June 21, 2003
Ted Kent Clark Sr., known by his family and friends for his quick wit and sparkling smile, died Sunday of lung cancer at his home in Sonoma. He was 64.
June 20, 2003
Cal Craver, a cabinetmaker and contractor in Sonoma County for more than four decades, died Wednesday in his sleep at Creekside Convalescent Home.
He would have been 93 today.
Born and raised in Tampa, Fla., Craver headed west during the Great Depression on the promise of a job in Napa.
Before long, he settled in Sonoma County, living first in Healdsburg and then in Santa Rosa.
Craver was a cabinetmaker and contractor for 45 years. He also worked on submarines at Mare Island.
In 1965, he was remarried.
He and his wife Enes Craver enjoyed travelling the open road together.
For 27 years, their home base was Journey's End, a mobile home park on Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa.
Around the park, Cal Craver was known as a friendly face with a useful pair of hands.
"He liked to help other people," said daughter-in-law Julia Rehe of Santa Rosa. "If people needed repair work, he helped them."
Craver was a member of the Luther Burbank Lodge and Aahmes Temple.
He joined his wife at Creekside Convalescent Home a year ago.
In addition to his daughter-in-law and wife, he is survived by sons David Craver of Santa Rosa and Anthony Craver of Fort Bragg; sister Pauline Craver of Florida; nine grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
No formal services will be held.
June 19, 2003
Geneva Ann Rogers, who had a thriving community theater career that began when she was a child, died Tuesday in Santa Rosa of congestive heart failure. She was 76.
The fifth of 13 children, Rogers was born in Fresno and landed her first leading actress role at age 10. After performing in countless school and community theater productions, she was accepted at the Pasadena Playhouse for formal theatrical training.
But when she met a handsome sailor named Edward M. Rogers Jr. of Eureka, she fell in love and focused her life on her marriage, which began in Long Beach in 1945.
The couple later settled in Eureka with their two children before moving to Santa Rosa in 1964, where was a homemaker. She loved gardening, decorating, sewing, crocheting and especially caring for her children, nieces and nephews.
Rogers spent 30 years as a clerk for The Fashion Emporium, April Showers, Michael Lewis' Gifts and the Golden Hanger.
When she wasn't traveling with her husband, Rogers spent much of her time volunteering at the Matanzas Elementary School library and with the Catholic Worker, Marian Visitors and Young Ladies Institute programs.
In 1991, she was diagnosed with cancer, from which she recovered. Although her health declined during the last 12 years of her life, the strong-willed Rogers maintained her charismatic charm and positive outlook.
Rogers is survived by her husband, Edward; a son, Edward M. Rogers III of Santa Rosa; a daughter, Loretta Ann Rogers of San Anselmo; a brother, David Fleming of Rohnert Park; six sisters, Kathleen Nevers of Eureka, Juanita Yates of Fortuna, Rose Dinsmore of Eureka, Helen Bomar of Cornelius, Ore., Beatrice Dusza of Southbridge, Mass., and Judith Boyle of Livermore; and three grandchildren.
Friends are invited to a vigil at 7 p.m. Friday at Lafferty and Smith Colonial Chapel in Santa Rosa.
Ned Johnson, 70
ORINDA -- Ned Johnson, a renowned ornithologist and curator of the UC Berkeley Museum of Invertebrate Biology, has died, the campus announced Wednesday. He was 70.
Johnson died June 11 at his Orinda home of cancer, UC Berkeley confirmed.
Over the years, Johnson collected more than 7,200 bird specimens, most of which are at the university's museum and available for study. Johnson's partner and close colleague at the museum, Carla Cicero, remembered him as having extensive understanding of the region's birds.
"His knowledge of the distribution and natural history of birds in Western North America, and his scientific contributions to the ornithology of the region, are unsurpassed among living ornithologists," Cicero said.
Johnson published his first paper on birds at age 17; at the time of his death, he was working on a book on geographic variation and speciation in birds.
He was considered an expert on owls, sapsuckers, flycatchers, vireos and sage sparrows.
Johnson was just weeks away from a planned retirement. He joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1961.
Johnson is survived by his partner, Carla Cicero of Moraga; three daughters; one son; and three grandchildren.
Harold Ashby, 78
Harold Ashby, a saxophonist whose long association with Duke Ellington began before he joined Ellington's orchestra and continued after Ellington's death, died Friday at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York. He was 78.
No cause of death was announced, but he entered the hospital at the end of May after a heart attack, said Russ Dantzler, a friend.
Ashby joined the Ellington band in 1968, eight years after he first worked with Ellington as a free-lancer. He remained the band's featured tenor saxophonist until 1975, a year after Ellington died and his son, Mercer, took over.
Born in Kansas City on March 27, 1925, Harold Ashby began his career there in the late 1940s. He then moved to Chicago, where he became a staple of the thriving local blues scene in the 1950s.
In 1957, he moved to New York, where he free-lanced with various bandleaders, including Count Basie and Mercer Ellington. He first worked with Duke Ellington in the summer of 1960, substituting for two nights.
Paul Fraser, 44
SEATTLE -- Paul W. Fraser, independent television producer of the international version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" and "The Weakest Link," died in a traffic accident while on vacation.
Fraser, 44, died about 11:30 a.m. Monday while he was walking near an intersection in the city's Belltown neighborhood, just north of downtown.
Police said the driver of a Toyota Camry ran a red light and hit a Jeep, which careened onto the sidewalk and hit Fraser. He was identified as the victim Tuesday by the King County medical examiner's office.
Richard Sattler of Los Angeles, a television executive who frequently collaborated with Fraser, was on a sightseeing visit with him at the time of the accident.
"We're absolutely devastated, but we're carrying on because he needs to be remembered," said Sattler, who was slightly injured.
Fraser, originally from Melbourne, Australia, spent several years in London and recently moved to Los Angeles.
He began his career as a journalist, then switched to television and worked on Australian programs, including a job as a writer and researcher for "The Mike Walsh Show," a long-running daily talk and variety show.
He later worked in Asia, Europe and Latin America, concentrating in recent years on game and reality programs.
Friends were planning memorials in Sydney, Australia.
June 18, 2003
Carl Frederick Martin, a Navy veteran and welder who adopted unwanted animals as pets, died of heart failure June 6 at a Santa Rosa hospital. He was 59.
June 17, 2003
Louis "Bob" Gianni, a retired carpenter and World War II veteran, died at his home in Sebastopol on Wednesday of complications from a stroke. He was 85.
June 16, 2003
Charles E. "Chuck" McLaughlin, a 40-year Petaluma resident who served in Iceland during World War II as an Army private, died Wednesday at his home. He was 81.
April 14, 2003
Former Ukiah attorney and Justice Court judge Hale McCowen III died Wednesday at his home of cancer. He was 84.
April 13, 2003
No matter where George Charles went, he made friends.
"As kids, we remember driving on vacation together," said one of his three daughters, Donna Bertacco of Windsor. "We hated it because he'd see someone in a field farming, stop by the side of the road, and be out there 45 minutes talking with them.
"It didn't matter if they were a political person or just a farmer, he really connected with people."
Charles, a lifelong Sonoma County rancher, died at his Santa Rosa home Friday of natural causes. He was 91.
Charles' parents homesteaded in the Cazadero and Plantation areas of Sonoma County in the 1860s and started the family sheep ranch, which he took over in 1928 when his father died.
Charles started his own sheep operation in Cazadero in 1934, at one point running more than 2,500 ewes on 15,000 acres of family-owned range land near the Gualala River. He also ran an extensive lamb feeding operation in Dixon for 20 years.
In 1974, Charles was named Sheepman of the Year by the North Bay Wool Growers Association. He also served on the advisory committee for the establishment of the agriculture department at Santa Rosa Junior College.
In addition to sheep ranching, for a time Charles raised buffalo on the Cazadero land.
"He drove out to Nebraska and brought some buffalo back," Bertacco said. "He just raised them because he liked them. It was a project."
Eventually, Charles switched to a more lucrative hobby, planting about 20 acres of chardonnay grapevines on a place the family calls "Buffalo Hill."
In another area, now called Three Sisters Vineyards, Charles' three daughters planted pinot noir and chardonnay vines.
Charles met his wife of 67 years, Martha, at Healdsburg High School, where he became captain of the football team.
Always a morning person, he had the habit of calling family members at 6 a.m. just to see how they were, and was known to sing "You Are My Sunshine" as he started the morning fire and his wife got the biscuits going.
"He really was a gentleman," Bertacco said, who said she never heard her father swear or raise his voice.
Even when he grew frail, he made the best of it.
"He could barely make it to the breakfast table, but he looked at my mom and said, 'I'm in love with you,'" Bertacco said. "He raised his orange juice glass and said, 'Here's to happy times, Mom.'"
He told family members not to cry for him after he was gone, that he led a happy life. Instead, he said, have a nice glass of scotch for him.
"We intend to do that," Bertacco said.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Charles is survived by daughters Carolyn Martinelli of Forestville and Charlotte Richardson of Stewarts Point; a brother, Leonard Charles of Healdsburg; a sister, Betty Flanagan of Santa Rosa; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Daniels Chapel of the Roses, 1225 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa, with a reception to follow. Private interment will be at Sea View Cemetery in Jenner.
Contributions in Charles' memory may be made to Memorial Hospice, 821 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa 95401.
Ex-Oak Ridge Boy Noel Fox, 63
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Noel Fox, a former bass singer with the Oak Ridge Boys who became a power in the music business, died at a Nashville hospital after surgery following a series of strokes. He was 63.
Fox died Thursday, according to longtime band manager Jim Halsey.
"His positive attitude and always-smiling face is what this world needs more of," Halsey said.
Fox was born and raised in Columbia, about 40 miles south of Nashville. He sang with the Oak Ridge Boys for five years before leaving in 1972 for a Nashville music business career that included booking, talent management and publishing.
In 1978, Fox began managing the Oak Ridge Boys' publishing entity, Silverline/Goldline Music Inc. He later served as vice president of MCA Music/Nashville and president of Maypop Music Group, which was owned by members of the group Alabama.
An early champion of singer-songwriter Steve Earle, Fox signed him to a publishing deal and introduced him to then-MCA Records producer Tony Brown. MCA subsequently signed Earle and released his 1986 debut hit "Guitar Town."
The Oak Ridge Boys began in Knoxville in 1943 as the Oak Ridge Quartet, singing country and gospel music. The group has won two Grammys.
Lead singer Duane Allen called Fox "a fine human being, a devoted family man, a great bass singer for the Oak Ridge Boys, a great publisher, manager and agent, and my best friend."
'Little Eva' Boyd of 'Loco-motion' fame
KINSTON, N.C. -- Eva Narcissus Boyd, a teen-ager known as Little Eva when her first recording, "The Loco-motion," hit No. 1 in 1962, died Thursday after a long illness.
The cause of death wasn't immediately available.
Her age wasn't immediately known. Various sources place her year of birth between 1943 and 1946.
Boyd was discovered by Carole King and Gerry Goffin after they hired her as a baby sitter. They asked her to sing their song, "The Loco-Motion," and then released Boyd's demo of it as a single.
Boyd also had the Top 20 songs "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby" and "Let's Turkey Trot."
April 12, 2003
Clarence Fisher, a longtime Sonoma County resident, encouraged his children to keep a positive attitude even when times get tough.
Fisher died Monday at his Petaluma home. He was 81.
His daughter Judy Sovel of Petaluma said Fisher wanted his four children to find good even amid trouble.
"I think he really gave that to all of us -- 'Don't get stuck in the mud,'" she said.
A native of Las Vegas, Fisher grew up in Southern California. He came to the county in 1958 when transferred here by PG&E, for whom he worked 31 years.
He enjoyed taking his children fishing on the coast and visiting Bodega Bay.
"We loved the wharf at The Tides, the old one before they remodeled," Sovel recalled. Fisher also took the children to Doran Park and to a little cove near Inverness.
Fisher retired in 1981. A lover of airplane design and history, he worked with a friend on building an experimental one-seat aircraft.
He was proud of tutoring students in mathematics and in providing a sign for Petaluma United Methodist Church, where he was a member and formerly had served on the governing board.
Fisher was a veteran of the Army and a member of SIRS No. 058.
Along with his daughter, survivors include his wife of 58 years, Edwina Fisher of Petaluma; his other children, Bob Fisher of Louisiana, Ken Fisher of Illinois and Debbie Fisher of Petaluma; a brother, Jim Fisher of Florida; a sister, Florence Sutton of Oregon; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Petaluma United Methodist Church.
The family prefers memorial contributions to the church, 410 D St., Petaluma 94952; Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma 94952; or a favorite charity.
Arrangements were under the direction of Parent-Sorensen Mortuary & Crematory.
Ramparts founder Edward Keating
Edward Keating, an activist who founded Ramparts magazine in the 1960s and watched it grow from a tiny Catholic-oriented publication to become the leading magazine of the American left, has died. He was 77.
Keating, who became a West Coast leader of the anti-Vietnam War movement, died April 2 at Stanford University Medical Center after battling pneumonia. He lived in Mountain View.
A lawyer turned businessman who converted to Roman Catholicism in his late 20s, Keating launched Ramparts in 1962 in Menlo Park as a quarterly literary forum for Catholic intellectuals.
It soon evolved into something more.
"He started getting stories by black priests who were talking about civil rights," said Keating's son Mike. "It sort of naturally morphed into getting more and more interesting articles about the civil rights movement and taking a strong moral stance on that."
In time, he said, Ramparts "became completely secular and very committed to the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement."
Ramparts' influence was significant and its pages served as an outlet for the kinds of stories that were not being published elsewhere.
Ramparts printed early articles about the murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, for example, and it exposed the Central Intelligence Agency's secret financing of the National Students Association.
Stephen Keating described his father as "a champion of the underdog or the dispossessed. He just had a strong sense of conscience, and he just felt fired up to jump into the fray."
Keating wrote "The Scandal of Silence," a 1965 book about the Catholic Church and its silence over the Holocaust during World War II. About the same time he became an agnostic and left the church.
Ramparts, which at its peak had a circulation of nearly 400,000, continued to operate until 1975.
The son of an industrialist, Keating was born in New York City in 1925. In 1940, his family moved to California and he entered a prep school in Menlo Park.
Keating served three years in the Navy in the Pacific, then resumed his studies at Stanford and graduated from its law school in 1950.
Raised as what he once described as a nominal Protestant, he became a Catholic in 1954. Keating, who taught English at the University of Santa Clara in 1959, once said that he launched Ramparts because the era lacked a decent platform for Catholic intellectuals and writers.
After leaving Ramparts in 1967, Keating continued to write, including short stories, novellas and "Broken Bough," a 1975 book about human nature.
TV director David Greene
OJAI -- David Greene, who won four Emmys for directing such TV miniseries as "Rich Man, Poor Man" and the first episode of "Roots," has died. He was 82.
Greene, who also earned Emmys for the television movies "The People Next Door" and "Friendly Fire," died Monday in Ojai of pancreatic cancer. He also was nominated for directing the 1984 miniseries "Fatal Vision."
Among his other TV credits were "The Betty Ford Story" for ABC in 1987, the Liberace segment of "Behind the Music" for CBS in 1998, and "Willing to Kill: The Texas Cheerleader Story" in 1992.
Born in Manchester, England, he began his career as an actor, working in British film and on stage with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh at the Old Vic. In 1951, he toured the United States and Canada in "Antony and Cleopatra."
After working as a free-lance director in Canada, the United States and England, he settled in Los Angeles in 1970.
Among his motion picture credits are the 1973 "Godspell," which he wrote and directed.