Union Democrat staff

Wilson H. 'Tom' Atkins Jr.

Oct. 29, 1918 - May 23, 2012

Former Tuolumne County resident Wilson H. "Tom" Atkins Jr. died May 23 at his home on the Kilohana Plantation in Kauai, Hawaii. He was 93.

Mr. Atkins was born in Omaha, Neb., the son of Wilson H. Atkins Sr. and his wife, Lois Alleman Atkins. He moved to Los Angeles with his family when he was in first grade.

He graduated Beverly Hills High School in 1936 and then attended University of Southern California.

When war broke out in Europe, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1940. He was stationed in Iceland and then was a reconnaissance observer in the Pacific campaigns of Guam, Guadalcanal, Kwajalein and Okinawa.

In his six years of military service, he progressed from private to lieutenant and was awarded two Purple Hearts.

In 1946, he helped manage several public golf courses in the greater Los Angeles area. In 1956, he moved to Oceanside to build and develop El Camino Country Club and Golf Course.

For the next 26 years, he managed golf courses in North San Diego and Imperial counties. He was on the vestry of St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Oceanside and St. James Episcopal Church in Sonora for more than 40 years combined. He served on the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce and was a Rotarian.

In 1979, Mr. Atkins and his wife, Miriam, moved to Tuolumne County. He owned and operated the Tuolumne Frosty and developed the Tomira Meadows subdivision. He also worked as a real estate broker and agent for Coldwell Banker until his wife of 61 years died in 2007.

Since then, he has lived on Kauai near family.

His favorite hobbies included golf and spending time with family. He also enjoyed skydiving.

Mr. Atkins was the last surviving family member of his generation.

He is survived by his daughter, Nancy Palmer, of Los Angeles; sons, Jim Rose, of Federal Way, Wash., T.Y. Atkins, of Tuolumne, Fred Atkins, of Kaua'i, Hawai'i, and David Atkins, of Boise, Idaho; 21 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

A graveside military service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday Carters Cemetery in Tuolumne, followed by a celebration of life at 18461 Bay Ave., Tuolumne.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home handled arrangements.

Henry 'Hanks' Franklin Bishop

Sept. 22, 1918 – May 29, 2012

Former Sonora resident Henry "Hanks" Franklin Bishop died May 29 in Moscow, Idaho. He was 93.

Mr. Bishop was born in Caddo County, Okla., the son of Franklin and Myrtle Bishop. He spent most of his life in Escalon, Oakdale and Modesto. He lived in Sonora for about 20 years, where he owned an Italian restaurant called the 108 Restaurant and Bar.

Mr. Bishop lived in Idaho beginning in 2005. He was a member of the Assembly of God Church.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Lillian Geneva Ringo, and his second wife, Mary Cavalieri, his father, mother, two brothers, three sisters and one grandson, Daryl Bishop.

He is survived by five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

He was flown from Idaho to Sonora to be buried with his second wife. Services were private. Arrangements were handled by Short's Funeral Chapel in Moscow, Idaho, and Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home in Sonora.

Cecil Warren Ellis

May 17, 1921 - May 31, 2012

Cecil Warren Ellis died May 31 at Kaiser Hospital in Sacramento. He was 91.

He was born in Edgemere, Idaho, to Frank and Sophie Ellis. He was a veteran of World War II and had lived in Coulterville for the past 26 years.

Mr. Ellis was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Frankie Lee Ellis. He is survived by a sister, Dorthy Chrisman, of Modesto; children, Sandra Calvo of Tracy, Curtis Ellis I, of Modesto, Robert Ellis, of Coulterville, and Donald Ellis, of Coulterville; grandchildren, Stacie Ellis, of Modesto, Curtis Ellis II, of Big Oak Flat, Debbie Calvo, of Tracy, David Calvo, of San Jose, Derrick Calvo, of San Jose, Ryan Ellis, of Montara, and Cameron Ellis, of Coulterville; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Franklin & Downs Colonial Chapel, 704 12th St., Modesto. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Lakewood Memorial Park, 900 Santa Fe Ave., Hughson.

Franklin and Downs is handling arrangements.

Ray Fischer

Feb. 12, 1922 - April 26, 2012

Former Calaveras County resident Ray Fischer died April 26 at a San Jose hospital. He was 90.

Mr. Fischer was born and grew up in South San Francisco. He joined the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, where he trained to be a cabinet maker.

He served aboard the ship Admiral C.F. Hughes, transporting troops to the Pacific and European theaters. After the war, he moved to Calaveras County where he met and married June Sorocco Huse.

Mr. Fischer was a general contractor for many years and built many houses in and around Calaveras County.

Mr. Fischer spent summers during his youth at Boards Crossing, fly fishing up and down the Stanislaus River with his father and brother. He enjoyed tying flies and used to take feathers from his mom's feather duster for his creations.

Mr. Fischer enjoyed playing golf at Meadowmont, Sequoia Woods, Forest Meadows and Lake Don Pedro golf courses. He was a qualifier and represented his local clubs in the NCGA 2-man and 4-man events in Monterey for multiple years.

Mr. Fischer was preceded in death by his wife, June; his son, Raymond; his parents, Thelma and John Fischer; and his brother, Jack.

He is survived by his stepson Walter Huse; his sister, Patti Cripe; his niece and nephew, Lorri and Clay Eastman; his nephew, Jack Fischer Jr.; and grandchildren Kim and Brian Huse.

A golf celebration will be held in his honor at 1 p.m. Friday at Forest Meadows Golf Course, followed by food, drinks and stories at 4 p.m.

For golf information on the golf, call Jimmy Dillashaw at 728-3439. Non-golfers can call Lorri Eastman at 662-3000.

A donation in his name may be made to Murphys Fire Protection District.

Alameda Family Funeral and Cremation of Saratoga handled arrangements.

Pauline Marie Owens

Jan. 7, 1951 - June 3, 2012

Pauline Marie (Grazioli) Owens, of Tuolumne, died June 3 at Sonora Regional Medical Center long term care. She was 61.

Mrs. Owens was born and raised in Tuolumne, the daughter of Paul and Alice Grazioli, and graduated from Summerville High School in 1969.

She was married to Jerry Owens from 1969 until his death in April 2010. They lived in Salinas and Martinez, where she was a homemaker, before they returned to Tuolumne in 2001. She was a cashier at Black Oak Casino for 11 years.

She and her husband liked to take drives in the mountains and go camping with their children.

Mrs. Owens was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.

She is survived by one daughter, Nicole Owens, of Tuolumne; one son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Kendra Owens, of Riverbank; three grandchildren, Austin and Samantha Owens, of Riverbank, and Anthony Owens, of Tuolumne; and two brothers, Gary and Andy Grazioli, both of Tuolumne.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at the Tuolumne Chapel of Terzich and Wilson. In lieu of flowers, people may send donations to Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, 18251 Quanitco Gateway Drive, Triangle, CA 22172.


ANDREWS - Sherard Andrews, 15, died Saturday at his residence in Sonora. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Sierra Bible Church. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.