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Paul Wakefield Purdom

Paul Wakefield Purdom passed away surrounded by family and friends in Sonoma on Dec. 14, 2013. He was 85. With his passing, Northern California is short one interesting character.

Paul was born in Williams, Ariz., on Nov. 9, 1928, to Paul Wakefield Wallace and Mary Louise Doran. Shortly thereafter, Paul was adopted by William Walton Purdom after the death of his biological father.

He was raised on the San Francisco Peninsula and graduated from Burlingame High School in 1946.

Paul graduated from UC Berkeley in 1950, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. Cal was a source of lifelong joy, pride and frustration. He could never understand why the Bears were unable to repeat the three consecutive Rose Bowl appearances he enjoyed as an undergraduate. Despite this, Paul was a generous supporter of academic and athletic programs at Cal, as well as many other charitable organizations.

Following college, Paul traveled extensively in Europe.


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