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A memorial with an optional bicycle ride will be held Feb. 7 for Samuel Ragent, a senior First District Court of Appeal attorney and avid bicyclist who died Monday, one day after being hit by a car while riding in Walnut Creek. He was 56. Bill Holian, a traffic sergeant with the Walnut Creek Police Department, said that Ragent, an Oakland resident and a 14-year employee of San Francisco’s First District, was hit at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday on South Main Street near Castle Hill Road. The accident is still under investigation, Holian said, but no charges are expected, and there is no indication that alcohol was involved. However, he added, officers are still looking for eyewitnesses. Diana Herbert, the First District’s clerk and court administrator, said Thursday that Ragent was a so-called Wende specialist, which means he would go through the trial record “with a fine-tooth comb” when attorneys in an appeal could find no issues to raise and asked the court to conduct an independent review. Ragent’s unexpected death was overwhelming, Herbert said. “Everybody is totally shocked and grieving,” she said. “He was such a nice guy. “His passion was bicycle riding,” she added. “He also liked mountain climbing and fly-fishing. He was very athletic.” According to Ragent’s brother-in-law, Alan Harris, a partner at Farella Braun & Martel, he was born in San Jose. He graduated from UC-Berkeley in 1971 with a degree in sociology, followed it up with a master’s degree in 1974, and then got his J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1983. Before law school he taught sociology for a couple of years at Santa Clara University and spent time as an assistant for CBS News in Paris. He also served as the executive director of the Sacramento-based California Public Interest Research Group. Ragent’s only other legal job was as a deputy public defender in San Joaquin County from 1983 until 1990, when he joined the First District. Survivors include his wife, Leslie Schoenfeld, of Oakland; his mother, Klari Ragent, of San Leandro; and two sisters, Claudia Debus and Wendy Harris, both of Oakland. Ragent’s widow said via e-mail that the time and location of the Feb. 7 memorial have not been finalized, but “out of respect for Sam” will be held in the morning to avoid conflicting with Cal’s 2 p.m. home basketball game against Arizona State. An optional bicycle ride will follow “with a celebration of Sam’s spirit and life contributions.” In lieu of flowers or food, donations should be made to Ducks Unlimited, Critical Resistance or Planned Parenthood. “Sam’s passing is a monumental loss,” Schoenfeld said, “not only for me, but for everyone who was touched by his passionate spirit.”

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