Obituaries

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After a long and blessed life, Margaret O’Hara, 99, died peacefully in Oakland on Holy Thursday, April 1. An Oakland native and longtime Alameda resident, Marge was born on Aug. 11, 1921, to Patrick and Gertrude Murphy.

An only child, she was a proud alum of St. Anthony’s Elementary School and St. Elizabeth’s High School, where she developed lifelong friendships. Upon graduation, she worked for the telephone company.

In 1947 she met Jim O’Hara, the love of her life, at a St. Patrick’s Day dance at the Oakland City Club. They were married the following year and after living in Oakland and Santa Rosa, they settled into their home of 60 years in Alameda.

Marge’s life was centered around her Catholic faith, her family, and her friends. She was a devoted daughter, a beloved wife, a cherished mother, a treasured grandma, a loving aunt and Godmother, and a dear friend to many.

She is pre-deceased by her loving husband of 40 years, Jim, and their infant daughter, Carol.

She is survived by daughters Patty O’Hara of South Bend, Indiana, Maureen O’Hara of Menlo Park, Kerry O’Hara Plain of Alameda and grandson Jimmy Plain of Alameda.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated tomorrow, Friday, April 23, at 11 a.m. at St. Philip Neri’s Catholic Church, 3100 Van Buren St., Alameda. Per COVID regulations, the church will allow 25% capacity. Registration is recommended and masks will be required.

Donations in Marge’s name can be made to St. Joseph’s Notre Dame High School, 1011 Chestnut St., Alameda, CA 94501 or St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room, 675 23rd St., Oakland, CA 94612.

And until we meet again, Mom and Dad, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Dec. 23, 1963 – April 10, 2021

Mark Dale Chavez was preceded in death by his father, Larry Chavez, and mother, Evelyn Chavez. He is survived by his sons Alex Sanchez and Marciano Chavez, and his three grandchildren; Nevaeh, Daniel & Malena Sanchez, and six siblings; Denise Jimenez, Gabriella Dalisay, Eddie Chavez, Richard Chavez, David Chavez, Teresa Crone.

Mark had a very dear, loving spirit, a kind heart, and sweet smile. He was selfless and always there for his sons and grandchildren. They meant everything to him. His faith was important to him as he shared prayers for his family.

During his lifetime he enjoyed spending time with family. Family was very important to him and brought him much love and joy.

Mark was very intelligent, and a gifted artist, oftentimes drawing together with his sons and grandchildren. Being born and raised in Alameda, he was an avid fan of the Oakland A’s and Raiders.

He was a beloved father, grandfather, son and brother. He will be dearly missed by all who loved and cherished him.

1941-2021

David C. McGaffey, Ph.D., professor, diplomat, actor, and storyteller, died in his home in Alameda, on April 14, after a long battle with cancer.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Elizabeth; three daughters: Jennifer, Margaret (Colin) and Deirdre (Chad); and two grandsons, Sean and Jacob.

David, son of Donald and Rosalee, was born in Michigan in 1941, one of six brothers. After completing primary school in five years, he attended high school at Assumption in Ontario. At 15, he entered the University of Detroit, and after a two-year sabbatical, returned to complete his education with majors in theater, folklore, psychology, and math.

His Catholic faith has always been a key part of his life from serving as an assistant to Fr. Panigati, Bishop of Kabul, Afghanistan, to serving as a lector, Eucharistic minister, and RCIA teacher at St. Joseph Basilica in Alameda.

While at U of D, he met his future wife. One month after their June wedding, the two of them entered the Peace Corps and went to teach in Afghanistan beginning a lifelong journey together.

Next David joined the State Department and their travels took them to every continent except Antarctica. David’s negotiations ranged from adjudicating a murder case in the Philippines to participating in the formation of Bangladesh.

After he successfully managed the safe evacuation of 2,500 Americans from Iran during the 1979 revolution, he was posted to the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute to share his negotiating skills. He then served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Guyana during a year-long absence of the Ambassador, was the U.S. representative to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and was part of a team that evaluated the operations of several U.S. embassies.

During this time, he published four non-fiction books about diplomacy and was working on a children’s book about a dragon.

While in the diplomatic service, he received his Master of Systems Analysis at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. Then after his retirement, completed a Ph.D. in International Relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He returned to teaching in Portugal at European University and in Sierra Leone guided the establishment of an MBA program for the national university.

When his wife retired, they settled in Alameda, and he began teaching at Holy Names and St. Mary’s Universities. In 2010, he taught negotiations, international trade, and cross-cultural management to students from over 40 countries on the Scholar Ship as they traveled around the Cape of Good Hope from Hong Kong to Amsterdam.

The following year he went to Macedonia as a Fulbright Senior Specialist to assist the American University of Skopje in gaining U.S. accreditation. David was a teacher first and foremost.

He was also a powerful and awarded negotiator, a talented actor, a generous storyteller, an enthusiastic singer, a voracious reader, a consummate host, and an incurable punster. Those who knew him, whether as family, friend, or student, speak of the impact he made in their lives — how he was an extraordinary man and larger than life. He will be missed.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Nothing But Nets (https://nothingbutnets.net). Services will be held on Friday, April 23, visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. and the funer¬al liturgy will be held at 3 p.m. at Greer Family Mortuary, 2694 Blanding Ave.

Alameda Family and friends that are unable to attend funeral liturgy at Greer Family Mortuary are invited to virtually attend the funeral liturgy for Mr. David C. McGaffey at https://view.oneroomstreaming.com Event ID: GreerFM Password:NROAJF

Greer Family Mortuary & Cremation Services FD-1408 greermortuary.com 865-3755

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