Obituaries for the week of 7/25/2012

Dorothy Jean Gonzales, 84

Bessie Rivera (Dizzia), 98

Gladys Helen Steiner, 93

James Vincent Brady, 72

William E. Nelson Jr., 90


Dorothy Jean Gonzales, of San Lorenzo, passed July 1, 2012, after a long battle with dementia.

Dorothy was born Sept. 24, 1927, to Manuel and Julia Santos. She grew up on the family fruit orchards in the Cherryland District of Hayward and had many wonderful years on these orchards with her four sisters, May Grandon, Helen Gonsalves, Genny Medeiros and Julie Towers, and brother George Santos. She graduated from the original Hayward High School.

In 1949 she married Ralph Gonzales (who predeceased her in 2003). They settled in San Lorenzo to raise their family. Dorothy had a long career in bookkeeping until she retired and was able to tap into her very creative side working for several years for Towers Interiors designing and creating. Dorothy and her sisters were not strangers to Lake Tahoe and Reno — many laughs were shared on these trips. Dorothy will be remembered most for her constant smile; jovial attitude; warm, caring ways; and many creative talents including her culinary skills.

She is survived by her sister Julie Towers; brother George Santos and wife Nancy; daughter Laura Travis and husband Jim; son Gregory Gonzales and wife Sharlene; grandchildren Scott Dulgar, Sarah Mendiola and husband Jeremy, Luke Gonzales and wife Saundra, and Scott Gonzales; great-grandchildren Daniella Dulgar, Jaxson and Cooper Mendiola; and many nieces, nephews and friends who will feel her loss.


Bessie Rivera (Dizzia), born Oct. 9, 1913, in Leadville, Colo., died peacefully with her loved ones by her side July 10, 2012, in Portola.

Bessie and her family moved to McGill, Nev., when she was a young girl. She continued to live there until marrying Juan Rivera and moving to Ely, then on to Reno.

Bessie leaves behind her son John Rivera and longtime partner Naomi Ceja; daughter Delicia Martinetti (John); grandchildren September Rivera, Travis Rivera, Jess Martinetti, Isaac Martinetti and Eric Martinetti; and many nieces and nephews.

Bessie loved life and brought a joy and laughter to those lucky enough to spend time around her. Never afraid to share her opinion, she was the recipient of four Silver Pen Awards for letters written to the Reno Gazette Journal. Bessie loved people, music, singing and playing her guitar. She is left free to drift along with the tumblin’ tumbleweed.

A celebration of Bessie’s life will be held at a later date.


Gladys Helen Steiner passed from this plane to whatever comes next July 13, 2012, at her home in Quincy.

Known all her life as Helen, she was born in Ponder, Texas, in April 1920. Helen was born into a family of itinerant share-croppers and cotton pickers and would eventually end up with three male siblings, Lowie, Jack and Rod Sanders.

At the tender age of 7 Helen learned to pick cotton (then called “pulling boles”). She could recall one Christmas Eve that her dad, Omer Lee Sanders, built little fires in the cotton rows so they would not freeze their hands. The Great Depression came and went and the family didn’t even know it; things were always the same.

Her older brother, Lowie, and she did manage to walk seven miles to school during that period. Eventually, in 1932, Omer got the idea of California in his head. He and his brother fashioned the first motorhome seen on the highways from a flat-bed truck and a following kitchen trailer. The family of five left Texas in the fall and picked cotton along the way.

They were dry and happy in their motorhome and by then Helen could pick 300 pounds of cotton a day. On the trip Omer made sure the family was able to visit Carlsbad Caverns, Yosemite and Lassen. The entire family climbed to the top of Lassen Peak. Arrival in California took her breath away with the sights of orange groves, fields of poppies and the beautiful mountains. They all picked cotton, fruit and vegetables up and down the length of California and got their first look at the Pacific Ocean and caught flounder in the sloughs. They also lived for a time in a little house with a flush toilet!

In 1934 Helen started high school in Merced, where she met, in her junior year, the love of her life: Milo “Mike” McKee, four years older than she and a football star. In 1935 Helen, with the backing of a local men’s store owner, ran for and won a Queen of the Armistice contest. She was treated like royalty with some prizes and the offer of a trip to Hollywood for a screen test. She declined the trip but the memories lingered on.

Mike and Helen were married in 1938 and her dreams started coming true: the apartment, a Model T Ford, later a two-tone Chevy convertible. Her youngest brother, Rod, was born in 1937. He had rheumatic fever and later when he was 19 a three-quarter-inch hole in his heart was repaired with a new open heart surgery method. He was, at the time, the oldest patient the procedure had been tried on.

Helen’s husband, Mike, joined the Army Air Corps during WWII and spent his time in the USA. Their daughter, Sherry, was born in 1942 and she and Helen stayed with various McKee relatives in the Merced and San Diego areas while Mike was away. He later followed his father’s footsteps and became a shoe repair man in San Diego. The family of three stayed there until 1951 when they moved to Quincy, because there was no shoe repair store to take care of the loggers’ boots.

It turned out to be a good move because eight years later they were able to buy a prime piece of property in the town and Mike built the home that Helen had always wanted and designed. Their son, David, was born in 1952 in Quincy. She would be happy to know that she died in that home.

During her many years in Quincy Helen helped out in the Texaco service station that Mike was running along with his own business in 1951.

She also became the local Sacramento Bee distributor and is still remembered by many of her paperboys that she delivered bundles of papers to every day. Helen also worked “long distance” doing survey work for the University of Michigan for several years. She went to parts of the county to find the homes they sent her to that sometimes no one knew were there except the folks that lived in them.

While at that job she had the opportunity to travel to the Michigan home office and she once interviewed the governor of Nevada. Many people remember the car she zipped around in while doing her interviews: an orange 1972 Mazda RX-2 with a black and orange houndstooth check top. She had that car until she stopped driving at age 88.

Helen and Mike were divorced in 1964 and he died in 1985. Helen married local electrical contractor Jack Steiner in 1965. Jack made many improvements to Helen’s house and together they bought two investment properties in Maui. This afforded the opportunity for travel to Hawaii several times. Jack could design and build anything electrical and was handy with carpentry and repairs too. With Helen’s design and decorating skills they also built a house on the Lake Almanor Peninsula. All three turned out to be good solid investments.

Jack died in 1992 and Helen sold all the properties, which allowed her a peaceful retirement.

Helen is survived by her daughter, Sherry McKee, and son, David McKee and his wife Sandra, all of Quincy; and stepsons Bob and Frank Steiner. Her natural children have provided grandchildren: Kris Cayocca, of Herlong; Kelly Cayocca and wife, Florence, of Brest, France; Autumn Malanca and husband, Rob, of Santa Barbara; and Jessie McKee of Quincy. Great-grandchildren Malo, Mann and Erell live in Brest and Lennon lives in Santa Barbara. Also surviving is brother Rod Sanders and wife, Nordine, of Auberry; nephew Jeff Sanders and wife, Tam, and their children, Jeromy, Cody and Tiffany; nephew Eric Sanders and wife, Darla, and their children Anola and Ellie; and niece Susan McNutt and husband, Kirk, of Oakhurst, and Susan’s sister, Carol Miller, of Tuscon, Ariz.

When the Plumas County Library was housed in the Quincy Courthouse many years ago Helen was very happy to work there. She had always felt that the home she built was perfectly situated because it is very close to the library. She was a voracious reader and had a murder mystery almost finished the night she died.

As per her wishes there will be no services held. Donations in her honor may be made to the Quincy Friends of the Plumas County Library, 445 Jackson St., Quincy, CA 95971-9410.



On July 16, 2012, Capt. James V. Brady took his final flight. It was a solo flight to a most peaceful place. He does not end this journey alone, as he will be welcomed at the arrival gate by those who flew before. He was born May 12, 1940.

“Diamond” Jim Brady was a devoted husband of 52 years to his lovely wife Sandy. They enjoyed adventures throughout the country in their RV, aptly named 2DICE2 (Paradise 2), and living in the beautiful Sierra, which was his Paradise 1. Although he lived in Iowa and Wisconsin for much of his early life, his love was the mountains. His smile and engaging personality was cherished by everyone he met.

He is survived by his wife, Sandy, and four very opinionated girls (Kim Shockley, Kelly Brady, Kristen Hamilton and Karin Hopper) who were proud to call him Dad. His granddaughters (Taryn Shockley, Alyssa Hopper and Sarah Stern) and grandsons (Tyler Hopper, Zack Shockley and Sam Stern) will greatly miss Poppa. He was a proud big brother to two sisters (Mary Furleigh and Patti Belcher — he never quite got used to Trish) and two brothers (Joe Brady and Johnny Brady — never just plain John at our house) along with many nieces and nephews in the “Brady” family.

Services were held July 20. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the causes nearest to Jim’s heart: “C” Road Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 344, Blairsden, CA 96103 or Sierra Valley Search and Rescue.

Manni Funeral Home was entrusted with arrangements.


William E. Nelson Jr. passed from this life peacefully Thursday afternoon, July 19, 2012, at Summerfield Living Center in Yuba City at the age of 90.

Born Feb. 9, 1922, in Freedonia, Kan., to the Kansas natives William Sr. and Sylvia (Morris) Nelson, Bill was raised and educated in Bell Gardens, Calif.

In 1942, Bill entered the military and served his country honorably as a member of the U.S. Navy during World War II.

On Sept. 22, 1946, he married Lucille Byrd in Tonopah, Nev., and to this union one daughter and five sons were born.

In 1948 they moved to Plumas County where they resided in Sloat, Caribou and Quincy. Bill retired from Pacific Gas and Electric Co., where he worked as an engineer for more than 20 years and is the former owner of Nelson’s Well Drilling.

Bill enjoyed being active in his community, especially serving the youth as a leader with the Boy Scouts and Little League.

In passing Bill leaves his children, William and his wife Ann Nelson, of Weimar, Don Nelson, of Sloat, and Ken Nelson, Dean and Denise Nelson and Louis and Peggy Nelson, all of Quincy; a sister, Lavada Nelson, of Los Angeles; and numerous precious grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He joins his parents, his wife, Lucille, and daughter Carol Nelson in their eternal home.

Following cremation at Fehrman Mortuary-Quincy, private family graveside services will take place alongside his wife in the Cromberg District Cemetery. An opportunity to express condolences to the family and sign the memorial guest register is available online at fehrmanmortuary.com.



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