February 2, 2005
Active community member
Yvonne Osieczonek who created the Evergreen Garden at the Petaluma Senior Center in memory of her grandson, died Jan. 26, 2005 in Redwood City. She was 65.
A native of San Salvador, Mrs. Osieczonek came to the United States in 1946. She graduated from San Francisco's Immaculate Conception Academy in 1958 and two years later, married Steve Osieczonek, her husband for over 44 years.
She was an adjudicator in the state Employee Development Department, a claims representative for J.W. Frick Co. in Dallas, Texas, and owned the International Translation Service for which she translated legal documents. She also worked for the Argus-Courier putting routes together for newspaper carriers.
A past president of the Lioness Club, Mrs. Osieczonek was a charter member of the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) and helped raise funds to create the COTS playground by placing penny jars in grocery stores.
Following the death of her 10-year-old grandson, Jonathan Dolcini, Mrs. Osieczonek and her husband created the Evergreen Garden at the Petaluma Senior Center in his memory. The garden won an award in 1997 from the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
She enjoyed children and donated to both the Petaluma Police Department to buy bicycle helmets for underprivileged children, and to the Old Adobe School District's outdoor education fund.
Mrs. Osieczonek leaves her husband, J. Steve Osieczonek of Petaluma; children Stephen Osieczonek and Yvette Dolcini, both of Petaluma; father Joseph Lopez of Forestville; siblings Norma Davenport of Santa Barbara, Arlette Syrup of Petaluma, Joseph De Avila of Fairfax, Maria Pelletier of Petaluma, and Daniel Avila of Forestville; one granddaughter and many other relatives.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at St. James Catholic Church, 125 Sonoma Mountain Parkway. The family prefers contributions to COTS, 1500 Petaluma Blvd. South, Suite B, Petaluma, 94952; or the Petaluma People Services Center, 1500 Petaluma Blvd. South, Suite A, Petaluma, 94952.
Arrangements were by Parent-Sorensen Mortuary and Crematory.
December 1, 2004
County property appraiser
Born Oct. 28, 1918, three days after his parents arrived in San Francisco from Norway, Homer Norman Oliver was only 3 weeks old when his sailor father died in an Atlantic hurricane.
His mother remarried three years later, and her husband, George Oliver, adopted Homer.
Mr. Oliver was president of the PHS Class of 1938, and lettered in baseball, tennis and football.
In junior college, he fell in love with flying and joined the Navy Cadet Pilot Program. After earning his wings and becoming an ensign, he returned to Petaluma in 1943 and married Evelyn Casad, whom he met in junior high school. For a while, he was a flight instructor, then was sent to the Pacific Theater.
After the war he worked for Kraft Foods, Allstate Insurance and as a property appraiser for Sonoma County, retiring from the county after 21 years.
He was a charter member and a president of Toastmasters, a member of the Elks Club, secretary and Big Sir of SIRS. President of SCARE, he helped set up a scholarship fund, judged scholarship applicants and FFA speaking contests, He worked in Little League, was president and fund raiser for Pony League and helped start a Colt Baseball League.
An active environmentalist, his favorite pastime was fishing.
He is survived by his wife, Evelyn, and son Jim.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the United Methodist Church. Contributions may be made to the church, 410 D St., Petaluma, 94952, or a charity of choice.
June 9, 2004
Charles Andrew Nutter, 52, and a Lake County resident for seven years, died May 29, 2004 in Clearlake. He had been a truck driver for 32 years.
Born Sept. 11, 1951 in San Rafael, Mr. Nutter grew up in Petaluma, attending Old Adobe, Kenilworth and Petaluma High School.
Mr. Nutter is survived by daughters Rosemary Ross and Charlene Nutter of Lovelock, Nev., sons Andy Nutter, also of Lovelock, and Casey Nutter of Fresno; mother Grace Furuli of Sandpoint, Idaho; sisters Linda Lonergan of Kankakee, Ill., Darlene Nutter of Clearlake, Rose Macy and Marie DiGiulio of Sandpoint, Bonnie Myers of Petaluma and Pat Howie of Washington; brother Jim Furuli of Petaluma and 10 grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his daughter, Rafael Leonard, and brother Earl Nutter.
Funeral services have been held.
Arrangements were by Jones and Lewis Clear Lake Memorial Chapel.
June 4, 2003
Larry Nisch, a longtime resident of Petaluma, died May 21, 2003. He was 77.
During World War II, Mr. Nisch served with the U.S. Navy, and was stationed near London, England, where he met his wife, Audrey.
After the war, the couple lived in New York before moving to Petaluma in the early 1960s. Mr. Nisch worked as an appliance repairman. The couple had retired and recently moved to Clarkston, Wash.
Mr. Nisch is survived by his wife of 58 years, daughters Linda Chesser of Lewiston, Idaho and Bev Bailey of Petaluma, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
No services will be held.
June 2, 2004
Former Petaluma librarian
Louane L. "Jerry" Newsome, 97, former Petaluma city librarian, died May 21, 2004 in Iowa City, Iowa, after a brief illness.
Born in Orange, Calif., she was director of the Petaluma Public Library from 1930 to 1943, an Army and Navy librarian during World War II, supervisor of school libraries in River Forest, Ill. and associate professor of library science at the University of Iowa.
She married Ellis H. Newsome in Stockton in 1938.
A recipient of the Santa Ana College Alumni Achievement Award, she served on the Iowa City Board of Library Trus-tees, Mercy Hospital Founda-tion Board, Board of Direct-ors of the University Athletic Club and the Mississippi Val-ley Girl Scout Board, and was named A Woman of Distinc-tion 1994 by the Johnson County Senior Center.
Mrs. Newsome was a member of the American Library Association, the Iowa Library Association, of which she was president in 1963, and the Iowa Educational Media Asso-ciation where she received an award for contributions in the library education field. She belonged to Delta Kappa Gamma honorary educational sorority; Chapter E, PEO; Altrusa Club of Iowa City; the Congregational Church of Christ; Mercy Hospital Guild and University Athletic Club.
The Louane L. Newsome Annual Lecture, established by the University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science, brings to the campus each year an author of children's books. The Iowa City Public Library established the Newsome-Westgate Fund for the purchase of children's books.
Survivors include two nephews, William Merrick of Bozeman, Mont., Jerome Merrick of Palmer Lake, Colo., and several grand-nieces and grand-nephews. She was predeceased by her husband and three sisters.
Memorial services will be held May 26 at Iowa City Congregational Church. Donations may be made to the University of Iowa Founda-tion, Oaknoll Retirement Residence or the Iowa City Congregational Church.
September 24, 2003
Richard Wayne Murphy died Sept. 7, 2003 of a heart attack. He was 46.
Born Nov. 23, 1957 in Mesa, Ariz., Mr. Murphy was a longtime resident of Petaluma. An avid Raiders fan, he enjoyed fishing and cared deeply about helping others.
Mr. Murphy is survived by sons Richard Murphy and Nicholas Murphy, mother Winifred Murphy, siblings Ralph Murphy, Rebecca Graveman, Roger Murphy and Rea Murphy and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father, Richard Murphy, and sister Ronda Forwood.
No services will be held.
June 9, 2004
Former personnel officer, Petaluma City Schools
Anita J. Morris, a Petaluma resident for almost 60 years, died May 27, 2004. She was 70.
For over 30 years, Mrs. Morris was an employee of the Petaluma City Schools District, primarily as a personnel officer.
Earlier in life, she enjoyed traveling, scuba diving and golf. After her retirement she spent much of her time doing what she loved most -- reading.
She was the mother of Sheryl Nadeau and Robin Kneeland and grandmother of two.
At Mrs. Morris' request, no services were held.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma, 94952.
Arrangements were by Adobe Creek Funeral Home.
October 1, 2003
Dorothy MacDonald, a mainstay of the Two Rock community for decades, died in her sleep Sunday, Sept. 28, 2003. She was 100.
A member of Petaluma's Ascherman family, Mrs. MacDonald and her husband Jack purchased their Two Rock ranch in 1926, where they raised chickens and sheep. She was active in the Two Rock Presbyterian Church, a good cook and eager gardener who enjoyed helping wherever she was needed.
Mrs. MacDonald was preceded in death by her husband, Jack MacDonald, and children, Myrna Spaletta and Jack MacDonald. She is survived by her nephews Robert Pedrotti and Harold Ascherman and their wives, and numerous other relatives.
Memorial services takes place at 2 p.m. Oct. 2 at Two Rock Church, 7063 Bodega Ave. Arrangements were by Parent-Sorensen Mortuary and Crematory.
May 26, 2004
Patricia Lanham died May 19, 2004 in Santa Rosa. She was 72.
Born in Hollywood in 1934, Mrs. Lanham spent most of her life in Southern California, growing up in Ramona and raising her family in Riverside.
In the mid-1980s, after a divorce, she followed a number of her children to Sonoma County, settling first in Petaluma, then moving to Santa Rosa.
A homemaker, Mrs. Lanham who was deeply interested in current events, said her son Sean Lanham. "The term matriarch seems too stern for her," he said. "We relied on her, yet she wasn't the type to demand. We all just flowed to her, and had a lot of great times at her homes.
"Her greatest gift to us was bonding the family together."
She was the mother of Linda Rudnansky, Michael Lanham, Patrick Lanham, David Lanham, Sean Lanham, Kerry Lanham and the late Kelly Lanham. Mrs. Lanham is also survived by two granddaughters.
Private services will be held.
Donations in Mrs. Lanham's name may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union.
July 23, 2003
Human rights activist
Becky Lamport, a member of the Petaluma community for 86 years, died July 16, 2003 at the age of 87.
Her greatest passion was working for human rights and equality among all races. "We used to call her one of the first women's rights fighters," said her daughter Bobbie Lamport. "She was gung ho for women's rights and always fought for them."
Her mother grew up in a family actively involved with the labor movement, Bobbie Lamport said, and she was intensely involved in that as well, helping form labor unions and "always looking out for the underdog, no matter what the case was."
She was a member of Hillcrest Hospital Auxiliary and for many years worked on the family chicken ranch while her husband commuted to San Francisco.
Mrs. Lamport will also be remembered for her outstanding sense of humor. "No matter how sick she was, she could always give me a laugh and have something funny to say," Bobbie Lamport said.
A major animal lover, Mrs. Lamport was a devoted gardener and an avid reader who enjoyed discussing history and politics.
"She was really the first free soul around," her daughter said.
In addition to her daughter Bobbie, Mrs. Lamport is survived by another daughter, Charlene Lamport of Tigard, Ore., a granddaughter, three great-grandchildren and other loved family members. She also had many adopted daughters, and looked forward to having weekend dinners with them.
She was predeceased by her husband, Charles Lamport, brother Robert Rapoport and parents Morris and Esther Rapoport.
Memorial services will be held at a later date. Donations in Mrs. Lamport's name may be made to the American Diabetes Association, the United Farm Workers or a favorite animal rescue group.
Arrangements were by the Neptune Society.