Union Democrat staff

Helen Kelly

Nov. 14, 1918 - July 23, 2009

Former Tuolumne County resident Helen (Bailor) Kelly died July 23 in a Tracy retirement home. She was 90.

Born in Hamburg, Iowa, Mrs. Kelly and her husband, the late Air Force Col. Mike Kelly, lived in Tuolumne County for 25 years. She moved to Tracy to be near family after he died two years ago.

She had previously lived in Tracy for 60 years. She was a waitress at the Tracy Inn for 30 years, then became owner of the B&E Club on 11th Street for 10 years.

In her younger years, she traveled to Europe, Hawaii and Washington, D.C.

In addition to Col. Kelly, she was preceded in death by another husband, George "Bud" Steinmetz, and her son, Charles Steinmetz.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, JoAnn and Harold Wubben, of Tracy; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Aug. 4 at Fry Memorial Chapel in Tracy. Burial will be private.

Beverly Thomas

Dec. 10, 1920 - July 17, 2009

Longtime Tuolumne County resident Beverly (Burke) Thomas died July 17 at a San Andreas care facility. She was 88.

Mrs. Thomas was born in Hollywood and lived in Sonora for 70 years. She graduated from Fillmore High School in Fillmore, Ventura County, in 1938 and studied art at a Sacramento junior college. She worked as a bookkeeper for 50 years for Knudsen Dairy and Thomas Body Shop.

She was a member of the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Mother Lode Art Association and Tuolumne County Fair Board.

Mrs. Thomas was preceded in death by her son, Peter Oberwager, in 1994; sisters Doris Drummond, Patricia Jordan, Marion Beresford and Barbara Nadotti; and her brother, William Burke.

She is survived her husband, Lloyd Thomas, of Sonora; her son, David Oberwager, of Sonora; her stepson, Lee Thomas, of Hayward; her stepdaughter, Lorita Thomas, of Sonora; her sister, Connie Sundborg, of Sonora; granddaughters Cindy Young, of Sonora, and Carol Spencer, of West Point, N.Y.; her grandson, John Oberwager, of Sonora; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Heuton Memorial Chapel, who is handling arrangements.

Mary Lou Holman

Oct. 19, 1934 - July 24, 2009

Longtime Tuolumne County resident Mary Lou (Risoen) Holman died July 24 at a Sonora hospital after a short illness. She was 74.

Mrs. Holman was born to Pete and Daisy Risoen in Wayzata, Minn., the sixth of seven children. Her family moved to Hickman, Stanislaus County, in 1947 when she was 12. They lived in the Foster Farms ranch house and her father worked for the Foster family. She attended Hickman Elementary School and graduated from Hughson High School in 1953. She also attended Modesto Junior College.

Mrs. Holman met her husband, George Holman in 1955. They married June 7, 1957, in Carson City, Nev. The couple traveled for two years while Mr. Holman was in the U.S. Army before settling in Richmond, Contra Costa County.

Together they had four children, Kathy, Tom, Lisa and Pete, plus Ron Holman, George's son from a previous marriage.

In the early 1960s, Mrs. Holman worked at the Lawrence Livermore Lab in Livermore. In the summer of 1967, they moved their family to Columbia and the children attended Columbia Elementary where Mrs. Holman volunteered. She became a paid teacher's aide in 1973 and retired in 1996.

Mrs. Holman was a Brownie, Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader in Columbia and was also involved with the PTA and 4-H. She and her husband traveled extensively through their marriage.

Mrs. Holman also enjoyed taking vacations with good friends and family, reading and painting, especially Indian decorated pots. According to her family, she loved long conversations about history, world events, nature and sports. She had family gatherings once a month.

Mrs. Holman is survived by her husband of 52 years, George Holman, of Sonora; children and their spouses Kathy and Ray Holm, of Jamestown, Lisa and Martin Hedges, of Sonora, and Pete Holman, of Susanville; grandchildren Reyann and her husband Josh Hegel, of San Luis Obispo, Seth and his wife Melissa Holm, of Sonora, Sarah King, of Sonora, Michelle (West) and her husband Kris Keezer, of Sonora, Ryan West and fiancee Courtney Souza, of San Luis Obispo, Jessica and K.C. Hedges, of Sonora, Ashley, Bobbie Jo and Tanner Holm, of Modesto, and Sabrina, Sherri and Ronnie Holman, of Oakdale; seven great-grandchildren; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; and siblings Bobie Keena, Jack Risoen, Jo Ann Siebecke, and Dee King.

Mrs. Holman was preceded in death by sons Tom and Ron Holman, both in 1999; and brothers Milt Risoen and Ray Risoen.

In lieu of flowers, a donation in her name may be made to the Tom Holman Memorial Scholarship, 10560 Mount Brow Road, Sonora, CA 95370.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Church of the 49ers in Columbia. A private family burial will be held at Mountain Shadow Cemetery in Sonora. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Daniel Edward Cooper

July 14, 1944 - July 24, 2009

Daniel Edward Cooper, a lifelong resident of Vallecito, died July 24 at a San Andreas hospital. He was 65.

Mr. Cooper was a self-employed diesel mechanic for 30 years, a member of the Angels Gun Club and a longtime member of the Vallecito Volunteer Fire Department, where he was the first president of the Volunteer Fire Company.

He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Patricia Cooper, of Vallecito; a stepson, Steve Mars, of Twin Falls, Idaho; brothers, Frank Cooper, of Salt Springs Valley, Verle Cooper, of Manteca, and Earl Cooper of Angels Camp; sisters, Jeraldine Mills of Salt Springs Valley, and Judith Magruder, of Thousand Oaks in Ventura County; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

No service will be held at his request. Inurnment will be private at Vallecito Cemetery. Angels Memorial Chapel handled arrangements.


SMITH - Margie Smith, 97, of Sonora, died July 19 at a Sonora care home. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 3 at Heuton Memorial Chapel, which is handling arrangements.

PORCARI - Gary Porcari, 53, of Grove-land, died Tuesday at a Sonora hospital. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

LEWIS - William R. "Bill" Lewis, 58, of Jamestown, died July 23 at his home. Burial was scheduled at 1 p.m. today at the Fort Jones Cemetery in Fort Jones, Siskiyou County. A celebration of his life will follow at the Greenview Grange Hall in Greenview. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.