Major Francis Velaard Abell

In October of 1940, while a sergeant, Francis Abell was assigned to duty with a mobile recruiting station that operated out of a trailer equipped with cooking and sleeping facilities for three grown men. These men toured Oakland, wooing young fellows and fillies into the service just in time for World War II.

A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Francis was buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery after his death on December 27th, 1982.


Lieutenant Colonel Christos A. Abramopoulos

Greek immigrant Christos Abramopoulos graduated from medical school in 1913, and honed his specialization in pathology and surgery at a public hospital in Kansas City until 1916. Then, when the U.S. finally entered the world war raging in Europe, this member of the National Guard was deployed to Fort Riley, also in Kansas. He went to France with a surgical unit, returning stateside in 1919 to set up his medical practice in the Phelan Building in downtown San Francisco.

After marrying Catherine Kaplanis on May 1st, 1921, the couple purchased their home at 886 25th Avenue in San Francisco’s Richmond District where they would raise four children. When world again dove into war, Dr. Abramopoulos answered his adopted country’s call for the second time, after which he retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. This father of three first-generation American sons who also served in times of war died on November 26th, 1960, and is buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery, beside his wife.

For more information on Lieutenant Colonel Abramopoulos, as well as some fantastic family photographs, please visit the San Francisco Greek Historical Society’s website

Antone A. Abrego

On the eve of war, Private Antone Abrego married Marion Little of Corte Madera. The 27-year-old went to the war, the Great one, and then returned to his wife, his city. By 1924 the private played golf professionally, connected to the Santa Maria Country Club as well as the shop at Roos Bros. He was a former Claremont caddy.

He died on September 15th, and is appropriately buried not far from the Presidio Golf Course.

The Pixel Painter: Hal Lasko

<p><a href=”″>The Pixel Painter</a> from <a href=”″>The Pixel Painter</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

I love America (to be differentiated from ‘Merica), but we as Americans suffer from a lack of reverence for our elderly. Perhaps my job as an archivist has skewed my awareness towards the importance of listening and remembering, to acknowledging the feat of having lived, loved and lost, and continued. Perhaps it’s because I can no longer speak with my own grandparents, but this video of Hal Lasko spoke to me. Alright, I admit it, this video made me cry from it’s sheer beauty: the beauty of perseverance, a dedication to the grasping of Joy while  one still can in whatever form one can.

This man is the embodiment of the American spirit. To purchase a print of one of his pixel works, go to his WEBSITE.

Sergeant Willis Clifford Abernathy

As any good southerner would, Willis Abernathy lied about his age in order to join the United States Marine Corps during World War II. Those lies left him wounded at Iwo Jima, and brought him home with a Purple Heart. As a civilian, he taught at a flight school in California before he took to the sky, permanently, on June 30th, 1995, landing at the San Francisco National Cemetery. One final touchdown, alpha bravo.