Obituaries for the week of 7/18/2012

Craig Newell Huston, 58

William E. Holland Jr., 64

Mary Francis Dovi, 63

Juanita (Nita) Ashcraft, 91


Craig Huston went to be with his Lord Jesus suddenly June 21, 2012. He was dearly loved by his wife Debbie for 34 years and his children Rebecca Garrett, of Chester, Beau (Chelsey) Huston, of Auburn, and Tesha Huston, of Redding.

Craig’s family shares memories of a hardworking man who loved God, rock hunting, hiking, the outdoors, Native American studies especially Ishi, and current events.

Craig was born Oct. 17, 1953, in Southern California and spent his formative years in Sierra Madre, graduating from Pasadena High School in 1971. His family relocated to Westwood shortly after Craig’s graduation.

Craig began his 38-year career with Collins Pine Co. in 1974 where he was still working hard at the time of his death.

Craig met Debbie in 1977 at a baby shower which was a matchmaking attempt by his mother, Vera Copp, and Debbie’s grandmother, Ada Stewart. It worked!

Craig was preceded in death by his mother, Vera Copp, and father, Charles Huston. In addition to his wife and children, he is also survived by stepfather Chuck Copp, of Westwood, and Beverly Huston, of Paso Robles; his brother Bob Huston, of Westwood; and half-brothers Mike Huston, of Grants Pass, Ore., and Ken Huston, of Shingletown.

Craig left behind six grandchildren: Lyric Quinn, Savannah Quinn, Joe Garrett, Canon Garrett, Steven Huston and Kaleb Huston.

“Do Cbudahuch,” Russian for goodbye until we meet again, my love.

Services for Craig were held July 14 at the Chester Assembly of God Church. An opportunity to express condolences to the family and sign the memorial guest register is available online at fehrmanmortuary.com.

In lieu of flowers the family requests any donations be made to the Chester Assembly of God Church.


William Edward Holland Jr. — “Dutch” to all who knew him — died Friday morning, July 6, in Chester, ending an 11-month battle with liver cancer. He was 64. Two memorial services were held that Sunday, one at his home for family, a second at the clubhouse of Bailey Creek Golf Course, his home away from home. On Wednesday following, he received military funeral honors.

Dutch Holland was born Dec. 7, 1947, in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. His family moved to the Sacramento area in his childhood, and he graduated high school in 1965 in Rio Linda, where he excelled as an athlete, earning a scholarship offer to play baseball for San Luis Obispo, but choosing instead to play basketball at American River Junior College. Before graduating American River, Dutch was drafted into the Army in 1968 and designated for active service in Vietnam. He completed basic training at Fort Sill, Okla., and was assigned as a rifleman to the 214th Artillery Company. His distinguished marksmanship garnered a specialized assignment as company sniper during his tour, and he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and a Bronze Star for meritorious service.

Dutch was honorably discharged in 1970, returned to the Sacramento area and began working in the building trades. He obtained a contractor’s license a decade later. In 1986 he relocated to Chester, and in 1996 founded Bailey Creek Builders, a general contracting firm he ran until his diagnosis forced his retirement last year. As a contractor, Dutch built a reputation for quality work, personal integrity and a commitment to fulfilling his clients’ wishes for their projects. Bailey Creek Builders prospered, becoming particularly known for the beauty and craftsmanship of its home designs; the communities and shorefront roads throughout the Lake Almanor region are graced with scores of such houses. In addition, among its notable projects, Bailey Creek built the Collins Pine Museum in Chester.

Three years after moving to Chester, Dutch met Arlie; they fell in love and married a year later. Dutch adopted Arlie’s two young children and raised them as his own. While he enjoyed and took pride in his work, and had a full share of outside interests, Dutch centered his life around family. His bonds with Arlie; his sons Chris, Caleb and Michael; daughters Catherine and Jessie; and, in time, two daughters-in-law, Kacie and Kim; a son-in-law, Gregor; and three beloved grandkids, Kaidyn, Jax and Cormac; were all the world to him, the source of his deepest motivations and satisfactions.

Outside of work and family, Dutch had two enduring passions, around which he built many close friendships: a love of the outdoors, manifested in countless hunting and fishing expeditions; and sports, which, after moving to Chester, became increasingly channeled into a fervent devotion to the game of golf. Dutch hunted deer as far afield as Colorado, on trips with friends and, especially, with his sons Chris and Caleb. Their annual trip to Colorado was so dear to him that he instructed a portion of his ashes be scattered at their hunting grounds there. The seashore was another source of natural appreciation and pleasure, and he, Arlie and the rest of his family enjoyed many idyllic vacations, often with friends, in Hawaii and Baja.

From his days as a two-sport college prospect, Dutch never lost his taste for athletics, and, till nearly the end, visits of friends were often organized around a ballgame telecast.

As for golf, an old saying has it that the game doesn’t build character, it reveals it. This was certainly the case for Dutch. Golf for him seemed as much vocation as recreation. Like building a house, like most everything Dutch set his hand to, it was a craft to be mastered with the same zealotry for doing things The Right Way, the same relentless persistence of attention and effort. He became a fixture at Bailey Creek, but especially on the range, where he smote such a PGA-worthy volume of striped balls the staff eventually awarded him an exclusive dispensation for free buckets. The fruits of these painstaking labors included several course championship titles.

At the memorial services, a longtime friend swore he and three of Dutch’s other golf buddies, while playing a round the day after Dutch passed, had discovered an extra ball near where their own drives had clustered on the 14th fairway. It was in the first cut, about where a player who was, as Dutch had been, a long-hitting right-hander with a tendency to draw the ball might end up. Upon inspection, it was discovered to be a Titleist NXT. Need it be said this was the make and model he always played? We will miss you, Dutch, but we rest in the assurance that your approach to the flag is open, and your aim was always true.

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


Mary Francis Dovi, of Quincy, passed away July 8, 2012, at her home in Quincy, surrounded by her family and friends.

She was an inspiration to hundreds of local scholars since she began teaching at Quincy Elementary School in 1973. She gave her students, over the decades, the most precious gifts: the ability to read and the ways to see the beauty in the world we get to live in. Generations of young people learned how to make their way with “Ms. Dovi’s” tender encouragements. She retired from teaching in spring 2011.

Mary was born in Sacramento in 1949 to Marjorie and Sebastian “Tom” Dovi (now deceased). As the oldest in her family she helped care for her siblings: Tom, Jim and Susan. She attended Hiram Johnson High School and Sacramento City College. Mary then earned a liberal arts degree at the University of California, Berkeley and her teaching credential at Sacramento State. Her love of the California Golden Bears helped encourage her three sons — Terry, Patrick and Brian — to attend and graduate from Berkeley.

She and John Sheehan were married in 1980, receiving their guests at their home in Quincy, which they’ve since added onto five times.

Mary received an honorary title from a Native American friend as “Chief Mother” for her many years and ways of nurturing the community. She spent more than a decade as co-director of the Johnsville Junior Ski Team. Under her tutelage, JJST had its first state junior individual and team ski racing championships. Her sons thrived with state junior and high school individual and team championships. Quincy High won its first state skiing title. Each of her three sons also became the captain of the UC Berkeley ski team. Her advice to the skiers, “Ski fast, don’t fall,’ encouraged all. Mary built her own 14-foot longboards and regularly raced them at Eureka Ski Bowl.

Mary found lifelong joy in the Sierra Nevada at the ski resorts, on the Pacific Crest Trail and at her favorite Juniper, Crystal and Bucks lakes. She shared her love for the outdoors.

Mary, with her first-graders at Quincy Elementary School and her other colleagues, helped begin the environmental education program on Boyle Ravine. This approach has since broadened to each of the schools in the Feather River watershed, featuring “Learning Landscapes” focused on continuing watershed science education at each school.

Mary’s unique teaching approach had her annually send individual letters to each incoming student before the first day of school, from the fictitious “Lyle Crocodile.” These letters encouraged her students to start reading and drew them and their guardians into lifelong learning. An early musical lesson was, in her class, Louis Armstrong’s “It’s a Wonderful World,” accompanied by hand-signing the words and their interpretation.

Mary is survived by her three sons; daughter-in-law Jess; husband, John; siblings; her mother, Marjorie Dovi; cousins, nieces and nephews; as well as the countless pupils of reading and skiing that live her legacy.

A remembrance will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 21, on the stage at the gym at Quincy High School, immediately followed by a potluck at Gansner Park in Quincy. Please bring desserts or salads, chairs and blankets.

In lieu of flowers, donations of time and money could be forwarded to the Plumas Unified schools, Plumas County Museum, Feather River Land Trust, Johnsville Junior Ski Team, Plumas Ski Club, Plumas Arts or the Plumas-Eureka ski hill upgrade through Eastern Plumas Recreation District.

Arrangements are under the direction of Fehrman Mortuary.


Juanita (Nita) Ashcraft passed away at home July 10, 2012, at 91 years of age.

Nita was born in Amarillo, Texas, in 1921. She lived in Texas and Colorado before moving to Northern California. She spent 10 years selling real estate in Contra Costa County prior to launching into her lengthy and quite impressive political career. She served as the Northern California chairperson for Ronald Reagan’s gubernatorial campaign, which led to several appointed positions, including a 10-year term as a member of the California State Personnel Board. She then went to Washington, D.C., after being appointed as the first woman assistant secretary of the Air Force, in charge of manpower and reserve affairs, under President Gerald Ford.

After returning from Washington, D.C., she split her time between California and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, before settling in Napa in the late ’80s where she remained active in local politics. For the past five years she resided in Graeagle with her daughter and son-in-law.

She was a world traveler, a voracious reader and collector of antiques. She enjoyed live theater, fine dining and a great movie. She was always up for a game of cards or a trip to Reno to hit the slots.

Nita’s vast knowledge made her a great conversationalist and she was always happy to lend an ear without judgment. Her positive outlook and great sense of humor were ever-present in her smile. It was a privilege to know her and she will be greatly missed.

She leaves behind her daughter Martha Hansen, son-in-law Bryan Hansen, stepdaughter Joy Madrid, six grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held July 28 in Graeagle.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to Tahoe Forest Hospice, P.O. Box 60903, Truckee, CA 96160, in memory of Nita Ashcraft.

Cremation services provided by Manni Funeral Home and Crematory in Portola.



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