Longtime resident and businessman Eugene Melton “Gene” Porter passed from this life peacefully Thursday afternoon, May 9, 2013, at Northern Nevada Medical Center in Sparks, Nevada.
Gene was born in Buckatunna, Miss., on Oct. 1, 1938. He entered the military at age 18 and served his country honorably as a member of the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft and helicopter mechanic. He was discharged in 1960 and settled in the San Francisco East Bay area.
On Oct. 8, 1960, Gene married the love of his life Shirley Mancebo and to this union two sons were born. The couple relocated Gene’s Towing and Truck Repair from Hayward, to the Northeastern California community of Greenville in May of 1971 where Gene and Shirley operated the business until her passing in 2004. Gene took great pride in his business and the fact that he was able to fabricate the equipment needed whether it be the first four axel tow truck in the area or later his water truck he contracted out.
Gene was the last surviving member of the “Church of Frank,” a former member of the Greenville Rotary Club and will be remembered by many as a participant in local parades with his restored 1936 Ford Flatbed and demonstrating how you started it by hand cranking. Gene enjoyed the outdoors through hunting and fishing.
In passing Gene leaves his sons David and his wife Lynn, of Burney, Michael and his wife Kathy, of Hanford; his grandchildren, Shelby Mazzocco and husband Jared, Rebecca “Becky” Porter, James Porter, Jennifer Porter and Sarah Porter; a sister, Sheila and brother-in-law Roy Wilson of Gap, Pa., along with his dedicated caregiver for the past nine years, his sister-in-law, Sharon Mancebo of Greenville.
Private family services to include military honors will take place alongside his late wife in the Greenville District Cemetery. An opportunity to express your condolences to the family along with signing the memorial guest register is available online at fehrmanmortuary.com.
Ellis Lewis was born in Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada, on Nov. 30, 1929. He died May 10, 2013, at U.C. Davis in Sacramento.
He is survived by longtime companion Mary Mallory; four sons, three daughters, seven grandsons, three granddaughters, one great-granddaughter and three brothers.
Ellie was the oldest of seven children. Predeceased by his father, mother, two brothers and one sister, he became a U.S. citizen in 1964. In 1936, at six years old, Ellie’s family spent time in the logging camps of British Columbia driving teams of horses and falling timber.
In 1946, 17-year-old Ellie started to enter rodeos in Canada and later in the United States. Ellie’s favorite event was Saddle Bronc; however, he did work all of the events throughout his 37-year career. Ellie won the Canadian Saddle Bronc Championship in 1957. In 1959, Ellie won All-Around cowboy in Canada. Ellie was inducted in the Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2008.
Ellie cowboyed and ran various ranches in the northern and central valleys of California.
Retirement in 1982 found Ellie doing wagon trains throughout northern California. In 2000, Ellie moved to Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch where he drove wagons until 2009 when his health problems started.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ellie’s name can be made to the FRC rodeo foundation at 570 Golden Eagle Ave., Quincy, CA 95971.
Service will be held at Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch on June 14, at 3 p.m. at 2116 Greenhorn Ranch Rd. Quincy, CA 95971.