Union Democrat staff

Elmer Leon Graves

Sept. 26, 1929 - Oct. 2, 2012

Calaveras County resident Elmer Leon Graves died Tuesday at his home. He was 83.

Mr. Graves was born in Perryton, Texas, to James Alvin Graves and Daisy Mae Battin.

He graduated from Perryton High School in 1949.

He married Thelma Janice McGee in 1950. The couple had two daughters and then moved the family to California in 1956.

Mr. Graves primarily worked as an auto mechanic but later owned and operated a restaurant and lounge in Scotts Valley for 21 years. He was also an assistant fire chief in the Scotts Valley Fire Department.

He enjoyed mechanic work, welding, electrical work, clock repair, construction, and lathe work.

He enjoyed helping his friends and family by using his various mechanical and technical abilities.

He also enjoyed learning and reading. He liked to barbeque as well.

Mr. Graves was preceded in death by his parents; one younger brother; and his eldest daughter, Linda Diane Moorman.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years Thelma Graves, of Hathaway Pines; and his youngest daughter, Connie Jo Graves, of Modesto.

Donations may be made to the Ebbetts Pass Fire District,P.O. Box 66, Arnold, CA 95223.

Services have been held.

Angels Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

Ruth Colleen (Dornes) McLaurin

Feb. 12, 1941 - Sept. 30, 2012

Sonora resident Ruth Colleen (Dornes) McLaurin died Sept. 30 at Sonora Regional Medical Center. She was 71.

Mrs. McLaurin was born in Gridley, Kan., but her family moved to Sonora when she was a young girl. She lived in the area most for of her life.

She owned the Mother Lode Coffee Shop for 13 years and co-owned McLaurin's used cars with her husband, Irving McLaurin

She enjoyed cooking, baking and visiting Black Oak Casino and Chicken Ranch Casino and Bingo.

Mrs. McLaurin was preceded in death by her mother in 2012; her father in 2003; and brothers in 1993 and 2011.

She is survived by her husband of 38 years, Irving McLaurin, of Sonora; her nine children, Terry Hunt, of Sonora, Tracy Hunt, of Lake Elsinore, Irving McLaurin Jr., of of Fresno, Richard McLaurin, of Pittsburg, Michael McLaurin, of Sonora, Patti McLaurin, of Fresno, Steven McLaurin, of Fresno, Terri McLaurin, of the Bay Area, and Vicky McLaurin; her grandchildren, Soffie McLaurin, Randy McLaurin, Alice McLaurin, Jon McLaurin, and Jason Kilgore; and seven great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Pine Tree Restaurant, 19601 Hess Ave., East Sonora.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Lori Lynn (Kanteman) Brandon-Rainwater

Jan. 1, 1956 - Oct. 2, 2012

Jamestown resident Lori Lynn (Kanteman) Brandon-Rainwater died Tuesday at her home after a three-year battle with cancer. She was 56.

Mrs. Brandon-Rainwater was born on New Year's Day 1956 in Torrance. She grew up in Simi Valley and has lived in Tuolumne County for more than 20 years.

She was a musician who made her living as a performer for the past 20 years. She often performed at venues such as the Josephine Room at the Gunn House, Sonora Inn, Jamestown Hotel, National Hotel, Eproson House, and Sierra Railroad trains Oakdale.

She sang with duet partner, Chris Miller, for more than 20 years. In 1998 the pair joined the New Christy Minstrels, a Grammy Award-winning folk music group, appearing on the PBS-TV special, "This Land is Your Land."

It was through the band that she met her husband, David Rainwater. The couple married in 2009.

Mrs. Brandon-Rainwater was preceded in death by her father, Paul Wescott Kanteman.

She is survived by her husband, David Rainwater, of Jamestown; her son, Jaron Brandon, of Merced; her mother, Mona Mollring, of Tehachapi; her sister, Terri Bisonette, of Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada; her brothers, Todd and David Kanteman, of Simi Valley; her stepsister, Kim Mollring, of Tehachapi; her stepfather, Bob Mollring, of Tehachapi; and her former husband, Ron Brandon, of Sonora.

Services will be held at a later date. The Neptune Society of Central California is handling arrangements.


HOLLAND - Kenneth Holland, 56, of Copperopolis, died Thursday at Sonora Regional Medical Center. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

McTHORN - Ben McThorn, 81, of Sonora, died Thursday at Avalon Care Center of Sonora. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.