Edwin Bridges, 85, died March 7 in his home on the Stanford University campus as a result of heart failure. He was born in 1934 in Hannibal, Missouri, to E. Otto Bridges and Radha Maxwell Bridges.
After graduating from the University of Missouri and marrying his college sweetheart, Marjorie Pollock of Baytown, Texas, 20-year-old Bridges worked as a high school teacher, and by age 26, he had become principal of a high school in Griffith, Indiana.
He earned master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Chicago before beginning an academic career that included professorships at Washington University, University of Chicago, University of California Santa Barbara and Stanford University.
As a Stanford professor of education, he designed a problem-based learning program for training educational leaders and led the Prospective Principals Program from 1988 until he retired at the end of 1999.
A highlight of his retirement was being asked to be the Stanford School of Education 2012 commencement speaker. There, he described the priorities in his life, developed after talking to a Chicago cab driver: his family, his students — including teaching and advising — and his research and writing on practical problems, "no matter how controversial they were or whether they were valued by the members of the academy."
In 2010, the University Council for Educational Administration honored his lifetime accomplishments by instituting its Edwin M. Bridges Award given to recognize contributions to pre-service preparation and continuing professional development of school leaders.
He is survived by his wife, Marjorie; sons, Brian of Stanford and Bruce Bridges (Cynthia) of Los Altos; daughter, Rebecca Bridges Altman (Rick) of Pleasanton; four grandchildren; and dozens of former students who were an important part of his life. He was preceded in death by his oldest son, Richard Bridges, in 2016.
A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, May 10, at 2 p.m. at Menlo Church, 950 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Bay Area Funeral Consumers Association, NAMI Santa Clara County or the American Heart Association.
Everardo 'Lalo' Perez
Lalo Perez, who retired last July as Palo Alto's chief financial officer after 33 years of public service, died on March 27 after a four-year battle with cancer.
Perez, a soft-spoken and popular executive, began his career in 1985 in Revenue Collections and managed the city's investment portfolio. He later served as budget analyst, budget manager, budget director and assistant director before getting tapped to the top job in the Administrative Services Department.
Under his leadership, the city maintained its AAA credit rating and received 10 Excellent Financial Reporting awards from the Government Finance Officers Association and the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers, according to a resolution that the City Council passed in his honor last year.
The resolution credits him for being "a team player with a positive attitude and exceptional work ethic." It also recognized him for being "professional, hardworking, dependable, innovative, enthusiastic, ethical, caring and for being a great coach and leader."
A day after his retirement, Perez, 55, told the Weekly that stepping down for him was a "bittersweet emotion." He was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in 2015, an experience that he said gave him "a new perspective on life."
"A part of me feels glad that I've had this opportunity, but a part of me feels sad because there's just so many things that we can still continue to work on," Perez said.
City Manager Ed Shikada led the City Council on Monday night in a moment of silence for Perez, who Shikada said touched many lives both inside and outside City Hall.
"Lalo spent almost his entire career with the city of Palo Alto and will be deeply missed," Shikada said.
He is survived by his wife, Erin; daughter, Megan; mother, Marcelina Perez; grandmother, Maria Ponce; mother-in-law, Nancy Callaghan; two sisters, Irma Mora (Fermin) and Noemi Lazetera (Ernie); six brothers, Fernando, Oscar, Cesar, Mario, Rene and Jesse Perez; two sisters-in-law, Joyce and Ruth Perez; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.
Private services for Perez are planned for next week. Shikada said the city plans to have a public commemoration of Perez's life on April 12 at 10 a.m. in the Mitchell Park Community Center.