William (Bill) Edward Heffelfinger died July 21 at Abigail's Guest Home in Pleasanton at the age of 77.
Mr. Heffelfinger was born Aug. 10, 1930 in Richmond. He was a descendent of pioneer families who came to Shasta, Calif. in the 1850s. While in Shasta, he attended Shasta Grammar School, where his aunt Thyra Heffelfinger was his teacher and Shasta Union High School in Redding, Calif.
He joined the Army Air Corps on March 7, 1946 and did his overseas tour in Alaska. He received his GED while in the service and was discharged on Jan. 10, 1949. At that time, he returned to Shasta and married his childhood sweetheart, Jacquelyn Rahl in 1950. His jobs included PG&E, milk delivery, grocery clerk and working on the Clear Creek Tunnel and Bully Hill Mine at Shasta Lake.
Mr. Heffelfinger and his family moved to Fremont in 1963 where he worked as an operating engineer until his retirement in 1986. He was an active member of the Masonic Lodge and was a past Master of Sequoia-St. Elmo Masonic Lodge No. 349 in Oakland and an active member of Pleasanton Masonic Lodge, where he was a recipient of the Hiram Award in 1998. He was also a member of Western Star Lodge No. 2 in Shasta. The I.O.O.F No. 75 in French Gulch, Calif., The Scottish Rite in Oakland and E. Clampus Vitus Chapters 10 and 13.
He is survived by his wife, Jacquelyn of Fremont; sons, Frank of Fremont, Chris and wife Patricia of Stockton; daughter, Susan Heffelfinger of Roswell, Ga.; brothers, Gerald of Stockton and Raymon Jr. of Anderson, Calif., sisters Lois Luiz of Lodi, Calif., Pat Enos of Walnut Grove, Calif., Jacky Day of Livermore, Suzann Wilson of Anderson, Calif. and Diane Hurshey of Burney, Calif.; grandchildren, Troy Spray, Sara and husband Dave Eaton, Katie and husband Robert Walker, Christine and William; and great-grandchildren, Trenton and Andrew Walker and Mylee Eaton. He was preceded in death by his parents Raymon and Dorothy Heffelfinger and his oldest son, William Daniel. A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Pleasanton Masonic Center, 3370 Hopyard Road. Interment will be at Western Star Masonic Cemetery in Shasta at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Mr. Heffelfinger's name to a favorite charity.
Bob Thomas, who was instrumental in launching the Pleasanton Weekly nearly nine years ago, died July 12 at his home in Burlingame after a long illness. He was 57.
Mr. Thomas, who had spent much of his career in commercial real estate, was general manager of the East Bay Express, where he had worked for six years, when he joined Embarcadero Publishing Company (EPC) in 1998 as vice president of business development. For the next six months, he worked in sales and general management at Publishers Press, a printing facility in San Jose owned by EPC that also printed EPC's newspapers, the Palo Alto Weekly, Mountain View Voice and the Almanac in Menlo Park.
His key contribution to EPC, however, was the start-up of the Pleasanton Weekly in January 2000, and later the Danville Weekly in 2004. Mr. Thomas' background and business expertise and passion for local news and advertising made him uniquely qualified to evaluate and ultimately select Pleasanton as the prime area for EPC's foray into publishing operations outside the Peninsula area. As president, he helped the newspaper become a successful and respected publication in the community. He was also part of Pleasanton from the start, frequently meeting with advertisers and newsmakers. He helped launch the highly successful Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund, which has grown from a 2002 goal of $25,000 to last year's $150,000 in contributions that went to eight nonprofits in the Tri-Valley.
Mr. Thomas was a strong advocate of locally-focused journalism, always willing to leave regional and national stories to others while concentrating both the news and advertising columns on local readers. Despite health challenges that dogged him towards the end of his tenure in the East Bay, he was an instrumental part of the decision to open up a second paper in Danville, called the Danville Weekly.
He is survived by his wife, Candy; son, Ross; and daughter, Brin. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church of Burlingame, 1500 Easton Dr., Burlingame.
Nancy Vinsonhaler Eby died July 28 at the age of 72.
Mrs. Eby, a former longtime Pleasanton resident, was born Nov. 1, 1935 in Little Rock, Ark. She attended primary school in Cincinnati, Ohio and secondary school in Boston, Mass., where she graduated from The Winsor School, made her debut in 1952 and joined the Junior League.
She attended Mt. Holyoke College and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she graduated in 1956 with a degree in physics. She started her working career with Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Co. in Hartford, Conn. In 1957, she moved to Livermore, where she was employed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Rad Lab) in criticality safety studies of experimental devices being prepared for tests at the Pacific Proving Grounds.
After marrying Frank Eby in 1958 she retired from the lab and moved to Pleasanton, where she devoted herself to her family and home, raised three children and became active in 4-H. She was interested in the secondary school system and served on numerous educational committees. She started volunteer work at the Foothill High School library in 1975, volunteering there for 34 years. She also volunteered at the Amador Valley High School library from 1979 through 2001. She served on the Alameda County Library Commission for 11 years and volunteered at the Pleasanton Public Library from 1994 until it left the county system and later at the Dublin Public Library. She moved to Houston, Texas in 2007.
She is survived by two daughters, Dr. Elizabeth Ebert of Melbourne, Australia and Susan Chism of Houston, Texas; a son, Dr. Carl Eby of Beaufort, S.C.; and five grandchildren. Donations may be made to Hope Hospice, 6500 Dublin Blvd., Ste. 100, Dublin CA 94568.