In Memoriam

In remembrance of those who have passed

In Memoriam


Helena Howard Cole ’42, a long-time resident of Los Altos Hills and descendant of the San Mateo/Hillsborough-founding Howard family, died Thursday the 1st of August, 2019 in her own home in which she lived for 61 years.

Born in 1924 in San Mateo, CA to Helene and Joseph Henry Poett Howard, Helena grew up with her beloved sister, Joan, in San Mateo. During the 2nd World War, Helena attended the Branson’s School for Girls in the late ‘30s and early ‘40s.

After graduating, she went on to follow her dreams of farming at Kimberton Farm in Pennsylvania. Helena married Nathaniel Parker Cole III on June 21, 1944, and they built their own home, naming it Full House Farm. And, it was indeed a full house, as Helena always left her heart open to all who wished to come. Her garden was always lush and full of fresh vegetables and fruits, which she shared liberally.

Besides the many people in her life whom she loved unconditionally, there were always dogs. Helena loved each of her dogs with abandon, as she did her cats, horses, and chickens. Her last dog was with her the day she passed, nose on her arm. Helena worked with autistic children and adults for many years. She began this endeavor at Peninsula Children’s Center in Portola Valley and then moved on to The Morgan Center, staying there 25 years until her retirement. Helena’s big heart was only matched by her beautiful big smile.


Marcia Smith Anderson ’42— a physician, rancher, animal lover and philanthropist who generously supported projects throughout the Bozeman area — died in Santa Barbara, California. She was 95.

“Marcia was a real maverick in her time,” said Terry Cunningham, a Bozeman city commissioner. “She became a doctor in an era when few women made it into the male-dominated profession, and was a working mother and a working rancher. She took part in cattle drives, and would ride the range, move stock from winter to summer range,” Cunningham said. Marcia and her husband, the late Berrien Palmer “Buck” Anderson, owned the Climbing Arrow or CA Ranch north of Bozeman, one of the largest ranches in Gallatin County.


Esther Judkins Marshall ’44, born in Atlanta, GA on July 11, 1926, was the daughter of Holland Ball Judkins and Esther Burke Judkins. She was an alumna of The Katharine Branson School in Ross, CA and graduated from Vassar College in 1947. In 1948, Esther married H. James Marshall Jr. of Lancaster, PA.

Esther was the consummate volunteer and a role model for her three children. While staying ‘at home’ and raising her children, she was involved with many charitable organizations in Charlotte, NC and in Kennett Square, PA, giving generously of her time. For more than 90 years, Esther cherished her time on Squam Lake. She volunteered for a variety of organizations around the lake including Chocorua Island Chapel Association, Squam Lakes Science Center, Squam Lakes Association and the Loon Preservation Committee. She will be remembered for being a kind, loving, and generous soul by all who knew her.


Marion Motzer Hovden DDS ’44 was the first-born of Fred and Frances Motzer, who were the purveyors of Eppler’s Bakery, a San Francisco landmark for many years. Her family moved to San Rafael where Marion attended West End School, Dominican Convent, and graduated from Katharine Branson School in Ross in 1944. Her academic journey took her to Stanford University and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 1948. She then attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons and received her dental degree in 1952. There she met and married her husband Dr. Charles Hovden. They practiced together at the Stonestown Medical Building for over 30 years.


Nancy Kent Danielson ’45 lived a long and full life in Marin County. She and her identical twin sister Marty Kent were daughters of Anne and Thomas Kent and granddaughters of Elizabeth and William Kent. Nancy (aka Anne) graduated from The Katharine Branson School and UC Berkeley. She worked as a Registered Medical Records Administrator. Her cherished husband Robert P. Danielson predeceased her. Bob and Nancy enjoyed a marriage of 48 years of love and companionship. She and Bob were particularly active for ten years with Beyond War Foundation, searching for and educating about ways to resolve conflict without violence, at home, in our nation and around our planet Earth. Her special interests included music, preservation of the environment and natural wonders, and world population planning. Nancy first volunteered at age ten with the American Red Cross, and continued to serve her community throughout her life.


Mary “Molly” Macdonough Hofmann ’45 left us on February 5, 2020, on the eve of the 66th anniversary of her marriage to John Hofmann (Jack). Molly was born in San Francisco on June 15, 1928, to Sarah Worthington Mitchell Macdonough and Dent William Macdonough. She attended St. Joseph School in Menlo Park, Shipley School in Philadelphia, and the Branson School in Ross, where she lived with her mother through her teenage years. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1949, and moved on to work in the decorating field in Jackson Square in San Francisco. Molly met her husband, Jack, at the Spinsters Ball, and they were married on Feb. 6, 1954, celebrating at the Lagunitas Club in Ross.

Molly had an energetic spirit and was an adventurer through and through. She was generous with her time and efforts in various volunteer roles throughout her life. She was on the Board of Directors at Marin Country Day School and The Branson School, and on the City of Belvedere’s Parks and Open Space Committee. In 2018, she was named Belvedere Citizen of the Year Emerita for her years of dedication to Belvedere. She was known for her ability to make those around her feel loved and appreciated and was a second mother to many, cultivating lasting friendships around the world.


Daniel McLaughlin ’78 (never Dan) McLaughlin died in San Francisco, his hometown, at 59 years old. He was a devoted educator, an idealistic and committed community member and a fiercely-loving husband, father and friend. Daniel was a force of nature: brilliant, intense, generous, exuberant, and sensitive. He had a huge heart, which grew that much larger when someone needed him, especially a child. He connected with and cared deeply about kids.

Daniel was born and raised in San Francisco. He graduated early from Tamalpais High School, spent a final high school year at The Branson School, and graduated from Yale University in 1982, where he developed lasting friendships that he nurtured with annual trips and frequent conversations. His lifelong passion for education began teaching history at Antioch High School, and continued at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he again made a large and loving circle of friends and where he met his wife of 27 years, Francine Miller. Daniel spent approximately a decade at WestEd, working with high schools to improve their curriculum and management. He went on to co-found Envision Schools, and in 2014 established OnePurpose School in San Francisco. Daniel also served on multiple school boards and led the volunteer effort to bring Stuart Hall High School out of a financial crisis.


Matt Tasley ’78 Marin native Matt Tasley, a diagnosed schizophrenic and recovering alcoholic, used oil painting for his mental health. Until his schizophrenia diagnosis in 2001, Tasley initially coped with his mental health by self-medicating, using drugs and alcohol. In August of that year, he got clean, quit drinking, and remained sober until his death in 2020 at the age of 59. Friends and colleagues remember Matt Tasley as a kind man, a very talented artist, and a passionate advocate for those experiencing mental illness. Tasley’s longtime friend, Mary O’Mara, MarinLink’s Executive Director, said. “I’ve collected so many of his paintings. I met him through WildCare, years ago. He’d given up on painting in his journey to get sober. I encouraged him to try art again and took him to buy supplies… He painted our wildlife and donated the canvases for a fundraiser. He kept painting.”



Donald Bull - Alumni Parent (Douglas Bull ’82 and his sister Cathy Bull Walker Alumni Associate ’83) Donald Bull of Kentfield passed away on September 5, 2019 of complications from diabetes and kidney disease. Donald was a third-generation San Franciscan, the son of Alpheus Bull III of San Francisco and Winifred Penfield Elster of Mill Valley. Throughout his life, in both business and pleasure, Don developed many strong friendships with people he treasured. His was a life well-lived, well-traveled, and always with a song in his heart. He was the consummate gentleman and always a most thoughtful, considerate, and loving person.


Lawrence J. Duke - Alumni Parent (Catherine Duke Ricker ’95 and Alumni Associate Suzanne Duke ’95) Lawrence died peacefully on May 24, 2020 in his home after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was the cherished husband of Darby; devoted father of Suzanne Duke and Catherine (James) Ricker; beloved grandfather of Jack, Michael, and Christopher; brother of Ann Marie (Rodney) McNair and James Duke; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Larry was a man of many interests and talents: vascular, thoracic, and trauma surgeon (43 years); former mayor of Tiburon; private pilot; avid motorcyclist; amateur Civil War historian; home remodeler; and farmer.


Pamela Wren Larson - Alumni Parent (Jennifer Wren Larson ’81) Pamela was a resident of Ross, Marin County, CA for over 50 years. She met John W. Larson while she was at Smith and he was in the Army outside of Boston. The Larsons were married almost two years later after she graduated from Smith. They had been married for over 59 years. Pamela was a “people person.” She spent the majority of her life helping take care of others, first, putting John through law school and entertaining Brobeck lawyers at the Larsons' home. She took care of her father-in-law when he was at Marin General with terminal cancer. She proudly raised her daughter with an abundance of love and support and cared for both her mother-in-law and mother in their final days. Pamela was a member of the Junior League of San Francisco, a “pink lady” volunteer at Marin General Hospital, and was a volunteer for years at The Redwoods Retirement Community.


Barbara Philen Chase - Alumni Parent and Grandparent. Barbara died in the comfort of her home at Smith Ranch on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 after two years of declining health. Barbara was born in Brownsville, Texas in 1934. She was a graduate of the Hockaday School, class of 1952, in Dallas, Texas. She then did the unthinkable and left Texas to attend Vassar College where she graduated in 1956 with a BA in economics.

After six months of travel in Europe, she was enroute to San Francisco aboard the SS Liberte steamship. One of her close friends was dating a Spanish Duke who needed someone to help him ship his Great Dane to America. She asked Barbara since she spoke Spanish and the dog only understood Spanish commands. She met John Chase aboard that boat.

Barbara got a job with Dean Witter & Co as a junior portfolio analyst and spent her free time exploring San Francisco with John. They married in October of 1957, spent a couple years in New York City while John was in military service and returned to San Francisco in 1959. Barbara and John moved to Marin in 1960 where she raised four children, five dogs, countless chickens, two beehives and a sizeable vegetable garden. For many years she was a docent at the Audubon Canyon Ranch, going into urban schools to teach children about nature. She went to Dominican College for a paralegal degree and spent many years volunteering in the Development Office at Branson. Barbara and John enjoyed bird watching, clamming and crabbing on Tomales Bay, backpacking in the high Sierras and sailing on both Tomales and San Francisco Bays.

Barbara was actively involved with a number of committees, and she and John spent their weekends entertaining in a home in Inverness. She was always busy with crossword puzzles and jigsaw sudokus, but her lifelong passion was caring for John. (John and Barbara Chase are the parents of Scott Chase, for whom the Chase Junior Fellowship is named.)



Helen Rogers, age 91, passed away peacefully December 23, 2019 in Mill Valley, California. She was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 21, 1928.

Helen was a magnificent teacher, beginning first at The Branson School in Ross, California, and then spending 25 years at San Francisco University High School. Helen loved engaging with growing minds grappling with mathematical challenges, and felt at home being encouraging and enthusiastic and determined by turns. Among her many teaching talents, one that Helen thoroughly enjoyed (and that extended beyond math into art) was her uncanny ability to draw a perfect circle on a blackboard; a useful talent for a geometry teacher. Her students more than remembered her, as many of them kept in touch with her long after graduation, including in recent years.