Terry J. Hoff

March 20, 1950 Aug. 3, 2004

Longtime Columbia College dance instructor Terry J. Hoff died Tuesday at her Twain Harte home after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She was 54.

She was born in Oakland. She lived in Sonora for 19 years and 11 years ago moved to Twain Harte.

She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in English. She had a master's degree in modern dance from Mills College in Oakland. She moved to Sonora 30 years ago to join the faculty at Columbia College. She was the first woman instructor in the physical education department and started in 1974 at age 24.

She had also been an instructor for dance, volleyball, creative tumbling, gymnastics, trampoline and swimming for San Francisco State University, Mills College, San Rafael Recreation Department and YMCA. She also worked as a conditioning therapist and as coach for the U.S. Gymnastic Federation Team at San Rafael. Her training included ballet, acrobatics, jazz, competitive gymnastics and modern dance.

She also choreographed and performed for Sierra Repertory Theatre, which started in 1980. She choreographed a handful of SRT plays in the mid-80s, said Sara Jones, the theater's managing director.

In August 1988, she returned from a one-year sabbatical during which she studied at the Laban Center for Dance Movement in London.

While in London, she danced four hours a day, studied choreography and dance appreciation and critiqued performances, all experiences that added to her teaching abilities when she return to Columbia Collge.

"I can't think of a faculty member I get more compliments on than Terry Hoff," Columbia College President Dr. Jim Riggs said in a previous story.

She also choreographed for Columbia Actors Repertory, which was affiliated with the college at one time.

"Terry Hoff was a longtime and highly valued faculty member of the college who made significant contributions to the school as an educator and an artist," Riggs said. "She will be sorely missed by everyone here as well as by her former students."

Her family said she ignited the flame of creativity in thousands of students lifting their self-confidence, expanding their understanding and tolerance, and inspiring them to learn and think for themselves.

She shared with the community a myriad of dance productions that inspired, entertained, educated and often challenged the community to "consider" and hopefully grow, family members added.

She is survived by her husband, Ty Smith, whom she met while both worked on an SRT production in 1991; her mother, Betty Hoff of Portland, Ore.; sister, Nikki Hoff, and close family friend, Jerry Van Horton, both of Portland; extended family, Laurel Grindy, Paul Nixon, Karen Yacovetti and their families, all of Sonora, Adele and Martin Howard of Seche Boue, France, Michael Olson and Susan Bard and their family of Portland; numerous colleagues at Columbia College; and many other close friends and family. Her family also noted her cats, Molly and Sylvie.

She was preceded in death by her father, Edward Hoff.

No services are scheduled.

Donations in her memory can be made to the Joe Goode Performance Group, 1007 General Kennedy Avenue, Suite 209, San Francisco, CA 94129.

Heuton Memorial Chapel handled arrangements.

Terri Rochele Melone

Jan. 29, 1957 - July 25, 2004

Terri Rochele Melone of Copperopolis died July 25 at her home of cardiomyopathy. She was 47.

She was born in Castro Valley, Alameda County, and attended Bay Area elementary schools and graduated from Mt. Eden High School in Hayward. She moved to Copperopolis in 1987. She had a variety of interests and talents, her family said. She owned beauty salons in Walnut Creek and Copperopolis, was general manager of Melone's Poker Flats Resort and owned Terri's Deli in Copperopolis. She became a mentor and spokesperson for Jenny Craig and traveled all over the country giving lectures and appearing on national television shows.

Her family said she was an accomplished cook and appeared on national television cooking shows and her recipes were published in Woman's World Magazine. Her specialty was Italian cuisine.

She was caring, supportive, loved to help people, was a true friend, and was a continuing source of strength and inspiration, her family said.

Her family said she was a nurturing mother to her son, Victor, and often traveled with him to BMX races.

She is survived by her mother, Margie R. Melone of Copperopolis; her son, Victor Anthony Melone of Copperopolis; her aunt, Pat Rothschiller of Livermore; uncles and aunts, Eugene and Virginia Haze of Porterville, Tulare County, and William and Rosemary Haze of Lodi; childhood friends Mary Medlin of Williamsburg, Va., and Jackie Smith of Hayward; special friends, Cathy Acosta and Pam Johnson, both of Copperopolis; and numerous cousins.

She was preceded in death by her father, Victor P. Melone; and her brother, Victor P. Melone Jr.

Private services were held on July 29. Burial was at Chapel of the Chimes Memorial Park in Hayward. A celebration of her life will be held.

Machado's Hillside Chapel in Hayward is handling arrangements.


Alex Sokyrka

Dec. 8, 1931 - July 21, 2004

Richard Alex Sokyrka of Sonora died July 21 at a Sonora hospital. He was 72.

He was born in Michigan and lived in Sonora for five years. He graduated from Michigan State University and worked as a math teacher in Detroit for many years. He worked as a civil engineer for Riverside County for five years. He was a member and elder of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.

His family said he liked fishing, the outdoors and he loved his family.

Mr. Sokyrka is survived by his wife of 50 years, Marilynn Sokyrka of Oceano, San Luis Obispo County; sons, Stevan Sokyrka of Pismo Beach and Dan Sokyrka of Twain Harte; daughters, Debra Lane of Tuolumne and Becky Zumwalt of Sonora; and grandchildren, Devon and Desiree Sokyrka, both of Twain Harte, Derek Acevedo of Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo County, Chelsea Sokyrka of San Diego, Mikayla Sokyrka of Pismo Beach and Celeste Jale.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 28, in Arroyo Grande.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.


ANDERSON Josiah David Anderson, 20, of Sonora died yesterday at a Jamestown home. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

GOLMON Marie Golmon, 95, of Sonora died yesterday at a Sonora care home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

HITCHCOCK Wallace "Bud" Edgar Hitchcock, 82, of Valley Springs died Thursday at a San Andreas hospital. A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow at San Andreas Memorial Chapel. A private family burial is scheduled at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno. San Andreas Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

VANOVER Rosalie Ann Vanover, 59, of Sonora died yesterday at her home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.