Preston Shires

Sept. 5, 1927 - Sept. 16, 2004

Longtime Arnold resident Rayburn Preston Shires died Thursday in Avery. He was 77.

A native of Carthage, Texas, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

He lived in Arnold for 42 years and owned and operated Ray Shires Excavating Company in Arnold for 32 years.

He was a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose in Arnold, charter member and on the first board of directors of the Angels Murphys Arnold (AMA) Boosters Club and a charter member of the Lakemont Pines Homeowners Association. He helped design and build the Courtwright Emerson Ballpark in White Pines.

Mr. Shires was preceded in death by his wife, Patty Shires, in 2000 and by a son, Dennis Shires, in 1970.

He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Barry and Barbara Shires of Arnold; his daughter, Sue Ann Beeck of Tehachapi; brothers, Hubert and Wendall Shires, both of Carthage, Texas; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2-6 p.m. Thursday at Angels Memorial Chapel, and a memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Courtwright Emerson Ballpark in White Pines.

Burial will be at Buena Vista Cemetery in Murphys.

Donations can be made in his memory to the Courtwright Emerson Ballpark Committee, P.O. Box 151, Avery, CA 95224. John

Taliaferro Milton

Nov. 27, 1910 - Sept. 17, 2004

John Taliaferro Milton died Friday at a Sonora Hospital. He was 93.

Mr. Milton lived in Sonora for almost eight years and was a member of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church.

He was born in Chicago, and later his parents moved to Winnetka, Ill., where he attended grammar school and graduated from New Trier High School, where he participated in baseball, basketball, soccer and swimming. He once had a tryout with the Chicago Cubs.

After his high school graduation, his parents enrolled him in Virginia Military Institute (VMI). After two years there, he enrolled in Chicago University and later in a business college.

As a young man, he got a job with A.C. Nielson Co., a marketing and research company that took him on the road for four years covering most of the United States. He later took an advertising job for the Chicago Bridge and Iron Co.

During World War II, he worked for Visking Corporation for 10 years and was editor of that company's magazine.

His first job in California was director of advertising, promotion and public relations at Stonestown shopping center in San Francisco. He held similar positions throughout Northern California and was a founding member of the Northern California Promotion Managers Association. He was on the board of directors and served as president and vice president. In 1978, he was named honorary lifetime member.

He had been president of the West of Twin Peaks Lions Club in San Francisco from 1963 to 1965 and a member of the Santa Rosa Lions Club from 1965 to 1969.

After his retirement at age 69, he became active in the Mountain Shadows Mobile Home Park in San Jose where he and his wife lived for 25 years.

He was president of the Golden State Mobilehome Owners League for four years, helped initiate the San Jose Rent Arbitration Ordinance as co-chairman of the San Jose Citizens for Rent Relief. He was vice president of the park association, master of ceremonies for Christmas parties and editor of the park's monthly magazine for six years.

He also wrote poetry as a hobby. He entered a "World of Poetry" contest in seven divisions and won seven awards of merit certificates. He won the Golden Poet Award, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a poet by the board of directors of "The World of Poetry."

Mr. Milton is survived by his wife of 38 years, Irene Milton of Sonora; step-grandsons, Levi Friedli of Stockton and Ronald J. Friedli of Spokane, Wash.; a son, John Milton of Saratoga; grandsons, Christopher and Joshua Milton of Saratoga; a brother, David Milton of Ashland, Ore.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Meredith Milton; a stepson, Ronald L. Friedli; and two sisters, Isobel Carney and Meredith Sheehan.

A celebration of life will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Memorial donations can be made to the Alzheimers Association, 1919 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1000, Chicago, IL 60611.

Melania 'Mely' Aro Schacht

Nov. 12, 1929 - Sept. 16, 2004

Melania "Mely" Aro Schacht, also called "Lola" (Grandma) by her family, died Sept. 16 at a San Andreas convalescent hospital. She was 74.

Born in the Philippine Islands, she moved to America with her two children, Minda and Danilo, in 1953 and became a U.S. citizen in 1999.

She lived in Angels Camp for 17 years before moving to San Andreas six months ago and was a past member of the Jumping Frog Seniors.

She is survived by her children, Minda Filson of Angels Camp, Danilo Schacht of Antioch, Gina Schacht of Australia and Quito Schacht of Dublin, Alameda County; grandchildren, April and Kathy Dunham-Filson of Turlock, Charlene Filson of Modesto, Betsy Filson of San Luis Obispo, Michele McPherson of Pleasanton; U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Anthony Schacht of San Diego, and Stephanie Schacht and Nicole Bellinger, both of Sonora; a great-grandchild, Nevaeh Bellinger of Sonora; a brother, Julian Aro of Mississauga, Canada; and many nieces and nephews in the Philippines, United States and Canada.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jorge and Simeona Aro; sisters, Isabelle Villafuerte, Valentina and Juliana; a brother, Santiago; a son, Mark Schacht, and a granddaughter, Melanie Filson.

A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Angels Memorial Chapel, beginning with rosary.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association, 1710 Gilbreth Road, Burlingame, CA 94010; Mark Twain Convalescent Home Activities Fund, 900 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas, CA 95249; or the Jumping Frog Seniors by calling Minda Schacht at 785-2296.


Lee Hantgin

Sept. 15, 1943 - Sept. 16, 2004

Richard Lee Hantgin of Columbia died Sept. 16 at a Modesto hospital. He was 61.

A native of Ventura, Mr. Hantgin had lived in Columbia since 1999. He was a self-employed graphic artist for 40 years. He was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Sonora and a volunteer for the Tuolumne County Health De-partment's HIV Planning Group and the Leland House.

He is survived by his companion and caregiver, Kevin Harding of Columbia; his mother and stepfather, Barbara T. and Thomas Hogard of Grants Pass, Ore.; one brother, James R. Hantgin of Pomona, Los Angeles County; and three stepsisters, Marilyn Hill of Grand Junction, Colo., Janet Sheehan of Cal-Nev-Ari, Nev., and Patti Evans of Truckee.

He was preceded in death by his father, George P. Hantgin.

A memorial celebration of life will be held at the Harding-Hantgin house in Columbia. Salas Brothers Funeral Chapel in Modesto is handling arrangements.

Remembrances can be made to the American Cancer Society, 1604 Ford Ave., Suite 8, Modesto, CA 95350.


S. Moore

Jan. 4, 1952 - Sept. 18, 2004

Douglas S. Moore of Sonora died Sept. 18 at a Sonora hospital. He was 52.

Mr. Moore was a self-employed roofer for 16 years. He had lived in Sonora for 11 years.

He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, was assistant sergeant of arms for District 8 of the Loyal Order of Moose in Sonora, and was a member of E Clampus Vitus and Eastbelt Tuolumne Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons.

He also was active in 4-H and helped the youth club with its haunted house at The Junction shopping center each year.

His hobbies included fishing, painting and drawing, playing guitar, participating in Civil War re-enactments and acting in documentary films.

He is survived by his wife, Debra Moore of Sonora; a daughter, Jennifer Rawls of Jamestown; a stepson, Paul Stanton of Sonora; a brother, Gerald Moore of Sacramento; a sister, Ann Hawk of Sheridan, Wyo.; and three grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Sonora Moose Lodge, 20921 Longeway Road, Sonora.

Heuton Memorial Chapel handled arrangements.

Memorial donations can be sent to the Loyal Order of Moose Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 86, Soulsbyville, CA 95372.



Dec. 23, 1931 - Sept. 17, 2004

Former Tuolumne County resident Thelma Holderman died Friday at her home in Missoula, Mont. She was 71.

A native of Cold Springs, Okla., she left school in the ninth grade to take care of her nephew while her sister worked.

She later moved to Vernon, Texas, where she met and married her husband, John Holderman.

In 1955, they moved with their two children, Susan and Jeff, to the former town of Jacksonville, which is now under the waters of Don Pedro Reservoir.

In the next three years, she had two more children, Karen and Mark. She and the children have lived in Jamestown, Columbia, Sonora and Soulsbyville.

She and her husband were divorced in 1973. She lived in Tuolumne County for 18 more years, during which time she worked at Nelson's Candy Kitchen in Sonora and earned her general equivalency diploma before moving to Montana in the early 1990s.

Her interests included knitting, crocheting and cooking, her family said.

Mrs. Holderman is survived by a daughter, Susan Beron of Missoula, Mont.; a son and daughter, Jeff and Karen Holderman of Soulsbyville; a son, John Mark Holderman of Murphy, Texas; a granddaughter, Melanie Suda Holderman of Izmir, Turkey; a sister and brother-in-law in Minnesota, a sister in Arizona, a brother and sister-in-law in Virginia, a brother and sister-in-law in Modesto, two sisters-in-law in Jamestown and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral service was to be held in Montana.

Elmer Virgil Young Jr.

Jan. 13, 1943 - Sept. 17, 2004

Former Altaville resident Elmer Virgil Young Jr. died Friday at his home in Vallecito. He was 61.

Mr. Young was a mix chemist for Calaveras Cement Company in San Andreas for 19 years and a glass worker at Pilkington North American in Lathrop for 19 years.

A native of Stockton, Mr. Young served in the U.S. Army from 1961-63. He was a member of the Ophir Bear Mountain Masonic Lodge 33, the Angels Murphys Arnold Boosters Club and Bret Harte Quarterback Club.

He is survived by his wife, Valerie Young of Vallecito; sons, Jeffery Young of Valley Springs and Danny Young of Modesto; a daughter, Yvonne Welsh of Angels Camp; a brother, Danny Young of Stockton; his father, Elmer Young Sr. of Grass Valley; his mother, Lois Young of Altaville; and five grandchildren.

A funeral has been held, and entombment was at the Altaville Catholic Mausoleum. Angels Memorial Chapel handled arrangements.

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