In Memoriam

Members We Have Lost: 2017
Remembering a Departed Member: Gloria Orange

As you might have seen a few weeks ago in the Milpitas Post, we lost a long-time member, Gloria Orange at the age of 79, on February 23 of this year. Gloria lived in Milpitas for 55 years. When her children reached high school age, she gave up being a stay-at-home mother and went to work at the new Kmart in Milpitas, where she became friends with Mabel Mattos, one of the Milpitas Historical Society’s founding members, and became interested in local history; she later worked for many years before retirement for EMCON, where she was a document control specialist. She is survived and missed by good friends, four daughters, 16 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren and 3 more on the way.

Remembering Members and a former Milpitas Mayor that We Have Lost this Past Year, 2016
James Clement

James Clement
James Clement
James Clement passed away on December 19, 2016, at age 83. He was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, to Carl and Hazel Clement. After graduating from high school and serving four years in the Navy, he settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he met and married his wife Caral. He worked in the electronics industry before going into real estate, and eventually opening Clement Realty with his partner and friend Bob Gonsalves. He served on the Milpitas Planning Commission, City Council, and as Mayor in 1976. After retiring, he enjoyed his longtime hobbies of woodworking and gardening.
by mhs March 2017

Jack Wilson

Jack was born in 1928. In 1946 Jack graduated from high school, joined the Marine Corps and went to Paris Island. He served on the USS Toledo and was a 20mm deck gunner. In 1948 he attended West Virginia University and graduated in 1952. The following year he went back to the USMC to fight in the Korean War. After he was discharged he went to San Francisco Theological Seminary, graduated in 1957, and his first parish was at Bethany Presbyterian in Sacramento. His other parishes were in Walnut Creek and Newark. In 1968 he went back to college at San Jose State and started teaching at Newark High School. In 1970 he graduated from San Jose State with a Masters degree. In 1995 he retired from teaching and died this past October.

Robert Kruse

Bob Kruse was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1931. After high school he enrolled in the US Air Force and flew B-29s during the Korean War. After the war ended, he enrolled and graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with an Aerospace Engineering degree and married his wife Margaret in 1956. They moved to Milpitas in the late 1950s while he was working for NASA. He worked on all the Gemini, Mercury, and Apollo Missions, and retired from NASA in the 1990s. He was also a Boy Scout leader for Milpitas Troup 112. He was proud to fly the flag every day and loved his country. He passed on November 25, 2016.
(Thanks to Barbara Gomes Bowman for providing this information)
by mhs January 2017

Members We Have Lost: 2015
A Pioneer Passed: Ernie Wool
Ernie Wool
Ernie Wool

Ernie Wool, a member of the pioneer Wool family, one of the last real ranchers in the Milpitas hills, and the son of Sandy Wool, for whom the lake in Ed Levin Park is named, died at 91 in September. The Society extends their condolences to his
family.
by mhs October 2015

Members We Have Lost: 2014
Evelyn Rodericks Dean

The Milpitas Historical Society offers our deep sympathy to the family of Evelyn Rodericks Dean (1928- 2014) who died on July 14. And especially to her sister, Geri vonWaaden, who is also one of our members. Evelyn Dean was a longtime member and supporter of the Milpitas Historical Society, as well as a generous volunteer for many other organizations.
by mhs November 2014

Dorothy (“Dottie”) Cestaric and Peter Rondero

The Milpitas Historical Society offers our deep sympathy to the families of these members of whose passing we have learned since the last newsletter. Dorothy (“Dottie”) Cestaric (January 16, 1926 – May 28, 2014) lived in Milpitas since 1962, was a longtime and highly valued County Social Services worker. Peter Rondero (January 18, 1926 – July 27, 2014) was a veteran of WWII and the Korean War, and last lived in Fresno.
by mhs September 2014

Members We Have Lost: 2013
Remembering Mabel Mattos
Mabel’s family, with help from Mayor Jose Esteves and City Council Member Althea Polanski, uncover the bench dedicated to Mabel Mattos
Mabel’s family, with help from Mayor Jose Esteves and City Council Member Althea Polanski, uncover the bench dedicated to Mabel Mattos

On Saturday, February 15, the Green Thumb Garden Club held a gathering to dedicate a bench at the Alviso Adobe Park to the memory of Garden Club member and one of the Historical Society’s founding members, Mabel Mattos, who died June 10, 2013. Organized by Garden Club President Mary Ann Udoutch, the ceremony included tributes by Mayor Jose Esteves, Historical Society President Roger Skuse, filmmaker, friend, and MHS member Bob Burrill and other friends and family members.

Mabel Mattos, a Milpitas resident since age 11, was a founding member of the Milpitas Historical Society. She was for many years the Hospitality Director and found presenters for us. Mabel not only helped organize garage sales, but turned over her garage to store items. Mabel maintained Society records at her home for years. She contributed a majority of the items in the Great Mall, She collected and organized photos, clippings, audio recordings, interviews, and documents as far back as the 1930s and kept them safe over the years. Mabel served as the most important living historian we had. She was also probably the most important contributor to Pat Loomis’ book Little Cornfields, Bob Burrill’s Images of America: Milpitas book, and Steve Munzel’s MilpitasHistory.org website. We will remember Mabel Mattos with affection and gratitude for her kindness and service to the Milpitas Historical Society.

Remembering Henry Mattos

Henry Lawrence Mattos – Oct.18,1921 – Feb.12,2013
Resident of Milpitas
Born on October 18, 1921 at Wayne Station in San Jose.
Henry Mattos, long time Milpitas Historical Society member and husband of Mabel Mattos, passed away on Monday, February 11th, 2013. He was 91 years old.

A Mattos Family Legacy
Old historic plow from the property of Mabel and Henry Mattos
Old historic plow from the property of Mabel and Henry Mattos

The old plow is a historic pieces of farm equipment from the property of Mabel and Henry Mattos that are to be donated to the city and that we’d like to place in the old farm equipment area of the Alviso Adobe Park. The Milpitas Historical Society has so far raised $685 to fund a handsome metal sign that we hope will dedicate the area to the memory of Mabel Mattos and her pioneer family and tell about Mabel’s many contributions to the Historical Society and to our community. This suggestion will be decided at an upcoming City Council meeting.

Members We Have Lost: 2010
Remembering Betty Burke

We wish to remember Betty Burke, a longtime member of the Milpitas Historical Society, who died December 13, 2010. Betty was also a member of the Green thumb Garden Club, and the Golden Hills Art Association. She lived in Fremont and is survived by a son and daughter.

Official Website of the Milpitas Historical Society