Union Democrat staff

Eugenia Phyllis 'Genie' Collins

Jan. 25, 1926 - Oct. 27, 2012

Twain Harte resident Eugenia Phyllis "Genie" Collins died Oct. 27 at the Oakhurst Wellness Center in Oakhurst.

Mrs. Collins was born in Lodi and married Hoyt Collins in the late 1940s.

She was a homemaker for 65 years.

They retired to Twain Harte for 47 years, where she and her husband built a log cabin.

She enjoyed the outdoors.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Collins was preceded in death by her parents, Elizabeth and Calvin Bender.

She is survived by her son, Jerry Collins, and his wife, Jackie, of Oakhurst; her grandchildren, Christopher Collins, of Springfield, Ore., Stacy Frost, of Fresno, Cory Collins, of Oakhurst, and Curt Collins of Las Vegas, Nevada; her siblings, Frieda Lansdowne, of Oakdale, Sylvia Bender, of Sacramento, and Julie Bender-Goldsmith, and her husband, Eugene, of Oregon; six great-grandchildren; and one niece.

A memorial service will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at her home in Twain Harte. For more information, contact the family.

Palm Memorial Sierra Chapel in Oakhurst is handling arrangements.

Hilda Gisler

Dec. 21, 1923 - Nov. 5, 2012

Former Sonora resident Hilda Gisler died Monday in Stockton. She was 88.

She was born in Newman and worked as a school bus driver for 20 years in Sonora.

She was preceded in death by her sons, Donald and Ronald Gisler; her brother, Vernon Alessi; and former husband, Otto Gisler.

She is survived by her brother, Raymond Alessi; her children, Judith Hartley, Jack Gisler, Janet Crook and Joan Gisler; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the ReHorse Rescue Ranch, P.O. Box 494, Jamestown, CA 95327.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Heritage Chapel at Lakewood Funeral Home, in Hughson.

Lakewood Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Erma Paradisa Guissi

Oct. 18, 1909 - Nov, 7, 2012

Sonora resident Erma Paradisa Guissi died Wednesday at Skyline Place in Sonora. She was 103.

Mrs. Guissi was born in Hermansville, Mich.

She was 6 when she moved to Tuolumne County, and lived here for the past 97 years.

Her mother died when she was very young, and she quit school at 15 to help take care of her family.

In 1928, Erma married Guido Guissi, also spelled Giussi. They had four children. In 1935, they bought a house on Tuolumne Street, where she lived until settling in Skyline Place.

A single mother, she raised four children while working. Her jobs over the years included cleaning the county courthouse, library, Veterans Memorial Hall and old county jail. She worked for Mallards Grocery Store, the Pacific Telephone Co. and the Uptown Dime Store. She also cooked for a men's retirement home. She retired at 63.

Her lemon meringue pie was a hit among family and friends, her family said.

She enjoyed cooking, knitting, crocheting and taking care of children.

On Oct. 18, she celebrated her 103rd birthday with more than 100 friends and relatives.

She was preceded in death by sons, Peter Guissi in 1986 and Leroy Guissi in 1995; and 10 siblings.

She is survived by her children, Lorraine Poag, of Sonora, and Arthur Guissi, of Yakima, Wash.; her sister, Virginia Reinking, of Sacramento; nine grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Donations in her memory can be made to Save Our St. Anne's Catholic Church, P.O. Box 1755 Columbia, CA 95310 or a charity of choice.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home, 225 E. Rose St., Sonora.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Georgia Gay Kohler

April 10, 1937 - Oct. 22, 2012

Former Sonora resident Georgia Gay Kohler died of lung cancer Oct. 22 at her home in Hollister. She was 75.

Mrs. Kohler was born in Alaska and grew up in Washington. She moved to California in the 1950s. She lived in Santa Cruz for a number of years and purchased a second home in Sonora 25 years ago.

She moved to Hollister in 1995, and split her time between her home there and Sonora.

She worked as an antique vendor for many years.

Mrs. Kohler is survived by her children, Kenneth Kohler, of Scotts Valley, Katherine Shamy, of Hollister, and Kyle Kohler, of Santa Cruz; and five grandchildren.

Donations in her name can be made to Heartland Hospice, 2005 De La Cruz Blvd., Suite 271, Santa Clara, CA 95050.

Private family services have been held.

Black-Cooper-Sander Funeral Home in Hollister handled arrangements.

Juaniva Lorene (Chatfield) Ramirez

Dec. 3, 1932 - Oct. 31, 2012

Copperopolis resident Juaniva Lorene (Chatfield) Ramirez died Oct. 31 at her home. She was 79.

Mrs. Ramirez was born Crowell, Texas. She married Daniel A. Ramirez on June 9, 1956, and they settled in Copperopolis 34 years ago.

Mrs. Ramirez was preceded in death by her brother, Fremont Chatfield.

She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Daniel A. Ramirez, of Copperopolis; her children, Lisa Ramirez Jacobson and Daniel A. Ramirez Jr., her brother, Milton Chatfield and his wife, Myrna; her sister-in-law, Joy Chatfield; eight grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. today at the Copperopolis Cemetery. A memorial service was planned for 11 a.m. at Crossroads Church, Copperopolis. For directions, call 785-2563.

Angels Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.


ALDER - Wayne Alder, 57, of Big Oak Flat, died Wednesday at his home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

BURGESS - Lewis Burgess, 90, of Sonora, died Wednesday at his home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.