Russell Marvin Harrison

Feb. 25, 1916 Oct. 24, 2003

Longtime Tuolumne County resident Russell Marvin Harrison died Friday at a Sonora care home. He was 87.

He was born in Manton, Mich. He taught in Michigan primary schools for several years before entering Western Michigan University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1945. He earned his master's degree in music education from the University of Michigan and a doctoral degree in music education from University of Oregon.

He taught choral music at Eugene High School in Eugene, Ore., before joining the San Jose State faculty in 1957. He was a music education professor at San Jose State University from 1957-81. At San Jose State, he supervised many of the music teachers in schools throughout California and the West. He retired as a full professor in 1981.

He conducted choral groups and choirs in numerous churches and schools in Oregon and California. He was a charter member of the National Music Educators Conference. After he retired, he played the french horn with the Symphony of the Sierra and sang with the Columbia College Community Chorus. He organized the Sonora Hills Chorus and directed it for five years.

His first retirement project was to design and build an experimental passive solar home in Tuolumne. He and his wife occupied that home until they moved to Sonora in 1991.

Mr. Harrison is survived by his wife of 22 years, Beverley Harrison; two sons and daughters-in-law, Scott and Chiyoko Harrison of Pleasanton and Robert and Betty Harrison of Boise, Idaho; a sister, Gertrude Johnson of Manton, Mich.; stepchildren and their spouses, Missy and John Hutchman of Sonora, David and Susan Payne of Lodi, Barbara and Jack Baker of Ripon, J. Randall and Nancy Payne of Modesto and Leslie and Alan Oksen of Oakdale; 14 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by three brothers, Alvah, Ivan and Everett Harrison.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Sonora Hills Clubhouse, 19601 Greenley Road in Sonora.

Donations can be made in care of Beverley Harrison for the Dr. Russell Harrison Memorial Scholarship Fund, 19560 River Birch No. 5, Sonora, CA 95370. The scholarship fund is designed to further the music education of talented youth of Summerville High School entering the teaching profession.

The Neptune Society of Central California is handling arrangements.

Arthur R. Connick

April 8, 1920 Oct. 22, 2003

Arthur R. Connick of Groveland died Wednesday at his home. He was 83.

He was born in Vallejo and had lived in Pine Mountain Lake since 1985. He retired as a metal fabricator production foreman in 1985. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was a member of Pine Mountain Lake Men's Golf Club and the Sonora Elks Lodge.

Mr. Connick is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marie Connick; sons, Barry Connick of Penn Valley and Ronald Connick of Pine Mountain Lake; a daughter, Maureen Myers of San Ramon; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life is scheduled for noon Saturday, Nov. 8, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Big Oak Flat.

The Neptune Society of Northern California in Stockton is handling arrangements.

Irma 'Gene' Neilsen

Jan. 11, 1922 Oct. 23, 2003

Longtime Sonora resident Irma "Gene" Neilsen died Thursday at her home. She was 81.

She was born in Warroad, Minn., and lived in Sonora for 39 years. She worked as a licensed vocational nurse for Tuolumne General Hospital for more than 15 years. She was a Girl Scout leader for more than 10 years.

Her family said she loved gardening and traveling, hummingbirds, roses and music boxes.

She is survived by her daughters, Dianne Bosque of Twain Harte and Joni Dean of Sonora; sisters, Maudie Eggenwieler of Lancaster and Phyllis Williams of Santa Cruz; four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and seven nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond, in 1983.

A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday at Heuton Memorial Chapel.

Donations can be made to the Visiting Nurse Association, Hospice of the Sierra, P.O. Box 4805, Sonora, CA 95370.

Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

Mildred 'Sissy' Serpa

Nov. 23, 1930 Oct. 21, 2003

Mildred "Sissy" Serpa of Twain Harte died Oct. 21 at her home. She was 72.

She was born in San Francisco and lived in Twain Harte for nine years. She worked as a self-employed nutrition consultant for 25 years.

She attended All Saints Catholic Church in Twain Harte and was a member of the Rosicrucian Order.

She is survived by her husband, John Serpa Jr. of Twain Harte; sons, Anthony Serpa of Sonora and Lawrence Serpa of Hayward; a daughter, Diane Serpa of Hayward; a brother, Joseph Chancey of Grants Pass, Ore.; a grandson; and five nieces and nephews.

A memorial service is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday at All Saints Catholic Church in Twain Harte.

Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.


BURNES Robert Burnes, 57, of Columbia died yesterday at his home. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

KATON Joseph Katon, 61, of Sonora died yesterday at his home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.