Union Democrat staff

Elmer 'Lee' Dauster

Dec. 25, 1928 - Jan. 13, 2013

Sonora resident Elmer "Lee" Dauster died Jan. 13 at Sonora Regional Medical Center. He was 84.

Mr. Dauster was born in St. Louis, Mo. He graduated from Beaumont High School in 1946 - where he lettered in track, field and gymnastics - and from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor's degree in 1956.

Mr. Dauster enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1946 and joined the VMF-221 Corsair Reserve fighter squadron. He was sent to Korea in 1950 and was awarded the Silver Star for his actions in combat, which resulted in the loss of his left leg from above the knee. He was also awarded two Purple Hearts.

Mr. Dauster served two terms as national director for the Korean War Veterans' Association and was a past president of the Santa Clara and Sonora chapters of the association. He was an active member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars in Sonora and was past president of the G-3-1 reunion group. Mr. Dauster was invited to represent all disabled U.S. Korean War Veterans at the 60th anniversary commemoration of the Korean War in Seoul, South Korea.

He was an insurance agent and owned an insurance company in the Bay Area before moving to Sonora 15 years ago to be closer to family.

He was a member of the Rotary Club of Los Gatos. He was also an orator, storyteller, humorist, marksman, inventor, poet and dancer, his family said.

Mr. Dauster was preceded in death by his first wife, Patricia Marie (Schneider) Dauster.

He is survived by his wife, Ethel Marie (Seabock) Dauster; and her five children, Donna Davis and Diana Lang, of Sonora, Michael Davis, of San Jose, Mark Davis, of Boulder, Colo., and Matthew Davis, of Hawaii; daughters and sons-in-law, Debra and Gordon Zink-Brody, of Modesto, Karin and Joseph de Gier, of Walnut Grove; son, Eric Dauster, of Oakland; brother, Edward E. Dauster, of Warrenton, Va.; 19 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A military memorial with honor guard is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Dambacher Mountain Memorial Cemetery, 22394 Lyons Bald Mountain Road, Sonora. A reception will follow at the Sonora Veterans Memorial Hall and Military Museum, 9 N. Washington St., Sonora.

The Neptune Society of Central California is handling arrangements.

George Warren

Robbins Sr.

Dec. 16, 1929 - Jan. 10, 2013

George Warren Robbins Sr. died Jan. 10 at his home in Sonora. He was 83.

Mr. Robbins was born in New Jersey to George W. and Emma "Alice" Robbins.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953 and worked in telecommunications in Germany. He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3454.

Mr. Robbins attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and worked as an illustration artist for 35 years. He did illustrations for the school of dentistry at University of California, Los Angeles, and for the University of Southern California.

His family said he painted occasionally at Columbia State Historic Park, and enjoyed drawing, painting, gardening, fishing, sailing and photography.

He moved to the area 22 years ago to live with family, and spent most of that time in Columbia.

Mr. Robbins was preceded in death by his daughter, Susan Robbins, in 2012; and by a grandson, Joshua James Cullins, in 2010.

Mr. Robbins is survived by daughters and sons-in-law, Denise Robbins and Tom Gallagher, of Arnold, and Stephanie and Michael Porter, of Vallecito; son and daughter-in-law, George Robbins Jr. and Sandy Robbins, of Arnold; seven grandchildren; and his former wife, Darlene (Weimer) Simmons, of Jamestown.

Private family services are planned.

Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

John Waithman Lowe

March 25, 1927 - Jan. 21, 2013

John Waithman Lowe, one-time manager of Pickering Lumber Co. in Standard, died Jan. 21 at Highgate Assisted Living in Bozeman, Mont. He was 86.

During his tenure at Pickering - from 1965 to 1974 - Lowe carried out the complete modernization of the Standard plant and launched efforts to meet increased environmental standards.

Pickering also established a cattle-raising program for its idle lands during his tenure, acquired the Sierra Pine mills at Keystone, and transferred a large section of forestland to the Boy Scouts of America as Camp Pendola.

Active in Boy Scouts, Mr. Lowe was given the highest scouting award for adults, the Silver Beaver, by the Yosemite Area Boy Scout Council, in 1972 for his efforts in creating the 110-acre Pendola Scout Camp. The camp, near Beardsley Reservoir, later became known as Camp John Messinger.

He was also instrumental in renovating a segment of an old narrow gauge logging railroad which operated as a tourist attraction for a time at the West Side and Cherry Valley Railway in Tuolumne.

He owned a restored antique fire pumper, "Citizen No. 1," which was a frequent winner in area antique fire pumper competitions. He also organized the Standard Fire Brigade.

He took the job as vice president of Pickering Lumber Co. in Standard in 1965, working under company president William Pendola. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of California Pacific Sales Corp., a lumber marketing organization for the Pendola interests, with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

He joined that firm in 1961 after 10 years with American Forest Products Corp.

After resigning from Pickering, he moved to Burney for a time to run a mill there. In the late 1970s, he purchased the CORAD powder coating plant in Hayward, which he ran until June 2010, when he moved to Bozeman to be near family.

He served as vice president of the Yosemite Area Boy Scout Council and was a director of the Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce, Western Wooden Box Association, Cal-Pine Container Corp., Sonora Motion Picture Association and Keep California Green Inc. He also belonged to the Sonora Elks Lodge.

Mr. Lowe was born March 25, 1927, to Grace and John Lowe in Sausalito, where he spent his childhood sailing in the bay. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, while working summers in forestry and logging, and spent his childhood summers in Pinecrest at his family's cabin.

He married Sally Elizabeth Land on Jan. 21, 1956, and they raised two daughters, Elizabeth and Catherine.

He is survived by his daughters, Elizabeth Lowe Jones, of Tulsa, Okla., and Catherine Anderson and her husband, Rick, of Bozeman; and two granddaughters, Jaclyn Liebscher, of Maple Valley, Wash., and Megan Anderson, of Bozeman, Mont.

No services are planned.

Dokken-Nelson Funeral Services handled arrangements.


BLACK - Bernice Kathryn Black, 80, of Angels Camp, died Jan. 23 in San Andreas. Angels Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

BOUGHNER - Doris Boughner, 86, of Sonora, died Monday at Casa Viejos Assisted Living in Jamestown. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

GEHON - Genevieve Gehon, 93, of Sonora, died Friday at Avalon Care Center. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

PETERSON - William Peterson, 57, of Sonora, died Monday in Sonora. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

WORTHY - Martha "Jean" Worthy, 87, of Moccasin, died Friday at her home. A visitation was planned for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Heuton Memorial Chapel, 400 S. Stewart St., Sonora. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Heuton Memorial Chapel, which is handling arrangements.