Photos of Erin and Famly from Carolina – Thurs. June 22, 2017

Carolina sent these photos of visits that Erin and family made to San Jose after they moved to Davis when Tommy was just a couple of months old.

This photo of Erin and Tommy was taken Feb. 14, 2010, when Tommy was 11 months old, 7 months after Erin’s 1st surgery.

Erin, Tommy, Paco, and Steve, April 10, 2011. This would have been a month before Erin’s 2nd craniotomy.

Carollna, her husband German, and their 4 children drove up from San Jose for the Celebration of Erin’s Life. When Carolina sent these photos, I asked Carolina how she and Erin had met. This is what she wrote:

“My husband German and Steve are both Michigan MBA alumni and they met at an event. They introduced Erin and I and we became fast friends. Our families spend a lot of time together when they live here in San Jose. Then, when Erin was looking for a babysitter for Paco I recommended my sister Julieta who was going to grad school at San Jose State. They too became good friends. It was hard to not be friends with Erin 😀,

“Here is my favorite story with Erin. She was known for calling at the last minute and asking what we had going on for dinner. Then invite us over and put on a feast for us in 2 minutes (well, for us and the whole traveling circus). One such day feeling bad for not bringing anything I grabbed leftover pieces of assorted cheeses from my fridge. When I arrived to her house and apologized for bringing half eaten cheese she gave me the biggest hug I ever got from her and said “now I know we’ll be friends forever” 😊 Erin was simple and I always appreciated that.”

Earlier when I had thanked Carolina for driving up from San Jose for the Celebration, she had written, “I will always remember the great times we spend together. Erin was a good and generous friend and we would have gone even much further to celebrate her life!”

One of Erin’s 3 trips to Argentina was to attend Julieta’s wedding.


Pictures of Erin at the Celebration – Wed. June 21, 2017

These pictures of Erin were on display at the Celebration:

L to R: Erin & Shannon; Wheeler Colleen Erin Paco on Wheeler’s 12th birthday, Feb. 18, 2008; Erin with grandmother Jane “Bombi” Wheeler, May 19, 2001; Erin & Steve meeting Pope John Paul II; Erin at 14

Someone asked me about the picture of Erin and Steve with the Pope. Here is a closeup of that one:

Erin found out that if newlyweds attended the regular Wednesday Audience with the pope and wore their wedding attire, they would sit in a special section and be greeted individually by the pope. So, Erin packed her wedding dress and took it with her on their honeymoon in Italy.

Today it is supposed to hit 108 in Sacramento!

Erin’s Cousins at her Celebration of Life – Tues. June 20, 2017

Erin has always wanted as many cousins as possible at family events. 3 generations of Cantys attended the Celebration. I was the oldest of 6 siblings. Together we had 20 children within 14 years. Erin was #19 in age. Below we siblings are shown in the order of age. Tim, 4th in line, is deceased.

Canty siblings: Barbara, Patricia, Joan, Jim, Bob; 11 years separate Bob and me.

Tom Z sent this photo today of the 3 Canty sisters, Barbara Wheeler, Patricia Zavadil, and Joan Smith.

14 of the 18 living members of Erin’s generation attended the celebration. From left to right in order of age are:
David Smith, Janet Smith Keeter, Tim Canty, Ginny Smith Haynes, John Zavadil, Colleen Wheeler, Kathy Canty Brown, Brandon Wheeler, Ken Smith, Monica Canty McCarty, Tom Zavadil, Betsy Zavadil Davis, Alan Smith, and Mike Canty.
Tim and Kathy are Tim’s children; Monica and Mike are Jim’s children.
(Sorry, I can’t seem to enlarge these 2 cousin photos.)

Here is a photo of the cousins from the opposite angle.

Cousins #9 John Zavadil, #10 Colleen Wheeler, #11 Kathy Canty Brown

#7 Ginny Smith Haynes, #5 Tim Canty, and #9 John Zavadil

#14 Monica Canty McCarty, #13 Ken Smith, Muffy Marshall – significant other of #1 David Smith

Here are the 3 about-to-turn-50 cousins: #12 Brandon Wheeler, #14 Monica Canty McCarty, and #13 Ken Smith

#15 Tom Zavadil and #18 Alan Smith

#! Dave Smith, #12 Brandon Wheeler, #14 Monica McCarty, #13 Ken Smith

Here is the 3rd generation of Canty’s.

Back row: Paco Haas, Kyle Smith (son of Ken), Maxine McCarty, Wheeler Strand (son of Colleen), Anthony Smith (son of Dave)
Front row: Kayla Smith (daughter of Alan), Tommy, Celia Smith and Natalie Smith (twin daughters of Dave), and Alyssa Smith (daughter of Alan)
Missing from the photo, but attending the Celebration were Joshua and Rebecca Brown (Kathy’s children) and Beckett Wheeler (Brandon’s son).

It was the Celebration Erin wanted! Thank you all for coming.

Limburgs; Paco & Tommy with Kayla, Alyssa, Lauren, Julia, and Rachel – Tues. June 20, 2017

Cindy Limburg just sent me these photos of her family and of her 3 daughters with Paco & Tommy and Alan Smith’s and Lisa Fass’ daughters. These were taken Saturday at the Celebration.

Standing: Lauren, Dave, Cindy; Seated: Julia and Rachel
Lauren is a couple of years older than Paco. Julia was in Paco’s class. And Rachel is a couple of years older than Tommy. Cindy said that Rachel had a good time hanging out with Tommy. Rachel is in the process of reading the Harry Potter books, so she and Tommy had a lot to discuss.

Standing: Paco, Lauren Limburg
Seated: Kayla Smith, Tommy, Alyssa Smith, Julia Limburg
Reclining: Rachel Limburg

The Smith girls are the daughters of Alan Smith and Lisa Fass. Alan is my sister Joan’s youngest. A couple of weeks ago Tommy asked if Kayla and Alyssa would be coming to the party. He looks quite happy squished between them!

Alan and Lisa had Paco and Tommy and parents down to their home in Orinda several times when Erin was in Davis, post-surgery. They stopped by a year ago Christmas to visit here on their way home from Tahoe.


Photos of the Celebration – Mon. June 19, 2017

Here are some photos from Saturday’s Celebration of Erin’s Life.

In the above photo, the 3 men standing on the right Ulysses Smpardos, Dan Lindow, and Doug Mattes, said that they were from Erin’s high school class of ’89 at El Camino! How nice for them to come after all these years. That is Steve leaning up against the post. Mike Haas (light blue shirt) is seated at left back table, and that is Judy Haas walking towards that table. Colleen prepared photos that were displayed on the TV, top left.

My brother-in-law Ralph Smith and Erin’s cousin John Zavadil are talking to my sister Joan Smith. Joan was Erin’s godmother.

Clark seems to be adamant about something, bridge?, talking to our bridge friends, the Oses. On the left are college classmates of mine, Nita and Ed Michalik. Seated on the fireplace are Colleen, Deke, and Deke’s son Sam. Colleen is talking to Annabelle who was Colleen’s roommate at UC Davis 30 years ago. In 1998 my sister Patricia and I visited Annabelle in Tuscany where Annabelle lived for 10 years.

At left are my Friday bridge partner Sharan Fleming and her husband George Calderone. Mack and Lucy White are talking to Jim O’Connor, Erin’s godfather.

This is Lisa Hecht Wheeler’s family. Clockwise from Joleen Hecht her mother with the red hair who did all of the floral arrangements, sister-in-law Heather, aunt Patty Kelley, cousin Lori Kelley Center (standing), cousin Brett Kelley, uncle Mike Kelley, brother Curtis Hecht, and father Chuck Hecht.

I (gray hair) am talking with Deborah Stern (sundress) and her husband Leor. Deborah is pretty amazing. She was diagnosed with a GBM 3 months after Erin and in the same location in the left temporal lobe. Deborah has no visible effects from the tumor. She is now on a trial at UCSF for long tern survivors. The cousins are all near the bar.

These are Clark’s 3 oldest sons and their wives: Debbie and Jim Muldavin (hat), Scott M, Anne and Dan M, Sue M., wife of Scott.In the foreground are 3 of my bridge partners: Madelynn Burton (blond), Marie Leonardini, and Joann Cavros.
In the back right near the post: Steve is talking with his friends Xavier and Nicole Maignon who were up from Santa Barbara.

This is a group of my CAC friends. In 1958 I joined the Catholic Alumni Club, a social group for young Catholic adults. Out of the group, 8 of us women formed a bridge group which existed from 2 years before Erin was born until about 2 years ago, so for 45 years.

Still to come: photos of the 14 first cousins who attended.


Paco and friends; Flowers from ? – Mon. June 19, 2017

3 of the more handsome attendees at the Celebration of Erin’s life on Sat. were her older son, Paco, now 13, on the right. On the left is his friend David, and in the middle is Tony. David and Tony were classmates of Paco’s in Davis. Does anyone know who brought the beautiful flowers pictured below?

It was 106 in Sacramento today. At the same time Paco was enjoying 65 degree weather in Traverse City.


A Celebration of Erin’s Life – Sun. June 18, 2017

Over 150 people gathered in the Campus Commons Clubhouse in Sacramento yesterday, Sat. June 17, 2017 to celebrate the life of Erin Wheeler Haas. In spite of a temperature over 100 degrees, the clubhouse was surprisingly cool. We had a Mexican buffet with margaritas and sangria.

Erin’s first cousin, Tom Zavadil, who grew up in Albuquerque, but is now from Denver, recited his memories of interactions with Erin on many of his trips to California.

Close up of Tom on the left below with cousin Alan Smith on the right.

Here was Tom’s message:

“For My Cousin Erin

“17 June 2017

“For me, Erin will go down in history as one of life’s Legendary Figures. She made me laugh – a lot of the time when I didn’t even know why. Her shoulder was at the perfect height for me to rest my arm on, and she never hesitated to stick up for me or tell me that she appreciated me. She was just one of those people who delighted me. I’m gonna miss her.

“Erin was charming; she was a very good delegator; she naturally, easily commanded respect. That’s my affectionate way of saying that she was kinda bossy… but then, I like to think I take direction well, so ours became a symbiotic relationship. Many years ago my husband Dean & I attended a conference in San Francisco. Erin was there at the same time so we met up with her and some of her friends at a restaurant near Union Square for dinner. Afterwards, on the sidewalk outside, we hugged goodbye and I watched in awe as she turned, stepped into the street, hailed a cab and was whisked dramatically away – seemingly in a single, perfect, fluid motion. This left Dean and me to make our way, hopelessly unglamorously, back to our hotel on foot.

“During the months after her first cancer surgery, she called and asked us … or maybe a better description would be that she “instructed us” … to come to Davis. We were excited to go and spent a happy week together visiting and talking. She had a bunch of little jobs assigned to us when we arrived: clean out the linen closet, organize the kitchen cabinets… she sent us off to IKEA to get her a desk (which Paco very enthusiastically helped us assemble). You know: The Usual. I think we got most of it done.

“She was just like she’d always been – one afternoon we were in her car on the freeway heading from Sacramento to Davis. She’d asked me to drive and I was very cautious because my long legs barely fit under the steering wheel and it was awkward to reach the brake with my foot. She thought I was driving too slowly and was unmoved by my frivolous concerns about braking. “If you go fast” she said “you’ll pass all the other cars and you won’t need to use the brake.”

“She did have some trouble at that time recalling names, words or parts of a story she’d be telling. She kept saying it “must be the swelling” from her recent brain surgery. She repeated this phrase so often, and in such varied circumstances that Dean & I started to tease her about it: “I can’t find my keys! Huh… it must be the swelling” “I’m hungry! Oh, you know… it must be the swelling” “Are we out of milk? Aw man, it’s gotta be the swelling.” About a week after we went home to Denver she sent Dean a couple of frozen Mail-Order-Thank-You-Pizzas (she said they were low-carb). The gift message on the box – which I cut out that day, saved and retrieved from our garage last weekend so I could quote it exactly – read “Dean, for you and TAZ. There are no words to say thank you… I could, though it must be the swelling”

“She called again a couple years later and we came back. That time she had us rearranging furniture, washing dishes, folding laundry and walking Tommy to school in the mornings. She kept saying, with great sincerity, “While you’re here I want you to have experiences that you can’t have at home.” To her apparently that meant going to Trader Joe’s and using the touch-screen soda machine at the taco place… I think she sent us cookies when we got home that time.

“I’ve been imagining Erin these last two weeks – telling the angels how best to smooth the feathers on their wings, setting up a schedule for cloud-fluffing, and suggesting to St. Peter a few ways to streamline operations at The Pearly Gates.

“In other words, I’m sure she’s made herself right at home. ”

Thanks, Tom, for sharing your memories. And thanks to all of Erin’s friends and family who came to share celebrating Erin’s life.