VALLEJO - Dante Charles Caron, 91, died on Oct. 20, 2008, at Vallejo Kaiser Hospital, from complications of a stroke. Dante was born  April 16, 1917, in Raymond, to Giovanie and Angelina (Ambrosini) Caron. He spent his early years in Raymond, where his father worked in a nearby marble quarry.

As a young man Dante moved to San Francisco where he found work as a shipwright. There he met his future wife, Attilia (Tillie) Joy Pellandini, at a dance. Ballroom dancing became a favorite pastime and the couple enjoyed dancing throughout their marriage. Dante and Tillie were married Dec. 3, 1938. A year later their daughter Irene was born. Shortly thereafter the family moved to Vallejo, and Dante began a new career with the civil service. In 1942 the family relocated to Napa and Dante built their first home. Dante’s passion for the outdoors, horses, hunting, fishing and camping, eventually led to the purchase of a former dude ranch that encompassed 68 acres atop Partrick Road. During that time, Dante and Tillie welcomed a son, Benjamin. Dante also was active with the Napa County Sheriff’s Posse, Napa Valley Horsemen’s Association, and Napa 4-H.

During his early years in Napa, Dante worked at Mare Island, Skaggs Island, and Travis AFB. He retired as a planner and estimator at age 52. Finding himself in demand as carpenter, he undertook numerous remodeling projects throughout the valley and built another home on Ragatz Lane.

In 1982 Dante and Tillie moved to Red Bluff, where Dante fished daily on the Sacramento River. Wanting to be closer to family, Dante and Tillie returned to the Napa Valley and established a home in Yountville in 1985. Having more free time and vigorous health, Dante began playing tennis and bocce and joined the Napa Valley Tennis Association and Yountville Bocce Club. At the age of 91 it was a rare day he was not playing one of these games. He also enjoyed daily bike rides and was a familiar sight on the streets of Yountville.

Dante was predeceased by his brother, Lee; sister Ida; and his parents. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Tillie; his daughter, Irene Brock DeWeese; and his son and daughter-in-law, Ben and Katherine Caron. In addition, he is survived by five grandchildren: David Brock and wife Kathy, Jim Brock, Julie Brock, Dominic Caron and Brianna Caron; eight great-grandchildren: Steven Brock, Craig Brock, Eric Ross, Stacy Ross, Sara Brock, Nicole Brock, Jasmine Duhon and Jessica Duhon, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Dante’s life will be held Sunday, Oct. 26, at 1 p.m., at the Napa Valley Horsemen’s Association Clubhouse, 1200 Foster Road, Napa.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Skyline Wilderness Park, 2201 Imola Ave., Napa, CA 94559 or a charity of the donor’s choice.

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