Helen Liacouras Lambros, surrounded by love, passed away peacefully. She led an incredibly full life of nearly 98 years. She was born to Greek immigrants, James and Stella Lagakos Liacouras, on Aug. 15, 1923 in Philadelphia, PA. Helen was forever rooted by the ideals instilled by her parents and a robust family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Her upbringing in the Philadelphia Greek community had an indelible impact on her life. From an early age, she was drawn to music, dance, education and the church, all aided by a thirst to tackle whatever the world had to offer. Many of her cousins were musical and got together frequently to play. She recounts these memories as among the happiest of her life. “We entertained everyone,” she would say, referring to how music brought her family and community close together. Helen embraced each day with a spirit and vigor like nobody else. She had a larger-than-life personality and seemingly infinite energy, creativity and resolve to make projects, productions and programs succeed. Following graduation from Philadelphia public schools, Helen attended Beaver College, now known as Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. She regularly credited her parents for their courage in allowing her to attend school away from home, which was unusual for a Greek American girl at the time.
Our beautiful 96-year young mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and dear friend passed away on Sunday, June 6th at her daughter’s home in Pasadena, CA. She was surrounded by family as she gracefully exhaled on earth and inhaled in heaven, joining her cherished husband Ben and family and dear friends who rejoiced to welcome her. Born into one of the original Los Angeles ranching families, Jeanne was raised in Hollywood, graduating from Hollywood High School. From an early age as best friend of child actress Jane Withers, Jeanne was immersed in the film industry and prominently featured in entertainment and publicity photos and news articles. That friendship endured and enriched her life through the years. Childhood sweethearts in Hollywood, Jeanne married Ben in 1947 at the Stanford University Chapel, recalling the local news headline: “Ten years of friendship ends in marriage.” Their first child Nancy was born in the Stanford Hospital, and they continued their lifelong preference for Stanford sports, especially when their twin granddaughters were co-captains of Stanford Soccer, despite their 3 children holding USC degrees!
Lawrence “Larry” Aristide Del Santo, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, went home to God on June 11, 2021 at the age of 87. Larry was born in 1934 in Ross, California to Marie and Aristide Del Santo, later moving to San Mateo where he was raised with his cherished sister, Mary Lou (Brignolo) Harris. He attended Serra High School and the University of San Francisco (USF), graduating with a B.S. in Marketing. Following graduation, he fulfilled his ROTC responsibilities, moving to Germany to serve as an officer in the Army. He lived in Stuttgart for two years, where the first of his 12 children was born. Larry was considered a titan in the supermarket industry having led both Vons Companies, Inc. and Lucky Stores. He began his career in 1957 for the Vons Grocery Company progressing to President and CEO. In 1975, Larry joined Household International, the parent company of Vons, and was promoted to Executive Vice President. In 1984, he left Household to ultimately assume the title of CEO and member of the Board of Lucky Stores. In 1993 he returned to where he began his career, Vons, as Chairman and CEO, retiring in 1997. Early on in his life, Larry showed his exceptional ability to lead people. From the football team in high school and college to his early days at Vons, Larry knew every person on his team and cared about the details of their lives. People looked forward to his quick wit and humor to brighten the day. Larry focused on customer service and care for employees. He introduced countless innovative customer service programs and leading-edge marketing campaigns. Companies flourished under his leadership.
Our precious and beloved Susan Giokaris Patzakis fell asleep in the Lord on July 9, 2021 at the age of 79 after a long battle with a debilitating disease. Susan was a rare soul who was universally loved by all. She devoted her life to her family, including her loving husband of over 59 years, Dr. Michael J. Patzakis, her four children, Michele, Theresa, John and Peter, and twelve grandchildren. Her husband Michael, the love of her life, endlessly adored, cared for and supported her, especially throughout her illness, when he was always at her side. Originally from Lima, Ohio, and a 50-year resident of San Marino, California, Susan was the fourth of five children born to Greek immigrant parents Peter (Petros) John Giokaris and Theresa (Athanasia) Kanatas Giokaris. Susan was baptized Stamatia in Greek after her maternal great-grandmother. After graduating from Lima Senior High School, she went on to attend Ohio State University, from which she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, and where she met and married Michael, who was attending medical school. Following graduation, Michael’s acceptance into LA County-USC Medical Center internship and orthopedic residency programs precipitated a move out West. Susan passed her nursing licensing exam and worked on a medical-surgery ward at the LA County-USC Hospital until motherhood beckoned her full attention.
Beloved father and grandfather, Dick, passed away from natural causes on July 2nd at age of 93. Dick was born in Los Angeles to Wes and Betty Marsh. He grew up in San Marino where he attended South Pasadena High School. After high school, he graduated from UCLA and then went on to earn a Juris Doctorate at USC Law School. Upon graduation, he served in the United States Air Force as a Judge Advocate Officer. He then returned to Los Angeles, where he began a long legal career from which he retired in 2008. He spent the majority of his career as a partner in the law firm of Knapp, Marsh, Jones, and Doran. He was General Counsel for the Los Angeles County Sanitation District from 1968 to 2008. He was a lifelong member of the Jonathan Club, where he regularly attended Toastmasters, Breakfast Club, and club events. He thoroughly enjoyed Sunday brunch with his family. Dick was an avid traveler, opera enthusiast, reader, UCLA football fan, and dog lover. In fact, he never met a dog that he did not like. Dick is survived by his son David, daughter Diane (George), granddaughters Katherine and Megan, and his former spouse Carolyn. Family remembrance will be held in the future.
John W. Lucas was born on March 14, 1923 (Pi Day) and passed peacefully on June 19, 2021 at the age of 98. His parents were Leo J. and Mary G. Lucas. His father was a member of the Lucas family that owned and operated the Lucas Ranching Company in Cucamonga, California. John’s mother’s maiden name was Schwamm. John had two brothers, Richard and Don, who predeceased him. During the fall of 1944, John was a member of the 13th reserve class at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. He received his commission as an Engineering Officer in December 1944. He then reported aboard a “baby” aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Casablanca-CVE 55, and served in the South Pacific during 1945. While on the ship, he was the ship’s band manager and conductor. Music and dancing were always a deep passion of his. He became an accomplished pianist and danced into his 90s with the Stardusters Ballroom Dance Club. John attended UC Davis and Berkeley for his undergraduate and graduate degrees, and he received his Ph.D. in Engineering from UCLA in 1953 after marrying his ever-lasting love Genevieve Marie Blessent on February 9, 1952. Shortly after their marriage, he was granted a Postdoctoral Fellowship by the National Science Foundation and moved with Genevieve and their first son to Berlin, Germany to conduct research at the Fritz Haber Institute (formerly the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry).
Marillyn McCormick Vanderhoof passed away from a stroke on March 22, 2021 in Davis, CA. She had been struggling for many years following a lymphoma diagnosis and treatment. Aged 94, she lived a full life, always bringing her entire family together with her outgoing personality and big smile. Born on November 20, 1926, in Oakland, CA to Herbert Hamilton McCormick and Eva Petersen McCormick, she grew up mostly in San Marino, CA after her father’s career in the insurance industry took the family to the Los Angeles area. Later, her father Herb McCormick became editor and publisher of the San Marino Tribune from 1943 to 1977. A highlight of her childhood was posing as “Pinkie” (from the famous painting in the Huntington Library) on the San Marino float in the 1940 Rose Parade. Marillyn graduated from Occidental College in 1947 with a bachelor’s degree in education. She married her childhood sweetheart (the boy next door) Richard (Dick) Scovell Vanderhoof on July 10, 1947. They remained married until Dick’s passing on December 4, 2013. Early married life took them to San Francisco, El Paso, TX and San Diego as Dick’s career, a medical doctor in the Navy, required. With the end of the Korean War, Marillyn and Dick settled in San Gabriel and then San Marino as Dick entered a surgical residency at L.A. County/USC hospital. They continued to reside in San Marino until 1991 when they relocated to Alamitos Bay in Long Beach, CA.
Elizabeth Carlin Scannell passed peacefully in her sleep at her San Marino home on Sunday morning, April 25th. Betty, as she was always known, was born in San Francisco to Dennis Carlin and Elizabeth Carlin (Farrell) in 1933. Both her mother and father immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland. Dennis Carlin owned several pubs in San Francisco and became a successful real estate investor. Betty attended St. Cecilia Elementary School and Presentation High School where she was a star basketball player. She graduated from the College of Notre Dame of Belmont in California remaining lifelong friends with many of her classmates. She worked briefly as an elementary school teacher in the San Francisco Public Schools following graduation. Betty married Dennis Scannell in 1959 in the Bay Area. After having their first two children, they moved several times throughout California, eventually settling in San Marino where they raised Dennis Jr., Elizabeth, Michael, and Patrick, all of whom graduated from San Marino High School. She held her family most dear and was a big part of her nine, much-loved grandchildren’s lives, rarely missing a sporting event, stage production or ceremony.