Union Democrat staff

Georgia Louise (Holland) Baptist

Aug. 1, 1919 -Dec. 15, 2009

Murphys native and longtime resident Georgia Louise (Holland) Baptist died Dec. 15 at a care facility in Granite Bay, Placer County. She was 90.

Mrs. Baptist was born in Murphys and worked as a bookkeeper for 15 years.

She is survived by her son, Michael L. Summers, of Murphys; and her daughter, Sharon Summers-Long, of Concord.

A donation in her name may be made to the American Cancer Society, 207 E. Alpine Ave., Stockton, CA 95204-3405.

A graveside service will be held at noon Saturday at Buena Vista Cemetery in Murphys.

Angels Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

Margaret Frances 'Markie' Leichel

Aug. 8, 1917 - Dec. 7, 2009

Sonora resident Margaret Francis "Markie" (Flynn) Leichel died Dec. 7 at her home. She was 92.

Mrs. Leichel was born in Georgetown, El Dorado County, where her father was a gold miner and grocer. She graduated from University of California, Berkeley, in 1939 with a major in history.

She worked as a secretary for Shell Chemical Co. in San Francisco and married Herman Leichel in 1947 and then was a homemaker. They settled in San Mateo and raised three daughters. The couple moved to Sonora in September 2009.

Mrs. Leichel loved gardening, camping and observing wildlife.

Mrs. Leichel was preceded in death by her parents James F. Flynn, in 1927 and Georgie V. Flynn, in 1969; brothers James L. Flynn, in 1927 and Donald M. Flynn, in 2005; and her sister, Patricia K. Flynn, in 1998.

Mrs. Leichel is survived by her husband of 62 years, Herman Leichel, of Sonora; daughters and sons-in-law Susan and Ted Maurino, of Sonora, Robin and Jagdip Powar, of Menlo Park and Debra and Edward Clinite, of Sonora; grandchildren Kimberly, Rebecca and Amy Clinite, of Sonora and Alexander, Olivia and Juliet Powar, of Menlo Park; siblings and their spouses Jean and Art Pfeil, of Santa Barbara and Jack and Irene Flynn, of Ukiah; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held in Georgetown at a later date. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Melba Marie (Gazzolo) Kerns

Nov. 27, 1915 -Dec. 12, 2009

Longtime area resident Melba Marie (Gazzolo) Kerns died Dec. 12 at her home in Tuolumne. She was 94.

Mrs. Kerns was born in Coulterville, and was part of the pioneer family that settled Coulterville and Greeley Hill during the Gold Rush.

She attended Greeley Hill Elementary School, Washington High School in Fremont and Oakland Teacher's College. She taught at the Civilian Conservation Corps camps during the Great Depression in the Yosemite area. She also taught at Long Barn, Columbia and Sonora elementary schools.

Along with her husband, Sam Kerns, they were part of the group of founders of Yosemite Title Co. Mr. and Mrs. Kerns also developed Cold Springs, Peter Pam, Mi-Wuk Village, Phoenix Lake Golf Course and several other subdivisions in Tuolumne County.

Throughout the years, Mrs. Kerns was involved in many local organizations including president of the board of trustees at Summerville Elementary School, president of the Tuolumne County Easter Seal Society and member of the Sonora Community Hospital Auxiliary.

Mrs. Kerns was preceded in death by her husband, Sam Kerns, in 1981.

She is survived by her son, Pete Kerns of Sonora; her daughter and son-in-law Pam and Martin Riley, of Pasadena; grandchildren and their spouses Jeff and Sally Kerns of Curtis Creek, Lisa and David Marquez, of Tuolumne, Tara and Jason Skinner, of Sonora and Martin Riley, of Pasadena; and great-grandchildren Casey and Kristie Kerns, of Curtis Creek, Zachary and Jordyn Marquez, of Tuolumne, and Laiken, MacKenzie, Peyton and Lucas Skinner, of Sonora.

Services are pending.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Arthur Lloyd 'Art' Sobrero

Oct. 3, 1922 -Dec. 11, 2009

Longtime Sonora resident Arthur Lloyd "Art" Sobrero died Dec. 11 at Avalon Care Center following a lengthy illness. He was 87.

Mr. Sobrero was born in Hayward and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He enjoyed horseback riding, team roping, golf, RV travel and spending time with family. He was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church and the Twain Harte Golf Club.

He lived in Sonora for 33 years and traveled by RV to El Centro to vacation for 10 years. He worked as a auto salesman and manager.

Mr. Sobrero was preceded in death by his father, Frank Sobrero, in 1961; his mother, Louise Sobrero, in 1961; brothers Ed Sobrero, in 1983 and Bill Sobrero, in 2001; and his daughter, Marcia Minner, in 1991.

Mr. Sobrero is survived by his wife of 64 years, Colleen Sobrero, of Sonora; children and their spouses Sharon and Ron Burns, of Nevada City and Shawn and Kathy Sobrero, of San Leandro; grandchildren Michael and his wife, Dani Meeker, of Pinole, Contra Costa County, Kelli Meeker, of Hercules, Contra Costa County, Megan and her husband Justin Aymond, of Aurora, Colo., Josh Minner, of San Jose and Hannah Minner, of Denver, Colo., and Clayton Sobrero and Michaela Sobrero, both of San Leandro; great-grandchildren Gibson and Calvin Meeker, of Pinole and Amelie Young-Meeker, of Hercules; his sister and brother-in-law, Francis and Frank Schirle, of Stanwood, Mich.; his brother and sister-in-law, Ron and Pat Sobrero, of Reno, Nev.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 am. Jan. 16 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Sonora.

A donation in his name may be made to Sonora Regional Home Health Care, 1000 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA 95370, or Avalon Care Center, 19929 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA 95370.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.


THEIS -Ryan Michael Theis, 24, of Arnold, died Dec. 9 at his home. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Dec. 22 at Angels Memorial Chapel. Burial will be at St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Murphys. Angels Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

SPAHN - George Spahn, 85, of Sonora, died Tuesday at his home. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.