Union Democrat staff

John Richard LaTorre

April 9, 1935 - Dec. 14, 2012

John LaTorre, a resident of Sonora and Twain Harte for 53 years, died Dec. 14 at his office. He was 77.

Mr. LaTorre was born in San Francisco. He graduated from Bellarmine High School, a Catholic preparatory school, in 1953.

After school, he became business partners with his father at LaTorre Restaurant in downtown San Francisco.

His family owned a vacation cabin in Twain Harte, which brought him to the area.

One of his first jobs in Tuolumne County was working for the County Road Department. He began working on road crews and eventually moved to the engineering department, and was involved in designing many local roads.

In 1966, he began his lifelong career as a licensed land surveyor.

Mr. LaTorre was a volunteer fireman in Twain Harte in the 1960s. He also was active in Cub Scouts and coached Little League and softball.

He enjoyed cooking, traveling, gardening, carpentry, photography, spending time outdoors and listening to music, especially opera. He enjoyed reading and was a fan of the San Francisco Giants baseball and 49ers football teams.

Mr. LaTorre was preceded in death by his mother, Gertrude Louise Merril LaTorre, in 1988; his father, John LaTorre Sr., in 2000; and his brother, Thomas LaTorre.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Marsha LaTorre, of Sonora; four children and their spouses, Karen LaTorre and and Avelino Santella, of Santa Maria, John LaTorre Jr. and Kristen Kestly, of Tuolumne, Bob and Renee LaTorre of Manzanita, Ore., and Monica and Dan Hawks, of Sonora; his former wife, Dale LaTorre Elliott, of Groveland; two brothers, Terry LaTorre and Wynn LaTorre, both of Sonora; six grandchildren and spouses, Michael LaTorre, and his wife, Elizabeth, of Portland, Ore., Sophia Avelina Lair, and her husband, Justin, of Orange County, Sara LaTorre of Columbia, and Natalie, Alec, and Evan Hawks, of Sonora; and three great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life was held Dec. 29.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Robert William Neuschaefer

Nov. 1, 1938 - Dec. 15, 2012

Valley Springs resident Robert William Neuschaefer died Dec. 15 at his home. He was 74.

Mr. Neuschaefer was born in San Francisco to William and Roberta Neuschaefer.

He earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno and worked for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center 37 years.

Mr. Neuschaefer was the president, curator and field trip leader of Huntsville Gem and Mineral Society in Alabama and a member of the Roving Rockhounds and the Mountain Area Gem and Mineral Association.

He was also a member of United Church of Huntsville.

He enjoyed rockhounding, traveling and teaching children about rocks.

Mr. Neuschaefer preceded in death by his parents; his twin brother, Frank Edgar Neuschaefer; and an uncle.

He is survived by his wife, Bonnie Neuschaefer, of Huntsville, Ala.; his son, Richard William Neuschaefer, of Marietta, Ga.; his grandchildren, Melissa Schaefer, of Houston, Texas, and Melanie Schaefer, of Kelso, Tenn.; his brother, Richard W. Neuschaefer, of Los Gatos; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousin.

A memorial service was held Dec. 29 in Lodi.

Visitation will be held at from 6 to 9 pm. Wednesday at Laughlin Funeral Home in Huntsville. A funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at United Church of Huntsville. A graveside service will follow at Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville. A reception will follow at United Church of Huntsville.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Parkinson's Disease Foundation, http://www.apdaparkinson.org/.

San Andreas Memorial Chapel in charge of arrangements.


CHATSFIELD - Clayton Chatsfield, 86, of Mokelumne Hill, died Dec. 23 in at Mark Twain Convalescent Hospital in San Andreas. Inurnment will be held at noon Tuesday at Mokelumne Hill Protestant Cemetery. San Andreas Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

HENLEY - Sandra Henley, 50, former Big Oak Flat resident, died Wednesday, at of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, La. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

FAMIGLIO - Robert Famiglio, 85, of Sonora, died Dec. 19 at Avalon Care Center of Sonora. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.