Monday, January 12, 2009

Some great Spartans have passed

We earlier featured some great memories and accomplishments of Bob Hosfeldt and now there are three other Spartans certainly worthy of attention who have passed.


Richard James Voris

"Coach," a U.S. Marine Corp veteran of World War II, joined our Lord, Jesus Christ, at 1:45 a.m. December 26, 2008.

Coach was born January 25, 1922, and was a native of Santa Cruz, Calif., where he graduated from Santa Cruz High School. He attended Salinas Junior College and enlisted in the Marines for a four-year tour of duty in the Pacific during World War II.

After the war, he attended San Jose State College, and graduated in 1949. Coach was inducted into the San Jose State Hall of Fame in 1992.

\His first coaching position was at Hanford High School. He then coached at James Lick High School in San Jose, Calif. He was named the head football coach at Hartnell College, where he led the 1952 Hartnell Football Panthers to the Junior Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. In 1953, he led the Panthers to another undefeated season.

In 1954, the Los Angeles Rams signed him to a coaching contract. Then came a move to West Point, N.Y., to coach Army football with Col. Red Blaike. The Green Bay Packers' head coach, Vince Lombardi, made him the personnel director and assistant coach with two World Championship teams.

Coach Voris returned home and joined the San Francisco 49ers. He then went on to coach the Saint Louis Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Colts, New York Jets, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He retired in 1981 to his "paradise" in Hernando Beach, Fla. He was the beloved husband of 62 years to Idelle; beloved father of Richard James Voris Jr., who joined our Lord December 26, 1967, Susan Voris-Christiansen, and Ronald Michael Voris; grandfather to four loving grandchildren, Cathryn, Candace, Jennifer, and Jeffery; and is also survived by his great-granddaughter, Ava; and his loving pup Dolly.

There will be no services per his request.


January 8, 2009

Gerald "Jerry" Edward Erich

Our dear friend departed his life January 4, 2009. Born January 22, 1929 in Taft, Calif. to Wesley and Vivian Erich; moved to San Jose at an early age. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, step-parents, wife Dorothy and son Stephen.

Jerry started working in the printing industry at an early age, initially working for his step-father Lawrence Dugdale at the Graphic Arts Press, and also attending San Jose State.

In September 1953 Jerry contracted polio. He was in a coma for 10 days and when he regained consciousness he was paralyzed. He spent the following 18 months in an iron lung at the Santa Clara County Hospital.

For further treatment of respiratory polio he entered the Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center in Downey, Calif. He spent months there undergoing numerous operations and treatments. While at Rancho, Jerry met his future wife Dorothy Foley, who was also a polio patient.

Following release from the hospital in 1957 Jerry returned to San Jose. Despite resulting long-term physical disabilities from polio, Jerry established Erich Printing & Lithographing. He was President until he retired in 1997.

Jerry was a hard-working and dedicated businessman, putting in many hours of work every day. He published the San Jose State Spartan Daily at one time and several periodicals including Good Packaging Magazine.

After a ten-year absence, Jerry returned to work at Erich Printing and resumed management of the company until 2008 when he decided to retire the business.

Rotary was an important part of his life. He was a proud charter member of the Rotary Club of San Jose East/Evergreen with 43 years of perfect attendance. He believed deeply in Rotary International and its worldwide efforts to help people. He contributed generously to the Rotary's PolioPlus Program aimed at immunizing the world's children against polio.

Jerry had a strong affinity for the mission of San Jose State University. He was instrumental in the founding of the Packaging Degree Program in the 1980's.

He was a season ticket holder and loyal booster of the Spartans' football and basketball teams and was well known in the athletics department as a Spartan Foundation, Quarterback Club and Rebounders/Hoopsters member. He also held university memberships in the Alumni Association and the Heritage Society.

He is survived by his brother-in-law, Bill Foley and family of Garden Grove, Calif.; caregiver, Lucy Silva, and her husband, Al Silva of San Jose; caregiver Kathy Cummins of Boulder Creek; his good friends, Ray and Audrey Clark of San Jose and their children and grandchildren; his devoted canine companion, Dolly; and many, friends throughout the Bay Area. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him.

To honor Jerry's wishes, there will be no services. His ashes will be scattered on the island of Maui at a later date. Memorials may be sent in Jerry's memory to: The Dorothy and Jerry Erich Endowment Fund, in care of the Rotary Club of San Jose East/Evergreen, 16100 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA 95127.


Leona Menges (1927-2008)

Born on October 14, 1927 in Anaheim, Calif., Mrs. Menges attended the University of Southern California. She moved to San Jose in 1948 with her husband, Gene Menges, who became San Jose State's star quarterback during the 1948 through 1950 seasons.

While her husband entered the college coaching profession, she raised three children and stayed active playing golf and tennis. In the community, Mrs. Menges was a hospital volunteer and an informational specialist at Mineta San Jose Airport to first-time visitors. For more than 50 years, she could be seen at San Jose State athletics events, particularly those in Spartan Stadium, Municipal Stadium and Blethen Field for baseball, the Civic Auditorium and The Event Center for basketball, and the Spartan Courts for tennis.

"I've known Leona since 1976. She has been one of the most ardent, loyal and enthusiastic supporters of San Jose State athletics. She loved all the sports and took great interest in them. She supported her husband's career through thick and thin. Even after Gene retired (in 1986), she still supported San Jose State with great loyalty," said current San Jose State baseball coach Sam Piraro.

Mrs. Menges passed away at age 81 on December 29, 2008.


She is survived by her husband Gene with whom she recently celebrated their 60th anniversary, and their children Gayle, Gregg and Gary. She had seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Leona was born in Anaheim, California on October 14, 1927. The youngest of three children, she was raised on family orange groves and was instilled with the value of hard work at an early age.

She attended USC and subsequently moved to San Jose in 1948 when husband Gene began his illustrious career as a football player and then a coach. She was active in the community enjoying golf and tennis for many years. She saw San Jose grow from a largely agricultural town to the high-tech metropolis that it is today. Her volunteer work at area hospitals and at the airport endeared her to countless people who were fortunate enough to have made her acquaintance.

She was a fixture in the neighborhoods of Almaden and where she most recently resided at The Villages. She was a devoted wife, loving mother and doting great-grandmother. She will be missed by all who knew her. Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Leona's name to your favorite charity.

No comments: