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Charlson, Elise A. - Monterey  
On Sunday, May 31, 2015, Elise A. Charlson passed away. She was 96 years old. Elise A. Charlson was born January 8, 1919 to Allen C. Abbott and Paula B. Abbott in Seattle, Washington. She had one brother, James W. Abbott. Elise was active volunteering for many years with Meals on Wheels and the Hospice Association and enjoyed original membership in the Choraleers Women's Group and was a supportive friend of the Monterey Presbyterian Church. She moved into Forest Hill Manor but later moved to Sunrise Senior Living where she passed away. Elise is preceded in death by her forever and loved husband, Ray. She is survived by two children, Paula Reidt of Scotts Valley and her husband Gordon; her son, Patrick Charlson of Willits and his wife Sally; two Granddaughters, Cheyanne Charlson of Northern California and Amy Elise Reidt of New Haven, Connecticut. No services are planned but donations can be made to The Friends of the Monterey Library.
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Published in Willits News from June 5 to July 4, 2015
Clark, Hugh James - Hilo  
Hugh James Clark, who grew up in Willits and was a reporter and editor on the Big Island of Hawaii for nearly 40 years, died on June 11, 2015. He was 75. He died in the Hilo Hospice after a year-long illness. Hugh was born in Santa Rosa and resided with his family in Washington State, Idaho and Willits. He attended Willits schools through high school and was very active in local journalism as a teenager. He was a leader at Willits High School where he participated in football and band and served as student body president in 1957-58. His parents, Hugh (who died 1962 in Willits) and Maxey Clark (who died 2005 in San Leandro) came to Willits in 1946 and owned and operated the former United Food Center until 1956. In the 1950s-1960s they also owned and operated the former DeLong's Motel in Willits and were developers and owners of the former Star Super Market in Willits. Maxey owned the former Chevrolet dealership property (now Les Schwab Tires) in Willits until 2002. Hugh graduated from Humboldt State. There he was active in college publications and worked his way through college as assistant sports editor of the former Humboldt Times. Hugh started in journalism in the early 1950s, as a student writing for student publications, the former Noyo News, The Willits News, the Ukiah Daily Journal and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. After college he worked with daily newspapers in Idaho, California, Texas and Nevada. He served as editor of the Levelland Daily Sun and Ely Daily Times prior to his transfer for a two-year Hilo assignment that became a lifelong stay. Hugh came to Hilo in 1966 as news editor of the Hawaii-Tribune-Herald where he worked for five years before joining The Honolulu Advertiser as Big Island Bureau Chief in 1971. He retired in November 2002 and later worked as a part-time independent consultant. In 1981, he studied at Tufts University in Massachusetts under a national foundation grant for mid-career journalists. Hugh was a founding member of the Big Island Press Club, its president and member of the year several times. He was also involved for 30 years as a volunteer with the American Lung Association, serving 10 years on its national board of directors and in various state and local positions. In 2004, he was inducted into the University of Hawaii-Hilo Athletic Hall of Fame for reporting on sports. He covered five national women's volleyball championships and two national basketball events. Hugh was a beginning member of the Nissan Hall of Honor, a statewide Hawaii high school sports recognition program and served 32 years through 2014. Hugh loved travel and often reflected on his 1968 attendance at the Olympic Games in Mexico and his many visits to Asia from 1969 through 1987, including several stops in Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. After his marriage to Anne Uma in Fiji in 1988, they traveled to Australia and New Zealand, later to Europe three times including Wales on a roots' trip and to China and several other Asian countries on a memorable cruise in 2011. The Clarks and their daughter Sandhya Victoria saw more than 30 countries before she enrolled at the University of Washington where she received a biology degree in June 2014 and went on to New York City where she is now a graduate student in public health in epidemiology at Columbia University. In addition to Hugh's immediate family, he is survived by his younger brother Tom (wife Judie Swope Clark) of Piedmont, California, a retired lawyer, his younger sister Joan Sinclair (husband David Sinclair) of Hayward, California, a property manager, and his niece Olivia Clark of Pleasant Hill, California. A farewell gathering to celebrate Hugh's life will be held at 4 p.m., Friday, June 19, at the Dodo Mortuary, 199 Wainaku St., Hilo, HI 96720. Family requests memorials to Big Island Press Club (BIPC) Scholarship Foundation or the American Lung Association. Hugh's ashes will be placed in Hilo Bay where he joins his brother, Paul, who died in 2007.
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Published in Willits News from June 17 to July 16, 2015
Collier, Gerald and Evelyn - Willits  
Graveside Services Friday June 19, 2015 11:00 a.m. Russian River Cemetery Low Gap Road Ukiah, CA Reception to Follow Masonic Lodge Hall 205 W. Perkins St. 2nd Floor – Elevator In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Phoenix Hospice & Home Health Willits, CA or The American Legion Post III Rifle Team Healdsburg, CA
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Published in Willits News from June 5 to July 4, 2015
Smith, Roland Benjamin "Smitty" - Willits  
September 18, 1918 – April 27, 2015 Roland B. Smith (Smitty) was born in Wausau, Wisconsin to Levi Smith and Ida Smith (Ehricke). Smitty enjoyed a bowl of ice cream with toppings or a dessert almost every day of his life and he lived to be 97! He did not have time for complaining; worked hard, loved to flirt with the ladies and was happy to give you his opinion on just about anything especially politics. His great sense of humor stayed with him to the very end. He lived a full life. After serving his country for 20 years, Smitty retired as a CPO from the Navy in 1957. He served on numerous ships including the USS Arizona from 1937 to 1941. He was transferred off the USS Arizona 6 months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. He received a BA degree from San Diego State in 1963 in Industrial Arts and taught at South High School in Torrance, California until 1977. A dream was fulfilled when he and his wife Louise designed and built by hand their retirement home in Willits, California. To quote Smitty, "Those were the best years of my life." As a widower, he relocated to the Naval Retirement Home in Gulfport, Mississippi in 1993. Being back in the Military environment with likeminded men and women was a pleasure for him. He was an avid cribbage and Bridge player and taught many seniors to play. He went on several Elderhostel "Educational vacations" meeting some great people. He also built and flew model airplanes, played pool and volunteered at the local grade school. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Smitty relocated to Bend, Oregon via Washington DC to be with two of his daughters until his passing. Roland is survived by his son, Gerald F. Smith of Santa Monica, California, his daughters, Paula M. Thomas of Bend, Oregon and Patricia A. Masters of Valdez, Alaska, 9 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Margaret Mary Smith (Casey), mother of his 4 children and wife Mary Louise Smith (Loomis), his daughter Noell J. Paul and a grandson, Casey Smith. To paraphrase Tom Brokaw, Smitty was from the "Greatest Generation any society has produced". They had Common Values, sense of Duty, Honor, and love of Country, Personal Responsibility, Strong Marriage vows and Faith. It is a generation we will never forget and can never thank enough. This is the legacy he leaves to us his family and his Country. A memorial will be held in Willits, California this coming summer of 2015.
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Published in Willits News from June 26 to July 25, 2015
Williams, Frank "Little Grandpa" - Willits  
Frank Williams, "Little Grandpa", age 76 of Willits, passed away June 2, 2015 at St. Helena Hospital, Napa Valley , California, due to complications from surgery. Frank is survived by his five sons: John Williams, Phillip Williams, Glen Williams, Eric Williams, and Eliot Williams; and his five grandchildren: Samantha Williams, Lauren Williams, Ryan Williams, Nathan Williams and Sean Williams. He joins his sister in Heaven where they will no doubt read books together. On November 14, 1938, Frank came into the world in Portland, Maine. Frank ended up living all over the world and country, finding himself in Las Vegas for a time, and, more recently, California. Despite the difference in climate, California suited Frank nicely. He enjoyed being outdoors soaking up the sun. He enjoyed walking, exploring, reading, and watching movies. Most of all, he liked talking to his family, scattered across the country. His humor was unmatched; somehow, he could make light of any situation and cause one to crack a smile. Frank knew how to do just about anything. You could not find a handier individual. He loved projects and never backed down from learning how to do something. One summer, he spent time sanding and painting one of his son's decks. After a long day in the sun, Frank laid in front of the T.V., eyes closed. But, he wasn't sleeping! Dare to turn the channel and Frank would say, "Hey, I'm watching that." Frank will no doubt be missed by his entire family. Rarely is such a man awarded to any family, but the Williams family is lucky for the memories and the essence Frank imparted to them. "We shall find peace. We shall hear angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds." –Anton Chekhov Eversole Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
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Published in Willits News from June 10 to July 9, 2015
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