A Glimpse in their Lives
"Turbulation" is the word Patrick Goodenough coined to describe the turbulence and tribulations involved in making the Boys' and Girls' Club of the Peninsula a model for the nation.
A lifelong interest in art, particularly painting, led the Atherton resident to become involved in community service. So he volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club in Belle Haven area of Menlo Park to teach arts and crafts in the evening.
During his long tenure there, a group of community leaders hoped to finance a new facility in East Palo Alto. Goodenough became campaign chair of an $8.5 million campaign that led to a new building in East Palo Alto and a remodeled facility in Menlo Park.
Currently chair of the club's Advisory Committee, he applies his expertise in solving problems of management
Anyone who enjoys hiking local trails and considers outdoor access a major blessing can thank Nonette Hanko. As a founder and five-time elected president of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, she has been instrumental in preserving 48,000 acres of open space from San Carlos to Los Gatos.
Her efforts began in the early 1970's, when the attitude prevailed that "progress"- meaning development- was unavoidable, an attitude Hanko refused to accept.
Responding to an editorial in the former Palo Alto Times, she postponed her eldest son's 18th- birthday celebration to organize a group that eventually created the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. What seemed like "an impossible dream" at the time has since preserved a wide swath of open land in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, criss-crossed by 250 miles of trails enjoyed by hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Her son later commented that postponing his party was one of the best things she
For Dorothy and Elbert Mitchell, working for social and economic justice has been a natural part of life.
The couple still lives in the East Palo Alto home they purchased back in 1959. Enlarged in the 1960s and 1970s to accommodate their three children, the comfortable, two-story structure stands as a testimony to the Mitchell's commitment to their city.
"We love it here," Mitchell, 80, said recently. "Best climate in the world. Best place to live."
And like their home -- which has survived earthquakes -- the Mitchells have rolled with the changes that have beset their community. From their earliest days, when Dorothy volunteered in the schools and found children who couldn't read, they have worked to improve conditions.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Elbert joined with activist Bob Hoover to establish the College Readiness Program, which tutored young adults with reading problems. He helped
Nathan Oliveira, Stanford's renowned painter, sculptor and printmaker, recalls a number of times when "some angel of force at work" influenced a career that spans more than half a century, includes numerous major honors, and has seen his art in demand throughout the world.
Retired in 1995 as the Ann O'Day Maples Professor of Studio Art at Stanford, he was appointed to the Stanford faculty in 1964.
The son of poor Portuguese parents, Oliveira remembers his "angel" first appeared the day he visited the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco while a student at George Washington High School. Long interested in art and music, he was awed by what he saw.
"I was overwhelmed. I had known that such a place existed," he said. He was drawn to a small gallery, then across the room to a Rembrandt portrait. Oliveria studied the painting at length.
"That's what I want to do," he told himself.
Philip R. Lee, M.D., has spent a lifetime committed to the practice of medicine and the research and development of national health policies -- including serving two different federal administrations 30 years apart.
But his heart lies in the Palo Alto area, laced with a lifetime of memories, ties to others in the Lee family, and his roots in the foothills of Palo Alto.
A native and current resident of Palo Alto, he's a member of the extensive "Lee Clan," of the late Dorothy and Russel V.A. Lee, M.D., the founder of the Palo Alto Medical Clinic, which is now part of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
Raised in a family compound in the lower Palo Alto foothills, he said his mother took in numerous young persons who faced alcohol-related or other troubles growing up.
He also recalls seeing the inside of the jail holding cell in the former Palo Alto Police Department, now Avenidas on
If a headline were attached to Jeanne Ware's lifetime of community involvement, it might read, "California girl shines out of the spotlight."
The calm, lady-like exterior that Ware presents belies the consistent, enthusiastic support and commitment of energy she has made during the last 40 years to a variety of programs and agencies that provide educational and health services to the community.
Ware is extremely modest concerning her contributions, but in a community blessed with many "chiefs," it is imperative to have a few good "worker bees" who can turn ideas into accomplishments. Doing this with passion and consistency over the years is Ware's legacy to the community.
Ware is a true California native. "I was born in California (Oakland), my parents were born in California, and each grandfather was born in California," she said with pride. She was raised in Montecito, an only child of "a wonderful father and a lovely lady mother." Ware's father was a
Roberta Jong Yee of Palo Alto -- co-founder with her late husband, Dale, of the Chinese Community Center of the Peninsula -- is a volunteer extraordinaire with a penchant for taking initiative and making things happen.
Known in many quarters as the "food lady" -- not only for her talents as a cook but for her involvement with community meal programs -- she founded senior luncheon programs at the Chinese Community Center and the First United Methodist Church. These days, she prepares meals for the media members who cover the home games of the Stanford women's basketball team.
A veteran real estate broker, she was named "Most Compassionate Realtor of the Year" in 1999 by the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors for her years of community service.
Born in Canton, China in 1924, Yee came to California at