Union Democrat staff

Obituary policy

Obituaries, including photos, are published at a pre-paid fee based on size. The deadline is 5 p.m. two business days prior to publication. Call 532-7151, fax 532-5139 or send to obits@uniondemocrat.com.

Memorial ads are published at a pre-paid fee based on size. The deadline is noon two business days prior to publication. Please call 588-4555 for complete information.

Donlan 'Donnie Dog' Heberle

Oct. 29, 1952 - April 25, 2014

Donnie went to be with the Lord on April 25, 2014, after a long battle with cancer. He died at UC Davis Medical Center while surrounded by friends and family and passed away while "Stairway to Heaven" was playing in the background.

Donnie was a musician and an amazing guitarist. He loved his Harley's and animals. He was known for taking in anyone's stray animals, including wolves and donkeys. Donnie was a generous man who would help anyone, anytime, no matter what. Anyone who met him became his friend immediately. Donnie had a special place in his heart for his grandchildren and loved spending time with them.

Donnie is survived by his wife of 24 years and companion of 38 years, Patti Heberle; his children, Jesteen Heberle and her fiancé, Lawrence Taylor, of Riverbank, Roger Perkins and his finacée, Ashley Winans, of Sonora, and Cheryl Peterson and her husband, Nic Peterson, of Sonora; grandchildren, Joeseph, Kyrstyn, Bradley, Kylie, Kendyll and another grandson, Declen, who will be here soon.

His celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at Chapel in the Pines in Twain Harte. A potluck will follow.

Peter Meeker Lowell

Dec. 29, 1934 - April 19, 2014

Peter Meeker Lowell, a resident of Lodi, Calif., died April 19, 2014, at his home after a long illness. He was 79.

Mr. Lowell was born in Berkeley, Calif., and lived in Pleasanton, Calif., for 30 years prior to his move to Sonora in May 1992, and his retirement in January 1996.

He spent his 43-year career in Silicon Valley. He was a mechanical engineer for Friden/Singer Business Machines for 23 years where he designed numerous business machines and holds United States patents. He rose to middle management positions before the company closure in 1974.

The remainder of his career was spent as an executive with high tech startup companies in Silicon Valley.

Mr. Lowell was an avid art lover. He considered himself a news junkie and enjoyed a good cup of coffee.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Mary Joanne Nielsen-Lowell, who died June 10, 2001; and his daughter, Pamela Jean Lowell, who died Sept. 4, 2002.

He is survived by his daughter, Wendy Christine Lowell-Smith and son-in-law, Gary Smith, of Lodi; a brother, Phillip Grover Lowell and sister-in-law, Nina Lowell, of Santa Rosa, Calif., and two grandchildren, Tamara Joanne Smith and Kristina Lovell Smith.

A private family graveside service was held at Carters Cemetery in Tuolumne.

In lieu of flowers the family requests a donation to Hospice of San Joaquin.

William B. Phillips

July 24, 1941 - April 7, 2014

Bill was born in Los Angeles and moved to Sonora in his mid-teens. He attended and graduated from Sonora High School. After serving in the U.S. Navy he studied architecture and interior design.

He will be much missed by his family and friends.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Lee George Macdonald

Oct. 9, 1949 - April 27, 2014

Lee Macdonald was 64 years old and a lifelong resident of Big Oak Flat. He passed away on April 27, 2014.

Lee spent two years in the U.S. Army and served one tour in Vietnam.

After graduating from Sonora High School in 1967, he drove a logging truck for a number of years and then went to work for George Reed. He retired from the operating engineers.

He enjoyed watching Westerns in the last few years and also enjoyed working in his garden.

Lee had many friends and neighbors that have been extremely kind to him in the recent years. He enjoyed and appreciated all of them very much.

He is survived by his brother, Alan and his wife, Barbara.

Lee will be missed by all of his friends and family.

No services are planned.

Dorothy Sylwester

July 1920 - April 19, 2014

Dorothy Sylwester, 93, longtime resident of Twain Harte, passed away April 19, 2014, in Sonora, Calif.

Dorothy was born in Woodburn, Ind., in July 1920, one of seven siblings.

Dorothy worked at Twain Harte Materials in the 1970s, the Mother Lode Fair in the 1980s, and dedicated her life to volunteer work.

Some of her volunteer work included being a 4-H leader, helping to build the first Milk Booth at the fair, helping with library garage sales, being a reading tutor at Twain Harte Elementary School and with the Adult Literacy program, providing assistance at the Sheriff's Community Service Unit (keeping the cookie jar filled for the deputies in Twain Harte), making quilts for various charities (including children taken into custodial care) and typing for the Historical Society. She also volunteered with the Red Cross, Veterans Office, Health Fair and ATCAA.

Dorothy was involved in early Sierra Repertory Theatre fundraisers, such as selling hot dogs with Dennis and Sara Jones. For St. Matthew's Church (Hope Lane), she typed and mimeographed church bulletins and maintained a biblical garden. She was present at the inception of the Bach Festival and the founding of the Arts Council.

As a lifelong learner, she enrolled in MJC extension courses. Dorothy took journalism classes at Columbia College, writing for the school newspaper and also for the Twain Harte Mountain Times. She loved music and played several instruments, including recorder, piano, clarinet, washboard, and performed in the community orchestra. In her 80s she started a weekly music group (a recorder quartet) with her dear friends, Dr. Jim Riggs, Ron Parker and Reuben Moulton. She continued playing until her death. Her life was rich with experiences.

Dorothy, husband "Syl" and the girls started a family garden and worm farm in Twain Harte in 1964 and maintained it through the 1970s. They also operated the Twain Harte Mini-Bowl for a few summers in the 1960s.

Dorothy is survived by her youngest brother, Steve Keller, of Indiana; her son, Gary Sylwester, of El Cajon; daughters, Laurie Sylwester, of Tuolumne, Sara Sylwester, of Atascadero; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Ewald (Syl), daughter Sandy, her parents and five siblings.

Our family wishes to extend a special "Thank you" to the many friends and caregivers that assisted Dorothy these last few years and made her life rich with love.

In memory of Dorothy, donations can be made to Sierra Repertory Theatre, Summerville High School, Note: Sylwester Music Scholarship, and the Humane Society of Tuolumne County.

Death notices

Death Notices in The Union Democrat are published free of charge. They include the name, age and town of residence of the deceased, the date of death; service information; and memorial contribution information. The deadline is noon the day before publication.

McKEAN - Dolores McKean, 82, of Sonora, died Tuesday at Sonora Regional Medical Center. Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

SCHAEFER - Karl Schaefer, 77, of Copperopolis, died Tuesday at his home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

TROUT - Frances Trout, 79, of Sonora, died Tuesday at Sonora Regional Medical Center's longterm care unit. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

WELLS - Roger William Wells, 70, of Sonora, died Tuesday at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. Neptune Society of Central California is handling arrangements.