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


Passing of Robert (Bob) Yohr

Robert L. (Bob) Yohr, born May 26, 1923, to Katherine and Edward Yohr of Manawa, WI, died September 10, 2017, in Newberg, OR at age 94, a beloved and cherished husband of almost 54 years.


Bob left home to travel west in ’49, joined the California Dept. of Forestry in ’51, worked his way up to Asst. Ranger in charge of a 10-crew inmate camp  in Angels Camp and retired as Ranger I, Altaville District, Calaveras County, in a job that covered long fire-fighting seasons all over California, flood control, oil spill cleanup, law enforcement and general construction. He married his wife, Connie Ripley, in 1964, but because of his age (40+), they did not have children. He was very active in his church, St. Matthews Lutheran of Sonora, as President (4 different years) and Elder for 25 years. They also owned and ran a self-service carwash in Angels Camp until 1988. They both enjoyed skiing, golfing and fishing the best of the Rockies/Mid-West on vacations.


After his retirement from CDF in 1981, they traveled by trailer extensively in the U.S. and Canada, including a full summer in Alaska, Finally, in 2012, they moved north to the Portland area to live out his life close to family members, in a retirement community of faith, Friendsview, where he quickly gathered friends among residents and staff with his warmth and quick wit.


The youngest of 5 children, he was preceded in death by two brothers and two sisters. He is survived by his wife, Connie Yohr, of Newberg, OR, and six nieces and one nephew in Portland, Tucson and the Wisconsin-Illinois area, plus numerous well-loved “grand kids”.


A memorial service will be held at the Zion Lutheran Church – Newberg, OR at 11.a.m. Saturday, October 14, 2017.


If you wish to donate in his name, please do so to your favorite Christian charity.


Passing of Russ Koerner

Russ, 81, was born and raised in Mt. Pocono, Penn. He served in the Air Force from 1954 to 1958 as a jet engine mechanic.

Dodie, 81, was born in Hastings, Neb. They both eventually made their way and met each other in Murphys, Calif. They blended their two families when they married in November of 1976.

They lived in Vallecito, Calif., until Russ retired from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as a captain, and Dodie retired from work as a school bus driver. In 1994, they moved to Salmon, Idaho, where they chose to raise two of their grandsons, Michael and Randy. They always loved the outdoors and hoped to spend more time hunting and fishing, but health issues kept them closer to home. Dodie finally succumbed to those issues on Aug. 3, 2017. Shortly after, Russ also lost his fight on Sept. 2, 2017.

They are survived by their son, Ray (Annette) Koerner of Salmon, Idaho; daughter, Janice (Bill) Horton of Jamestown, Calif.; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brother, Shell (Sandy) Koerner of California; and sister, Betty (Len) Kuchinskas of Pennsylvania.

There will be a private family service held at their gravesite in Vallecito at a later date.


Passing of Robert Baker

Robert Renz Baker, unwavering friend, husband, and dad, went home peacefully to be with his Lord on Wednesday morning at 1:25 a.m. He had fought a long and hard battle with emphysema and asthma, but he could not stand against the final strike of cancer. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. The North Butte Masonic Lodge was forefront in his life, his committing to it for over thirty years, twice as master, and serving it until last year when he could not be sure he could attend regularly. For many he will forever be known as the power behind the lodge’s scholarship program. He worked for it; he encouraged others to do the same. He was always there, always working, always with a warm smile, a handshake, and a pat on the back.

He loved his fishing with friends in Baja and his visits to Costa Rica. A lifetime sportsman, Bob founded the Gridley Sportsman’s Club and encouraged children to fish every year. In his younger days he was an avid hunter, but in later years he and a few good buddies took to shooting squirrels in local orchards, much to the joy of the farmers. But the highlights of his life were his years as a dozer operator for California’s Department of Forestry and his travels with his family to Italy, to Central America, and finally to Alaska.

Bob became a Christian formally in 2012, when he was baptized on his deck with a few intimate friends and family watching, but he was a Christian at heart long before that day. He had become a committed Christian, firm in his faith, and told his pastor he spoke with the Lord daily. He is survived by his wife Lynne of 33 years; his daughter Olivia Wilson, her husband Jeremy and his only granddaughter Jenna; his sister- and brother-in-law Susan and Bill Shaul of Sutter; loving nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews; and uncountable dear friends. The family thanks those good friends who continued to visit him regularly in his last months.

Born June 15, 1932, Bob was 85. Even in the hospital, he continued to call friends, talk to them, wish them well. A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 16, 2017, at the North Butte Masonic Hall, Sycamore and Vermont Streets, in Gridley at 11 a.m. with time for those who knew Bob well to share memories. Lunch will follow. You are home, Bob, but we shall miss you terribly.

Bob’s funeral will be this Saturday, September 16th,  at the North Butte Masonic Lodge at 1200 Sycamore Street in Gridley at 11am.


There is a reception to follow. Lynn, Bob’s wife, would like to request dress uniform’s as she said “Bob loved Cal Fire”.