Union Democrat staff

Eunice Bart

Jan. 13, 1924 - Dec. 10, 2012

Eunice Bart, of Sonora, died Dec. 10 at her granddaughter's home in Pioneer. She was 88.

Mrs. Bart was born in New Orleans, the daughter of Sedonia and George Haynes.

She was a longtime member of St. John's Catholic Church in San Lorenzo and St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Sonora.

A career nurse, she devoted her life to her family and helping others. She was most proud of her work in caring for the elderly, her family said.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Merlin Bart Sr., in 1959; and her siblings, Dorothy Moran, Donald Haynes, George Haynes, Frank Haynes and Alvin Haynes.

She is survived by her children and their spouses, Merlin Bart Jr., of Sonora, Laurie and Jim Leone, of Copperopolis, Ronald and Kathi Bart, of Sebastopol, and Valerie and Moses Geller, of Santa Rosa; her grandchildren, Matthew Bart, of Round Rock, Texas, Cheyenne Manning, of Pioneer, and Alexandra Geller, of Studio City; and four great-grandchildren.

A graveside service was conducted by Deacon Fred Ybarra in December at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno. A memorial Mass will be held at noon Feb. 9 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Sonora.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 116 W. Bradford Ave., Sonora, 95370.

Amador Hills Cremation and Funeral Services handled arrangements.

Richard 'Dale' Laughlin

Feb. 20, 1932 - Dec. 15, 2012

Richard "Dale" Laughlin, of Copperopolis, died Dec. 15 at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto. He was 80.

A native of Oakdale, he grew up in Waterford, where he and his family were ranchers. He graduated from Oakdale High School.

He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1951 to 1954. He lived in Oakdale for many years and worked for Hunt and Wesson Foods for 36 years.

He lived in Copperopolis for the past 32 years. He owned 20 acres of land, where he raised cattle and cured olives every year that he then shared with family and friends.

He was called the "mayor of Copperopolis" by some. Another nickname people in the community gave him was "Mr. Spiffy."

He belonged to the Masonic Lodge in Oakdale, was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars of Copperopolis and belonged to the Matuca Chapter of E Clampus Vitus.

Mr. Laughlin is survived by his wife of 41 years, Barbara Laughlin, of Sonora; his son, Billy Laughlin, of Copperopolis.; his daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Robert Cook, of Sonora; grandchildren, Billy Laughlin Jr., of Modesto, Amanda Laughlin, of Sonora, Cory, Jordan and Max Laughlin, all of Las Vegas; and one great-grandson.

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, at Micky and Larry's Sports Pub, corner of O'Byrnes Ferry Road and Copper Cove Drive in Copperopolis. For information, call the pub at 785-4646 or Nancy and Robert Cook at 532-5753.

Angels Memorial Chapel handled arrangements.

Katsuko Ishijima

'Babe' Mealer

Jan. 2, 1930 - Dec. 27, 2012

Katsuko Ishijima "Babe" Mealer, 52, died Dec. 27 at her home in Jamestown.

She was born in Akeno-Machi, Japan, and raised there, where she came from a long line of Samurai.

She married Jack Mealer in Japan in 1954. They were married for 58 years.

They had three daughters, and because her husband was a U.S. Marine, the growing family was able to travel the world.

Mrs. Mealer taught herself English at a young age so she could communicate with her many relatives in the United States. She spent years studying to become a U.S. citizen, a goal she accomplished in her early 70s.

Her passions included animals, cooking for her family, bingo and the outdoors. She enjoyed music and dancing, and taught herself to play the accordion and piano by ear.

She dabbled in many trades throughout her life, including working as a seamstress sewing parachutes, making dresses for school dances and costumes and being a pearl diver in Japan.

Mrs. Mealer was an active volunteer. She worked at Jamestown Elementary School and its baseball snack shack and, with her granddaughters' Girl Scouts troop. She also served the local Veterans of Foreign Wars hall and was honored with a plaque for her efforts with the Korean War Veterans fundraising breakfast.

She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Jack W. Mealer, of Jamestown; three children, Marianna Dedina, of Lewisville, Texas, Annamari Rahn, of Jamestown, and Barbara Mitchell, of Jamestown; six grandchildren, Shawn Clarkson Rahn, of Rome, N.Y., Derek Clarkson Rahn, of Keizer, Ore., Sandra Kelly Mitchell, of San Carlos, Jeremiah Dedina, of Lewisville, Texas, Levi Rahn, of Copperopolis, and Sara Mitchell, of Jamestown; and three great-grandchildren.

Private services will be held at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery and at the family gravesite in Ibaraki, Japan.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Carlos Manriquez

March 1, 1958 - Dec. 17, 2012

Carlos Manriquez died Dec. 17 at his home in Groveland. He was 54.

Mr. Manriquez lived in the Groveland area for the past seven years.

He is survived by his father, Adolfo Manriquez, of Mexico City, Mexico; his brothers, Rudolpho Manriquez, Santos Manriquez, Martin Manriquez and Jose Manriquez, all of the Bay Area, and Adolfo Manriquez, of Kentucky; and his sisters, Nancy Manriquez and Mireye Manriquez, both of Mexico City.

A celebration of life will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 19 at his home in Groveland.

Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

Melvin 'Mel' Ralph

May 23, 1925 - Jan. 1, 2013

Longtime Twain Harte resident Melvin "Mel" Ralph died Jan. 1 at his home. He was 87.

Born in the Santa Clara Valley, the son of Grace and Harry Ralph, he moved his family to Long Barn in the early 1960s and eventually settled in Twain Harte.

He was a 46-year veteran of the Merchant Marines, Sailors Union of the Pacific.

Mr. Ralph was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Emily Ralph, in December 2006, and by his sister, Shirley Ralph.

He is survived by his brother, Ernie Ralph, of Sunnyvale; a son, Allen Ralph, of Sacramento; a daughter, Diane Parlette, of Thetis Island, Canada; and grandchildren, Adrienne, Jason, Kim, Laura and Krista.

Donations may be made in his name to the American Lung Association online at www.lung.org/donate.

A celebration of life will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Villa D'Oro Restaurant in Twain Harte. A private family interment is planned.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home handled arrangements.

Nancy Rodarte

May 6, 1940 - Jan. 1, 2013

Nancy Rodarte died Jan. 1 at her Tuolumne home. She was 72.

A native of Waterloo, Ind., she moved to Tuolumne County 20 years ago to pursue her career in manufacturing.

She lived in Tuolumne for the past three years.

She enjoyed arts and crafts and was a caring person, her family said.

Mrs. Rodarte was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Rodarte, in 2007; her parents; and her grandmother, Laura Reese.

She is survived by her children, Lisa Wyrostek and her husband, Ted, of Peyton, Colo., Curtis Gillum, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Thomas Gillum, of Riverside; and two grandchildren, Jeremy Hester, of Denver, Colo., and Stephanie Hester, of Colorado Springs.

Private family services have been held.

Heuton Memorial Chapel handled arrangements.