Pajaro Valley Shelter Services joins many in mourning throughout the Bay Area over the sudden passing on June, 24, 2012, of Bruce Woolpert, CEO of Granitrock and caring force in our community.
Bruce Woolpert's picture says it all: kind, generous spirit.
He took seriously his role as a leader, seeing the potential in everyone: from employees at Graniterock to those suffering extreme misfourtune in the community. He empowered his employees, was impassioned about education as a tool for bettering oneself, and gave generously to local nonprofits. He was a remarkable example of humanity.
Thank you Bruce for all your many gifts to the world. May you rest in peace.
Pajaro Valley Shelter Services and our entire community have lost an amazing human being with the passing of John Petersen on April 9, 2012.
John A. Petersen, born in Scribner, Nebraska on Novemebr 28, 1921, had a remarkable life. John worked as a cowboy through college and graduated from the Creighton University School of Pharmacy. Immediately after his graduation he joined the Navy and graduated again, this time from the Officer Candidate School of Columbia University. He went on to the Anti-Submarine Warfare School and served as First Lieutenant in the Atlantic and South Atlantic during World War II. After his war service, he entered the pharmacy business, and this career path eventually led him to joining the sales division of Eli Lilly & Co. and moving to Salinas.
Several years later with his wife Dorothy and their young children, he moved to Santa Cruz County, where he "retired" in 1979. He started raising llamas and horses, continuing to be an avid horse rider until the age of 85. He was very active in his church and in the non-profit community. He was a board member of Santa Cruz County Young Life, a founding member of the Ano Nuevo Horse Patrol, and a founding board member of Pajaro Valley Shelter Services. He remained a supporter of the Shelter Services for the rest of his life. Part of John's legacy was to instill these community values in his son Jay Petersen, who also served for seven years on the Pajaro Valley Shelter Services board as member and then President. Thank you John for caring about your community, may you rest in peace.
Bruce Wilson Woolpert by Rose Ann Woolpert
Richard Kessell by Aileen Madera
Carol Ferm by Kimberly Ferm
Bob Culbertson by Rocky and Judy Franich
Simona Ortega by Rudy and Carol Ortega
Sr. Marie Veronica by J. Arthur and Mary Jean Wagner
Sr. Marie Veronica, my aunt by Barbara Westover
Sr. Marie Veronica Wagner by AV Coyle
Marian and Fred Miller by Virginia Jansen
John and Dolores McCain by Richard and Michelle McCain
John McCain by Ann McGrath
Louis Sapiro by Allen and Shirley Ginzburg
My Aunt, Kathleen Wagner by Christian Kinder
John McCain by Diana Cornell
Sister Marie - "My Sister Kathleen Wagner" by Eugene Wagner
Betty Murphy by Bill Murphy
Gary D'Anna by John Maraldo
Patricia Hyland La Flaur by Jim and Sue Farrar
Bruce Woolpert by Susan Olson
Betty Murphy by Bill Murphy
John Petersen by Yvette Hornig
Ron Slack by Curt and Carolyn Coleman
Surf City Slackers by Brad Handzel
Suzy Hunt by Bill Turner
Barbara and Ralph Hickey by Susan Renison
Marcella Romero by Maria Romero
Lois and Bill Morris by Marth Morris-Kenner
Betty Boswell's 90th birthday by Beverly Brook
Sr. Sharon McMillan by Valerie Moule
Susan Olson by Patricia Johns
Susan Mahan by Tom and Anne Marie Stickel
Karen Frodsham by Philip and Diane Gilman
Kimberly Ferm by Roger and Setsuko Ferm
Ricardo Rocha at RV's Computers by Ron and Gingi Kinninger
Here is a picture of the Wagner family in the 1930's - a poor family of 9 children that made a big mark in Watsonville. In the picture: the back row left to right is Eugene, Leo, George, Ursula, Madeline, and Kathleen (aka Sr. Marie Veronica). The front row is Jack, John Baptist Wagner (their father), Patrick, Luisa Brockamp Wagner (their mother), and Dolores. This humble family grew the food they ate, worked hard and managed to send their children to private Catholic school so that they would all become well educated and successful people. It was Sr. Marie Veronica who, 26 years ago, had the vision of starting a shelter to house homeless women and children. Her brother George, an employee of Granite Construction, was a major contributor to the purchase of the Shelter and set an example with his co-worker Dick Solari in helping the homeless in Watsonville. Their commitment went on to inspire Granite Construction employees in their support through the annual Mother's Day Run. Both these men and their families have continued the personal legacy of support, as have all the Wagner clan to this day. George Wagner passed away in early 2009.
Shelter founder Sr. Marie Veronica's brother George Wagner died at the age of 99. George was instrumental in the purchase of the Emergency Shelter for Women and Children at 115 Brennan Street. We saw this house with its five bedrooms and large back yard and knew it would be perfect for a shelter. But, where would we ever get the money for a down payment? Sr. Marie said that she would ask her brother George for help. George trusted us to grow and gave us the downpayment for the house. We would have struggled for many years to provide sheltering services had George not risked and generously supported these first efforts of ours. George was known for this type of generosity. He brought us many other friends like Dick and Mary Solari and the wonderful connection with Granite Construction where George and Dick had begun their careers as young men and where George worked for 54 years.
This is the passing of truly one of the greatest persons in our community in his love and compassion for the poor.
We are grateful to all the Wagner Family who have become an extension of our family here at Pajaro Valley Shelter Services.
Sr. Susan Olson, Co-Founder and former Executive Director of the Shelter Services
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