Passing of Jack Fleckenstein

UPDATE: Jack’s celebration of life will be held Saturday, June 24th 2017 at Armstrong Woods picnic area located at 17000 Armstrong woods Rd. Guerneville, CA from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.   

Jack Fleckenstein passed away the night of APRIL 28th. Jack is the father of Sonoma-Lake-Napa Battalion Chief Paul Fleckenstein. The Fleckenstein family is saddened by this loss, and remembers the stories that Jack would tell of his time with CDF in Mendocino and Sonoma from 1948 to 1980, before he retired from an injury. He was a firefighter through and through and still listened to the scanner for as long as anyone can remember. His time at CDF and as a Combat Engineer in the Army will not be forgotten. Paul and I will keep you informed of an upcoming service probably in June.

Jack started his state service with the Division of Beach and Parks as a seasonal in 1945 and permanent employee in 1946. In 1948 Jack began work as a seasonal firefighter with the Division of Forestry at the Armstrong Grove station in Armstrong Grove State Park. Jack also became permanent with the Division of Forestry in 1948. In fact, what is remarkable about Jack is that he worked at many locations that no longer exist except in the history of CAL FIRE. Jack worked at stations such as Mendosoma, Rockport and Sonoma County Airport. Jack was a part of CAL FIRE history that exists now only in photographs, documents and memories.

Jack spent most of his career working in the Mendocino and Sonoma Ranger Units. In fact, Jack’s first supervisor at Armstrong Grove Station was none other than Fire Apparatus Engineer Byron Carniglia (retiring as Unit Chief of LNU in 2004 with 55 years of Service). Jack worked for the Division of Forestry and the Department of Forestry for 32 years, retiring in 1980.

A private ceremony for Jack will be planned for sometime in June.

Please keep Jack, Paul and his family in your thoughts.

Paul requests that, in lieu of flowers and cards, donations be made to the Forestry Crab feed in Jacks honor.

Cards can be sent to Paul at:

The Fleckenstein Family
558 Sherman St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448

Passing of Retired HUU Fire Captain Don Webster


I am sad to inform you of the passing of retired HUU fire captain Don Webster. Don work in our Unit for many year most recently in the Town of Paradise prior to promoting the FCB in HUU and most recently retiring from state service.


The service is scheduled for Wednesday June 14, 2017 at 11:00 am. at the Calvary Chapel located at 1888 Springfield Drive in Chico.


Battalion Chief Curtis Lawrie is the Department liaison to the family.


Requested resources for the service include one retired Paradise Fire Engine now used at Butte College that Don operated, one engine from the Paradise Fire Department and one CAL FIRE Type 3 from the Unit.


The honor guard has been requested and the family asks uniformed personnel attending to wear the dress uniform. Work response uniform is ok for employees covering apparatus.


Employee Support Service has already been in contact with Stacey and is working with the family.  The Butte Chapter of CAL FIRE Local 2881 is aware and working on their end including providing support to Stacey on PERS and other related items.



Cards and flowers can be sent to:

Rural Route 3

800 Bruce Lane

Chico, CA 95928


Darren Read

Unit & Fire Chief

CAL FIRE Butte Unit

Butte County Fire Department 


Proudly Serving the Cities of Biggs, Gridley & Town of Paradise

Passing of Donald Webster

Retired HUU Fire Captain Donald Webster passed away June 4th. Don worked for many years most recently in the Town of Paradise prior to promoting the FCB in HUU and most recently retiring from state service.

The service is scheduled for Wednesday June 14, 2017 at 11:00 am. at the Calvary Chapel located at 1888 Springfield Drive in Chico.

Battalion Chief Curtis Lawrie is the Department liaison to the family.

Requested resources for the service include one retired Paradise Fire Engine now used at Butte College that Don operated, one engine from the Paradise Fire Department and one CAL FIRE Type 3 from the Unit.

The honor guard has been requested and the family asks uniformed personnel attending to wear the dress uniform. Work response uniform is ok for employees covering apparatus.


Passing of E. Gilbert Leedy

Born on March 24, 1930, to John and Mable (Whitworth) Leedy, in Weatherford, Oklahoma, They moved to Reedley, California in 1937, then Dinuba in 1958. He was a Fire Captain for the California Department of Forestry for 25 years. He is survived by his wife, Frankie (Hill) Leedy, and two sons, Rocky and Scott Leedy, E. Gilbert Leedy passed away on May 13, 2017 at the age of 87 at his home.

Gilbert was a father figure to many a Firefighter that passed through the Squaw Valley Station in the Fresno Kings Unit. He was held in high esteem by myself as well as all those that worked for and with him. When it came to the job he was a no nuisance supervisor what he said was how it was going to be. When the job was accomplished he would be a friend. He was known to tip a cold one with you if he ran into you on his off duty time at his other office, Les & Lu’s  (We will darn sure miss that).  

The Memorial Service is set for 10 am on June 3, at theDopkins Funeral Chapel  189 South “J” St Dinuba CA 93618  (559) 591-1919….. with a reception to follow at the old Les & Lew’s Tavern 42876 Road 80 between Ave 424 and Dinuba ave. 

Dopkins Funeral Chapel


Passing of James “Jim ” Forga

James “Jim ” Forga retired MMU Fire Captain passed away May 18th 2017.
Jim started his career in 1957 as a firefighter at Coulterville FF’S for the Division of Forestry. He retired in 1990 after 27 years as the Fire Captain at Catheys Valley FF’S for the Department of Forestry.
He is survived by his wife Shirley of 57 years, daughter: Jeri, son’s: Jimbo & daughter-in-law Lisa and Jody & daughter-in-law Kathy, grandchildren: Victoria, Sydney, Jen,  Gabrielle, Tara Jo, Tyler, Kenny, Christopher, Brittany and Kelsey, great grandchildren Sophia, Ren James, and Kaden.
The family request a donation to the CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation in lieu of flowers; as Captain Forga had a great love for our department. Memorial will be set at a later date.

Passing of Douglas Shank

Douglas Brian Shank passed away unexpectedly on March 31, 2017, at his home in Creston, Calif., at the age of 32. Douglas is survived by his parents Kim and Terry Shank; wife Elizabeth Marie Shank; siblings Aaron and Ryan Shank; as well as numerous extended family members and loved ones. Douglas is preceded in death by grandparents Brooke and Shirley Rasmussen and grandfather Roy W. Shank. Douglas was born on August 5, 1984, in San Luis Obispo, Calif. to Kim and Terry Shank. He graduated from Atascadero High School in 2002, Long Beach City College with a degree in Fire Science in 2007, and Alan Hancock Fire Academy in 2007 as Valedictorian. Douglas married the love of his life, Elizabeth Shank, March 29, 2014. Douglas’ entire working career was dedicated to fire service. After moving to his dream home in Creston, Calif., Douglas continued to work with the Cal Fire Riverside unit. Douglas is remembered by his loved ones as a handsome, dedicated, and loving husband with a wonderful sense of humor. Douglas was an accomplished fire apparatus engineer and passionate about serving others. In addition, he also loved hiking and woodworking with his wife. Douglas was a talented individual who loved DIY projects and making his wife’s dream of living on a miniature animal farm come to fruition.

Passing of George Ryder

George Henry Ryder (1928-2017) longtime resident of Lake County, 54 years, passed way April 6, 2017 at his home in Lower Lake, CA. Born in San Jose, CA -1928 son of Irving and Mary Ryder. He grew up in Santa Clara County on their Rancho Escadendo with his two sisters Nellie and Patricia. He attended a one-room schoolhouse in Llagas Canyon and graduated from Lincoln High School Class of 1948. George joined the US Navy 1946 at the age of seventeen and served on board the USS Los Angeles in the Pacific until the end of the war in December 1947. In 1950 he married Mary Elizabeth Twiss and had two children, Steven and Jane Ryder. Since 1948, George made a career with CDF (California Division of Forestry) for over 37 years. He loved CDF and his 37 years of service. In 1962 he took a position to build and open the Konocti Conservation Camp in Lake County until retirement in 1984. George loved the great outdoor including hunting, fishing, and backpacking in God’s creation and never sat a minute still. He was a kind and loving man who always had a kind word and light-hearted joke. After retirement, George and Mary enjoyed travel in the 5th-wheel trailer as far as Alaska to Mexico to Washington DC.
Over the years he served in the Masonic Lodge for over 50 years, Shrine, Kiwanis Club, Lions Club, Konocti School Board for 39 years, Lake County School Board, President of Little League for 10 years, and Lower Lake Volunteer Fire Department. He received numerous awards and recognition for his community service including Congressional Record 2015 from the California House of Representatives for service at the Konocti School Board, Kiwanian of the Year 1970, Lions Club Citizen of the Year 1975, E.P.O. Elks Citizen of the Year 1973, Grand Lodge of Order of Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award 1972-1973, High Twelve International President 1989-90, L.C. Shrine Club President 1992, High Twelve International Recognition for Outstanding Service in 1995.

George knew how he wanted to live his life and he did so to the fullest. His favorite poem was “If” by Rudyard Kipling. It speaks volumes for how he lived his life. I know we will all truly miss him but are better off for having known him. George is survived by his wife, Mary, sister Nellie, brother-in law Robert Twiss, son Steven, son-in-law John Bonner, 4 grandchildren Mikael, Amanda, Suzanne, and Kathleen, and 6 great grandchildren Jayke, Jayse, and Mayci Ryder, and Gracie, Conner, Jai Campbell.

In honor of George Henry Ryder there will be a memorial service held at 11:00 AM, Friday, April 21st at the Clear Lake Callayomi #183 F&AM Masonic Lodge, 7100 S Center Dr, Clearlake, CA 95422, with full Military and Masonic Honors followed by a luncheon for all family and friends. Any Donations may be made to your American Legion Konocti Post 437, 14770 Austin Road, Clearlake, CA 95422.

Thank you to all those who helped him through his health challenges the last years of his life. Per his request, he will be cremated and family will gather in celebration this summer and scatter his ashes in God creation, the forest, he loved so much.

Arrangements under the care of Jones & Lewis Clear Lake Memorial Chapel. Please share your loving memories of George by signing the on-line guestbook at and


Passing of Forest Tilley

MEU retiree, Forest Tilley passed away April 5th. He was dealing with pancreatic cancer and blood clots—all of which we started becoming aware of in Vermont on Mar.7. Forest had not been feeling well and had a bad cough. At the ER, blood work revealed liver issues as well, which turned out to be tumors. Unfortunately that revealed blood clots in the lungs and tumors on the pancreas. A liver biopsy and additional blood analysis showed that the tumors on both the liver and pancreas to have originated from the pancreas. He had to return to the hospital 3/23 care due to dehydration, weakness and other issues.

A Celebration of Life is planned for July and details will come at a future date.


Passing James McCollister

James Robert “J.R.” McCollister Jr. passed away March 29th 2017, after a lengthy illness, at home with his family and beloved dogs. Born in Red Bluff graduating Red Bluff High, he then graduated from Humboldt state, with an associate and BS in Forestry and was a California registered professional forester. Retired from California Department of Forestry “CAL FIRE” April 1995. He started as seasonal firefighter 1958, retiring as Unit Chief, Humboldt – Ranger Unit, he over saw the resource protection of over two million acres. Jr and Lynn continued the family tradition, maintained a Cow Calf‚ operation on their ranch outside Red Bluff.

Predeceased by his father James Robert McCollister Sr. and mother Helen Lorene McCollister, survived by his wife of 45 years Charlette Lynn McCollister children Michael Scott Kinzer “Renae”; Dori “Dave’ Haig; Kim Ann Van Meier “Chris”; Debi Magilligan “Mike” ; grandchildren James Houston “Amber”; Kenthen Kinzer; Kendra Houston; Ashley Kinzer; Jennifer Kinzer; and three great grandchildren Jacquelyn and Rory Houston, Steven Kinzer.

Memorial to be held May 20th, 2 pm, Elks Lodge, Gilmore Rd. Red Bluff CA.


Passing of Bob Wolf

Longtime firefighter and labor leader Robert Theodore “Bob” Wolf, 56, of Sun City Roseville, died of heart failure on March 2, 2017, while RVing in Phoenix, Ariz.

Born April 21, 1960, in Redlands, he grew up in fire stations around the state as his father, who worked for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (now CalFire), transferred among units.

In 1978, after graduating from Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, he immediately followed his father into the fire service. He spent his entire career in CalFire and climbed the ranks while working in San Luis Obispo, Shasta-Trinity, Riverside and Lassen-Modoc units before retiring as a battalion chief in 2012.

In the early 1990s, while in Riverside, he became active in CDF Firefighters (now CalFire) Local 2881, first as a rank-and-file representative and then as Chapter Director and Region VI Director/Vice President. He was elected general vice president of the statewide union in 2001 and became its president in 2003. When he retired in 2012, he was the longest-serving president, of the third largest firefighter union in North America.

Chief Wolf enjoyed soccer (especially Manchester United), motorcycle riding, RVing and Little League baseball, for which he served as a coach and manager. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Lavonne; three sons, Jeremiah (Carly), Jacob (Gina), and Zachary (Joanna); his mother, Rose; brother, Darrell (Carol); sister, Pam (Robin); four grandchildren, Isaac, Jewels, Max and Stella; many close family members, and thousands of Union brothers and sisters.

He was preceded in death by his father, Carl.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. April 1 at the Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J St., Sacramento. It will be preceded by a Ride of Remembrance starting at 10:30 a.m. from Sun City Roseville to the Union Hall at 1731 J Street, Sacramento, where an Honor Guard and Fire Procession to the Convention Center will step off at 12:45 p.m. Inurnment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Bob Wolf Memorial Fund at