Instead of writing about the news, today I am in the news, so contrary to my normal practice, I'm the focus of this post!
Today's San Jose Mercury News has a pull out section, styled like a magazine, with its annual "best of" list - the "Best of Silicon Valley in 2011". I was deeply honored to find myself listed as the "Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley" (if you have the print edition, it's at the top of page 33). The online edition isn't yet published.
The results of the list come from voting by consumers. I believe that my clients are the best on the planet (you may have noticed that on all of my sites and blogs, somewhere is the line "helping nice folks to buy and sell homes in Silicon Valley") and their endorsement is usually apparent with their repeat business and referrals, but this is a wonderful acknowledgment that I deeply appreciate.
For those finding this who do not know me but who are searching for a good, knowledgeable, communicative and ethical Silicon Valley Realtor, I invite you to read about my background and see some comments by clients on my websites.
Each year, the Seniors of Distinction award is given to a resident of Los Gatos or Monte Sereno who's made "outstanding contributions" to the community. Sponsored by the Terraces of Los Gatos and the Los Gatos Weekly Times, this year's presentation was the 15th annual event honoring fabulous senior members of our community.
The 2011 event took place yesterday and the Seniors of Distinction award was presented to Ms. Jo Grenier, who has worked with tremendous dedication and zeal (10 hours per day for the last 15 years) as the Pantry Coordinator with St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Los Gatos to serve the homeless in our area. I learned a little about Jo from Pam Bancroft of the Terraces: "She is personally responsible for saving the lives of at least 3 homeless men, in addition to setting up the program that provides weekly showers, food, and permanent housing assistance (and one of the men in attendance last night is moving to an apt. this weekend, which was a thrill to see!)."
After a 32 year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Charlie Wedemeyer, former football coach at Los Gatos High School and an inspiration to many, has died. I am told that he passed peacefully and in the presence of his beloved family.
How did he do it? No one is supposed to survive that long with ALS. Charlie's faith in God, sheer determination, sense of humor and love of his family kept him going long after anyone thought he could have survived - that and perhaps a miracle or two along the way.
No one could have made it through three decades punctuated by a string of losses in physical ability (especially hard for an athlete), new illnesses and complications alone. Just like with football, Charlie's health and happiness was a team effort with his wife and family. Lucy Wedemeyer, Charlie's wife of 41 years and a Realtor at Sereno Group in Los Gatos, juggled beautifully the demands of her highly successful career (truly needed to pay the exhorbitant medical costs not covered by insurance) with spending time with Charlie and interpreting to others what he was saying or needed. When Charlie was coaching football, Lucy would read his lips and make the calls. They were a team. So too with their children and their families, who have been supportive in every way through this long journey. (Daughter Carri and her husband, Keith Andry, who works with Lucy in real estate; son Kale and his wife and the much beloved grandkids.)
Charlie was an inspiration, but so is his family, his support system. The Wedemeyer Team is cherished, respected & admired - not only here in Los Gatos & Monte Sereno, not simply in Hawaii where Charlie and Lucy grew up or just in Michigan where they attended college, but throughout the country and beyond its borders. Charlie's life - and his amazing ability to fight the illness decades after he should have succumbed to it - inspired and influenced many who knew him and more who only heard about him.
Despite Charlie's inability to talk, they went on "speaking tours" and shared their Christian faith, love of life, and outlook. (The irony was not lost on Charlie that he could not talk but would go on speaking tours, where Lucy would translate via lip-reading what he woud say. Irony seemed part and parcel of Charlie's life, though. Lucy once told me that although he could not swallow, Charlie liked to find new recipes and have her or others cook them up.)
As I think about Charlie, this passage comes to mind:
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith." (2 Tim 4:7) Charlie, you really have - and we thank you for it. Our lives are better because of you.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, "A memorial service for Charlie Wedemeyer will be held at 11 a.m. June 19 at HP Pavilion with a reception to follow at Calvary Church in Los Gatos at 4 p.m."
The San Jose Mercury News ran a nice piece about a Los Gatos resident who's doing some big sharing during these difficult times in Silicon Valley. Have a read about Jennifer Krach and how she's helping - and how you can, too:
After a long, valiant battle against lung disease and congestive heart failure, my father, John Pope, died Sunday, June 29th at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara. This was somewhat unexpected as recently he had been improving and was downgraded out of the ICU and was awaiting a bed in a yet lower level of the hospital when it seems he got a severe stroke late on Saturday. Prior to his seven weeks there, mostly in the ICU, he had lived at Belmont Village in San Jose, where he had many friends.
John grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, and graduated from Princeton University in 1952 with a BA in history. He married Patricia Buckley in Santa Clara County in August 1954. They were married for 42 years, until her death in 1996. After serving in the US Army in South Korea for nearly two years, he studied at Santa Clara University School of Law and received a license to practice law in January 1959.
He had a private practice in San Jose, doing family law, wills, trusts, estates, and employment law. His law practice included "pro bono" work and he served as a "Judge Pro Tem" as well.
John and Pat raised three children in Santa Clara and Saratoga. John was very supportive of Pat’s real estate career, which she began in 1956 (when very few women were selling real estate).
John was a creative person who enjoyed delighting young children, particularly with cartooning or doing “magic tricks” involving chocolate coins. He painted a myriad of toy soldiers and enjoyed an extensive collection the sale of which helped to support him in his retirement. He was known within the family for the villages and train sets he set up under the tree at Christmas, which looked amazingly similar to his hometown of Morristown in winter.
Spirituality and his Catholic faith were of utmost importance to him, and it infused the way he worked, raised his family, and met challenges in his life. He had been a very active member of Alcoholic Anonymous, and he credited the support of the group and the grace of God for his 29 years of sobriety.
John’s passions were travel, history, politics, family and faith. When the family was young, John and Pat made many frequent trips to the east coast to see the Pope relatives. The travels later expanded to include Europe, Great Britain, central America, the Virgin Islands, and elsewhere.
John leaves behind 3 children: Stephen Pope (Patti) of Boston, MA, Mary Pope-Handy (Jim) of Los Gatos, CA, and Barbara Pope (Tom) of Greenfield, MA and 7 grandchildren: Michael Pope, Kathleen Pope, Stephen Pope, Brian Handy, Clair Handy, Daniel Morse and Taryn Rose Morse. He is survived also by his sister, Helen Holly (Bo) of Dover, NJ, her children Joan Guarino and John Holly (Meredith) and Joan's two children, Alexandre and Gabriella. He is also mourned by his brothers-in-law, Fr. Michael Buckley, SJ, and Fr. Thomas Buckley, SJ, as well as by numerous other relatives, friends, and neighbors.
There will be a funeral Mass at St. Lucy’s Catholic Church in Campbell on July 9th at 11am, followed by burial at the Santa Clara Mission Cemetary and a reception afterwards. A memorial Mass was held in his hometown of Morristown, New Jersey, on July 2nd as his only sibling, Helen, and her family live nearby and many other relatives were assembled in Cape May, NJ, for a family reunion, when he died.
Donations in John’s honor can be made to ARH Recovery Homes, Inc. 1101 S. Winchester Blvd.,Suite J-220 San Jose, CA 95128 Phone: 408-236-6657 firstname.lastname@example.org. He had been very involved with this alcohol recovery home, at one time serving on its board, and would love to have its good work furthered on his behalf.
Today's San Jose Mercury News reports that Los Gatos resident Steve Poizner, currently the Insurance Commissioner for California, is lining up to run for governor in 2010. He has an impressive background, academically and professionally, and made his mark in high tech before moving into politics.Please continue reading on the new home of Live in Los Gatos
Folks who enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series will find many things to like in this book as well, as it shares some of the hallmarks: the use of enchantment and the element of "another world" being among them.Please continue reading on the new home of Live in Los Gatos
There are a lot of cool people in Los Gatos, and some of them are actually famous. You can go to Wikipedia or other places to get a partial list of the high-profile people who live here or have lived here. I tend to avoid naming names on this blog because I figure most of those folks would rather just try to live a normal life and be somewhat incognito.Please continue reading on the new home of Live in Los Gatos
Los Gatos is home to many great things, many great ideas too, but also home to many fascinating people who are successful in their own fields. The list includes CEOs, sports celebrities, and other famous people. Wikipedia lists several of our Los Gatos contemporaries who are very well known, Please continue reading on the new home of Live in Los Gatos
A blog about Los Gatos real estate, homes, houses, condos, townhomes, housing market, neightborhoods, history, events, businesses, parks, schools, photos, issues, and lifestyle by Mary Pope-Handy, town resident, enthusiast and Realtor.
Realtor, CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road Los Gatos, CA 95030
BRE # 01153805