Category Archives: Obituaries

Harold Butterbredt

Harold Butterbredt

Harold Wayne Butterbredt, Sr. “Sooky” passed away unexpectedly on February 16, 2015 at the age of 48. Harold was born on November 26, 1966 in Bakersfield, CA.
After spending part of his childhood in Nevada and Coleville, CA, Harold moved to Bishop, CA in the late 1970s where he attended elementary and high school. Harold was the beloved eldest son of his late mother Juanita Jean Butterbredt Kinney. He was the apple of his mother’s eye and also the big brother and protector to his siblings.
After high school, Harold met Patricia Harris and they were married on February 16, 1989. Harold became the dad to Patty’s two children Nakia and Charles Hanks. The four of them loved to travel and they made their home where their work took them including Bishop, Topaz, Coleville, Big Pine, and Rovanna.
Harold worked in the construction field, joined the union, and worked on highway jobs whenever he could. He worked on remodeling houses. He poured concrete in Nevada. He worked as a used car salesman. Harold shoveled snow and cleaned condominiums in Mammoth in the winter time. He cut and sold firewood. Harold was also an auto mechanic. He did whatever work was available at the time.
After several years of marriage, Harold and Patty divorced but they always remained good friends and the kids were and still are part of the family.
Harold later met Adrienne Barlow and they had two sons Waylon Wayne Little Bear Butterbredt and Harold Wayne Quinana Butterbredt Jr. Harold loved his sons dearly and was always proud of them. He was proud to be Native American and taught his sons to be proud of their heritage. Although Harold and Adrienne never married, they cared deeply for each other.
While his sons were yet young, Harold and Brandie Gockley were married in 1999. The two of them were inseparable for many years and where one was the other was right there.
Harold loved life. He loved spending time with his family teasing and playing jokes on anyone he could. He was always making everyone laugh. Harold loved to travel and had big dreams. He enjoyed going out with his family getting wood. He loved working on cars. He loved horses, cowboy movies, and John Wayne. Harold would always help those in need and had a heart of gold.
Harold is preceded in death by his mother Juanita Jean Butterbredt Kinney, his step father Morgan Wade Kinney, his grandparents, and aunts and uncles. Harold is survived by his children Waylon Wayne Little Bear Butterbredt, Harold Wayne Quinana Butterbredt Jr., Nakia Hanks, and Charles Hanks; sisters Janet Warsinski, Teri Red Owl and brother-in-law Larry Red Owl, Jr.; brothers Larry Cawelti, Jr. and sister-in-law Shannon Cawelti, Jonathan Cawelti and sister-in-law Jackie Cawelti; nieces Nakona Cawelti, Loni Romo, Markie Wilder, Isabella Red Owl, and Alexis Red Owl; nephews Joseph Rock, Cody Cawelti, Chance Cawelti, Kyle Davis, Clifford Wilder, Chase Cawelti, Noah Williams, and Joseph Red Owl; numerous cousins, aunts and uncles.
Harold’s smile, laughter, and generosity will be missed. The family takes comfort in knowing that he is reunited with his mom and loved ones in Heaven and abides with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Funeral services will be held at the House of Mercy Pentecostal Church on South Paha Lane in Bishop on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 11:00 am. Reverend Stanley T. Summers will officiate. Interment will be at Sunland Indian Cemetery. A potluck luncheon will take place after burial. A traditional Cry Dance will be held on Friday, February 27th at 5:00 pm at 515 South Paha Lane, Bishop.


Harold 2

Wenda Holland

Wenda Loreen Holland

June 28, 1935 – February 14, 2015
Wenda Loreen Holland passed away at age 79, on Feb. 14, lovingly surrounded by family. She was born June 28, 1935 in Hemet, CA to Rolland and Rhoda Nichols.
Her family moved to Bishop in 1947 when her father was transferred to the area with the California Highway Patrol. She graduated from Bishop Union High School on June 9, 1953, and married Howard Holland on the same day. Together they raised three children: Mike, Dan and Donna. She was a wonderful, tolerant and patient mother to her active kids. The family fondly recalls many eventful camping trips in Northern California and southern Oregon.
Wenda worked as a bookkeeper for various local businesses including Clyde Slagle Insurance, Joseph’s Bi-Rite Market and Z’s Flowers. She was active in the Jr. Women’s Improvement Club and a volunteer Cub Scout Pack leader, Brownie Troop leader and 4-H Project leader. In 1975 she and Howard traveled with 60 BUHS band members as chaperones on a three-week European tour. After her children were grown, she began volunteering at the Laws Railroad Museum as membership chairman. Along with her sisters-in-law, Bonnie Lee Ford and Arlene Morris, she helped set up displays in the Conway House, General Store and the Agent’s House. These displays are still on view today. She single-handedly sewed countless calico bonnets for the Museum gift shop which were sold to visitors from around the globe.
Wenda was talented and creative in many hobbies including sewing, needlework, ceramics, knitting and crochet. Over the years she won many prizes for her entries at the Tri-County Fair. She was an avid reader of mystery novels and enjoyed working crossword and other puzzles. She leaves behind a family who will always be grateful for her love and care as a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend.
Wenda is preceded in death by her parents and sister, Gwen Coons.
Survivors include husband of 61 years, Howard; sister, Lynda and husband Lloyd Wilson; sister-in-law Arlene and husband Conrad Morris; son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Annette Holland; son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Donna Holland; and daughter Donna Bird and companion Tim Winkler, all of Bishop. She is also survived by her five grandchildren, Jennifer and husband Matt Meier, Natalie and husband Mac Heiden, Kyle Holland, Katie Bird, and Aimee and husband Torey Michener; great-grandchildren, Taryn and Dylan Michener; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 24 at the Pioneer Cemetery on West Line Street in Bishop with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Laws Railroad Museum or the Bishop United Methodist Church Senior Services.

Carl Dondero

Carl Dondero

Carl Dondero was born on October 10th, 1932 in Lee Vining/Mono Lake, CA and passed away February 13th, 2015 surrounded by his family. He was raised in Yosemite, CA Indian Village. Throughout his childhood growing up in Yosemite, Carl enjoyed the outdoors while also learning his Paiute culture. As a teen he attended Stewart Indian School in Carson City, NV. During his time at Stewart he met his wife, Loretta Burns. Together they raised 8 children. Carl enjoyed being with his family and spent every deer season around Mono Lake with his children, brothers, nephews, nieces and grandchildren.
He is survived by his brother; John Dondero. His children; Judy, Terry, Mike, Larry and Waylon Dondero, Gary and Nancy Dondero, John and Rosenda Dondero, Tammy and Tab Andrade, Rosella and Ross Stone, 20 Grandchildren, 27 Great Grandchildren, 1 Great Great Grandchild, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Carl was preceded in death by his wife; Loretta Dondero, parents; John Dondero and Lena Tom, brothers; Harvey Brown, Roy and Richard Dondero, sister; Della Hern, son; Melvin Dondero, and grandson; Daniel Charley.
Services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, February 21st, 2015 at Lee Vining High School Gymnasium in Lee Vining, CA. Burial to follow at Mono Lake Cemetery. A potluck will be held at Lee Vining High School Gymnasium following the services.


lee vining news, eastern sierra news, carl dondero

Jessie Durant

Jessie Cluette Durant

Jessie Cluette Durant was born on March 22, 1913 at Rush Creek in Mono County. She spent her childhood residing near one of the oldest lakes in North America, Mono Lake. As a survivor of a proud and ancient civilization attuned to the West, Jessie’s roots extend to the early twentieth century. Born prior to World War I, she lived through the worldwide influenza epidemic and resided for a time in thatched homes that enabled her people to move seasonally. Early on, she attended school on horseback and traveled to and from rural communities in a horse-drawn buggy. Jessie attended Carson School in Carson City, NV before finishing 8th grade at Lee Vining in 1929. She attended high school in Bakersfield CA. After high school Jessie attended St. Vincent’s School of Nursing in Santa Fe, NM. It was during her time in New Mexico that she met her husband Reyes “Ta Nu” Durant. Jessie did private nursing in Santa Fe and also worked on the Navajo Reservation at a hospital for Native Americans. She also worked at a veterans’ hospital in Los Angeles, CA before moving to Bishop, CA in 1942 and working at a community hospital. Jessie was an empathetic person with a caring nature who enjoyed her career as a nurse. For several decades, Jessie Durant has shared her vast fund of information on her culture. She has bridged two cultures, the Mono Lake Natives of California and our modern technologically orientated world of environmental resource extraction. Her contributions to our current state of knowledge about the past of the West have been used by museums, researchers, book writers and film makers. Jessie is preceded in death by her husband Reyes Durant, son Delbert Durant and grandson Christopher Charlie. She is survived by her granddaughter and numerous family members including many nieces and nephews. A private burial will be held at the Cemetery on Line Street.


eastern sierra news, lee vining news

Lewis Gene Ebersole

Lewis Gene Ebersole   1933-2015

Lewis Gene Ebersole, a Bishop resident for the last 29 years, was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Melvin Lewis Ebersole and Katherine Hershey Ebersole. At home he began his life-long passion for books and had an almost photographic memory for what he read. He died Friday, February 6th, at Northern Inyo Hospital after a brief, intense illness.
His ambition in life was to be a forester, and he earned a degree in forestry from Paul Smith’s College in New York. After graduation he was drafted and chose to enlist in the Navy, where deep-water adventures suited him. He developed a passion for travel, made life-long friends and enjoyed the work. His vacations during those years often were on the water. He raced small sailboats, crewed for larger boats in ocean-going races and leisurely sailed on three-masted schooners.
In 1974 Lewis retired from the Navy, earned a degree in electronics and worked for twelve years in the electronics industry in San Diego. During those years and after moving to Bishop, he actively pursued his passion for travel. He hiked in the Alps and in mountain ranges from the Adirondacks to the Sierras and Cascades. He rode his bicycle throughout the western United States and Canada, culminating in a ride from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
When physical disabilities prevented athletic touring, he became a beekeeper and gardener. He resumed a life-long enjoyment of music, attending dozens of Felici Trio concerts and driving frequently to Reno to see and hear Metropolitan Opera performances in high definition. Lewis continued to explore the world as a passenger on several freighters, on river cruises in Europe and by ferry up the Inland Passage.
He is survived by Geraldine, his wife of 45 years, his sister Sandra Sheridan (Greg), his sister-in-law Nila Treston (Steve) and his sister-in-law Helen Kashevaroff (Mark). Nieces and nephews lovingly remember their Uncle Gene for his stories, his vast store of knowledge and quick recall, and his generosity. May Lewis Gene be at peace in Fiddlers’ Green, the final resting place for men of the sea.




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Sue Carolyn Conn

Sue Carolyn Conn

Bishop resident Sue Carolyn Conn passed away on February 7, 2015. Sue was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend.
She was born January 23, 1931 to Erma and Tom Beal. She married the love of her life Richard (Dick) Conn in 1950, not quite making their 65th wedding anniversary. As newlyweds, Dick and Sue managed the June Lake lodge, owned by Dicks father. They subsequently made their home in Covina, California.
Dick and Sue loved the Eastern Sierra, and they made the move from Southern California to Bishop in 1971. Sue was very active in the community and she held many volunteer positions. She ran the 6th-8th-grade ski program for many years; she worked at the Laws Museum, the Hospital Auxiliary and was a member of the service club Altrusa. She was a member of the 49rs, and was the group’s president in 2001.
Sue was an enthusiastic long time athlete. She played tennis for many years, and ran with Tracy Smith’s running group. She did many 5k and 10k runs, and especially loved the Bridgeport 10k held on July 4th. She also participated in the Cal Electric Squares- a square dancing group.
Sue and Dick loved to explore the Eastern Sierra and the South West with their dachshund friends and camper. They spent many summers investigating the canyons and coves of Lake Powel and other locations on the Colorado River.

Sue Conn

Sue leaves behind sons Peter and Chris, their wives Susan and Amy, grandsons Nicholas, Andrew and Ryan, cousin and Bishop resident Julie and Ted Metz and beloved dachshund Penny.
A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, February 11th at the East Line Street Cemetery beginning at 10am, Caddy Jackson officiating. In lieu of flowers please help support research for a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, or a charity of your choice.

Donald Bowie Franklin

Donald Bowie Franklin

January 8th, 1946 to February 6th, 2015

Don Franklin passed away on February 6th, 2015 at his home in Chalfant, CA after a lengthy battle with colon cancer.
Don was born in Los Angeles, grew up in southern California, graduating from Gardena High School in 1963. He spent most of his working career in the industrial laundry, linen supply business, rising to General Manager of the Bakersfield division of Valley Industrial Services.
While living in Bakersfield, Don was active in youth sports and the Bakersfield Breakfast Lions Club. He served one term as club President and, another year, was named Lion of the Year.
Don was first introduced to the high sierras, as a boy in the 1950’s, while taking family vacations. Their vacations stretched from Independence Creek to Bridgeport, and he loved every bit of it. He thought at the time that this would be a great place to live, and he was certainly right.
The opportunity to move to Bishop occurred in 1986. He continued his working career with Bishop Laundry and Linen Supply. He worked at the Union Carbide Tungsten Mill from the mid-90’s until they closed in 2000. He spent the remaining 12 years of work with Mono County, working at the Benton Crossing Landfill. He retired in November, 2012.
Throughout his life Don enjoyed various sports and activities. Water skiing, boating, snow skiing and golf were always a part of his life. However, his favorite activities involved the High Sierras. Camping, fishing, hiking and exploring local sites of interests were great fun.
Don enjoyed introducing the Sierras to family and friends. Mule Days was always a great event for the family, and once a year for several years, a group of about 20 or so would gather to tube the Owens River.
Don and Linda enjoyed their first date on Thanksgiving, 1997 as dinner guests at the home of Bob and Kay Darling. From there, it was a short journey to falling in love and they have been joined at the hip ever since. Don and Linda were married in July, 2001.
Don and Linda enjoyed travel and did so as often as possible. They made several ocean cruises, two trips to Hawaii, a vacation to Washington D.C., and a family reunion in San Antonio, TX. One of their favorite vacations was a road trip to Mesa Verde, CO to explore the Indian Cliff Dwellings.
Don’s sense of humor knew no boundaries. He loved to laugh, and even more, he loved to make others laugh. Don appreciated and protected God’s good earth and all the creatures that inhabit it. Over the years, Don and Linda shared their home and made family of three precious puppies – Scooter, Suzee and Maggie.
Don accepted Jesus as his Savior several years ago, and with Linda’s guidance and encouragement, joined St. Timothy’s Anglican Church. He was baptized and confirmed, and Don felt these two events brought his spiritual life full circle. St. Tim’s church family quickly embraced and bonded with Don and he with them. All of Don’s family and friends are at peace knowing that he is free of pain at home with his Lord.
Don is survived by wife Linda, daughter and son-in-law Jacque and Jeremy Jans of Bakersfield, daughter and son-in-law Julie and Scott Carlson of Bakersfield, stepsons Michael and Mark Heffron of Bishop, sister Sally Sessions of Lancaster, CA, brother and sister-in-law Tom and Judy Franklin of Fayatteville, GA, 7 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, many loving nephews and nieces and friends galore. Don was preceded in death by infant son Steven Bowie Franklin, infant daughter Johanna May Franklin, sister Nancy Lee Stewart and brother Anthony David Franklin.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 14th, 2015 at 11:00am at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, 700 Hobson Street, Bishop, CA, followed by a graveside ceremony at the East Line Street Cemetery. A Celebration of Life reception will follow at St. Timothy’s. Father John Paul Wadlin officiating.

franklin photo

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Neil Morris

Neil Vernon Morris  1956-2015

Neil Vernon Morris was born on December 23, 1956 and passed away on January 20, 2015 at Renown Hospital with family by his side. He was born to Conrad and Arlene Morris in Bishop California. On that evening around 7:00, as the Christmas Carolers walked the halls singing Christmas songs to the patients, Neil was born. His eyes widened as he heard the music. We know that at that moment his love for music began.
Neil lived in Bishop for the first four year of his life. His father worked for the phone company and the family made several moves in the years that followed. They moved to Victorville in 1961, Minden Nevada in 1964, Apple Valley California in 1967 and Bellevue Washington in 1970. The Northwest was where Neil decided to make his home until 2011.
He graduated from Interlake High School in Bellevue Wa. in 1975. He continued his education at the University of Washington in Seattle. Neil was employed at “Band Wagon Music Store” during high school and college. While attending college he was given the opportunity to become manager of the store. His passion for music convinced him that this was the path he would take. He loved helping young students and taught them to play and encouraged them to pursue their love for playing musical instruments. He started playing the standup bass in the fourth grade and from then on he was in all the school bands and many more bands-mostly playing the electric bass and Rock N’ Roll. He was married to Denise Opfer for 20 years. After closing his music store, Neil was employed at Entco where he was the event planner. He coordinated many events and conventions for large corporations including General Motors, Weyerhauser and Boeing. He was an Honorary Member of the “Thundering Angels” motorcycle club and planned numerous rallies and fundraisers. The money raised was used to help families in need with housing. Neil returned to Bishop in 2011 to spend time with family. Recently, he’s been enjoying and thriving as he plays his electric bass in the band “The Unwanted” He has made many friends and touched many lives. He is known for doing random acts of kindness and helping others whenever he can. There are no strangers in Neil’s world, he is everyone’s friend. His love for life and laughter is how he will be remembered.
Neil is survived by his parents Conrad and Arlene Morris, sister and brother in law – Kristin and Robert Carr, niece – Whitney Carr, nephew and wife- Garrett and Terees Carr and his Uncle and Aunt- Howard and Wenda Holland. Neil leaves behind numerous cousins and friends.

A memorial service and luncheon for Neil will be held 12:00 PM, Saturday, January 31 at Bishop Elks Lodge #1603. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be given to the Bishop Unified School District Band and Music Department or to a charity of your choice.


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Cleo Miles

Cleo Miles, 1910-2015

Long-time Big Pine resident, Cleo Ava Miles, age 104, born in Floyd, Iowa on September 20, 1910, passed away peacefully at her home with her family by her side on January 20, 2015. At the age of 18, Cleo moved from Iowa to Southern California to attend the UCLA School of Business where she met her first husband, William Vance. They were married, started their family, and moved to Big Pine in 1950 where they owned the Big Pine Store, Big Pine General Store and several other properties in the town of Big Pine for many years. After the passing of her husband in 1959, Cleo continued to operate the store retiring and selling the business in 1963, and marrying her second husband, Dr. Carson Miles in 1966.
Cleo was a caring and giving person, who not only enjoyed spending time with family and friends, but very much enjoyed volunteering her time and efforts to many organizations and groups including the Big Pine Care Center, Bishop Care Center, Salvation Army, Hospice Thrift Shop, and Wild Iris to name a few. She was a dedicated member of the Big Pine Methodist Church and the Big Pine Methodist Women’s group. Throughout her lifetime, Cleo was the recipient of many recognition awards for her selfless and charitable service to these agencies. Anyone who knew Cleo also knew of her passion for reading as well as her love for baking and sewing as was known for her delicious baked goodies and hand-sewn/knitted items.
Cleo is survived by her brother, Robert Winner of Arkansas, son, Bob Vance and wife, Patricia of Big Pine; Grandsons, Patrick Vance and wife Lenna, Jeremy Vance and wife Lynda, Mike Neil and wife Becky, Ron Neil and wife Dana, and Billy Neil; Granddaughters, Paula Thomson and husband Jason, Shari Harris and husband Joe, Sara Vance and husband Jason Barlow, Cathy Hill and late husband Billy Hill, Debbie Dyer and husband Larry, Karen Belden and husband Rick, Linda Schaaf and husband Gary, and Cheryl Brown. Cleo is also survived and remembered by 23 great-grandchildren, 13 great-great grandchildren, and the extended Miles family. Cleo was preceded in death by husbands William Vance, and Dr. Carson Miles, sister Dorothy Blakely, brothers Art and John Winner, daughter Marilyn Vance, son William Vance, Jr., grandson Robbie Vance, and great-granddaughter Jenny Neil.
Services for Cleo Ava Miles will be held on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm at the Big Pine Methodist Church with Reverend Karen Moore officiating with burial to follow at the Big Pine Cemetery and reception at the Big Pine Town Hall. In lieu of flowers, it was Cleo’s wish for donations to be made to the Big Pine Methodist Church or the Big Pine Volunteer Fire Department.

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Duane Dutro

Duane Howard Dutro


Duane Howard Dutro 65, Born on Oct. 1, 1949 in Altadena CA. passed away in Loma Linda CA on Dec. 7, 2014. Duane is survived by mother Patricia Dutro of Bishop, brother Michael Dutro of West Covina and sister Linda Pendergraft of San Jacinto.
A Memorial services will be held 3:00 pm Saturday January 17, 2015 at Brune Mortuary. Pastor Les Smith to officiate.