James Robert Marks, 79, passed away on May 22, 2007 at Pacific Care Center in Hoquiam, Washington. He was a longtime resident and active community member of Winters beginning in the early 1950s. A memorial service was held in his honor on May 30 in Ocean Shores, WA, where he had lived since 2001.
He was born in San Francisco on April 7, 1928 to Walter Marks and Stella Fowle Marks. His mother was a nurse who passed away when he was only 5 years old, and he was raised by his maternal grandmother, Sadie Verbena Fowle.
Mr. Marks attended elementary and high school in Denair, until he enlisted in the Maritime Service at the age of 16. He trained on Catalina Island and sailed on Liberty ships to Japan and the Philippines. After military service he returned to the tiny farm town of Denair and completed high school.
In 1946. he married Shirley Laverne Patterson, also of Denair, and moved to Winters where he went to work for the Bureau of Reclamation as a surveyor beginning in 1952. He helped relocate the town of Monticello before helping to build the Monticello Dam and Glory Hole at Lake Berryessa. He served as an elder and Sunday school teacher at Pioneer Presbyterian Church, and was elected to serve on the Winters Unified School Board for seven years. He was also active in the Masonic Lodge.
When the Bureau of Reclamation left Winters after the dam and Glory Hole were completed, Mr. Marks and his family remained in Winters. He went on to work as an engineer and superintendent for Teichert Construction, during which time he helped build the track at Winters High School. Using borrowed heavy equipment from Teichert and lots of fellow co-workers, all of whom volunteered for the project. Prior to Mr. Mark’s generous volunteer efforts, Winters High School did not have a facility for its track and field athletes.
In the early 1980s, he became a contractor in Bend, Oregon and Lincoln, Nebraska. While in Oregon, he was active in AA and led many meetings and support groups on various Native American reservations across Oregon and Idaho, volunteer work in which he was very dedicated and for which he was extremely proud. Prior to retiring, he lived in Palouse, Washington and was a building engineer for the Washington School District. He retired and moved to Ocean Shores.
Mr. Marks was an active member of Faith Community Church in Ocean Shores, was an avid golfer and enjoyed reading. Throughout most of his life he loved fishing and bird hunting.
He is survived by his first wife and the mother of his children Shirley Marks of Winters; children, Dr. Michael and Kathy Marks of Tucson, Arizona, Robert Patrick Marks of Bend, Oregon, Denise Sloan Smart and Dan Smart of South Lake Tahoe, Timothy James Marks of Troutdale, Oregon and Istanbul, Turkey and Susan Silva of Portland, Oregon.; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Mr. Marks’ children and grandchildren will hold a private service at a later date and to carry out his wishes to scatter his ashes outside the San Francisco Bay. A live Cedar tree, provided by his children, was planted in Ocean Shores’ Faith Community Church Memorial Garden to honor his memory.
Lewis “Lew” Neil passed away at home in Winters with his two sons on May 31, 2007, following a brief illness. Born on Sept. 20, 1910 in Roseville, he was 96 years old.
He enjoyed fishing, hunting, baseball, golf, traveling, camping and watching his cattle graze on the hillsides near his home. He worked for PG&E for 45 years, retiring in 1978. Following his retirement, he filled his life with real estate management, property development and always staying abreast of politics, both local and national. Actual “retirement” wasn’t in his vocabulary, says a family member. In addition, he was proud of having been a Shriner for over 50 years.
He is survived by his sons, Walt and Jerry, of Winters; daughters-in-law, Sally Neil and Janet Neil of Winters; grandchildren, Sandy Neil, Laurie Hoskins and husband Doug, Clark Neil, John Neil and wife Karen, all of Winters; great-grandchildren, Brock and Ashlynne Neil, and Sarah and Katie Neil, all of Winters.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, Anita Neil.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, June 5, at 10 a.m.. at McCune Garden Chapel. Interment followed at East Lawn Memorial Park in Sacramento. Donations may be made in Mr. Neil’s memory to Yolo Hospice, P.O. Box 1014, Davis, CA, 95617, or to Shriners Hospital for Children, 2425 Stockton Boulevard, Sacramento, CA, 95817.
Michael Leroy Cooper passed away suddenly in Winters on June 1, 2007. He was born Dec. 1, 1960 to Martha and Jack Cooper in Fresno, the third of three sons. Family members describe him as a young man full of life from the day he was born.
At the age of six, his father and uncle bought a Chevron station at 12th and Franklin Street in Sacramento, where he liked to hang out at a young age, many times shocking the customers when their hood would open and they could see no one. He was too little for them to see. He became a favorite with the customers with his smile and his abilities.
Moving to Winters, in 1976 at the age of 16, he attended Winters High School, where pictures in the yearbooks show a confident young man, one proud of himself, his family, and his friends.
He became interested in law enforcement from a ride-along program of the Winters Police Department. After graduating from Winters High School, he became a police officer with the Winters Police Department. He excelled to the position of Sergeant, Second in Command. After some 20 years of service to the city of Winters, he began a second career driving a camera car for movies and advertisements.
Many, if not all, who came in contact with Mike knew a loving person, working to help and serve each one to the best of his abilities, say family members, who describe him as a man who was a proud and loving father to Leslie and Mike Jr., and a devoted husband to Debbie, his wife of 27 years. He is further described as a man full of life, joy, and energy, he spread it to all who knew him.
As a father, his children were his pride and his joy. He just celebrated his daughter Leslie’s, graduation from College a few weeks before his death, and looked forward to his son’s wedding.
He is survived by his wife, Debbie; daughter, Leslie; son, Michael Jr.; parents, Jack and Martha Cooper; mother-in-law, Rosemary; brothers, Jack and Glenn, and their wives, children and grandchildren; many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
A viewing will be held Thursday, June 7, from 4-7 p.m. at Buchheim Family Chapels, 2983 Tulare Street, Fresno, CA 93721. A graveside service will be held Friday, June 8, at 10 a.m. A memorial service will be held in Winters at a future date.
Wayne John Valley, 69, died peacefully at home in Winters on May 24, 2007. He was born in St. Paul Minnesota on July 29, 1938. He moved to Sonoma at age 14. In 1958, he met Kathleen Marie Davieau. They were married on Oct. 1, 1960 in Sonoma, and moved to Winters in 1971, where they raised two daughters, Christine Marie and Victoria Josephine.
Mr. Valley worked for Mariani Nut Co. for 30 years, and was a volunteer with the Winters Fire Department for 25 years. He was named Firefighter of the Year in 1999. Family members say he valued living in Winters and his volunteer work with the fire department.
He is survived by his wife, Kathy; daughters and sons-in-law Chrissy and Ron Pritchard of Winters and Vicki and Richard Nitzkowski of Winters; grandchildren, Justin and Melissa Nitzkowski; mother, Lousie Valley of Vacaville; brother, Lionel Valley of Chico.
A memorial service was held on Tuesday, May 29, at 10 a.m. at the Winters Fire Department. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Winters Fire Department.
Selma Roberts passed away on May 19, 2007 of congestive heart failure at a Carmichael nursing home. She was born in Winters to Emma and Herbert Connor on July 25, 1916.
After graduating from high school, she took a business course in Sacramento and subsequently workd for the California Highway Patrol accounting department for 24 years.
She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Edwin, and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
Graveside services are planned for Tuesday, May 29, at 11 a.m. at the Winters cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made in Mrs. Roberts’ memory to the Alzheimer’s Association, 2065 West El Camino, Suite C, Mountain View, CA, 94040. Harry A Nauman & Son is handling the funeral arrangements.
Former Winters resident Thelma (Schlafski) Murray passed away on April 23, 2007 in Oakland. Born in Winters on July 14, 1917, she was 89 years old. She lived in Winters for 18 years, and married Gordan Murray in 1936 in Berkeley.
She is survived by her daughter, Patricia Brewer of Fairfield, son Richard Murray of Oakland, grandchildren Kelly Vale, Ricky Sprague and Brandy Brewer, and six great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Gordan, in 2002. He was buried in Winters.
Private services were held on May 15th at the Winters Cemetary.
Anthony “Pops” Gonzales, 71, of Beach Park, Illinois passed away on Friday, May 4, 2007 at Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan, Illinois. Born on Sept. 17, 1935 in Los Angeles, he grew up in Winters and moved to Illinois in 1970.
He retired in 1986 from Fansteel in Waukegan. Prior to that, he worked for Union Pacific Railroad in California. He was a Korean War veteran, and served in the US Navy. He coached men’s softball in Illinois for many years, traveled frequently to Las Vegas, Nevada and loved spending time with his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Mary; children and their spouses, Tony and Leticia Gonzales of Beach Park, Illinois, Elizabeth and Dwight Patterson of Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, and Johnnie and Susan Gonzales of Waukegan, Illinois; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; and other relatives in California.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Abundio and Felis Gonzales.
A visitation was held on May 7 at the Congdon Funeral Home in Zion, Illinois. Funeral services took place on May 8 at 10 a.m. at the Congdon Funeral Home. Interment followed at Mt. Olivet Memorial Park in Zion.
Willean Marlowe Reed, 72, passed away on Tuesday May 8, 2007 at her Winters residence. She was born in Georgia on Nov. 12, 1934 to William Thomas and Alma (Brown) Marlowe, where she attended area schools. A bounty hunter for eight years in Atlanta, Georgia, she relocated to Gold Hill, Oregon in 1988 where she and her husband owned and operated Sammys Gato Gordo Restaurant for 15 years prior to moving to Winters, where she resided for the past two years.
She is survived by her husband of 20 years, Leonard Reed of Winters; daughters Iva Maxam and husband Ronald of Winters, and Victoria Jacobsen and husband William of Charlotte, North Carolina; nine grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Her sister Nellie Hudgen preceded her in death.
Private family services, and interment will be scheduled in North Carolina. Assisting the family with funeral arrangements is Evergreen Funeral Service of Woodland.