Union Democrat staff


Walter Abbott

July 2, 1953 - Sept. 30, 2011

Sonora resident George Walter Abbott, 58, died of liver cancer Sept. 30 at his home.

Born in St. Paul, Minn., he was the son of a railroad engineer. He attended schools in Minnesota and Montana. After graduating from high school in 1971, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Over the next 20 years, he became an aviation electronics technician, earned his Air Warfare Specialist wings, and served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters in several fighter squadrons.

He served aboard many aircraft carriers, including the Eisenhower, Forrestal, Kennedy and the final cruise of the Ranger, in Desert Storm and other combat zones.

He met his wife, Nancy, while in port at Nassau, the Bahamas, in 1985, and married in Virginia Beach, Va., in 1986. He was later stationed with VF-1 fighter squadron at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego. There he worked at Fighter Town, which was used as a set for the 1986 movie, "Top Gun."

He was then sent to Avionics Calibration School at North Island Naval Air Station, also in the San Diego area, where he was assigned to run its calibration lab, then attended instructor's school. He later taught and co-directed the calibration school.

During this time, he earned his bachelor of science degree in aviation management from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He also held airframe and powerplant mechanic and private pilot's licenses from the Federal Aviation Administration, and was an Environmental Protection Agency-certified refrigerant technician.

After retiring from the Navy in 1995, as a chief petty officer, he worked seven years for IBM and Compaq Computer Corp. in the Silicon Valley as an electronics manager.

In 2002, Mr. Abbott and his family moved to Pine Mountain Lake, where he worked for several years as a substitute and independent study teacher for Groveland schools, and as a handyman, running his own home maintenance business. In 2005, he and family moved to Sonora.

Mr. Abbott worked as plant maintenance supervisor for Diestel Family Turkey Ranch since 2007.

Mr. Abbott was a member of Pine Mountain Lake Aviation Association, a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, and an active member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 391 Motorcycle Riders. An avid Harley-Davidson enthusiast, he was also an ardent Sonora High School football fan. He enjoyed golfing, boating and swimming at Pine Mountain Lake.

He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Nancy, his son, Josh, and his daughter, Justine, all of Sonora; his mother-in-law, Phyllis Morad of Groveland; his brother, Lee Abbott of Moorhead, Minn.; three sisters and brothers-in-law, Annette and Ken Glidden of Bemidji, Minn.; Kathy and Jeff Wettstein, of Moorhead, Minn., and Rita and Ron Krog, of Fergus Falls, Minn.; and numerous nieces and nephews, and grand-nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Patricia Abbott of Moorhead, Minn.

A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home, 225 Rose St., Sonora. A graveside service with military honors will immediately follow at Dambacher Mountain Memorial Cemetery.

Donations can be made to www.liver.org.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Lynnette 'Penny' Mavis Latham

Oct. 8, 1935 - Sept. 20, 2011

Angels Camp resident Lynnette "Penny" Mavis Latham died Sept. 20 at her home from ovarian cancer. She was 75.

Born in North Carolina to John and Nezzie Cheek, she married Willard "Larry" Latham in Edgefield, N.C., in 1952. The couple moved to Fremont, where they started their family.

She was an activity coordinator for Hillside Convalescent Hospital in Fremont for 38 years.

She and her husband moved to Angels Camp in 2007.

She enjoyed playing the slot machines at Black Oak Casino and Jackson Rancheria.

Mrs. Latham is survived by her husband of 59 years, Willard "Larry" Latham, of Angels Camp; daughters, Cindy Burke, of Washington, and Gina Gonzales, of Angels Camp; granddaughters, Heather Burke, of Washington, Kolean Burke, of Tracy, and Cheyanne Gonzales, of Angels Camp; and brothers, Carlton, Milton and Roger Cheek, all of Georgia.

A celebration of life is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Centerville Community Center, 3355 Country Drive, Fremont.

Donations can be made to the Amador/Calaveras Hospice, P.O. Box 595, Jackson, CA 95642.

San Andreas Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.


Pauline Colson

Dec. 22, 1950 - Sept. 2, 2011

Former Sonora resident Shelley Pauline Colson died Sept. 2 at her sister's home in Redding. She was 60.

Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, she and her family later moved to Sunnyvale where she grew up.

While attending high school and after graduating she worked for Bank of America, where she worked for more than 20 years.

In 1987 she moved to Sonora, where she worked as a clerk at the Chip's Chevron in Jamestown for about 10 years.

She is survived by her mother, Florence Dilmore, of Redding; children, Heath and wife Tina Welling, and Nick Welling, all of Sunnyvale; stepson, Cadence Allen, of Jamestown; grandchildren, Sabrina, Anthony, and Sonnie Welling, all of Sunnyvale; and sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Gary Neil, of Redding.

A memorial service is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Willow Springs Clubhouse, 20508 Willow Springs Drive, Soulsbyville.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Phyllis Joleen Marinovich

June 4, 1930 - Sept. 22, 2011

Sonora resident Phyllis Joleen Marinovich died Sept. 22 at Mercy Medical Center in Merced. She was 81.

Born in Corralitos to Hugh and Lucielle Gray, she attended Watsonville High School and earned her dental assisting degree in San Francisco. While living in Sonora she earned her associate's degree from Columbia College, where she graduated with honors.

She met Peter W. Marinovich on a camping trip in Arroyo Seco in 1948 and the couple married in November 1951.

In 1958, the couple moved to Tuolumne County after he husband accepted a school psychologist at Sonora High School,

In addition to raising six children, she worked as a teacher's aide at Curtis Creek Elementary School.

After her husband retired in 1988, she helped him establish and operate Marinovich Counseling.

Up until the week before her death she was an active volunteer at the Sonora Regional Medical Center.

She enjoyed reading, bird watching and flowers. She also took numerous trips to the Emigrant Basin, Oregon Coast, Minden and June Lake.

Mrs. Marinovich is survived by her husband of almost 60 years, Peter Marinovich, of Sonora; children and their spouses, Pete and Carolyn Marinovich, Michelle Wilson, all of Sonora, Paul and Betty Marinovich, of Riverbank, Jill and Randy Willis, of Tuolumne, Mitch Marinovich, of Jamestown, and his fiance Ann Bartlett, of Modesto, and Matt and Jocelynn Marinovich, of Columbia; children, Kari Marinovich and Kathy Carrigan, both of San Jose, Christina and Robert Carrigan, and Anthony Wilson, all of Sonora, Joleen, Kile, Dane, Ruby and Silas Willis, all of Tuolumne, Jason Hunt, of Colorado, Marie Marinovich, of Jamestown, and Sadie, Saxon and Gus Marinovich, all of Columbia; sisters and their husbands, Patricia and Ernest Swinn, of Glide, Ore., Gloria McNally, of Citrus Heights, and Billy and Brenda Marinovich, of Watsonville; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A service is scheduled for a later date.

Donations can be made to Interfaith Community Social Services, P.O. Box 5070, Sonora, CA 95370, or a charity of choice.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.


Irving Daniels

June 30, 1922 - Sept. 28, 2011

Sonora resident Douglas Irving Daniels died Sept. 28 at Sonora Regional Medical Center. He was 89.

Born in Massachusetts to Francis Newell Daniels and Elva Marion Pratt, he grew up on the family's dairy farm, which is still owned by the Daniels family and is now a Christmas tree farm.

He built homes in Massachusetts, California and Hawaii, and was also employed as a lead mechanic for United Airlines at the San Francisco International Airport for nearly 30 years.

He and his wife Dorothy moved to Sonora in 1982, where he was active in politics.

He enjoyed traveling with his wife, giving to charities, helping others, dancing, singing and gardening.

Mr. Daniels is survived by his children and their spouses, Sarah Elaine and Bruce Gower, and Lisa Daniels, all of Belmont, and Scott and Corrinne Daniels, of Foxborough, Mass.; stepchildren and their spouses, Jeanice and Brian McNamara, Kate McLennan, Tom and Madge McLennan, and Barbara Van Valkenburg, all of Sacramento; grandchildren and their spouses; Chelsey Daniels, of Wrentham, Mass., Shawna and Alex Flinkstrom, of Rhode Island, and Leah and Peter Daigle, of Germany; step-grandchildren, Amy Gaines, Matt, Jeb and Tabitha McNamara, Erik and Megan Overholt, Emily and Katie McLennan, Jesse Van Valkenburg, and Brianna Sundz, all of California.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Daniels; and siblings, Norman, Paul, Pete and Caruth Daniels, and Evelyn Grigsby.

A service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Sonora United Methodist Church.

A celebration of life will be held in Massachusetts at a later date, where he will be buried.

Donations can be made to the American Heart Association, 1710 Gilbreth Road, Burlingame, CA 94010, American Cancer Society, 1604 Ford Ave., Suite 8, Modesto, CA 95350, or a charity of choice.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.


LONGMORE - Albert Longmore, 81, of Groveland, died Saturday at his home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

KELLER - Betty Keller, 87, formerly of Coulterville, died Monday at Sonora Regional Medical Center. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

PECCI - Clara Pecci, 91, of Burlingame, died Saturday at his daughter's home in Sonora. Terzich and Wilson is handling arrangements.