Obituaries for the week of 5/7/2013

Mary L. Michelson

David Bacon Newcomb

Donna Hillan Wright

  Mary Michelson, 83, was a longtime resident of Quincy. She lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at her daughter’s home in Auburn. Born in Bard, Calif., on April 15,1929, she was one of 11 children. She was the last remaining sibling of Alfred and Lula Way.

  Mary loved cooking and playing cards with her family. She was a retired hospital dietitian and also worked in the care-giving field for many years.

  Mary was a longtime member of the Quincy congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She loved sharing her faith with others and looked forward to a new paradise earth. Her favorite verse, Revelation 21-4: And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore, the former things have passed away.

  She is survived by six of her seven children; her daughter Cindy Hedrick passed away early last year in Lima, Ohio.

  The remaining children are Sandra Cameron, Wanda Partlow and Jerry Cook, all of Quincy, Debby White, of Grass Valley, Karrie Green, of Auburn, and Michael White of Oroville; 22 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

  A celebration of Mary’s life, open to all her friends and family, will be held Sunday, May 19, at the Vets Hall on Lawrence Street in Quincy at 2 p.m.


  Dave Newcomb was born in 1929 in Newport, RI.

  He comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. His maternal great-grandfather had a gravel company and a fleet of work horses. He was well known in Newport as the road maker. His maternal grandfather built and ran a restaurant and distillery which provided him with capital to invest in horses. His father owned and operated a fishery.

  Entrepreneur refers to someone who attempts to profit through risk and initiative. This defines Dave from birth to death. He started selling eggs as a young boy and by the time he was 10 he had a thriving horse boarding business on their family estate. He remembered vividly being asked, as an eight-year-old, by a librarian what he wanted to do when he grew up to which he answered, “I am going to have a horse ranch out West.” He recalled she laughed at him and he thought to himself, “I will do it!” Seventy-six years later Dave died on his horse ranch out west.

  As a young child, Dave’s favorite pastime was to go to the stockyards and watch the horses from Indiana being unloaded by the train-car loads. His sister tells of how Dave challenged the police officer who patrolled the Newport Beaches on horseback to a race. Although he was on a pony, Dave outran the police. This began a lifelong career of raising race horses. Many in Newport remembered him as the boy who played polo bareback on a horse so well trained there was no need for a bridle.

  Dave joined the paratroopers at age sixteen. He explained he did this because he had business ideas and his mother would not let him have free rein. Shortly after returning from Japan, where he was stationed at the end of WW II, Dave left for Utah to attend college. After Utah, Dave went to Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Prescott, Ariz., where he worked galloping race horses. During this time, Dave purchased his first stud horse, Shamrock, and a mare named, Gentle Annie. He traveled from job to job with his horses and became known as the Gypsy. When it came time to choose his brand and a name for the ranch, he chose the Walking G.

  His gypsy days ended when, after having traveled through the West, he came to Indian Valley in 1951. He said he had found his heaven on earth. The ranch they discovered was out on a dirt road. The valley had no telephone coverage at that time. Dave, Mary Ann and their three children lived in a log cabin. It was years before Dave could make a living off the ranch.

  He started working in the woods and was described by the other loggers as a hard worker who would take on any job and do it well.

  In the weeks leading up to his death he reminisced about the camaraderie among the loggers, telling of how once, when injured on the job, the entire crew came to see him in the hospital.

  He appeared to be genetically predisposed to building roads; he was described by fellow workers as the best grader operator in the woods.

  In the winter months when the woods shut down, he delivered milk to neighbors, sold Christmas trees and drove a gravel truck.

  In 1956, Dave and Mary Ann started a camp which continued until 2009. Dave began to race and raise quarter horses and later thoroughbreds. His horses won numerous races and he is well known and respected in the horse racing industry.

  During the last days of his life, while confined in bed, he often looked at a picture of one of his favorite stud horses, Bullwinkle, and recalled how he would ride him bareback every evening through the field and over the hill to Genesee to check the mares. He smiled when he spoke and his voice conveyed delight. At the end of his life he stated emphatically, “I have done everything I wanted to do.”

  He will be remembered as a man who worked ferociously and kept a tenacious hold on his childhood dream, despite setbacks and hard times. He succeeded in creating a way of life where he could still do those things which had brought him the greatest happiness as a child: riding horses bareback and winning races. Dave stayed in the game up until the end. Hours before he died his two-year-old great-grand daughter brought him a basket of eggs she had collected from the chicken coop. He used the last strength he had to acknowledge her and her entrepreneurship. He died knowing his dream was alive and well.

  Dave is survived by his children: John Eric Cadenhead (Bronco), Heather Kingdon and Heidi Pace. He will be missed by many.

  An opportunity to express your condolences to the family along with signing the memorial guest register is available online at.fehrmanmortuary.com


  Donna Hillan Wright passed away April 11, 2013.

  A Celebration of Donna’s life will be held on Saturday, May 25. Please meet at Tiki Bar/Way Station in Greenville at 11 am.

  All family and friends are invited.

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