Deaths | July 29, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - July 29, 2011


Philip O'Neil

Philip J. O'Neil, 86, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, Calif., died July 10, 2011.

Husband to Edith O'Neil (nee Clow); loving father of Elizabeth ("Betsy"), Alice, Mary and Eileen; and dear grandfather of Sean and Christopher Elam, Jane and Ellie Childress, and Meagan and Laura Olson.

Born on March 15, 1925, in Chicago, Ill., to Dr. Dillon and Margaret O'Neil, Phil was the 2nd child along with siblings Richard O'Neil, Patricia Parker & Jeanne Nestor. He joined the United States Navy to serve his country during World War II and was in line to train as a pilot when the War ended. He attended college in Rochester, N.Y.

After the war and college he moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, to work in the airline industry. In Honolulu, Phil met Edith "Dolly" Clow, who had recently moved there from Seattle. They were married in 1950 in Seattle, and welcomed their first child, Betsy, while living in Honolulu.

In 1952 he moved with his young family to Seattle, Wash., where Alice was born. The family moved to Palo Alto, Calif., in 1954 where he would settle for the rest of his life. His family soon grew to include daughters Mary and Eileen, both born in Palo Alto.

A lifelong employee of United Airlines, Phil worked as an instructor until he retired in 1980. He continued his love of teaching by developing the curriculum for travel training at Cañada and Foothill Community Colleges and teaching the program for many years after retirement.

He loved food and cooking for his family. His daughters and their friends will always remember the good food and laughter around the dinner table on Saturday nights. A veteran of innumerable road trips, train rides and cruises, as well as an ardent fan of all kinds of word games and puzzles, Phil never failed to surround his family with warmth, humor, good food and to generally spoil his grandchildren.

Phil was preceded in death by his beloved youngest daughter, Eileen Kohler in 1999. He is survived by Edith, his wife of sixty years, daughters Betsy Elam and her husband Craig, Alice Olson and her husband Grant, Mary Childress and her husband John, and son in law, Peter Kohler; his grandchildren, Sean Elam and his wife Jennifer, Christopher Elam and his wife Kristy, Jane Childress, Ellie Childress, Meagan Olson and Laura Olson; his sister Patricia Parker, many nieces and nephews, and his dear friend Helen Crisman. Additionally there will be a great grandson born this fall.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, at Alta Mesa Cemetery, 695 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, California.

Debasis Sen

Debasis Sen (known to his family as Satu), 78, a 35-year resident of Palo Alto, died July 11, 2011, at Stanford Hospital of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

He was born in Purulia, West Bengal, India in 1932. He graduated from the University of Calcutta in 1954. He moved to London in 1959, sent off in style with a personal letter from the then-President of India Rajendra Prasad. There, he met his wife of 27 years, Jill Otto. They moved to the Bay Area in 1966; to Houston, Texas, in 1970; and back to Palo Alto in 1980.

He worked as a financial analyst, an auditor and in various other capacities at Shell Oil, Sohio, Westinghouse, Lockheed and L-3 Communications. He loved playing tennis, cooking, listening to opera and hiking, and was a passionate supporter of the San Francisco Giants.

He was incredibly generous to those in need, loved ones recalled. He was a loving father and grandfather, and he is sorely missed, family members said.

He is survived by his two daughters, Maya Gillian Sen and Julia Nihar Sen; one grandson; former wife Jill Otto; and son-in-law Dylan Campopiano.

A memorial service has been held. Memorial donations may be made to Doctors without Borders or UNICEF.


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