Kenneth L. ‘Kenny’ Napier
April 17, 1932 — Sept. 28, 2012
Groveland resident Kenneth L. “Kenny” Napier died Sept. 28 at Avalon Care Center of Sonora. He was 80.
Mr. Napier was born in Bakersfield. He lived in the San Jose-Los Gatos area for more than 40 years before he and his wife, Valerie, settled in Groveland eight years ago.
He graduated from Bakersfield High School and Bakersfield Junior College. He went to San Jose State University on a track scholarship and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1961.
He worked as a facilities manager at the Lockheed Missiles and Space Division in Sunnyvale for 35 years until retirement.
He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Bremerton from 1951 to 1953 during the Korean War. He transferred to Great Lakes, Ill., in 1953 to attend dental technician school. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1955 and returned to Bakersfield.
Mr. Napier was an accomplished runner, competing in high school and college. He won the Southern California and Metro Cross Country Championship as a member of the Bakersfield College Cross Country Team in 1956 and received the “most inspirational” award from the team that same year.
He was inducted into the Bakersfield Junior College Hall of Fame for track and field and cross country. He placed third at the Pacific AAU Meet in Stockton on June 1, 1957, where Don Bowden became the first American to break the four-minute mile.
In 1972, at age 40, he won the San Francisco Examiner Master’s Mile at the Cow Palace with a time of 4:37.
He was a member of the West Valley Track Club in the late 1960s and early 1970s and was a member of the West Valley Joggers and Striders for a number of years.
Mr. Napier continued to run well into his 70s.
He also enjoyed the outdoors and fly fishing and was a member of the Merced Fly Casters Club and the Mother Lode Fly Casting Club in Sonora.
Mr. Napier was preceded in death by his mother and stepfather, Lela and Carl “Pop” Davis; his father and stepmother, Rex and Teresa Napier; and his brothers, Don and Gary Napier.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years Valerie Napier, of Groveland; his daughters, Diane Dell’Armo and her husband, Taum, of Carmel, and Colleen Reece, of Groveland; his grandchildren, Valerie Taormina, of Oakland, John Dell’Armo and his fiancee, Rosie Hansen, of Santa Maria, and Taum “Joe” Dell’Armo and his wife, Samantha, of Denver; his sisters-in law, Pat Napier and Gail Pedersen, both of Bakersfield; half-siblings, Darlene Corson and Glen Napier, both of Chesapeake, Va.; and three nieces and two nephews.
Donations can be made to the U.S. Olympic Team, www.support.teamusa.org.
A celebration of life will be held later in the month. For service information, call Diane Dell’Armo at 831-622-9378 or 831-915-9588.
Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Rosalie Haines Pedri
April 17, 1925 — Sept. 19, 2012
Former Tuolumne County resident Rosalie Haines Pedri died Sept. 19 at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Modesto. She was 87.
Mrs. Pedri was born in Jerome, Ariz., but her family moved to Los Angeles in the 1930s after her father died while in the military.
During World War II, she joined the war effort and worked for the U.S. Navy making submersible pumps.
After the war, she married John Pedri, who worked as the Tuolumne County surveyor for 21 years, and the couple settled in the area from 1959 to 1998, living in Sonora, Soulsbyville and Columbia.
She lived with her son, Jim Pedri, in Redding for a few years before moving to Modesto eight years ago.
She was a homemaker for many years, but also worked at the Village Boutique in Twain Harte and later went on to work at the Princess Shoppe in downtown Sonora.
Mrs. Pedri was was a member of several churches in the area including Chapel of the Pines, Evangelical Free Church, Peaceful Valley Church and Sierra Bible Church.
She started the “Open Door” youth group in the 1970s and served as a mentor for many years.
She was also a member of the Soulsbyville Elementary School PTA during the 1960s and the Sonora High School PTA in the 1970s.
In her later years, Mrs. Pedri enjoyed photography, sketching, painting and travel. She traveled throughout the United States and most of Europe, including a trip to Northern Italy and Spain to visit family.
Mrs. Pedri was preceded in death by her husband, John Pedri, in 1992; her son, Jeff Pedri, in 2008; her sister, Tillie Rudometkin, in 2009; her brother, Eddie Haines, in 1988; and her parents.
She is survived by her children, Jim Pedri, of Redding, John Pedri, of Lincoln, Janet Alexander, of Lorton, Va., and Joe Pedri, of Fresno; her brother, Carl Haines, of Los Angeles; brother-in-law, Fred Rudometkin, of San Juan Capistrano; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Donations can be made to the Gideon Bible placement program, www.gideons.org, or Wycliffe Bible Translators, www.wycliffe.org.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday at Modesto Covenant Church, 913 Floyd Ave., Modesto. A reception lunch will follow at the church.
Neptune Society of Central California is handling arrangements.
Theodore ‘Ted’ Wright Jr.
Dec. 15, 1936 — Sept. 30, 2012
Sonora resident Theodore “Ted” Wright Jr. died Sept. 30 at his home after a long battle with cancer. He was 76.
Mr. Wright was born in Los Angeles but moved to Tuolumne County 50 years ago to work as a self-employed logger, which he did for 50 years until his retirement.
He enjoyed camping and the outdoors, especially Sonora Pass. He also enjoyed computers, and often took in stray cats.
Mr. Wright is survived by his wife, Linda Wright; his brother, Mark Wright; his sister, Dollie Mae Wright; and his cousin Clarene Wright, all of Sonora; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of the Sierra, 20100 Cedar Road North, Sonora, CA 95370.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date.
Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
ALVES — George Alves, 94, of Sonora, died Friday at Oak Terrace Memory Care in Soulsbyville. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
CROOK — Lila Crook, 95, of Sonora, died Sunday at Sonora Regional Medical Center. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.
DALTON — Lucille Dalton, age unavailable, of Sonora, died Friday at her home. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.
HARRIS — Bonnie Harris, 91, of Tuolumne, died Monday at Oak Terrace Memory Care in Soulsbyville. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.
MARTIN — Antonio Martin, 89, of Sonora, died Saturday at his home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
MARTIN — Phoebe Martin, 74, of Columbia, died Sunday at her home in Columbia. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
TAYLOR — Erskine Taylor, 68, of Twain Harte, died Sunday at Avalon Care Center of Sonora. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
RIVERA — Sue Rivera, age unavailable, of Sonora, died Saturday at her home. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.
The Union Democrat is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Tuesday through Saturday. E-Edition or Print Plus subscribers have full access.
If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access. Circulation: 209-533-3614
Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties