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Death Notice: Calvin Cal Hildebrandt

Calvin  Cal  Hildebrandt, 87, died Nov. 28, 2013, in Crescent City. He was born March 26, 1926, in Marion County, Ore., and was a 58-year resident of Del Norte County.

At his request no services are to be held. Sign the family’s online guestbook at wiersmortuary.com. Arrangements by Wier’s Mortuary Chapel.

Death Notice: Irene Tedsen

Irene Tedsen, 91, died Nov. 29, 2013, in Crescent City. A lifelong resident of Del Norte County, she was born Nov. 21, 1922, in Fort Dick.

Services are pending. A full obituary will soon follow with service information. Sign the family’s online guestbook at wiersmortuary.com. Arrangements by Wier’s Mortuary Chapel.

Obituary: Frank C. Sperry (Dec. 29, 1940 – Nov. 17, 2013)

Frank C. Sperry
Frank C. Sperry passed away peacefully in Meridian, Idaho, on Nov. 17, 2013, with his wife Karen and daughter Stacey by his side. He was 72 years of age. He was born in Salina, Kan., on Dec. 29, 1940. He was a member of Del Norte High School class of 1960. He loved football and being a strong offensive and defensive player, and he continued to be a two-way starter on a Warrior team that brought a football championship to Del Norte. Frank was honored as he was selected to the League Coaches first team All Star roster as well as the All North Coast Section team.

Frank’s love of football took him to Humboldt State University, where he became one of  the 1960s Dream Team. He was inducted into HSU’s 2000 Hall of Fame.

Most of his working life he spent in the woods as a logger, shingle sawyer and managing partner of Welco Wood Products. He founded North Bay Tire in Arcata, Calif., and enjoyed interacting with the many customers. He retired from Crown Simpson Pulp mill in Arcata when it closed. After 22 years of managing his rental properties in Eureka and Fields Landing, Calif., he retired for the last time in 2008 and moved to Star, Idaho. 

Thomas L. Griffin (July 4, 1943 – Nov. 21, 2013)

Thomas Griffin
Thomas L. Griffin, 70, of Crescent City, passed away in Brookings, Ore., on Nov. 21, 2013.

Thomas was born on the 4th of July in 1943 in Scranton, Pa., to Thomas Jr. and Marie (Vaughn) Griffin. He married Crystal Metzger on June 15, 1963, in San Francisco. Together they had three sons, Thomas L. Griffin IV of Crescent City, Daniel V. Griffin of Clear Lake, and Treson V. Griffin of Crescent City.

Thomas was an avid businessman, who spent a number of years running his own business in real estate. He loved to travel with his family in their motor home. At one point he thought about becoming a professional truck driver, but decided he’d just rather travel instead. He also loved to play the recorder.

Gerardo (Jerry) Pasquale Zottola (July 12, 1924 – Nov. 24, 2013)

Gerardo (Jerry) Pasquale Zottola
Gerardo (Jerry) Pasquale Zottola passed away peacefully Nov. 24, 2013, in his Hiouchi home surrounded by his loving wife of 58 years, Gertrude (Gertie), and his seven devoted children. Jerry was born in the Bronx, N.Y., on July 12, 1924, to Ernesto and Mary Zottola, who had emigrated from their native Italy, where Ernesto and his brother Palmer fought in WWI, to gain their U.S. citizenship. Jerry spent his childhood in the Gilroy area until the work became scarce during the Depression and his family moved to the Grants Pass area, where they owned and operated a cheese factory. Jerry graduated high school from Grants Pass High and served in the Navy as a radioman in World War II. He later used that experience as a pilot to fly for the future Congressman Don Clausen. On discharge from the Navy, he attended Humboldt State College, where he received his teaching credential and was roommate to his lifelong best friend, Wally Maciel. At Humboldt State he played for the Lumberjacks baseball team and was active in student government. According to Wally, Jerry was the one to try to keep him and Kenny Dunaway in check, which wasn’t easy as Jerry’s evening job was that of a bartender in downtown Arcata. Upon graduation his first teaching job was at Arcata High School in 1953.

Jerry returned to Crescent City, where his parents and sister Gracie (Cooper) lived, and where he used his bartending talents to work in the B & E restaurant and lounge, which his parents owned. Jerry was smitten by the lovely Gertrude Jepsen of Fort Dick, who was the love of his life until his last breath. He first saw Gertie as a young girl at her parent’s dairy ranch when his parents came to purchase milk for Zottola’s Cheese Factory, which was later to become Rumiano’s. A famous story told in the Zottola house is how Pop chased Mom, she in her red Ford convertible, and he in the school bus he was driving as his day job. He finally caught her and they were married Oct. 9, 1955.

Obituary: Gale Warren Hutzell (Nov. 24, 1927 – Nov. 21, 2013)

Gale Warren Hutzell
Gale Warren Hutzell, born Nov. 24, 1927, in Columbus, Ohio, lost his battle with lung cancer on Nov. 21, 2013, three days before his 86th birthday. Gale passed in peace at his home in Hiouchi.

Gale was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Mary Hutzell, and is survived by his three children: Sue Hutzell-Orr and husband Bob Orr of Crescent City, Karen Hutzell-Coleman and husband Tim Coleman of Portland, Ore., and Thom Hutzell and wife Rene Shanle-Hutzell of Hiouchi. Gale leaves behind eight grandchildren: Michael Swenson, Gale Paul Swenson, Nicoal Hutzell, Hilari Dixon, Gev Dixon, April Hutzell, Tonia Ulbricht, Alex Hutzell, and 12 great-grandchildren.

Gale was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served during the Korean conflict. Later, he worked as a lineman for Pacific Bell before entering his life career of Saw Filer for Hammond Lumber Company in Eureka, Simonson Lumber in Crescent City and finally Schmidtbauer Lumber until his retirement in 1989.

Gale had a passion for many hobbies, but his favorites were golf, fishing, card games (cribbage and pinochle) and Wii Yahtzee! If eating were a hobby, it would have ranked right next to golf, especially if homemade apple or custard pie was served.

Obituary: John Budd Howard (Dec. 22, 1924 – Nov. 17, 2013)

John Budd Howard
John Budd Howard, born in Zurich, Mont., on Dec. 22, 1924, passed away in Ukiah, Calif., on Nov. 17, 2013, at the age of 88 years. He grew up in the St. Helens, Ore., area. John served two enlistments in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and also during the Korean Conflict. After receiving a background in finance, John entered the banking profession. He moved to Crescent City in 1969 as the bank manager of the Crescent City Wells Fargo Bank. After his retirement from banking, he continued as a consultant bookkeeper for several Del Norte County businesses and was a partner in New Vision Mobile Home Parks. He was a past member of Crescent City Elks Lodge and the Kiwanis Club. John also enjoyed his winters traveling to Arizona and Colorado. He will be remembered for his good-natured personality, his smile and his love of family. He will be missed.

Death Notice: Gale Warren Hutzell

Gale Warren Hutzell, 85, died Nov. 21, 2013, in Hiouchi. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 24, 1927, and was a 64-year resident of Del Norte County.

Celebration of Life services will be held at the Del Norte Golf Club House, 130 Club Drive, Hiouchi, on Nov. 30, 2013, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Gale wished for any monetary donations to be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation in memory of his mother, Vera Warren, and others who suffer from the disease.

Obituary: Fredrick “Corky” Hector Simms (Jan. 10, 1935 – Nov. 17, 2013)

Fredrick “Corky” Hector Simms
Fredrick “Corky” Hector Simms passed away on Nov. 17, 2013, surrounded by family and friends at his home in Klamath after a 3-year battle with cancer.

He was born on Jan. 10, 1935, at Kapel, on the Klamath River, to Doris Roberts and was helped raised by his adoptive father Hector Simms. 

He is survived by his wife, Brenda Simms; brother Don Natt; sister Amanda Donahue; mother of his children Vada K. Berry; daughters Winter Berry and Malea Simms; step-daughter Shannon and husband Jon Richards; grandchildren Tatiana Simms, Rachele Whitson, Whitney Whitson and Tyler Richards; along with several very loved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents along with his brothers Skee Skelton and Butch Lewis.

Corky spent most of his life in the Crescent City and Klamath areas.

Obituary: Joyce Mahin Lowe Rakestraw (Jan. 26, 1938 – Oct. 31, 2013)

Joyce Mahin Lowe Rakestraw
Joyce Mahin Lowe Rakestraw passed away on Oct. 31, 2013, at age 75, from injuries sustained in an auto accident in Lake County, Calif. Born Jan. 26, 1938, in Goodland, Kan., to Harley and Hilda Lowe, the family lived throughout northern and western Kansas until moving west to Crescent City in 1956. 

Joyce married Raymond Daniel Rakestraw Jr. (Dan) in December 1958. She graduated from Humboldt State University and began teaching in Arcata. Dan and Joyce moved to Milpitas, where Joyce taught in Alum Rock School District while receiving her MA in School Administration from San Jose State. In 1970, the family moved to Crescent City, where Joyce taught for 38 years and served as the first female school administrator for special programs and as an elementary school principal. 

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