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Gail Edith (Wright) Tanquary was born in Flint, Michigan in 1940. She grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, and married Airman Robert (Bob) Leroy Tanquary at age 19. Once married, they moved to Georgia, then Los Angeles, and eventually settled in the Bay Area. Bob preceded Gail in death in 2020. They were married for over 61 years.
Gail learned to knit, and with her husband opened Creative Accents, a yarn and picture framing shop, in San Leandro, California in 1972. In 2002, she moved the knitting portion of her store to Victoria Circle in San Leandro when Bob retired from framing. In 2005, she attempted to retire as well, but her many disappointed customers wouldn’t let her! Her final store, the Alameda Yarn Company, opened in 2006 and didn’t close its doors until 2018. Gail provided 45 years of knitting, crocheting, and life advice to many loyal friends and patrons. Mom was a KNITTING PHENOM and ARTIST creating many original patterns and publishing her work in a variety of formats.
Gail is survived by her three sisters (Jean, Lynne, Janet) and three daughters (Krista, Wendy, and Janae). She also leaves nine grandsons (Corey, Alex, Aaron, Henry, Ingmar, Isaiah, Elijah, Andy, and Zachary), and 1 granddaughter (Sophia).
Services will be held Saturday, June 17, 2023, at the First United Methodist Church in San Leandro, CA at 2 p.m. with a repast following in the Wesley Room.
Carol Ann Steininger (née Sweeney), 81, of Alameda, California slipped away peacefully on February 6, 2023; she succumbed to metastatic melanoma after an October 2021 diagnosis. Her passing comes just two months after the death of her beloved husband, Ron.
Born at home during a blizzard on January 3, 1942, Carol was the 10th of 11 children. She grew up on the family farm in rural southwest Iowa, near Conway. After attending college at Creighton University in Omaha, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she completed her education at Berkeley. Carol met her future husband, Ron Steininger, while teaching in the Napa area. She received her Master's degree in education and enjoyed a long and rewarding career as a teacher for the Oakland Unified School District. Ron and Carol wed in 1979 and made their home in San Francisco, the hills of San Leandro, and the island city of Alameda.
Carol is survived by her brother Stephen Sweeney and her many nieces and nephews and their children. She is predeceased by her parents Frank and Ellen (Leahy) Sweeney, her sisters Margaret Sweeney, Florence Robinson, Maureen Walton, Mary Evans, Catherine Rainforth, Frances Myers, and her brothers William, George, and Hubert Sweeney.
Carol Ann was truly beautiful inside and out. She was gracious and kind, with a big smile and humble heart. She was an incredible listener, deeply empathetic and engaged, whether you were sharing your troubles or triumphs. Her vivid reactions and uproarious laughter made anyone feel like an amazing storyteller. A fantastic conversationalist, Carol was witty and curious. She shifted the spotlight onto others, drawing out the best in everyone. She was a devoted wife; a caring daughter, sister, and aunt; a dear friend. She will be missed tremendously.
Carol enjoyed life’s simple pleasures — socializing with friends and spending time with family, especially when paired with Chardonnay and olives or coffee and chocolate! She was an avid reader and life-long learner. She enjoyed the theater and opera with friends, and endless adventures with Ron — skiing, boating, and traveling the world. She was our family’s understated fashion icon, always timelessly stylish, poised, and elegant. It is ironic that undetected skin cancer is what took her away from us; Carol was well-known for her beautiful skin, wide-brimmed hats, and oversized sunglasses.
Both Ron and Carol’s ashes will be interred, per their wishes, in the cemetery in Lenox, Iowa where the Sweeney family is laid to rest. The families intend to host a celebration of life for both Ron and Carol at a future date. There were always fresh flowers on Carol’s dining room table, and you should treat yourself to a bouquet in her memory. Turn on some classical music and settle in with a crossword puzzle as you remember what a lovely person she was.
Harold “Dean” Pendergrass, 79, passed away peacefully at home on March 18, 2023. He was born November 16, 1943, in San Antonio, Texas, the first son to Paul and Virginia (Hampton) Pendergrass. The family eventually settled in Alameda, CA and Dean graduated in 1961 from Encinal High School. In 1962 he became a father after the birth of his only son James Paul. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and served as Military Police during the Vietnam War. Upon return, he married Sharon Kay Stucky on July 1, 1967. He began a career with the Oakland Police Department, patrolling the streets both in a patrol car and on foot, and the highways on a motorcycle. Dean and Sharon settled in Union City, CA where they began raising three daughters and made many lifelong friends.
In the summer of 1981, after Dean retired from the police force, he gathered some buddies and built a new house for his family in Murphys, CA where he began a house painting business. He was very active in the lives of his daughters, guiding them through 4H and FFA, coaching girls’ softball, and working hard to fulfill their every need growing up. Never one to sit idle, he immersed himself in his many hobbies including cabinet making and woodworking, auto restoration, making stained glass, raising pheasants and other farm animals, hunting, gardening, growing things in his greenhouse, and teaching himself to play guitar. His greatest pleasure was horseback riding and taking long pack rides into his beloved local back country to camp and fish. He spent his retirement traveling by RV all over the U.S. with Sharon and dear friends, a favorite destination being Alaska.
In the fall of 1996, he became a grandfather, and he began his “Papa” phase where he spoiled nine grandchildren with endless time, energy, and guidance. Dean will always be remembered by his family and friends as a “go to” guy, or someone you go to when times are hard. If you needed shelter, he would give you a place to stay. If you needed work, he would give you a job. If your feet were wet, he’d buy you boots. If you had something broken, he’d help you fix it. If you needed guidance he would listen and advise. He was always first to “circle the wagons” and do his best to help.
He is preceded in death by both his parents. He is survived by his wife of 56 years Sharon, son Jim Vawter (Jane); daughters Debra Stewart (Bryon), Denise Marshall (Greg), and Dina Duquette; and grandchildren Brandon and Madeline Marshall, Kevin and Elizabeth Stewart, Katie and Emily Duquette and Jason, Andrew and Nicole Vawter. He is also survived by his brother Paul Pendergrass (Diane) and nephew Adam (Judy) of Sheridan, Arkansas.
A private graveside service will be held on April 29th followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00 p.m. at the Murphys Hotel (upstairs banquet room) in Murphys, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Dean’s name.