Union Democrat staff

Manuel Dillard

Sept. 22, 1937 - June 5, 2012

Former Tuolumne County resident Manuel Dillard died June 5 at Compassus Hospice in Payson, Ariz. He was 74.

He was born in Bristol, Tenn., to Rufus and Blanche Dillard.

He served in the U.S. Air Force then settled in Fairfield. He and his former wife, Donna, raised their four children in Fairfield, Twain Harte and Sonora.

He moved to Colorado, Oklahoma, Washington State and most recently, Reedsport, Ore., where he opened and retired from Dillard's Pet Products.

His careers included submarine mechanic at Mare Island Naval Station in Vallejo, painting contractor in Tuolumne, county building inspector in Sonora, Jamestown mine inspector, owner of McDillard's Pet and Feed Store in Copperopolis and props builder for Sierra Repertory Theatre.

Mr. Dillard enjoyed flying airplanes, fishing and watching baseball. His other interests included the outdoors and the ocean.

He is survived by sons and daughters-in-law, Daniel and Sylvia Dillard, and Timothy and Betty Jo Dillard, all of Bethany, Okla.; daughters and son-in-law, Traci and Terry Ranuio, of Turlock, and Kathie and Mike James, of Tuolumne; 12 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

BRC Cremation Society handled arrangements.

Kathleen H. (Orr) Slinden

Feb. 28, 1924 - June 23, 2012

Former Sonora resident Kathleen H. (Orr) Slinden, of Modesto, died Saturday at Alexander Cohen Hospice in Hughson. She was 88.

Mrs. Slinden was born in Dakota County, Minnesota, the daughter of Lee and Norma Orr. She taught school in Minnesota before moving to California. On Jan. 23, 1945, she married Pelvin Slinden in Modesto, and the couple spent their honeymoon in the Gold Country of Sonora and Columbia. She and her husband had a small farm in Atwater, Minn.

In 1960, they moved to California to be near her family in Stanislaus and Merced counties. They lived in Central California until 1966, when they moved to Bellevue, Wash. In 1971 they returned to the Modesto area where they were active in the Calvary Lutheran Church. They later retired to Angels Camp, where Pelvin died in 1991.

Mrs. Slinden relocated to Sonora in 2000. In 2005, she moved to Casa de Modesto in Modesto, where she joined the Red Hat Society. In the spring of 2012 she became ill and was transferred to the Alexander Cohen Hospice House in Hughson, where she died.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; her infant son, Arlen Slinden; and her sister, Marie (Orr) Gransee.

Mrs. Slinden is survived by her sisters, Dorothy Blumenstein, of Turlock, Mildred Badenschier, of Austin, Minn., and Donna Kinney, of Santa Cruz; her daughters and their spouses, Karen Carlson, of Sierra Vista, Ariz., Lynae Slinden, of Whidbey Island, Wash., Marlys and Richard Powers, of San Ramon, and Patricia and Michael Denney, of Twain Harte; and their families.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Heritage Chapel at Lakewood Memorial Park in Hughson.

Donations may be made to Alexander Cohen Community Hospice in Hughson, www.Turlock Memorial Park.com or Casa de Modesto, 1745 Eldena Way, Modesto, CA 95350.

Lakewood Memorial Park is handling arrangements.

Kathleen (Steensen) Burns

Jan. 5, 1916 - May 29, 2012

Columbia resident Kathleen S. Burns died May 29 at her home. She was 96.

Mrs. Burns was born in West Mansfield, Ohio, and moved from Southern California to Tuolumne County with her husband and family in 1946.

She was a member of the Columbia Presbyterian Church of the 49ers for more than 60 years. She was an ordained deacon and elder.

She worked alongside her husband in his veterinary practice in Sonora until their retirement in 1968. She enjoyed sewing, knitting and making crafts.

Mrs. Burns is survived by three children, Norman Burns, of Stockholm, Sweden, Christine Ness of Surprise, Ariz., and Kenneth Burns, of Columbia; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Columbia Presbyterian Church of the 49ers at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling the arrangements.


STRAWS - Seth Straws, 90, of Columbia, died Tuesday at Avalon Care Center in Sonora. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling the arrangements.