The Music Man has a new venue. Bill passed away peacefully after a yearlong battle with cancer. A native Californian, he grew up in Berkeley graduating from Berkeley High School in 1957.
Bill worked for PG&E in the Concord area for 10 years before changing over to AT&T and eventually working and retiring (1991) in Nevada County.
Music was a passion for Bill. He played trumpet in many bands, mostly in the Sacramento area and piano/keyboard on weekends and for special occasions. He played at Powell’s Steamers in Placerville with the Jimmy Rivers Band every Sunday for 24 years. Bill was involved with Bob Ringwald (Fulton Street Band) at the beginning of the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee in 1974. He was associated with many Jazz bands such as Stan Mark, Gramercy Six, K Street Ramblers, the Nutones, Love Boat and, most recently, Bill Dickson Trio at the Meadows in Napa with Gary Reynolds and Tony Kaye.
He was predeceased by his wife of 40 years, Marie, brother, David Dickson, sons Mark and Chris, and grandson Curtis. He leaves behind his wife Holly Holiday Dickson, son Scott Dickson, grandson Devin Dickson, sister Dorothy Beatriz (Val), former wife Sharon and extended family members Bonnie Bickel, Deborah Daniell, (daughters), Jessica, Michael Walenter (Francesca), Shawn Callahan (Amy), Kelly Tirri, grandchildren, Michael, Brandon, Levi, Gracie and Jake (great grandchildren), and many nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind extended family members including Perry Quinn and family (Colorado) and Jeff Holiday (Napa). He is dearly missed by his beloved cat Missy.
A special thanks to Kaiser for all their care and help during his many treatments and Kaiser Hospice for their TLC. A very special thanks to Willy, his caregiver and task master for the past year. He encouraged Bill to keep on going as best he could.
Bill had many farewell celebrations prior to his passing and did not want a Memorial Celebration afterwards.
The family suggests donations be directed to your County Humane Society or a charity of your choice. Memories and notes of sympathy may be shared at claffeyandrota.com.
Our sweet Aunt Betty passed away peacefully on September 7th, 2019 at the age of 97 years old. She was born to Joseph and Ima Burch at their home on Randolph Street in Napa. In 1939, she graduated from Napa Union High School. One year later, she married Herb Winfrey of Napa. It was a beautiful backyard wedding at her parents’ home. They had no children. Uncle Herb passed away in 1988 after 48 years of marriage.
Aunt Betty was also preceded in death by her brother, Joseph Burch; sister, Lorraine Price; niece, Jackie Price; and nephews, Joseph Burch and Michael Price.
Aunt Betty was a caring Godmother to JudiAnn DelBiggio, Cindy Radi Huntly, Darcy Radi Sims and Erika Radi Dooly. She was also a wonderful aunt to Jerry Burch (Sally), Greg Price (Nancy), Tim Price (Kim), Bill Cox (Gail) and many great nieces and nephews.
Growing up she was active in Rainbow Girls assembly #7 of Napa and received the Rainbow Cross of Colors. Aunt Betty was also involved with The Silver Spray Order of Eastern Star and with Rebecca’s.
Aunt Betty worked for 14 years at Cameron shirt factory and 25 years as a bookkeeper at the Napa State Hospital. After retirement, she and uncle Herb moved to Hidden Valley Lake where she resided for 34 years. Aunt Betty loved to volunteer at the Local Fire Sirens, Stonehouse Historical Society as well as the Middletown senior center.
Aunt Betty’s smile would light up any room and she will be truly missed by all of us. At the request of our aunt, there will be no services. Our family would like to thank Collabria Hospice for helping us through this journey.
Rosella, long time resident of Napa Valley, passed away suddenly at her home in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on Friday, July 12, 2019.
Rosella loved to surround herself with beautiful and interesting things and was well known for her green thumb. Anyone who ever visited the half-acre garden she created at her home on La Homa Drive in Napa remembers the abundance of gorgeous blooms and aviary full of colorful finches and canaries. She also loved her toy poodles and cats, of which she owned several throughout the years, but her beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren were by far Rosella’s absolute greatest joy.
Born in French Camp, California, on October 1, 1933, to Rose and Vernon Lentz, Rosella graduated from Fairfield’s Armijo High School in 1951, and married Curtis Nichols on August 9, 1953. In 1963 the young family moved to the Napa Valley. Once all her children were attending school Rosella went to work for the Napa Valley Unified School District Transportation Department until her retirement. After retiring, she enjoyed gardening and travel with her second husband Darrell and mother Rose. In June of 2018 Rosella moved from Napa to Florida’s beautiful Treasure Coast, near her daughter’s home.
Rosella is survived by her son, Larry Nichols (Donna), daughter Lynda Nichols (Michael Hatten), grandchildren, Matthew Mulczynski (Sara), Jessica Darbyson (Gabe), and Samuel Nichols, great grandchildren Gwendolyn and Owen Darbyson, and Chloe Mulczynski, as well as her brother, Onis Lentz (Olga). She was preceded in death by her son, David Nichols, and her husband, Darrel Carr.
A graveside service will be held at Tulocay Cemetery on September 20th at 10:00am. Friends wishing to attend are welcomed.
Martha Combs Abbott was born in St. Helena, California, on October 7, 1940, and passed away on August 29, 2019, at 78 years old. She is preceded by her parents, Thomas L. Combs, Sr. and Marth Combs Stevenson, and half-sister Francis Tofte. She is survived by her half-brother, Thomas L. Combs, Jr. and sister, Catherine Johnson; ex-husband Milton M. Abbott, Jr. (Naomi); 2 children, Milton Colby Abbott (Pamela) and Leslie Abbott-McBroome (Bill); 5 grandchildren, Brittany Mines (Rob), Christopher Abbott, Ashley Abbott-Wormington (Todd), Brittany McBroome, and Travis McBroome; and 3 great grandchildren.
Martha was raised in Napa, California where she graduated from Napa High School in 1956. After marrying Milton M. Abbott, Jr. in 1959, she lived in Napa and Fremont, California, until 1967 when the family relocated north to Humboldt County, where they resided in Arcata and McKinleyville. During that time, Martha worked for Humboldt State University in the Library and Purchasing Department. After the dissolution of her marriage in 1980, she returned to the Bay Area where she worked for the Sonoma State University, Napa Junior College, and the California Conservation Corps. In 2003, Martha retired from the California Conservation Corps., moved back to McKinleyville to be closer to family, and worked as a resident manager at Azalea Gardens for JLF Construction. Martha spent her last years in the loving care of her daughter, Leslie Abbott-McBroome.
She enjoyed traveling, golfing, bowling, reading books, and spending time with her pets, friends, and family. Martha was extremely proud of her children and grandchildren. She belonged to Arcata Chapter #207, Order of the Eastern Star and served as Worthy Matron in 1977, was a past grand officer, as well as Bethel Guardian for Arcata Bethel 116, Order of Jobs Daughters. Martha led a full life and left an impression on those who knew her. She will be greatly missed.
Services for Martha are being provided by the Order of the Eastern Star and Rev. Harriet Nelson on Sunday, September 15th, 2019, at Six Rivers Masonic Hall, located at 251 Bayside Road, Arcata, California at 2:00 p.m. Refreshment and fellowship will be provided following the service.
Jeanette Marie Doxsee passed away on September 1, 2019 in Napa, at the age of 81. She is survived by her beloved husband Loren Doxsee, daughters Denise and Lisa (Chris), grandsons Ryan, Alex, Jack and Troy, and brother Gordon Christianer.
Jeanette was born in Oakland, California and graduated from Oakland High School. It was there that she met and married her high school sweetheart, Loren Doxsee. Jeanette and Loren were married for 61 years.
At a young age Jeanette displayed a love for classical music that continued throughout her lifetime. She played violin in her high school orchestra and excelled at piano. She especially loved playing her Steinway grand piano. Jeanette was involved with the Napa Valley Symphony League for many years and served as president for three years. She particularly enjoyed coordinating the summer music series at Mondavi Winery which served as a fundraiser for the symphony. In later years she supported and enjoyed the music of the Napa Valley Jazz Society.
Jeanette worked as a secretary for an insurance agency in Oakland but left work to focus on family. In 1976, the Doxsees moved to Napa, settling in Browns Valley. While raising her girls, Jeanette enjoyed participating in their school activities including serving as a school librarian, Brownie troop leader and PTA member. When her girls went off to college Jeanette returned to work at the Napa Valley Volunteer Center and as an employee of the Napa Valley Symphony.
Jeanette enjoyed playing tennis, sewing, researching family genealogy, the fellowship of her PEO sisters (particularly her best friend of many years Suzie Johnson), gardening, doting on her cats and spending time with her family, of whom she was extremely proud. She was always curious about the world and had a complete collection of National Geographics which she enjoyed sharing.
Jeanette and Loren shared a passion for music, travel, fine food and wine. Together they enjoyed exploring the world, attending live music and theater events and frequenting their favorite restaurants and wineries in the Napa Valley.
Sadly, Jeanette’s later years were blurred by Alzheimer’s Disease. A private memorial for family and friends will be held at a later date.
Rosemarie “Rosie” Gardner passed away peacefully in Napa on September 9, 2019 at the age of 80.
Rosie was born in Crailsheim, Germany, on March 12, 1939, and in her younger years endured the hardships of World War II, where she also discovered the kindness of the American soldiers who introduced her to delicacies such as oranges and chewing gum. Later, she earned a certification in home economics, which she put to good use taking care of her family, friends and any strangers who came her way. Rosie moved to Napa in the early 1970s but never lost her lovely German accent.
Under blue skies on a December day at Lake Tahoe, she married Ed Gardner, an Iowa native, who spent his career at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Together, they made their home and raised their children in Napa for forty-six years. When asked why she stayed in Napa, she always replied, “It is the most beautiful place on earth.”
To meet Rosie was to be her friend. With a warm smile and quick wit, Rosie filled a room despite her short stature. She was a master with a crochet hook, a clever crafter, a sharp businesswoman, a tireless volunteer and a beloved part of the Napa community. Many of you have celebrated the birth of a child, had them christened, or even kept yourself warm in one of her beautiful creations. Even well into her 70s, she could be found holding court at her booth at the Napa Farmers Market. You also may remember seeing her driving around town in her car with her personalized license plates “R U ELVIS.” She never gave up looking for the King.
She loved her family, and everyone was part of her family, which may be why she was known by so many simply as “Oma.” A lover of all animals, she could never bring herself to replace her beloved Italian Greyhound, Lina. She loved her grandchildren almost as much as she loved that dog.
She is survived by her devoted husband Ed; her son Thomas, his wife Sally, and their two sons Sam and Joey; son Sean and his wife Sarah; daughter Kathleen, her husband Donald, and their son Calvin; and stepson Dennis, his wife Rene and their daughters Deanna and Megan.
Her family would like to thank her brother-in-law John Gardner and extended family, her physicians Dr. Adhye, Dr. Srebro, and Dr. Anderson for their compassionate and devoted care over many years as well as the staff of Queen of the Valley hospital for their dedication.
Donald John Kocarnik was born and raised in Scappoose, Oregon, graduating from Scappoose High School. Upon graduation he enlisted in the US. Air Force, serving in Pusan, Korea then stateside until discharge. He married Shirley Lee in 1955, residing in Utah and California.
In 1980, he married Elaine Kalamaras of Napa, CA. For many years he worked at Mare Island Naval Base, retiring in 1994. He enjoyed traveling with Elaine, garage sales, fishing, restoring antiques and his volunteer activities.
Don also enjoyed dancing and socializing with friends until the time of his death. He was also involved with parish ministries, and the Catholic church later in life. Don passing was preceded by the death of his wife Elaine, Parents, Louis & Julia Kocarnik and sister Edith. He is survived by his sisters, Lorraine Davidson, Beaverton,OR and Mary Ellen Schaeffer of Santa Maria, Cal. Survivors also include stepsons; John Kalamaras of Newport Beach, CA and Nick Kalamaras of Las Vegas, NV; step daughters Vickie Erickson of Napa, CA, Christine Bledsoe of Boise, ID, and Stephanie Faulkner of Newport, OR; as well as his extended family of grand children and nieces and nephews.
Internment to be at Willamette National Cemetery, Portland OR, with full Military Honors. Donations may be made to St. Polinaris Catholic Church in Napa or your favorite charity.
Charla passed away at home on Friday, August 23 after a hard fought 5 year battle with breast cancer. She was 63. Charla was born to parents Charles and Dorothie Slade on July 28, 1956, in Waco, Texas. After relocating to Wheatland, CA in 1963, Charla spent her entire youth in Wheatland and graduated from High School in 1974.
Charla eventually relocated to Napa, CA during 1980 and worked in various administrative positions in the Winery Industry for 30 years. Charla was also a 911 dispatcher for two years. Charla retired from Guala Closures in February 2019.
Charla was passionate about animals and was successful in breeding and showing boxers since 1981 under the name Cabernet Boxers.
Charla is survived by her husband of 14 years, Gary Goudeau; mother Dorothie Slade; sister Sandra Suetta; and brother Philip Slade. Memorial services will be held at Grace Church of Napa Valley on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 11:00 a.m. In Charla’s honor, donations can be made to your local animal humane society.
David Ladley Swanson, 53, of Durham, North Carolina, died on September 2, 2019. David was born to Lois and Bill Swanson in 1966. He attended high school at Justin Siena in Napa, California, and college at Brown University. He received his masters degree in International Public Policy from Duke University. David married Sally Rosenberg in 1992, and they had two children, Terra, now 26, and Hayden, 25. For the past 25 years, he worked as an investment advisor with his father.
David died of sudden cardiac death while hiking Roan Mountain. Hiking was one of David's passions – he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and trails around the country and the world. But David had many more passions. He worked tirelessly to improve health care in developing countries, especially in Africa. He wrote prose and poetry and songs. He fought for racial and economic justice. He loved music deeply – both listening to it and performing it. He danced brilliantly. He surfed with gusto. He threw himself into friendships and had so many friends, new and old. He loved nature, from the farm he worked on outside of Durham to every wild place he could find.
Most of all, David had a passion for family. Everyone in his family – his parents, his brothers and sister, his nieces and nephews, and especially his wife Sally, his daughter Terra, and his son Hayden – knew that David loved them unconditionally. His joy in being with family was boundless and contagious and effortless. David was a model of how to be a loving spouse and nurturing parent, and his and Sally's home is a place of laughter and true affection.
David lived a life that was true to his deepest values. He worked hard to make the world a better place. He accepted everyone for who they were. He brought so much joy and life and love to those around him – to family and friends and strangers. His spirit and energy will live on in everyone who was lucky enough to know him.
David was preceded in death by his mother, Lois. He is survived by his father, Bill; his wife, Sally; his two children, Terra Camille and Hayden Ladley; his brothers, Ed and Jonathan; his sister, Kristen; and his many nieces and nephews. Should friends desire, memorial contributions can be made to the Equal Justice Initiative (www.eji.org) or the Sunrise Movement (sunrisemovement.org), two groups close to David's heart.
Daniel “Dan” Del Santi passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends on August 27, 2019 at his life-long home in Wooden Valley, at the age of 94.
Dan was born March 8, 1925 at home in Alta Heights-Napa to Italian immigrants, Baptista and Maria Del Santi. Dan served in the U.S. Navy during WW-II and worked for 40+ years as a Supervisor at Basalt Rock Company. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, dogs, mushrooming, herding cattle, grafting trees, playing Uno, making beer and wine, growing vegetables, and holding “court” with friends under his walnut tree. Fondly known as the “Nut Man” of Wooden Valley, Dan provided nuts to all.
Dan was preceded in death by his parents, brother Joe Del Santi, brother-in-law Henry Timm, sister-in-law Claire Del Santi, nephew Jimmy Del Santi, and niece Janet Collins. He is survived by his loving sister, Rena Timm of Napa, nieces Joanne Ellis (Yuba City), Dr. Robin Timm (Napa), and several great nieces and a nephew. Dan also had a large and loving extended family including Rosie and Jake Wheeler, George Shanks, Susan Sedillo, Gilman Clark, Donnie Pridmore, Mike and Ryvonne Bruno, Jeff Dunlap, Danny McQueeny, and many more.
The family would like to thank the caregivers and staff at Collabria Hospice for their care. Memorial donations in memory of Dan may be made to the Napa County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, 942 Hartle Court, Napa, 94559. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.tulocaycemetery.org
A celebration of Dan’s life will be held at a later date on the Del Santi Ranch and will be welcome to all who knew and loved this generous and caring man.
On the morning of September 2, 2019, at his Napa home, Dr. Robert (Bob) Hayashi passed away peacefully in his Napa, CA home after struggling with a long term illness. His wife of 40 years, Toni, and his daughter, Magen, held his hands as he took his final breath.
Born on March 29th, 1938, Bob was the oldest of four children of Sacramento dentist Dr. Akio Hayashi and wife Alice. During WWll, Bob and his family were forced to evacuate their Sacramento home and were relocated to Japanese Internment Camps in Tule Lake, CA, Minidoka, Id., and finally to Caldwell, Id. After four years, the family was allowed to return to their home in Sacramento.
Bob went on to become student body President at C.K. McClatchy High School in Sacramento, Class of 1956, after which he graduated with an AB degree from University of California Berkeley. Bob followed in the footsteps of his beloved uncle Dr. T. Terry Hayashi, earning his medical degree from Temple University in 1963. He then served as a U.S. Army battalion surgeon in Germany from 1964-66. He completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan from 1966-70, which led to a two year Fellowship in Biochemistry under the National Institute of Health at the University of Pittsburgh.
Bob went on to serve on the academic faculties as Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Texas Medical Center in San Antonio and as Chief of the Obstetrics Division at UCLA/ Harbor Medical Center in Torrance, CA.
Bob joined the faculty at the University of Michigan as Professor and Director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine In 1985, In 1990, He was named the first J. Robert Wilson Professor of Obstetrics, an endowed chair . He was an expert in the field of Perinatology ( High Risk Pregnancy) and during his career made extensive contributions to the field, published innumerable articles and chapters in medical literature, mentored countless residents and medical students and developed a reputation as an outstanding clinician. He performed the first intravenous-intrauterine blood transfusion to a fetus in Michigan and was a pioneer in the use of ultrasound. Bob was also a medical legal expert in areas of rH negative pregnancy, diabetic care, premature labor, and preeclampsia. He left an indelible mark on so many tiny lives born into the world.
An avid sports lover, Bob relished playing golf in and around Napa, as well as reading about sports, watching sports and talking about sports with anyone who would listen. The University of Michigan has lost its biggest fan, we are sad to say. We have lowered his beloved Michigan flag to half staff and are hoping they can pull out a Championship win in football in Bob’s honor this year.
He leaves behind a large family of loved ones including his wife, Toni, five children, Robert ( Lisa ), Richard ( Rachael), Suzanne (James), Magen, Matt (Amie) and nine grandchildren -Julia, Grace, Connor, Elizabeth, James, Sloane, Lance, Carter, and Reese. One of his greatest sources of pride was being a grandfather and he cherished every moment he had with his grandchildren and was so proud of all their accomplishments.
He will be profoundly missed by his brothers Ed (Reiko) and David (Sara ) and sister Sybil (Jerry) , his many nieces and nephews , and his extended family of cousins who played a significant role in his life growing up. He always had an easy smile when able to catch up with friends and family spread out across the country. Reconnecting with old Sacramento friends after returning to California, and particularly the McClatchy High Reunions, meant a great deal to him. He has forever etched his memory into the lives of his family and friends as a humble, loving ,warm hearted father, grandfather, husband, relative and friend.
We love him so much and will miss him always.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in his honor to—Rock Steady Boxing Program for Parkinson’s at Synergy Napa.
How do you write an obituary for a man that was the greatest storyteller you’ve ever known?
Well, you begin at the beginning I suppose.
Richard Lane Couch was born on March 4, 1956 to newlyweds Janice Mae Couch and Richard Duwayne Couch in Napa, CA. The young couple had two more children, Ronald James Couch (born 1959) and Cathy Elizabeth Couch (born 1961), thus making Richard the older brother of the brood.
Richard grew up in Vallejo & Napa, CA, and he moved between Southern California, the North Bay & Central California during his adult life, with some travel thrown in for good measure. He made many wonderful friends, from the Pump House Gang, to the Cabin Kids, and beyond. He was great at maintaining friendships, and was always there for those that needed him. Richard was also an amazing brother, son, grandson, uncle and husband. He was married, and widowed, twice. He was a man of emotional strength, spunk, intelligence and big love, and it is safe to say that all who knew him felt lucky. For better or worse, he frequently put the needs of those he loved far above his own.
After the passing of his mother Janice Mae (1938-2007) and his grandmother Lorraine-AKA Nana (1918-2008), the matriarchs of the clan, Richard stepped up to be the glue that held the family together. Navigating the ‘business of death’ without his help has been difficult to say the least. Richard was the one who wrote obituaries, gave speeches at memorial services, and gave everyone a shoulder to cry on during hard times. It’s no easy task to turn around and do these things for him. We’ re all doing our best to be here for each other while we mourn Richard, just as he was always there for everyone else.
At sixty three years of age, Richard Lane Couch passed beyond the veil quietly, in his home in Merced, CA, on August 15, 2019. He departed this planet far too soon, but he will always be in our hearts and souls.
The family will hold an open memorial service for friends and family, most likely sometime in October. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be notified when the service has been scheduled.
Catherine (Cathy) Dian Fisher died unexpectedly in Napa CA on June 22nd, 2019 at the young age of 50. Cathy is survived by her parents, Len and Judy Fisher of Napa, CA. She is also survived by her sister Elizabeth Burdick (Buzzie) and her husband Paul Burdick of Sacramento CA., as well as her nephews Christopher and Matthew Burdick of Sacramento CA and her uncle Jim Jenifer of Monterey and many cousins. Last but not least Cathy leaves behind her beloved cat Pepper. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Jim and Leslie Jenifer and C.M. and Leota Fisher.
Cathy was born in Napa, CA on July 26, 1968. She graduated from Napa High School in 1986. She attended Napa Valley College, taking computer and art classes. She spent many years working in the hospitality industry in the Napa Valley, an area that she shined in.
Cathy brought beauty in all that she touched. Leaving us with many beautiful art projects to enjoy with lots of glitter and sparkle just like her personality. She spent countless hours and took pleasure in tending to her beautiful garden that will be enjoyed by her friends and family. She was a lover of the arts and enjoyed dancing and listening to music. She was funny, outgoing and vivacious. We will always remember her infectious smile, piercing blue eyes and caring personality. Her presence in our lives will be sorely missed.
When you think of Cathy, celebrate the good memories you have of her. Remember that life is fragile and short and should be lived to the fullest.
Donations in Cathy’s honor can be made to Napa Wildlife Rescue. http:/www.napawildliferescue.org
A celebration of Cathy’s life will be held on Sunday September 15th at 2:00 p.m. at the Napa Elks Lodge, 2840 Soscol Ave, Napa, CA.
A World War II veteran, Feeley passed away on August 30, 2019 in Napa, CA. He was 97. Feeley was born on May 17, 1922 to Robert and Marie Feeley in New York. He grew up in Riverside, Connecticut and Carmel, New York. Feeley graduated from Greenwich High School and attended the University of Alabama until leaving to enlist in the US Army to serve in WWII. After the war, Feeley returned to Connecticut and built a career in advertising. In 1980, he moved to Florida for a second career at Kennedy Space Center. He finally retired and moved to Northern California – living in Larkspur, Tiburon, and Napa. Feeley loved all animals and considered his pets part of his family. He is survived by his wife Phillis (Buck) Feeley; his sisters Joeann (Feeley) Whipple and Margaret (Feeley) Merritt; his children Christopher Feeley, Brooke (Feeley) Connor, and Nora Feeley; his grandchildren Ryan Connor, Patrick Connor, Cayley Connor, and Gordon Brinckerhoff; and his loving nieces and nephews. He planned to outlive Betty White, who also turned 97 this year. Feeley will be remembered with full military honors at a private family service in Putnam county New York. The family would like to extend their gratitude to the caring staff at Piners Nursing Home in Napa.