Louisa Abu Jaber
Sept. 21, 1921 -- Feb. 26, 2000
Louisa Abu Jaber, 78, of Turlock died Saturday at her home.
Mrs. Abu Jaber was a native of Aman, Jordan. She lived in Turlock seven years. She was a homemaker. She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
She is survived by her children, Mary Fronjian of Racine, Wis., Abrahim Abu Jaber of Jordan, Tony Abu Jaber of Chicago, Antoinette Skafi of Jerusalem and George Abu Jaber and Frosso David, both of Turlock; brothers, Jack Aprahamian, Steve Aprahamian and Anahid Aprahamian, all of Illinois; sister, Alice Kocharian of Illinois; and eight grandchildren.
The rosary will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Allen Mortuary. A Mass will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Burial will be at Turlock Memorial Park. Visitation will be from noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the mortuary.
Sept. 30, 1938 -- Feb. 26, 2000
Hardip Narayan, 61, of Salida died Saturday at Memorial Medical Center.
Mr. Narayan was a native of Nausori, Fiji Islands. He lived in Salida 22 years. He was a retired inspector for Gallo Glass, where he worked 14 years.
He is survived by his wife, Rita Narayan of Modesto; children, James N. Narayan and Ashika Nand; mother, Ram Raji; brothers, Dip Narayan and Paridip Narayan; sister, Prebha Varme; and one grandchild.
A funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Lakewood Funeral Home, Hughson. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and Tuesday at the funeral home.
Leslie H. Patterson
Aug. 12, 1947 -- Feb. 26, 2000
Leslie H. Patterson, 52, of Oakdale died Saturday at Oak Valley Hospital.
Mr. Patterson was a native of Escalon. He lived in Oakdale 10 years and previously in Escalon 10 years. He worked in sales and installation at Radio Shack. He served in the Marines.
He is survived by his daughters, Heidi M. Patterson of Healdsburg, Heather L. Patterson of Davis and Shannon Cova of La Grange; parents, Ron and Earline Patterson of Oakdale; and sister, Connie Pereira of Escalon.
A memorial will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Saron Lutheran Church. Burial will be at Burwood Cemetery, Escalon. Deegan Funeral Chapel, Escalon, in charge of arrangements.
Remembrances may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1765 Challenge Way, Suite 115, Sacramento 95815.
Leroy P. Pattison
March 13, 1929 -- Feb. 26, 2000
Leroy P. Pattison, 70, of Atwater died Saturday at Colony Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Hospital, Modesto.
Mr. Pattison was a native of Massachusetts. He lived in Atwater 68 years. He was a firefighter for the Merced County Fire Department for 30 years. He was retired. He was a member of the Merced Elks Lodge.
He is survived by his wife, Helen Patricia Pattison of Atwater; children, Janet James of Washington, Rick Pattison, David Pattison and Randy Pattison, all of Washington; and several grandchildren.
A funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Winton District Cemetery, Winton. Wilson Funeral Chapel, Atwater, in charge of arrangements.
Remembrances may be made to a favorite charity.
Turlock police officer Darrell Harden, 38, died in his sleep at his Modesto home Sunday night. It was the end of a two-decade battle against cancer.
"As an extended family, we are all grieving his loss," Turlock Police Chief Lonald Lott said Monday. "He has set an example of courage and perseverance that will be hard to follow."
Just last month, Mr. Harden received an "Attitude is Everything" award from Turlock Police Services during the department's annual award breakfast. Department employees gave him a standing ovation, and Lott said Mr. Harden always said others were suffering more than he was and also deserved compassion and kindness.
Mr. Harden was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease when he was 15 and had the illness treated with radiation and chemotherapy.
The cancer later reappeared in the form of numerous small tumors.
"If I had half the courage he had, I would be a complete man," said Mike Harden, a Modesto police officer and Mr. Harden's brother. "He was a fighter and had treatment after treatment trying to beat cancer."
Mr. Harden was hired by the Turlock police in 1982 and became a full-time officer in 1983. Before then, he had been rejected for employment by other police departments because of his history of cancer.
"It was blatant discrimination," Mike Harden said. "He was so grateful to Turlock for hiring him, and he absolutely loved his job. He loved being a police officer."
In 1987, he had a bone marrow transplant that significantly improved his health. For years after, he was cancer-free.
During his police career in Turlock, Mr. Harden served in a variety of capacities. When he was working as patrolman in 1989, he and his partner killed a bank robber who drew a gun on the officers.
He last served as a traffic officer, a duty he enjoyed more than any other, his brother said.
Then in August, he felt fatigued and began losing weight.
"He had just switched shifts and it was hot and he thought that was the problem," Mike Harden said.
A few tests by doctors in Modesto and San Francisco confirmed that he had cancer in his esophagus that had spread to his liver and a kidney. He was told it was terminal.
"I've dodged enough bullets that I thought I could dodge this one, too," Mr. Harden said last month. "Now I know it's inevitable. I can accept it and have accepted it."
He said his final goal was to live to see his oldest daughter's birthday in March.
Shortly after his story was in The Bee, an anonymous donor established a special fund to help the family after Mr. Harden died.
Three weeks ago, Mr. Harden was hospitalized for breathing problems. Doctors gave him a blood transfusion and put him on oxygen full time.
"It was Wednesday when there was a serious and obvious turn for the worse," Mike Harden said. "We held a birthday party for his daughter on Friday."
Mr. Harden was born Aug. 21, 1961, in Long Beach and moved to Modesto in 1970.
He's survived by his wife, Lynda; two daughters, Courtney Harden and Morgan Harden, both of Modesto; two brothers, Steve Harden and Mike Harden, both of Modesto; a sister, Linda Bell of Atwater; his parents, George and Dorothy Harden of Modesto; and his grandmother, Caroline Ada of Sacramento.
Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Franklin & Downs Colonial Chapel, Modesto. A service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Centenary United Methodist Church, Norwegian and McHenry avenues, Modesto.
He will be buried at Lakewood Memorial Park, Hughson, with full police honors.
Donations may be made to the Darrell Harden Family Fund at any Farmers & Merchants Bank.
Sonoran J. Opie dies, 72
Hollywood will remember James William Opie as that guy in the foothills who knew all the good filming locations.
Those on the film crew for "Little House on the Prairie" will remember him as their friend and driver.
But a good number of people will remember Mr. Opie as the type of guy who would rescue you and your broken-down car in the middle of the night, give you a living-room couch to sleep on, then fix your car and have it rolling by lunchtime.
"He was caring," his daughter Jan summed up Monday. "He took care of everyone."
Mr. Opie died Saturday at his home in Sonora. He was 72.
His foray into the film world began in the late '60s when Ernie Durham was looking for a driver to haul crew members filming "The Great Bank Robbery."
Durham, a founding member of the Tuolumne County Motion Picture Association, turned to Mr. Opie, who had sold him his black '47 DeSoto limousine. Durham used the DeSoto to shuttle around actors on location in the foothills.
Mr. Opie kept on driving -- for the crews of "Little House on the Prairie," "Father Murphy," "Highway to Heaven," "Petticoat Junction," "Bonanza," "Jurassic Park: The Lost World" and "Back to the Future III," among others.
"He would also show them the county and possible film sites," his daughter said. "They would tell him what they were looking for, and he usually had a pretty good idea of where to find it."
In the 1980s, Mr. Opie was honored by the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau at its annual Film Festival. The county Chamber of Commerce also named him Citizen of the Year.
Mr. Opie had a taste of Tinseltown, but his roots were planted firmly in Tuolumne County. He was a fourth-generation resident.
He was born Jan. 8, 1928, at his grandparents' home in Shaws Flat. It was the home in which his mother, Edna Medina Opie, also was born. Mr. Opie attended a one-room schoolhouse at Mountain Pass until fourth grade, when the family moved to Sonora.
He graduated from Sonora High School -- class of 1945 -- and attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, for a semester before joining the Navy. He later attended automotive mechanic trade school in Los Angeles.
He returned to Tuolumne County in 1950 and opened Opie's Garage -- literally. It was located in his parents' garage on Shaws Flat Road.
Two years later, Mr. Opie married Pearl Lavagnino, whom he met on a blind date arranged by Pearl's cousin, Lorraine.
"It was a dance sponsored by the Venture Club and the Soroptimists," Pearl Opie reminisced Monday, more than 47 years later. "We had a wonderful time. But he still had to win me over."
In 1958, Mr. Opie moved the business -- now known as Jim's Automotive Service -- to its current location on Shaws Flat Road.
Mr. Opie also ran the AAA towing operation for 10 years.
"I can remember when I was a kid, there would be people sleeping on the couch," Jan Opie recalled. "They were people from out of town. Their car had broken down, and they didn't have a place to stay. He would fix their car and they would go on their way.
"That's the way he was."
Mr. Opie received the Tuolumne County Veterans Committee's first Veterans Community Service Award in 1992.
He was a member of Tuolumne County Search and Rescue, Tuolumne County Aeronautical Association, Sonora Elks, Trail Riders Association, General Teamsters Union, DeSoto Car Club and Tuolumne County Film Commission. He attended St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
A lifelong horseman, he once competed in the Tevis Cup 100 Endurance Race. He also belonged to the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Posse since 1962 and was chairman of the annual Mother Lode Roundup parade for more than 10 years.
Mr. Opie is survived by his wife, Pearl; children, Jim Opie and Jan Opie of Sonora and Sue Margrave of Plymouth, Idaho; and six grandchildren.
Visitation is Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home. A rosary will immediately follow the visitation. A Mass will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery.