Obituaries

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December 27, 1928 – January 25, 2021

Longtime Resident of Alameda

Martha Edna Beazley, 92 Years Old, passed away on Jan 25, 2021 peacefully at Bay Area Recovery Care after cancer surgery.

Martha was born to immigrant parents from Russia and Germany. She was raised on a farm with seven brothers and sisters in Selfridge, North Dakota.

She met and married David DeLong, an Airforce pilot from Washington State. They relocated to Bremerton, Washington where he was from.

They had three children, Shirley, Les and Gary. They all lived in a beautiful area called Seabeck, where they lived, played and enjoyed the small community. Martha’s wonderful husband David died unexpectedly at 33 years old.

Martha wanted to be near her family who had relocated to California, and over time she would hear about a wonderful little island city called “Alameda!” She packed up her children and moved there. She would say it was, “The best thing I’ve ever done.”

Martha was a licensed cosmetologist and had purchased a lovely salon. When the opportunity came up she purchased the Alameda Beauty College in 1975 which she operated for 33 years!

She had been active in community service, serving on many boards and commissions, including the City of Alameda Planning Board for eight years; president of the Alameda Chamber of Commerce; serving two terms as president of the Alameda Business and Professional Women; and state president of the California Cosmetology School Owners Association. When she retired, Mayor Bill Withrow declared February 24, 1994 as “Martha Beazley Day.”

One of her favorite areas of service was becoming president of the Alameda Italian-American League, where she met her partner of 20 years, George Rose. If there was a dance floor anywhere you would find Martha and George dancing the night away! The comfort our family will find in this loss is knowing that George, who passed away in February 2020, will be there to meet Martha at Heaven’s gate.

Martha is survived by her daughter Shirley Sutherland, Shirley’s husband Richard Sutherland and their two sons Darren and Steven Santanna, and Steven’s wife Andrea Santanna. Also by, Martha’s son Les DeLong, his wife Koney DeLong and their four children; Justin DeLong and his wife Melissa DeLong; Brandon DeLong; Jason Roy and his wife Jennifer Roy; Kristi Martinez and her husband Jeff Martinez. Martha also had twelve great grand children. Gary DeLong, Martha’s youngest son passed away seven years ago after a long illness.

Due to Covid 19 Restrictions no services will be held.

The family suggests any memorial contributions go to FAAS, Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter or the Midway Shelter for women and children. For further information please call, Harry W. Greer, Funeral Director (FDR-745).

Alameda Funeral & Cremation Services 1415 Oak St., Alameda
alamedafuneral.org 522-2060

Katherine Colleen McGinity, 40, passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 12, 2021, following a long battle with cancer. She is survived by her husband, G. Chris Griffin of Alameda, and her parents John and Paula McGinity, of Oregon.

Katherine was born in Portland, Ore., on March 2, 1980. After a happy childhood attending Hazeldale Elementary and Aloha High, and training at the Portland Dance Academy in Balanchine and Vaganova ballet technique, she began her life-long love of teaching dance to students of all ages and abilities.

Her professional career as a ballet dancer started with State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara, and continued with Santa Barbara Opera and Inland Pacific Ballet. She then moved to Los Angeles, attending Los Angeles City College and becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild, appearing as a featured extra in 12 episodes of “Reba” and the feature film Catch Me If You Can.

She moved north upon her acceptance and transfer to UC Berkeley, where she graduated with highest distinction in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Performance Studies, earning numerous scholarships, awards and prizes for her academic and artistic achievements.

While in her second semester at Cal, she got to know her future husband Chris in the class “Greek Tragedy: Then and Now” and their relationship bloomed while working on an extra credit assignment that neither of them needed but couldn’t resist — a song written (and accompanied live in class) by the professor.

Katherine’s dance practice shifted to modern and contemporary works while at Cal, including a groundbreaking tele-immersion piece by Lisa Wymore, The Reception, as well as choreographing and performing Excerpt Opinions, co-created with Chris and musician Julian Smedley. During and shortly after her time at Cal, she joined Lisa Wymore again as project manager for a multi-year arts outreach project to the city of Los Banos, Parking Space.

After receiving her degree, Katherine helped in the founding of contemporary dance company FACT/SF with Charles Slender, and was the movement coach for Simone Oppen’s live and in ancient Greek production of Hippolytus. While working a variety of jobs, Katherine also enrolled in the Integrated Movement Studies program with Peggy Hackney and became a Certified Laban/ Bartenieff Movement Analyst in 2009. She started her studies at Mills College in 2010, graduating with a Master’s of Arts in Dance with high honors in 2012.

Katherine’s master’s thesis centered around the comedic elements of Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater (dance theater), one of her favorite choreographers and dance forms. In addition to performing in works such as Molissa Fenley’s Credo in Us, she was the lead graduate assistant, a graduate assistant teacher, guest lecturer, and tutor while attending Mills, and was honored to become an adjunct professor in the Dance Department immediately following her graduation.

Following Mills, Katherine was a founding member of The Thick Rich Ones dance collective with Jochelle Pereña and Ashley Trottier, and performed with inkBoat and Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga. Her post-graduate publications included writing for respected critical theory journal Telos, as well as inDance, and the Dance Chronicle. While continuing to teach at Mills, she worked at Luna Dance Institute and with the HeART at LINES program bringing dance education to hundreds of children across the Bay Area.

When she and Chris moved to Alameda, Katherine discovered her love and talent for tap and musical theater dance at Pamm Drake’s Dance/10. Starting as a student in a single beginning tap class, within two years she was teaching ballet, modern, tap, jazz, solos and duets, and musical theater at the studio.

She choreographed musicals for the Head Royce School, Alameda High, the Bentley School, and Altarena Playhouse, and taught ballet at Laney College. She also became a proud member of The Tap Dancing Christmas Trees, appearing in parades and events around the Bay Area and California, as well as nationally in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Kate’s life was full of joy and love, given and received.

Katherine and Chris married on Jan. 7, 2017, at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, their home congregation. She served as director and master of ceremonies for years for the annual retreat talent show, bringing her love of performance to every part of her life.

She had a soft spot in her heart for all animals, from her own cats to every dog she passed on the street. Zoos and aquariums were favorite destinations, as well as the state and county fairs where she would always visit the petting zoos and barns.

California’s beaches and sunsets were a favorite of Kate’s, from Pescadero to her beloved Alameda, where she found rest and renewal. At the time of her passing, she was preparing to begin her first year of full-time teaching at Mills and had nearly completed her Master’s of Fine Arts in Dance, also at Mills.

Donations in her honor can be made to the Katherine McGinity Fund at Mills College Dance.

For further information contact Harry W. Greer, funeral director (FDR-745).

Alameda Funeral & Cremation Services, 1415 Oak St., Alameda. alamedafuneral.org, 510-522-6020

1925-2021

Mercedes passed away on Jan. 15, 2021, and was taken to her eter¬nal home with the Lord.

Born in Nicaragua, Mercedes moved to San Francisco in the 1950s where she met her husband, Dirk. They moved to Dirk’s native Holland to marry, and returned to the Bay Area in 1954 to settle and raise a family in Alameda. Mercedes and Dirk had four children: Dirk, Harold, Robert and Jenneke. Their family continued to grow throughout the years with in-laws Laura (1955-2015), Lori, Melissa, Rob, grandchildren: Emily, Dirk, Corinne, Derek, Robert and great-grandson Dirk.

Mercedes, Dirk, and their children were members of the Alameda Christian Reformed Church, and the children graduated from Alameda Christian School, which became social and spiritual centers of their lives. Mercedes enjoyed her family, singing and dancing, travel, her garden and hosting parties. She loved to share about God’s faithfulness in her life.

In lieu of flowers, any gifts can be shared with the Alameda First Christian Reformed Church in Mercedes’ memory. Covid 19 restrictions have postponed service plans, but we hope to gather for a celebration of Mercedes’ long and beautiful life at a later time.

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