Union Democrat staff

John L. Dawson

March 10, 1940 - Dec. 14, 2012

John L. Dawson, who played Santa Claus in Sonora and Murphys for 15 years, died Dec. 14 at his home in Murphys.

Mr. Dawson died of liver failure after a three-year illness.

He and his wife, Eileen, played Santa and Mrs. Claus through 2009 in Sonora and 2010 in Murphys, before Mr. Dawson retired due to his failing health.

With a long white beard and jovial demeanor, his wife said he was a "natural Santa." He first donned the red suit for Cupertino Moose Lodge and Stanford University functions before moving to the Mother Lode.

Born in Liverpool, England, Dawson was a retired salesman and builder.

He loved classic vehicles and founded Havnoux Vineyards in Murphys. He served as president of an Alfa Romeo association and wrote monthly articles for its monthly CAMS magazine, and helped found the Dodge Brothers Society to celebrate the company's trucks.

Mr. Dawson is survived by his wife, Eileen Dawson, of Murphys; sister Rena Schuetz, of Oregon; daughter-in-law Dana Dawson, of Hollister; and two grandsons. He was preceded in death by his son, John Brian Dawson, in May 2012.

Donations in Mr. Dawson's memory can be made to Hospice of the Sierra, 20100 Cedar Road North, Sonora, CA 95370, or any favorite charity.

A celebration of life is being planned for the end of April or the first week of May.

Cremation arrangements were handled by Angels Memorial Chapel.

Bob G. Franklin

Jan. 7, 1930 - Dec. 19, 2012

Bob G. Franklin, 82, of Sonora, died Dec. 19 at Sonora Regional Medical Center.

Mr. Franklin was born in Tulare and served in the Army and Air Force during the Korean conflict.

He worked as an electric utility supervisor for the City of Anaheim for 40 years, and had lived in Sonora for 20 years.

He was a member of Calvary Chapel and Local 47 IBEW in Anaheim and Servants on Wheels Ministry.

He was a member of Harvest Fellowship in Sonora.

Since 2000, he volunteered for five years with Tecserve, an electrical company and Sowers- service on wheels ever ready.

His family said he enjoyed flying.

Mr. Franklin is survived by his wife, Dorothy Price Franklin, of Sonora; his children, Cynthia Woods and Melinda Ronn, both of Connecticut, and Bob Franklin Jr. of Sacramento; his stepchildren, Debbie Lockhart, of California, Roderick Price, of Sonora, and Gary Price, of Springfield, Ill.; his sisters, Lois Child, of Sonora, and Marie Martin, of Hanford; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Heuton Memorial Chapel in Sonora. Burial will be at Mountain Shadow Cemetery in Sonora.

Memorial donations may be made to Bridges for Peace for Israel, P.O. Box 410037, Melbourne, FL, 32941-0037.

Carl Warren Olson

Sept. 16, 1921 - Dec. 6, 2012

Twain Harte resident Carl Warren Olson died Dec. 6 at Meadow View Manor is Soulsbyville. He was 91.

Mr. Olson was born in Lompoc to Gottfried Olson and Anna (Johnson) Olson, both of Sweden.

He served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Charles P. Cecil during World War II.

He graduated from the California Institute of Technology in 1944 and worked as an electrical engineer for 30 years until retirement.

Mr. Olson retired to Twain Harte from Atherton 31 years ago.

He was a licensed pilot and enjoyed flying his own plane for many years. He also enjoyed sailing and traveling with his wife, Lois Hellstrom Olson.

Mr. Olson was preceded in death by his wife, Lois Hellstrom Olson, in 1999; his father, Gottfried Olson, in 1956; his mother, Anna Johnson, in the early 1960s; and his brothers, John G. Olson, in 1988, and Theodore Olson, in 1996.

He is survived by his children and their spouses, Candace (Olson) and Ed Kerber, of Bend Oregon, Craig and Susan Olson, of Little Rock, Ark.; his brother; Everett Olson, of San Jose; his grandchildren, Melissa Olson Moore, Carl D. Olson, Christian M. Olson, Nathan D. Olson, and Stephen A. Olson, all of Little Rock, Ark.; and two great-grandchildren.

No services are planned.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home handled the arrangements.


DESHAIES - James Deshales, age unavailable, of Groveland, died Sunday at his home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

VERT - Clinton Vert, 83, of Jamestown, died Sunday at his home. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.