Sterling Orser

January 17, 1964 - February 24, 2010


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The biological gene pool:


Great grandfather from Manchester England,

Biological father, (my second Husband) Jim Shapter, holding a one week old Sterling, Grandfather, Ed Shapter.

Both Sterling and Aaron however, always considered their step-father, Robert Orser, my x-husband no. 3, to be their Dad.


   Sterling and Dana

Christmas 1964

Sterling and Aaron with Grandpa - 1967

Dana and Sterling


Aaron and Sterling


Aaron, Dana, Uncle Howard and Sterling - 1968


Sterling, Aaron and big sister, Dana - 1968



Aaron, Sterling and Dana

Taho - 1970

Sterling and Aaron






Sterling and Aaron

Moon Bridge

Japanese Tea Garden

Golden Gate Park - S.F.





Point Reyes








Sterling and Duke Henrick



  Sterling and Aaron                Sterling and Donkey-Dear              Sterling and Aaron                 Aaron and Sterling



      A Boy and His Pig                 Aaron and Sterling with Dad             Sterling on Donke Dear at Yosemity

Sterling and Aaron always considered their stepfather, Bob Orser to be their dad. 

He took them fishing, back-packing, rock climbing, taught them to ride, made them SCA armor, and fully participated in their lives in so many ways.






Celtic Procession, Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire - Novato




Sterling  and Aaron

Queen' Court - Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire - Novato


First Court

Aaron, Me and Sterling




Aaron, Father Christmas and Sterling

     Dickens Fair - San Francisco

Mother Goose (me), Mr. Picwick and Sterling

Boars Head Procession - Dickens Fair - San Francisco



Aaron, me and Sterling

the morning we left for our first trip to England



Aaron and Sterling                                          Sterling and Aaron

"Butch and Sundance"





Sterling and his Daughter Mhari

Mhari was killed at age 11



With daughter Sherry

                                                                                     With son Morgan

Sterling’s 16 year long companion,

Little Gofur Dog




Sterling at 440 pounds, shortley before moving in with Aaron and me.


When these pictures were taken I thought we had the bull by the tail.  I had Sterling on a low sodium, low fat, diet and he lost over 140 pounds.  He became a patient of the brilliant Dr. Witteles at Stanford’s cardiac care clinic.  His heart function was improving and the future looked quite bright.


He was going to the pool every day, swimming and exercising.  I thought we were home free.  Unfortunately, he found it difficult to maintain a healthy regime and gradually slipped back into old patterns of eating and not exercising and his health steadly declined.









The nearly three years that Sterling lived with Aaron and me, here in Rohnert Park, may have been the happiest of his adult life.  He made many, many friends, loved swimming and BBQing.  He became the mentor for many of the single parent kids in the neighborhood and offered them experiences they might not otherwise have had.  He became active in our residents association. 


I had not seen much of Sterling during his three marriages.  It was such a joy to have reconnected with him.  Oh how I miss him.







The BBQ King





A very happy Sterling with daughter Sherry and grandaughter Hanna, just weeks before he died.







Dad - Robert



Sister - Dana



Brother - Aaron



Daughter & Grandaughter

Sherry & Hanna




Son Morgan and Daughter-in-law


Niece - Jessica with her sons

Devin & Luke

Oh, how we miss you.


"Lord, the times we've had together: Whether in winter or summr, spring or autumn, it's always got its fun and its excitements."

                                                                                           -- Ratty, The Wind in the Willows

                                                                                               by Kenneth Grahame


Those of you who knew and loved Sterling may want to check back now and then.  I will be posting more pictures as I find them.


Geraldine Ronald Witteles, MD Randall Vagelos, MD

      Michael B. Fowler, MD              Dr. Ronald_Witteles            Euan A Ashley MRCP, DPhil          Randall H. Vagelos, MD


These four brilliant and compassionate men worked long and hard on Sterling’s behalf, along with a team of dedicated nurses, far to many to mention here.  Our family extends our grateful and heartfelt thanks to them all and to the Stanford medical facility.  Sterling’s care couldn’t have been better.  Unfortunately, he did not fully participate in his own recovery.


To everyone, I cannot stress enough the importance of lifestyle to your health and wellbeing. I had a wonderful old woman friend when I was a young woman.  Long before there were health food nuts, she was a health food nut.  A neighbor asked her if she really thought eating the way she did was going to make her live longer.  Beatrice answered;

“I don’t do it to put years in my life, but life in my years.”

I’m afraid Sterling’s final years had not been very physically comfortable for him.


For those of you who knew Sterling, I’d love hearing from you at


If you live in the North Bay, perhaps we can arrange to get together.


Thank you,



        Copyright © 2008 - Geraldine Duncann

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