Miscellaneous Napa County, California Obituaries
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Lavera M. Caiocca

Private family services were held for Lavera Marcey Caiocca, who died Oct. 6 at St. Helena Hospital. She was 90.

Mrs. Caiocca was born in Weir, Kansas, to Oscar and Josephine Gray Jones. In 1963, she moved to the Napa Valley from San Francisco. She met her late husband, Julius, in St. Helena and they became known in the county for their love of dancing.

Mrs. Caiocca, a member of The Silverado Chapter O.E.S #189, is survived by a daughter, Rosalie Marsha Harris, of Sonora; a daughter and son-in-law, Marcey and Jack Smith, of Calistoga; grandchildren Martin Varrel-man, Cheryl Smith and Jason Smith; and a great-grandson, Kolby Smith.

Entombment was at St. Helena Cemetery. Arrang-ements by Richard Pierce Funeral Service, Napa.

Memorial contributions may be made to We Care Animal Rescue, 1345 Charter Oak Ave., St. Helena, CA 94574.

Robert W. Keller

Graveside service will be held Friday, October 19, at 1 p.m. at the St. Helena Cemetery for Robert William Keller, who died Oct. 13 at St. Helena Hospital. He was 88.

Mr. Keller, a native of Antelope, Canada, was the son of Thomas and Gertrude Keller. He was a logger for 35 years in various northwest states until he became self-employed as a speciality advertising salesman for Newton Manufacturing.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Mary Sawyer Booska Keller of Angwin. In addition he is survived by Robert Keller Jr., William Keller, Leilani Norman, Betty Lou Baylink, Barbara Thompson and Steven Booska; 19 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his five siblings.

Memorial contributions may be made to ADRA 911, 12501 Old Columbia Pike Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904.

Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.

George K. Perkins

George K. Perkins, a contractor in Pope Valley and Lake County for many years, died Oct. 6 at St. Helena Hospital. He was 81.

Mr. Perkins, a native of Kansas City, Kan., is survived by his wife, Bertha, of Sacramento; a daughter, Rhonda Kay Gaskamp and brothers Shiral Perkins and Robert Perkins. At Mr. Perkins' request, no services were held.

Memorial donations may be made to Shriner's Hospital for Crippled Children, P.O. Box 214477, Sacramento, CA 94821-0477.

Arrangements by Richard Pierce Funeral Service, Napa.

Edith P. Rowton

A graveside service was held Oct. 15 at the St. Helena Cemetery for Napa Valley native Edith Porta Balconi Rowton, who died Oct. 10 in Oklahoma City. She was 88. 

The granddaughter of Italian immigrants who homesteaded on Spring Mountain, Mrs. Rowton's family had numerous ties to the Upper Valley. Her father, George J. Porta, helped build the original St. Helena High School as well as many stone bridges in the area and the Christian Brothers Winery, now the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. 

During World War II, she worked at the Army Arsenal in Benicia, and lived in South San Francisco, Martinez and Seattle before returning to St. Helena in 1960 to care for her uncle, Emil Traverso. She also worked for the Christian Brothers Retreat House and the Martini Winery. She moved to Oklahoma in 1982.

Mrs. Rowton is survived by nieces Cheryl Leever Huffman, Jacqueline Rees, Nancy Frankoni and Jeanette Bullock, and nephews Carl Porta and George Porta.

She is preceded in death by her first husband, Henry Balconi; her second husband, Ray Rowton; her brothers, George Porta and Theodore Porta; and a sister, Marguerite Porta Leever.

Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel, St. Helena.

Gladys P. Spiker

Longtime St. Helena resident Gladys Peterson Spiker died Oct. 12 in St. Helena. She was 87.

Mrs. Spiker, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., was an avid Pittsburgh sports fan all her life.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Mary Spiker, of Santa Rosa, and was an honorary great-grandmother to Meg-an, Mark, Bryan, Daryl, Christine, Jessica, Rebecca and Morgan.

Her husband, Harry Spiker, died Dec. 24, 1994. They had been married 61 years.

Arrangements by the Neptune Society, Santa Rosa.

Nellie Gladys Odell

A memorial service will be held at Napa Valley Retirement Estates, 306 Vista Drive, Yountville, Oct. 31 at 2 p.m, for Nellie Gladys Odell, 92, who died in St. Helena on Oct. 10. She was 92.

Miss Odell was born in 1909 in Berea, Ind., to Ross and Marie Odell. She earned a master's degree from Pacific Union College and was recently named a PUC Alumna of the Year. 

A retired teacher and a member of Signs Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church, Miss Odell taught in mission stations around the world for years following her retirement. She moved from Modesto to Yountville in 1990.

She is survived by a sister, Hazel Vaughan, of Dunsmuir, Calif., and remembered by her many students.

Memorial donations may be made to a charity of choice or to the Adventist Development and Relief Association, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Springs, MD 20904-9869.

Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.

R. E. 'Ron' Clemons

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Elmshaven Seventh-day Adventist Church, Woodland Lane, Deer Park, for Ronoak "Ron" Edward Clemons, who died Oct. 28 in St. Helena. He was 89. 

Mr. Clemons, a direct descendent of writer Mark Twain, was the son of Edward and Oakie Clemons of Knoblick, Mo.

Over the years he worked as a dryland farmer, rancher, steel mill worker and residential builder. He moved to this area 38 years ago and was a member of the Elmshaven Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Mr. Clemons is survived by six children: Rosalee Beierle of Oroville; Don Clemons of Texas; George Clemons of Napa; Carol Herbert of Kirkland; Carl Clemons of St. Helena; and Verl Clemons of Pope Valley; 17 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Celie, and by a son, Will.

Visitation will be held at Elmshaven Seventh-day Adventist Church Friday, Nov. 2, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.

Renee E. Viti

Private family services are being held today, Thursday, at Holy Cross Cemetery for Renee E. Viti, who died at the St. Helena Hospital Oct. 27. She was 83.

Mrs. Viti is the daughter of Augustin and Marguerite Balmont of Cannes, France. She was a real estate agent in St. Helena for many years, a volunteer at the St. Helena City Hall and an assistant in a ballet class for children taught through the Recreation Department.

At the time of her death, she and her husband, Steve Viti, had been married for 40 years.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1031 Jefferson St., Napa CA 94558 

Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.

Linda Sue Hanson

Friends are gathering for a memorial service Sunday, Nov. 18, at 1260 Shady Brook Lane, Napa, for Linda Sue Hanson, who died of cancer Nov. 2. She was 61. 

Miss Hanson, a native of Aurora, Ill., was a St. Helena resident for more than two decades. She did extensive volunteer work and was a member of the first class of the natural science docent training program in 1982 started by the California Native Plant Society to augment grade school curriculum. She went on to become the historian and photographer of CNPS activities. A long-time active member of Napa Valley Natural History Association at Bothe Park, she also coordinated children's activities for The Land Trust of Napa County picnics. She is survived by two sisters and a brother.

For information on the service, call Barbara Kummr, 226-1191. 

Memorial donations may be made to the California Native Plant Society, 2201 Imola Ave., Napa, CA 94559.

Arrangements by Richard Pierce Funeral Service.

Ruth Buntain

Interment will be in the St. Helena Cemetery for Ruth Elsie Buntain, a 25-year resident of St. Helena who died at St. Helena Hospital Nov. 5. She was 89.

Mrs. Buntain, the daughter of Charles and Louise Jaeger, was born in Chicago, Ill., and was five when she moved with her family to Kings County in California.

She graduated with honors from Fresno State College in 1934 (now California State University, Fresno), and accepted a teaching position in Wasco, near Bakersfield, where she met her educator-husband, Harold Buntain. Following their marriage on Christmas Eve, 1941, the couple continued as educators in the Wasco schools until retirement, then moved to Angwin and later to St. Helena. 

Mrs. Buntain devoted her time to freelance writing. A children's book she wrote was a Junior Literary Guild selection accepted by the American Library Booklist and later published in a number of school textbooks.

She was a member of the St. Helena Seventh-day Adventist Church; a lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation; and a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society

She is survived by a sister-in-law, Ora L. Jaeger, of Prineville, Ore., and four nephews. 

Her husband died in 1981. They had been married 47 years.

Memorial donations may be made to International Children's Care, P.O. Box 4406, Vancouver, WA 98662-0406; Holbrook Seventh-day Adventist Indian School, P. O. Box 880, McLaws Road, Holbrook, AZ 86025; or to the charity choice.

Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.

Eleanor von Metz

Services were held Nov. 10 for Eleanor von Metz, 73, who died Nov. 8 at Queen of the Valley Hospital. She was 73.

Mrs. von Metz was raised in Paauhu, Hawaii, and came to the mainland in 1952, and moved from Illinois to California in 1955.

Four years later she married Bill von Metz. The couple moved to Napa County in 1969 and later moved to St. Helena. For the past year they had been living in Napa. Mrs. von Metz was an avid gardener, reader, cook and collector of antiques.

She is survived by her husband of 42 years, William, of Napa; three brothers, Glen of Antioch, Clarence and Francis, both of Hawaii; and by her mother, Sueko Kunishige, of Hawaii.

Memorial donations may be made to the Robert Louis Stevenson Silverado Museum, P.O. Box 409, St. Helena CA 94574.

Howard E. Rhoads

A memorial serivce will be held Saturday, Nov. 24, at 11 a.m. in Grace Episcopal Church for Howard E. "Dusty" Rhoads of St. Helena, who died Nov. 15. He was 89.

Mr. Rhoads, a graduate of Kansas State University, was a civil engineer with C.F. Braun Company in California and New Jersey.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Oda Mae, of St. Helena; a son, Ross Rhoads of Maryland; a daughter, Tracy Lintner and her husband, Larry, of St. Helena; and grandchildren Dana Caruso, Jared Matcham, Quincy Selbach and Tyler Matcham.

Clyde D. Foster

Funeral services will be held today, Nov. 29, at 11 a.m. in the Redwood Chapel of the Oakmont Mortuary, Lafayette, for St. Helena resident Clyde D. Foster, who died Nov. 21. He was 85 years old.

Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

A native of Wagoner, Okla., Mr. Foster was a longtime resident of Martinez and Concord, and a former Kiwanis member.

He is survived by his wife, Jean; daughters Carol Roman of Martinez, Linda Sherwin of St. Helena and Kathleen Dale of Tahoe City; sons-in-law Alfred Roman, Steve Sherwin and Douglas Dale; grandchildren Zachary Roman, Jennifer, Lindsey and Matthew Sherwin; and Justin and Christine Dale.

Interment will be in Oakmont Memorial Park.

Arrangements by Oakmont Memorial Park and Mortuary, (925) 935-1221.

John Paul Mischkot

A funeral mass was held Nov. 24 for John Paul Mischkot, who died at St. Helena Hospital Nov. 21. He was 92.

Mr. Mischkot was born in Austria to Joseph and Theresa Mischkot on the first day of 1909.

He later moved to Iron Mountain, Mich., and worked at the Ford motor plant. During World War II he served in the European, African and Middle-Eastern theaters of war. He moved to the Napa Valley in 1952 and worked for 20 years as a crane operator for Mare Island Naval Shipyard years before his retirement in 1972.

An avid golfer, he had four holes-in-one to his name.

Mr. Mischkot was a parishioner of the St. Helena Catholic Church for nearly half a century, and was also a member of the American Legion and AARP.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Olive; a daughter, Terese Parriot, of St. Helena; a son, Ray Mischkot, of San Diego; a son-in-law, Guy Parriott, of St. Helena; a daughter-in-law, Peggy Mischkot, of San Diego; five grandchildren, Steven, Tim, Brian, Kurt and Jonathan; and four great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by two brothers, Joseph and August; and two sisters Theresa and Mitzi. Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.

Maureen Dwyer

A memorial mass will be offered Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. at the St. Helena Catholic Church for Maureen Leigh Dwyer, who died suddenly Dec. 5 in St. Helena. She was 49.

Ms. Dwyer, the daughter of Isabelle Dwyer, was born in Heidelberg, Germany, while her father, the late William Dwyer, was stationed there with the U.S. military. Her first 10 years were spent in Europe in school and traveling with her parents and brothers, Gregory and Kevin. A resident of San Francisco for many years, she most recently had been living in St. Helena with her mother.

In addition to her mother, Ms. Dwyer is survived by an uncle, Albert Rubbo; a sister-in-law, Roxanne Dwyer and two nieces, Pauline Marshall and Liberty Ann Dwyer, all of Fresno. She was preceded in death by her father and her brothers.

Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.

Dannie Juanita Kay

A former St. Helena Teen Center chaperone and one-time owner of Dannie Kay Laundry, Dannie Juanita Kay, died in Angwin Dec. 6. She was 93.

Ms. Kay, a native of Oklahoma, was a graduate of Oklahoma St. University and taught school for 12 years before moving to Wichita and going to work at Boeing Aircraft. Following a move to Oakland she worked as production manager for Oakland Towel Company and in 1950 moved to St. Helena and took over the management of the Old Steam Laundry. In 1974 she built the laundry on Oak Avenue that bore her name. She served as a chaperone for the Teen Center for 10 years and was a member of Soroptimist International and the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce.

She is survived by a sister, Christine Clark, of Tahlequah, Okla.

Allen K. Parks

Funeral services were held at Morrison Funeral Chapel Dec. 8. for Allen Kennedy Parks, who died at St. Helena Hospital Dec. 3. He was 80.

A native of Sacramento, Mr. Parks worked for Pacific Bell Telephone Company in St. Helena and Napa for 42 years until his retirement as fleet supervisor. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Helena, and an avid hunter of abalone and mushrooms.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Norma; two sons, Richard Parks of Middletown and Patrick Parks of Sebastopol; a daughter, Valerie Truscott of Sacramento; a stepson, Calvin Buss of Florence, Ore.; two sisters, Dorothy Newbell and Betty Leeper, both of Sacramento; 17 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two sons, William A. Parks and Paul E. Parks. 

Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.

Jose Barajas-Macias

Services were held at the St. Helena Catholic Church for Jose DeJesus Barajas-Macias, who died Dec. 11 in Yountville. He was 23.

A native of Jalisco, Mexico, he graduated from the Bell High School in Bell, Calif., and was a member at the St. John's Catholic Church of Napa.

Mr. Barajas-Macias was employed as a prep cook at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena.

His parents, Jesus and Margarita Macias Baragas of Fontana, Calif., said they will remember him as a kind and loving man who worked hard to succeed. 

In addition to his parents he is survived by two brothers, Miguel Angel Barajas of Long Beach and Juan Barajas of Fontana; sisters Maria Barajas of Middletown, Griselda Barajas of Bell and Margarita Barajas of Stockton; and seven nephews.

Interment was in the Holy Cross Cemetery, St. Helena.

Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.

Homer Denton

A memorial service will be held at the St. Helena Masonic Temple, 1335 Main St., St. Helena, Saturday, Dec. 22., at 2 p.m. for longtime St. Helena resident Homer Denton, who died at his home Monday, his family at his side.

Mr. Denton is survived by his wife, Helen; a son, Dan, of Pope Valley; two grandchildren; a brother, Don Denton and a sister, Nadine Faria, both of Grants Pass, Ore.. 

Mr. Denton served consecutive terms on the Napa County Planning Commission and was a member of the St. Helena American Legion as well as the Disabled American Veterans. 

Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.

John A. Mazza

Funeral Mass was celebrated Wednesday at St. Helena Catholic Church for John A. Mazza, who died Dec. 16. He was 84.

Mr. Mazza was the fourth of six children born to Filomena and Rocco Mazza of Willard, Ohio.

He graduated from Mansfield High School in 1935 and three years later joined the Ohio National Guard. He saw active duty from September 1940 through July of 1941. The following year he enlisted in the Army Air Force, trained as a flight engineer/gunner, was promoted to tech sargent and in February 1944, was sent to Italy, where he was assigned to the 301st Bomb Group of the 15th Air Force. He flew 51 combat missions over Italy, Germany and Eastern Europe, including four missions to Ploesti, between February and July 1944. He was rotated home in 1944 and married Rosemary Wood. 

Mr. Mazza was recalled to active duty briefly in 1951 and remained in the reserves until 1963. In civilian life he worked as a service engineer at Ford Motor Company in Richmond, Calif., instructing automobile mechanics.

He and his wife moved to St. Helena in 1965. Follow-ing his retirement in 1980, he enjoyed model railroading, traveling and building/restoring clocks.

He was active in the American Legion Post 199, did volunteer work with the St Helena Hospital and restored aircraft at the Travis AFB museum. 

In addition to his wife of 57 years he is survived by sons John Jr. of San Francisco and Michael of Lafayette; daughters Kathryn of Maryland and Jean of Florida; two grandchildren Mike and Elizabeth; a sister, Jenny, of Ohio, and a brother, Joe, of Florida. 

Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel.

Esther M. Putnam

Interment was held at St. Helena Cemetery for Esther Marguerite Putnam, who died Dec. 20 at her home in Calistoga. She was 91.

A native of Harrington, Wash., where her father managed a Sperry flour mill, Mrs. Putnam moved with her family to Lind and Pasco, Wash. In 1933, she married her childhood sweetheart, Daniel Curry Putnam, a budding journalist.

At the outbreak of World War II, Mrs. Putnam was recruited as a noncommissioned officer and served at a coastal anti-submarine base in Texas on the Gulf Coast. In addition to short-wave radio communications, she was in charge of one end of the longest continuously hooked up teletype system then in existence.

Following completion of the CAP mission, Mrs. Putnam and her family lived in several Washington cities before settling in Chula Vista, a suburb of San Diego, where for 16 years she worked in a 12-doctor clinic. She and her husband raised their two children there. In 1970, they followed the younger family members to Northern California. For three years the couple lived in Mendocino and were active in the Mendocino Art Center drama programs. 

The couple moved to St. Helena in 1973 when their first grandchild was born, and for six years Mr. Putnam served as treasurer of the St. Helena Friends of the Library during the fund-raising drive to build a new branch library.

In 1980, the Putnams moved to Calistoga to be near their children.

Mrs. Putnam is survived by a son, William H. Putnam; a daughter, Martha J. Shuster; a grandson, Zachary D. Shuster; and a son-in-law Richard J. Shuster; all of Calistoga; a brother, James Gough; a sister-in-law, Patricia Gough; and a nephew, Joel Gough, of Spokane.

Interment was under the direction of the Neptune Society.

James Wilks

Private services are planned for James Wilks, who died after a long illness on Dec. 1. He was 90 years.

Mr. Wilks was born in Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, England, in August 1911 and at the age of 2 months moved with his family to Moose Jaw, Canada. Mr.Wilks met his wife of 64 years, Constance Wilks, in Canada and they moved to the United States in 1939. They settled in San Mateo but also lived in Reno, Nevada and Guam.

The couple moved to St. Helena after retirement in 1978. Mr. Wilks was an avid golfer and proud of shooting a hole in one. In 1997, the Wilks moved to The Meadows in Napa.

He joined the Masons in 1944 and in 1994 celebrated his 50 years of membership in the Napa Valley Lodge #93 F & AM St. Helena.

He is survived by his wife, Connie; his daughter, Leslie; and his two sons Randall and Allan; three grandsons; Robbie, Bryan and Eric Wilks; one granddaughter, Karoline McLaughlin; and a great- granddaughter, Kirah. 

A memorial tea for friends and family will be held Sunday, Jan. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. at The Meadows, 1800 Atrium Parkway, Napa.

Memorial donations may be sent to Hospice of Napa Valley, 3299 Claremont Way, Napa, CA 94558.


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