Howard M. Daschbach, Jr.: Longtime Atherton resident, local attorney, passes away

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on February 12, 2012

Howard M. Daschbach, Jr

Editor’s note: Howard Daschbach‘s obituary was provided by his daughter, Laura Daschbach Pitchford.

Howard M. Daschbach, Jr. died peacefully in Atherton, CA on February 9, 2012, at the age of 87 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

A Rosary in Howard’s memory will be said at St. Raymond Church at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, February 15. Howard’s funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Raymond at 11:00 am on Thursday, February 16. A reception for family and close friends will follow at the Menlo Circus Club, 190 Park Lane, Atherton.

A devoted husband and father, Howard is survived by his wife of 59 years, Leonore Rooney Daschbach of Atherton, and his children LeeLee Cusenza (Steve) of Pleasanton, CA, Rooney Daschbach (Claire) of Sunset Beach, CA, Lisa Fuerst (Rory), Laura Pitchford (Mark) and Mark Daschbach (Elizabeth), all of Atherton. His youngest daughter, Michele Fast (Patrick), of Seal Beach, CA died on October 12, 2011. In death, Howard leaves 18 grandchildren and two great granddaughters.

He is also survived by his sister, Jeanne Miller of San Francisco and sister-in-law, Joan Daschbach, of San Mateo. Howard will be greatly missed by his caregivers Lose and Betty.

Howard was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and it was in that city that he graduated from Central District Catholic High School and Duquesne University. A proud member of the Armed Forces, Howard served in the Army during World War II in Europe, the Philippines, and Japan.

In 1947, Howard moved to California to attend Stanford University Law School. It was during law school that he met Leonore, the love of his life. Upon graduation as a member the class of 1950, Howard established his law practice in Menlo Park, and for the next 43 years he provided counsel to countless individuals and families who entrusted to him their most important and sensitive legal

Sustained by faith, love of family and passion for tennis, dominoes and the Giants

A man of deep faith, Howard was a 57-year parishioner and daily communicant at St. Raymond Church in Menlo Park. He was never without the Magnifcat and those in need were always in his prayers. He frequently brought Holy Communion to those who were unable to attend Mass due to physical infirmities. In 1982, Howard was installed as a Knight of the Order of Malta, one of the most ancient of the Catholic orders.

Howard was a longtime member of the Serra Club of Palo Alto–Menlo Park and the Menlo Circus Club. It was at the Circus Club with the Kennedy-Reynolds group from Palo Alto, that Howard played tennis until his health rendered him unable to play his favorite sport. He was a founding member of The Common Sense Club, and enjoyed meeting with friends at Le Boulanger in Menlo Park following morning Mass.

Although they brought him equal parts agony and ecstasy, Howard was a San Francisco Giants fan until the end. Whether by radio or TV, he rarely missed a game. It was only fitting that Howard saw the Giants win the 2010 World Series having lived nearly 50 years replaying in his memory Bobby Richardson’s catch of Willie McCovey’s line drive that would have made the Giants World Champions in 1962.

Howard was perhaps happiest with domino tiles in his hands and one of his children, or later his grandchildren, sitting across from him at the kitchen table or on the deck of the Tahoe vacation home doing their utmost to best the crafty veteran. Generations of family members will refer to the 2/3 domino as the “idiot’s delight” as coined by Howard. He reminded those taking too much time planning their next play that the game is played “by the clock and not the calendar”.

Let’s just say that in dominos, like in life, Howard usually had the last laugh. All who knew him will forever remember how he loved to laugh. He was beloved, and will be missed, by all whose lives he brightened.

In lieu of flowers his family suggests that those who wish to honor Howard’s memory consider contributions to their favorite charity or some of the organizations closest to his heart: St. Raymond School, the Oakwood Retirement Home of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, The Order of Malta, or Smile Train.

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