Raymond Anthony Schrutz, 73, died in Napa after prolonged illness, on December 20, 2019. He was born June 6, 1946 to Earl Staack and Eulalie Kempf in Oakland, California.
Ray was known by many in the Napa Valley, as a revered teacher, a hot rod fanatic, a mountain biking enthusiast, a builder/renovator of houses, an award winning artist (sculpture) and a writer. He was a man of many talents, who experienced life head on with a big heart, a ready smile and a great sense of humor.
Ray spent most of his youth in Fairfax, Ca with his mother and grandmother. There, in the Marin hills, he first experienced mountain biking, which he later picked up at age 40, fearlessly flying down the hills at Skyline Park.
When he was 20, Ray married his high school sweetheart, Jill Nelson. After graduating from Chico State University in 1972 with a degree in Geography, Ray completed his California Teaching Credential in 1973. Six years later, their daughter, Sally was born. Ray loved being a dad, and his teaching responsibilities allowed him to spend more time at home with Sally.
The Teacher: Ray taught elementary, middle and high school in the Napa Valley Unified School District for 38 years. But he will best be remembered for his 20 years at Temescal, where “Schrutz” taught shop, focusing on at risk kids, many of whom now work in the construction or auto industries.
The Car Guy: Ray loved old cars but none more than his customized 1938 Plymouth. He was passionate about collecting old cars and restoring them. He frequented car shows and rarely missed the annual Father’s Day show in Yountville.
The Sculptor: Ray focused on large steel ‘one event’ pieces. He enjoyed entering the Napa Fair Art Shows, and always brought home a ribbon. However, his first piece to sell from a gallery in Napa, was a pop piece: steel and paper, sporting a well known 1930’s comic character in the driver seat of a vintage car—iconic and humorous, very much like the artist.
In 2004, Ray married Hunter Hollingsworth and began their relationship by renovating her home in Browns Valley. Ray could build anything and proved it once again by transforming the plain 1960’s tract house into a beautiful modern home. For many years, Ray was a loving and generous husband.
He will be missed by his many students, colleagues, friends, and family, especially his only daughter, Sally.
Ray was predeceased by his parents and his step-father Jerry Schrutz. He is survived by his daughter, Sally Starr Schrutz, his former wives Jill Schrutz and Hunter Hollingsworth, and his favorite cat, Tess.
Ray Schrutz memorial service will be held Saturday, February 1, 1:00pm at First Presbyterian Church, 1333 Third Street, Napa, Ca.
Gail Marie Adams, age 70, was born June 18, 1949 in Centerville, IA, and left this earth on January 15, 2020 in Vallejo, CA. She was the daughter of Francis and June Harvey Adams who predeceased her.
Gail grew up in Napa Valley, graduated from Napa High School in 1967, and received her AA degree from Napa Junior College in 1969. While living in Napa, Gail entered many baked goods in the Napa Town and Country Fair, the Solano County Fair, and the California State Fair. She was an avid needleworker who specialized in and taught unique embroidery, including various cutouts, blackwork, and nyzynka embroidery. Gail was never far from her “purse projects” and a good book.
She moved to Las Vegas with her mother in 1996 where she attended UNLV and received her bachelors degree.
Gail is survived by her brother Larry (Mary Ann) of Paulding, OH, niece Laurel (Daniel) of Antwerp, OH and nephew Daniel Adams of Oakland, CA, along with her great nieces Alexandra and Dania Lehman.
Gail will be laid to rest at Canfield Cemetery in Ivy, Iowa.
Robert Garcia who was lovingly known to his family as “Bobby”, passed away just five days before his 82nd birthday. He is survived by his two daughters; Cristina Garcia Parks and Lourdes Xóchitl Garcia-Caravantes, and his two grand children; Susan Elizabeth Parks and Carlos Enrique Caravantes.
He lived Napa for over thirty years and served on many community boards and organizations. He was best known for his extensive work the Napa County Hispanic Network (co-founder and past president); also, countless hours of work the the Napa County Democrats and “The Three Tenors” scholarship benefit concerts held at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
He retired and moved to Mexico in 2001, where he enjoyed warm weather and good food.
He was laid to rest on his birthday January 6, 2020 in Mérida, Yucatán at “Our Lady of Lebanon Church”. He will be greatly missed by family and friends in both the U.S. and México.
Carol H. Lema loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and lifelong friend passed away peacefully January 15, 2020 after a brief illness from Pancreatic Cancer.
Born and raised in Oakland California, daughter of Hilmar and Hazel Hultberg; she was an Art Major at San Jose State, 1951 Theta Chi’s Dream Girl, member of Kappa Alta Theta, past President of Napa—Solano Panhellenic Society, owner of Napa Aquathentics, active in her community, and a garden enthusiast.
She is preceded in death by her father Hilmar, her mother Hazel and her son Kenyth “Rusty” Hall. She is survived by her husband of 51 years Walter Lema, daughters Pamyla Means and Mindy Hall, grandchildren Shane Means (Jill) and Shelby Means (Chad DeLaca), great grandchildren Max and Ryan Means, Rylee, Nolan and Koa Means and forever son-in-law Dave Means.
Hers was a life well lived and loved. With Walt by her side she traveled the world, enjoyed the water, golf, bocce ball, cards and lunches with “the girls”, Taco Tuesday’s, and yearly reunions with lifelong friends. She and Walt were always ready to organize a bit of fun with friends and never stopped holding hands. When asked what she wanted after receiving her diagnosis, she replied “Nothing, I have done it all!”
e honor her wishes for direct cremation with no service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Collabria/Hospice Care of Napa and the American Cancer Society. Special thanks to the staff at Aegis Community Living and Collabria/Hospice Care who helped in so many ways to provide dignity, grace and so much compassion for our family’s journey. We are so grateful for your care and support. A very special thank you to Granddaughter Shelby who managed the myriad of care services for her with love and grace.
Happy travels Mom/Gigi... we love you and the life you built for us ~
Frances passed away on December 20th, 2019. She joins her mother and son. Frances Elizabeth Pace (Ingram) was born October 29th, 1942 to Maye and Thomas Pace. She was the beloved niece of Glenya Westbrook. She graduated from Napa High School in 1961, married Samuel R Sanford on December 24th, 1963 and had 3 children, Elizabeth, Stephen, and Christie (and two grandchildren from Christie—Sylvia and Jimmy). Well known for her beautiful soprano voice, she sang at many events including the 1967 Wine Festival. An accomplished seamstress, she made many beautiful wedding gowns, formal gowns, alterations, etc.
Not only could she sing, she acted as well, participating in many plays in Napa including leading roles—My Fair Lady, Hansel & Gretel, etc. She bellydanced under the name of Fariza, loved the ballet and museums. She was a lover of the arts and instilled this love in her children. She believed in the love of Jesus and spread his belief of tolerance and acceptance to her children as well. We would like to thank her assistant Tammy Castereno, the team at Brookdale and Collabria, your kindness and friendship was so meaningful to her. Most of all, we give our deepest gratitude for her long time friends (who were family to her and gave her comfort to the end) – Gayle Housman, Marlene Pratt, and Marlene’s daughter Angela.
Service will be held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 1917 Third St, Napa—Saturday February 8th at 10am. You are encouraged to wear something pink, purple, burgunday, etc. as a celebration of Mom’s love of those colors!
Heaven gained another angel on January 7, 2020 with the passing of Mary Anne Donohoe, beloved daughter, sister, aunt and friend. Mary Anne was born on October 28, 1967 to Daniel and Ellen Jean (Bertain) Donohoe and from that day forward the lives of her parents and five siblings were forever blessed. At the tender age of two Mary started attending Caymus, The Little Red School House in Rutherford, and her love of learning began. After a few years at Caymus she went on to Wintun School and eventually took classes at both Vintage High and Napa College. Following graduation Mary Anne joined the work force, trying a few different jobs before being hired as a member of a housekeeping team at Villagio Hotel in Yountville. She was extremely proud to remain employed there for over 20 years.
Mary Anne was a dedicated athlete participating in multiple Special Olympics events throughout her life, including relay, swimming, softball, bowling, tennis, downhill skiing and gymnastics. In 1986 she traveled to Brighton, England with the Special Olympics Northern California team, competing as a gymnast in the Special Olympics World Games. Mary was an avid fan of the Forty-Niners, Oakland A’s and Nascar and when she wasn’t participating in sports, she watched them on TV. She so badly wanted to become a Nascar racer that she once commandeered a motorized cart in an Alaska grocery store and drove herself throughout the aisles, stopping only after knocking over several displays.
One of Mary’s favorite activities was that of greeter at St. John’s Catholic Church and she was very proud to welcome parishioners to the 5:00 PM Mass at the church she dearly loved. Her faith was very important in her life and she believed that prayer could accomplish anything, even making her legs grow so she could drive.
Mary Anne is survived by her brothers, Dick Donohoe (Lisande) of Anthem, AZ & Joe Donohoe of Napa, her sister Marty Hamaker (David, deceased) of Napa, her aunt, Sister Anne Bertain of San Francisco and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was predeceased by her parents as well as her brothers, Kevin Donohoe of Wasilla, AK and Dennis Donohoe of Kirkland, WA.
A Rosary in Mary Anne’s honor will be recited at 4:30 PM on January 30, 2020 at Claffey and Rota Funeral Home and a Memorial Mass will be offered at 1:00 PM on January 31, 2020 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Following the Mass friends and relatives are invited to attend a celebration of her life in the church hall. Mary Anne loved dancing and parties and will always be remembered for her parting phrase, “never stop loving you”.
For those wishing to donate, the family suggests the Developmentally Disabled Christian Ministries of Napa County, PO Box 5131, Napa, CA 94581 or Napa Valley Special Olympics, PO Box 2405, Napa, CA 94558.
Went home to our lord in Napa on December 23, 2019. Born on Dec 1, 1927 in Anamoose North Dakota on her family’s farm, where Millie attended a one room school house which was serviced by a horse drawn wagon (school bus). She always said that they had a roof over their head and food on the table.
Millie moved to Minneapolis Minnesota where she attended Business College and worked as a Nanny at the age of 18.
In 1948 Millie followed her friend Laverne Johnson to Napa, California where she worked for the Basalt Rock Company with a second job as an Usher at the Uptown Theatre.
Millie met her husband Woody (LeRoy) Woodruff and they were married on June 11th 1949.
Millie raised three children and later worked for Kaiser Permanente Group in Napa and then San Diego, retiring in 1996.
Millie was an amazing women, her spirit was contagious with happiness beaming from her beautiful blue eyes.
She loved to laugh, and always had a hysterical joke to share, making us all think in wonder how does she remember all that!
Millie’s pies were her proudest gift to all. No one could bake a pie better then Millie and she shared THAT SKILL with abundance.
Her love of music and dancing will always be remembered, but more than anything was her love of family and friends. Mom was so proud of her children, grandchildren and great grandchild. She was always happiest when surrounded by all.
Millie is predeceased by her father and mother, Bert and Mable, brothers Irvin, George and Dean. She is survived by her children Gary Woodruff, Robert Woodruff and Diane Bishofberger ( Jim),
Grandchildren Daniel Bishofberger (Connie) Lauren Bishofberger, Stephen Bishofberger, Devon Woodruff, Alexis Woodruff and one great grandchild Tatum Bishofberger .
We will all miss her outlook on life, tolerance of people and the ability to always see some humor in situations as they arose, especially in herself…. Love you Millie!
Millie’s celebration of life will be on January 25, 2020 at Tulocay Mortuary at 10 am. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to UCSF Oakland Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Branches, In/Oncology, 5700 Martin Luther King Jr Way T-2, Oakland, CA 94609-1673 where Tatum spent the last year for her leukemia treatment.
Joseph (Joe) Ponti, age 79 passed away at his home in Napa, CA on 12/15/19 following a brief illness. Son of Olivia Ponti, brother to Pearl Ponti. Joe was born in Vallejo Ca, grew up and graduated from Vallejo High School on 1958.
Joe started photography at Vallejo High School, he then went to work at the Vallejo Times Herald as a photographer.
Joe served in the National Guard, he was present at the riots in Watts. He worked as a mail carrier for the Post office. He then went to work for Mare Island as a Metals Inspector. He went to for Biagi trucking after he retired from Mare Island.
Joe had a passion for cars and racing. He was a starter for Vallejo Speedway until it closed, then at Petaluma Speedway.
He was preceded in death by his mother Olivia Ponti, sister Pearl Ponti. He is survived by his wife LaMara Ponti, married Sept 1986, daughter Laurette Ramsey (Ponti), step son Shane Cooke, 3 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
Mr. Joseph (“Joe”) Russell passed away peacefully in his home in Napa, CA on January 12, 2020 after being diagnosed with gastric cancer in early December 2019.
Joe was born on July 14, 1972 in San Francisco, California. He grew up in the East Bay Area, and in Marin County during high school. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1994 with a degree in Political Science. After moving to Berkeley, California, he started his own business providing home inspection services for insurance companies across Northern California.
In 2005 he married Suzann Brunel, and moved to Napa. He designed and built their first home at Lake Berryessa, which was completed in 2007. In 2010 they welcomed their first child, Samantha Ann, then Allyssa Joann was born in 2012. Being a father was the most important thing in Joe’s life, so he dedicated his time to taking care of the girls as a full-time dad, while continuing to operate his business remotely. His wife and girls remember him as a man that was loving, principled, fun, dedicated, and always encouraged all of them to do their best across all facets of their lives.
Joe loved everything and anything involving sports. He coached youth baseball even before he had his own children, then coached both girls’ softball teams and Ally’s soccer team. He was known by many as “Coach Joe,” which is fitting because his coaching did not stop at the sports field, it continued into our everyday lives.
Over the past decade, Joe’s sporting endeavors developed into a profound passion for the sport of Bocce, and just like every other area of his life, he was fully committed to being the best he could be. He joined the Hone Dogs Bocce team in 2013, and proceeded to play a pivotal role in 22 league and tournament championships, culminating with his tournament-winning lag at the 2019 Peppermill All-star Bocce Classic in Reno.
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Joe was a devoted Warriors, Niners and Giants fan, and he was as loyal to his friends as he was to his sports teams. He often spoke about how deeply he valued his friendships, and the camaraderie and banter he shared with his buddies. He was an endless fountain of 80’s movie quotes, he could argue sports strategy with the best of them, and if you were in Joe’s truck there was sure to be some Pink Floyd or other classic rock playing on the stereo.
Joe also had an amazing talent for bringing people together. It was his gift. He was forever organizing ski boat trips and vacation getaways for both his family and friends, where he would make sure everyone was having the time of their life, even at his own expense. He was the catalyst for an immense amount of joy and happiness being felt and shared by those around him. We are all better people for having known Joe, and the memories he helped create will endure in our hearts forever.
He is survived by his Mother, Mary Bitzer, Stepfather John Bitzer, Father Jack Russell, Stepmother Marci Russell, brothers Chris and Drew Russell, wife Suzann Russell, daughters Samantha & Allyssa, Grandparents Henrietta and Richard Kistner, and an enormous extended family that loved him dearly.
The funeral mass is scheduled for 1:00 pm on Saturday January 25th at St. Apollinaris Catholic Church located at 3700 Lassen Street, Napa, CA 94558. A reception will follow at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia (Napa campus) located at 500 First Street, Napa, CA 94559. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Joe’s life.
In lieu of flowers, Joe requested donations be offered to support the St. Apollinaris School music program. Checks can be mailed to:
St. Apollinaris School
Attn: Anna Cardwell, Administrative Secretary
3700 Lassen Street
Napa, CA 94558
Alternatively, donations can be accepted via phone with a credit card through the school office at 707-224-6525.
In either scenario, a receipt with information for tax purposes will be provided.
After a long illness, Daniel Lee Calaway passed away surrounded by his family on January 1, 2020. Dan was born on September 5, 1956 in Vallejo, California to Lee and Rose Calaway. At the age of 7, he moved to Napa and attended St. Appollinaris School and also graduated from Vintage High School, Napa Valley College and UC Davis.
In 1980, Dan married Julia Wilson. He worked for many years at KTVU Channel 2 Television. He loved to converse and read books in Spanish.
Dan is survived by his mother, Rose Grimmer; his sisters, Catherine Milne and Carolyn Memmott; nieces, Sarah (Bob) Dunn, Amy (Gary) Donaldson and Julie (Joey) Tofte as well as five great nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his father, Lee, and step-father, Galen Grimmer. Dan will be greatly missed and always remembered for his kind, gentle nature and his incredible sense of humor.
A Mass will be said in his honor at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Yountville at 11 a.m. on January 22, 2020 with a reception immediately following in the church hall.
The family would like to extend sincere thanks to Pueblo House of Napa for the wonderful care Dan received. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Memories and notes of sympathy may be shared at claffeyandrota.com.
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