Obituaries for October 9, 2003


John R. Costanzo

Oct. 26, 1942 Oct. 5, 2003

John R. Costanzo, a Sonora-area developer and property owner, died Sunday at a Santa Cruz hospital after a long illness. He was 60.

He was born in New Rochelle, N.Y. In 1949, his family moved to Capitola, where he attended Capitola Elementary School. He graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1960 and lettered in football. After high school, he attended Cabrillo Junior College and then transferred to California State University, Chico, where he earned a degree in business administration in 1967. At Chico, he was on the wrestling team and ranked among the top wrestlers in California in his weight division.

After graduation, he operated a restaurant in Aptos for several years, and later went into real estate and construction. After a decade of custom home construction, he moved into commercial design and development with a range of projects from office buildings to retirement communities in California and Oregon. He also continued with custom home development in Central California.

He owned a home in Jamestown and property on Tuolumne Road.

Mr. Costanzo was a member of the California National Guard and the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.

His family said he was an avid sportsman who loved the outdoors, having barbecues for friends and family, and just being around people. His sense of humor always brought laughs and he was always ready with a practical joke, his family added.

Mr. Costanzo is survived by his wife, Laurie; daughters, Nicole, Kristina, and Brittany; son, John Rocco Jr. of Aptos; sisters, Susan, Josephine and Dorothy; and brothers, Victor, Robert, Donald and Anthony.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Rose, in 1996 and father, Carmine, in 2002.

Visitation is scheduled for 3 p.m. today at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel, 1050 Cayuga Street in Santa Cruz. A vigil service will be held at 7 tonight at the chapel. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 515 Frederick Street in Santa Cruz.

Remembrances can be made to any favorite charity.

Benito & Azzaro Pacific Groves Chapel in Santa Cruz is handling arrangements.

Ethel (Julian) Eastlack

July 27, 1911 Oct. 5, 2003

Former longtime Tuolumne County resident Ethel (Julian) Eastlack died Sunday at a Roseville care home. She was 92.

She was born in Los Gatos and lived in Tuolumne County for many years before moving to Roseville last May.

She was a graduate of Los Gatos High School and spent her early adult years in San Francisco. She returned to Los Gatos and worked for Lockheed Missile and Space until her retirement.

She and her husband, Robie Eastlack, enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and Canada in their RV.

She was a graduate of San Jose Business College and was an active member of and held many state office positions in the Business and Professional Women in Los Gatos, Sonora and Moab, Utah, where she and her husband lived for several years before returning to Sonora.

She also was voted Woman of the Year in 1986 for the Business and Professional Women in Utah. She was a member of the Women's Circle and the Columbia Presbyterian Church of the 49ers.

She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Raymond and Evelyn Julian of Rocklin, Robert and Susan Julian of Sonora, Gary and Sue Julian of Citrus Heights and Leslie and Suzy Julian of Shelley, Idaho; daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Tom Behney of Diamondhead, Miss.; stepson and stepdaughter-in-law, Tom and Mel Eastlack of Menifee; a sister, Winifred Minor of Portland, Ore.; grandchildren and their spouses, Debbie and Roger Rowan, Christine and Tim Martin, Mari Julian, Stuart and LuAnn Julian, Brian Julian, Theresa and David Gray, Sean Julian, Kevin Julian, Craig and Jessie Julian, Lynette Stanford, Leslie Hill, Todd and Summer Behney and Ryan Behney; stepgrandchildren, Kevin Richard Eastlack and Bitsy Eastlack; 21 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, John Julian, in 1964, and by her second husband, Robie Eastlack, in 1993.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Columbia Presbyterian Church of the 49ers.

Donations can be made in her memory to the Columbia Presbyterian Church of the 49ers, 11155 Jackson St., Columbia, CA 95310.

Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

Randy J. Steffens

Aug. 19, 1955 Oct. 4, 2003

Randy J. Steffens of Twain Harte died unexpectedly Saturday at his home. He was 48.

He was born in Robbinsdale, Minn., and lived in Twain Harte for 10 years. He worked as a manager for MRL Industries in Sonora for six years.

He was a member St. Patrick's Catholic Church and enjoyed water-skiing, motorcycles and camping. He was active in Cub Scouts and was a Scout Master. He volunteered for Hospice, Tuolumne County Junior Achievement and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

His family said his life revolved around his family. They spent many vacations together boating, water skiing and camping.

Mr. Steffens is survived by his wife of 24 years, Nancy Steffens of Twain Harte; a son, Roger Steffens of Twain Harte; daughters, Elizabeth Steffens of Anaheim, Kathryn Steffens of Twain Harte and Kristy Steffens of Los Angeles; a brother, Mark Steffens of Rescue; and two sisters, Danette Hoosier of Lawndale and Carol Pasch of Carmichael.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Patrick's Catholic Church.

Donations can be made to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Tuolumne County, P.O. Box 4720, Sonora, CA 95370.

Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

Thomas Morton Needles

Aug. 9, 1935 Sept. 24, 2003

Thomas Morton Needles of Murphys died Sept. 24 at a Sacramento medical center. He was 68.

He was born in Columbus, Ohio, and lived in Murphys for four years. He worked as a machinist and tool and dye maker in the electronics industry. He also worked as a pilot and flying instructor. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean war.

Mr. Needles is survived by his wife, Dianna Needles of Murphys; daughter and son-in-law, Tammy and Cal Duncan of Florida; sons and daughter-in-law, Scott Needles of San Diego and Dennis and Lori Hannel of Murphys; and grandsons, Tyler Wilson of Texas and Derek Wilson of Florida.

A private family service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to U.C. Davis Medical Center, Health Sciences Advancement, 4900 Broadway, Suite 1150, Sacramento, CA 95820, or online at

Angels Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.


CALAFIORE John Edward Calafiore, 56, of Groveland died yesterday at a Sonora hospital. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

ORTIZ Christine Ortiz, 53, of Sonora died yesterday at a Sonora hospital. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

RINGEISEN Terry Lee Ringeisen, 51, of Sonora died yesterday at his home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

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