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 Jack Fleckenstein

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 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


Passing of Julie Freeman

Julie Anne Freeman born January 22, 1967 in Santa Clara, CA. Died March 5, 2017 in Fresno, CA. Predeceased by her father Ronald Landquist and step-father M.O. Freeman. Survived by her mother Joan Freeman, siblings Ron, David, Deborah, Robert and Donna. Also survived by uncle Buzz Ereno (Clemie), uncle Tom Ereno (Kathie), and many cousins.
She was a Cal Fire Captain at the Carmel Hill Station #28 and a respected member of the Cal Fire Honor Guard.
A 1985 graduate of Lynbrook High School where she participated in field hockey, soccer and softball. Bachelor’s degree from Chico State University where she garnered All American field hockey honors.
Services will be held at the Church on the Hill, 500 Sands Dr., San Jose, CA 95125 at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 23, 2017. Donations in her memory may be made to: Honor Guard Benevolent Fund, CAL Fire Local 2881, 1731 J. Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95811 or to the charity of your choice .

See more at:


Passing of Edward Cikuth

Edward George Cikuth (77) was born on June 19, 1939 in Watsonville, California to George and Mildred (Ivy) Cikuth. He passed away on February 25, 2017 at Marquis Shasta in Redding, California after a brief illness.

Ed went to work with the California Department of Forestry after high school. He worked for them for 15 years and rose to the level of Capitan. He was also employed with George and Phillips Trucking, Amatek, and Shasta Redi-Mix until he retired in 2002. “Fast Eddie” was a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast. He particularly loved to ride on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and at the El Mirage Dry Lake in Southern California. He was a great story teller and told some of his best in Utah with “The Bend in the Road Gang”.

He is predeceased by his parents George and Mildred.

He is survived by Marie his wife of 53 years, his sons Daniel and Jeffrey, and many extended family and friends in Watsonville, Redding, and beyond.

At his request no services are planned.


Please sign the guest book at

Published in Redding Record Searchlight on Mar. 2, 2017- See more at:


Bob Cole wrote:


This appeared in today’s Redding Record Searchlight.

Ed was my first ‘Forestry Foreman’ back in 1968, in the

old San Mateo Ranger Unit.

Ed was definitely a ‘unique’ individual.

One of the old stories regarded his ‘slipping through the

cracks’ and taking and passing the written Foreman’s

(now Captains) test, when he was a 17 or 18 year old

seasonal FF.   He didn’t quite make it through the oral.

Passing of Kevin Patrick O’Brien

On February 9th, Jeanie and Dennis O’Brien (past President of CAL FIRE Local 2881) lost their son, Kevin Patrick O’Brien, tragically to lung cancer.   Kevin was the light of their lives and will be missed.  He was 41 and had worked as an electrician foreman for Berg Electric for 21 years and lived in Escondido. “He is now an Angel, I guess God needed a damn good electrician”.

Cards may be sent to:

Dennis and Jeanie O’Brien
14760 E 50th Street
Yuma, AZ 85367