Dr. Gus Windmiller
Dr. Gus H. Windmiller, a native and longtime resident of Elk Grove, died Oct. 7, 2003, after a long struggle with pneumonia. He was 88.
Dr. Windmiller was born on the family ranch on Grant Line Road Aug. 11, 1915, to Herman Henry Windmiller and Clara Sophia Johnson Windmiller. He was valedictorian of his class at San Joaquin School, and class president and student body president at Elk Grove High School. He also played saxophone in a dance band led by Rowland Colton which once raised money to pay back taxes on a certain piece of land in Elk Grove, thus saving what is now Elk Grove Regional Park.
At Sacramento Junior College he majored in pre-med and aeronautics, graduating as valedictorian from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic.
In 1937 he opened his first office in the Forum Building in Sacramento and practiced evenings at the Windmiller Ranch in Elk Grove.
In October, 1940, Dr. Windmiller met Erla Noss and a year later they were married.
During World War II he was a flight instructor at King City for Army cadets while Erla wrapped bandages for the Red Cross and took shifts as an enemy plane spotter.
After the war Dr. Windmiller took over a chiropractic practice in San Francisco, but soon returned to Elk Grove where his re-opened his practice. He also started a wholesale leather business, supplying schools in the area with leather crafting needs.
In the mid 1950s he got out of the leather business, reactivated his flight instructor's certificate, built an airstrip and hanger in back of their home and purchased a 1946 Piper Cub. For the next 31 years he taught beginning and advanced students through Sacramento Junior College's aeronautics department flying club. "His real love was flying," said his son.
Dr. Windmiller also taught hunter safety and target shooting, and both he and his wife were active in 4-H and parent-teacher organizations.
They liked to travel, especially to Mexico, and after partially retiring, they would fly to Baja, California, landing on beaches where they would camp. Erla Windmiller wrote and published numerous articles as a result of these excursions, in fact, the couple spent between four and six month each year in Mexico, exploring that country and Central America.
Dr. Windmiller was preceded in death by his wife, Erla in 1999, and his sister, Ella Mahon. He is survived by his children, Ric Windmiller of Elk Grove and Heidi Bird of Rio Linda.
A memorial service will take place at a later date. Remembrances may be made to AOPA Air Safety Foundation, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, MD 21701.
Ann Sole, a 22-year resident of Elk Grove, died Oct. 8, 2003, at the age of 87.
She was an active member of the Senior Center of Elk Grove, and in fact, could be found every Monday working at the front desk which she did for 18 years.
Mrs. Sole was born on Dec. 25, 1915, in Olyphant, Pa. After meeting and marrying Julius Sole, they moved to Florida where she spent most of her adult life. Following her husband's death she moved to Elk Grove.
Besides volunteering at the front desk of the center, she enjoyed bunco, bingo and gambling trips. "She was a lady of class and grace," said her daughter.
Mrs. Sole is survived by her daughter, Shirlee Hillyer and husband Bob; her adopted daughter and son-in-law, Bonnie and Ellard Whisman all of Elk Grove; and her sister, Veronica Comprelli of Florida.
No services were held at her request. Remembrances may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1765 Challenge Way, Suite 115, Sacramento, CA 95815.
Arrangements were by Elk Grove Funeral Chapel.
Funeral services will take place Thursday, Oct. 16, for Frederick Douglas Keville of Elk Grove who died Oct. 10, 2003, at the age of 38.
Mr. Keville was a native of Texas and a resident of the Elk Grove-Sacramento area for nine years.
He is survived by his wife of three years Debra L. Keville of Elk Grove; his children, Mallory and Natalie Keville of Galt; and his father Richard Keville of Acampo.
Mr. Keville was the grandson of Phillis Keville of Lodi, the brother of Marleen Patton of Acampo and Debbie Hickman of Lodi, and the nephew of Robert Keville of Valley Springs and William and Frederick Keville both of Lodi.
Visitation is today (Wednesday) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Elk Grove Funeral Chapel, 9101 Elk Grove Blvd.
Thursday's services, which begin at noon, will also be in Elk Grove Funeral Chapel. Interment is private.
Chris M. Pickolick, a five-year resident of Wilton, died Oct. 27, 2003, at the age of 40.
Mr. Pickolick was a native of the Bay Area, and worked in the mortgage business.
He is survived by his wife, Kelly and children, "Sami" and Dylan all of Wilton; his mother, Hilda Pickolick also of Wilton and his father, Chuck Pickolick of Walnut Creek.
Mr. Pickolick was the brother of Kevin of Sacramento and "DJ" and Cheri, both of Walnut Creek.
Memorial services were held Nov. 4 at Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette.
Funeral services will be held Friday, March 5 for Richard David Baganz of Elk Grove who was killed in a plane crash Feb. 27, 2004.
Mr. Baganz, 45, grew up in Elk Grove where he had lived for the past 34 years, graduating from Elk Grove High School in 1976. He was employed by the Boeing Co.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Catherine Gail, and his brother, Douglas John Baganz Jr.
Mr. Baganz is survived by his wife of 25 years, Anna Baganz; his children, Claire Bone and husband Aaron, Lance Corporal Dallas Baganz and wife Ashley of the U.S. Marine Corps, Garret, Rhys and Noelle Baganz; his grandchildren, Tyler Bone and Zoie Baganz; and his parents, Douglas and Cecelia Baganz.
He was the brother of Vienna Baganz and husband Mark and Linda Dudley and husband Ross, and the son-in-law of Don and Margaret Maestretti.
There will be a prayer vigil Thursday, March 4 at 5 p.m. and the funeral liturgy begins Friday at 10 a.m. in Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 9539 Racquet Court, Elk Grove. Remembrances may be made to the Baganz Family Memorial Fund, Acct. 463121, C/o Golden One Credit Union, 2605 Buckminster Drive, Elk Grove, CA 95758.
Arrangements are by Elk Grove Funeral Chapel.
Richard S. Donbroski, a longtime resident of Elk Grove, died Feb. 26, 2004 at the age of 78.
He was born Sept. 25, 1925 in Petaluma to Crystal and Stanley Donbroski, and served in the U.S. Navy during both World War II and the Korean War. He worked at the Sacramento Army Depot, retiring after 29 years.
Hobbies included traveling, gardening, woodworking and cooking.
Mr. Donbroski is survived by his wife of 54 years, Dora; his daughters, Susan and JoEllen; and his sister, Evelyn.
No services were held at his request. Arrangements are by Chapel of the Valley, Citrus Heights.
Funeral services will take place today, Feb. 27 for Verna V. Newman, a longtime resident of Florin who died Feb. 22, 2004 at the age of 95.
Mrs. Newman received many awards and honors for her years of volunteering, which included beginning 4-H with her son in 1957. She continued as treasurer and leader for 45 years.
In 1980 she became one of the Sacramento County Cooperative Extension first Master Gardeners and was made an honorary member in 2002. She worked in several community garden programs throughout the years along with the Sacramento Tree Foundation.
She was a member of the Florin Historical Society since its inception in 1985, and for the last 15 years volunteered at Bruceville Terrace Convalescent Hospital.
Mrs. Newman was born in Indiana on Dec. 16, 1908 and came to California with her family at age 12. She married Ralph Newman and worked at Germain Seed and trained racehorses while her husband worked in the meat business.
The family moved to Florin in 1947 where they owned and operated Ralph's Meats for the next 10 years. Ralph Newman died in 1959, and Mrs. Newman then went to work at Made Rite Meats, retiring after 17 years.
She is survived by her son, John Newman and wife Kathy; and her grandson, James.
Today's services begin at 10 a.m. in the chapel of East Lawn Memorial Park, 43rd and Folsom Boulevard. Remembrances may be made to the American Heart Association, 1710 Gilbreth Road, Burlingame, CA 94010.
Gail Annette Smithers of Elk Grove died suddenly on March 14, 2004, the day following her husband's memorial service.
Mrs. Smithers, 46, was a native of San Diego. She and her husband were married for 24 years and had lived in Elk Grove for the past 17 years.
They were the parents of Elisa, 23; Abby, 22; Katie, 20; and Valerie, 15, all of Elk Grove.
Mrs. Smithers is also survived by her parents, Alfred Vandever and Esther Bourecksky; and her siblings, Stevin Vandever, Denise Parker, Marie Vandever, Cindy Simineo and Shelly Vandever.
Memorial services took place on March 17 at Elk Grove Funeral Chapel. A memorial fund has been established and remembrances may be sent to the Jeff and Gail Smithers Memorial Fund #469123, c/o any Golden 1 Credit Union branch.