Passing of Ralph Geissler

It is with a heavy heart that we need to communicate to his friends that our father, Ralph Geissler, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on the evening of Father’s Day at his home in Las Vegas.

He was diagnosed the week before with advanced lung cancer and had plans to start treatment soon. It was more advanced than his symptoms showed and was a surprise to everyone.

In his own words: “Well I finished my bucket list, but I’m not ready to die yet.”

We will be planning memorial services in Las Vegas, where he shared a home with his long time girlfriend Toto; in Twain Harte, where he raised us; and Kailua Kona, where he left his heart.

We know he loved to talk and was easily a friend to everyone. Please share your memories below or in a private message.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local public radio station or volunteer fire station.

We appreciate everyone’s support and condolences at this sad time.

Passing of James Acheson

James D. Acheson December 4, 1924 – May 21, 2019 SAN DIEGO James D. Acheson passed away peacefully May 21, 2019. He was born December 4, 1924 in Appleton, Wisconsin. At 17 he enlisted in the Navy serving in World War II, where he survived the sinking of the USS De Haven (DD-469). He returned home to marry his sweetheart, Patricia. Soon thereafter, James re-enlisted to serve his country in the Korean War. Afterward they moved to San Diego where James joined his brother Fred working for California Division of Forestry (Cal Fire). There they raised their six children. He worked 28 years with Cal Fire retiring as a Captain. After retirement he enjoyed traveling with Patricia visiting as many baseball parks as possible. He never wavered on his support of the Padres. He was a member of the Elks, American Legion, VFW and a charter member of the United Church of Christ in La Mesa. They enjoyed 68 years of marriage together before her passing in 2015. He is survived by five of his six children, Christine Wetmore (George), Blair, Laurie White, Jim, Julie Orenstein (Ed), Katherine (dec. 2016), seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was a great man and will be missed more than words can say.Graveside service will be held on July 5, 2019, 11am, at Greenwood Memorial Park.

Passing of Stacy Hamilton

December 7, 1969 – June 8, 2019

The world has been sadly altered by the loss of Stacy Arthur Hamilton’s generous nature and kind heart. After succumbing to injuries sustained in a vehicle accident in Merced, California, Stacy died in the early hours on June 8, 2019.

Stacy was Born on December 7, 1969 in Redding, California to Monika and George Hamilton. He was a supportive and loving son who remained close with his parents throughout his life. A Sierra High School graduate, Stacy began his career in the United States Forest Service in 1993. Stacy worked hard and moved his way from serving with the On-Call Handcrew, to being detailed to the Redding Hotshots, to ultimately becoming the Heli Attack Captain out of Trimmer Station from 2000-2007. At this point Stacy moved to work for Cal Fire as a Fire Captain. He eventually was assigned to the Columbia Air Attack Base where, for the last nine years, he worked as an Air Tactical Group Supervisor.

Although Stacy committed his life to the heroic work of fighting fire, his greatest achievement continues to live on in his sons, Ian, 18, and Logan,15. The pride Stacy felt in his children surpassed the many accomplishments he attained in his life, and defined who Stacy was as a man.

In addition to being a devoted father, Stacy was best known for his love of skiing. Stacy shared this love with his wife, Katie. Stacy and Katie spent the first decade of their relationship skiing around the world, including several seasons in New Zealand, and an eventual wedding ceremony on a ski slope in Canada. Once he became a father, and they chose to return to Stacy’s home town to raise their children, it was inevitable that one of Stacy’s favorite things would become the annual ski trips he took with his wife, his sons, and his sons’ childhood friends. For many of these friends, Stacy would become a mentor, a role model, a father figure. These annual ski trips will be greatly missed by all, but will always be remembered for the impact Stacy made on the lives of those fortunate enough to have raced down the slopes by his side.

Stacy is survived by his parents, George and Monika Hamilton; his wife, Katie Hamilton; his children, Ian and Logan Hamilton; his brother and sister-in-law, Andy and Mary Kaiser; his sister-in-law Julie Orlando-Bagunu and her husband Moe Bagunu; numerous loving family members.

A gofundme account has been set up for the family to assist them through this difficult transition. It can be found by searching “Stacy Hamilton.” The link is: www.gf./u/tc9v3p

A Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 17, at Clovis Hills Community Church, 10590 North Willow Avenue, Clovis, CA 93619.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.boicefuneralhome.com for the Hamilton family.

Passing of Don Woods

    It is with sadness that I advise you that Don Woods, retired Fire Captain in prevention, retired in 1983, passed away last night at around 6:30 p.m. with family by his side.  

Don loved His CDF familly and so did his wife Lenora who also worked for CDF. Don helped to develop the weed abatement program for riverside county and he completely enjoyed serving the citizens of Riverside County.  

In August 2, 1970, Don was awarded the Medal of Valor for saving the life of a lady that was encircled by fire in Reche Canyon, He drove his pick-up through the flames and was able to get her to safety.  His 

citation and Medal of Valor was for an act of heroism far above and beyond the call of duty or service.  

His two favorite bosses in Riverside CDF were Dick Ernest and David Flake.  

He was a man who made a great impact working for CDF.   He will truly be missed.  

Service info will be shared as soon as it becomes available.  

Please keep the Woods family in your thoughts and prayers.  

Passing of Philip Brown

Philip C. Brown of Springville CA passed away peacefully on March 14,2019 at the age of 90. He was born on August 24,1928 in Milfay Oklahoma to Philip W. and Hazel T. Brown. Phil’s father passed away two months prior to his birth and his mother remarried to Leander J. Swartzlander. Phil’s family farmed and in 1942 they came to Los Angeles California and then relocating to the Cutler area. Phil did farm work and drove trucks until he landed a job at Lodgepole in Sequoia National Park and continued working there until he was drafted into the Army in 1951. Phil served with the 40th Infantry Division, 223rd Infantry Rgt in Korea as a Rifleman and Truck Driver. After receiving an Honorable discharge in October 1953 he went to work for the California Division of Forestry (CDF) in the Tulare Unit. It was at this same time he met Ophelia Elizabeth Arnold who quickly became the love of his life, the two were married and enjoyed an everlasting love until her passing in 2014. Phil continued working for CDF relocating his young family to Fort Bragg in 1957 and later Howard Forest in Willits California in 1959 as a Forest Fire Truck Driver and Firefighter Foreman. In 1961 he transferred to the CDF air program as an air attack Captain out of Ukiah Air Base returning to Howard Forest in 1963. In 1965 he promoted to Forestry Project Foreman at Mountain Home Camp near Springville where he would finish his career on December 2, 1985. It was at Mountain Home where he earned his reputation as an outstanding fireman and a leader, he was highly respected in the firefighting world and a mentor to many young firefighters and left a legacy that continues today. In 1988 Phil began another career as a Bus Driver for Special Operations hauling firefighters to fires all over the country. Together with his “sidekick” the late Ben Charley they traveled all over the country hauling fire crews to many different fires. As if this wasn’t enough Phil and Ophelia raised five boys and maintained a home that was always full of love. This love extended beyond the family, you were always welcome and you never left hungry. Phil believed in honesty and hard work and instilled these traits in his sons and many of their friends. Phil was an outstanding cook, a trade he learned from Ophelia and many Springville residents will attest to.


Phil had many affectionate nicknames he was known as,”Big Phil”, Pappy, Papa, Senior, or Great Papa. He was a proud member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and received his 65 year pin in December 2018. Every year faithfully, Phil would drive the old Army jeep in both the Springville Rodeo and Porterville Veterans Day parades flashing his infectious grin. He instituted the “Jackass Sheriff’ for Springville’s Jackass Mail Run. He could always be counted on to put the Flags up on Memorial Day, Flag Day, and any other day the flag needed to be flown. When Phil wasn’t busy volunteering in the community he loved so much, he could be found at the sawmill creating woodwork pieces as a hobby or spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Phil was an icon of the Springville community, known by most. He had a sense of humor like no other and a way of making everyone laugh. He had a zest for life and lived it to its fullest, he touched the hearts and lives of people until the day he left in peace. Phil will be greatly missed yet, his spirit will live on with everyone he knew. He is survived by his sisters Wanda Arnold of Dinuba and Linda Puig of Hanford. Brothers Jack Swartzlander of Hanford and Paul Swartzlander of Oregon. His sons Philip (Terren) Brown of Porterville, James (Nannette) Brown, Dennis (Deanna) Brown, Gary Brown of Springville and Mark Brown of Tehachapi. 12 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. A Celebration of life will be held Saturday April 6, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the Springville Veterans Memorial Building in Springville CA. Cards are welcome, in lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Springville Veterans Post 9499, Springville Rodeo Association or a .

Passing of James Hart

James L. Hart was born in Madera Calif. June 15, 1940 to Donald B. Hart and Kathryn L. Hart, 3-years later his sister Diana Hart-Wyatt was born. He attended all his schooling in Fresno, Calif. In June 1959 He graduated from Roosevelt High, where he was an outstanding distance runner. He received the “Harry Coffee Award” in Track in his Senior year. He set or broke records in distance running as well as breaking the pull-up record.


In 1957 he went to work for Calif. Div. of Forestry, as a seasonal Firefighter. In 1960 he promoted to Fire Engineer, at East Fresno Sta. 8, then Fire Capt. In 1970. He Worked 44-years for what became Cal-Fire, assigned all of his career in Fresno with what became known as Fresno Co. Fire Prot. Dist. He spent 10-years as Capt. of Sta. 88 during the Paramedic program which was the busiest station in Cal-Fire during several of those years. In 2001 He retired at Clovis Sta. 85 Where he had promoted to Capt. in 1970. He retired April 19, 2001. After he retired he moved to Oregon after having open heart surgery. After moving to Oregon he joined the Civil Air Patrol where he was appointed Safety Officer for 2 ½ years.


On February 12, 2019, Jim Hart went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, having finished his life here to go wait for his Wife and Best Friend to join him. Jim Loved his wife so much the Lord extended his life here for many years. He was plagued with lung, heart and c-spine injuries for 15 yeas after his retirement. After 44-years with CDF/Cal Fire. His favorite saying was still “That was the best job anyone could ever have.”
He is survived by his wife Kathleen Smith-Hart and her 3 children. He also leaves his two daughters, Kathy Strawn and Darla Kitkowski, from his first wife who preceded him in death. He also leaves 9-grandchildren and 7-great grandchildren.

Passing of Ed Poe

Edward A. Poe 
Passed away peacefully on March 15, 2019, at the age of 92, at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with family present. Ed was born in the Berryessa Valley to a pioneer ranch family. Ed would often say he “was born at the bottom of Lake Berryessa”, where the town of Monticello used to be. He later moved to Ft. Bragg, where he attended junior and senior high schools. 


Ed was a World War II Navy combat veteran in the Pacific campaigns, piloting a Higgins boat during the Iwo Jima combat landing. He came home after the war to resume his California Division of Forestry career, becoming an Assistant State Forest Ranger. Ed retired as the District Ranger for the Sonoma County coast, where he was considered an expert in wildland firefighting. 


Ed was preceded in death by his wife Lorraine and daughter Susan, sister Cecilia, and brother George. He is survived by son George (Donna), granddaughter Stephanie (Montana) Carter, brother-in-law Albert Mello Sr., sister-in-law Barbara Diekmann, godson Chris Glavich, honorary son Jack Piccinini (Jenifer), caregiver Luisa (Manoa) Mataindilo, and numerous other family members and close friends. 


Services to be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at Santa Rosa Methodist Church, 1551 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, California.

Passing of Robert Barnes

Robert (Bob) Tex Barnes, age 91, passed away February 15, 2019. He grew up in Coleman, TX and moved, with his family, to Sanger, CA at the age of 12. The son of Willis and Rittie Suejet Barnes, he grew up with 6 siblings. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do and his favorite hobby was woodworking. If you asked him what his greatest accomplishments were, he would always say #1 – his daughters and then #2 – becoming a Captain for the California Department of Forestry. Bob was the light of his daughters and grandkids lives. Some of the grandkids’ fondest memories were spending time at their Grandpa’s and Grandma’s ranch. There wasn’t a time that he ever turned anyone down when they needed something. Bob was preceded in death by his first loving wife, Ruby Ann Barnes; father, Willis Barnes; mother, Rittie Suejet Barnes; 6 siblings; 1 granddaughter and 1 great granddaughter. Bob is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Virginia May Barnes; daughters, Patricia Christian (Mike), Barbara Hardgrave, Donna Roberts (Steve), and Janet Hobock (Roy); stepdaughters, Freya Raven and Joyce Pannell (Glenn); 14 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. We love you and will miss you so much and already feel the hole in our lives. A Funeral Service will be held at Calvary Worship Center on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 1:00p.m. with Interment immediately following at Clovis Cemetery.

Passing of Carl Vogt

Carl Wallace Vogt peacefully left this earth Wednesday, February 13th at 350 pm with his wife Betty and family at his side

He ended his year long fight with Parkinson’s disease and COPD which was undoubtedly was due to his 31 years of committed service with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

Carl started his career in the San Diego Ranger Unit in 1950 as a Fire Firefighter I at the Julian Forest Fire Station During
his tenure, he worked in Napa Ranger Unit, Riverside Ranger Unit, Amador El Dorado Ranger Unit and finally retiring as a
State Forest Ranger I at Eel River Camp in the Humboldt Del Norte Ranger Unit in 1990

As the oldest Vogt in the CDF Carl inspired his family to serve in CDF as well. His brother Eric Vogt 1 (Retired Deputy Chief), Olga Vogt Semple (Retired Battalion Chief), brother Roger Vogt Fire Fighter I), brother in law Ken Cater (Fire Fighter 1), nephew Michael Vogt (Retired Battalion Chief), nephew Rick Vogt (current Escondido Fire Chief and CAL FIRE Battalion Chief), son Michael Webb (Assistant Fire Chief) son Jim Webb (Fire Fighter 1), and daughter Edie Vogt (Fire Fighter 1). Another generator of firefighters is up and coming

Through the toughest of times, stories and memories of CDF could always cheer him up. When asked what tie missed most about the job, “A good initial attack vegetation fire” was his response.

Carl was a loving and dedicated husband, father; grandfather, brother, uncle, great grandfather and friend. Missed by many and loved by all.

Passing of Kenneth Harp

Kenneth D. Harp passed away suddenly on February 12, 2019, at his home in Madera, CA. He was 91 years old.

Kenneth was born in Riverside, CA, on December 30, 1927. He retired from California Division of Forestry in 1969 after 25 years as Assistant Ranger. He then became the Fire Chief of Kings County for another 20 years.

Kenneth was an avid reader of his newspaper, history and politics. Upon retirement, he and his wife Evelyn travelled extensively throughout the world, visiting Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China, Africa and the many countries of Europe as well as the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Of all his travels, he thoroughly enjoyed his tour of America’s National Parks.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; and two sisters.

Kenneth is survived by his wife Evelyn of 69 years; and his seven children Marjorie Harp, Leslie Gheen (Kelly), Kenneth Harp (Monica), James Harp (Teri), Jeanne Harp Doel (John), John Harp (Judy) and Joan McCullough (Mac); his eight grandchildren Joseph, Russell, Mitchell, Matthew, James, Keith, Kevin and Cory; and his six great-grandchildren Brayden, Tharen, Madison, Isabella, Victoria and Ramona.

A Funeral Service will be held at Whitehurst, Sullivan, Burns & Blair Funeral Home, Chapel on Monday, February 18, 2019, at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Catholic Charities or the Fresno Burn Center.