Obituaries

Diana Laird Obituary

It is with tremendous sorrow that we say goodbye to Diana Jean Laird, daughter, wife, mother, teacher; a truly genuine and gracious woman. Born February 8, 1937, Diana was the youngest of three girls in the Schacht family. Born in Redlands and raised throughout California, she went on to graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a teaching degree, where she met the love of her life, Lowell M. Laird, also a California native. They married in 1960 and Diana began her teaching career which spanned 25 years. In 1965, they welcomed their daughter, Linda Alison Laird, into this world. In 1987 Diana and Lowell retired and they spent the next two years exploring the US and Mexico in their RV.

Owens Valley had always been a special place for Diana and Lowell, having spent many summers in the Eastern Sierras in the ‘60’s backpacking and fishing. They decided that Bishop would be the next chapter in their life, so they built their home in 1989 on Rudolph Road. Diana then returned to teaching at Round Valley for several more years.

After Diana lost Lowell in 1997, Linda moved to Bishop from San Diego. Diana retired and they spent the next two years on the road showing their mules before going into business together and creating the Double L Ranch.

Diana loved the great outdoors, tennis, fishing, RVing, and riding her mule Sweet Melissa. But more than anything, she loved her family, her extended family, and her friends. Diana’s door was always open and her home was always a refuge for those who needed comfort, a dose of self-confidence, or a leg up. She gave everyone the benefit of the doubt, always believed in second chances, and was responsible for shaping the lives of so many people, from her students, to her daughter, to those who loved her and knew her best.

Diana passed away peacefully on August 26, 2019 at home with her daughter, cats and dogs by her side. She is survived by her daughter Linda and her sister Gayle.

Though we grieve our loss, there is joy, too, in having known and loved such a special person. Please join us for Diana’s celebration of life at the Double L Ranch on Saturday, October 19, 2019 starting at noon. Please RSVP to llranchbishop@schat.net.

Joseph James MacLeod Obituary

JOSEPH JAMES MACLEOD

1927 – 2019

Joseph James MacLeod was born on September 29, 1927 in Alhambra, CA and passed away peacefully on September 9, 2019.

Joseph was preceded in death by his lovely wife Virginia ; he was survived brother in law Roome Paget and sister in law Vickie; daughter Ychelle Arbuckle and husband Clifton; daughter Sue Dishion and husband Deston; grandson Reuben Bradley and wife Whitney; grandson Dustin Tillemans; grandson Dylan Dishion and wife Melia; grandson Zayne Dishion; great grandchildren JoJo, Eme, Piper and Corbin Bradley.

Joseph served in the United States Navy and is a World War II Veteran. He served his country proudly.

Joseph loved the outdoors. He spent many years on Crowley Lake. He loved to go wooding with his buddies, Gene Davis, Jim Daughtry and Jim Nixon. Services will be held at the Big Pine Cemetery at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, September 14, 2019 . There will be a gathering after the service at the Big Pine Town Hall.

Earline Virginia Bronson

November 12, 1916 – August 3, 2019

On the evening of August 3rd, Earline Virginia Bronson passed from this life into the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Earline passed away at age102, at home in the Bishop Care Center, accompanied by family members. Earline was born in Waterloo, Iowa on November 12, 1916 to Earl Hook and Esther Woodruff Hook. Earline married Glen Edward Bronson on March 25, 1935. Earline and Glen had two daughters, Carol and Glenola and a son, Gaylen. The family moved to California in 1949. Earline moved to Big Pine in 1995 and was a member of the First Baptist Church. She resided in the Bishop Care Center since 2005. Earline is survived by her daughter, Glenola Edwards and husband, Vernon; Gaylen Bronson and wife, Patti. She is also survived by her devoted son-in-law, Hank Schoenmeier. Earline had 9 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and 22 great-great grandchildren. Earline was delighted to have a large family and was always eager to welcome them to her home and of course there would be special food treats for all who visited. She daily praised, honored and worshiped the Lord.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light unto my path” Ps 119:105 Her family believes there was a special heavenly celebration as Earline is again with loved ones who have proceeded her: Glen, her beloved husband of 57 years, her daughter Carol Bronson Schoenmeier, her sister Dorhy Maiers, and her father and mother. Earline’s remains will be cremated and no formal public service is planned.

Robert James Obituary

Robert “Bobby” Cyril James passed away July 2nd, 2019 in Bishop, California. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, uncle and friend to many.

Bobby James was born and raised on a small farm in Mitchell, South Dakota and was a graduate of Mitchell High School. After an honorable discharge from the Navy he met and married Bonnie Redmond where they were married for 28 years while raising their three daughters here in the Owens Valley. Bobby worked as a truck driver for 45 years. Hauling anything from gasoline from Bishop’s local Giggle Springs to all kinds of different freight for Bishops own Night Owl Trucking. Bobby loved to hunt and fish, but also loved his old hot rod cars, owning several over the years. He traveled to numerous old car shows in Deadwood, SD and here in the Owens Valley. He also traveled 3000 miles across the country in his 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass a few years ago visiting family along the way. Bobby was a life member of the VFW Post 8988, serving as a board trustee, member of the post honor guard, and color guard. Bobby was a wonderful family man, proud Navy Vietnam Veteran and loyal friend.

He is survived by his two sisters, Rita Baumgart of Mitchell, South Dakota, Patti Bisset of Ft. Meyers, Florida. His daughter Jennifer Reese and husband Troy reside in Lexington, South Carolina with two grandchildren Tyler and Raegan. His daughter Jaime Holland and husband Mark reside in Bishop with grandson Conner. His daughter Joni Riggs and husband Mike reside in Bishop with granddaughters McKenzie Rae and Karen Lee. Along with countless nieces and nephews spread out all along the country whom he always made a point to see along his travels.

A Celebration of Life will be held for family and friends at the VFW Post located at 484 Short St. Bishop, California on Saturday August 10, at 1pm. A second celebration will be held mostly by family and close friends in the Black Hills of South Dakota at a later date, to be determined. Donations in his name can be made to VFW Scholarship Fund Post 8988, Bishop California.

Terry Lee Gardner Obituary

Terry Lee Gardner, 74, passed away June 21, 2019 at Riverside Community Hospital. Terry was born on November 24, 1944, in San Bernardino, California.  He was a public servant, a community leader, a beloved brother and father, and a friend to many throughout California and beyond.

Terry worked as a Police Officer in Los Alamitos and Mammoth Lakes.  He was also a Deputy Sheriff for the Mono County Sheriff’s Department. He was proud to be elected to the first Mammoth Lakes Town Council. After his retirement from law enforcement,  he worked as the Security Director for the Gas Company Tower, which was one of the tallest buildings in Los Angeles. He then served on the San Bernardino County Fire Department, as a Fireman/EMT at Havasu Lake station.  He was a graduate of Bishop High School, where he was a standout member of the 1962 football team. He graduated from C.S.U. Long Beach, with a degree in Health Science.. Terry served in the U.S. Army from 1968-69, as a Military Policeman.

During his careers in public safety and local government, Terry worked tirelessly with youth and athletic programs, as well as in many community and fire safety programs.

He leaves an older brother, Sidney (Nancy) of Mission Viejo, younger brothers Ted, of Bishop, and Bob (Karen) of June Lake, and sister Beth (Steve) of Torrance. His daughter Natalie Potesta lives in Chicago with her husband and three grandchildren. His longtime partner Holly Jenkins was a great support to him for many years and during his final illnesses.

A memorial service will be held at Orange First Methodist Church at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, August 10, 2019. and Terry will be interred at the Riverside National Veterans Cemetery at 11:00 A.M. on Friday August 9, 2019. Donations in his name may be made to the athletic programs at Bishop High School, to the Bishop First United Methodist Church Community Programs, or to the charity of ones choice.

Frank Andrew Bleggi Obituary

Beloved husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and friend, Frank Andrew Bleggi, age 82 passed away on June 30, 2019 at Southern Inyo Care Center from Parkinson’s. The son of Charlie and Rose Bleggi, Frank was born on April 8, 1937 at Price City, Utah. As a child Frank lived in Mapleton, UT and graduated from Springville High School. He served 4 years in the Navy during the Korean Conflict as electronics’ technician, later choosing to become an electrician, a master electrician with licenses in five western states. He was a construction project estimator, electrician and supervisor living in Spokane, WA. He worked as an electrician and supervisor on construction projects in Washington, Montana, Oregon, Idaho and California. In 1987 he quit construction and was hired as the electrician for the National Park Service at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks with his home in Three Rivers, CA. He retired in January 2004 and relocated to Bishop, CA in 2008. A very active fisherman, hunter, backpacker, trap shooter, golfer, bowler, horse shoes, bingo, pool shark, air darts; cribbage, bridge, canasta, pinochle player; dominions, dice and word games, any game that was challenging. When the children visited he looked forward to hiking, swimming and enjoying game time with them. Frank would share a story or tell a joke which left you laughing. He was a person that never sat still was always up and doing something.

Frank was preceded in death by his parents Charlie and Rose, sister Charlene and daughter Lisa. He is survived by his wife of 36 years Cathy A. Haralson Bleggi; daughters and spouses, Laurie and Jay Williamson, Misty and James Trout, Ginger and Jason Jones, Cheri and Eduardo Bracher; son and spouse Kelly Bart and Jennifer Bleggi; son-in-law Timothy Anderson; grandchildren, Steven Keith, Jessie, Aleesha, Alexandra, Jaylee, Erica, Nicholas, Andre’, Lucas, Andrew, Danielle, Jasper, Josh; great-grand children, Elliana, Logan, Kinsley, Bella, Griffen; brothers and spouses, Rudy and Linda Bleggi, David and Judy Bleggi; brother-in-law Curtis Newenswander; brother-in-law and spouse William L. and Peggy Haralson; with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

As requested by Frank he will be cremated with no service. His ashes will be placed at the foot of his parent’s grave in Utah.

To Those I Love, “When I am gone, just release me, let me go – so I can move into my afterglow. You mustn’t tie me down with your tears; let’s be happy that we had so many years. I gave you my love, you can only guess how much you gave me in happiness. I thank you for the love you each have shown, but now it’s time I travel on alone. So grieve for me awhile, if grieve you must, then let your grief be comforted with trust. It’s only for a while that we must part, so bless the memories within your heart. And then, when you must come this way, I’ll greet you with a smile and a “Welcome Home”.

Donna Vazquez Obituary

Donna F. Vasquez, 74, passed away surrounded by family on June 17, 2019 at Northern Inyo Hospital.  She lived with her family in Bishop, California, for 43 years.

She was the matriarch of her family, an environmental and community activist, a tribal leader and the most kind, giving and compassionate human being. She will be missed, not only by her family and friends but by her tribal community.

Donna was the first daughter born to Jessie and Johnny Manuelito. She grew up in West Bishop with her six brothers and sisters, Joe, Libby, Nonie, Dolly, Joey and Mark.  A proud member of the Bishop Paiute Tribe on her mother’s side and her father was Navajo of the Kinyaa’aanii clan from Sheep Springs, Navajo Nation, New Mexico.

Donna graduated from Bishop Union High School in 1962 and she later moved to southern California to attend Riverside City College. While living in Riverside, she met her future husband, Alex Vasquez Sr., and married that spring. They started their family of 5 by having three beautiful children, Alex, Paul and Sky.  

The coupled moved back to Bishop where Donna began many years of service to her tribal community,

She worked for many local organizations such as the Toiyabe Indian Health Clinic, Owens Valley Career Development, and was elected to the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council as Vice Chairwoman.  She also had a 20-year-long career as a Phlebotomist at Northern Inyo Hospital. She earned a reputation as “the one to call” for when there was a baby or challenging draw. All of the elders specifically asked for her when they came in looking for help.

Donna continued to live in Bishop with Alex into their retirement and was very dedicated to her family and community.  You could find her working in her garden or traveling to visit her children and grandchildren. She also continued her support of her Paiute tribal community participating on committees such as the Bishop Paiute Cultural Advisory committee, Tribal Scholarship Committee and Chair of the Tribal Environmental Protection Act Board. She was a true advocate.  

Donna Vasquez leaves her beloved husband, Alex Vasquez Sr., her son Paul Vasquez and his wife Wendy of Tokyo, Japan; and daughter Sky Vasquez of Portland, Oregon.  She is also survived by her brothers and sisters, John Manuelito II of Bishop, California, Elizabeth Manuelito of Bishop, Leanna Mojado and her husband Denny Mojado of Riverside, Dolly Manuelito of Bishop, Joseph Manuelito of Bishop, and Mark Manuelito and his wife Lisa Manuelito, also from Bishop.  She also leaves several grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her oldest son, Alex Vasquez Jr.

A Cry Dance will be held for Donna Vasquez on Friday, June 21, 2019, at 564 N. Winuba Lane, Bishop. It will begin at dusk (estimated time: 8:30 pm).  A Funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at the Barlow Lane Gym, 390 N. Barlow Lane, Bishop, that begins at 10:00 am. Lunch will be served following the service.  

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance. Donna was grateful to them for all of their support they provided her son’s battle with cancer.  

Best Regards,

Rodger Guffey Obituary

Rodger Guffey, born 5/18/1943, passed away unexpectedly on 5/17/2019. He was born in Kansas City, Kansas and played football and studied architecture at Kansas University. Thanks to the Beach Boys, he moved west to Manhattan Beach where he worked as a toy designer for Ravel. His desire to ski brought him to relocate in Mammoth Lakes, Ca. in 1969. He skied every year since. In 1971 he started, owned and operated Perry’s Pizza, later renamed as Perry’s Italian Café, which he eventually sold to different owners. He owned and operated restaurants up until his passing including Pucchetti’s, Guiseppi’s, Tiger Bar, McDuffys, and Grumpy’s. As if we wasn’t busy enough, he was intimately involved in running a variety of events. He was a charter member or Rotary and past president and became the “go-to” person for any and all barbeques or water stations to support athletic contests, Disabled Sports of the Eastern Sierra Events, and the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue Golf Tournament. He coached MHS softball and AYSO soccer. He was integral in running and managing the Gold Rush Days and the Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee. On most days, you would find him meeting with friends and other business owners early in the morning for breakfast or the Lunch Bunch on Tuesdays. He is survived by his precious wife Carol Guffey, daughter Megan Guffey, son Ryan Naranjo, granddaughter Reyna Naranjo, and his brother Ron Guffey.

As I think back on my dad’s life and our life as a family, I couldn’t have been more blessed. He truly was an amazing man. He was selfless, put others first, always serving and supporting others, especially his wife. He was completely loyal and faithful to my mother and family. He always encouraged us and was kind. He never raised his voiced or put us down. He was diligent and worked hard so that he could play hard, and even never missed an athletic contest or music event I played in, including college and while I coached. He pursued the little things to bless, uplift, encourage, and set others up for success. He believed that one should work hard, do it well, and be proud of the work one did. When a situation seemed overwhelming, he was so even keel and tackled the looming task with one step at a time. He always sought ways to make things work. He was patient yet firm. He was humble yet confident. Diligent yet fun loving. For as long as I can remember, we never left each other without a hug and an “I Love You,” even if we were only going to be gone a few minutes. He also loved and believed in Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith, our strength in times of weakness, our gentle and loving savior who gave his life so that others may live. He may not have vocalized it much, but his faith sure was visible in his serving of others and his character.

A public graveside service will be held Saturday June 8th at 12 pm at the East Line Cemetery in Bishop.

In lieu of flowers and gifts, please make a donation in loving memory to Chamber Music Unbound, POB 1219 Mammoth Lakes, Ca. 93546 or Disabled Sports of the Eastern Sierra, POB 7275 Mammoth Lakes, Ca. 93546-7275.

Pearl Hartless Obituary

Our Dearest Pearl left us on May 12,2019, to be with our Lord. Pearl was a homemaker, wife, mother, sister, Grandmother, Great Grandmother. She love fishing, family outings, cookouts and just being with family. She was originally from Missouri, move to Virginia where she met her husband of 70 years Tom. Moved around from Oklahoma, to California, eventuality settling in Bishop. She is survived by her husband, Tom, three sons, Gary, Wayne, Jeff, and one daughter, Barbara Florian. One sister, June Verburg, and one brother, Larry Walker. Grandkids, Shawna Graves ,Jason Hartless, Traci Hartless, Matt Hartless, Michael Hartless. Great grand kids, Devin Florian, and Reese Hartless.

She will be truly missed. May God bless, and she rest in peace.

Carl Pearce Obituary

Carl Pearce was a cowboy, rodeo contestant, rancher, dude wrangler, horseman, chef, farmer, athlete, college graduate, soldier, aviator, coach, paratrooper, restaurateur, investment broker, Rotarian, insurance broker, family man, local philanthropist, cancer survivor, confidant, friend, father, husband, and self-made man.

Carl was born in Portland, Oregon on March 15, 1935 and passed away May 15, 2019. He graduated Bishop High school where he was actively involved with the agriculture program and where he excelled in football and basketball. He could consistently sink a basketball from half court and was often called upon in clutch situations to bring the team to a win. He participated in rodeo winning many awards, including the 1952 Bishop Homecoming calf roping contest and the wild cow riding championship at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.

After High School graduation Carl attended a year at Pierce Junior college where he played basketball. He transferred to UC Davis and graduated in 1958. He was in the top of his Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program class which provided unique opportunities afforded to the best in the military. Carl entered the United States Army in 1958, and completed infantry training, along with Army Ranger, Airborne, and Aviation schools. While in the Army he married Arlene Brierly and they moved to Fort Lewis, Washington where Carl served with the 4th Aviation Division. He flew the tandem rotor H-21, known as the flying banana, and was the first group of Army aviators to transition from piston powered helicopters to turbine helicopters receiving training in the historic Huey Helicopter. He survived 3 helicopter accidents during his flying career. Two of those accidents were significant, and one was a minor accident. He flew helicopters in Alaska as part of the government’s concern over potential invasion by Russia through Alaska. Carl was honorably discharged from the Army as a Captain in 1963 when he returned to Bishop with his family Arlene, Mark, Hugh, and Rob to work for the Brierly Ranch.

Carl worked several years on the Brierly Ranch, farming, irrigating, and working cattle. During that time, he decided to move on to other opportunities and joined New York Life Insurance Company in 1966. He also later went into business with Johnny Morris at the Embers Restaurant. He was an agent with New York Life Insurance Company for 50 years. He achieved many awards with them over the years including President’s Council and Million Dollar Round Table.

Carl was actively involved in the local community through the Rotary Club where he served as President. He coached youth basketball and football, was involved with the Foundation for Excellence, and was in short “a huge part” of the local community. He served as Inyo County Cattlemen’s president and was a California Cattlemen’s Association Director. He gave freely of his time and money to many local causes and people in need.

Carl loved life, he enjoyed entertaining people at his home, dining with friends, and helping people in need. He relished fine dining and a good glass of wine. He loved animals; his Emmy Lou and Rachel were his constant companions.

He was proceeded in death by his son Hugh Pearce, grandparents Thurman and Grace Wilkerson, father Frank Pearce, mother Alma Mack, step father Gerald Mack, step mother Macel Pearce, and brothers Frank and Stan. He is survived by his wife of 59 years Arlene; sons Rob and Mark; daughter in-law Lee Ann; siblings Eddie and Anne; nieces and nephews Vickie, Cole, and Joan; grandchildren Mario and Marina, and many other cousins and shirt tail relatives.

Special thanks go to Crystal, Norma, Silvia, and Lala, who helped care for Carl in the last part of his life when he was in ill health. Special thanks to Terri Dean for many years working with Carl and being a close part of the family. They all are part of the family.

Carl lived an honorable and good life. He was the epitome of a self-made man. He came from very humble beginnings, worked hard to obtain an education, and built a successful business, raised a family, served his country and community, and was a good friend to many. He will be missed.

Graveside services will be held at the Pioneer (West Line Street) Cemetery, Wednesday May 29, at 11 AM. A reception lunch will follow. The reception location to be announced at the service. The family requests in lieu of flowers donations be made in Carl’s memory to the Laws Railroad Museum (Bishop Museum and Historical Society), P.O. Box 363; Bishop, CA 93514.