Passing of Gary “Buzz” Buzzini

Chief Gary “Buzz” Buzzini passed away November 15, 2017. Gary was born on July 4th 1942 in Gilroy, California.

Gary began his career with CDF in the summer of 1960. Gary would leave CDF for a short time to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington State where he would earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management from the University of Washington. In 1966 Gary returned permanently to CDF. Highlights of this 30+ year career would include assignments in Lake Napa Unit as an FAE, FC & BC, Mendocino Unit as a BC, Butte Unit as a DC, Shasta Unit as the Unit Chief, Northern Region II as the Region Chief before returning to the Sonoma Lake Napa to retire in 1997 as the Unit Chief.

Gary loved the outdoors, depending on the season you would be hard pressed to find him at home as he was either; hunting, fishing, skiing, bike riding or simply enjoying an extended hike.

Gary’s true love was spending time with his wife Linda, traveling both here and abroad.

The Ol’ Ranger (as was his favorite self-reference), is survived by his wife Linda, son, daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be planned for Spring of 2018, more details to follow.


The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Yosemite Conservancy.

Donating can be done online at  Conservancy staff is also available to answer your questions.  Call 415-434-1782 or email at

Donations to Yosemite Conservancy are tax-deductible.  Yosemite Conservancy’s Tax ID is 94-3058041.

Passing of Frank Noyes

Frank H. Noyes, 91, passed away peacefully on October 4, 2017 in Ukiah, CA after a short illness. Frank and his wife, Barbara, who have resided in Ukiah for 46 years, recently celebrated 70 years of marriage at a September 3rd party with family and friends.

Frank started his career as a firefighter in El Dorado County when he was just 16 years old. He worked for The Division of Forestry (now Cal Fire) for 30 years, retiring in 1984. He rose through the ranks from dispatch in El Dorado County to Administrative Officer in Mendocino County. Frank’s true love was fire control, and he worked in Northern California serving in rural areas, trying to keep as close to fighting fire as possible. Barbara recalls Frank working on The Handley Fire in 1964 which burned from Calistoga to Santa Rosa and is eerily similar to this year’s fire in Calistoga. Frank worked for eight years as superintendent at Parlin Forks Conservation Camp.

After retiring from Forestry he took on two additional jobs, first for the Sheriff’s Department as a transport officer, and next driving the Senior Center bus.
Entertaining family and friends was a big part of Frank’s life.

Frank is survived by his wife Barbara; son Frank D. Noyes and partner Cheryl Garner; daughter Sherry Staser and husband Charles; granddaughters Sara Rexrode and husband Russell; Jessica Albere and husband Jay; and great grand children Karlie and Jesse Rexrode. Predeceased family include his parents Frank N. and Clarice Cullers Noyes; and his sister Helen Davey and husband Art.

A celebration of life is planned for December 2, 2017 at 2:00 at the Ukiah Senior Center, 499 Leslie Street.



Passing of Dale Payne

74 year old Gazelle resident, Dale Patrick Payne, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 6, 2017 at his home. Dale was born in Yreka on April 5, 1943 to Earl Payne and Jessie Payne-Hegler of Scott Bar. Dale attended multiple grade schools in the Scott bar area, and graduated from Happy Camp High School before attending Sacramento City College and College of the Siskiyous.


Dale loved fishing, hunting, and the outdoors. He was active in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Back Country Horsemen of California, Top of the State Unit, where he was a board member and active in trail work and in charge of the fish plants for many years. Dale was also a member of the Mt. Shasta Horsemen, the Gazelle School board, the Gazelle Fire Department Auxiliary, and the Gazelle Fire Department.


Dale retired from CAL-FIRE (CDF) as a Heavy Equipment Operator in 2000.


Dale leaves behind his wife of 52 years, Mida; a daughter, Yvonne (Mike) Farwell; granddaughters, Danielle (Robert) Vanthida and Hayden McBroom; step-granddaughters Ryan Farwell, Heather (TJ) Albert; great grandchildren, Savanah, Allysen, Landen Dale, and, coming soon, Addison and a set of twins! Dale is also survived by a step brother, Jim (Ellen) Allen; sisters-in-law Sandy Payne, Peggy Young, Marie (Donald) Sutcliffe; brother in law, Ray Casterline; nieces, Rose Finch, Betty Balard, Jennifer Powers, Kim Schwartz, Renee Poch, Karen Nieman, Debbie (Rick) Knotts, and Dorena Mello; nephews, Mike (Maurine) Payne, John Scott (Lindsey) Payne, Roy (Karen) Sutcliffe, and many great nieces and nephews. Most importantly, Dale is survived by his trusty mule: Shasta.


A memorial services for Dale will be held on Saturday, October 21st at 2:00 p.m. at the Gazelle Grange, with a buffet lunch to follow. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Gazelle Fire Dept. Aux., PO Box 188, Gazelle, CA 96034 or Mercy Mt. Shasta Hospice, 914 Pine Street, Mt. Shasta, CA 96067.


Passing of Lonnie Smith

Retired CDF Fire Captain Lonnie Smith who passed away on Wednesday following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease and renal failure.  Lonnie was a man of faith and sadly leaves his beloved wife, Paula and sons, Marc & Kirk, their wives and three wonderful grandchildren who will miss him greatly.


Lonnie’s 30-year CDF career began in 1972 at the Dinuba FS in the Tulare Ranger Unit.  He was assigned to Visalia Hdqtrs as well as other stations in TUU until he promoted to FC B at the Gabilan CC in the San Benito-Monterey Unit in 1985.  He later worked at Lockwood and King City BEU until 1999 when he transferred to the Fresno Air Attack Base before retiring in 2000.


A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, October 28th at the First Baptist Church in Paso Robles.  Condolences can be sent to Paula at 350 Panorama Drive, Paso Robles, CA  93446.


Passing of Phillip Crosby

Passing of Phillip Crosby

My father passed this past week. He was one of the original drivers of the Big Jimmy (sp.?) and was honored at the ceremony held at Ramona Airport a few years ago. Dad came home from WW2 and was stationed in San Marcos, Camp Elliot, La Mesa, Julian and other locations in San Diego County for several years before being transferred north. He spent his final decades with CDF stationed in Oroville, Butte County. A deep faith in God, integrity, undying work ethic, and strong loyalty to CDF and it’s mission characterized his life to the end.


Aleta (Crosby) Slater


Passing of Mike McCoy

 Mike McCoy Retired BC passed away Monday of a brain aneurysm following knee surgery at his home while recovering. Mike was a great guy and a great friend since 1973. He was the guy that lit up the room that everyone liked. Dependability, loyalty, thoughtfulness, honesty, totally reliable are just but a few of his qualities. I never found a fault with him and was always glad to have a cup of coffee with him. Mike you are missed till we all meet again. Keep the coffee hot we will all meet up again!


Here is a breakdown of events:


MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2017 – 7:00pm



St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church

12686 Central Avenue

Chino, CA  91710



TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2017 – 11:00am



St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church

12686 Central Avenue

Chino, CA  91710



Rose Hills Memorial Park

3888 Workman Mill Road

Whittier, CA  90601


A reception will follow – details to be provided at the services.


Passing of James W. Harris

Jim Harris was born June 20, 1941, in Santa Ana and passed away Sept. 17, 2017, at his home in Sonora at the age of 76.


Jim was a retired Cal Fire captain and a veteran of the Army. He was a member and past governor of the Sonora Moose Lodge 2183 and a member of E Clampus Vitus Mataca Chapter 1849. He loved to camp, fish and was very active in the Moose Lodge until he became ill. Jim was a diehard 49er and San Francisco Giants fan.


His loves were his family, grandchildren and his pets.


Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Dorothy Harris; and his sister, Deanna Karsky.


He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Melody Harris; his children, Jamie Harris, of Sonora, Jennifer Luthge and Jason Luthge, of San Diego; and his three grandchildren, Larissa Luthge, Robert Luthge and Seth Luthge, all of San Diego.


A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017 at the Sonora Moose Lodge.


Passing of Francis Musser

Francis Fairly Musser, “Smokey”, started his career with the California Department of Forestry (CDF, now CAL FIRE) in the Tehama-Glenn Unit in 1958.  He was assigned to the Lassen Lodge Forest Fire Station in Mineral as a Fire Apparatus Engineer.  He promoted to Fire Crew Captain at the Crystal Creek Camp in the Shasta-Trinity Unit, west of Redding.  He then returned to TGU after accepting a promotion to the Paskenta Ranger District (now Battalion) as a State Forest Ranger I (Battalion Chief).  He retired in 1979 and moved to Indian Valley.  Chief Musser remained active during his retirement as a volunteer firefighter with the Indian Valley Volunteer Fire Department from 1984-2010 marking 52 years of public safety service as a firefighter.


Chief Musser is survived by his second wife, Anne Harrigan Musser; his children Katherine Iglesias and Norman Lamb of Greenville CA, Paul Francis and Debbie Musser of Flagstaff Arizona; his twin sister Fay Gilkey of Orofino, ID and his sister Isabell Gleason of Orting, WA, Anne’s children; Tina Popenuck and her children, Katie and Anthony, Tom and Kim Popenuck, Bill Popenuck and Sage Baggott; and many nieces, nephews and relatives on the Noah and Musser sides of the family.


Chief Musser’s full obituary is posted at


Donations in Francis’s memory may be made to the following organizations:


Indian Valley Museum

4288 Cemetery St

Taylorsville, CA 95983


Taylorsville Community Methodist Church

4264 Nelson St

Taylorsville, CA 95983


Services will be held September 30, 2017 at 2 PM at the Taylorsville Community Methodist Church, in Taylorsville CA.  Interment with Military Honors will follow in the Taylorsville District Cemetery.  Chief Lane Caldwell has been assigned as the Family Liaison Officer.


Passing of Bart Sciacqua

Bart Sciacqua was born on August 7, 1937, in Madera, CA. He passed away at home on Monday, September 4, 2017, with his family at his side. Bart was a brave and decorated firefighter and civil servant. He spent 25 years protecting our natural resources and community as a Captain with the California Department of Forestry. He was a role model, a leader and was named fireman of the year in 1973 and 1982, retiring in 1988.


Bart continued to make a positive impact on the community by channeling his energy on our community’s youth through coaching girls softball. His passion was ignited by coaching his two young daughters, Diane and Vickie, and it blossomed into a 40 year career as one of the valley’s winningest coaches. Bart began his coaching career with the Madera Bobby Sox league in the early 1970s, later organizing and coaching many young ladies on the Madera Blazers fast pitch softball team for many years. In 1984, he was named head softball coach for Madera High School. Recruited in 1991, he became the coach at San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, CA. Under his 20 years of leadership, he led the San Joaquin Memorial softball team to three valley championships, 14 league titles and was named Coach of the Year for numerous seasons. In June 2016, he was humbled and honored as he was inducted into the City-County All-Star Softball Hall of Fame surrounded by many former players and family. Even more notable than his valley championships, league titles, and undefeated seasons, was his impact on hundreds of young valley women. He was consistent, tough, reliable, humble , and the most caring coach one could hope for. He taught life skills that went far beyond the field. Bart touched the lives of many players. He was not only their coach, but also became their mentor, a father figure, and their friend.


He is survived by Margot, his wife of 57 years; his son, Robert and wife Debbie; his daughters, Diane Sagariballa and husband Joseph, and Victoria and her wife Michaele. Bart also leaves behind three grandsons, Anthony Sagariballa, Matthew Sagariballa, and Chase LaForge- Sciacqua. The family extends many thanks to the caregivers from St. Agnes Hospice and is extremely grateful for the excellent care provided for him by Sabrina, Hortencia, and Josie over the past several months.


Visitation will be held at Jay Chapel in Madera, CA, on Monday, September 11, 2017, from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m.


A Funeral Service will be held at Jay Chapel in Madera, CA, on Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. A Private Entombment will be held at Arbor Vitae Cemetery Mausoleum.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in memory of Bart be made to either the Parkinson’s Institute, 675 Almanor Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085; or St. Agnes Hospice, 6729 N. Willow Ave., Ste. 103, Fresno, CA 93710. Jay Chapel, 1121 Roberts Avenue, Madera, California (559)674-8814