Pleasanton Weekly

Community Pulse - August 5, 2011


Polly Dove

Polly Dove died early on the morning of Aug. 1, six days after suffering a stroke at her home in Pleasanton. She was 89 years old.

She was born Pauline Clymer Moyer on May 12, 1922, in Lansdale, Pa., the second of six children of parents William and Minerva (Clymer) Moyer. After graduating from Lansdale High School, she moved into Abington Hospital, where she completed her training as a nurse. She enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps and attained the rank of second lieutenant. She met a soldier named Jack Dove, who was recovering from pneumonia, at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, and they were married May 4, 1946. After Jack's discharge, the couple moved to Bethlehem, Penn., where he completed his college degree in chemical engineering at Lehigh University and she continued her career as a nurse until she gave birth to their daughter, Suzanne. The Dove family moved to many locations due to Jack's career, including Allentown, Pa., then Stamford, Conn., where son Jay was born. Jack was called back to military duty for the Korean War and their home became Falls Church, Va., where son Bill was born. After the military, they moved to Itasca and Olympia Fields, near Chicago; Danville, San Mateo and Fullerton, Calif.; and Louisville, Ky. They lived in northeast England (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne) for two years, then returned to the United States and lived in Alamo before moving to Pleasanton in 1986, first to Vineyard Villa mobile home community, then 11 years ago to Ridgeview Commons.

Ms. Dove, described as a "people person," was interested in music and sang with the Valley Chorale and played the piano; she was dubbed "The Hummer," because those who passed her in the corridors of Ridgeview Commons enjoyed the music that went with her. She was an avid reader of history and biography. She also was an artist, taking classes in watercolors, and she belonged to the League of Women Voters and the Republican Women's Club.

She was predeceased by her son John Thomas Dove, and siblings Janice, Dorothy, Bill and Brinton. She is survived by her husband Jack; daughter Suzanne of Berkeley; sons Jay of San Diego and Bill of Carlsbad; grandsons Christopher Altieri-Dove of Berkeley and Cameron Dove of Carlsbad; sister Emily Warren of Minneapolis; plus 10 nieces and nephews. A memorial services will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20, at Lynnewood Methodist Church, 4444 Black Ave. in Pleasanton. Donations may be made to the Lynnewood Methodist Church's music program or to a favorite charity.

Robert Stuart Vogt

The Rev. Robert Stuart Vogt, who guided Pleasanton Presbyterian Church for 29 years, died July 16 in Edmonds, Wash., at the age of 88.

He was born July 20, 1922, in Sacramento and attended UC Berkeley, graduating in 1943 with majors in psychology, sociology and history. He attended Princeton Theological Seminary and received his Bachelor of Divinity Degree in 1946. He was ordained in May 1946 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Sacramento and served at Calvary Presbyterian in San Francisco, First Presbyterian in Seattle, a new church development in Milwaukee, Ore., and Stone Church in San Jose, before moving to Pleasanton in 1958.

The Rev. Vogt served in civic, nonprofit and spiritual groups, often taking controversial positions such as when he allowed farm workers led by Cesar Chavez to spend the night in the church's social hall while on a protest march, and during the Cold War leading a discussion about whether Christians can design and build nuclear weapons. He encouraged the school district to add sex education to its curriculum as well as urging members to engage in community affairs. When drug use became a key issue in the 1960s, he and the church elders founded a youth center staffed by professional counselors to reach out to teenagers. His community activities included twice serving on committees developing the city's General Plan adopted in 1965, and 18 years of involvement with the Red Cross, service on the county's committee on aging, and helping form Children's Theater Workshop and the Tri-Valley Community Foundation. An avid woodcarver, he hand-carved the pulpit for the new church on Mirador Drive.

He also was the driving force in establishing the consortium of four churches that built the community's first very affordable elder housing complex, Pleasanton Gardens, on Kottinger Avenue. He also led the drive to establish a low-income project, Pleasanton Greens, on Vineyard Avenue. His 25 years of ministry were celebrated in a special week in 1983 with the Pleasanton City Council declaring it "RSV Week."

His wife Sallee was an active partner in ministry. They were married for 53 years before she died in 2003. They had one son, Robert-John Stuart Vogt, who died in a drowning accident. After he retired to Willits, the Rev. Vogt served as an interim pastor at Old First Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. In 2004, the Rev. Vogt renewed his acquaintance with a former Princeton classmate, Virginia Redfield, whom he married and they moved to Edmonds. Wash.

The Rev. Vogt is survived by his wife Virginia; his niece Mary Huntsberger/Sleeth Paananen and her husband, Terrance, of Seattle; and his sister, Dr. Jean Gahagan of Duarte. A memorial service celebrating his life and ministry will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3, at First Presbyterian Church Livermore. Donations may be made to Princeton Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 821, Princeton, NJ 08542-0803.

Ralph Studebaker

Ralph Dean Studebaker, 76, of Pleasanton died unexpectedly in his sleep at his home on July 18.

He was born August 18, 1934, in Perry, Okla., to Ralph Ernest and Goldie Studebaker. He graduated from Perry High School in Oklahoma in 1952, where he earned All-State honors in both football and track and field. He honorably served in the Marines from 1953-56. He went on to complete his education at Washington State University, graduating with a bachelors degree in Restaurant/Hotel Management. Mr. Studebaker was a highly creative culinary artist who loved his work and took great pride in producing innovative fare at the restaurants he owned over the years. For the past 22 years he owned and operated the Railroad Café in Livermore with his wife Jo and could arguably be credited for introducing California Cuisine decades before it became popular. He served on the Diablo Valley College Culinary Board of Directors for several years. He also loved to garden with his cocker spaniel Sadie, follow Sooner football and the Oakland A's.

Mr. Studebaker was predeceased by his sister Peggy and his brother Ken. He is survived by his wife of 42 years Jo; children Stacy and her husband Glenn, Kendon and his wife Robin, and Dean of Pleasanton; grandchildren Kaydon and Wyatt; sister Pat and her husband Ward, and brother Donald and his wife Ginny. Donations may be sent to VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Volunteer Services, Attention William Ball PAD 135, 3801 Miranda Ave., Palo Alto 94304, in memory of Ralph Studebaker.

Carol Langley Bedell

Carol Langley Bedell died July 18 at her home in Pleasanton after a 16-month battle with ovarian cancer. She was 67.

She grew up in an Air Force family that moved frequently. She was a teacher in Delaware, New Jersey, Missouri and Texas before moving to Pleasanton for her husband to join Clorox in 1975. In Pleasanton, she spent five years running the Old School House, a shop owned by kindergarten teacher and friend Betty Fuller, then worked as the office manager of a law firm for 14 years before retiring in 1998. She also joined Pleasanton Presbyterian, now Centerpointe Presbyterian Church, where she did Bible study and organized and helped run the annual women's retreat for 10 years. She was elected both an elder and a deacon at Centerpointe, serving two stints on the elder board, and was also a member of the church nominating committee. She travelled far and wide to see Christian music legend Bill Gaither and other artists, including six Gaither cruises.

Ms. Bedell is survived by her husband of 44 years, Terry; daughters Sharon Kuhfal (Mike) of Pleasanton, and Jen Shackelford of Pleasanton; her parents, Edwin and Virginia Langley of Woodlands, Texas; brothers John Langley of Plano, Texas, Bill Langley and Rick Langley, both of Woodlands, and Bob Langley of Glastonbury, Conn.; grandchildren Daniel and Allie Kuhfal, and Zack and Sarah Shackelford, all of Pleasanton; numerous nieces and nephews; and many friends including her soul mate Donna Mattie. A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 27, at Centerpointe Presbyterian Church. Donations may be made to the Carol Bedell Joy Fund at Centerpointe Presbyterian Church, 3410 Cornerstone Ct., Pleasanton 94566.


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