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.

Passing of James Fox

James Fraiser Fox, of Orangevale, CA, passed away at the age of 90 on Saturday, February 9, 2019.  James was born in Modesto, CA on July 6, 1928 to the late Bertha (Sweet) and Everett Fox and was the beloved husband of Mervilyn (Dunning) Fox for sixty-three years.  Services will be Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 11:30 am at Fair Oaks Church located at 11427 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks, CA 95628.

Passing of George Pond

Retired Battalion Chief George Pond passed away February 5, 2019. Please pray for the repose of his soul and his family. No services are planned at this time. If anyone feels inclined to do something please donate to the museum or benevolent fund in his honor.

Passing of Jerry Weaver

Jerry Sylvester Weaver, 84, of Yuma, died Jan. 16, 2019, in Yuma.

Born Nov. 1, 1934, in Stillwater, Okla., he was a crew supervisor for California State Forestry and veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

Sunset Vista Funeral Home is handling arrangements, including private cremation.