Obituaries for January 10, 2003

January 10, 2003 12:00 am

Pete ‘Broken Tongue' Lehr

April 9, 1939 — Jan. 5, 2003

Pete "Broken Tongue" Lehr, 63, a former longtime Sonora resident, died unexpectedly Sunday at a Marysville hospital.

The cause of his death has not been determined.

Mr. Lehr was born in Oakland and lived in Olivehurst, Yuba County, for the past 10 years. He lived in the Grass Valley area for many years before moving to Olivehurst.

He moved to Sonora as a small boy with his family, graduating from Jamestown Elementary School and Sonora High School, where he was president of the senior class of 1957. He had played junior varsity and varsity football and had been a member of the band and concert band at the high school.

He served in the Air Force from 1958 to 1962 and was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California. He was a missile technician and worked on the Thor missile.

After he left the Air Force, he worked for Dodge Ridge Winter Sports Area before landing his first job with the California Department of Forestry at its Groveland station. More than 30 years later, he retired as a CDF captain. He worked in the Grass Valley area most of his career.

He had been a member of the Jamestown Volunteer Fire Department in the 1960s and was a member and had just been elected president of the Sierra Muzzleloaders' Association in Yuba and Sutter counties. He had owned a store that sold equipment for black-powder shoots and went to many shooting events.

Mr. Lehr is survived by his wife, Helen Lehr of Olivehurst; a son, Phillip Lehr of Oroville; two daughters, Becky McElroy of Bend, Ore., and Kathy Spurling of Sand Point, Idaho; a brother, Allen Lehr of Jamestown; a stepdaughter, Kimbra Hedrick of Yuba City; and a stepson, Derek Hedrick of Yuba City.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Leland Lehr, and his first wife, Fay (Long) Lehr.

A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Ullrey Memorial Chapel in Yuba City.

Donations may be made to a charity of choice.

Jeanne Wickus

April 3, 1921 — Jan. 7, 2003

Jeanne Wickus, 81, of Sonora died Tuesday at her home.

Mrs. Wickus was one of 11 children born to parents who were farmers and operators of a small hotel in Nichols, Ga.

As a child, her family said, hotel guests doted on her. She grew up to be an accomplished businesswoman, a charity leader and a wise mother and friend, they said.

As the wife of Air Force Maj. Walter Hoyle Jr. of Fitzgerald, Ga., she raised her four children at Air Force bases in the United States and Germany, and settled in Valdosta, Ga., in 1958.

Wherever her husband was stationed, she was involved in service projects for Welcome Wagon, aid to families in crisis and hospital auxiliaries, her family said.

She later married Bob Wickus and established Valdosta's earliest telecommunications center in the 1960s. After establishing the business, she became a director of American Red Cross chapter in Valdosta.

Her family said she used her business knowledge to her children's benefit. She would borrow money in their names, place it in a savings account and repay the loan when it was due. When her children became adults and needed to borrow money, they learned they had excellent credit ratings because of their mother's efforts.

Her family said she brought art, beauty, wisdom and curiosity into their lives and their friends' lives.

Wanting her children to have many experiences, her family said she once kept her daughter out of school to see a chimpanzee.

In 1994, she moved to Sonora to be near her daughter, Jeanne Hoyle. Despite having had a series of small strokes, she quickly became a part of this community.

Her family said she could be seen walking throughout town, dancing at the adult day care center, shopping at the farmer's market or worshiping in church.

Her family said she enjoyed whatever she did, and her constant refrain was "don't we have fun!"

They said she died with all her children around her, as they had been with her during her last days. Her family said she will be deeply missed.

In addition to daughter, Jeanne Hoyle of Sonora, Mrs. Wickus is survived by three other children, JoAnna Hoyle-Davis and David Hoyle, both of Columbia, and Lisa Hoyle Slamakowski of Palm Desert; grandchildren Deirdre Jenkins Reaves of Nashville, Tenn., Edward "Tripp" Jenkins of Sonora, Kate Vieux of Columbia and Whitten Lane of Atlanta; great-granddaughters Hayley Jenkins of Sonora and Eureka and Emma Smith of Nashville; and two great-grandsons, Joshua Davis and Jasper Kelly of Columbia.

A memorial service was to be held at 1 p.m. today at St. James Episcopal Church at Washington and Snell streets, Sonora with a gathering of family and friends to follow. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Douglas P.

Chambers

Sept. 25, 1944 — Jan. 7, 2003

Douglas P. Chambers, 58, of Valley Springs died Tuesday at a Sacramento veteran's hospital after a long illness.

Mr. Chambers was born in Cherry Hill, Ark., and moved to Sonora as a child with his family. He grew up in Sonora, graduated from Sonora Elementary School and was a 1963 graduate of Sonora High School. He lived in Sonora for many years and lived in Valley Springs for the past two years.

He served in the Army during the Vietnam War and received many medals and honors while stationed in Vietnam, including a medal of honor and four Bronze Stars.

After the war, he worked as an auto parts dismantler for Bohag Parts, was a security guard at the Standard sawmill and other places and worked other jobs for Pickering Lumber Company in Standard.

He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Sonora for many years.

Mr. Chambers is survived by eight sisters and two brothers-in-law, Betty Egger of Jackson, Ina Sanders of New Mexico, Nancy Powell of Mena, Ark., Zella Bowden of Phoenix, Cannie Waters of Columbia, Eva Lince of Bullhead City, Ariz., Viccie and Tom Crider of Valley Springs and Wilma and Ken Francek of Sonora; 15 nieces and two nephews; and several great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Elsie Chambers, and three brothers.

A military burial will be held at Gustine National Cemetery. A memorial service will be held in Sonora at a later date. Veterans Administration in Sacramento is handling arrangements.

Notices

SCHWANTJE — Werner Schwantje, 76, died Thursday at his home in Soulsbyville. Terzich and Wilson is handling arrangements.

SUTTLE — A memorial service for James and Maria Suttle is scheduled for 2 p.m. Jan. 18 at Heuton Memorial Chapel. James Suttle died July 20, 2002, and Maria Suttle died Nov. 17, 2002.

BETHUNE — A memorial service for Jane Bethune of Columbia, who died Dec. 28, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Jan. 18 at Columbia Presbyterian Church of the '49ers.