Union Democrat staff

Vivian 'Honey' Bird

Nov. 18, 1915 - Oct. 27, 2012

Former longtime Sonora resident Vivian "Honey" Bird died Oct. 27 at Acacia Park Nursing and Rehab in Modesto. She was 96.

She was born in Superior, Neb., on Nov. 18, 1915, the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Blazer and Maude Oletha (Humphrey) Blazer.

She lived in Tuolumne County for 52 years. She was a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and worked as an X-ray technician, receptionist and assistant for a Sonora dental office. She lived in Modesto for the past five years.

Mrs. Bird was preceded in death by her husband, Hal Bird, in 2000.

She is survived by three children and spouses, Kenneth and Glenda Bird, of Arizona, Dennis Bird of Palo Alto, and Robin Arechiga Johnson and Bob Johnson, of Jamestown; grandchildren and spouses, Dana and Lisa Mayo, of Sonora, Darren and Colleen Mayo, of El Dorado Hills, David and Julia Mayo, of Los Angeles, Kendyl and Mike Rutledge, of Texas, Andy Bird, of Arizona, Aislinn Bird, of Los Altos Hills, Erin Bird, of Los Altos Hills, and Brennan Bird, of Los Altos Hills; and five great-grandchildren.

Private family services are planned. Heuton Memorial Chapel handled initial arrangements.

Andrew Carrier

Nov. 1, 1989 - Oct. 27, 2012

Andrew Carrier, of Jamestown, died Oct. 27 after being struck by a vehicle at Highway 108 and Main Street in Jamestown. He was 22.

He worked as a dishwasher at Perko's, and his hobbies were video gaming, fishing, swimming and being with family and friends.

He is survived by his mother, Jennifer Carrier, of Sonora; his father, Hector Trevino, of Groveland; brothers, Bradley J. Trevino, Jeremy Glen Phillip Moore Trevino and Harley J. Trevino, all of Groveland; sisters, Patricia L. Trevino and Briana C. Trevino, both of Groveland; grandparents, Ellen Carrier and Robert Huish and Renee Evonne Vest, all of Sonora, and a great-grandfather, Joseph Esperza, of Sonora.

A private family service was planned. Heuton Memorial Chapel handled initial arrangements.

Ronald "Captain Ron" Lee DeVries

Jan. 27, 1934 - Sept. 12, 2012

Ronald "Captain Ron" Lee DeVries, of Sonora, died Sept. 12 at Eden Hospital in Castro Valley. He was 78.

He was born and raised in Wisconsin, the son of Sara Ann and Richard DeVries.

He served in the U.S. Navy from December 1952 until Oct. 20, 1954, working as an aircraft mechanic on carrier ships. He graduated from Alameda High School in 1951, and later attended a technical college in Alameda.

Mr. DeVries eventually became a corporate engineer, and moved to Tuolumne County in 1999.

His family said local projects he undertook included helping restore the Twain Harte Golf Course to be fully functional and restoring good drinking water to residents of Curtis Creek Ranch subdivision.

His hobbies included helping charities, church activities, golf, fly fishing and traveling.

Mr. DeVries is survived by his wife, Brenda, of Sonora; children, Mike DeVries, of Danville, and Laurie McDaniel, of Downer's Grove, Ill.; 15 stepchildren, 34 step-grandchildren five step-great-grandchildren; and a sister and brother-in-law, Judy and Larry Pederson, of South Buffalo Bill, Nebraska.

A color guard service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at Carters Cemetery in Tuolumne. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home handled arrangements.

Tommy L. Gatewood

April 21, 1929 - Oct. 26, 2012

Former Sonora resident Tommy L. Gatewood died Oct. 26 at his home in Grants Pass, Ore. He was 83.

He was born in April 21, 1929 in Slaton, Texas, the son of Garlon H. Gatewood and Ada L. Gatewood.

After graduating from Turlock High School in 1948, he spent a short time in college. In 1951, he entered the Naval flight training program in Pensacola, Fla., and earned his wings on Oct. 31, 1952. He married Rosemary Tyer in January 1953 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

His first tours of duty were in the Pacific Theater toward the end of the Korean conflict, flying the AD Skyraider off the USS Yorktown and Essex.

In 1955, he reported to Millington, Tenn., as an instructor in advanced all-weather training for three years, followed by two years in Norfolk, Va., as an administrative officer in Fleet Airborne Training Unit. In 1959, he transitioned to the A-4 in Virginia Beach. Tours to the Mediterranean aboard the USS Intrepid and newly commissioned USS Enterprise followed.

In 1965, he was sent to the United States Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, where he received a degree in international relations. In 1967, he returned to flying as executive officer of VA-66 Broncos making his first tour to Vietnam flying the A-4. He assumed his role as commander and made another tour to Vietnam where he earned a Distinguished Flying Cross with Gold Star Air Medal, air medals for 200 successful missions, and a Navy commendation medal. He retired in July 1971 after a final tour aboard the USS Von Homme Richard.

As a civilian, he began a second career as a State Farm Insurance agent in Sonora, which he did for 26 years before retiring from that in 1994.

He and his wife moved to Gardnerville, Nev., in 1995, where he pursued his hobby of glider flying. After 16 years there, they moved to Grants Pass, Ore., to be closer to family.

Much of his time was spent in the eastern Sierra Nevada, fishing, camping and exploring the backcountry. He was a firearms enthusiast, particularly enjoying black powder rifles, and had a long association with the Sonora Smokepolers. At age 50, he decided to learn to play the bagpipes. He also built remote-control airplanes.

Mr. Gatewood is survived by his wife, Rosemary Gatewood, of Grants Pass, Ore; daughters and their spouses, MaryAnn and Dan Loughran, of Williams, Ore.; and Amy and Keith Smothers, of Elk Grove; a sister and brother-in-law, Susan and Stan Cunningham, of Modesto; seven grandchildren, Bo and Jason Barefield, of Louisiana; Kylie and Rachel Loughran, of Oregon; and Lindsey, Teryn and Stewart Smothers, of Elk Grove; and four great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, at Sonora Opera Hall, 250 S. Washington St., Sonora. Hull and Hull Mortuary in Grants Pass handled initial arrangements.

Kenneth Dale Smith

Aug. 8, 1929 - Nov. 4, 2012

Lifelong Jamestown resident Kenneth Dale Smith died Nov. 4 at Avalon Care Center in Sonora. He was 83.

He was born Aug. 8, 1929 in Broken Bow, Okla., the son of Eugene and Bessie Smith.

Mr. Smith worked in the trucking business for 68 years and was married for 63 years to the same spouse. They had 11 children, 21 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

He was a member of the Sonora Seventh-day Adventist Church for 45 years and served in the U.S. Air Force for two years.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sons, Kenneth Smith and John Paul Smith.

He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Jean Smith, of Jamestown; nine children, Kathy Bacon, of Sonora, Robert Smith, of Arkansas, Sue Franks, of Angels Camp, Wade Smith, of Valley Springs, Donald Smith, of Jamestown, Jack Smith, of Sonora, Rita Bigbee, of Missouri, Rebecca Kohl, of Mariposa, and Laura Smith, of Don Pedro; 21 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

A service will be held at 2 p.m. Nov. 17, the Sonora Seventh-day Adventist Church with dinner following. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home handled arrangements.