Albert Damiano, Vacaville's first building inspector and a local fruit rancher for many years, died March 16, 1998, after a lengthy illness.
He was 70 years old.
Born in Vacaville on June 3, 1927, he was known by local friends and coworkers as "a one-of-a-kind native son."
From the mid-1970s through the early 1980s, he oversaw a decade of major growth as the city's top building official.
He was known as a hard-working champion of common sense who strove to treat people fairly, said Bill Turgeon, who worked with Damiano for 10 years.
"He was never one to be slowed down. . . . I don't think the citizens of Vacaville realize what a profound impact he had on the growth of Vacaville," Turgeon said, remarking on the small farm town's transformation into a thriving city.
"Regardless of the workload, he never got flustered."
Damiano also owned a construction company and farmed peaches, prunes, pears and apricots on orchards and fields near the home where he was born - built in 1904 by his grandfather, Pasquele Damiano.
He was raised in the family home on Magnolia Avenue, but spent much of his working days on the family's well-known "Damiano Ranch" southeast of Interstate 80.
He was a graduate of Vacaville High School and was respected as a stellar athlete.
He once played semi-professional baseball and earned a reputation as a sharp shooter on the basketball court, playing in local leagues.
Standing about 5 feet, 5 inches tall, "He might have been small in stature, but he carried with him a big presence," Turgeon said.
Vacaville Community Development Director Gregory Werner worked with Damiano in the early 1980s and said he was "someone who tended to get along well with people."
"It's been a long time since Al's been here, but he's been fairly active in the community and we'll miss him," he said.
And Al Lopez had good thoughts about Damiano as Lopez's building department boss.
"He was a good boss and pretty thoughtful," Lopez remembered Monday night.
After Damiano retired as Vacaville's building inspector in the 1980s, he returned to the family ranch in the footsteps of his father, Antone, and grandfather.
As the ranch acreage was sold off for such shopping centers as Vacaville Commons, Damiano tended the diminishing orchards and lived out his life in the family's ranch home at the end of a lane bearing his family's name.
He was an Army veteran during World War II.
Family members said he served as a baker.
He was once a member of the Lions Club and the Italian Catholic Federation.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 350 Stinson Ave., Vacaville.
The Rev. John Campoli will officiate.
Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at McCune Garden Chapel, Vacaville.
Mr. Damiano is survived by sons, Layton and Jeffery of Vacaville; daughters, Cecily of Vacaville and Mari-Alice Levinberg of Fremont; six grandchildren, Jennifer and Amy Boudreaux of Tracy, Ryan and Robin of Pinole, Darren of Vacaville and Tara Levinberg of Fremont, and brother, Robert. He was preceded in death by his son, Matthew.
Memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society, Ruth Bradanini, 290 Fruitvale, Vacaville 95688 or the North Bay Hospice, 1800 Pennsylvania Ave., Fairfield 94533.
Robert D. Gilbert
A memorial service for Robert D. Gilbert, 60, of Vacaville will be held in Chapel One at Travis Air Force Base at 3 p.m. March 26.
Inurnment was private.
Born Jan. 12, 1938, in Shenandoah, Iowa, Mr. Gilbert died March 12, 1998, in Vacaville after a short illness.
He lived in Vacaville about 13 years.
He was foreman at the 60th Civil Engineer Squadron at Travis. He was an Air Force veteran.
He enjoyed music, computers and fishing.
Mr. Gilbert is survived by his wife, Sharon; daughter, Renee Shaw of Pollock Pines; parents, Elmer and Louise Gilbert of Shenandoah, and two grandchildren.
Irene T. Hargan
A Mass of Christian Burial for Irene T. Hargan, 88, of Fairfield, will be in Holy Spirit Catholic Church 10 a.m. Thursday.
The Rev. Michael Downey will officiate.
Burial will be in Suisun-Fairfield Cemetery
Born Sept. 8, 1909, in Fairfield, Mrs. Hargan died March 13, 1998, in NorthBay Medical Center after a short illness.
She was a lifelong resident of Fairfield.
She worked as chief civil service telephone operator at Travis Air Force Base for 30 years and enjoyed stamp collecting, crafts and gardening.
Mrs. Hargan is survived by her brother, Alan Witt of Fairfield; and nieces, Mildred Gerace of Fairfield and Bonnie Armitage of Sacramento.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles.
Visitation will be 5-9 p.m. Wednesday in Bryan-Braker Funeral Home.
Rosary will be 7 p.m. Wednesday in the funeral home.
Mayo Alberta Lawson
No funeral services will be held for Mayo Alberta Lawson, 98, of Vacaville.
Burial will be private.
Born Jan. 4, 1900, in Vallejo, Mrs. Lawson died March 12, 1998, in Vacaville after a long illness.
She was employed several years in the insurance business in Vallejo.
Mrs. Lawson was active with the Vallejo Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star amd Vallejo's Soroptimists.
She enjoyed playing with the Leisure Gardens Bridge Club and she knitted for patients at the Travis Air Force Base hospital during World War II.
Mrs. Lawson was preceded in death by her husband, Creed in 1980.
She is survived by four cousins.
A memorial contribution may be made to the donor's choice.
Florence M. Leet
Funeral services for Florence M. Leet, 83, of Fairfield will be 1 p.m. Thursday at Fairmont Memorial Park in Fairfield.
A private inurnment will follow. Rev. Michael Downey of Holy Spirit Catholic Church will officiate.
Mrs. Leet died March 12, 1998, at the Winsor House Convalescent Hospital in Vacaville after a long illness.
Born Jan. 25, 1915, in Sacramento, Mrs. Leet lived in Fairfield for seven years. She worked as a housekeeper for 35 years.
Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Rick and Diane Rinehart of Fairfield; son, Ray Rinehart of Rancho Cordova; sister, Dorothy Bateman of Arizona; brother, Frank Bateman of Emmit, Idaho; numerous nieces and nephews; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Her husband, Marshall, preceded her in death.
Memorial contributions can be made to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Fairfield.
Louise Bican Schwafel
A Catholic Prayer Service for Louise Bican Schwafel, 81, of Vacaville will be 1 p.m. Wednesday at Vaca Hills Chapel.
The Rev. Benedict DeLeon of St. Mary's Church will officiate.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday in Vaca Hills Chapel.
Burial will be in the Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery.
Born Oct. 17, 1916, in San Francisco, Mrs. Schwafel died March 14, 1998, in VacaValley Hospital after a sudden illness.
She moved to Vacaville eight years ago and was a clerk for United Airlines for 10 years.
She enjoyed gardening, crossword puzzles and watching "Wheel of Fortune" on TV. She loved trips to Reno, playing the slots and being with her family.
She is survived by her sons, David of Vacaville, Steven of Rapid City, S.D., and Paul of Paradise; sisters, Millie Parker and Frances Louks of Sacramento; brother, George Bican of Sacramento; granddaughter, Carolyn Schwafel of Omaha, Neb.; and grandson, Alex Schwafel of Las Vegas.
Memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association.
Concha Tornay Abruzzo
A Catholic Prayer Memorial Service for Concha Tornay Abruzzo, 84, of Suisun will be held 1 p.m. today in Bryan-Braker Funeral Home, Fairfield.
The Rev. Luciano Valenzuela will officiate.
Burial will be in Rockville Cemetery.
Born March 8, 1914, in Suisun, Mrs. Abruzzo died in Redding after a short illness.
She was a homemaker for 59 years.
Raised in the Suisun Valley, she enjoyed the outdoors and camping near the ocean and in the mountains.
Mrs. Abruzzo is survived by her husband, Ignaico; sons, Ignacio Jr. of Suisun Valley and Joseph of Daly City; 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by sons, Mario and Santo.
Anne Lee Kimbell
Private services will be held at a later date for Anne Lee Kimbell, 85, of Vacaville.
Born Sept. 19, 1912, in Minneapolis, Minn., Mrs. Kimbell died March 14, 1998, at VacaValley Hospital after a short illness. She lived in Vacaville for 46 years.
Mrs. Kimbell was a graduate of the University of Minnesota. She worked as a laboratory technician and radiology technician before moving to Vacaville in 1952 when her husband joined in medical practice with Drs. John Saltsman and Donald Wyrens. This partnership lasted until 1969.
Mrs. Kimbell was an avid bridge player and was a member of the Saturday Club and the American Association of University Women. She was honored with a lifetime membership in the PTA of Alamo School. Also, she was a member of the Vacaville Unified Schol District board from 1956 to 1968. She served as president of the board more than once.
Mrs. Kimbell is survived by her husband, James of Vacaville; son, Keith of Vacaville; daughter, Beth Marchio of Chicago Park; sister, Harriet Weiner of Chicago, Ill.; grandchildren, Brandon, Brooke, Devin, Chanel and Anne Marchio; and several nieces and nephews.
Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.