Union Democrat staff

Sheila Ann


Dec. 10, 1940 - Dec. 26, 2011

Sonora resident Sheila Ann Davenport died Monday at Sonora Regional Medical Center. She was 71.

Born in Madera to Milton and Coetia Hutcheson, she worked for Black Oak Casino for a number of years before retiring.

She lived in Sonora for 46 years.

She enjoyed traveling and playing cards and games.

Mrs. Davenport is survived by her husband of 53 years, Jack L. Davenport Sr., of Sonora; children, Jack "Toby" L. Davenport Jr., of Houston, Texas, and Teresa "Terry" A. Bryan, of Sonora; grandchildren, Ryan H. Davenport, and Lacey and Alissa Bryan, all of Sonora; siblings, Phyllis and husband John Mynear, of Klamath Falls, Ore., and Thomas Hutcheson, of Merced; and one great-grandson.

A service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Robert P.

'Bob' Vonich

May 20, 1957 - Dec. 15, 2011

Sonora native Robert P. "Bob" Vonich died at his Columbia home on Dec. 15. He was 54.

Born in Sonora, Mr. Vonich served in the U.S. Army's Berlin Brigade in Germany. He was a member of the Laborers Union Local 1130 in Modesto and worked at the Vonich family sawmill in Standard.

His interests included listening to Beatles music and collecting their memorabilia, dancing, concerts, working in his yard, reading the Bible, road trips, watching vintage television programs and veterans' activities.

He is survived by his spouse of 34 years, Sharon Vonich, of Columbia; two children and their spouses, Phil and Jennifer Vonich, of Sonora, and Desire and Gary Elsholz, of California; five grandsons, Austin Vonich and Hayden Vonich, of Sonora, Levi Wheeler Jr. and Warren Wheeler, of California, and Robert Elsholz, of California; one brother, Nick Vonich, of Columbia; his stepfather, Jeff Timm, of Sonora; 17 nieces and nephews; 23 great-nephews and great-nieces; two great-great-nieces and nephews; and numerous other relatives including aunts, uncles and cousins.

Mr. Vonich was preceded in death by his father, Loren Vonich; his mother, Mary Vonich Timm; and his grandparents, Pete and Violet Vonich and Lee and Ethel Price.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at the Jamestown Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Donations may be made to the Veterans Services Department, 105 Hospital Road, Sonora, CA.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Dolores DeVere Nicolini

Nov. 17, 1930 - Dec. 25, 2011

Longtime Chinese Camp resident Dolores DeVere Nicolini died Sunday at Sonora Regional Medical Center. She was 81.

Born in Stockton to Klamath "Dick" and Hazel Yescas, she studied veterinary medicine in college and was a ballerina in the Stockton Symphony Ballet.

She moved to Chinese Camp in 1957 with her husband John Nicolini, where the couple raised their two children and he served as Tuolumne County's tax collector for 16 years.

After moving to Chinese Camp, she began finding artifacts from the Chinese Camp Gold Rush while working in her garden, which sparked her interest in the town's history and prompted her to become the town's unofficial historian.

She wrote articles for Chispa, the Tuolumne County Historical Society's quarterly publication, and used to give slide show presentations on Chinese Camp.

She once met and gave a guided tour of Chinese Camp to composer Joseph Curiale, inspiring him to write the symphonic piece "Tea in Chinese Camp," which he dedicated to her.

She was president of the Tuolumne County Historical Society from 1975 to 1976, and a member of the Tuolumne County Genealogical Society.

She and her husband helped restore and maintain Chinese Camp's St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, and started a charitable fund for its upkeep.

Besides history, she enjoyed baseball, her favorite team being the San Francisco Giants, and animals.

Mrs. Nicolini is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Denise Nicolini and Dr. Daniel Meador, of Chinese Camp; grandchildren, Gabriel and wife Olesia Martinez, of Palm Springs, Maryanne Martinez and Joshua Meador, both of Chinese Camp, Michelle Lennert, of Folsom, and Andrea Mager, of Sacramento; brother, Richard Yescas, of Stockton; and one great-granddaughter.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, John Nicolini; and son, Gregory Nicolini.

A rosary is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home in Sonora.

A private family burial will be held at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Chinese Camp.

Donations can be made to the Humane Society of Tuolumne County, 10040 Victoria Way, Jamestown, CA 95327.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Mary Estelle Webb

May 11, 1915 - Dec. 25, 2011

Murphys resident Mary Estelle Webb died Sunday at the Mark Twain Convalescent Hospital in San Andreas. She was 96.

Born in Nada, Ky., she lived in Covington, Ky., for more than 40 years.

She worked as a sales supervisor for JCPenney in Chicago, Covington, Ky., and Cupertino for 42 years.

For the past 23 years she lived in Murphys.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Louise and Ed Dixon, of Murphys; sister, Opal Begley, of Stanton, Ky.; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A graveside service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Jan. 4 at Floral Hills Memorial Garden, 5336 Old Taylor Mill Road, Covington, Ky.

An open house celebration of life is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 29 at a family member's home in Morgan Hill.

Donations can be made to the Bristol Hospice, 2140 Professional Drive, Suite 210, Roseville, CA 95661.

Angels Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

Thomas 'Tom' Tyra McLaughlin

Aug. 10, 1929 - Dec. 26, 2011

Soulsbyville resident Thomas "Tom" Tyra McLaughlin died Monday at his home. He was 82.

Born in Burlingame to Gladys and Mac McLaughlin, he was a long-time member of the National Ski Patrol in Tahoe, where he and his family often skied.

He vice president of sales for the Kenny Brother's Wall Covering Co. in the Bay Area for many years.

He enjoyed golf throughout his life, and held the honor of achieving a hole in one at a golf course on Amelia Island, near South Carolina.

He was also a popular singer and musician who performed regularly throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He also became a member of the Pine Cone Singers after moving to Tuolumne County.

He lived in Soulsbyville for eight years.

Mr. McLaughlin is survived by his wife of 11 years, Anne McLaughlin, of Soulsbyville; children, Erin Robb, Maureen Williamson, and Heidi Blide, all of Truckee, Mark McLaughlin, of Auburn, and Tom McLaughlin, of Chico; stepdaughter and her husband, Kristin and Rocco Pallante, of Sonora; grandchildren, Shawn and Hillary Robb, and Jillian, Justine and Joelle Blide, all of Truckee; step-grandchildren, Rocco, Madison, Lucas and Cooper Pallante, all of Sonora; and a nephew.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Jean Dewey.

A service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Jan. 7 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Sonora.

Donations can be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or Hospice of the Sierra, 20100 Cedar Road North, Sonora, CA 95370.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Jeren Robert

'J.R.' Klieman

Aug. 24, 1947 - Dec. 23, 2011

Groveland resident Jeren Robert "J.R." Klieman died Friday at Sonora Regional Medical Center. He was 64.

Born in Ignacio to Robert Klieman and Helen Waters, he served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, during which time he was stationed in Korea.

He was a flooring contractor who owned his own company.

He enjoyed playing the harmonica and vacationing, going on cruises and to Hawaii.

Mr. Klieman is survived by his wife, Cleta Klieman, of Groveland; children, Jonathan Klieman, of Livermore, and Jessica Klieman, of Benicia; mother, Helen Moffit, of Reno, Nev.; and siblings, Gayle Mueller, Linda Klieman, Patricia Thomas, John and Ed Nelson, Karen Nelson Kelley, and Genevieve Downing.

In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Ken and Donna Nelson.

A service is scheduled for 4 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Cornerstone Fellowship in Livermore.

Donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Church Street Station, P.O. Box 780, New York, NY 10008.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

John L.


Nov. 19, 1932 - Dec. 25, 2011

Sonora resident John L. Engelbrecht died Sunday at his home. He was 79.

Born in Oakland to Edward and Anna Engelbrecht, he was a retired general contractor.

He lived in Sonora for 19 years.

He was a member of the San Carlos Masonic Lodge.

Mr. Engelbrecht is survived by his wife of 31 years, Diane Engelbrecht, of Sonora.

No service is scheduled.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.