Captain Dwight Small flew west on the evening of Sunday, March 8, 2020 after a brief illness.
Born in Watertown, South Dakota on August 19, 1938, Dwight developed a lifelong passion for aviation beginning at an early age. While in high school, he worked nights and weekends to pay for flight lessons and earned his private pilot license at age seventeen. After high school, he joined the Navy for three years, received an honorable discharge, attended South Dakota State University then moved to California, where he successfully pursued his dream of becoming a commercial airline pilot. He was hired by Flying Tigers in 1965 (Flying Tigers was later acquired by FedEx) and remained a captain until his retirement in 1998.
Dwight moved to Napa with his wife and daughters in 1975. He spent many hours at the Napa Airport, talking airplanes over coffee with the guys at Jonesy’s and flying his yellow Cub. After retiring from commercial aviation, he moved to Arizona. He continued to fly his Super Legend Cub up until a week prior to his death.
Dwight is survived by his wife of thirty-two years, Carol Ann Small, his daughters Sheila Small (David Rivera) and Susan Meader and their mother, Marguerite Small, granddaughter Erin Meader, his sister Donna (Ken) Yocom and brothers Gayle (Dorothy) Small, Rick (Sharon) Small, Michael (Cindy) Small and Steven (Annie) Small.
Dwight was preceded in death by his parents Lewis D. and Alma and four brothers, Roger, Dan, Larry and Roland Small.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Napa at a date to be determined.
Irene Ann Lach, age 98, of Napa, CA, passed away on March 17, 2020, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. Irene was born January 28, 1922 in Scranton, PA to George and Ella Kraynick. She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Peter Lach, in 1967 after 20 years of marriage. Irene is survived by her sister, Eleanor Kraynick of Scranton, her daughter Larraine Ewing of Napa, her son Paul (Debra) Lach of Oakland, NJ, and 4 grandchildren: David (Samantha) Ewing, Santa Clarita, CA., Paul (Sharae) Ewing, Aliso Viejo, CA., Jennifer (Vincent Stout) Lach, Collingswood, NJ, and Kathryn Lach, Piscataway, NJ.
After graduating from Technical High School and Lackawanna Business College in Scranton in 1940, she started her career as a secretary in a legal office. In 1942, after war had broken out,
Irene went to work for the Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service in Wilkes Barre where she worked until 1947.
Irene and Paul married in 1946 after Paul’s discharge from the army. Irene then worked for the International Salt Company until 1949 when Larraine and then Paul were born. In 1967, her husband Paul died suddenly and Irene returned to work. In 1967, she became the secretary for the principal at Blakely High School in Peckville, PA. In 1969, several of the local school districts consolidated and she became the executive secretary for the superintendent of schools, Valley View School District, where she worked for 25 years until she retired at the age of 70.
Volunteer work was always a huge part of Irene’s life Not only was she a volunteer, she also held office in most of the organizations including being President and chairman of major events.
After rejoining the workforce, she became an active member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPW) of Peckville. She volunteered with Friends of the Library for the Interboro Library, Peckville and helped with sorting books and their book sales. Then she became very active with the Red Cross where she helped with the weekly blood drives every week in the greater Scranton area.
In the 1990s she became a volunteer at the Lackawanna County Long Term Care Center, a skilled nursing facility in Peckville. She helped there once or twice a week with activities for the residents such as arts and crafts and bingo. She was one of the staff to accompany residents to the local Walmart and push them around the store in their wheelchairs so they could do their shopping.
In 2011, at the age of 89, she moved to Napa to live with her daughter, Larraine. Continuing her dedication to volunteer work, she became a volunteer at The Napa Senior Center. She was a member of St. Appolinaris Catholic Church and the Women’s Guild. She joined Napa Friends of the Library and was a volunteer with the quarterly book sales, where she was affectionately known as “the bag lady” helping on set-up day to organize all the bags that had been donated by local stores so they were neat and easy to access during the sale. She enjoyed playing Mah Jongg with groups at the church and the senior center. She was also a member and volunteer with the Napa Valley Orchid Society.
Over the years, she won numerous awards. In PA, these included:
1991-1992 – Woman of the Year Award from the Peckville Business and Professional Women’s Club; 1996- Volunteer and Woman of the Year; 2003 – Woman of the Year from the Lackawanna County Health Care Center; 2010 – Veteran’s Award – Legion of Honor for volunteer help
In California, in 2016, she received the California Parks and Recreation Services Community Service Award that covered Napa, Sonoma, and Marin Counties for her work at the Napa Senior Center.
Irene will be greatly missed by her family, friends and fellow volunteers who loved and admired her.
Irene will be buried next to her late husband, Paul, at Holy Ghost Cemetery in Blakely, PA. A private memorial and celebration of life will be held for her in Napa and Scranton at a future date.
Jan ended the earthly chapter of her journey on February 8th after a long illness. Her journey began at Parks Victory Hospital in Napa California on May 31 of 1952. She was born to parents Walter J. Gorham and Alice K. Gorham who predeceased her.
Jan attended Napa schools and graduated from Napa High class of 1970. She loved animals, was a Girl-Scout and developed a love for reading that continued throughout her life. She married the love of her life, Arvin Mills in May of 1974.
Jan is survived by Arvin, her son Cameron Mills, daughter Amber Carlson (David), her granddaughter Alice Carlson, brother Jim Gorham, nephew Steven Gorham, niece Laurie Gorham and many grand and great grand nieces and nephews. Jan is also survived by life long friends Beverly, Lora, Mary and Sandy. She will be missed by all.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Napa County Library or the Alzheimers charity of your choice in her name.
Steve McCoy passed peacefully from this life into the loving arms of Jesus on March 13, 2020 after a 1½ year battle with brain cancer. He was 73 years old.
He was born and raised in Russell, Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, Kansas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. There, he met and began his 52-year marriage to his wife Janet. They lived in Colorado for 24 years and in Napa, California for 28 years. He loved his family, loved people, loved sports, loved life.
He is survived by his wife Janet, his daughter Shelby, his son Jared, and four grandchildren, Kayla, Landon, Sydney and Savannah. He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Lorena McCoy and his sister, Lynda Dreiling.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Steve requested donations to the Napa Valley Life Church Missions fund (2303 Trower Ave., Napa, CA, 94558) in lieu of flowers.
Donna Kay Johnson, age 86 passed away on February 10th, 2020 at her home in Napa after an 18 month battle with cancer.
She was born on November 16th, 1933 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Henry Rasmusen and Edna (Ingleby) Rasmusen. It was the depression years and times were hard but she had wonderful memories of Family picnics at Liberty Park, going to Museums and the Salt Lake City Zoo. In good times her Father would take her and her siblings to the Saltair andLagoon Amusement Parks.
The Family past time was watching her 3 Uncles play baseball for Church League teams and watching the Semi-pro team that her Grandfather once played for. She developed a life long passion for baseball and was an avid San Francisco Giants fan.
At the age of 12, her Family moved to California, settling in Vallejo. In 1948, at a Vallejo Minor League baseball game, she met the love of her life, Dean Johnson. They were married on October 8th, 1949, settling first in Sacramento and then in American Canyon and Napa, where they raised their two Daughters. They were married for 62 years before Dean passed in 2011.
Donna was an electronics assembler and worked for the Varian Company of Napa, and Westach-Westberg Company in Sonoma where she assembled gauges for the aviation, marine, and auto industry. She enjoyed bowling and was on many leagues at Kentwig Bowl, Belair Bowl and Napa Bowl for many years.
She was an accomplished Artist who enjoyed painting, mosaics, pottery, working with a glass kiln, and all forms of arts and crafts. Her hand painted Gourds always sold out quickly at Craft Fairs. She had a passion for Genealogy, tending her flower garden, and was an avid reader. After Dean passed, she joined a book club in her community, gathered with other Ladies on Tuesday mornings to paint, and volunteered at the Napa Senior Center, where she made many new Friends.
Donna was preceded in death by her Husband Dean, her Sister Ellen Matthews, her Brother Kim Rasmusen Sr. and her Great-Granddaughter Sabina Hutchins.
She is survived by her Daughters, Debbie (Jim) Bast, Tona (Al) Warner, Grandsons Allen (Angelina) Warner, Casey Hutchins, Ryan (Suzanne) Hutchins and Great-Grandchildren Walter Warner and Juniper Hutchins.
She is also survived by Sisters Lynn (Bill) Violet, Sharyn (Gene) Hubert, Tye (Ron) Long and Sue Rasmusen. Also numerous Nieces and Nephews.
The Family would like to thank Collabria Hospice and Homecare Assistance for their compassion and care.
Due to currents events, a Celebration of Life will be held in the future. Donations made be made to Collabria Hospice, 414 South Jefferson St. Napa 94559 or the charity of your choice.
Dorothy Mary Cowger was born in Napa to Italian immigrants, Adamo Polidori and Angiolina Polidori. She attended Lincoln Elementary and Napa High School. Dorothy retired from Bank of America after 30 years and volunteered at Community Projects, Highway Patrol, and the Discovery Shop.
Dorothy was a loving, compassionate and active woman who enjoyed her independence up to the last few days of her life. She is predeceased by her beloved husband, Charles Ellsworth Cowger, Jr., sisters Eva Morrow and Norma Polidori, and nephew William Morrow, Jr. She leaves behind many heartbroken family members and cherished friends.
Pearl Huxtable Sherwood passed away March 14th in Napa, CA. She was born in England to George and Emillie Jayne Huxtable and was one of 7 children.
Pearl had a happy childhood. Her brother Bedford was her mentor. He was 2 years older and always there for her. Knitting was one of favorite hobbies that she learned at an early age. Her Mother gave her some left over yarn and said “knit yourself a cardigan”.
Pearl started her working career in the same hospital as her mother had many years before, as well as some of her aunts. It was there that she met her future husband Russell Edwin Sherwood who was stationed with the 185 general hospital USA in the dental department. They were married Oct. 1st 1945. Pearl followed her husband back to the states where they lived for a brief time in Illinois. They later moved to Napa at the request and urging of his sister Eva. Eva and her husband Clyde operated a dairy ranch on Silverado Trail. Pearl worked at several different jobs while attaining her citizenship which enabled her to work at Napa State Hospital, where she retired after 22 years of service.
Pearl and Russ traveled extensively in the US, Canada and the Mexico border. They made numerous trips to her beloved England one of which they celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary, renewing their vows at St. Francis of Assisi Church of England, Bridgewater, Somerset with the Rev David Avnort officiating. Pearl’s family in England arranged to have the event videotaped which is one of her many treasures. Later Pearl and Russ had the pleasure of Fr. David staying with them for a brief visit while on sabbatical. During his visit he blessed their house and all who crossed their threshold. It was a humbling and gratifying experience.
Pearl lost the love of her life in May of 2002. She was also predeceased by her brothers Bedford George Huxtable, Eric Huxtable, sisters, Blanch Clarke, Betty Salvage and Hetty Harris (twins). Pearl is survived by sister Eunice Dorothy Hake and God-daughters Susan Hallman, Jayne Douglas (twins) niece Carol Phillips and nephew Michael Harris all of England. She is also survived by her beloved dog Monte, sister-in-law Millie Jolliff, niece Paula Sherwood and many great nieces and nephews in the Napa area.
A celebration of life will be held at a later time to be determined. Memorial contributions can be made to the Napa Humane Society.