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Home arrow News arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for August 24, 2004

Obituaries for August 24, 2004

Douglas ‘Doug' Barry Wivell

Nov. 1, 1939 – Aug. 18, 2004

Longtime Tuolumne County Sheriff's Posse member Douglas "Doug" Barry Wivell died unexpectedly Wednesday in his sleep while camping in Kennedy Meadows. He was 64.

He was born to Jack Tyrus and Isabelle Frances (Cholez) Wivell at the original Sonora Hospital, where Yosemite Title Company is now. He was a descendant of the oldest Tuolumne County French family, settling here in 1847. He was a fifth-generation Tuolumne County resident on both sides of his parents. The Cholezs ranched on Sullivan Creek near Campbell Flat and recorded the 389th brand in 1899 in California. They started the Roche' Brewery and Pharmacy. The Wivells ranched and mined in Stent, Quartz, Melones, Coulterville and Virginia City, Nev., from the 1850s through the 1930s. Rushing Mountain and Meadow were named after his great aunt and uncle, his family said.

He attended Sonora Dome Grammar School and graduated from Sonora High School in 1957. He was an outstanding athlete, his family said, and played sports all four years, quarterbacking the varsity Wildcat's football team and playing second base for the varsity baseball team from 1956-57. He also raised pigs in high school and showed at the Cow Palace. He was an outstanding bowler and held his own in rodeo events like bareback, team roping and the pony express race. He also played fast pitch softball.

He attended Humphrey's Business College from 1960-61. He was a veteran and served in the U.S. Army Tank Corps and trained at Fort Ord, Monterey County, and Fort Knox, Ky. He worked for Fred Leighton and with High Pruett Packing, too. He packed in special groups for Leighton until he was 28 years old. Douglas Lake in the Emigrant Wilderness was named after him, his family said.

As a young man, he worked at Willow Springs Ranch, pulled lumber off the green chain at Pickering Lumber Company, worked at Moccasin Fish Hatchery and at night tended bar at Sullivan Creek Restaurant for Harley May. His professional career as a title searcher started in 1963 with Sonora Abstract and Title Company.

He married Sharon Reiley on Nov. 10, 1963.

He then worked from 1966-79 in the Tuolumne County Assessor's Office. While there he took several special appraisal courses including learning how to value dams and canals among other unique properties, his family said. He ran unsuccessfully for county assessor in 1979. He then owned and operated a feed store on Industrial Drive in East Sonora.

He returned to the title company business in 1983 with Western Title, which later became Fidelity National Title Insurance Company where he stayed until 1989. He then went to work as chief title officer for Yosemite Title Company where he stayed until his retirement in December 2001, his family said.

He was a 34-year active member of the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Posse. He entered in January 1971 and served as captain until 1978. He was also a member of the Sonora Elks Lodge, the Sportsmen and the Kiwanis Club.

One of his favorite places was Kennedy Meadows, his family added.

Mr. Wivell is survived by his wife of 41 years, Sharon (Reiley) Wivell; sons and daughters-in-law, Todd and Tracey Wivell of Sonora and Scott and Peitra Wivell of Columbia; grandchildren, Morgan and Reiley Wivell, both of Sonora and Alicia and Jack Wivell, both of Columbia; brothers and a sister-in-law, Ty and Toni Wivell and Ken Wivell, all of Sonora; a sister and brother-in-law, Joanne and George Durnall of Sonora; a sister-in-law, Lyndalee Whipple of Oakdale; and numerous nieces and nephews in California, Nevada, Idaho and New Hampshire.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Newt; and a sister-in-law, Carol.

A private family graveside service was held. A celebration of his life is scheduled from 4-7 p.m. Thursday at the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Posse Grounds at 19130 Rawhide Road in Jamestown. The posse and family will provide the food.

Donations or contributions can be made to the Doug Wivell Scholarship Fund, in care of the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Posse, P.O. Box 4490, Sonora, CA 95370.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home handled arrangements.


BONDURANT — Evelyn Elaine Bondurant, 72, of Sonora died yesterday at a Sonora hospital. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

HILL — A memorial service for Henry Howard Hill, 85, of San Andreas is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home. He died Saturday at a San Andreas hospital. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

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