Harry M. Hempy Jr., a Pleasanton resident for 50 years, died Sept. 21 at the age of 88.
He was born in Pomona on Oct. 20, 1921. During World War II, he piloted a B-17 flying fortress, flying 35 combat missions into Germany. He earned a Presidential Unit Citation for a Sept. 11, 1944, raid in which all the planes in his squadron were lost except his, which was aptly named "Heaven Can Wait." The plane is immortalized in a painting by Nicholas Trudgian depicting Hempy's plane landing in England on two engines with over 100 bullet holes throughout the fuselage. While home on leave in 1943, he met his future bride, Evelyn Rhees.
After the war Mr. Hempy worked briefly as an air traffic controller before being recalled to duty for the Korean War. He was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, during the war, where he piloted supply planes to the Aleutian Chain. He returned as an air traffic controller which he remained for 30 years until his retirement in 1973.
A Pleasanton resident for 50 years, Mr. Hempy built his home on Foothill Road where he participated in round-ups with the ranching Moller family and many newfound friends. He was a world traveler, visiting over 50 countries throughout his life, and particularly liked cruises.
Mr. Hempy was predeceased by his wife Marilyn in 1993. He is survived by sons Fred (Dineen) and Rick (Rhonda) of Pleasanton; daughters Sandy Philippe (Tom) of Pleasanton and Sally Pereira (Dave) of Mountville, Pa.; 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at Dublin Pioneer Cemetery, 6600 Donlon Way at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Michele Calofilo, a 17-year resident of Pleasanton, died at her home Sept. 24 at the age of 49.
She was born July 25, 1961, and loved running and the ocean.
She is survived by her son, Justin Tijerina of Huntington Beach; mother Iliana Hedean of Pleasanton; siblings Anne Calofilo of Lodi, Eric Hedean (Carol) of Covina, and Karen Dehl (Mark) of Pleasanton; nieces, nephews and cousins. A Memorial Mass and Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 8, at St. Augustine's Catholic Church, 3999 Bernal Ave., Pleasanton. Donations may be made to the Visiting Angels, 16 Crow Canyon Court, Suite 200, San Ramon 94583.
Irene Hoffmann died Sept. 25 in Pleasanton just one month short of her 99th birthday.
She was born Oct. 26, 1911, in Davenport, Iowa. She married Wolfgang Heinrich Hoffmann in 1930 and they moved to California in the 1960s. She loved her family, entertaining and musicals. She was an avid bridge player and worked crossword puzzles until recently.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years. She is survived by her son Bob (Margie) Hoffmann and his family; daughter Judy (Dick) Gregory of Pleasanton; granddaughter Kris (Greg) Weaver and great grandchildren Jen, Ali (Tom Brown) and J.R. Weaver of Pleasanton; grandson Paul (Greta) Gregory and great-grandchildren Sarah and Ryan of Fresno. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 8 at Cornerstone Fellowship, 348 N. Canyons Parkway, Livermore.
Ronald Eugene Griffeath
Ronald Eugene Griffeath, a 40-year resident of Pleasanton, died Sept. 22 after a four-year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). He was 74.
He was born in Oakland, graduated Castlemont High School, attended UC Berkeley, and then started his professional career with Shell Oil in the chemistry lab. When Shell moved to Texas, he joined Chevron. About that time he became interested in computers, which led to a 28-year informational technology career with Chevron that ended with his retirement in 1998.
He met his wife-to-be Marilyn at a college-age group at Park Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Oakland, after he completed his six months of training with the National Guard. They married in 1961 and lived in Oakland and San Leandro before moving to Pleasanton in 1971. They quickly became immersed in the Pleasanton Presbyterian Church, building their lives around church activities. He was a board member of the TMUG (Tri-Valley Mac Users Group) and an active volunteer with the Centerpointe Church Helping Hands group that provides free technology services to folks who need help.
The Griffeaths pursued their passion for square dancing until he could no longer dance, but they still attended square dance festivals. He was an eclectic collector of many things including Chevron cars and trucks, and unusual glass items, such as eyeballs.
He is survived by his wife Marilyn; son Dave and daughter Linda Coensgen, both of Livermore; sister Barbara Janosko of Meridian, Idaho; step-mother Bernice Griffeath of San Ramon; and six grandchildren. A celebration of his life will be held at 1:10 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Centerpointe Worship Center, 3410 Cornerstone Court, Pleasanton. Contributions may be made to either the ALS Association, Greater Bay Area Chapter, One Embarcadero Center, Suite 1530, San Francisco 94111; or the Centerpointe Church Building Fund, 3410 Cornerstone Court, Pleasanton 94566.