Obituaries

Charles Richard Lippoldt Obituary

Charles Richard Lippoldt; born November 12, 1936 in Okarche, OK, died on January 17, 2020 at his home In Bishop, CA. Charles lived in Inyo County for 43 years and loved to go camping, fishing. He also, likes to travel, watch sports and bowl.

Charles is survived by son Anthony Lippoldt, daughter Kimberly Seguine, sister, Pat Edon, Mary Kate Hicks, Lynn Zucksworth, brothers, David Lippoldt, Dennis Lippoldt, William Lippoldt. He is also, survived by grandchildren, Holly and Boyd Lippoldt. Brendon Frazier, Kristen Pierce, Allene Clark and Ray Seguine III, great grandchildren, Kia Frazier, Parker and Austin Pierce and last but certainly not least Grace Brodbeck ♥.

Services will be held at Brune Mortuary, January 29, 2020 at 11:00 AM, followed by a graveside Service at East Line Street Cemetery.

Steve McWithey Obituary

Steve McWithey of Chalfant Valley passed away at home with his wife Julie and his loyal canine companion Rue Be Doo by his side on Friday, December 27, 2019 at the age of 55. Steve was born on March 7, 1964 and grew up in the Owens Valley. He graduated from Bishop Union High school.

After High school Steve worked in the roofing business and after learning the trade he obtained his contractors license and owned his own roofing company. Later, he took his roofing and general maintenance experience and was employed at High Country Lumber. He would eventually finish his career at Caltrans.

Steve enjoyed reading, fishing, golfing, camping and anything to do with science and astronomy- some family adventures were planned around eclipses. He was happiest when spending time with his children and his wife Julie-his sweetheart since grade school.

Steve packed a lot of life into the short years he was on this earth. His humor and kindness impacted all who met him. You couldn’t have a bad day if you spent time with him. He would find a way to make you laugh. Steve was always available to help anyone in need. He was a volunteer engineer on the Chalfant Valley Fire Department and loved being a part of the community.

His father Ben McWithey, his mother Paula Mcwithey and his brother Jim McWithey preceded him in death. He leaves behind his wife Julie McWithey, his two children Haley (Darin) Harding and Chase McWithey, His best friend Ray Hailey who was like a brother to him, his sister Louella (Hugh) Erfurth, his Stepmom Dawn (Bruce) Vidal, his uncle Glen McWithey and Aunt Judy Whitman, nieces Heather Peltier and Sarah (Justin) Campbell his cousins Cherie (Skip) Clark, and Sean McWithey and many other nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A Celebration of Steve’s Life will at 11:00am on Saturday January 18th at the Chalfant Valley Fire Department. Come and share stories with family and friends.

Chuck Schneider Obituary

After a valiant fight with cancer, Charles “Chuck” Schneider—adventurer, storyteller, gardener, cherished member of his community, and friend to all—went home to be with his Lord on January 5, 2020 at the age of 82. He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Marge; his daughter, Kristin McBride and her husband, Kevin; his son, James and wife, Ann; and his five grandchildren: Amelia, Joshua, James, Jonah, and Abigail, all of whom he loved dearly.

Chuck had an appetite for adventure and sought to live life to its fullest. Born in San Francisco to Clara and Clifford, he began his unique and extraordinary path through life as a volunteer at the San Francisco Zoo, where he worked with the big cats and developed his love for animals. Later in his youth, Chuck spent his summers fighting forest fires with the Forestry Service. As he emerged into his adult years, Chuck began racing off road, which fulfilled his need for speed and landed him a cameo in National Geographic, and panning for gold in the streams and mines of Southern California. Throughout his life, Chuck never passed up an opportunity to tackle a challenge. This need to seek new opportunities led him to take up skiing in his 50’s and begin acting in Community Theater in his 70’s. Many will remember Chuck as the Wizard of Oz, the Judge in Chicago, or perhaps the most authentic Santa ever to grace the Sierra.

As a storyteller and public speaker, Chuck had no equal. He loved the poetry of Robert Service, and would often recite his poems, such as Cremation of Sam McGee, from heart—much to the delight of his listeners, especially his grandchildren. His church was blessed with many sermons that carried Chuck’s unique insights and his uncanny ability to make even the most challenging biblical texts accessible. And, his family, friends, and coworkers will forever fondly remember the many stories he told about all aspects of his life, turning even mundane events into captivating moments.

Chuck gardened, or more accurately, he grew tomatoes. In fact, he grew what became known as arguably the finest heirloom tomatoes in the Eastern Sierra. During the summer months, he could be found every afternoon in his garden tending his vines and most weekends at the Farmer’s Markets in Mammoth and Bishop. Even more than tending his garden, however, Chuck loved sharing his knowledge about gardening. If you broached the subject with him, you needed to be prepared for a long and animated conversation that normally ended in a handful of tomatoes to take home and an offer to help you start your own garden at the first available opportunity.

Those who work and live in Inyo and Mono counties would describe Chuck as a cherished member of and leader in the community. Chucked lived and worked in Bishop and Mammoth Lakes for 19 years. Chuck served Mammoth Lakes Lutheran Church in many capacities, from elder to greeter, speaker to coffee maker. As the family law facilitator for the Mono County Superior Court, Chuck did what he loved most: he helped people in need.

Finally, Chuck will perhaps be most remembered for his kindness, compassion, and ability to befriend just about anyone who crossed his path. From his service in the Navy, to his time as a student at Mt. San Antonio College (where he served as student body president) and Southwestern Law School, to his nine years as a Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff, to his 50 year career as a family lawyer, Chuck treated people with respect and dignity. He sought the good in people, even when the good was hidden from view. He met people where they were and avoided judgement. He reached out with care and people responded with deep gratitude and, in many cases, love. In sum, people were simply better for having known him.

His service will be held at Mammoth Lakes Lutheran Church on March 14, 2020 at 10:30 am, followed immediately by a celebration of his life and reception at Mammoth Lakes High School Multi-purpose Room.

David Lewis Jones Obituary

David Lewis Jones was born August 13,1938 in Weirton, West Virginia and passed away peacefully at his home in Bishop, California on October 27, 2019 after living with COPD and heart failure for a number of years. David graduated from Chaffey Union High School in Ontario, California in 1956 and enlisted in the Navy where he served as an Air Traffic Control Operator. In 1960 he married Paula and they enjoyed 59 wonderful years together. David was a resident of Bishop for 33 years and retired in 1992 after 32 years with Southern California Edison. David enjoyed golf, fishing, playing bridge, and spending time with family. He and Paula also loved traveling to destinations with beautiful golf courses. 

David leaves behind his wife Paula, daughter Janell (Scott) Cote, son Brian (Cleland) Jones, four grandchildren, Jenna, Allison, Emily, and Blaise, two great-grandchildren Peyton and Connor, sisters Sally Bruhn and Jackie (Dave) Zweck, sister-in-law Dixie (Pat) Dooley, and many other family members.

David’s kindness and gentle nature will be missed by all who knew and loved him. At his request there will be no services. A private family interment will be held at a later date.

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”.