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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Two lives well lived

Uploaded: Mar 4, 2014

Two deaths reported in the last couple of weeks touched me deeply.
It's one of those times in the seasons of life moments when memorial services and funerals are far more personal than births and weddings. Given my years, it likely is the season I will live in for as long as the good Lord gives me on this earth.
The touch points:
? A forwarded email from one of the first editors I worked for—Barry Schrader—that reported that John Oliver (JO) had died at 93. John was an editor and columnist at the Livermore Herald &News (I cannot replicate the nuclear symbol that was in the center of the ampersand). Barry was the first editor that my boss reported to when I joined the Herald as a 17-year-old senior at Amador Valley High. As I progressed in my career (reporter, sports editor, city editor, managing editor) JO's responsibilities shifted as well. What did not was his character—kind, warm, sympathetic, principled. John retired from the Herald in 1985 when Floyd Sparks sold Sparks Newspapers (the Herald, the Argus in Fremont-Newark-Union City and the Daily Review in Hayward, Castro Valley and San Leandro) to what became MediaNews. I spent the next 21 years with MediaNews throughout personal career ups-and-downs while my friend John retired and unretired in southern Oregon. He worked in the news business for many years until he finally stepped back. What remained the same was JO. I was so blessed a couple of years ago to literally bump into John in downtown Pleasanton during the farmer's market. We were much older, but the warm, personal connection—centered in Jesus—remained.
? One of the blessings and the challenges of living in a community where you grew up and seeing it evolve over many years is aging with those who have been important to you. Reading about the deaths of teachers who spent their career in Pleasanton schools reminds me of my own mortality. That came home big time when I read about Rich Del Tredici passing on after a battle with bone cancer. Rich was my freshman English teacher at Amador Valley who went on to serve as a principal in Dublin before retiring. What characterized Rich—as a teacher and later as a casual friend—was his upbeat attitude and his encouragement. You were always happy to see Rich—he lifted your mood. That was as true many, many years ago (my 40th high school reunion date has passed) as it was when we saw each other downtown last year.
Both Rich and John touched me and effected me throughout my life. May I continue to live out that positive legacy, centered in a God who loves all of us.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Matthew D. VHS '99, a resident of Dublin,
on Mar 4, 2014 at 10:14 am

Rich Del Tredici was an awesome principal and a great man. He was never Mr. Del Tredici and was always Rich. The lives he touched of us "bad kids" in Dublin will never be able to be measured. How many did he encourage? How many made it "out" because of him? Those of us he helped mentor, and his selfless service to us kids who were involved in some of the worse things kids can go through. We will never forget him. I think I can speak for the whole Valley High School Alumni when I say "We love you. We will miss you, and we will honor you by making the right decisions and continuing to be better people because of your presence in our lives."

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