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A fellow who attended Santa Rosa High a long time ago, during World War II, did something pretty nice before he died.

He specified in his trust that half of his and his wife's estate go to his alma mater's education foundation.

Leaders of the Santa Rosa High School Foundation don't yet know much about the man, but they can tell he was quite good with money. He left to the foundation more than $2.5 million.

The very successful SRHS Foundation has for 25 years raised and donated money to all manner of programs and purposes at Santa Rosa's oldest high school. Last school year alone, the foundation made campus grants totalling $139,000.

Those essential gifts will continue, but this new money won't be spent that way.

The benefactor specified that his bequest go into an endowment fund and that the foundation use the earnings to grant college scholarships to Santa Rosa High students.

The trust directs the foundation's board to grant a scholarship to any student who needs help with college tuition "and who, in the opinion of the Board, demonstrates great future promise."

While they're creating the scholarship program and researching the benefactor, foundation officers are going light on details and declining to publicize his name. So far, fairly little is known about him except that he graduated as a Panther in 1946 and at some point thereafter moved away from Sonoma County.

Right now, his loyalty and generosity has leaders of the SRHS Foundation happily reeling.

They're working to find out more about him and to decide how they will administer the scholarship fund.

Presumably, the same is happening at the school in Vermont that was named in the family trust to receive the other half of the estate..

COACH PERRY IS BACK from his annual pilgrimage to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. What a time.

John Perry was invited onto the hallowed field before a game to throw the ceremonial first pitch. National Little League officials wanted to honor him for the 40 years that he has coached, with great distinction, the Westside A's, who play at greater Santa Rosa's Wright School.

There also was a nice story in the 2013 L.L. World Series program about him and his 1,000 games.

Yes, John was a tad nervous as he made that pitch in front of all those kids and adults at Williamsport.

"It was a little low," he reports, "but it was a strike."

DID YOU CATCH Santa Rosa grandmom and great-grandmom Virginia Smith's big catch at AT&T Park the other day?

After years of wearing her glove to games and hoping to snag a ball, Virginia didn't even have to stand up to catch the ball fouled her way by Colorado Rockies star Todd Helton.

Giants announcer Mike Krukow and the Comcast Sportsnet crew made an appropriately big deal of it. Virginia, who's 78, revealed it wasn't just luck that she was able to make that catch: She played infield on softball teams for 39 years.

Now she's put the baseball on display at home and checked another to-do from her bucket list.

THEY WERE 17 on their first date at Chico High School. And as remarkable as it is that Clair and Harold "Bud" Hill of Rincon Valley just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary, you'd think they fell in love just yesterday.

Coffey Park Chronicles

As part of an ongoing series, The Press Democrat is following the residents and recovery of Coffey Park, the Santa Rosa neighborhood destroyed by the Tubbs fire.

Special coverage: Coffey Park Chronicles

Read all of the PD's fire coverage here

There were no dry eyes at Oakmont's Quail Inn when their three daughters sang Bud and Clair, both 96, their theme song, "I'll String Along with You."

As Bud noted, the song "was kind of prophetic."

You may not be an angel

But still I'm sure you'll do

So until the day that one comes along

I'll string along with you.

(Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.)

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