Joanne Hirshberg Patheal 1951 – 2013


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Joanne Hirshberg Patheal May 18, 1951 — October 21, 2013


Joanne Hirshberg Patheal, 62, passed away on October 21, 2013 following a stroke in her Sierra City home. She is survived by her siblings, Lyn, Edward, Susan, and Wilson; her daughter, Sierra; her husband, Dennis; and her beloved canine companion, Nani.

Joanne was born to Lee and Natalie Hirshberg on May 18, 1951, in Oakland, California. She attended Montclair Elementary School and Skyline High School and went on to receive a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Soon after graduation, she accepted a job in Downieville’s planning department and immediately fell in love with Sierra County. She bought herself a motorcycle to explore the hills and get lost in the woods, and it was on this motorcycle that she met her husband, Dennis Patheal, near Nevada Street on Highway 49.

Although she left Sierra County at times—she and Dennis were commercial fishermen for seven years, and she lived in Oakland for over fifteen years after that—Joanne always returned to the mountains, first as the owner of the building that currently houses the Sierra City Library and then, since 2000, as the owner and operator of the Mountain Creek Restaurant, a project that soon came to epitomize her position in town and her connection to the community. She ran the restaurant like she ran her life: devotedly, energetically, and with a certain wry acceptance of all the stumbling blocks and uncertainties it continually posed. Joanne was passionate about education, service, and involvement, and she was rarely without a community gathering to attend, a child to tutor, and cookies to make for a bake sale the next day. She was a member of the Downieville Lions Club, the Sierra County Chamber of Commerce, and the Friends of the Library, amongst others, and she was instrumental to local events like the annual Wine in the Woods community fundraiser, the Big City Rod Run, and Sierra City’s after school homework club, to name only a few. Sierra City became not a getaway but a home, and it is with love that we return her to Sierra City now, if a bit farther up the road.

Joanne will be buried in the Sierra City cemetery on Saturday, October 26th at 1 pm, and a memorial service celebrating her life and legacy will be held in the spring. Please feel free to join us at either or both events to remember who she was and celebrate what she left behind. In lieu of flowers and cards, please send donations of any amount to the Downieville Lions Club Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 24, Downieville, CA 95936, in honor of some of the things Joanne held nearest and dearest to her heart.

She will be missed.

Gerald John Bryant 1924 – 2013


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Jerry Bryant

               Jerry Bryant

Gerald “Jerry” John Bryant passed away September 28, 2013 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Reno, Nevada after several years of illness.

Jerry was born in Paola, Montana on April 28, 1924 to Mary and Nathan Bryant.  Jerry had one sister, Opal, and after several moves in the Northwest, the family settled in Medford, Oregon. Jerry graduated from Medford High School where he was a star track sprinter and was coached be the famous Bill Bowerman, developer of the NIKE brand.

Jerry met Marcelle Jane Rice shortly after high school and they were married on June 24, 1943. He joined the U.S. Army and served in Europe and in the South Pacific.  After WWII Jerry worked as an outside sales representative for Atlantic Richfield.  He worked in Medford, Eugene, Sacramento and San Jose, CA.  They had one daughter, Sharon.

Jerry and Marcelle retired to Downieville in 1978 where they made their new home and met many new friends.  Those who knew Jerry will remember him for his many stories about his experiences.

Jerry is survived by his loving wife, Marcelle, daughter, Sharon Swartz and son-in-law Tom who live in Gresham, OR.  He is also survived by three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Jerry will be buried at the military cemetary in Eagle Point, Oregon in the Spring of 2014.  He loved his life in Downieville along with all the wonderful people who live there.

Any donations can be made to the Western Sierra Medical Clinic.

Jerry D. Ellsworth 1935 – 2013


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March 23, 1935 – September 27, 2013
Jerry Ellsworth passed away suddenly from cardiac arrest on Friday, September 27, 2013. He died at Enloe Hospital in Chico, California after being Air-Flighted there in the early a.m. from Indian Valley.Jerry was a quiet person who deeply loved his wife and daughters and the mountains in which he was raised. In his early years he was a good fisherman, hunter and all around hard worker. Although he had to give up the fishing and hunting, he worked diligently as a carpenter up until his death. He will be lovingly remembered for his dedication to the important things in life.He was born and then raised and lived in Indian Valley most of his life, except for two years (1959-1960) when he served in the U.S. Army. He graduated from Downieville High School in 1953. He worked at Cal-Ida Lumber Company near Brandy City for several years before he entered the Service. In 1960 he was honorably discharged after spending a year in Germany.

He married his wife, Linda, late in life at age 53 and is survived by his wife of 25 years, Linda, his daughters, Marie of Indian Valley and Elizabeth of Ashland, Oregon, and step-daughter, Daisy Cardenas of Boston, Mass. He is also survived by his sisters, Damaris Harbert and Julia Widner, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Addie, and a brother, Russell.

Graveside services are pending and will be held at Goodyear’s Bar Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Goodyear’s Bar Museum, formerly the school where Jerry spent some of his early educational years.  He is missed!

Dorothy Mae Winstead 1924 – 2013


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Dorothy Mae Winstead died peacefully on Sept. 17, 2013 in Eugene OR.  She was born in Modesto, California on Feb. 21, 1924 to Irene and Clarence Quisenberry.

She attended Modesto High School and Modesto Jr. College.  She became an active member of Native Daughters and Eastern Star during this time.

Dorothy met her husband, Donald Winstead, during WWII. Their relationship grew through an exchange of letters while Don was overseas and they were married upon his discharge from the Navy on Jan. 6, 1946.

Don and Dorothy had three children, Janice Winstead, Barry Winstead, and Mark Winstead. Dorothy made dozens of moves with her family throughout the seven western states during Don’s career with the U.S. Geological Survey. They developed many great friendships though these years.

After 52 years of marriage Don passed away but Dorothy continued on to live happy and fulfilling years with her brother Richard Quisenberry and sister June Canning in Turlock Ca.

The legacy she leaves is that of a dedicated and loving wife, mother, grandmother and a loyal friend to many.  She was preceded in death by her husband Don and grandson Erik.  She is survived by her children Janice, Barry and Mark, her brother Richard, her sister June, and grandchildren Rebecca, Blakely, Regan, Kirby, Hanna and Haley.

Contributions can be made in her honor to: Sacred Heart Hospice, 677 E 12th Ave. Eugene OR 97401.

Lawrence James McCaffrey 1942 – 2013

larry McCaffrey
Lawrence James McCaffrey passed away Wednesday, August 7, at the age of 78. He was born in Orange County July 2, 1934 and moved to Sierraville with his family in 1942. He attended Sierraville Elementary School and Loyalton High School, but graduated from Roseville High.
Larry worked as a timber faller and helped mentor many aspiring fallers. Many of his fellow timber fallers referred to him as “The Legend.” He served in the Army from 1955 to 1957and spent over a year in Korea serving in an engineering battalion and running a maintenance shop. He was an avid skier and snowmobiler.
He was preceded in death by his parents Jerome and Lola McCaffrey and his brother Ronald. He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Olivia, and daughter Jill Pierce Abbajay , son-in-law Richard Abbajay, grandchildren Grayson Walsh and Isabel Abbajay all of Fort Collins, Colorado, and brothers Jerry and John of Sierraville and brother Tom of Reno. No services are planned.
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Samuel W. Bekoff, Jr. 1931 – 2013

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Samuel W. Bekoff, Jr.

Sam Bekoff

Sam Bekoff

Sam Bekoff, a former resident of both Forest City and Downieville, died July 30 in Sacramento.   Born in San Francisco, Sam’s family moved to Forest City in 1937 when Sam was just 6, where his Dad went to work at Alleghany’s Sixteen to One Mine.  Sam would recall great times in Forest City, including winter trips via ski to Alleghany.

Sam’s family later moved to Downieville, owning the old Downieville Brewery (today’s Simi residence), and Sam graduated from Downieville High School in the class of 1950.  A working scale model of a stamp mill, still in the Downieville Museum, was completed by Sam and his class.  After graduation, he would serve in the US Navy in the Pacific.  He was a 40 year employee of the Southern Pacific Railroad.  As a machinist, he was second to none.

Sam was predeceased by the love of his life, wife Jean, in 2009.  He is survived by children Sandra, Linda, Sam, Mark, and his sister Juanita.  Another son Michael predeceased Sam.

He is missed by both family and those lucky enough to call him a friend.

Phyllis Jane Watson 2013

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Phyllis Jane Watson of Graeaglewas affectionately known as one of the Pond Scum ladies and loving wife of Garin Watson, Phyllis passed away peacefully surrounded by family, after her brave fight against lung cancer.
Raised in San Francisco, she was the beloved daughter of Kenneth and Margaret Lind. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Patricia Driscoll.
Loving wife, mother, and grandmother, Phyllis (Bubbie) is survived by her husband, Garin Watson, her children, Gary Watson (Deidre), Lynn Velez (Jev), Susan Acero (Mark) and grandchildren Travis, Danny, Patrick, and Andrew.
Phyllis married her high school sweet heart, and after raising their family in Pacifica, they retired and moved to Graeagle, California. Phyllis enjoyed the outdoors, gardening, singing,cooking,baking and hunting and fishing with her husband. She especially adored her grandchildren. Bubbie will be forever in our hearts.
Memorial service was held Sunday, August 25 at Lighthouse Christian Fellowship, Pacifica, CA
Condolences may be sent to: Garin Watson, 1051 Broadway, Apt 101, Millbrae, CA 9403

Bernard “Bernie” Edward Stadelman III

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Bernard Edward Stadelman III, known in Downieville as “Bernie” son of John Funk passed away on July 26, 2013.

Services will be held for him at Cooper & Weaver Mortuary on Wednesday, August 7, at 11:00 a.m. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Western Sierra Medical Clinic or Hospice of the Foothills.

459 Hollow Way, Nevada City, CA

Edwin Francis Shotzberger 1925 – 2013

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Edwin Francis Shotzberger
March 31, 1925 – July 8, 2013
Ed Shotzberger

Ed Shotzberger

Edwin Francis Shotzberger slipped gently away on July 8, 2013. Born on March 31, 1925 in Baltimore, Maryland, he was spent most of his youth working on Edge Hill Farm near Haymarket, Virginia. He enlisted in the regular Army on June 5, 1943 and served in the European Theater of operations for 16 months.
As part of the 167th Engineer Combat Batallion, he built bridges and cleared minefields. After the war ended he became a soldier for peace, working in the reconstruction in Rhineland and Central Europe. He briefly left the military for college but returned as part of the Veterinary Corps, serving in Korea, Denmark, Baltimore, San Diego and Japan. He retired after 26 years.
SFC Shotzberger was a dedicated scout master, beginning with Boy Scout Troop 898 in Dundalk, Maryland. His intrepid troop camped every month, rain or shine or snow, often at Deep Run whose shelters were open on the north side. He always laughed when he told how eager they were to attend church on Sunday mornings in January and February. He continued in scouting in San Diego and Sasebo, Japan.
His camping extended to weekend family campouts in the United States and Europe and several memorable month-long, cross-country trips. He was married to Lillian Shanko of Yale, Virginia. Between them, they had two sons, Edward Sitch and Martin Shotzberger and one daughter, Charlotte Zimmerman.
After retirement, SFC and Mrs. Shotzberger wandered into California’s Sierra Nevadas in search of adventure. There, they filed the Do-Lil Claim on the North Fork of the Yuba River near Goodyears Bar and Downieville, California. Campouts were now four-six months long with children, grandchildren and other family members and friends joining them for a few days or a few weeks. It was a glorious time filled with great happiness and the occasional rattlesnake. After Lillian passed in 1993, he continued to travel to Goodyears Bar and Downieville until 2008.
Throughout his life he was an example to his children, scouts and anyone who met him, demonstrating and expecting honesty, courage, faithfulness and devotion to duty. He leaves the world a better place for having been in it.

John LeRoy Johnsen 1933 – 2013

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John LeRoy Johnsen
October 10, 1933 – July 3, 2013
John LeRoy Johnsen

John LeRoy Johnsen

Born October 10, 1933 to John and Ruth Johnsen in Fresno, John Johnsen wore a steady progression of seven uniforms before donning the gray of the United States Military Academy at West Point. There were the Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Sea Scout uniforms, and that of the California Cadet Corps where he was the top cadet Lieutenant Colonel his senior year at Roosevelt High School. John placed second in the Fresno area manual of arms competition his junior year and first place in his senior year while at the same time wearing the uniform of the US Marine Corps Reserve where he taught the manual of arms to wizened veterans. The commanding officer of his unit managed to discharge him when the unit was called up for the Korean War due to John being underage. Upon graduation from high school, John, with relative rank of second lieutenant in the California National Guard, was simultaneously a private in the Air Force ROTC program at Fresno State College.
Entering West Point with the class of 1956, John enjoyed playing handball and running track while singing in the Cadet Chapel Choir. In the 1955 Beast Barracks John again was on the podium teaching the manual of arms. The day following his graduation as a cadet lieutenant, the new Armor officer married Mary Helene Pigott of Northford, CT on June 6th, 1956 and the two set off on his twenty year career as an officer in the U.S. Army.
Highlights of that career included being in armor (tank and airborne) units in Germany for almost seven years, earning an honor graduate jump master trophy, and taking two forays to Vietnam. John earned a master’s degree at Stephens Institute of Technology in Terrain Vehicle Mechanics, represented the US at NATO conferences at Brussels when at the Pentagon Office of the Chief of Research and Development, and commanded the 1st Battalion 70th Armor, 4thInfantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado.
John loved being with troops, so when faced with the prospect of the War College or the Pentagon again, he decided to retire in 1976 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He then did research at the Oregon Graduate Center where he earned a doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering followed by a professorship in mechanical engineering at the University of Portland. Back working with the age group that he loved, John was happy teaching Thermodynamics, Materials Science and Fracture Mechanics.
John and Mary’s four sons kept them busy along the way. James, born in Augsberg, Germany in 1957, has a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Fairbanks, Alaska; John born in Heidelberg in 1958, died in 1984 in an accident at El Toro Naval Air Station when a Lance Corporal, USMC; David was born at Fort Knox, KY in 1961 and now lives in Oregon where he represents a German manufacturing company; and Erik, born in New Mexico in 1964, graduated from USAFA ’87, flew for the USAF for twenty years and now is an American Airlines pilot. These men have served as John’s best friends through the years. John was also proud of his two grandchildren born to Jim and his Mary, Greta an NPR journalist and Jakob, USMA ’09, Special Assistant for military and veteran’s affairs to the Adjutant General of the state of Alaska.
Throughout John’s careers, his troops, officers and non-commissioned officers, students, wife, sons, and extended family recognized his unabridged honesty, his passion for truth and his respect for others. His West Point classmates also noted he set very high standards with his inspirational leadership skills.
After the first twenty plus years of his life in Fresno and USMA, then twenty in the Army, and the third in academia, John returned for the last sixteen to Downieville, CA. Here he played drums in a band, climbed mountain trails with his golden retrievers and caught up reading in the Books for the Blind the history and philosophy books he had not had time for earlier. He also wrote some 250 limericks and enjoyed the company of good friends. Mary and his sons will always remember him for his terrific sense of humor, as a good and loving man, and a fine gentleman leader and citizen.
The plan is for Colonel Johnsen to be featured in the Downieville Veteran’s Day ceremony at the bell tower on the 11th of November. Upon Mary’s death, John’s cremains will join hers for burial beside their son John in Portland, OR. Should anyone wish, donations may be made in his name to the Downieville Tennis and Education Association, 95936-0518 or a charity of their choice.
Mary P. Johnsen and sons Jim, David and Erik

Jesse Eugene Dunnam 1984 – 2013

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Jesse Eugene Dunnam

Born on a beautiful Monday

While the rain fell lightly

October 1, 1984

He peacefully left us on

May 26, 2013

Jesse was greatly loved

And will forever be missed

Remember me when I am gone, the wind, the sand and the sea

Like a seashell found and tucked away on your shelf

Remember me when I’m gone…

A celebration of the Life and Times of Jesse will be held at the home of Dean and Shelly Fischer on June 1 starting at noon with graveside services around 2 p.m.

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