Obituaries for the week of 4/14/2010

Claudia J. Wronker, 70
Kenneth H. Fye, MD,  67
Barbara Agnes Cokor  , 85
John Harold Biaggi,  80
Clifford Lee "Smitty" Smith, 91
Evelyn June Anderson, 86

    Claudia J. Wronker (Downing) was born July 5, 1939, in Santa Monica, and passed away March 25, 2010, in Portola.
    Claudia was the wife of retired Lieutenant Colonel Sol H. Wronker, who passed away in 1998.
    Claudia is survived by a sister, Susan Downing, sons William Alan Wronker and his wife Debbie; and Ralph Wronker II; grandchildren Krista (Wronker) Lehan and her husband, William; Anthony Wronker, Jeremy Wronker and Juan Beltran; great-grandchildren Robyn Lehan, William Lehan IV, Kayla Beltran and Kobe Beltran and many other family members.
    Claudia was an active member of the Portola community for the last 28 years. She was a member of the Portola Water Board and a member of the REACT team. She was initiated in the Portola Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, Aug. 13, 1982. Portola Chapter consolidated with Beckwith Chapter #201. She was also a member of Nevada Chapter #13 in Reno, Nev. She served many offices, being Worth Matron 13 times, and Deputy Grand Matron in 1993. She received the Eastern Star Service Award in 1996. Claudia was also a member of The White Shrine of Jerusalem and Ammon-Ra Temple #56, Daughters of the Nile. Claudia was willing to fill in at any Chapter she visited and will be missed by her fraternal sisters and brothers.
    She will be buried next to her beloved husband at the Whispering Pines Cemetery on Grizzly Road, Portola.
    The Wronker family would like to say thank you for all the support and care for our family during this time of mourning. Services were entrusted to Manni Funeral Home, Portola.

    Kenneth H. Fye, MD, a life-time resident of the Bay Area, a professor of medicine at UCSF, and honored as a master clinician by the American College of Rheumatology, died at age 67 Sunday, March 28, 2010, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
    He achieved his goal of squeezing every last bit of life and joy out of the time his cancer gave him and died peacefully in the comfort of his own bed surrounded by loving and beloved family.
    He is survived by his loving wife Marilyn of Tiburon; by daughters Katherine Sears of Fall City, Wash., and Cecelia Youngheim of Royal Oak, Mich.; by sons Marc and Kent Daniels of Tiburon and El Cerrito; by four grandchildren, Kirtis, Taryn, Cordelia and Eli; and by his sister, Theresa Jones and her children Dena Trujillo and Quinton Jones of San Jose.
    A native of Fremont, Dr. Fye attended U.C.-Berkeley, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and played on the varsity tennis team. He earned his M.D. at UCSF, completed internship at Harbor Hospital-UCLA, and returned to UCSF to complete residency in internal medicine and fellowship in rheumatology.
    Early in his career, Dr. Fye left his university post to pursue private practice in Marin County for 20 years before being recruited back to UCSF.  
    According to Dr. Bill Seaman, a close colleague of Dr. Fye’s at UCSF, “It is a little unusual for physicians to be recruited back to an academic center after so long in private practice, but Ken did not so much leave the university as take it with him into private practice. He always served on our volunteer clinical faculty, and he continued to write scientific reports of his observations of patients. Ken was such a talented and enthusiastic clinical teacher that we always wanted him back and were happy when he finally rejoined us.”
    On his return, Dr. Fye worked as a rheumatology consultant at the UCSF and San Francisco Veteran's Administration Medical Centers. As reported by Dr. Art Weiss, chief of the Division of Rheumatology, “What made Ken so effective as a teacher of medicine were his infectious enthusiasm, his breadth of knowledge, his ability to use evidence-based research to support his arguments, and his invariable focus on the needs of the individual patient. He was one of the first recipients of the Ira Goldstein Teaching Award, bestowed by our rheumatology fellows.”
    Dr. Fye conducted clinical research on osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropathies and lupus erythematosus, publishing over 60 scientific papers. Dr. David Wofsy, a co-investigator in many of Dr. Fye’s research studies, commented, “This output is remarkable for a physician who spent so much of his career in private practice and even when here, spent so much of his time as a clinician educator. He was even elected in the first group of seven ‘master clinicians’ named by our Department of Medicine, yet he found the time and energy to do first-rate clinical research.”
    In additional service to UCSF, Dr. Fye directed the volunteer clinical faculty and chaired the medical school’s Alumni Association. Among the many honors accorded by the university was his election as Alumnus of the Year in 1996. Among the honors accorded him by his patients was the endowment of the Kenneth H. Fye Distinguished Chair in Rheumatology in 2007.  
    Beyond the university, Dr. Fye was an active participant in local and national activities of the Arthritis Foundation, and was a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology, which elected him a Master of the College in 2008.
    Another UCSF colleague of Dr. Fye’s, Dr. Homer Boushey, also classmate in medical school, said of him, “Among Ken’s most distinguishing characteristics was his capacity for caring. This capacity was well known within the walls of UCSF’s hospitals and clinic but extended well beyond them. Just as examples, Ken sat long hours at the side of one friend with massive hemorrhage, stood by others when their daughter was pulled near death from a snow cave, and climbed down a precipice to rescue an unconscious stranger who had driven off a mountain road. Ken cared about teaching, especially at the bedside, where he was a model, mentor, and font of knowledge, but also through his devotion to the institution that makes the teaching of medicine possible.”
    Ken similarly applied the same energy, curiosity and enthusiasm to every aspect of his life. He was interested and curious about everything and everyone. He was a great athlete, an active and successful competitor in league play in the Northern California Tennis Association during his decades of active membership at the Marin Tennis Club. He was an award-winning hobby winemaker — an activity he shared initially with colleagues and in later years with sons, Marc and Kent — his wines winning a variety of medals at county faire competitions. A medical school classmate of Dr. Fye’s, Dr. Edgar Clark of Portland, Oregon, noted that his academic curriculum vitae “does not do justice to Ken Fye the poet, essayist, winemaker, woodworker,†fisherman, and open-armed friend.”
    He and his wife Marilyn shared a warm, loving and joyous 25 years of marriage. They traveled widely, making life-long friends in China, Germany and Ireland. When they weren’t traveling, they shared quiet, private days at home reading in front of the fire.
    He and Marilyn built a log home in Taylorsville. In like manner, Ken invested himself fully in his mountain community by actively protecting ranch lands from over-development through his involvement in the Plumas County Feather River Land Trust. His many friends in Taylorsville knew Ken equally as a physician and outdoorsman, but mostly as a tried and true friend. An accomplished woodworker, Ken built much of the furniture for their cabin and Marin home. He spent many recent hours in his woodshop making mementos for friends and family leaving a physical legacy in addition to his personal legacy.  
    He was a proud father to his daughters Katherine and Cecelia, a great companion to his adult sons, Marc and Kent, and a devoted grandparent to his grandchildren Kirtis, Cordelia, Eli and Taryn. Most notable was his deep affection for his sister Theresa and her children Dena and Quinton—a special connection he honored by sharing annual holiday celebrations.
    Ken was also an avid fly fisherman; he loved fishing on rivers and telling fish stories with friends throughout the West. Especially dear to him was fishing on Indian and Red Clover Creeks in the backyard of his mountain cabin. He enjoyed playing the guitar and loved playing and singing folksongs with his grandchildren. A history buff, poet and philosopher, he recently pursued his interest in ancient and middle ages history by compiling a collection of authentic period swords. “To tell you the truth, you can tell a lot about a culture by the swords they used.”
    A memorial event will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 2, at Robertson Auditorium, with a reception afterward at the Fisher Banquet Room, both in the William J. Rutter Center, UCSF’s Mission Bay Campus, at 1675 Owens Street, San Francisco, CA 94158. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the Kenneth H. Fye Endowed Chair, UCSF Foundation, Attn: Olivia Herbert, 220 Montgomery Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco CA 94104, or to the Feather River Land Trust, 75 Court Street, P.O. Box 1826, Quincy, CA 95971.
    A tribute website to Ken has been permanently established to celebrate his memory at tributes.com/KennethFyeMD/. Family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances are encouraged to contribute personal memories or thoughts, even include pictures you may have. This website will be available permanently.

    Longtime Quincy resident Barbara Agnes Cokor passed from this life peacefully, with her loving family at her side, Monday morning, April 5, 2010 at her residence. She had fought a valiant battle with cancer.
    Born 85 years ago in San Francisco to the late Calvert and Elaine (Gilhooly) Sweet March 22, 1925, she was raised and educated in the Roman Catholic parochial school system, graduating high school from The Academy of the Presentation in San Francisco as a member of the class of 1943.
    While attending a USO dance she met a handsome young sailor named Matthew M. Cokor who was getting ready to be shipped overseas. The couple corresponded throughout the war years and when Matthew returned home the couple was united in matrimony in San Francisco March 9, 1946. To this holy union three sons and two daughters were born.
    The newlyweds moved to Ohio where Matthew attended Ohio State and went on to obtain his teaching credential. Upon his graduation the family returned to California where Matthew began his teaching career in Live Oak before settling in Quincy in 1954.
    Barbara was first and foremost a loving wife and caring mother who always strived to provide the best for her family. She went on to obtain her AA degree at Feather River College and had a 15-year career with the Plumas County Dept. of Social Services as a case worker and later promoted to assistant director.
    Barbara was a devout member of the Roman Catholic faith and attended St. John’s Catholic Church in Quincy. She enjoyed playing cards, especially bridge and cribbage, and it is said that she was way ahead of her husband in their daily cribbage wagers.
    In passing Barbara leaves her sons, Steve and his wife Virginia Cokor of Hampstead, N. C., Matthew Cokor and his life partner Forrest Dunaetz of Vail, Ariz., Dennis Cokor of Quincy; daughters, Janet and her husband Ed Baker of Reno, Nev., and Elaine Cokor of Quincy; sister, Jerrie Smith of Chula Vista; along with the precious jewels of Barbara's later life, her ten grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
    She joins her husband Matthew who passed from this life in 1997 in their eternal home with the Lord.
    A memorial Mass was celebrated for the repose of Barbara's soul Friday, April 9, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Quincy. Inurnment of her cremains in the Old Quincy Cemetery followed the Mass.
    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 Barbara's memory be made to Plumas Community Hospice, c/o Fehrman Mortuary and Crematory, P.O. Box 53 Quincy, CA 95971.

    Masonic funeral services for John Biaggi who passed away April 8, 2010, will be held Friday, April 16, 2010, at the Beckwourth Masonic Hall at 11 a.m. followed by a graveside service at noon at Whispering Pines Cemetery, with a potluck lunch to follow back at the Beckwourth Masonic Hall.
    John was born June 4, 1931, in Sattley to Joseph and Margaret Biaggi, both deceased. He was raised by Dr. John Decker and Rose Emerson, also both deceased.
    John graduated from Portola High School in 1950, and spent 42 years working for the Plumas County Road Department.
    John is survived by his wife of 46 years, Connie (Bulkley) Biaggi; daughters Tonya (Gary) Heil, L. Cassandra (Jeff) Lokke Seeman; four grandchildren, A.J. Heil, Kelsey Heil, Devon Lokke and Tara Lokke; brother Bill (Phyllis) Biaggi; sisters Evelyn Alsua, Ida Munso, Elisabeth Breeze and Rose Biaggi; and numerous nieces,  nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
    John was preceded in death by brothers Marion Biaggi and George Biaggi, sister Margaret Dixon and granddaughter Christina Heil.
    John was a 52-year member of the Feather River Lodge #234, F&AM, Beckwith-Portola Star Chapter #201 OES and a member of Portola United Methodist Church.
    John had a very strong work ethic and was always ready to help anyone. He will be remembered for his smiling face and spirit of helpfulness.
    In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Feather River Lodge Scholarship Fund (c/o Floyd Lewis, 148 E. Magnolia Portola), Portola United Methodist Church (396 Second Ave., Portola), or Tahoe Forest Hospice (P.O. Box 2508, Truckee, CA 96160). Services are entrusted to Manni Funeral Home Portola.

    Longtime Westwood real estate broker Clifford Lee "Smitty" Smith died at Country Villa Riverview in Susanville Monday, April 5, 2010, at the age of 91. He was born in Provo, Utah, Sept. 24, 1918, to the late Utah natives Leland and Ann (Fullmer) Smith.
    Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Jane of Clear Creek; son Lee "Dan" Smith of Ellensberg, Wash.; daughters Linda Marie Hammer and her husband Michael of Antelope, and Judy Smith of Susanville; his precious grandson Brandon and his wife Tabatha Edwards along with their children Tristin, Kenyan and Kaylab.
    He joins in his eternal home his son, Clifford Jr., who died in 1998, and a sister, Maxine.
    A celebration of Smitty's life will take place 1 p.m. Thursday, April 15, at the Westwood Assembly of God Church with burial to include Military Honors to follow in the Westwood 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 Smitty's memory be made to the Lassen Animal Rescue c/o Fehrman Mortuary and Crematory, P.O. Box 803, Greenville, CA 95947.

    Portola resident Evelyn June Anderson, 86, died at Eastern Plumas Health Care's Skilled Nursing Facility Friday, April 9, 2010.
    Born Jan. 17, 1924, to the late Lawrence and Gladys (Richardson) McCarty in Corcoran, she had spent the past five years living in Portola.
    June is survived by her husband of 65 years, Raymond of Portola; her sons and their families, David and Julie Anderson of Portola; Richard and Tomo Anderson of Portland, Ore. and Martin and Debbie Anderson of Quincy; June’s three granddaughters, Casie Arthur of Gainesville, Va., and Stephanie and Sarah Anderson — both of Quincy; and two great-grandchildren. She also leaves her sister Marion Schmidt of Council Bluffs, Iowa.
    A private family celebration of June's life will take place at a later date. 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 June's memory be made to the Skilled Nursing Facility of Eastern Plumas Health Care District that provided her with wonderful, loving care in her last few months, c/o Fehrman Mortuary and Crematory, P.O. Box 53, Quincy, CA 95971.

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