Thursday, 21 January 2021

George Francis Landis, July 27, 1916

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George Landis passed away on Sunday, January 18, 2009, after a life filled with hard work, adventures and a lot of love. Courtesy photo.

 

 

 

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CLEARLAKE – George Francis Landis, 92, of Clearlake, died peacefully surrounded by his loving daughters on Jan. 18, 2009, at his daughter and son-in-law’s home in Clearlake where he had been residing for the last few years.


A native of San Rafael, Calif., he was born July 27, 1916. While his birth certificate reads July 17, 1916, George always celebrated his birthday on July 27 because his mother told him she ought to know the actual date. He was born to George Saywright Landis and Bertha Evelyn Foster, both deceased.


George spent his childhood in Oakland and San Rafael, Calif., where his mother’s family operated a 200-acre dairy (now the Marin Civic Center) and a 1,000-acre property and hunting lodge in the Lucas Valley Road region. He fondly recalled riding in a horse-drawn wagon with his maternal grandfather on what is now Highway 101 in San Rafael.


His maternal grandfather came to Lake County often to “take the springs” at Bartlett Springs out of Nice, Calif. This brought his mother and father to love Lake County and they started bringing George and his siblings to the Lakeport and Clearlake (Clearlake Highlands at that time) areas to camp under the Oak trees.


His parents loved Lake County and bought the “Landis Compound” lakefront property in the 1920s, still located in Clearlake where, in later years, George built his home next to his mother and father’s, sister’s and brother’s homes. His mother and father built the Flying A gas station and the Chatterbox Diner in Clearlake. The family combined has had 16 local businesses in Lake County.


George graduated from Roosevelt High in Oakland, Calif. His first jobs were working for Garfield’s Feed Store and a liquor store where his photo was taken during Oakland’s wild west celebration, standing alongside Phillip Morris’ telegram icon, “Johnny” whose famous call was “Call for Phillip Morris!”


During World War II he worked in Oakland’s Naval shipyards until he was drafted by the US Navy. As a Seaman First Class, he was on the USS Boise steaming to Okinawa when the war thankfully ended.


He next worked for Abdu Allen in the Bay Area and Al Williams, where he learned to operate a truck crane, starting out as an oiler. Not satisfied working for others, George became owner/operator of his first truck crane, A & B Crane service, in the late 1940s.


George was married to Joyce Miller of Hayward, Calif., in 1938. They had two daughters, Linda and Vicki, and lived in the Bay Area as well as in Salinas, Calif.


George later married Louise Butter (nee Saunders), now deceased, of the Bay Area. They made their home in San Lorenzo together with Louise’s sons, Jack and Steve Butter. In 1956, they bought an old cabin in Clearlake Oaks, moving there in 1960. Their daughter, Georgia, was born in 1958. In 1962, George built their lakefront home on his family’s property in Clearlake. In 1964, their son George was born.


He constructed many bridges in the state of California, many on the North Coast and acquired a pile driver from W. Denner of Clearlake Oaks in 1963. He constructed many piers on Clear Lake and could be easily spotted on the lake when he purchased the 1913 tugboat “Little Toot.” He owned the Windmill in Clearlake Oaks and partnered with brother Jimmy, owning The Scoop in Oakland.


George was a charter and lifetime member of Clearlake BPOE Elks, lifetime member of American Legion (Clearlake), Past Chef de Gare 40/8, lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Operating Engineers Local Union #3.


He enjoyed and treasured family and friends and especially hunting trips down Cache Creek in World War II surplus rafts. While living at his daughter's home, he also enjoyed his daily walks with his granddog, Jake.


George is survived by his sister, Ida Mae Arneson (Clearlake); his children, Linda Little, Vicki Holte (both of Anacortes, Wash.), Georgia Hughes (Clearlake) and George Landis (Sacramento), and stepsons John “Jack” (Coos Bay, Ore.) and Stephen Butter (Olympia, Wash.); seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; and two step-great-grandchildren.


He was preceded in death by his siblings Dorothy “Dolly” Dickey (Clearlake), James “Jimmy” Landis (Santa Rosa and Lake County) and Rose “Tootsie” Nano (San Leandro/Modesto).


A public memorial service will be conducted at Jones and Lewis Mortuary in Lower Lake on Saturday, Jan. 24 (the mortuary may be reached by phone at 994-6417) to be followed by gathering at Clearlake’s American Legion Post on Austin Ave. Cremation and private inurnment. Donations to Hospice Services of Lake County, Animal Coalition of Lake County or Make-A-Wish are preferred.


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