulsbyville, CA;
and his brother, John Helgeson
of Ritzville, WA. He has three
grandchildren and four great
grandsons. Helgeson’s wife of 63
years, Carolyn, died in 2009.
The family prefers contributions
in his memory to the Centerpointe
choir program, 3410
Cornerstone Ct., Pleasanton,
Chris William Bishop
Chris William Bishop passed
away Monday, March 29, 2010
at the Sutter Tracy Community
He was born February 10,
1930 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to
William C. Bishop Sr. and Irene
Chris leaves behind the love
of his life and wife of 54 years,
Esther A. Bishop, daughter Shena
C Seniff and husband Bill Seniff
Jr.; grandchildren Michael J.
Seniff, William C. Seniff, Angela
N. Seniff, and many family members
and good friends.
He owned and operated his
own business, Bishop's Painting
for more than 25 years in Pleasanton.
He then moved to Tracy. He
served in World War II He was a
Veteran of the United States Air
Force and a active member of the
VFW Post of Tracy.
Chris loved camping and the
outdoors and loved cooking.
Chris always smiled and never
met a stranger.
Family and friends are invited
to services to be held Thursday
April 8, 2010. Visitation will be
from 6-9 pm. at Lincoln Glen
Church 2700 Booksin Ave, San
Military Burial service will be
held Friday April 9, 2010 at 11:00
a.m. at Oak Hill Funeral Home
and Memorial Park, 300 Curtner
Ave., San Jose.
Arrangements are by Beddingfield
Funeral Service and
Oak Hill Park.
Orville Clifford Philbin
Orville (Phil) Philbin was
born March 21, 1925 to Edward
and Georgia Philbin in Tecumseh,
Oklahoma. He passed away
March 31, 2010.
He was one of eight children.
He was a veteran of World War II,
serving in the European theater in
Germany and England. He also
served his country during the
After leaving the service,
Phil joined his parents, who had
relocated to the Bay Area. He
worked in the auto industry as a
service manager for many years.
His main enjoyment were his
hobbies of fishing, gardening and
He is survived by his sisters
Sue Samuel, Virginia Miles, and
Mary McKinley, and a brother
Bob Philbin. He is also survived
by many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by
his parents and a sister Peggy
His family will share their
memories at a private ceremony.
He will be laid to rest in the
Veteran's section of Lone Tree
Cemetery in Hayward.
Livermore resident Frances
Papageorge, the beloved wife of
55 years to Petros Papageorge,
died April 2, 2010. She joins her
husband who went to be with the
Lord in 1998.
Her joy was her family. She
was a loving mother to Penny
Halvorsen (Bill) of Livermore,
Tom Papageorge (Joanna) of
Atherton, Paula Wessels (Ron) of
Los Gatos, Paul Papageorge (Tiffany)
of Los Gatos, and George
Papageorge (Kim) of Danville.
She was an amazing grandmother
"Yiayia" to 12 grandchildren and
4 great grandchildren with one on
the way. She is also survived by
her loving sister, Anne Petras of
Frances was born in New
York City on April 6, 1924 and
grew up in San Francisco. The
Papageorge family was raised in
San Francisco and Westlake with
endless memories of summers at
"the country" in Sonoma.
Her talent with sewing and
needlepoint was unsurpassed.
She was an avid fan of the San
Francisco Giants and Grand Slam
Her name in Greek means
"The Light of God," which was
reflected in her sweet spirit and
loving manner experienced by all
who knew her. A true saint, born
on Easter Sunday and passed
away peacefully on Good Friday.
Friends and attended a Trisagion
Service on Wednesday April
7 at Graham-Hitch Mortuary in
Pleasanton. Funeral service is at
10 a.m. Thursday April 8, 2010
at Ascension Greek Orthodox
Cathedral in Oakland; (510)