Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - April 18, 2014

Obituaries

Ruth Donnelly

Ruth Ann Donnelly, a long-time Palo Alto resident and teacher, died on April 7. She was 82.

She was born in Worcester, Mass., on June 26, 1931. After graduating from Norwood High School in Massachusetts, she continued her education at Bridgewater State University (formerly known as Bridgewater State Teachers College), where she studied teaching and established many friendships. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.

She moved to Palo Alto in 1958, where she taught for 35 years in the Palo Alto School District, including at the old Fremont Hills Elementary School and El Carmelo Elementary School. She also taught for about two years in the children's ward of Stanford Hospital.

In her retirement, she continued to educate, tutoring students in her home. She also volunteered at Our Lady of the Rosary Church with the children's liturgy.

She is survived by her best friends Ruth and George Chippendale of Palo Alto and their family with which she was close.

A memorial service was held on April 16 at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Palo Alto. Memorial donations may be made to Hidden Villa, 26870 Moody Road in Los Altos Hills, or St. Elizabeth Seton School, 1095 Channing Ave. in Palo Alto.

Jerry Romano

Jerry A. Romano, a resident of Palo Alto, died on April 10 from heart failure. He was 80.

He was born on April 22, 1933, in Malden, Mass. He grew up in the Monkey Corner neighborhood of Malden, and he later reflected on those years and their impact on his life in a 2006 book, "Monkey Corner: Life on the Outside Looking In."

He received a bachelor's degree from Brown University and later a master's in education from Boston University. For most of his career, he worked in the educational publishing industry, including in editorial positions at the college division of Ginn & Company, The Macmillan Company and the school division of Houghton Mifflin Company. He later founded a computer-based curriculum company in Boston, The Smart Alex Press. Moving to California around 1990, he also formed the School Time Software Company in Los Altos. Both companies created literacy materials for disadvantaged students.

In 1995, he retired in Palo Alto. He spent his free time writing, reading and restoring old cars, as well as making model airplanes, toys and art pieces.

He is survived by Mary Romano, his ex-wife and lifelong friend, of Connecticut; his partner Soo-Ling Chan of Palo Alto; his daughter Paula Romano, her partner Marion Schwindeman and their son Vlad, all of Redding, Conn.; his sisters Marie Marino and Louise Bonanno of Massachusetts; his brother Tony Romano and wife Karin of New Hampshire; and many other relatives and friends.

At his request, there will be no formal memorial service. His ashes will be placed next to his son Stephen's at the Hingham Cemetery in Hingham, Mass.

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