Tuesday, 23 July 2024


Janice and Dale Pankratz. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Janice Kay Pankratz, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, peacefully passed away at the age of 81.

Jan was born on June 21, 1943, in Port Orchard, Washington to George and Ruth Feil. She grew up in Pasco, Washington, where she created many longtime friends.

Janice met Dale Wesley Pankratz in Moses Lake, Washington, and later married. Together they had four sons: David, Ronald, John and Richard. The family moved around, landing themselves in San Jose, California. They moved to Santa Cruz in 1974 and had many fond memories with her cousins.

Her greatest joy in life was her family. She loved family reunions in San Jose, Nevada and Washington. The family moved to Lake County in 1977 where Dale was a small business owner for 40 years.

She was known for her gentle spirit that touched the lives of everyone she encountered. Jan loved being a grandmother to Cameron, Megan, Laura, Shelby, Jennifer, Maya, Hannah, Richard Jr. (Ricky) and Sadie. She was even a great-grandmother to eight. Her grandchildren will fondly remember her for her kindness, love, faith and special treats she always had ready for them. Her home was always a haven of warmth and joy, filled with the sounds of the grandchildren’s laughter and the aroma of her famous mac and cheese.

Jan’s love extended beyond her immediate family to her community, where she worked for numerous businesses and government agencies around Lake County. She especially loved her time with the Boy and Girls Club of Lake County and acting as the deputy county clerk, uniting couples in marriage.

Jan cultivated deep and lasting friendships that would define her life. She was known for her infectious laughter, her compassionate heart, and her unwavering loyalty to those she held dear.

Janice Pankratz will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her. She believed in the power of connection and nurtured friendships that spanned decades. Her legacy of love, kindness, and devotion to family will continue to inspire and guide us all.

Please join the family for an informal celebration of life at the Skylark Shores Resort (1120 N. Main St. in Lakeport) on Saturday, July 27, at 4 p.m. Come share refreshments and stories with all who loved her.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the St. Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Lakeport in Jan’s honor.

Jennifer Matheson. Courtesy photo.

Jennifer Marcell Matheson
Oct. 9, 1993 — June 20, 2024

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Jen left us way too soon at the tender age of 30.

She leaves behind her daughter, Romani; ex-husband, Dalton; mother, Debra; father, Mark; siblings, Joshua (Betony), Justine (Daniel), Jason (Maria) and Jasmine (Doyle); and a multitude of others that we adopted as our own throughout the years, Linda, Johnny, Chris and Sara, Atlanta, Marshall, and all of their children.

She also leaves behind nephews, Luke, Keagan and Landon; nieces, Addyson, Lilly and Kinslei; aunts, Debbie and Tracy; uncles, Billy, Joe and Tommy; and a host of cousins with her favorite being Maia.

She is predeceased by her Nana; Grampa Bill; brother, Jacob; and a long list of other family members too numerous to mention.

When I say that Jen's passing leaves a giant hole in our hearts, that's an understatement. She was always the life of the party, and the prettiest one there. Her laugh was contagious and her smile lit up the whole room.

"Fennifer" — you will always be one of the Last Of The Mohicans, to the moon Alice!

There will be a candlelight vigil at the Austin Park stage on Friday, July 19, at dusk.

Contact Debra McKinney Ratcliff on facebook or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Arrangements by Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary, 707-263-0357 or 707-994-5611, or visit www.chapelofthelakes.com.

Jennifer Matheson. Courtesy photo.

Patricia Ann Sheffield. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Patricia (aka Pat or Patty) Ann Sheffield passed peacefully on July 2, 2024, at the age of 87.

She spent a short period in hospice before leaving us to be with her husband, George Sheffield, who predeceased her. She also plans to reunite with her loving pet companions she had over the years.

Pat was born to Charles and Dorothy Haynes in Helena, Montana, and was one of two children. She moved to California at the age of 19 (to Hollywood no less!).

She first came to Lake County as the owner/proprietor of Pine Acres in Blue Lakes. Later, she worked for and retired from the Social Security Administration.

She was a member and leader in the United Christian Parish, serving many roles and befriending all.

Pat is survived by her daughter, Kelly (plus Ken); grandson, Joshua Carson and his son, Seth; seven Sheffield stepchildren, George Jr. (plus Blanch), Gayle, Thomas, Richard, Kathy (plus Elias), John (plus Tonya) and Ed (plus Beth).

She is additionally survived by six Sheffield grandchildren, Nanyamka, Kathyanne, Delaney, John, Orion, and Quinn; and many nieces and nephews.

She also leaves behind many friends and neighbors.

She is predeceased by her brother, Charles Haynes, and her son, Clinton Woodard.

The family is hosting a visitation on Wednesday, July 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary in Lakeport.

The family and Pat’s congregation are hosting a celebration of life and potluck on Friday, July 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. at United Christian Parish in Lakeport.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to Hospice Services of Lake County.

Arrangements by Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary, 707-263-0357 or 707-994-5611, or visit www.chapelofthelakes.com.

Patricia Ann Sheffield. Courtesy photo.

Junior Fernandez. Courtesy photo.

Jose Fernandez III (Junior)
Sept. 24, 2001 - July 12, 2024

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Our beloved Junebug was called home on July 12, 2024, surrounded by all who loved him.

Junior left behind a legacy and an incredible amount of memories in his short time here on earth, 8,327 days to be exact. His spirit will not only live on in each and every one of us who loved and knew him, but in his three beautiful children.

Junior was born on Monday, Sept. 24, 2001, in Lakeport, California, to his loving parents, Joe and Jamie Fernandez. He was an only child until they adopted his sister and best friend, Adriana.

As a child he had many friends with whom he remained extremely close to throughout his life.

Junior attended school in Upper Lake, California. Over the years Junior played many sports, starting with soccer, then baseball, basketball, BMX, football and, of course, his passion was found in wrestling.

He started playing baseball when he was 6 years old, and excelled. Junior was an outstanding catcher during his Westshore Little League years, making the All Star Team every year.

When Junior was 11 years old he attended his first wrestling practice for Kelseyville Krush. After a short time he was hooked and wanted to do nothing but wrestle. He devoted all his time to wrestling, wrestling year round in all three styles and traveling the world to compete and train with the “best of the best.”

Junior claimed many accolades in wrestling: Triple Crown Winner, many USA state titles, All-American Honors at Reno Worlds, invitations to the Doc B tournament every year, four-time Lou Bronzan Champion, representing the USA and California on the Japan Culture Exchange Team, and eventually earning a Division 1 Scholarship to his school of choice, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, just to name a few.

His love for wrestling flourished in his coaching, where he led the Upper Lake Middle School to a League title in 2023.

In high school Junior also decided to play football for the Upper Lake Cougars. He was an outstanding football player (#32), which he accredited to his background in wrestling. Junior received prestigious awards throughout his career including Record-Bee and Press Democrat Athlete of the Year and Male Student of the Year for Stars of Lake County.

Junior was not only driven but dedicated and ambitious. During his time at Upper Lake High School he entered their FFA program, raising hogs and steers. Steers turned out to be his favorite animal, and he started J2 Cattle at the age of 15 with the help of his father. Junior successfully ran this cattle company for five years, even after moving away to college. He would return home every weekend to work with his cattle and to be present during calving season. Junior wanted to raise local, quality steers for upcoming 4-H and FFA showmen to have another option when purchasing their projects. Junior was eager to learn all he could about steers because he wanted to help the younger kids and give back to his community.

The summer of 2019 after graduating top of his class from Upper lake High School, Junior moved to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly and wrestle. He majored in ag business, knowing his goal was to return to his hometown of Upper Lake. Junior had plans to raise a family here due to his love for this community. During his short time at Cal Poly, he made his mark by starting on Varsity at 133 pounds as a true freshman.

Junior returned home and rekindled with his high school sweetheart and wife, Emily Acevedo-Fernandez. They met sophomore year and dated for a few months, but remained close friends. During the couple years they were apart, Junior and Emily supported each other through the best and worst of times. Their friendship came easy to both of them, and blossomed into a deep love that is unimaginable for such young souls.

They purchased a home and welcomed their first child, a beautiful baby girl, Ava Marie Fernandez, who was quickly followed by their wildchild of a son, Jose Maria Fernandez IV (Bubba). They welcomed their third and final baby, Junebug’s mini-me, in February of 2024, Camila Diane Fernandez. They were the light of his life and his spirit will shine through them forever.

Junior thoroughly loved being a husband and father. Living in organized chaos with his family was his favorite thing, working a 9 to 5 for his father’s company Jim’s Pumps, and ending his days cuddled up with babies was his pride and joy.

We all have choices in life and Junior chose love, light, friendship and family above all else. He was known for his smirk of a smile, humor and relentless pursuit for life. His life’s mission was to make the people he loved happy and to enjoy quality time spent together.

Junior held many titles in his life, from athlete to entrepreneur, but his favorite role was being a Daddy. His legacy will continue to resonate in the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to have known him. Junior’s goofiness, integrity, and devotion to his friends, family, and community will be forever cherished.

He is survived by his wife, Emily; his children, Ava, Jose, and Camila; his parents, Joe and Jamie; his sister, Adri; and his Grandpas, Grandmas, Tias, Tios, cousins, nieces and best friends.

Graveside funeral service will be held at Upper Lake Cemetery on Saturday, July 27, at 10 a.m.

A celebration of life will follow at June and Emily’s property, 9878 Elliot St. in Upper Lake.

Arrangements by Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary, 707-263-0357 or 707-994-5611, or visit www.chapelofthelakes.com.

Matilda J. Robinson. Courtesy photo.

Matilda J. Robinson
May 12, 1928 - June 25, 2024

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — As the sun was coming down, the clouds parted and heaven gained a true angel.

Matilda J. Robinson died in her home at the Witter Springs Ranch, surrounded by her big loving family. Shortly after her death, she painted the sky with the most spectacular sunset.

Matilda was born May 12, 1928, in Ukiah, California to Pearl and Foster Guntly. She was raised in Potter Valley, California on the Guntly Ranch. Matilda was one of four children, and two foster children: John Guntly, Saralu Yates, Laurel Hodges, Placita Yates and John (Poncho) Colon.

During her childhood she picked apples and grapes, and packed pears in the packing house. She talked about the time she and Della Guntly got tired of filling those big lugs of grapes to the top, so they filled the bottom with rocks! Yes! They got caught. Makes a fun story though.

After graduating from high school she ventured off to Santa Rosa, where she attended Santa Rosa Junior College, earning her Associate of Arts degree. While attending college she played on the basketball team, even traveling for games. She also took a tap dancing class. She was quite competitive — and also loved a good game of ping pong. She spoke of fun times while attending college, and the lifelong friends she met there.

After college Matilda met the love of her life, Bill Robinson (from Willits). He had returned home from the war and was quite the catch. She often said, “He looked like the actor, Anthony Quinn, so handsome!” It was love at first sight.

In 1949 Bill and Matilda married in Ukiah. They settled first in Willits, where they bought their first home (which she still owns to this day). Bill and Matilda moved to Cold Creek for awhile, then moved back to Willits.

In 1958 they made the momentous decision to move to Witter Springs to manage the Witter Springs Ranch, and to help care for her parents, Foster and Pearl Guntly. She said, “I never regretted that decision, it was a great place to raise our family.”

They created a legacy of five children: Cheryl Wheeler (Wes), Rachel Quist (Jim), Mike Robinson (deceased), Fred Robinson (Lora) and Paula Clark (Maurice). She leaves behind 13 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and numerous extended family and friends.

Matilda was very involved with the community: PTA and the School Board; 4-H; California Women of Agriculture; TOPS, earning KOPS status; poll worker, as the inspector; and Queen of the Rosary Guild. She was a caretaker of family and friends. She was a support person to anybody who needed it. She never knew a stranger, and once a friend always a friend.

Matilda loved her gardens and her chickens (earning the CB handle “Mother Hen”). So much good food was produced from the ranch and her gardens; canning, freezing, baking and barbecues, giving the term “domestic engineer” a new meaning. Nobody ever left hungry, and the coffee pot was always on.

Then, there is the infamous cookie jar, always full. Yes, it is still on the counter, and anyone that comes into the kitchen always checks to see what is inside. She really loved her sweets!

She made the big old house where she raised her kids a warm and loving home. She was a true matriarch of the family. We are comforted knowing that she is now flying with the angels.

She leaves us with so many good memories: rides out in the hills, trips to the ocean, cherry picking, swim lessons, etc.

A memorial service will be held in her honor at Chapel of the Lakes, 1625 N. High St., Lakeport, on July 20 at 11 a.m. A celebration of life will follow at the Witter Springs Ranch.

Donations in her memory can be made to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements by Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary, 707-263-0357 or 707-994-5611, or visit www.chapelofthelakes.com.

The sunset on June 25, 2024, shortly after Matilda J. Robinson died. Courtesy photo.

Charley Stephanski. Courtesy photo.

Charles Harry Stephanski, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather and cherished member of the community, passed away on March 22, 2024, in San Jose, California.

He was born on Sept. 7, 1939, in Lockport, New York, to John Robert and Irene Irma Stephanski.

Charley led a remarkable life filled with love, dedication, and service. He was a man of integrity and honor, traits instilled in him by his parents and honed during his years in the Navy.

Charley proudly served in the U.S. Navy from 1957 to 1977, progressing from a machinist mate student to a master chief machinist mate before his honorable discharge.

After his military service, Charley pursued various career paths, showcasing his versatility and dedication in roles such as a maintenance worker, chemical circulating tech, HVAC technician and ultimately become the co-owner of his own company, Dart Couriers in Clearlake, California, before retiring to San Jose in 2003 to be closer to his family.

His commitment to excellence and hard work was evident in all that he did, earning him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and peers.

Charley Stephanski. Courtesy photo.

On Jan. 28, 1961, in Burbank, California, Charley married his first wife, Geraldine Downs, with whom he shared 23 years. Together, they built a beautiful life with four children and cherished memories.

After their separation, Charley found love once again and married Pauline Clark on Oct. 22, 1987, in San Jose. Their union lasted 22 years and brought joy and companionship to both of their lives, until her passing in 2010.

Charley was a beloved family man, survived by his children Chuck, Teresa, Michael, Annie, stepchildren Marcy, John, Rob, and Terri, along with his sisters Mary Katherine Davis and Dr. Margaret Argentine and brother-in-law Dr. Leaonard Argentine.

His legacy extends to his 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, who were the light of his life and the source of his greatest joy.

Charley was an active member of the community, was known for his inventive spirit and tinkering nature, and was always exploring new ideas and projects with passion and curiosity.

Charles Harry Stephanski will be deeply missed but never forgotten. His kind heart, unwavering dedication, and zest for life will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.

Keeping with Charley's giving spirit, and per his request, his remains have been donated through the Stanford Anatomical Gift Program.

A service and celebration of Charley’s life will be held on Saturday, July 20, at 11 a.m. at 610 Mill Pond Dr. in San Jose.

In his memory, let us cherish the time we shared with Charley and carry forward the values of love, commitment, and service that he exemplified throughout his life.

May he rest in eternal peace, surrounded by the love and memories he created during his time with us.

Upcoming Calendar

07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.23.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Clearlake Planning Commission
07.24.2024 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Workshop
07.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.30.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.03.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.10.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.17.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

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