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Class of 1968 - In Memoriam

In memory of those classmates who are reported to be no longer with us.

If you would like to honor anyone else please contact webmaster

If you would like to say something in remembrance of a classmate send the webmaster your contribution and he'll add it to this page. Fond memories are welcome.

If you know anything about the circumstances and date of passing please let me know as many people have written wanting to know more about their friends. I'm sorry about the scarcity and lack of precision but I've included what little information I've been provided with.

Name Date How Remembrances
Gary Barber 10/30/02 cancer Lake County Record-Bee, Lakeport, California, Nov. 2, 2002
Gary Lee Barber
Gary Lee Barber, 52, of Kelseyville, passed away on Oct. 30, 2002 at Sutter Lakeside Community Hospital after a long battle with cancer. He was admitted Monday evening with pneumonia, and left us Wednesday morning. He died in the same way he lived his life -- privately and with dignity.
Gary was preceded in death by his son, Adam Barber, and his father, Rodell Barber.
He is survived by his wife Terry Barber; mother and step-father Dorothy and Clarence Conklin of Lakeport; brother Kenneth Barber of Wetumpka, Ala.; sister Linda Barber of Kelseyville; sons Troy Barber of Sacramento, Eric Barber of Clarksville, Tenn., Chris Jarose of Lakeport and David Jarose of Kelseyville; grandsons Mitchell Barber, Jacob Barber, Zachary Barber; nephew Matthew Barber; and parents-in-law Michael and Lorna Kekesako of Hawaii.
Gary moved to Lake County in 1980 after his decision to leave the Air Force (1969-1980). Gary was a Vietnam Veteran and had worked as a jet mechanic in Da Nang (1971-1972). When asked to do another overseas tour and leave his family, his decision was to leave the Air Force and move to Lake County (Lucerne) and start a new life for his family.
Gary quickly got involved with the community. He was the Little League baseball coach (1981-1984); Top Coach of the year (1981); Boy Scouts of America-Scout Master (1981-1985); and he has regaled us time and again with funny stories from that time period. One of his greatest loves was being with the Lucerne Volunteer Fire Department, and he was Volunteer Fireman of the Year (1982). He also helped organize the first Lucerne Alpine Festival (1983) and was active in the Upper Lake High School Boosters (1986-1990).
In 1983, Gary's new career got a start when May Noble offered to send him to Real Estate School. What a change that was for him. True to his style, he jumped in and became involved in all aspects. He became a broker in 1987 and worked for Noble Realty until 1996. He served on the Board of Directors for several years and was past-president of the Clear Lake Board of Realtors, and was an instrumental force in the merger of the Clear Lake Board of Realtors with the North Bay Board of Realtors. Gary was also a member of the National Association of Realtors for which he attained the CRB designation, and the California Association of Realtors (CAR) of which he was a Director and served as Region IV Chairperson in 2001. He was also appointed by CAR as chair of a 2-year statewide task force committee on Mobile and Manufactured Homes.
Gary married Terry Oct. 12, 1991 and began a new life on the Kelseyville side of the Lake. Of course, he brought his sense of humor, style, and commitment to community with him. This was reflected in his ongoing involvement with the Lakeport Chamber of Commerce of which he was a member of the Board of Directors, and involved in many local projects like "Pedal Around the Puddle." In 1996, he went into business for himself and purchased the Clear Lake Realty, which later changed its name to California Prudential Realty. In 1989, he also started teaching Real Estate Principles at Mendocino College, and he joined what was to be his favorite organization, the Lakeport Rotary.
During his time with the Lakeport Rotary, Gary managed, like always, to become president (1997-1998), but he truly loved this organization and managed to be involved in almost everything they did. His love for Rotary was returned to him 10-fold when he offered his resignation based on his failing health. The members unanimously voted not to accept his resignation and to make him an Honorian Rotarian (lifetime member). He was so proud and so very touched.
Gary was known to all for his sense of humor and integrity. He is starting out on his "next big adventure" as he mentioned before he passed on. He will be greatly missed by all of us left behind. He was truly loved by all who knew him.
Memorial donations may be made in Gary's name to the Lakeport Rotary, PO Box 937, Lakeport, CA 95453 or Lake County/North Bay Board of Realtors for the Gary Barber Memorial Scholarship Fund for Kelseyville High School, PO Box 3130, Clearlake, CA 95422.
Skip Benoit 10/31/81    
Donald Birdsong 5/12/04    
Robert Bussell 7/27/11 cancer

Robert "Rob" BUSSELL
Robert "Rob" Bussell went home to his beloved God on Wednesday, July 27, following a courageous 4-month battle with cancer. His wife, Shirley, was with him as he left this world peacefully in the comfort of his home. Rob is also survived by his mother, Elaine E. Butts of Scotts Valley, sister, Kristine Valentine of Citrus Heights, his two nieces, Sarah and Emily Valentine, his son Billy Ashley and daughter-in-law Laurie Wingo, and mother and father-in-law, Terry and Mel Eberly. Rob was born to Ira Glenn Bussell and Elaine E. Fitzpatrick on August 26, 1950 in Sacramento, California, where he attended grade school and college. Rob was avid gymnast for which he received numerous awards. He received his undergraduate degree and M.A. degree in Communications from California State University, Sacramento, and a PhD in Sciences from Trinity College. Following positions in corporate management with responsibilities in Training and Development and Quality Management for several Silicon Valley corporations, Rob moved to Ben Lomond where he has resided for the past 25 years and served as Founder and Principal of the Pacific Improvement Institute, an organization providing consulting services to numerous corporations around the world in the fields of Quality Management and Continuous Improvement. He was also an Adjunct Professor and consultant on course development and curriculum materials for the University of California Santa Cruz and Cabrillo College. A prolific thinker and author of over 50 magazine articles, 17 professional theses or dissertations including treatises on statistical process control and the management of organizational change and delivered presentations at over a dozen professional conferences.
Throughout his life Rob felt blessed to be able to enjoy all of God's wondrous creation. Whether climbing mountains, fishing in peaceful lakes and streams, snorkeling in blue waters or touring on one of his many motorcycles with Shirley and friends, he was full of joy at the wonders of nature. He expressed his soul through writing the words and music for over 75 songs and thoroughly enjoyed playing them on his 6 and 12-string guitars for anyone who would listen.
For many years Rob developed and delivered numerous retreats on The Mystical Humanity of Christ throughout the western United States commencing within the diocese of Salt Lake City under the auspices of Salt Lake City Bishop George Niederauer and expanding to the west coast with Bishop Niederauer's elevation to Archbishop of the San Francisco Diocese. Rob's faith was deep and abiding, and he was a very active member of the San Agustin spiritual community, serving in a number of ministries, including coordinator of the liturgy and Eucharistic minister. A Mass of Christian Burial and a celebration of his remarkable life will be held at the Catholic Community of San Agustin, 257 Glenwood Drive, Scotts Valley, on Wednesday, August 3, at 4:00 PM, preceded by an opportunity for personal prayer beginning at 3:00 PM. Interment will occur at a later date. The family prefers that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Mystical Humanity of Christ, 240 Troon Way, Half Moon Bay, California 94019, a nonprofit organization, so that the work of the organization that he loved and devoted so much of his life and energy to may continue its spiritual work.

Roseann  Carson Wagoner 7/25/04 cancer WAGONER, Roseann Carson
Dec 28, 1949 - July 25, 2004
Roseann Wagoner completed her life on July 25 in San Diego, with her family at her side. Born and raised in Sacramento, California, she attended Encina High School where she met her husband Don, and graduated from California State University, Sacramento.
A visionary with a passion for children, Rose was one of the first writers of legislation for treatment foster care; founder and past CEO of Walden Family Services; and past president of the California Association of Children's Homes. She also lobbied for children's welfare issues in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
Described by her daughter as, "A role model for everything you would want to be," Rose opened her heart and home to many - her brother's daughters, whom she raised for 10 years, friends, nieces and nephews, anyone in need of a seat at the dinner table, and countless animals, be they cats, dogs, birds, ducks, or the occasional skunk. She had big brown eyes, loved Mai Tais and dancing, and made great tacos.
Rose fought a life-long battle with thyroid and brain cancer, and approached the disease with ferocity and grace. She used her strength to counsel others - strangers waiting for chemotherapy, fellow church-goers, and anyone referred by friends or acquaintances. Even in her final months, when the tumor returned, she said, "Bring it on."
Her faith and love of Jesus sustained her in her darkest hours, and gave her that extra spark in her brightest ones.
Rose is survived by her husband Don; son Eric; daughter Emily Ketchum; mother Bess Nicholas; sister Bonnie Forness and brother-in-law Jack; brother Frank Carson; nieces Stephanie Carson and Bonnie Carson Gregg; and countless friends and extended family.
Rose's life will be celebrated Saturday, July 31 at the East Valley Christian Fellowship, 14069 Ridge Hill Road, El Cajon, CA 92021, 619-390-2734. The family asks anyone wishing to contribute to send donations to the UCSD Cancer Center Foundation.
Published in the Sacramento Bee on 7/29/2004.
Gail Beverly Christensen 3/7/15   CHRISTENSEN, Gail Beverly
Passed away March 7, peacefully in her home. She died of pulmonary disease. Gail was born in Duluth, MN, December 10, 1949 to Beverly and Warren Christensen. She attended Encina High School, University of California Davis, and trained and worked at Sutter Memorial Hospital for 33 years as a Clinical Lab Scientist. She retired seven years ago due to her illness. She leaves her mother Beverly, sister Jan of Sacramento, and sister Doreen of Vallejo. Her father passed away in 1990. A Memorial Service will be held at 1pm, Saturday, March 21, at Sierra Arden Congregational Church, 850 Morse Avenue. Donations may be made to the charity of your choice.
Larry Cockrum 10/24/84    
Susan Cooper Horne 2/11/97   HORNE, Susan [Cooper]
Died at age 46 on February 11, 1997, surrounded by the love of her family. Devoted wife, friend, and business partner of Randy Horne. Loving mother of Ken and his wife Sara. Susan met her medical challenges with strength and dignity. Hearrtfelt thanks to the nurses at Sutter ICU for their skill and compassion in caring for both Sue and her family. A celebration of Sue's life will be held at her home in Woodland at 2:00 on Sat. Feb. 15. A memorial service will be held at St. Marks Methodist Church in Sacramento at 2:00 on Sun. Feb. 16. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to Polycystic Kidney Research Foundation, 922 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
Sacramento Bee, 2-14-1997
Leslie Darby 4/5/09   DARBY, Leslie
Of Citrus Heights, Calif., on April 5, 2009. Born on September 6, 1950, in Roswell, N.M., to Jack and Jinny Darby. Survived by her mother, children, grandchildren, and many brothers and sisters. Memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 11, at 2:00 p.m. at Sierra 2 Community Center, 2791 24th St., Sacramento, Calif.
Steve Drake May 1980 drowned Steve's sister Beth writes:  After high school, Steve continued to be a motorcycle mechanic and ended up living inFort Collins, Colorado.   He never married and had no children.  In May, 1980, Steve and a friend both drowned while rafting near Gunnison, Colorado on a camping trip.  Steve loved motorcycles, rafting, rock collecting and climbing, caving, camping, frisbee, ping-pong, cats and other things that I can't mention here.  He was a generous friend and a great brother with a wicked sense of humor.  although he was not quite 30 when he left us, he died doing what he loved.  He is buried at Mount Vernon in Fair Oaks with his brother Ron, Class of '67, who died 6 months after him.

Beth Bennett  beth_b11@hotmail.com  

Cub
Eldredge
3/7/16 illness

Cub Eldredge
Cub Eldredge, born in Ogden, Utah, September 10, 1950, passed away March 7 after a brave fight with a lingering illness. Cub graduated with a Ph.D. in psychology and practiced in the Carmichael area for many years. He was an avid competitive handball player and enjoyed many other activities including golf, paddle tennis, skiing, and dancing. Cub was preceded in death by his father Kenneth Eldredge and son Levi. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Ann Link, his mother Arlene Eldredge, son Kip, grandson Joshua Simmons, great-grandson River, an aunt and uncle, step-children Martin Link (Carrie), Amy Witte (Dave), four step-grandchildren, and numerous cousins. Cub will be greatly missed for his love of life, sense of humor, friendship, and support. A private Celebration of Life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity. [Sacramento Bee, March 13, 2016]

Cheryl Gillette 7-25-08   GILLETTE, Cheryl "Sherry"
Born 10/17/1950, died 7/25/2008. Survived by sister, Kathleen Cicairos (Gilbert), brother Jack Gillette, Uncle Robert Chapin, Aunt Barbara White and numerous cousins. Cheryl was retired from the Employment Development Department. Per her request, there will be no services.
Published in the Sacramento Bee on 7/26/2008
Gerald Givens 11-14-97 heart attack
Kathleen "Kathy" Goodman Blair 2/25/10 cancer BLAIR, Kathleen Goodman ''Kathy''
Dec. 27, 1949 - Feb. 25, 2010
Age 60, of Longmont, passed away on February 25, 2010, at Longmont United Hospital following a courageous battle with liver cancer. She was born on December 27, 1949, in Oxnard, Calif., to John F. and Doris (Leroy) Goodman. As a youngster she lived in various parts of the country before the family settled in Sacramento, Calif., where she attended Cottage School, Jonas Salk Middle School, and graduated from Encina High School in 1968. In 1971 she married Harmon Blair. Shortly after his death in 1978 she moved to Colorado and started her life in Longmont. She bought her home in 1982 and began a successful child-care facility which she continued to operate until illness forced her to stop working in August of 2009. Although she had no children of her own, her day care children were her life. She loved interacting with children, from cooking and baking, to arts and crafts and field trips. She touched the lives of so many children from various backgrounds over the years, many of whom have now grown up to touch other lives as well. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband. She is survived by her partner in life Bill Wysocki, her brother Jack Goodman and his wife Catherine of Belvedere, Calif., nieces Elizabeth and Katie, nephew John, aunt Ginny Loyola and many cousins. All will sorely miss her. She will be remembered for her quick wit, gentleness and loving nature. A celebration of Kathy's life will be held at the Church at Longmont, 701 Bowen St., at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 20.
Richard "Dick" Greene 12-23-00 heart attack Sacramento Bee, December 30, 2000
RICHARD GREENE
   On December 23, 2000 from a heart attack. Aged 50, he was a Sacramento native, graduating from St. Philomene's School, Encina High School, and California State University at Sacramento. He worked as a race car driver, public relations representative in Europe, operating engineer on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and as the owner and principal of JRG Group, a mortagage banking firm. He is survived by his daughter Rebecca, 12, his mother Theda Zoe, step-father Henry Hendrix, and brother Tom. Richard was a lover of jazz and classic movies, an enthusiast for English cars, including his vintage Lotus and Mini-Cooper, a supporter of local equestrian envents, a fun-loving companion, a strong advocate for his clients, a generous friend, and a loving father.
Mike Hall 2/20/84                                                                         
John Hart 8/12/92 Cancer Valley Times, August 14, 1992
JOHN C. HART - Pleasanton - Aug. 27, 1950-Aug. 12, 1992
   John C. Hart of Pleasanton died at his home on Wednesday. He was 41. A native of Fresno, he was a Pleasanton resident for 2-1/2 years. He was a computer-aided designer and drafter for Stone and Webster Engineers at
Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. He had worked with Maxima Corp. in San Diego. He also had worked as a dispatcher for the Lodi Police Department and worked for the Santa Fe Railroad. He is a member of the National Star Register, having a star named for him.
   Survivors include his wife, Carlene Hart of Pleasanton; parents, Delbert and Marie Hart of Sacramento; stepdaughter, Sarah Otten and Laura Otten, both of Kalamazoo, Mich., and two brothers, Delbert Hart of San Diego and Edward Hart of Sacramento.
   Contributions: Hope Hospice, 6500 Dublin Blvd., Dublin, 94568, or the American Cancer Society, 7000 Village Parkway, Suite, L, Dublin, CA 94568.
Sherry Hereford 12/1/16  

Sherry Hereford
On December 01, 2016, we lost not only our best friend but the best sister in the world. She was deeply adored by her many nieces and nephews and considered each of them her kids. Her undying generosity and her quirky sense of humor will never be forgotten. It bring us comfort to know that she is reunited with our Dad, Mom, and brother Mike. Thank you, Sherry, from the bottom of our hearts for everything you did for each and everyone of us. With love, Kay, Buzz, Patti, and Cindy. Please join us for a celebration of life in loving memory for Sherry at 2:00 pm on Saturday, 12/10/16, at North Sacramento Funeral Home, 725 El Camino Ave. Sacramento, CA. At Sherry's request, dress casual and come with a good story to share. [Sacramento Bee, Dec. 7, 2016]

Stephen Hoff 3/20/10  

IT IS WITH A HEAVY HEART THAT I WISH TO INFORM YOU OF THE PASSING OF MY CLOSE FRIEND STEPHEN HOFF. 
STEPHEN QUIT GOING TO SEA LAST YEAR AND WAS ABOUT TO OFFICIALLY BEGIN HIS RETIREMENT THE END OF THIS MONTH.
WE THINK HE PROBABLY HAD A HEART ATTACK SATURDAY IN HIS MOTORHOME, WHICH IS CURRENTLY AT THE HOME OF TINO AND JANET BLACK, NEAR GRASS VALLEY,CALIFORNIA.
A MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR STEPHEN WILL BE HELD IN OR NEAR SAN FRANCISCO, THE WEEKEND OF APRIL 10TH, AT A TIME AND PLACE YET TO BE DETERMINED.THANKS,
GEORGE BRERETON STEVE’S FRIEND OF 45+ YEARS.

Stephen Donald Hoff died March 20, 2010 at the age of 59. Born in San Francisco, and raised in Walnut Creek, after stop offs in Brighton, England, New Delhi, India, and Morogoro, Tanganyika, he attended Encina High School in Sacramento and then graduated from the Maritime Academy in Vallejo in 1974. He sailed the 7 Seas as First, Second and Third Mate in the U.S. Merchant Marine for over 30 years and was just recently retired. His favorite company being Matson Navigation out of Hawaii.Steve loved the outdoors, classic movies, books and food. He enjoyed bird watching and could identify a bird on the wing that looked like a speck in the sky to most people. He traveled far and wide to visit his friends and family. His sharp wit and the sound of his laughter... unforgettable. His niece and nephew will always remember their hikes together and how he inspired confidence in them through martial arts training.He is predeceased in life by his parents, Frank Hoff and Sallie Mercer. He leaves behind his devoted sister, Hilary Lamar, and niece and nephew, Kate and Sean Roddy; of San Francisco; as well as his aunt Joanne Steele, and a multitude of cousins and friends; all of whom will miss him immensely. A private celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, April 10.
Published in Sacramento Bee on March 27, 2010

Randy Hunt 5/10/89 Illness  
Gordon Landon "Lanny" Jones 6/5/13 stroke

I wanted to let you know about the passing of my brother, Gordon (Lanny) Jones, Class of 1968.  He passed away quietly in Hillsboro, Oregon, on June 5th following a stroke.  He lived in Oregon for the past 30+ years and worked in the grocery business until his retirement in 2011.  He lost his wife, Christine, in October of 2013.  He is survived by his sons, Kevin (Brenda) and Jeff (Crystal) also of Oregon, as well as 7 grandchildren, and his sister, Carol (Jerry) Spangler (Class of 1966) of Woodland, California, and nephews James Allen (Tiffany) of Woodland and Scott Allen (Connie) of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  He was also preceded in death by his parents, Gordon and Aileen Jones. Carol Jones 66

Dennis Kingsley 10/28/15 motorcycle
accident

Dennis Kingsley was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident on Oct. 28, 2015. In the Hanford, Visilia Ca. area by a 20 year old girl that ran a stop sign while texting. Rest In Peace my brother.
Kelly Kingsley '74

Dennis P. Kingsley, 65, died on October 28th, 2015.  He is survived by his wife Linda, daughters Shauna (husband Tracy) and Amanda (husband Andy), & son Phillip. Also survived by his mother Jane, brothers Kelly & Terry (their wives & children), sisters Kathy & Nancy (their husbands & children), grandchildren Adam, Sierra, & Elliott. And a large extended family as well. He is preceded in death by his father Paul.  Dennis was a veteran of the Vietnam War. He loved riding his Harley and recently completed a trip in August 2015 to Sturgis with his brother Kelly and good friends, where he rode his motorcycle there and back the entire way which was a bucket list item for him. He was an avid photographer & enjoyed making photo collages for friends & family from the pictures he took. He was a generous and giving person. He would help anyone, whether he knew them or not, and literally give you the shirt off his back. He had been an avid softball player in his younger years, & was nicknamed "Conejo" because of his speed. His love of music always kept his foot tapping and his body moving. He tried to attend as many music festivals as he could & had a wide array of music in his repertoire. He enjoyed the outdoors: hiking, camping, fishing, and just being around friends and family. He always had a prank to pull and always left you with a smile on your face. The trail he leaves behind is one filled with love, laughter, and memories that will never be forgotten. His family would like to thank their family and friends for their unwavering and continued support. The family is asking in lieu of flowers that you please donate to one of the following charities:  Patriot Guard Riders, VFW, American Legion, DAV, AMVETS, or the Military Order of the Purple Heart. A memorial service will be held at the Lemoore Senior Citizen Center, located at 789 S. Lemoore Ave., Lemoore, CA on November 21st at 11am. Please come and share your memories & stories of Dennis. [Published by Hadley-Marcom Funeral Chapel, 10-29-2015]
Richard Kopp 7/25/91    
Sandra Gayle Lyons 11/19/04  

SANDRA GAYLE LYONS
On Nov. 20, 2004, Sandra Gayle Lyons, born June 20, 1950 in Paradise, CA, passed away in Elk Grove, CA where she resided with her sister. She was 54. A lifelong resident of Sacramento, she is preceded in death by her parents Norma and Clifford Lyons. She is survived by her siblings Tamara Lyons, Andrea Ingram and Randy Lyons, several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and many friends and loved ones who miss her terribly. She retired after 20 years with Los Rios Community College District. She was an avid fan of the Monarchs and the Sacramento Kings. She loved fishing, hunting, camping, and the ocean. A memorial service is planned in her honor to be held on Jan. 11, 2005 at 7:00 PM at the Metropolitan Community Church in Rancho Cordova (located on old Mather Air Base).  [Published in the Sacramento Bee, Jan. 8, 2005]

Greg McClernon 1/72    
James H Moran 4/1/80    
MIchael David Margeson 5/12/11   MARGESON, Michael David
Michael "Mike" David Margeson, born June 12, 1949 age 61 and long-time resident of the Sacramento area, peacefully passed away in his sleep May 12, 2011. He is survived by his wife, Sue Wallace-Margeson, daughters Bree (Margeson) Kaminskas and Angela (Hankins) Runnestrand, sons-in-law Matt Kaminskas and Robert Runnestrand, and 5 grandchildren, Michael, Brandi, Andrew, Kaitlynn, and Maximus. A Memorial Service will be held this Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 2pm located at 7228 Grenola Way, Citrus Heights, CA 95610. Services May 21 2011 2:00 pm. Published in Sacramento Bee on May 20, 2011
Tim Neshem 1-27-94 Heart Attack Tim Neshem was a Senior during my Freshman year at Encina.  We were both in the school band, under Director John Knurr.  Tim played baritone saxophone.   I can still hear Tim's low bass line in the tune "Jazz Me Blues."   Tim was a very, very nice man and treated everyone, including underclassmen (and women) with repect.  I will always remember his happy friendly demeanor.  I am saddened by his passing.  Mike Pittsley, Encina Class of 1971
Helen Owens Boheman 1/13/07    
Peter Proserpi 1980 Cancer

PETER PROSERPI

26 September, 1949 – 8 August, 1980

Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden, einen besser’n findst du nit
(I had a comrade, a better one you could not find)

German song in honor of comrades lost in war

It is truly a privilege and an honor to meet someone whose joy for life, idealism, integrity, loyalty and love are qualities so strong that they brighten the lives and spirits of all with whom they come in contact.  Such a person was Peter Proserpi. 

Pete was born in Switzerland on the 26th of September 1949 and moved to Sacramento with his parents, Erika and Walter Proserpi when he was 11 months old.   In Sacramento he attended Encina High School, where he was involved with a variety of activities, including Varsity track, Varsity Cross-Country, Student Council, German Club, and Le Cercle Francais. Pete also worked out in boxing camp with Pete Ranzany and took part in the Golden Gloves Boxing Championship one year. 

One of his classmates from Encina High captured the essence of Pete’s spirit when he wrote “…I have recollections of him as a very kind and unassuming individual whom I took an instant liking to.  He seemed to move between classes with ease…never locking into one group, but possessing a grace and a charm that allowed him to move among all classes, cared for by all to whom he came in contact.”  Another classmate, after reading my memorial-in-progress to Pete wrote “…I don’t know you but just wanted to tell you that what you wrote about Pete Proserpi was beautiful and right on…Thank you for this lovely thought.  He so deserved it.”

I had the good fortune to meet Pete when he went through  Military Police Training at Fort Gordon, Georgia in 1970, after which he went through Correctional Specialist Training with the US Army Military Police School at Fort Gordon.  After training, he spent a few months with the 30th Military Police Battalion at the Presidio of San Francisco, where I  visited him on my way to Korea.   He volunteered for duty in Vietnam and was reassigned to Company C, 720th Military Police Battalion.  I’m trying to get more information about his time in Vietnam, but do have his records which reflect that per Permanent Orders 65-2 dated 6 October 1976, Pete was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for period of service 17 April 1971.  His citation reads

SPECIALIST FOUR PETER PROSERPI, UNITED STATES ARMY

Meritorious achievement while driving the lead escort vehicle, a V-100 armored car, for a resupply convoy to a firebase at Katum along a narrow dirt road on 17 April 1971.  The road was declared cleared by ARVN troops responsible for conducting a mine detector sweep.  The convoy was barely underway when a truck behind Specialist Proserpi’s vehicle hit a land mine injuring two soldiers.  Specialist Proserpi assisted in their MEDEVAC after which the convoy continued with Specialist Proserpi visually searching for signs of land mines as he drove.  He located seven additional mines, which he marked to enable the rest of the convoy to pass safely.  After closing into Katum, Specialist Proserpi, with several other men, drove back down the road to the marked mines and destroyed them with explosives.  His outstanding meritorious achievement was instrumental in preventing additional casualties, destruction of Army vehicles, and accomplishment of the mission and reflect great credit upon him and the United States Army.

 

Pete’s tour of duty in Vietnam was from 8 March 1971 through 27 January 1972.  He was promoted to Sergeant and outprocessed at Fort George Meade, Maryland, near to where his wife lived. 

 

The medals which he was awarded are reflected in his military records:  Bronze Star Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with 1960 device, Expert Badge with Auto Rifle, Pistol and Rifle bars, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm.

 

After leaving active duty, Pete and his wife, Teresa, moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where he trained as a pastry chef.  I considered myself blessed when he and his wife visited me in Heidelberg where I was stationed.  Pete and his wife eventually returned and settled in at South Lake Tahoe, California, and Pete joined the 126th Medical Transportation Company, California National Guard at Mather AFB in California and worked as a pastry chef in South Lake Tahoe.

I have been able to fill out the tragic details of the last years of Pete’s life from articles in both the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee.  It is a typical Agent Orange story, where Pete, while on duty with the National Guard, hit his leg with a car door while picking up his Executive Officer.  Severe pain ensued, but during the six months of care at a military hospital, all he was told was that he suffered from a chipped bone and muscle inflammation.  After six months of no improvement, Pete went to Stanford University Medical Center where they found a 4.5 lb cancerous tumor. The doctors were able to remove the tumor, but also had to amputate his leg.    He bore that setback with his characteristic bravery. Pete received very little support from the administration, and at one point, in his wheelchair, chained himself to a flagpole in Sacramento to protest the indifference of the military and the administration.  In speaking recently to an official of the California National Guard, I was told that probably as a result of Pete’s protests,  the laws have been changed and Guardsmen and reservists are treated much better now. The cancer spread to his liver and his lungs and Pete passed away on August 8th, 1980. The cancer claimed his life, but could never claim his spirit.

Another of his classmates has written me “…Pete was a great guy and a comedian as well.  He had a knack for making people laugh.  He was a friend to all.  I joined the Navy in 1975. When I was discharged in 1979 and came back home to Sacramento, there was Pete on the evening news protesting Agent Orange.  Though I never did get to see him before he passed away I have always considered myself very lucky to have known him.  I do believe there are a great many ex-military who served in Vietnam who owe their health today to the efforts initiated by Pete so long ago.”

Pete was survived by his loving family, his wife Teresa, his daughter Angelisa, and his sons Sonio (who was 16 months old) and Mario (who was 3 months old). 

Like Corporal Pat Tillman, Pete was motivated by his love of family, friends, and country.  He had a desire and commitment to make the world a better place.  Pete was an inspiration to all who knew him. Even as the years have passed and we have been blessed by others who have touched our hearts, Pete’s spirit endures. Although sorely missed, Pete’s spirit lives on in our hearts and his strength and courage continues to inspire us.

Wilfred Gibson, a poet who survived the First World War, wrote: 

          We who are left, how shall we look again

          Happily on the sun or feel the rain

          Without remembering how they who went

          Ungrudgingly and spent

          Their lives for us loved, too, the sun and rain?

          A bird among the rain-wet lilac sings –
          But we, how shall we turn to little things
          And listen to the birds and winds and streams
          Made holy by their dreams,

          Nor feel the heart-break in the heart of things?

Please let me know if you have any stories or photos you would like to share about Pete.  Thank you.

 

Wolf Beatty
wolf.fritsche@drakealumni.net

Here is a link to the Personal biography for SGT Peter Proserpi on the 720th Military Police Battalion Reunion Association Vietnam History Project
www.720mpreunion.org/history/biography_1966_1972/proserpi_peter/proserpi_peter.html

Beth Raley Bangs 5/29/71   Although I did not know Beth well, I do have one vivid memory of her.   I remember Beth as being a very outgoing person, although I feel certain she had an introspective side as well that perhaps was not shown very often.  She was one of the kids who caught the bus at Sierra Oaks School, and first thing in the morning when some of us were barely awake, she would be energized and keeping her friends amused with lively talk.  She and I and a few of the other girls were major, heavy-duty Beatle fans--I think this was around '64 or '65--and one morning at the bus stop she did a really amazing imitation of a person speaking with Liverpulian accent.  That's my most vivid memory of Beth, and I'm sorry that I didn't get to know her better.  Chris Matteson Page, Class of 1968
David Reese 6/20/09   David W. Reese
Sheridan, California, 1-6-50 to 6-20-09 Survived by wife of 21 years, Sharyl Reese. Brothers James Reese of Colorado, Clyde Reese of Virginia, and sister Carol Lloyd of California. Vietnam Veteran serving on the USS Enterprise. Bldg Maint Wkr for San Juan USD. Life Member of North American Fishing Club. A Celebration of Life at a later date. Family requests in lieu of flowers donations be made to Placer County SPCA Roseville, CA
Published in Sacramento Bee on 6/25/2009
Robert Gene Schirner 4/19/07  

ROBERT “BOBBY” GENE SCHIRNER
Of Wilton, CA, born Sept. 27, 1949. Died April 19, 2007. Son of Robert and Jean Schirner, passed away suddenly of medical complications. Graveside services are scheduled for Monday, April 30, 2007 at 2:00 PM at Mt. Vernon Memorial Park in Fair Oaks. He is survived by two sisters, Debra Schirner of Sacramento and Sandra Henry and nephew Jeremy Lewis of Norman, OK, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.  [Published in the Sacramento Bee, April 28, 2007]

Thomas Sheley 5/17/09   SHELEY, Thomas Everett
Born June 5, 1950, in Sacramento, the son of Everett and Marguerite Sheley. Died May 17, 2009 in New Orleans. Tom is survived by daughters, Janelle Sheley of New Orleans and Loran Sheley of Sacramento; grandson, Braeden Garcia; sister, Norine Casey; brother, Joseph Sheley; sister-in-law, Bernadette Halbrook; and beloved nieces and nephews. A 1968 graduate of Encina High School and a U.S. Army veteran, Tom attended Sacramento City College where he edited the campus newspaper and was named outstanding student in 1978. For many years, he was a reporter for the Sacramento Union and a grant writer for the Louisiana State Family Planning Program. An avid reader and fine cook, Tom loved music, sports, politics, the internet, and coffee. Sensitive and kind, he made his way quietly through the world. We will miss him. A memorial service will be held at Sierra2 Garden Room, 2791 24th St., Sacramento, on June 20, at 10:00 AM. Published in the The Sacramento Bee on 6/6/2009
Cynthia Smeeden     Anchorage Daily News, February 3, 2002
Cynthia "Thea" Smeeden, 51
      Anchorage resident Cynthia "Thea" Smeeden, 51, died Jan. 26, 2002, at home. A celebration of life will be at 2 PM Feb. 10 at VFW 1685, 1200 W. 33rd Ave.
     Mrs. Smeeden was born March 28, 1950, in Malta. She later moved to Sacramento, Calif., where she graduated from Loretta High School and later earned a degree in cosmetology.  Mrs. Smeeden moved to Anchorage in 1983 and was raised a Catholic.
     Some of her hobbies included styling hair, collecting angels, and, most of all, going thrift store shopping.
     Her family said: "She was a unique and fun-loving friend to everyone that she met. She will be missed by all who knew her."
     She is survived by her son Sean Smeeden of Anchorage; mother Joy Ellen-Rittler of Sacramento; sister Sydney Brown and her husband Richard of Anchorage; brother Philip Smeeden and his wife Ellen of Wasilla; dear friend Douglas McCormack of Anchorage; and many nieces and nephews.
     In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the homeless shelters of the donor's choice. Arrangements were by
Anchorage Funeral Home.
1/15/03
Penny Smith   Cancer Daily Inter Lake News, Kalispell, Montana, Nov. 24, 1993
PENNY C. FREY, 43
Penny C. Frey, 43, of Kalispell, died at her home on Tuesday morning November 23, 1993, after a two-year battle with breast cancer. She was a devoted mother and grandmother and will be dearly missed. She touched lives of many people by her deep love for our Lord Jesus Christ. Penny will always be remembered for her sweet spirit. She is survived by a daughter, Kristen Heck of Kalispell; a son, Michael Steven Crenshaw of Ashland, Oregon; a sister Janie Gallagher of Sacramento, Calif.; and two grandchildren, Tessa Nicole Heck and Talia Page Heck, both of Kalispell. Funeral services and burial will be held in Sacramento. The family suggests memorials may be made to the Community Alliance Church Library, 348 Second Avenue West, Kalispell.
12/4/00
Richard Stuck 10/12/02 illness Herald and News, Klamath Falls, Oregon, Oct. 17, 2002
Richard Ray Stuck
Richard Ray Stuck, 52, died Saturday, Oct. 12, 2002, at his residence in Klamath Falls of a lengthy illness. A graveside memorial service will be Saturday at East Lawn Cemetery in Sacramento, CA. Private services were Monday at O'Hair and Riggs Funeral Chapel. O'Hair and Riggs Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.
Mr. Stuck was born Oct. 20, 1950, to Lester Eugene Stuck and Verlyn (Hart) Stuck. He served in the Army in Vietnam. Following his discharge, he moved to Sacramento, where he worked in marketing, selling for automobile dealerships, marine shops, and spa dealers. He moved to Klamath Falls in 1990 as a self-employed marketer.
Mr. Stuck enjoyed working in his yard, thrift shopping, playing cribbage, and reading. He also liked boating and trips to Lake Tahoe and Reno. He had a good sense of humor. And he was a dedicated care giver to a disabled young man, Kirk Coleman.
Mr. Stuck is survived by his companion of 13 years, Geraldine "Gerry" Coleman of Klamath Falls; daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Tom Simkins of Sacramento; daughter Erica Stuck of Sacramento; grandchildren Spencer Simkins, Tyler Simkins, Jacob Simkins, and Raylyn Stuck, all of Sacramento; brother and sister-in-law Lester B. and Pattie Stuck of Lake Tahoe, CA; father Lester Stuck of Carson City; sisters Suzanne Stuck of Lake Tahoe, CA, Dianne Ahlem of Hilmar, CA, Roberta Marquis of Carson City; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He also was survived by "adopted" relatives: son Kirk Coleman of Klamath Falls; son and daughter-in-law Chad and Melody Coleman of Carson City; grandchildren Alexis Dressell of Coos Bay and Katie Coleman and Tailor Coleman of Carson City.
He was preceded in death by his mother Verlyn Stuck.
Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.
Kris Teakle 11/10/00 unknown In Boise,ID
Sheryl Ann Thormod 4/9/89 natural causes HUMPHREYS, SHERYL ANN nee THORMOD '68
In Sacramento of natural causes, April 9, 1989. Loving mother of Brandie and Amy Humphreys of El Dorado Hills. Loving daughter of Leonard Thormod of Baxter and Willetta Thormod of Sacramento. Sister of Linda Kraft of Sacramento, Steve Thormod of Evergreen, CO, and Denise Thormod of Chico. Stepdaughter of Joann Thormod of Baxter. Sister of the late Gary Thormod who passed away on April 6, 1989. Former wife of Larry Humphreys of El Dorado Hills. A native of Washington, aged 39 years. Private family services to be held at a later date. [Sacramento Bee, 4-11-1989]
Constance Warner Locke 5/20/07  

CONSTANCE WARNER LOCKE
Born Dec. 27, 1950. Died May 20, 2007. Finance manager, eight-year Colorado Springs resident. Survived by her husband, Allen M.; and a son, Brian Case. Visitation, 4 to 7 PM Monday, Blunt Mortuary. Services, 2 PM Tuesday, Blunt Mortuary.  [Published in the Colorado Springs Gazette, May 23, 2007

Steve Whalen 1/14/89    
Richard Wilcox 9/15/06 illness WILCOX, Richard
Sacramento lost a fun entertainer when Rich Wilcox died September 15, 2006, at his home after a long illness. Rich was born January 18, 1950, in San Francisco but grew up and lived his life in Sacramento. A garage mechanic as a young man, he earned the name "Greaseface" from his friends. The moniker followed him through 20 years of playing keyboard and singing with the rockin' Jay Rolerz band. Most recently he entertained crowds as K.J. at the Long Shot. Rich was a devoted fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers, proudly waving his team colors even in S.F. Giants' territory. He loved the outdoors and loved to say that he "could not catch fish anywhere." He retired after selling 49er Concrete Pumping, a company he built and operated for 17 years. Rich was predeceased by his parents, Merle and Dorothy Wilcox.He is survived by his wife, Suzie; three children, Lori Wilcox (fiance Stephen Cox) of San Diego, Michael Wilcox (Lisa) of Sloughhouse, and Brittany Wilcox of Sacramento, and stepson Joe Cooper (Lisa) of Orangevale; his brother, Gary Wilcox (Donna) of Lake Arrowhead; and four grandchildren, Frank Bizeau and Ciara, Elijah, and Joely Cooper. He also is survived by a niece, nephew, and cousins.Services will be private.
Published in the Sacramento Bee from 9/21/2006 - 9/23/2006.

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