Memorial services were held in March at the Quad City Botanical Center, Rock Island, Ill. for Carol June Loretz, 54, of Coal Valley, Ill., who died Feb. 28, 2005 of ovarian cancer.
Ms. Loretz was born June 6, 1950 in Sacramento and graduated from Elk Grove High School in 1968. She then graduated from the University of California, Davis in 1972 with degrees in political science and American studies; and from the University of Kansas, Lawrence in 1976.
She worked at General Motors in Kansas City, Kan. from 1976 to 1987, and during that time was active in anti-apartheid, anti-nuclear power and other political causes, as well as writing for and helping to edit The Hammer, a civil rights magazine. She also owned a snow-clearing business in Kansas City, Mo. and taught English as a second language.
After obtaining a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois in 1989, Ms. Loretz began work for The Dispatch/Argus newspaper in 1990 as a writer, where she covered city government, environment, business and labor beats. She continued work until going on medical leave in the fall of 2003.
Her family said she was a prominent, outspoken reporter who won numerous awards, most notably on stories about the working poor, the future of the United Auto Workers and contract-awarding practices at Rock Island Arsenal.
Ms. Loretz was preceded in death by grandparents Frank and Ida Loretz and Edwin and Marie Monseth, and aunt Ida Loretz Franusich.
She is survived by her parents, Eric and Patricia Loretz and brother Frank Loretz of Elk Grove; sister Patricia Loretz, brother-in-law Kenneth Christman, nephew Phillip and niece Claire Marie Christman of Gaithersburg, Md.; uncle and aunt Don and Laura Monseth of Herald; uncle Paul Franusich of Elk Grove; and many cousins.
Jeffrey Brown, son of Elk Grove Mayor Sophia Scherman, died Jan. 31, 2004 in Mesa, Ariz., from complications due to pneumonia. He was 46.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Christina Scherman, on July 28, 2002.
Besides his mother, Mr. Brown is survived by his sister, Lynette Scherman of Elk Grove; his grandparents, Ruth and Don Hobbs of St. George, Utah; and several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Private services were held in Mesa. Remembrances may be made to the Elk Grove Community Foundation, Women in Politics Scholarship, P.O. Box 2021, Elk Grove, CA 95759.
A celebration of the life of Robert (R.M.) Saini of Elk Grove will take place Saturday, Feb. 21 in Elk Grove Funeral Chapel, 9101 Elk Grove Blvd. Mr. Saini, 78, died Jan. 6, 2004.
"R.M." was well-known for his acid comments in newspaper Letters to the Editor, and many friends looked forward to his letters. "He was one of our most prolific writers," said Roy Herburger of the Elk Grove Citizen. "He certainly created a lot of interest in our editorial pages."
Mr. Saini, also known as Bob, served on several ships as an Army radio officer and electrician during World War II, and later in the Merchant Marines, maintaining regular on-air wave ham radio dates until his death. His writing was not confined to letters to newspapers, but included published articles in numerous engineering and outdoor periodicals.
"Bob could make anything electrical run," said friends, "from a typewriter or a toaster, to a diesel electric motor on a locomotive or a turbine generator in a power plant. He prided himself on stretching the bounds of common job descriptions to solve problems."
Robert Martin Saini was the only child born Oct. 3, 1925 in San Francisco to Martin and Dorothy Ethel Lewis Saini. He was also raised in San Francisco by Angelo and Martine Molinari, and in Elk Grove by his grandparents, Owen and Elva Lewis. He was married briefly to Karin Lehmann of Rio de Janeiro. The couple had no children.
Besides his parents and grandparents, Mr. Saini was preceded in death by his dogs, Bozo and Bimbo.
He is survived by numerous cousins including several well-known in Elk Grove: Verna Van Vleck of Plymouth, Edmund Lewis and Margaret Ehlers of Sacramento, Mary Etta Hamzawi of Folsom, Clinton Castello of High Rolls, N.M., Carolyn Flood of Fair Oaks, Darien Bishop of Carmichael, John Carr of Elk Grove, Duane Carr of Douglas, Ga., Vernon Carr of Mammoth Lake, Judith Schalow of Salt Lake City, Alan Apurim of Houston and Bradley Milne of San Pedro.
Private services have already taken place. The celebration of his life on Feb. 21 begins at 1 p.m. in Elk Grove Funeral Chapel, and in lieu of flowers, guests are asked to bring or send memories to share. An online guest book can be accessed through elkgrovechapel.com or legacy.com.
John A. Backer, a lifelong resident of Elk Grove, died Feb. 8, 2004 at the age of 88.
Mr. Backer was a farmer, rancher and dairyman in the Sloughhouse, Elk Grove and Courtland areas.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Phillip Backer and sister, Betty Van Vliet.
Mr. Backer is survived by his wife of 56 years, Alice Backer of Elk Grove; his children, Shirley and husband Skip of Wilton, John and wife Diane of Elk Grove and Nancy and husband Mike of Gold River; and his grandchildren, Jennifer, Jeffrey and Kristina.
He was the brother of Sophie Dallas and Robert Backer and wife Betty Jean.
Private services were held with interment in Franklin Cemetery. Remembrances may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 102454, Atlanta, GA 30368.
Arrangements were by South East Lawn Mortuary, Elk Grove.
Alice Louise Dieli, a six-year resident of this area, died Feb. 14, 2004, at the age of 77. She was born in Massachusetts.
Mrs. Dieli was preceded in death by her daughter, Mary Dieli.
She is survived by her husband, Arthur Dieli of Sacramento; her children, Alice Greco of Heidelberg, Germany, Annamaria Colburn of New Hampshire, Daniel Dieli of Marina, Paula Dieli of San Francisco, Sara Gomez of Hercules and Nancy Dieli of Utah; and seven grandchildren.
Mrs. Dieli was the sister of Mary Adelaide Lyons of New Hampshire.
No services were held at her request. Remembrances may be made to Mercy Hospice, 3400 Data Drive, 1st Floor, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670.
Arrangements were by Elk Grove Funeral Chapel.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, Feb. 21 for Richard Thornsberry who died Feb. 14, 2004, at UC Davis Hospital at the age of 46.
Mr. Thornsberry was born June 22, 1958 in Yuba City and moved to the Sacramento-Elk Grove area in September of that year. He grew up here, graduating from Hiram Johnson High School and attending Cosumnes River College.
He was a house painter by trade, and hobbies included playing basketball and football.
Mr. Thornsberry was preceded in death by his brother, Kenneth.
He is survived by his daughter, Nicole of Elk Grove; his parents, Sam and Wanda Thornsberry of Elk Grove; and his brother, Ronald Thornsberry of Sacramento.
Mr. Thornsberry was the uncle of Leann and Joshua Thornsberry, and Missy, Kim, Laurie, Teena, Rosie, Corina, Curtis, Emonie and Justin.
Saturday's services begin at 11 a.m. at Grace Church, 9766 Waterman Road, Elk Grove. Remembrances may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 160126, Sacramento, CA 95816.
Funeral services will take place Saturday, Dec. 3 for Flora Barr Kuwaki who died Nov. 26, 2005 in Elk Grove at the age of 65 after a brief battle with cancer.
Mrs. Kuwaki was born May 5, 1940 in Pittsburgh, Pa. She enjoyed crafting, quilting, gardening and volunteering at the Senior Center of Elk Grove.
She is survived by her husband of 30 years Bobby Kuwaki; daughters Diana Welsh and Laurie Ann Doane; son Michael John Welsh; sons-in-law Bob Weiss and Rick Doane; daughters-in-law Laurie Weiss and Barbara Welsh; and eight grandchildren, Alayna, Steven, Corey, Michael Jr., Matthew, Melissa, Ryan and Riley.
Mrs. Kuwaki was the sister of Eileen Ruder, Roberta Gutierrez, Lynn Ferson and Richard Rodgers; and sister-in-law of Manuel Gutierrez, Rob Robinson and Russ Ferson. She also leaves behind many nieces, nephews and friends.
Saturday’s services will begin at noon at Elk Grove Funeral Chapel, 9101 Elk Grove Blvd., followed by a celebration of her life at daughter Diana Welsh’s home. Condolences to the family may be sent to Bobby Kuwaki at P.O. Box 581254, Elk Grove, CA 95759.
Remembrances may be made to the Senior Center of Elk Grove, 8830 Sharkey Ave., Elk Grove, CA 95624-1859.
Memorial services will take place Saturday, Dec. 3 for Patricia Lytton, 69, who died following a short illness on Nov. 16, 2005.
Mrs. Lytton was born Oct. 26, 1936 to Opal Mae and M.L. “Tex” Schroeder in Coronado.
At age 40 she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Davis in 1977 and her master’s degree and teaching credential from California State University, Sacramento in 1978.
She designed and taught the ROP Model Office program at Hogan High School in Vallejo, and was named Vallejo City Unified School District Teacher of the Year and Solano County Teacher of the Year in both 1983 and 1992.
“(She was) passionate about computers, job readiness skills and an advocate for her students,” said her daughter.
Mrs. Lytton retired from teaching in 1997 and moved to south Sacramento to be near her daughter and grandchildren. Her daughter is a teacher in the Elk Grove Unified School District.
Mrs. Lytton was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Lytton in 1989. She is survived by her daughter Sarah Rinelli and husband Robert, and granddaughters Rachel and Susan Rinelli.
Saturday’s service will begin at noon at Elk Grove United Methodist Church, 8986 Elk Grove Blvd., with Pastor Kathy La Point-Collup officiating. She will be buried with her husband and parents at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
on Point Loma, San Diego.