Union Democrat staff


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Gerald Bixler Engler

April 15, 1924 - July 16, 2014

Lifelong Tuolumne County cattle rancher Gerald Engler died on July 16, 2014, in Sonora. He was 90 years old.

Gerald was born in Sonora on April 15, 1924. He always thought his birth on "tax day" was ironic since he was never a fan of big government. He was the son of Lillian (Dambacher) and August Engler.

Gerald's love of ranching began at an early age when he accompanied Charlie Wight on cattle drives from the Mormon Creek area through downtown Sonora to the Rushing Meadows range near Phoenix Lake. Many years later, Gerald ran his own cattle on this range.

Gerald graduated from Springfield Elementary and Sonora High schools. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Force in 1942 and flew 33 missions over Europe in World War II as a B-17 waist gunner in the 95th Bomber Group.

Following his discharge from the service, he returned to his home on Springfield Road and began building his own cattle herd. He married Rose Nicolini in 1956 and together they raised two sons, Joe Hardin and Jerry Engler. He continued working on his ranch and branding his own cattle until he was 88 years old.

Gerald was active in community affairs throughout his life. He served a term on the Tuolumne County Planning Commission, was a past president of the Tuolumne County chapters of the Farm Bureau and California Cattlemen's Association, and was a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West. He was a longtime advisor to the Sonora High School Agriculture Department and for many years served as a "ring master" at the junior livestock auction at the county fair.

Gerald is survived by his wife, Rose; sons Joe, of Honolulu, and Jerry, of San Leandro; grandchildren Caitlin (Los Angeles), Michael (Columbia), and Tommy (Berkeley); and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his sisters Louise Starks and Mabel Grenfell, both also lifelong Tuolumne County residents.

Gerald's family has established a scholarship fund in his memory to be awarded to deserving Sonora High School agriculture students. Contributions may be sent to the Gerald Engler Scholarship fund, P.O. Box 772, Columbia, CA 95310.

Services will be held at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home in Sonora on Thursday, July 24, 2014, at 11 a.m. with a reception following at the Sheriff's Posse Hall on Rawhide Road.

Robert Harold Meyer

Dec. 4, 1955 - July 10, 2014

Bob was born in Burlingame and raised in San Carlos, Calif., where he attended Ravenswood High School and excelled at football and mountaineering.

He moved to Tuolumne County in 1980 and opened an auto parts store in Columbia called TLC Auto Parts.

In 1984, he began his logging career at Hatler Lumber Company. He then went on to work for Joe Martin at T-5 Logging for 17 years.

After owning his own logging truck for a period of time, he went to work for Sonora Union High School District driving a special needs bus. There he was loved by all the students, parents and his colleagues.

Bob was a wonderful, loving father to his children and grandchildren. He leaves behind a loving family and many loving friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Dorothy Throndson and Robert Meyer.

Bob is survived by his children Daniel Young, Kirstin Meyer and Cody Meyer; grandchildren Alexander Mendenhall, Daniel Mendenhall and Joseph Meyer; and his ex-wife, Donna Meyer.

A service will be held on Aug. 23, 2014, at 1 p.m. at the Sonora Elks Lodge.


Death Notices in The Union Democrat are published free of charge. They include the name, age and hometown of the deceased, the date of death; service information; and memorial contribution information. The deadline is 2 p.m. the day before publication.