Obituaries for the week of 1/9/2013

Norman Phillip Winnie

Charles George “Chuck” Steurer

Gerald Benton Shrum

Pauline I. Morris

Esther E. “Eddie” Retallack

Gale Lugene Nelson

Yvonne VanCantfort

Ronald Morton

Margaret May “Mickey” Smith


Born Aug. 21, 1947, to Eugene and Rhoda Winnie in Berkeley, Norm WInnie attended Kensington Elementary School in Kensington. He graduated from Oakland High School in 1965. He attended college at Chabot Community College in Hayward.

  Norm first worked in the warehouse division of A.G.E. Department Store in Oakland where he met Barbara White, who worked in the credit department of the same store. She was the love of his life. They were married Oct. 21, 1967, in San Leandro. They raised two beautiful daughters: Sherene Gruver, presently of Elk Grove, and Michele Cernik, presently of Rocklin.

  Norm passed away Nov. 9, 2012. He was preceded in passing by his beloved wife, Barbara, by one year.

  Norm and Barb began their marriage as managers of an apartment complex in Oakland. It was here that they started their family. Norm also worked at Sunshine Biscuits and then Lucky’s Stores. From Oakland they moved to San Ramon, where they remained until Norm’s retirement from Lucky’s as a warehouseman and loyal teamster of Local 70. It was six years ago, after Norm’s retirement, that they moved to make Gridley their home.

  During their life in the San Francisco Bay Area Norm and Barb were avid fans of the Oakland A’s baseball team. Before the game Norm would pack his SUV very carefully with everything anyone might possibly need at a tailgate party. We would enjoy a barbecue with every side dish you could think of because Norm and Barb were the king and queen of the Oakland A’s tailgate party. During these “tailgaters” we were thankful for Norm’s famous organizational skills. His car (and house, for that matter) was the neatest and most professionally stocked in the world. This was Norm. He thought of everything.

  Norm and Barb shared a love of the ocean. While living in the Bay Area they traveled there often. Their home is filled with photos and figurines of sea otters, there to remind them of that special place in their hearts.

  Norm loved animals and especially his dogs. His daily routine in San Ramon included piling the two dogs into the car and driving down to the nearest McDonald’s restaurant so that he could treat the dogs to McDonald’s famous french fries. There isn’t one of us who will forget Norm calling out “Maggie!” to his challenging Lhasa apso.

  He was well known for his barbecues. We can all picture Norm standing in the garage over the barbecue in his shorts and barefoot, no matter what the weather or the temperature. It didn’t matter, Norm was oblivious. To him it was always summer.

  Norm loved Gridley because it moved him close to two of his favorite places: Chester and the California Central Valley. Chester and its surrounding forest was Norm’s second home. To say that he loved to fish the streams and lakes in the area and visit with his friends from Chester and Lassen View Resort is an understatement. He lived to be in the forest. Norm also took up the game of golf on the greens of the Lake Almanor area near Chester. One of his most special spots was Horseshoe Lake, a beautiful and isolated lake in Lassen National Park.

  In Gridley, Norm and Barb lived among the wintering waterfowl that he could hear flying over his house at night. He was a longtime member and supporter of Ducks Unlimited. His house was decorated with numerous paintings of waterfowl, a statement of his love of the vision of thousands of geese, ducks and swans flying overhead.

  Norm loved his grandchildren. The grandchildren’s room was always filled with new toys for their next visit. Norm and Barb saw to it that they knew they were loved.

  Norm loved to swim and he loved kids. He could be found every afternoon in the backyard pool but he also stocked it with toys for the grandchildren and for the neighborhood children.

  Norm was known as “Pooh” or “Pooh-bear” to his friends, of which he had many. Norm knew how to be a good friend. He had that remarkable ability to be thoughtful to the needs of his friends. You knew you were loved by Norm. He did not hide his feelings.

  Norm had a relaxed and friendly manner both to friends and to strangers. He had a large presence, a good heart and a loving spirit. He was easy to like, easy to remember and will be impossible to forget.

  Norm is survived by daughters Sherene and Michele; grandchildren Madison, of Elk Grove, and Ryan and Hannah Cernik, of Rocklin; brother Robert Winnie, of New York; and sisters Yvonne Marler, of Suisun, Mary Cooper, of San Leandro, Karen Perazzo, of Pacifica, and Carolyn Ziegler, of Nevada.

  Services will be held for Norm at Crawford’s Barn, 2715 Tiber Drive, Sacramento, on Jan. 19 at 2 p.m.


  Chester resident Charles George “Chuck” Steurer peacefully passed from this life with his wife at his side Monday morning, Dec. 10, 2012, at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, at the age of 88.

  Born Sept. 11, 1924, in Los Angeles to Charles Jacob and Viola Vesta (Chadwick) Steurer, he was raised and educated in Southern California, graduating from Burbank High School as a member of the Class of 1942.

  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 after obtaining his parents’ permission and was trained in electrical hydraulics. Assigned to the USS Williamson, a destroyer that had no hydraulics, he served as a gunner’s mate in Asia and the South Pacific taking part in the battles of Espiritu Santo, The New Hubertus and Guam.

  Upon his honorable discharge he returned home and enrolled in Glendale Junior College where he obtained a degree in structural engineering. He soon began what became a 45-year career as a building contractor and commercial lath and plasterer, retiring in 1986.

  In 1947 Chuck married Pat Palstine and to this union a son and daughter were born.

  Chuck was an accomplished trap shooter who was a member of the Pacific Trap Shooting Association as well as Valencia area trap clubs. He was a charter member of the Antelope Gun Club of Quartz Hill. He maintained a top 10 position amongst his competitors. Following the death of Chuck’s second wife, Nancy Barnett, he took up upland game bird hunting, especially hunting chukar, quail, pheasants and doves in Mexico with his ever-faithful bird dogs as well as continuing his life-long passion of fishing the streams and rivers of California.

  At this time he also took up the sport of bowling and it is through this that Chuck met his sweetheart, Carolyn. The couple was united in matrimony in October 1983 and the couple relocated to the northeastern California community of Chester on Easter Sunday 1987.

  Raised as a master Mason in April 1989 as a member of the Westwood Lodge No. 501, Chuck went on to join the Lake Almanor Shrine Club where he served as president from 1993 to 1994 and was honored with the Shrine Medal of Honor in 1995. He served as Double Eagle Scottish Rite club president in 1997; was raban of the Dogtown Hillbilly Clan No. 114 in 2006; served as worthy patron of the Westwood Chapter No. 366 Order of Eastern Star in 1999, 2001 and 2002; and also served as worthy patron of the Sincerity Chapter No. 53 of the Order of Eastern Star in 2007 and 2008. The Masons’ highest honor, the Hiram Award, was bestowed upon Chuck as a member of the Greenville Sincerity Lodge No. 132.

  Chuck’s other affiliations include his membership in the Harry Doble American Legion Post No. 664 of Chester, the Chester-Lake Almanor Senior Citizens Club, the Lassen Shrine Club, the Chester Elks Lodge No. 2626, the Feather River Shrine Club and the Feather River Scottish Rite Club.

  In passing Chuck leaves his loving wife, Carolyn, of Chester; daughter Susan and her husband Jerry Sledge, of Hidden Valley Lake; son Mark Steurer, of Santa Cruz; and grandsons Jesse Sledge, of Santa Rosa, and Justin Sledge and his wife Jessica and his great-grandchildren Audrey, Mia and Madison Sledge, all of Camano Island, Wash. He is also survived by a brother, Earl Steurer and his wife Ruth, of Granada Hills; stepchildren Sally Barnett, of Santa Maria, Rob Worthington, of Klamath Falls, Ore., Lisa and husband Fernando Lopez, of Simi Valley, and Kimberly and husband Rusty Mays, of Huntersville, N.C.; and step-grandchildren Chris Lopez, of Davis, and Vanessa Lopez, of Simi Valley.

  Masonic memorial services took place Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, at the Greenville Masonic Lodge of Sincerity Chapter No. 132 of the Free and Accepted Masons. Private inurnment will take place in the Chester District Cemetery.

  An opportunity to express condolences to the family and sign the memorial guest register is available online at fehrmanmortuary.com.

  Any remembrances in Chuck’s name can be made to the Shriners Children’s Hospital of Sacramento, c/o Fehrman Mortuary and Crematory, P.O. Box 803, Greenville, CA 95947.


  Chester resident Gerald Benton Shrum passed from this life under the compassionate care of those at Seneca Healthcare District’s Long-Term Care Unit on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, at the age of 83.

  Born in Earlsboro, Okla., on Feb. 21, 1929, to the late James and Maud (Taylor) Shrum, Gerald, his mother and seven brothers and sisters moved to California when he was 7. He was raised and educated in Lodi where he graduated from Lodi High School as a member of the Class of 1947.

  He came to the northeastern California lumber community of Chester right out of high school to work a summer job and never left. After a 44-year career with the Collins family at their Chester mill he retired as a saw filer, respected throughout the industry for his expertise in the trade.

  While out enjoying a winter snowfall he was hit with a snowball thrown by a pretty young cabaret dancer and after chasing her down not long after found that he had fallen in love. The couple was united in matrimony March 11, 1950, in Reno, Nev., and to this union two daughters were born.

  He was a longtime member of the Lumber and Industrial Workers Union Local 3074, enjoyed square dancing and was a longtime member of the Stover Mountain Stompers. He is said to have a philosophy in life of “Hunt, fish and work a little on the side.”

  In passing Gerald leaves his daughter Debi Shrum, of Turlock; granddaughter Shawana Carter; three great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; and sisters Jeanette Tilley, of Gault, and Deelene Shrum, of San Jose.

  He is reunited in his eternal home with his loving wife, Arlene, daughter Linda Carter, three brothers and two sisters.

  A celebration of Gerald’s life will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the Chester Wesleyan Church, 263 Gay St. Interment will take place in the Chester District Cemetery.

  An opportunity to express condolences to the family and sign the memorial guest register is available online at fehrmanmortuary.com.

  The family suggests any remembrances in Gerald’s memory be made to the Salvation Army’s Camp Program, c/o Fehrman Mortuary and Crematory, P.O. Box 803, Greenville, CA 95947.


  Pauline Morris, daughter of James B. Riley (born in Oklahoma Territory) and Pearl Higgins (Arkansas) died in Chico on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, at the age of 91.

  Pauline was born in Clayton, Okla., and as a young girl made her way with her parents westward during the Great Depression. With her parents, brother and sister she lived the story of the migration to California, passing through the oil fields of Texas and the Dust Bowl to eventually land in Westwood, where her father worked for Red River Lumber Co.

  She was preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Donald Morris. After marriage, and following the end of World War II, Pauline and Don lived in Susanville, then moved in 1948 to Chester, where they settled into small-town life to raise their family. They retired to Chico in 1983 (Pauline had a career in the U.S. Postal Service as a postal clerk for 25 years before her retirement).

  Her son Daniel; daughter Marilyn; son Richard; daughter-in-law Tricia; son-in-law William Quadrio; and grandchildren Barrett and Kathryn Morris, and Cassie and Lindsey Quadrio, survive her. Her absolute greatest joys were her grandchildren.

  Pauline is remembered for her commitment to parenthood, as a dedicated mother who raised her children to act responsibly and respect others, and who instilled a reverence for learning and for the teaching profession. It is no coincidence that two of her three children did their life work in the field of education.

  Pauline was active in her community during the Chester years, where she participated in PTA, the Chester Women’s Club and March of Dimes. In retirement, she was a regular contributor to a variety of causes, including Salvation Army, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and local charities in Chico.

  During her final three years, Pauline was a resident of Almond Blossom Senior Care, a small assisted living facility in Chico, and was attended in the final month of her life by Feather River Hospice. The family expresses undying gratitude and bottomless appreciation for the care, concern and support given to Pauline in the winter of her life by these two amazing institutions.

  No service is planned at this time; rather, a small graveside service will be conducted early in 2013, when the scent of spring is in the air.


  Longtime area Realtor Esther E. “Eddie” Retallack passed from this life peacefully Monday morning, Dec. 31, 2012, with her grandson at her side at Plumas District Hospital in Quincy.

  Born to Cecil and Madeline (VanSchaick) Orr on Sept. 15, 1928, in Pasadena, Eddie, as she was affectionately known, was raised in Southern California where she graduated from Verdugo High School as a member of the Class of 1945.

  Shortly out of high school she married a handsome young recently discharged member of the U.S. Army Air Corps, Thomas H. Retallack. The newlyweds settled in Sunland before the family moved to San Fernando and later to the Palmdale area.

  In 1965 the couple relocated to the Lake Almanor area where together they owned and operated Harbor Lites Resort on the Lake Almanor Peninsula and Childs Meadows Resort outside of Mineral. At this time Eddie also entered the real estate field, remaining active until her passing. It is said she was one of those who could “sell refrigerators to Eskimos.” Eddie moved to Crescent Mills where she resided until her passing. Eddie later remarried and enjoyed a loving relationship with Charles Anson until his passing in 2004.

  Eddie was a longtime member of the Plumas and Lassen County Realtors Association. She found great enjoyment in spending time with anyone and everyone and as a devout Christian found solace in studying the Bible.

  In passing she leaves her son Thomas T. Retallack and his wife Peggy, of Klamath Falls, Ore.; grandchildren Thomas “Tim” Retallack Jr., of Greenhorn Ranch, Robin Retallack, of Bloomington Springs, Tenn., Tammy Magrese, of Cookville, Tenn., Jill Johnson, of Rohnert Park; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.

  Along with her husbands, she joins a brother, Daniel, and sister Madeline in their eternal home.

  A celebration of Eddie’s life will take place 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at the Fehrman Mortuary Chapel-Quincy. Interment will take place in the Chester District Cemetery.

  An opportunity to express condolences to the family and sign the memorial guest register is available online at fehrmanmortuary.com.


  Crescent Mills resident Gale L. Nelson passed from this life unexpectedly Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Reno, Nev., with her family at her side.

  Born in Dallas, Texas, to Texas natives Leonard and Naomi (Ralston) Meek on Sept. 4, 1939, Gale along with her family moved west to the San Francisco Bay Area when she was 3. She attended school in the Hayward and Fremont areas before graduating from Washington High School in Fremont.

  After being introduced to him by mutual friends, Gale married Keith Nelson in Hayward on July 19, 1980. Keith became the love of her life and her best friend. The couple moved to the Northeastern California community of Crescent Mills in 1995 from Fremont.

  First and foremost a loving mother and wife, Gale enjoyed caring for her family and organizing family events to keep them close. She loved to travel, found great pleasure in trying her luck in the area’s gaming establishments, enjoyed working in her garden, fishing and relaxing crocheting. Gale attended the Greenville Community United Methodist Church.

  In passing she leaves her husband, Keith, of Crescent Mills; sons George Gardner and his wife April, of Richland, Wash., and Michael Nelson and his wife Debbie, of Oakdale; daughters Wynae Hagwood, of Quincy, Janine Costilla and her husband Jerry, of Manteca, Dorthea Britt and husband Joe, of Crescent Mills, and Brenda Hamilton, of Sacramento; one brother; two sisters, including Kathy Alexander, of Crescent Mills; the jewels of her later life, 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; and her dear best friend Dorothy Paul, of Vancouver, Wash.

  A celebration of Gale’s life was held Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Greenville Community United Methodist Church. Private scattering of her cremains will take place on the family property outside of Crescent Mills.

  An opportunity to express condolences to the family and sign the memorial guest register is available online at fehrmanmortuary.com.

  The family suggests any remembrances be made to St. Jude of San Francisco Children’s Fund, c/o Fehrman Mortuary and Crematory, P.O. Box 803, Greenville, CA 95947.


  Cromberg resident Yvonne VanCantfort passed from this life peacefully, with her family at her side, at Plumas District Hospital in Quincy early Friday morning, Jan. 4, 2013, following a valiant battle with lung cancer.

  Born in Corbin, Ky., on Oct. 12, 1944, to Paul and Opal (Noe) VanCantfort, she and her family moved west to settle in the San Fernando Valley when she was a young child. Here she was raised and educated, graduating from Alemany High School as a member of the Class of 1962. She went on to attend Pierce Community College in Southern California.

  Yvonne began a career with the United States Forest Service as a fire lookout on the Angeles National Forest in 1977. During the mid-’80s she transferred to the Plumas National Forest where she retired as a resource manager in 1997.

  As a member of the Cromberg community, Yvonne was active in all the community activities as well as being a longtime supporter of American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. She had a special place in her heart for both volunteer and professional firefighters as well as for abused and deserted animals through her affiliation with Sierra Animal Rescue. Yvonne enjoyed the outdoors through camping, hiking and especially the game of golf. Visiting family was a big part of her retired life as was rooting for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco 49ers.

  Yvonne leaves in passing her sisters, Wana Klasen and husband Owen and Rennee Hernandez and husband Anthony, all of Fillmore, Theresa Fitzpatrick and husband David, of Newfoundland, Canada; and numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and -nephews and great-great-nieces and -nephews.

  She is predeceased by her parents, Paul and Opal; brother Bernard; sister Gayle Robeson; and her beloved life partner, Catherine Timlin.

  A celebration of Yvonne’s life is being planned for summer 2013. An opportunity to express condolences to the family and sign the memorial guest register is available online at fehrmanmortuary.com.

  The family suggests any remembrances in Yvonne’s memory be made to either Relay for Life, the Long Valley Volunteer Fire Department or Sierra Animal Rescue, c/o Fehrman Mortuary, P.O. Box 53, Quincy, CA 95971.


  Ronald Morton, 62, of Portola, died Dec. 10, 2012, in an extended care facility in Reno, Nev.

  He was born in California on Feb. 9, 1950.

  Survivors include one son, one daughter, three grandsons and one granddaughter.

  A private family memorial was held.


  Margaret May “Mickey” Smith died Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at Feather River Hospital in Paradise.

  She was born April 20, 1949, to Milton and Margaret (Monte) Gentle in San Francisco.

  She is survived by her husband, Robert, of Greenville; son Robert Brian Smith, of Bloomington, Ind.; daughter Melissa Smith, of Fairbanks, Alaska; mother Margaret Gentle, of Canyon Dam; and sister Diana Goulding, of San Carlos.

  She was predeceased by her father and three sisters.

  A celebration of Mickey’s life was held Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at the Fehrman Mortuary Chapel-Greenville. Inurnment will take place at a later date in the Greenville District Cemetery.

  An opportunity to express condolences to the family and sign the memorial guest register is available online at fehrmanmortuary.com.

  Any remembrances in Mickey’s memory can be made to the Indian Valley Christian Fellowship, c/o Fehrman Mortuary and Crematory, P.O. Box 803, Greenville, CA 95947


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