|Donald J. Hertenstein
OAKHURST- Donald J. Hertenstein, 67, a retired Orange County social
worker who had resided here for a decade, died at his home on November
Private funeral arrangements were held under the direction of Neptune
Mr. Hertenstein was born in Coal City, Illinois, on February 28, 1930.
He formerly resided in Santa Ana while working as a social worker before
retiring and coming to Oakhurst 10 years ago.
He had earlier served four years as a staff sergeant with the U.S.
Mr. Hertenstein was the husband of Rachel Hertenstein of Oakhurst and
the stepfather of Charlene Gross of Southern California and James Gross
of Texas. Also surviving is his brother, Les Hertenstein of Coal City.
OAKHURST - Frances Lucio, 90, died in Fresno on Saturday of last week.
Graveside services were held Wednesday at Oakhill Cemetery, under the
direction of Wildrose Chapel and Funeral Home of Fresno.
She was born in Minnesota on November 3, 1907.
Mrs. Lucio was the wife of Arthur Lucio of Oakhurst.
Also surviving is her son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Darlene Lucio
of Oakhurst; and her daughters and sons-in-law, Irene and Jim Cross and
Ida and Jim Hackman.
Also, 15 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and her great-great-grandson.
Veterans auxiliary leader
OAKHURST - Juanita (Nita) Mayhall, 70, died at a Fresno hospital on
December 3. She was one of 11 brothers and sisters. Services were held
Tuesday at Sierra Funeral Chapel. Burial followed at Oakhill Cemetery.
She was president of the Veterans of Foreign Wats Auxiliary in Ahwahnee
and of the Ladies Amvets Post No. 1997 in Oakhurst. She was also a member
of the Ahwahnee Chapel.
Juanita and Lee were married on August 25, 1969. He was stationed at
McChord Air Force Base, Washington. After Mr. Mayhall retired, they came
to Oakhurst in 1976.
Juanita loved life. She especially loved flowers, quilting, sewing
and taking care of her beloved husband, Lee. She was an inspiration to
all who knew her.
Her daughter, Joyce, remarked that one thing she always admired about
her mother was her remarkable strength and support. She was always willing
to give a helping hand. She is loved very much and will be greatly missed,
not only by her family, but by the numerous friends and neighbors gained
over the years.
Mrs. Mayhall was preceded in death by her daughter Linda Jean Cheek;
her parents, Herman and Virgie Boatman; and her brothers, JT, Eck, Bill
and George Boatman.
She is survived by her loving husband, Lee R. Mayhall, Oakhurst; daughter,
Joyce Barnes, Lynnwood, Washington; and sons, Tom Barnes, Reno; and Ronald
Allen Barnes, Homer, Alaska. She also has a stepson, Bradford Lee Seals.
Mrs. Mayhall was the grandmother of Jason and Adam of Homer; Brooke
and Allison Seals.
She was the sister of Milly Lancaster, Ahwahnee; Lassie Scrivner and
Addie Jackson, Dinuba; Betty Jean Hamstrom, Kingsburg, James Boatman, Clovis;
and Charles Boatman, Fresno.
Remembrances: American Veterans Association, Post Office Box l 78,
Oakhurst 93644. 12-11-97
COARSEGOLD- Fred M. Stephens, a retired Madera County building
inspector, died at a Fresno hospital on December 1.
Memorial services will be announced later.
Mr. Stephens, 78, was born in Truman, Arkansas, on August 23, 1919.
A resident of Coarsegold for 39 years, Mr. Stephens served 15 years
as a building inspector prior to retirement.
He has been extremely active in his community, serving as president
of the Coarsegold Historical Society and as chairman of the Coarsegold
Community Center board. He was grand marshal for the 1982 Coarsegold Rodeo.
Mr. Stephens was a member of Sierra Masonic Lodge No. 788 and of American
Legion Post No. 110.
He served with the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, attaining
the rank of sergeant.
Mr. Stephens was also an avid hunter and fisherman.
He leaves his wife of 55 years, Wanda.
Mr. Stephens was the brother of Bea Holman and Jo Wooten of Seal Beach.
Remembrances: Donor's favorite charity. 12-11-97
Ivan (Pat) Branaum Jr.
NORTH FORK – Ivan (Pat) Branaum Jr., a resident here for 15 years,
died at a Fresno hospital on Friday.
A memorial service was held Wednesday at the St. Agnes Medical Center
Chapel in Fresno.
Mr. Branaum, 60, was born in Sabetha, Kansas, on July 26, 1937.
He had worked as an engineer at St. Agnes Medical Center for 17 years.
Mr. Branaum earlier retired from service with the U.S. Navy.
He enjoyed travel, camping, fishing, and black powder guns.
Mr. Branaum leaves his wife of 36 years, Judith, at their home in North
He was the father of Lisa (and her husband, Kevin) Williams, Sacramento;
and of Michael (and his wife, Debbie), Oxnard.
Mr. Branaum was the grandfather of Sarah and Staci Branaum; and Stephen
and Rachel Williams.
Remembrances: St. Agnes Foundation. 12-18-97
• Area resident
OAKHURST – Services were held Friday for Michael D. Becker, 21, who
died December 9 of injuries received in a traffic wreck south of here.
He was the son of Gary and Sherri Becker, Oakhurst; and the brother
of Christopher and Kristina Becker, Oakhurst, and Matthew Becker, Mariposa.
Mr. Becker was the grandson of Shirley Chanese and Ted and Joyce Becker,
Oakhurst, and the great-grandson of Louise Hauser, Oakhurst. 12-18-97
• Retired carpenter
COARSEGOLD – Carl R. Douglas, a retired carpenter who resided here
for 18 years, died last Thursday at a Fresno hospital.
Services were held Monday at Creighton Memorial Chap-el in Kingsburg,
where Mr. Douglas formerly resided. Burial followed at Kingsburg Cemetery.
Mr. Douglas, 79, was born in Leonard, Texas.
He was the husband of Marie Douglas of Coarsegold and the father of
Jerry Douglas, Visalia; and Darrell Douglas, Fresno.
Also surviving are five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. 12-18-97
• Retired stockbroker
OAKHURST – Del Kline, beloved husband of Lois Kline, died on Thursday
of last week at the age of 80.
A memorial service will be held Saturday [December 20], starting at
11 a.m. at Ahwahnee Chapel under the direction of Pastor Jim Beard.
Arrangements are being handled by Sierra Funeral Chapel.
Mr. Kline was born July 20, 1917, in Wayne County, Mich-igan.
For 20 years, Mr. Kline worked as a stockbroker and retired from Crowell-Weedon.
He was a Mason for more than 50 years and belonged to Oriental Lodge
No. 500 F&AM in Indiana.
He also had been active with the Jaycees in Van Nuys, serving in numerous
positions including president. He was a life member and president of Kiwanis
in 1959 and was honored with the Legion of Honor for 25 years of service
to the Van Nuys Kiwanis.
Prior to moving to Oak-hurst eight years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Kline lived
in Calabasses. They attended Ahwahnee Chapel.
Mr. Kline is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lois; by daughters Sharon
Detlof and Gail Bulling and sons-in-laws Bill Detlof and Erich Bulling.
He was the grandfather of Jennifer Nickerson, Diana Detlof, Rachel
and Laura Bulling.
Also surviving are his sisters-in-law, Edna Liljeblad, Carmel, Indiana;
and Polly Liljeblad, Philadelphia; and nieces Pamela Timoshenko, Modesto;
Terese Hair, River-bank; and Cheryl Gale, Revere, Pennsylvania.
Remembrances: Ahwahnee Chapel Building Fund, Post Office Box 115, Ahwahnee
OAKHURST – Frances Lucio, 90, died in Fresno on Satur-day of last week.
Graveside services were held December 10 at Oakhill Cemetery, under
the direction of Wildrose Chapel and Funeral Home of Fresno.
She was born in Minnesota on November 3, 1907.
Mrs. Lucio was the wife of Arthur Lucio of Oakhurst.
Also surviving is her son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Darlene Lucio;
daughter Elsie Ashmore of Oakhurst; and her daughters and sons-in-law,
Irene and Jim Cross and Ida and Jim Hackman.
Also, 15 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and her great-great-grandson.
This obituary last week failed to include Elsie Ashmore, daughter of
Mrs. Lucio. 12-18-97
COARSEGOLD - Frances V. (Healy) Driscoll died in Fresno on January
4. She was 76.
A memorial service will be held Sunday [January 18], 10 a.m. at St.
Anne's Church in Raymond.
Mrs. Driscoll was born in Boston on November 8, 1921, the daughter
of John and Margaret Healy.
Attending schools in South Boston, she graduated from St. Augustine's
High School and Higgins Business School.
After moving to California she was employed by the City of Garden Grove
until her retirement.
Her husband, Thomas Driscoll Sr., died last May 5.
Mrs. Driscoll is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Thomas and
Terry Driscoll of Coarsegold. She was the grandmother of Shayne Erin, Fresno,
and Sean Michael, Sacramento.
Also surviving are her sister and brother-in-law, Doro-thy and Hilary
McMahon, Tewksbury; and many loving nieces and nephews.1-15-98
Earl C. Bishop
MARYSVILLE - Earl Clifford Bishop, 78, for 17 years controller for
Sierra Telephone Company, died at a Marys-ville hospital on Saturday.
No service was held. Inurn-ment was under the direction of Ullrey Memorial
Chapel in Yuba City.
He was born in Thackery, Ohio, on February 4, 1919.
Mr. Bishop had resided in Yuba City for five years.
During his service with Sierra Telephone, Mr. Bishop was also extremely
involved in community activites. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign
Wars and Ameri-can Legion in Oakhurst and was a member of the Fresno Flats
Historical Sites Associ-ation.
He was also a member of Pearl Harbor Survival Associ-ation and the
Virginia and USS San Juan reunion groups.
Mr. Bishop is survived by his wife of 58 years, Ruth Bishop of Yuba
He was the father of Janice Fox, Nevada City; Rebecca Countryman, Bakersfield;
and Earl D. Bishop, Newberg, Oregon.
He was the brother of Raymond Bishop, Hemet; and Doyle Bishop, St.
Five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren also survive.
OAKHURST - Gordon L. Johnson, a resident here for 14 years, died on
January 14. He was 73.
Services were held Satur-day at the Little Church in the Pines at Bass
Lake. Burial services followed at Oakwood Cemetery in Chatsworth.
Mr. Johnson was born in Burbank on January 30, 1924.
He served with the Army for two years and then worked as a machinist
for the U.S. Naval Ordnance Test Station for 20 years.
Mr. Johnson is survived by his wife, Lenore.
He also leaves his son, Gordon L. Johnson Jr. (and wife Liz); his daughter,
Marina Stafford (and husband Michael).
Mr. Johnson is also survived by a large extended family consisting
of his stepsons Joseph, Gilbert, Ernesto, Mario, Avelino and Conrado Gonzales;
and Kenneth, Thomas and Jonathan Prettol. Also, his stepdaughters, Fe Gonzales
and Michal Russel.
He was the brother of Charlotte Apuzzo of Arizona; Gene and Phillip
Johnson (and wife Martha). He was the stepbrother of Harold, Jim, Bill
and Marvin Asbury.
Arrangements were under the direction of Sierra Fune-ral Chapel of
COARSEGOLD - Rachelanna Mathews, 90, died at her home on January 14.
Memorial services were held at Yosemite Lakes Com-munity Church on
Mrs. Mathews was born at Manhattan, Kansas, on April 21, 1907. She
married Merton (Doc) Mathews in Colorado and they came to California in
Known as "Pep" to friends and family, it was a name given to her by
her father when she was very young because she was always cheerful, bright
Mrs. Mathews came to Coarsegold area in 1974.
She is remembered as a devoted mother, grandmother and friend.
She was the mother of Marilyn (Mari Kay) of Coarse-gold and Cynthia
Carter (and husband Lee) of Carson City.
She was the grandmother of Scott Carter, Studio City; and Richard Carter,
Mrs. Mathews was the sister of Sylvia Austin, Oak-hurst; Kathryn Flick,
Florida; Maxine Young, Pennsylvania; and Jean Farrell, Kansas.
Remembrances: American Heart Association, 1495 West Shaw Avenue, Fresno
93711, or a charity of choice.
Arrangements were under the direction of Sierra Fune-ral Chapel of
Ople Lee Smith
Guest home owner
OAKHURST - Ople Lee Smith, a long-time resident of Oakhurst and proprietor
of Ople's Guest House, died on January 14.
Services were held Tuesday at Oakhurst Community Church. The eulogy
was offered by Mrs. Smith's son-in-law, Ted Reese, with music and song
performed by her grandson, Lance Reese.
Mrs. Smith was laid to rest alongside her husband, Julian, at Oakhill
Mrs. Smith was born in Texas on April 2, 1911.
After graduating high school in Oklahoma, she married Julian (Smitty)
Smith on May 21, 1932. They migrated to California, where they owned and
operated Smith's Complete Market at Five Points. Mrs. Smith became the
first postmaster in the town, a position she held for 15 years.
In 1945, the Smiths purchased the 4B Ranch that included a cafe, bar
and Union 76 gasoline station at Oak-hurst.
After retiring the grocery business in 1955, they moved to Oakhurst,
built the family home and opened the 4B Ranch Feed Store.
Years later, the Smiths owned and operated the no-rthern Madera County
ga-rbage franchise until their retirement. "Smitty" died in January 1987.
At age 75, Mrs. Smith opened the family home to visitors as a bed and
breakfast. She kept active operating Ople's Guest House until her death.
Mrs. Smith enjoyed visiting with her guests from around the world. Guest
books placed in each room speak high praises of Ople and her hospitality.
Always active, Mrs. Smith enjoyed hunting and fishing. Family gatherings
were common at the Smith family home.
Years ago, Mrs. Smith was also well-known in Oakhurst as the "Avon
Lady," and was recognized as the top salesperson in the county.
Throughout the years, Mrs. Smith was active in the community. She participated
in many activities and organizations, such as the Sierra Trail Riders Association,
Oakhurst Grandmothers Club, Sierra Mono Museum in North Fork, election
polling place clerk, Fresno Junior Philharmonic, Oakhurst Home Department,
and, most recently, Eastern Madera County Chamber of Commerce.
Mrs. Smith died without pain or suffering and surrounded by her loving
She was the mother of Clydie Reese; LaVeda Bevis, Madera; Geryl Smith
and William (Pete) Smith, Oak-hurst; and Julian (JD) Smith, Lodi.
Also surviving are grandson Todd Smith and many other grandchildren,
great-grandchildren and her ex-tended family. 1-22-98
OAKHURST - Memorial ser-vices have been held for Louise Wagner, 97,
who died here on January 12.
Mrs. Wagner was born in Patterson, New Jersey, in 1900. She came to
California as a young bride of William O. Wagner in 1926.
The Wagners settled in Inglewood. Later they moved to Eagle Rock, where
they resided together for more than 50 years.
After her husband's death in 1988, Mrs. Wagner came to Oakhurst.
She has been a member of Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church.
Mrs. Wagner is the mother of William Wagner (and wife Janet), Oakhurst;
and Lois Wagner (and her husband Howard), Spokane, Washing-ton.
She was the grandmother of Martha Wiens, Oakhurst; Matthew Wagner,
Fresno; Colleen Peterson, Sunnyvale; Calvin Redmond, Louisville, Kentucky;
and Peter Wagner, Boise. Also surviving are 16 great-grandchildren.
Remembrances: Louise Wagner Memorial Fund, care of Sierra Vista Presbyterian.
Arrangements were under the direction of Sierra Fun-eral Chapel, Oakhurst.
VISALIA - Patrick Allan Grant, 91, a retired farmer who helped establish
Calvin Crest Conferences grounds near Oakhurst, died here on January 27.
A memorial service was held Monday in Visalia.
Mr. Grant, born in Califor-nia on November 22, 1906, was the son of
a Scottish immigrant father, Patrick Charles Murray and Kath-erine Elizabeth
He was the eldest of eight children and at the age of 21 took over
the family, due to the death of his father.
In 1929, Mr. Grant started farming on rented land northwest of Visalia.
He pioneered reclamation of alkali land which was subsequently developed
and sold more than 1,480 acres in the Visalia area.
At the time of his death, Mr. Grant owned 1,000 acres near Coarsegold.
He was a rancher and landowner in the Ray-mond-Coarsegold area since the
mid-1970s. He moved to Visalia in November 1976, due to failing health.
Mr. Grant formerly served as president of the California Farm Bureau
and the Ameri-can Farm Bureau Federation. During his leadership of the
California Farm Bureau, he originated the Farmer to Farmer Program, where
thousands of young Japanese lived and worked on American farms for a year.
He subsequently received the Order of the Emperor from Japan.
He donated teams of horses and drivers for the building of Mineral
King Bowl, now Sunkist Bowl, in Visalia. He was largely responsible for
the formation of the hospital district that enabled the construction and
operation of Kaweah Delta District Hos-pital in Visalia.
He served on several school boards and as a member of the University
of California Board of Regents for seven years.
Mr. Grant was always active in the Presbyterian church, civic, agricultural
and public affairs.
He helped establish and build Calvin Crest Conference ground near Oakhurst,
and served as a deacan and elder for many years. He was also a member of
Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church of Oak-hurst.
Mr. Grant leaves his wife of 66 years, Irene Chinowth Grant. He was
the father of Joyce Greene, Coarsegold; and Peggy Petersen, Murray Grant,
Edward Grant and Robert Grant, all of Visalia.
Also surviving are 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Remembrances: California Farm Bureau Federation Scholarship, 2300 River
Plaza Drive, Sacramento 95833; or Calvin Crest Conferences, 45800 Calvin
Crest Road, Oakhurst 93644-9614; or a charity of choice. 2-5-98
OAKHURST - Claude D. Wright, 92, a resident here for 21 years, died
on January 29.
A memorial service will be held on Friday [February 6], starting at
1 p.m. at Sierra Funeral Chapel in Oakhurst.
Mr. Wright resided in Santa Ana and worked for Holly Sugar Corporation
from 1933 until his retirement in August 1968. The Wrights moved to Joshua
Tree following retirement and resided there until coming to Oakhurst in
the summer of 1976.
Mr. Wright is survived by his wife of 70 years, Gwen Wright of Oakhurst.
He was the father of Pauline Chadwick, Oakhurst, and was preceded in
death by his son, J.R. Wright (Claude D. Wright Jr.).
Mr. Wright was the grandfather of Pam Chadwick, Oakhurst; Michael Wright
and Edward Wright, Tustin; Bill and Ben Wright, Cali-fornia; Rick Chadwick,
Hawaii; Jack Wright, Idaho.
He was the brother of Sayra (Teny) Kidwell, Santa Ana; and Vera Rice,
OAKHURST - Florence Westman Mogensen, 87, retired from S&H Green
Stamp Company and a resident here for five years died on Tuesday of last
Her death on February 3, following a lengthy illness, came four months
following the deaths of her two sons in October.
Duane Mogensen, 63, Willow Creek, died on October 3 and Kenneth Mogensen,
65, Oakhurst, died on October 7.
Because it was her wish to stay in her home, Mrs. Mogensen was cared
for by her nieces Judy Ness, Carol McHamar and a great-great niece, Sara,
during her illness.
The whole family is extremely grateful for their self-sacrificing love
and devotion. A special thanks from all of us to Judy, Carol, Sara and
their husbands George and Bob, as well as the whole Hospice team for its
In accordance with the wishes of Mrs. Mogensen, there was no service
She was born in Park Rapids, Minnesota, on Octo-ber 19, 1910.
Mrs. Mogensen was a member of the Oxnard Activity Club and of the Happy
Hook-ers Craft Club of Oxnard.
She is survived by her grandchildren, Connie Clark of Gardena and her
husband, Jim; and by Vickie Pattison of Woodland and her husband, Tom.
Also by her great-grandchildren, James, Robert and Kenneth Clark and
Jennifer Peters of Gardena; and David, Lucas and Shawna Pattison of Woodland.
She was the great-great grandmother of Amber Peters and Robert Pattison.
Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.
Remembrances: Hospice of Madera County or the American Cancer Society.
CHOWCHILLA - Ivan Caryl Norris, 82, a retired air compressor operator
in the construction industry, died at a Merced hospital on February 6.
Services were held Wednes-day, followed by burial at Chowchilla District
Cemetery. Arrangements were under the direction of Worden Funeral Chapel
Mr. Norris was born in Republic, Missouri, on May 25, 1915.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Necie, and his parents.
Mr. Norris was the father of Caryl Norris (and wife Mari-lyn) of Coarsegold.
He was also the brother of Pearl Collins, Placerville; and of Paul
Norris, Springfield, Missouri. Also surviving are three grandchildren and
six great-grandchildren. 2-12-98
John W. Peck
North Fork native
NORTH FORK - John Wil-liam Peck, born here nearly 98 years ago, died
on February 1.
Services were held in Fresno on February 4. Burial followed at Clovis
Mr. Peck was born February 28, 1900, the third of four children. He
attended a one-room school at Hildreth, just east of O'Neals.
He served with the U.S. Army from 1919-22 and on March 27, 1922, married
During the years of raising their family of nine children, Mr. Peck
was a ranch foreman, worked in a sawmill and was a warehouseman. During
World War II he built airplanes at a Lockheed plant in Fresno.
After the war, the Pecks bought land at North Fork and Mr. Peck opened
a cabinet shop and built a home.
In 1953 he went to Aca-pulco to build a dining hall for the Latin American
Or-phanage and felt God calling him to ministry - so another move.
After 27 years of missionary service in Mexico, the Pecks returned
to the United States. Mrs. Peck died soon after their return.
Mr. Peck settled in Sanger, where he taught Sunday School. In 1980
he married Jessie Dorsey, who attended his classes.
His wife survives as do his sons, David F. and Charles E. Peck; and
daughters Doris Lautz, Evelyn Morvan, Doro-thy Smith and Pauline York.
Also surviving are 31 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren and eight
Ruth E. DeGraw
OAKHURST - "Always that beautiful smile!" "A wonderful person!" Born
in Fresno on March 28, 1920, Ruth E. DeGraw died on February 11.
No services were held.
Besides raising her family, she managed the Laundromat at the Old Farmers
Market in Fresno. She went to work for Pacific Telephone in 1956 and was
a service clerk in Fresno, Santa Clara and Salinas.
After 20 years with the phone company, she retired and went to work
on a cattle ranch on Greenhorn Mountain near Bakersfield. What a garden
She retired again in 1986 and came to Oakhurst.
She loved to travel.
Mrs. DeGraw was a member of Lady Elks Oakhurst Lodge No. 2724.
Mrs. DeGraw leaves her husband, Gary J. DeGraw. She was the mother
of Barbara and Jim Smith, Hemet; and Gae and Mel Reck, Redwood City.
She was the sister of Blair Wallace, Fresno; and Virginia Schauer,
Also surviving are her stepsons, Daryl DeGraw, Clovis; and Rex DeGraw,
Remembrances: Oakhurst Elks Lodge, BPOE No. 2724, Post Office Box 2569,
Arrangements were under the direction of Sierra Funeral Chapel. 2-19-98
Gladys W. Felps
OAKHURST - Gladys W. Felps, 92, a retired cafeteria chef, died here
Services will be held Thursday [February 19], 11 a.m. at Sierra Funeral
Chapel. Burial will follow at Oak-hill Cemetery.
Mrs. Felps was retired from her duties as cafeteria chef for Fresno
Unified School District.
She was a member of the Grandmothers Club of Oakhurst, Order of Eastern
Star and Mountain Community Women.
She was the mother of Ruby Tarvin, Pinedale.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her daughter, parents, two
brothers and her sister.
She was the grandmother of Deborah Fields and Randy Tarvin, Fresno;
Brenda Ramos, San Pedro; Laura Johnson, Templeton; and Taulby Tarvin, Tulsa,
Oklahoma. Also surviving are seven great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
OAKHURST - Nikki Diane Kraft died here February 15.
She had lived with her husband, Dave Kraft, here for the past seven
years and he described her as a "wonderful wife and companion."
Services will be held Thurs-day [Febru-ary 19], 11 a.m., at Our Lady
of the Sierras in Oakhurst.
A very active resident of the community, Mrs. Kraft was serving as
secretary of the Lady Elks, as a member of Rotary and had served as president
of Soroptimist International of the Sierras.
Raised in Fresno, she moved to O'Neals as a child in 1972.
She married Dave on May 15, 1993.
She was an avid golfer, a very talented crafter and enjoyed travel
with her husband.
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Kraft is survived by sons Gregg Jordan,
his wife, Jodi, and their son, Keller, Au-berry; and Brett Jordan and his
daughter, Megan, Oak-hurst.
She is also survived by her mother, Dortha Haskett and her husband,
Delter; brothers Perry Johnson and Bill John-son and his wife, Renée.
Also surviving are step-children Joe Kraft and his wife, Tammy; Pat
Kraft, and wife Amy; and Colleen Kraft. Also, grandchildren Kaycee and
James, and Mark and Bryant.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Sierra Funeral Chapel.
Calvin Crest staff
AHWAHNEE - Bob Stevenson, 69, a Mountain Area resident for 32 years,
died on February 14.
A memorial service will be held Saturday [February 21], 2 p.m., at
Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church, Highway 41, Oakhurst.
Mr. Stevenson gave 30 years of service at Calvin Crest Conference Center
before retiring in 1995.
Blessed with a wealth of talents, there is not a building, road, electrical
wire or pipeline at Calvin Crest that does not reflect his handiwork.
However, his life's work can be seen even more in the changed lives
of the people he worked with and served than in the structures he built.
Bob's love for Jesus touched many lives throughout the years.
He will be fondly remembered by Barbara, his wife of 48 years; his
daughters Susie Rosenthal, Sharon Watts, Mary Dodge and Janet Zellman.
Also surviving are six grandchildren, Mr. Steven-son's brother, Wayne
Stevenson; and sister, Peggy Ustick.
Remembrances: Calvin Crest Conferences, 45800 Calvin Crest Road, Oakhurst
93644; or to the Community Hospice, 1925 East Dakota Avenue, Fresno 93726.
• Roofing contractor, musician
OAKHURST – Elvyn Cornwell Chaney – “The Music Man” – died on February
14 at age 88.
A memorial service will be held Friday [February 27], 3 p.m. at Ahwahnee
Chapel in Ahwahnee.
Mr. Chaney was born December 30, 1909, in South Aus-tralia. His parents
were missionaries in Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
He began his musical career in 1920, playing piano for revival meetings
when he was 11 years old.
Later, he played all types of music, including bass fiddle in the movie
“Star Spangled Rhythm,” as a church organist, and as a keyboard artist
at weddings, with dance bands and at local restaurants.
Mr. Chaney started a roof contracting business in 1942, operating it
A devoted Christian, he was a member of the First Baptist Church in
Sunland from 1953-86. He and his wife, Opal, then moved to Oakhurst in
August 1986, where they have been members of the Ahwahnee Chapel.
Although he suffered from a muscular disease since 1956, he never let
his disability interfere with his love for music and entertaining, and
he was an inspiration for his friends and family.
A loving husband, father and grandfather, Mr. Chaney is survived by
his wife of 58 years, Opal J. Chaney of Oakhurst; and by children Arleen
P. McCombs, Raymond; Craig B. Chaney, Mari-posa; Arnold E. Chaney, Valley
Center; and Cheryl J. Chaney, Kawaii, Hawaii.
He was the grandfather of 14 and great-grandfather of 11.
Also surviving is his sister, Edna Graham, Medford, Oregon.
Remembrances: Ahwahnee Chapel, Post Office Box 115, Ahwahnee 93601.
John P. Hughes, D.V.M.
• Retired veterinarian
DAVIS, Yolo County – John P. Hughes died February 16 at his home here.
Services were held at the Jay Chapel in Madera on Monday. Burial followed
at North Fork Cemetery. A memorial service will be held in Davis on March
Born in Fresno in 1922 and raised in Madera County, Dr. Hughes was
a practicing veterinarian in Madera County for seven years before becoming
a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis
He had a distinguished career at the university for 42 years, during
which he become internationally recognized in the field of equine reproduction
and taught numerous veterinary students, residents, and graduate students.
Dr. Hughes is survived by his wife, LaVonne; daughter and son-in-law
Cherie and Ned McDou-gald, Fresno; Linda Hughes-Malyj and Wasyl Malyj,
Davis; and Bill and Claire Frost, Placerville.
Also surviving are his grandchildren, Will Hughes Ellis, North Fork;
Katie Anne McDou-gald, Fresno; and Robert William and James Patterson Frost,
Also surviving are his brothers William Hughes and wife Priscilla;
and Joseph Hughes and his wife Marge, Madera; and brother-in-law James
He was preceded in death by his sister Pat Hughes McDou-gald, O’Neals;
and daughter Janet Hughes Ellis, North Fork.
Remembrances: John P. Hughes Endowed Chair in Equine Reproduction or
to the John P. Hughes Research Fund at the Center for Equine Health at
Donations should be made payable to the Regents of the University of
California with a notation of the desired fund and mailed to: Office of
the Dean, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis
Remembrances may also be made to the Madera County Historical Society.
OAKHURST – Gwen McCorkle, a resident here since 1988, died on February
18. She was 69.
A memorial service was held Saturday.
Mrs. McCorkle was the wife of Bill McCorkle of Oakhurst. She was the
mother of Bill McCorkle and Gary McCorkle, Long Beach.
She was the daughter of Clara Fields, Chowchilla, and the sister of
Dixie Grimm, Madera.
Also surviving are six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Arrangements were under the direction of Sierra Funeral Chapel of Oakhurst.
• Former resident
CLAREMONT, Los Angeles County – Lillian Parent Pixley, a onetime Oakhurst
resident, died January 31 at a care center here. She was 94.
A funeral Mass was celebrated February 7. Burial followed at Oakhill
Cemetery in Oakhurst.
Mrs. Pixley was born Lillian Mae Parent in Ware, Massa-chusetts, on
July 2, 1903, the youngest of nine children. She grew up in Springfield
and graduated from high school in that city in 1921.
On June 14, 1923, she married Nelson S. Pixley. The couple’s honeymoon
brought them to Pasadena, in Southern Califor-nia, where Mr. Pixley became
an accountant in the city controller’s department.
Mr. and Mrs. Pixley moved to Oakhurst in 1964, where they remained
until Mr. Pixley’s death in 1974. Subsequently, Mrs. Pixley moved to Claremont.
During her time in Oakhurst, Mrs. Pixley was an active parishioner
at St. Dominic Savio Catholic Church at Bass Lake.
Mrs. Pixley was a tireless worker during all of her adult life. During
her years in Pasadena she was active in singing groups, primarily in St.
Phillip’s church where she was also several times P-TA president. She was
also active in Paradena Girl Scouts.
Growing restless during retirement, in 1968-69 Mr. and Mrs. Pixley
joined VISTA – Volunteers in Service to America, the domestic Peace Corps.
Mrs. Pixley is survived by her daughters, Virginia McAnulty, Pasadena,
and Susan Pixley, San Rafael, and by her son, Alden Pixley, Claremont.
Also survivine are 17 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She was
predeceased by her son Nelson S. Pixley Jr. in 1996.
Nelson Sr. was the brother of the late Corrine Williams of Oakhurst
and the uncle of Morrison Williams, Oakhurst. 2-26-98
• Mono tribal elder
NORTH FORK – Dan McSwain, a resident here all of his life and,
at 94 years old, a tribal elder of the Mono people, died on Febru-ary 16.
A memorial celebration will be held Saturday [February 28], starting
at 1 p.m. at North Fork Town Hall. Included will be a potluck.
Mr. McSwain was born at acorn-picking time in 1903, when his mother
and great- aunts were on a trip to pick acorn at Tsibiau, a small creek
in Crane Valley now covered by Bass Lake.
His father was Daniel Win-throp McSwain, whose monument located at
the McSwain Mine still stands today. His mother Emma died while he was
quite young. He recalled being about 4 when he came in from playing to
see her before she died.
He was raised by his “Old Grammas” – Mary Paiute and Maggie Jim, his
maternal aunts. They lived at their ancestral homeplace on Malum Ridge
at a spring called Pahsiaputka – “Bubbling Sands,” which has the sweetest
water Dan ever tasted.
His Grammas raised Dan in the traditional ways – speaking their native
language, eating acorn and other wild foods they gathered.
Dan’s Indian name was Ysabaghah. Dan said he was “Monachi,” rather
than Mono, because it is the actual Indian name of his people, according
to his Grammas.
Mary Paiute lived to be more than 100 years old and remembered when
she and her family first saw whites in the late 1830s, while on a trip
to Friant to gather seeds. A contingency of cavalry soldiers gave the women
some wheat flour. Not knowing what it was, most women dumped it on the
ground. But one of Mary’s relatives mixed it with water and cooked it,
and found that it was good to eat.
Dan began his formal education when he was about 10, at the two-room
schoolhouse in North Fork. He and his neighbor, Ella Tex, who was 3 years
his junior and later became his wife, began school together.
When Dan and Ella married they lived at Pahsiaputka. Mag-gie Jim had
officially secured the homesite through the Federal Indian Allotment process.
There they raised two sons, Scott and Murphy.
In the early 1950s, Dan built a modern home for his family where the
“old house” had stood. There was no electricity to the place at that time,
so Dan sawed all the lumber by hand. He would spend one say sawing and
the next day nailing.
Dan did many jobs during his lifetime, and was proud he never took
aid, even though there were “hard times.” He always worked to support his
family and helped others all through his life.
After Dan completed the sixth grade he began to work full time. At
14 he stowed hay in a born for 50 cents a day, at 16 he brushed for the
construction of Kirchkoff Dam on the San Joaquin River, and at 17 he worked
on the Crane Valley when when it was strengthened for the railroad in 1920.
He learned to handle dynamite from Frank Tex, Ella’s father. He worked
for many years in road construction as a blaster and was the first “powder
monkey” hired for construction of the Mammoth Pool Road, built in the 1930s
by the Civilian Conser-vation Corps. At one time, the road from the valley
to North Fork stopped where a large rock blocked the road. Dan was responsible
for clearing the road when he blasted the rock with 90 sticks of dynamite,
and moved the rock all at once. He was rightly proud of his expertise at
this dangerous job.
Dan started working in the woods in 1933, and cut timber by hand using
a two-man crosscut saw. In 1945, he and his partner, Marcus, bought the
very first chainsaw in Madera County; they had to travel to San Francisco
to pick it up. It was heavy and took two men to handle it.
As an experienced faller, Dan could put a tree down intact, exactly
where he wanted it. He said that big trees were easier and more predictable
to work with than small ones. He preferred to use the “Humboldt undercut”
to fell trees because there was less waste, and it left a neat, level stump.
Dan taught his son Scott his skills, and they worked as a team for
Dan retired from the woods at 67, but continued to work with the U.S.
Forest Service in its senior program into his mid-70s.
Dan always pursued his interests in the traditional ways. He and Ella
hunted, fished, gathered mushrooms, and made delicious acorn. He helped
Ella gather and prepare the various basket materials, from which Ella made
beautiful Mono baskets. They enjoyed many years of retirement together
at Pahsiaputka. Ellia currently a patient at Wish-i-ah.
After a serious car wreck in April 1997, Dan spent the last 10 months
with “his daughter,” as he called her – Nita McSwain. She lovingly cared
for him and fulfilled his last wish: to die at home with her.
Dan passed to be with the Lord on February 16.
He had served as a board member at the Assembly of God Church in North
Fork for many years. His life was a living testimony of his deep love for
Dan was admired by everyone he touched with his kindness. His son,
Scott, calls him “a prince of a man,” and that is exactly what he was,
and will continue to be in the hearts of us who loved him, and had the
privilege of knowing him.
In addition to his widow and daughter, Mr. McSwain is survived by grandchildren
William Lee, Clovis; Robert Lee and Gayle McSwain, Redlands; Michael McSwain,
Anaheim; and Thomas Lee, Chicago. He was the great-grandfather of David
Remembrances: Scotty McSwain Memorial Scholarship Fund or Hospice of
Madera County. 2-26-98
OAKHURST – Bernice Mildred Seiffert Fuller died at her home here on
February 16. She was 80.
She was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Royal and Alice Seiffert.
Mrs. Fuller was the wife of Clarence E. Fuller, Oakhurst. She was the
mother of Barbara Jo Fuller, El Segundo; Vera Ann Irvine and a son-in-law
Also surviving are her brother, Royal Seiffert, Seattle; and sister,
Donna Matejka, Friend, Nebraska. 2-26-98
Dan J. Smoot
• Insurance agent
OAKHURST – Dan J. Smoot, 79, died February 17.
A memorial service will be held Saturday [February 28], starting at
2 p.m. at St. Raphael”s Episcopal Church, 43140 High-way 41.
Inurnment will be at the Campo Santo Episcopal Conference Center, Oakhurst.
Mr. Smoot was born in Philadelphia, Missouri, on March 29, 1918.
He lettered in basketball while in high school and later attended Missouri
University at Columbia.
He came to San Francisco in 1937 to pursue a career in music, joining
the San Francisco Opera Company for several seasons. He was also a member
of the Orpheus Choir.
Mr. Smoot was a soloist at the Episcopal Cathedrals in San Francisco,
and later in Houston.
Mr. Smoot was an agent with Franklin Life of Springfield, Illinois,
for 35 years. He moved his family back to California in the 1960s, living
in Orange County and then in Santa Barbara in 1975.
He married Margaret Holmer on February 17, 1979. They moved to Oakhurst
Mr. Smoot was a golfer, a jogger, a believer in exercise and was physically
Dan and Margaret have been members of St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church
and involved in community activities.
Mrs. Smoot survives as does son Mark B. Smoot (wife Becky) and daughter
Marla J. Dickerson (husband Tom), both of Wash-ington state; stepdaughter
Maren Petersen (husband Ron), Utah; two grandsons and four granddaughters.
Remembrances: Memorial Fund, St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church.
MERCED – Adeline Belva Day, 90, mother of two Oakhurst residents, died
here on February 20.
Services were held Monday at Stratford Evans Merced Chapel. Inurnment
followed at Merced District Cemetery.
Mrs. Day was born April 17, 1907, in Larned, Kanas. She had resided
in Merced for four years.
Mrs. Day loved to crochet, do needlepoint and she enjoyed listening
to Christian music.
She was the mother of Belva Jane Finn and George Bushby Morrill Jr.,
Oakhurst; Joyce Elaine Flaming, Merced; and Loren Allan Morrill, Angels
She was the sister of Florence Lilly, Visalia, and Alfred Chester-man,
Also surviving are 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Day was preceded in death by her first husband, George Bushby
Morrill, and her second husband, Lloyd Day. She was also preceded in death
by three sisters and two brothers. 2-26-98
COARSEGOLD – Josephine Irene Lerstad – lovingly known as "Auntie Jo"
– died at a Madera hospital on February 25.
Services were held Saturday at the Sierra Funeral Chapel in Oakhurst.
Mrs. Lerstad, 87, was born January 11, 1911, at Anoka, Minnesota.
She and Arne H. Lerstad were married in Minnesota in 1930 and were
together 63 years until his death in 1993.
The Lerstads came to Coarsegold from Arizona in 1989.
Although she had no children of her own, "Auntie Jo" was like a mother
to her many nieces and nephews and their children.
She also enjoyed participating in the senior bingo program at Coarsegold
Community Center. 3-5-98
Ross B. Salyer
• Retired business owner
CEDAR VALLEY – Ross B. Salyer, 83, died February 27 at a Fresno hospital.
Services were held Tuesday at Hamilton Peers Lorentzen Funeral Chapel
in Tulare. Burial followed at Tulare Dis-trict Cemetery.
Mr. Salyer was born in Hilton, Virginia, in 1914. His family moved
to Richmond, Indiana, in 1919 and it was there that he married the former
Mary Simons in 1936.
The Salyers came to Tulare in 1947, where he started Tulare Insulation
Company. He managed Tulare County Acoustical from 1950-53 and then became
a partner in Valley Aluminum Products Company.
He retired in 1975 and the Salyers came to Cedar Valley. Mrs. Salyer
died in 1996.
He was a 50-year member of the Elks Lodge.
He also loved to golf and was an original board member instrumental
in the organization and building of the Tulare Country Club and Golf Course.
He won the club championship in 1961.
Mr. Salyer was the father of Sunny Kunce, Fresno; Larry Salyer, Hanford;
and Ted Salyer and Jim Salyer, Tulare.
Ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren survive.
Mr. Salyer was the brother of Beatrice Alexander-Tyler, Cedar Valley;
and Wilma Turk, Tulare. He was preceded in death by brothers R.J. and Claude
Remembrances: Sierra Sen-ior Society, Post Office Box 122, Oakhurst
93644; or Bethel Assembly of God Church Royal Rangers, 2516 North M Street,
Tulare 93274. 3-5-98