Obituaries

Betty Irene Van Valkenburge

Betty Van Valkenburge, 1938-2016

“Pepper” AKA Betty Irene Van Valkenburgh, born in Dar Fork, Kentucky on July 28, 1938, passed away on May 8, 2016 in Canon City, Colorado.

Pepper worked for many years in food service and food retail sales, working at both Vons and Safeway in Bishop. She enjoyed traveling and cooking.

She is preceded in death by her son Brett Butler.
She is survived by husband Bill Van Valkenburgh, son Daryl Butler, daughter Roxanne Whitted, 6 Grandchildren and 15 Great Grandchildren.

“Pepper” Betty was laid peacefully to rest on June 3, 2016 at East Line Street Cemetery, Bishop.

Betty Van Vaulkenburg
Betty Van Valkenburg

 

Beatrice Gerhart

Beatrice Gerhart, 1935-2016

Beatrice Steiskal Gerhart – a former resident of Bishop, CA, died in Huntington Beach, CA at Beachside Hospital after a brief illness.

Born in 1935 in Bellevue, PA, she loved Pennsylvania and always retained a fondness for the community in which she was born and lived. She moved to Southern California in 1964 and remained there for the rest of her life. After spending many family trips and outings to the Eastern Sierra and in particular, Bishop, CA with her husband and WW2 veteran Dr. Joseph Steiskal they decided to make Bishop their home. After Dr. Joe passed in 1998 in Bishop she re-married long-time Bishop Resident Mr. Thomas Gerhart, a Korean War veteran. After his passing she decided to move back to Huntington Beach to be closer to her sons and family.

She was surrounded by her loving family when she was taken to be with the Lord. She was a beautiful and loving woman to all that knew her, she deeply touched all those that she met and brought unity and love to her family that she loved and who loved her so much. She will be sorely missed.

Brune Mortuary in Bishop, CA has been entrusted with the arrangements and she will be laid to rest in the East Line Street Cemetery. Services will be held at 11am on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at Brune Mortuary.

Beatrice Steiskal Gerhart

Gladys Emma Schmid

Gladys Schmid 1918-2016

Gladys Schmid, 97, passed away on June 02, 2016. She was born on July 22nd, 1918 in Monticello, Wisconsin to Wilbert and Ida Hoesly. She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years Walter Schmid.

She and Walter left Wisconsin and moved to California eventually making their way to the Eastern Sierra. Gladys worked many jobs but some of her more memorable ones were when she worked at the June Lake General Store from 1953-1965, then in 1966 she and Walter bought and owned and operated the Crowley Lake Store until 1973 when they decided to settle in Bishop.

She loved the outdoors, and traveling across country she and Walter were long time members of the Bishop Golf Club where she golfed until age 88 and she joined the Lady Bills of the Elks Lodge 1603 until 1974.

She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law Marian and Delmar Kubly of Wisconsin, nephew Kris (Penny) Kubly and family of Wisconsin, longtime friend Cindy (Hugh) Henderson and family of Bishop, and a host of friends. We will miss her wonderful smile and sense of humor as well as her spunkiness.  Per her request there will be no services.

James Whitlock

James  Whitlock 1942 – 2016

Jim passed away on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at Renown Hospital in Reno, NV. Jim was 73 yrs. old. Jim resided in Owens valley for over 35 years. The past 32 years with his wife Marilee.

Jim is preceded in death by his brother Larry Whitlock.
Jim is survived by his wife, Marilee Whitlock; brother and sister in law, Terry and Candace Whitlock; son and daughter-in-law Jim and Kimberly Whitlock; daughter and son-in- law Erin and Frank Lullo; daughter and daughter-in-law, Amy and Kerri Whitlock; daughter April Whitlock; step daughter and son-in-law Kimberly and Billy Pejsa; step daughter Melisa Whiting; grandsons, Keaton Lullo, Timothy Pejsa, Ryan Whitlock, and Jake Whitlock; granddaughters, Chelsea Lullo, Courtney Pejsa, Camryn Whitlock and Samantha Whitlock.

Graveside service will be May 31, 2016, @ 11:00am. Luncheon gathering @ Legion Hall, Directly following.

Whitlock Obit

Janna Owens

Janna Harnett (Cezon) Owens 1960-2016

Janna Harnett (Cezon) Owens, age 55, passed away on Saturday, May 21, 2016, in Reno, Nevada due to organ failure. Janna lived in the community of Paradise near Bishop, California.  Janna was born to Erin (Harnett) Cezon and Dan Mummert on September 28, 1960, in Hollywood, California. She moved to Mammoth Lakes at the age of eighteen, and later married the love of her life, Michael Owens, on April 29, 1983, in Sherman Oaks.

Janna was preceded in death by her mother, Erin Cezon; father, Dan Mummert; step-father, Rick Cezon; and brother, John Russel Swindells.  She is survived by her husband, Michael Owens of the community of Paradise; son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Genifer Owens of Big Pine; brother, Mark Cezon of Val Verde, California; and an aunt.

The family will have a private interment. Janna loved animals.  The family requests donations be made to the Whitmore Animal Shelter in lieu of flowers.

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Ernie Blunt

Ernest Blunt, 1931-2016

Ernest “Ernie” Albert Blunt, a resident of Bishop for 60 years, passed away on May 22rd at the age of 84.

Ernie Blunt was born on November 2, 1931 in Lone Pine, California. Ernie split his high school years between Owens Valley High School where he lettered in baseball, Glenns Ferry High School in Idaho, and Bishop High School. Throughout his youth, Ernie worked as a packer for the Parker Blunt Pack Station taking visitors on mule packing adventures into the mountains.

Ernie joined the United States Air Force in 1951 where he served until 1955 in England at the RAF Fairfield air base as a mechanic. He met and developed a courtship with Margaret “Peggy”Rose Price. He proposed to Peggy prior to his return to the United States. Although they planned to get married in England, paperwork held things up. They were married a month later on July 18, 1955, at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Bishop.

Ernie initially joined the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) in 1955. He left CALTRANS and went to work for Inyo County in their Engineering Department in 1956, but returned to CALTRANS in 1957 and worked as a Heavy Equipment Mechanic in Bishop. Ernie spent 34 years with CALTRANS and officially retired on December 30, 1991.

Ernie spent his retirement years deer hunting, fishing, camping, attending Mule Days activities and his favorite activity—garage sales. Prior to his wife Peggy’s death one year ago on Mule Days, Peggy and Ernie were “regulars” at every local yard sale. It is weirdly coincidental that both would pass within 24 hours of exactly one year apart. Both Ernie and Peggy were to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary last year.

Ernie is survived by: daughters Helen Waitkus of Bishop; and Mandy McCarthy of Rohnert Park, CA; grand-daughter Kelsey McCarthy of New York City; and grandsons Joseph Blunt of Wasco, Oregon and Jack McCarthy of Orange County, CA.

A funeral and a public celebration of life service are not planned at this time but may be held in the future. Instead of flowers, please consider a tax-deductible memorial donation to the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

ErnieBluntObitPhoto

Nick Yeager

Nick Yeager 1948-2016

Nick Yeager passed away Saturday April 2, 2016 at the age of 68. Nick was an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting, fishing, and collecting old things. Nick was born to Bob and Dorothy Yeager in Dillon Montana on September 1, 1948. He would be the oldest of the three Yeager boys. The family moved to Big Pine Ca when Nick was 6 years old. A few years later the family moved to Bishop Ca where Nick graduated from Bishop Union High school. He attended Bakersfield City College. While studying to become an  Entomologist, Nick was drafted to the Army. Nick would spend 14 months in Vietnam. Nick was a member of company B , 2nd Battalion (Airmobile) , 5th Cavalry of the 1st Cavalry Division. Nick received ten medals for his service including the Bronze Star with a V for valor for heroism in connection with ground operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Cambodia. Nick returned to Bishop Ca for he would spend the rest of his life.

Nick worked for Turner Gas company for almost 20 years as a gas delivery driver. Nick then became a painting Contractor and continued painting until he retired.  Nick leaves behind his Daughter Renee Yeager Rowley of Bishop, her Mother Kathy Yeager-Lowry of Clovis ca, Grandchildren Brandon Rowley, Cameron Rowley, and Maddie Hall of Bishop. Son Jim Dixon and his Mother MaryJane Dixon of Bishop. Brothers and Sister in laws Steve and Sharon Yeager, Bill and Lisa Yeager also of Bishop. Nieces Corey Buffington, Lianne Talbot, Gina Tetrick and Nephew Ryan Yeager and five great nieces and one great nephew all of Bishop and also many life long friends. We will all miss his sense of adventure, the great stories he shared, his great sense of humor and his kind loving heart.

There will be a celebration of life and potluck luncheon Saturday June 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM at The Elks Lodge #1603, 151 E. Line st Bishop. To bring a dish please contact Tammy Deyo at 760-938-2900 or 760-937-0187

Shirley Fendon

SHIRLEY RAE WHORFF FENDON
June 25th, 1933 – April 28th, 2016

Shirley Rae Whorff Fendon passed-on peacefully, Thursday, April 28th, 2016. She was at home surrounded by her family as they sang her favorite hymns, prayed her favorite prayers and sent her on her way wrapped in love to the next stage of her journey in eternal life.

Shirley Rae Whorff was born to Mazie and Bill Whorff of Bishop, CA in 1933. Bill and Mazie travelled to Beverly Hills, CA, for Shirley Rae’s birth, returning to Bishop a few days later. Shirley Rae grew up in Bishop spending her childhood in and around her parents’ business, the Kittie Lee Inn and Copper Kettle restaurant which is depicted today in a mural on the south wall of Whiskey Creek in Bishop. The Copper Kettle became Whiskey Creek in the 1980’s after Sam Walker purchased the business.

Interestingly, Bill and Mazie Whorff’s home sat between the Copper Kettle and the Fendon’s Furniture building in what is now the patio area for the Whiskey Creek banquet room. Shirley Rae spent a great deal of time playing in and around the house and restaurant with her childhood friends, several of whom were Native American children from our local Paiute Tribe. While Shirley loved all people and had many friends, her friendship with her Paiute “brothers and sisters” continued throughout her lifetime. She considered them some of her dearest friends and was deeply honored that they considered her their “sister.”

Shirley’s mother and father, Bill and Mazie Whorff, her aunt and uncle, Chet and Ruthie Janes, as well as other extended family members and friends were all part of the old Eastern Sierra Ski Club. Shirley had many fond memories of skiing at McGee Mountain on the old Rope Tow, and in later years taking the “Weasel” up to Mammoth Mountain. Her family and friends also loved ice-skating on Rock Creek Lake with a large bonfire and their old cars frequently parked nearby on the ice. These were some of Shirley Rae’s most loved childhood memories.

After high school, Shirley attended two years of college at Stephens College in Columbia, MO, returning to Bishop in the summer of 1953.

In 1949, after moving from Chicago to Ontario, CA, Jerry Fendon started making monthly trips to the Owens Valley, calling on customers throughout Inyo and Mono Counties to reupholster their furniture and rebuild mattresses from the shop were he worked in Ontario. On his travels to Bishop, Jerry did a lot of reupholstery work for Shirley’s mother, Mazie, in her home and the Kittie Lee Inn. Shirley and Jerry eventually met and dated for some time before they married in the summer of 1956.

After marrying, Shirley and Jerry lived in Ontario for a short time while Jerry continued to travel to the Eastern Sierra. By 1958, Jerry and Shirley were back in Bishop, where Jerry slowly established his local reupholstery business while helping Shirley’s father, Bill, cook in the Copper Kettle whenever he needed him. Shirley got a job at Continental Telephone on Main Street in Bishop as an Operator, working the old manual switchboard on graveyard shifts and helping in the Copper Kettle when she could.

In 1960, Shirley and Jerry’s first son, Randy, was born and Jerry’s upholstery shop was getting busier. Shirley continued to work for the phone company at night and helped in the afternoons with the bookkeeping and office duties in the upholstery shop while Randy played nearby in his playpen.

As Jerry and Shirley’s business continued to grow, Shirley eventually quit the graveyard shifts at the phone company, but not before acquiring a lot of interesting and fun stories from late nights switching phone calls. One of the more interesting characters she encountered on the switchboard was famed Nevada brothel operator, Joe Conforte. Conforte owned and operated the first legal brothel in the United States – the Mustang Ranch in Storey County Nevada. Conforte often called one of his other brothels near Bishop (Janie’s Ranch) just over the state line on Highway 6 near Montgomery Pass. Shirley put those calls through and would have brief conversations with him during the process of connecting his calls. She said he was always “very nice” on the phone and she enjoyed their visits.

In 1965, Shirley and Jerry’s second son, Bill, was born. Bill was named “William Whorff Fendon” after his maternal grandfather. With two young children, Shirley stayed busy being a mother, but she still helped Jerry in the upholstery shop and her parents in the Copper Kettle.

Shirley brought the boys to work with her when they were little and they went there each afternoon after school. Shirley, Jerry, Randy and Bill spent most of their time in and around Fendon’s and the Copper Kettle for many years – on the same property Shirley Rae had grown up on. Shirley’s cousins, Susie and Robbie Janes and their parents, Ruthie and Chet Janes (Shirley’s favorite uncle) also spent a lot of time in Bill and Mazie Whorff’s home and the Copper Kettle. It was a great family gathering place with many good friends and everyone had a lot of fun times there!

In raising Randy and Bill, Shirley was adamant about teaching them certain lessons and character qualities. These included “Love and trust God and let good direct your path. Always tell the truth. Always do what’s right whether anyone knows or not. Treat everyone no matter who they are with kindness, respect and dignity. Help and protect animals. Don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. And finally, Laugh – a lot!”

After Bill was born and survived a nearly fatal illness as an infant, Shirley dedicated herself to serving God and her church the best she could. She and Jerry have been members of the Christian Science Church in Bishop ever since. Shirley attended Church consistently and served faithfully in nearly every capacity the Church offered throughout her life. She also conducted nearly 60 Christian Science memorial services for members of the church, as well as for many other families in the community who were not Christian Scientists but sought her out to do their memorials.

The years went by, the boys grew up, and Shirley and Jerry’s business continued growing as she and Jerry served the people of Inyo and Mono Counties with their home furnishings needs. At the same time, Shirley was genuinely passionate about the town she loved and serving her community in any way that she could.

She was very involved in and a founding member of the Bishop Mural Society. She loved Mule Days and thoroughly enjoyed driving visitors and dignitaries around the fairgrounds in golf carts each year for the Mule Days committee. She was on the Laws Railroad Museum restoration committee. She was integral to the planning and implementation of the Kern W. (Hudson) Dunagan Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial in front of the Chamber of Commerce in downtown Bishop. Colonel Dunagan was one of Shirley’s classmates and she was honored to be part of the memorial committee.

Shirley enthusiastically supported Ted and Lisa Schade’s early work with the animal shelters in Inyo and Mono Counties and Inyo/Mono County Animal Resources and Education (ICARE), making sure that Fendon’s Furniture supported the annual ICARE fundraisers generously. She also quietly helped many individuals in and around Bishop throughout her life and rescued countless stray animals, often taking them for veterinarian services or finding them homes.

Shirley and Jerry spent the majority of their adult lives running their local business, where they delighted in the innumerable friendships and acquaintances they had over the years. Some of Shirley’s dearest friends are the staff at Fendon’s Furniture, many of who have worked with the Fendon family for years, are appreciated immeasurably and considered part of the family.

In recent years, Shirley tried to personally call everyone who purchased furniture, mattresses or had reupholstery or woodwork done at Fendon’s. She loved to thank them for their business and to make sure they were completely satisfied. She thoroughly enjoyed these calls and had a great time visiting with all of Fendon’s customers. Everyone at the store and Fendon’s customers will miss having her in the store making these calls on a daily basis, visiting with customers and telling stories of the “old days” in Bishop.

One of Shirley’s favorite sayings was “Be kind and sweet to all you meet. Be honest and true and that will be you.” That is how she will be remembered by those who knew her well.

Shirley Rae Whorff Fendon is survived by her husband, Jerry Fendon, her younger son Bill Fendon and his wife Jane Gregg Fendon and their children, Willem and Quentin Fendon. Also, her older son Randy Fendon and his wife, Cheri Fendon and their children, Wil Daniels and Tucker Fendon, wife Jessica Mattson Fendon, and great grandson Colin Mattson Fendon.

A celebration of life will be held for Shirley Rae Whorff Fendon on Sunday, June 12th, 2016 at 2pm in the Whiskey Creek patio. The Fendon family would love to have everyone who knew her join them at Whiskey Creek that day to share their memories about Shirley Rae. Please bring your stories and plan to have fun! That is what she would want!

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Shirley’s name to any appropriate military veterans support organization, ICARE (Inyo/Mono County Animal Resources and Education) or ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

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Teya Joy Salazar

Teya Joy Salazar, April 1, 2016 – May 3, 2016

Survivors : Parents: Miguel Salazar and Stefanie Jackson, Big sister Cynthia and big brother Jayce; grandparents Irma Limon, Mario Salazar, Thomas and Kathleen Jackson; Uncles: Mario Salzar, Christian Ramos, Anthony Salazar, Gerald Andreas, Jesse Jackson, and Jeremy Torres; Aunties: Jeanette Salazar, Trisha Salazar, Erica Salazar, Katrina Martinez, Amber Richards, Taneya Jackson and god-mother Desiree Torres. Numerous cousins, extended family and friends.

A funeral service will be held, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 11:00 AM at the Tallman Pavilion at the Tri-County Fairgrounds. Donna Thomas will be officiating. Burial will follow at the East Line Street Cemetery.

 

Luella Thompson

Luella Thompson, 1936-2016

Luella went to be with the Angels on May 1, 2016. Luella was born on August 21,1936 to Fred Thompson and Nellie Kennedy Thompson in Sharp Nv.

Luella spent her younger years prospecting with her Grandfather Robert Thompson, she had some very interesting stories from that period of her life.She started school in Ely Nv living with her Grandmother Minnie Blackeye and with her aunt and uncle. After she was diagnosed with tuberculosis she was sent to Weimar Sanatorium. After her recovery she was sent to Stewart Government school Carson Nv.While at Stewart she was reunited with her siblings. She spent her summers in Fish Lake Valley, and Lake Tahoe. Upon her Graduation from Stewart she Traveled back east for a while then resettling in Keough.In the late 50’s she met Billy Connor settling down, in June 1960 she gave birth to Billy Gene Connor Jr, then in April 1963 giving birth to Glory Dawn Connor. Resettling in Porterville California While living in Porterville Luella worked for Tulare County Lemon Ass. 38 years she also worked seasonal at Lindsey Olive,Tubs Cordish, and Central Valley Citrus.

Luella was proceeded in death by her mother Nellie Kennedy father Fred Thompson son Billy Gene Connor Jr, Her Brothers Clarence Thompson,Nelson Thompson, Cline Thompson, and Bernard Seepie. Luella is survived by her Daughter Glory Dawn Connor and her partner Greg Casada, Brothers Fredrick Thompson, and Jean Thompson Sisters Darlene Thompson, Geraldine Seepie, Gerry Thompson Riley, Lorraine Thompson Whitzle, Grandsons Levi Cregar, and Jerry Cregar and wife Mary Ashley Cregar, and Granddaughter Tiphani Connor, and Seven Great-grand children.

Luella Loved sports spending many hours watching Little League at Hays Field in Porterville and watching Golf at home. Luella was also very proud of her Native heritage, The Timbisha Shoshone tribe has lost a wonderful soul. Per Luella wishes no viewing or cry dance, there will be a grave side service at the Lone Pine Indian Cemetery Lone Pine Ca, May 14, 2016 at 11:00 am