December 1, 2004
Petaluma High graduate
Robert Knight, the young Petaluma man whose brave determination in battling his cancer touched and impressed so many, died Nov. 28, 2004. He was 18.
In late October, his health had improved enough so that he was able to walk downstairs, oxygen-free, to watch the World Series. But in early November, he began having difficulty breathing. He was able to beat back that problem as well, and was discharged Nov. 17.
Then, on Nov. 23, his heart stopped, and he was placed on a ventilator. A Nov. 25 post in the on-line log his mother had been keeping said he was not expected to make it through the weekend. On Nov. 28, after an EEG showed little brain activity, the Knight family asked a priest to come in, and then had the life support machines turned off.
"Whatever happens to me," he wrote, "all this has taught me one thing for sure, life is precious and value every minute of it because you never know when it can be taken away from you."
A Petaluma High School graduate, Knight had recently begun taking college courses. He enjoyed dirt biking and cars, including his 1987 Camaro, and playing with Nitro, his Labrador retriever. Before his illness, he had run cross country at PHS. Knight wanted to live a normal, 18-year-old's life, and hoped, dreamed and fought for the miracle that would make that possible.
He is survived by his parents, John and Katherine; siblings Joe, Mary and Travis and many other relatives and friends.
Services are pending.
September 24, 2003
Lisa Marie Kamby, a Petaluma resident since the age of 2, died Sept. 12, 2003 in an auto.mobile accident near Lodi. She was 19.
Kamby attended Sonoma State University's Hutchins School of Liberal Studies, and was studying to be a teacher. She was a 2002 graduate of Casa Grande High and had attended La Tercera Elementary and Kenilworth Junior High.
While at SSU, she also worked at Redwood Credit Union.
Her mother, Joan Kamby, said her daughter Lisa was a scholarship student who participated in Girl Scouts when she was younger. She performed volunteer work as a member of the Casa Grande Key Club and tutored elementary school students as part of the county-wide Regional Occupational Program.
Miss Kamby is survived by her parents, Joan and Tony Kamby and sister Carolyn Kamby, all of Petaluma. She was the granddaughter of Elaine Berkman of Petaluma and the late Murray Berkman, and Anton and Marjorie Kamby of Sonoma.
A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, in The Commons on the SSU campus, with a reception following. SSU President Ruben Arminiņa will speak at the service, along with some of Miss Kamby's friends and teachers.
A scholarship for students who want a career in teaching has been established in Miss Kamby's name. Donations may be made to Casa Grande High School, Lisa Kamby Scholarship, 333 Casa Grande Road, Petaluma 94954, or to a favorite charity.
December 1, 2004
Estella Jabusch, 83, who was born in Petaluma, died Nov. 27, 2004.
A member of Petaluma's Evangelical Free Church and the Santa Rosa Organ Club, Mrs. Jabusch had been a resident of Poway, Calif.
She is survived by one daughter, Marie Dory of Poway; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Harry Jabusch, and daughter Joanne Deisher.
Interment will be at 3 p.m. Dec. 3, 2004 at Cypress Hill Cemetery.
Donations in Mrs. Jabusch's memory may be made to Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma, 94952.
Arrangements were by Alhiser-Comer Mortuary, 225 S. Broadway, Escondido, Calif., 92025.
James "Jay" Hobbs
December 1, 2004
Co-owner, Jay and Bill's Tires
James A. "Jay" Hobbs, who owned Jay and Bill's Tires here until his retirement, died in Puxico Mo. on Nov. 25, 2004.
Born in 1923 in Dudley, Mo., he lived in California for 40 years before retiring and moving to Puxico. A U.S. Army veteran, he served during World War II, attaining the rank of sergeant.
He was a member of Hobbs Chapel Church near Puxico and a life member of the Puxico VFW post.
Mr. Hobbs is survived by his daughter, Jayan VanBergen of St. Louis, Mo.; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren; and four sisters. He was predeceased by his wife, Anna, who died in 2002; daughter Nancy Sue Landon; a grandson, and two brothers.
Services were held at Hobbs Chapel Church, with interment at the Hobbs Chapel Cemetery. Donations in his name may be made to the cemetery.
Arrangements were by Watkins and Sons Funeral Home, Puxico.
May 26, 2004
Petaluma Speedway racer
Leroy Geving, a resident of Petaluma for over 60 years, died May 23, 2004. He was 73.
A longtime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1929, Mr. Geving's great passion was racing "hard tops" at the Petaluma Speedway, which he had done since the age of 16.
He was the father of Gary Geving of Rohnert Park, Cindy Matelli of Santa Rosa and Lori Gutierrez of Murrieta; grandfather of six; brother of Milt Lund and Joanne Elwell, both of Petaluma, Georgjane Bernard of Washington and the late Joyce Rice. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. June 1 at Parent-Sorensen Mortuary and Crematory, Magnolia Avenue and Keokuk Street. Private inurnment will follow at a later date.
Julius "Joe" Fishman
May 26, 2004
Julius "Joe" Fishman, one of the last of Petaluma's celebrated chicken farmers, died May 17, 2004 in Petaluma.
From the time he was 6 months old, Mr. Fishman lived on the family chicken ranch on Chapman Lane where, from a young age, he was involved in the family poultry business with his father and brothers. He left home for just two years, serving from 1945 to 1947 in the U.S. Army in Japan.
Mr. Fishman took great pride in raising healthy, high-quality chickens for specialized markets. Although he complained about rising business costs, "he loved what he did and would not have done anything else," his family said.
He retired 18 years ago.
Mr. Fishman is survived by his wife, Mary Fishman of Petaluma; sons Raymond Soper of Penngrove, Darol Fishman of Le Grande, Calif., and David Fishman of Kennewick, Wash.; stepchildren Mike Esterbrook of Santa Rosa, Linda Lofgren of Reno, Debbie Smith of Sparks, Nev., and Judy Alva of San Leone, Texas; sibling Selma Cader of Petaluma; plus many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by siblings Ann Weitzman, Sol and Morris Fishman and his first wife, Charlene Fishman.
Private entombment was at Cypress Hill. A private family celebration will be held at a later date.
Contributions in Mr. Fishman's memory may be made to Hospice of Petaluma, the FFA's Charlene Fishman Memorial Fund or a favorite charity.
Arrangements were by Parent-Sorensen Mortuary and Crematory.
October 1, 2003
Francis M. DeRoo, a Petaluma resident for almost half a century, died Sept. 27, 2003 at home at the age of 82.
Born Jan. 27, 1921 in Atkinson, Ill., in his early years Mr. DeRoo was a flying enthusiast -- so much so that he missed his high school graduation practice.
He served with the U.S. Navy in the North Africa campaign during World War II. After the war, he and his wife, Kathleen, were married in San Rafael. The couple initially moved to Illinois, but returned to California in 1956, settling in Petaluma to raise their family.
Mr. DeRoo worked as a building contractor. Two of his favorite projects were the theater in the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and the expansion of San Francisco's Cow Palace. He volunteered time to help build the original Petaluma Boys Club on Eighth Street.
A Scoutmaster in Illinois, he spent many hours converting a Petaluma chicken house as a meeting place for local Boy Scouts. He also taught adult education at Petaluma High School and was an enthusiastic amateur photographer.
Mr. DeRoo was an avid hunter and fisherman, and enjoyed diving for abalone, fishing off the Sonoma Coast and duck hunting at Tule Lake.
After his retirement, he and his wife traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia and North Africa.
Mr. DeRoo is survived by his wife, Kathleen (Kay) DeRoo, son William DeRoo and daughter Patricia Haynes and three grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents and brother Donald DeRoo.
At his request, no services will be held. Friends are invited to join the family in a celebration of Mr. DeRoo's life from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at his daughter's home, 855 Sixth St.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers contributions in Mr. DeRoo's memory to the Petaluma Boys and Girls Club, 203 Maria Drive, Petaluma 94954.
Arrangements were by Parent-Sorensen Mortuary and Crematory.
Lark Ellen Cuslidge
June 9, 2004
Private services have been held for Lark Ellen Cuslidge who died April 26, 2004.
Mrs. Cuslidge was born July 11, 1918 in San Jose. Her maternal great-grandparents were early ranchers in the Santa Clara Valley.
In 1933 the family moved to San Rafael where they owned and operated the San Rafael Creamery on Fourth Street.
She graduated from San Rafael High School and received an associate of arts degree from College of Marin. A talented artist, a poster she painted while a college student went around the world on exhibit.
After graduation, she worked for the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce. A conversation with a friend led her to a job in the PG&E office in Petaluma, where she met her future husband Maurice "Bill" Cuslidge. The couple were married in Reno, on Feb. 8, 1942.
Mrs. Cuslidge was active with her daughters in the Methodist Youth Fellowship, Camp Fire Girls, Rainbow, and Junior Gray Ladies as well as school functions. She taught Sunday School at the Methodist Church and served as secretary to the PG&E retired employees group and she and Bill were associated with the Petaluma Riding and Driving Club.
Her greatest gift to her family and friends was her devotion and her sweet and gentle spirit, said her family.
Mrs. Cuslidge is survived by her daughter Linda Cuslidge Sawyer of Petaluma, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, and many other relatives. She was predeceased by her husband and daughter Shirley.
Burial was at Cypress Hill Memorial Park. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma, 94952.
November 23, 2004
Elmer Gustav "Gus" Carlson, a former Petaluma resident, died at his Texas home Oct. 13, 2004, at the age of 87.
Mr. Carlson grew up in Petaluma, and received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He held a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Michigan and worked as a research chemist for 40 years for Shell Oil Company, retiring in 1983.
He leaves his wife of 62 years, Alice Carlson; daughters Sandra Cavanaugh and Gaelyn Lesher; sons Eric Carlson and Ronald Carlson; brother Glen Carlson of Petaluma and eight grandchildren.
The family requests donations to Faith Presbyterian Church, Pasadena, Texas.
Mary Jean Burgess
May 26, 2004
Former Cinnabar board member
Mary Jean Burgess, a Sonoma County resident for over 50 years, died May 22, 2004 at the age of 75.
In 1950, Mrs. Burgess was employed through Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and played a large part in hiring the first chemist for the University of California, San Francisco.
From 1975 to 1992, she was on the Cinnabar Theater Board of Trustees, and was also involved in local politics. She was the administration director for Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for over a decade.
Her hobbies were bass fishing, playing the piano and singing.
She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Virgil Burgess of Petaluma; sons Rob Burgess of Willits and Randy Burgess of Sebastopol; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at Parent-Sorensen Mortuary and Crematory, Magnolia Avenue and Keokuk Street. Memorial services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Hessel Union Church, 5060 Hessel Ave., Sebastopol.
Burial will be at Cypress Hill Memorial Park at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Contributions may be made to Hessel Union Church Youth Group, 5060 Hessel Ave., Sebastopol, 95472, in memory of Mrs. Burgess.
July 23, 2003
Insurance agent, former vice mayor
Former City Council member Robert Arnold Brunner, a native Petaluman, died at home July 20 at the age of 65.
A member of Petaluma High School's Class of 1956, he graduated from San Francisco State University in 1960. Following his graduation, he worked with an insurance company in San Francisco, then returned to Petaluma and took over his father's insurance business.
He also became involved in city government, and was a member of the City Council and Vice Mayor.
An avid fisherman who especially enjoyed salmon fishing, Mr. Brunner liked taking trips to the coast, gardening, reading, watching the Oakland As, photography and listening to the radio.
The father of Janice and JaNel Brunner of Colorado and the stepfather of Holly Hartter of Sunnyvale, Mr. Brunner was predeceased by his wife, Patricia Brunner.
At his request, no formal services will be held. Arrange-ments were by Parent-Sorensen Mortuary and Crematory.
Contributions in his name may be made to Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma 94952.
September 24, 2003
Richard Thomas Brownell Jr., 52, died of cancer at his home in Petaluma, Sept. 18, 2003.
A man who loved life, his family, and his work in educational publishing, Mr. Brownell is survived by his wife, Jodi Clinesmith; children Jessica Brownell and Matt Brownell; mother Anna Giorgetta Brownell; and sisters Beverly Stowell and Denise Ford.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
Donations in Mr. Brownell's name may be made to Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma 94952, or to the Jessica and Matthew Brownell Educational Trust, c/o Exchange Bank, 2 E. Washington St., Petaluma 94952.
Arrangements were by Adobe Creek Funeral Home.
John F. Brown
June 4, 2003
Lt. Col., U.S. Air Force
John F. Brown, past president and life member of the Petaluma Host Lions Club, died May 30, 2003 at his Petaluma home. A native of Oakland, he was 84.
A member of the Petaluma community for 30 years, Mr. Brown was a graduate of Oakland High School. He attended the University of California, Berkeley and graduated from the University of the Philippines.
As a retired lieutenant colonel with the United States Air Force, Mr. Brown received numerous medals and the Air Force Commendation. During World War II he was a prisoner of war in Poland.
After his retirement from the military, Mr. Brown worked for Crocker National Bank in Marin County and later in several Petaluma real estate offices.
An avid sports fan, Mr. Brown was an original member of the Petaluma Coffee Cuppers. He was proud of his association with the Woodacre Improvement Club and Little League and Pony League coaching positions in Marin County.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Loise Brown; children Linda Martin and Patti Prichard of Petaluma, and John F. Brown Jr. of Alameda; grandfather of 12 and great-grandfather of four. The brother of Winifred Haag of Carmel, Robert Brown of Oakdale and the late William Brown and Doris Neslund, he is also survived by many nephews and nieces.
Services have been held, followed by interment at Cypress Hill Memorial Park.
The family prefers memorials to Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma 94952, or the Lions Vision Fund, c/o Petaluma Host Lions Club, P.O. Box 946, Petaluma 94953.
Mildred "Millie" Ashdown, a woman who adored her sons and grandchildren, died of cancer Friday, Nov. 12, 2004, at the age of 90.
She and her late husband, C.L. "Pinky" Ashdown, moved to Petaluma in 1947. They bought five acres, intending to raise chickens, their son Don said, but that didn't happen because the poultry business in Petaluma was fading.
In addition to being a homemaker, Mrs. Ashdown made drapes, her son said. Later, in fact, "she showed me how to make drapes and got me into the window covering business."
After Pinky retired, Don Ashdown said, the couple traveled around the country for seven years. They returned to Petaluma, and moved to Leisure Lake. When they were flooded out in 1982, they moved to Ukiah, but after Pinky's death, she returned to Sonoma County.
"She was always there for us. Both of them were," Don Ashdown said. "When we had problems, no matter what we did, they were always there."
In addition to her son Don, Mrs. Ashdown is survived by son Larry Ashdown, both Petaluma residents, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
No services will be held. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma, 94952.