Sunday, 26 May 2024


Paula Johnson. Courtesy photo.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. — A longtime Middletown resident, Paula Johnson, passed away peacefully on Aug. 20, 2023, after a brief illness.

Paula is preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Anita Montmarquet; brother, Skip Montmarquet; husband, Roy Alyn Johnson; and daughter, Lisa Johnson.

A memorial Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Middletown, with a celebration of life to follow at the Middletown Lions Club.

Arrangements by Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary, 707-263-0357 or 707-994-5611, or

Paula Johnson. Courtesy photo.

Shirley Howland. Courtesy photo.

Shirley May Howland
March 26, 1929 to Sept. 7, 2023

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Shirley Howland was born in Sacramento on March 26, 1929, and was raised in Oakland, the only child of Arthur and Neva Howland.

Her parents bought a summer cabin in Clearlake where she learned to sail with her father, later winning many races as the lone female entrant.

This sparked her lifelong passion for sailing and took her on many trips including to the Caribbean, Hawaii and New Zealand.

She graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 1950 and began her career in teaching in the Bay Area.

She never lost her love of Clearlake, visiting often, and eventually moving back to the expanded cottage of her childhood.

She was a strong and remarkable woman, a trailblazer, who cared deeply about social issues including peace and justice.

She stood firmly against war and for climate change action. She became a vocal supporter of the rights of the citizens of Clearlake and online searches will still find many of her strongly worded letters to the editor.

As a long-time member of the Lake County Democrats, she worked to elect women to local office, and never missed a chance to set up a voter registration table or help a stray animal. She had a strong cadre of friends who supported her to the end.

In 2019, the Lake County Silver Foundation honored her with its Inspirational Senior Award at its Senior Summit.

In 2021, she sold her house in Clearlake, gave up her beloved Prius and moved to the Edelweiss Guest Home in Lakeport where she was lovingly cared for.

She died gracefully at Rocky Point on Sept. 7, 2023, after a brief stay at Sutter Lakeside Hospital. She will be sorely missed.

In her honor, please consider modeling her courage, commitment and perseverance in speaking up for what is right.

A celebration of life will be held on Friday, Oct. 6, at 4 p.m. at the Kelseyville United Methodist Church located at 3810 Main St.

Shirley Howland learned to sail on Clear Lake with her father, Arthur Howland. Courtesy photo.

Millie Ann Hammes. Photo from Judy Wink.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Born on a crisp winter day at St. Helena Hospital on Feb. 19, 1957, Millie Ann (Irwin) Hammes entered the world as a source of pure joy to her parents John Daniel Irwin and Ethel Elizabeth “Betty” (Strickler) Irwin.

She spent her formative years in the small, picturesque town of Middletown, California, where her spirit of adventure and deep friendships began to flourish.

Graduating from Middletown High School in 1974, Millie set off to make her mark on the world and attended Yuba College in Marysville for two years. Graduating with her degree in hand was just the beginning of a remarkable voyage.

In January 1978, Millie embarked on a lifelong journey as she married the love of her life, Richard A. Hammes. Their marriage spanned an impressive 45 years, a testament to the strength of their bond and the depth of their connection.

Together, they embraced many adventures with open hearts and created memories that would forever define their shared story. It was these memories that were a source of laughter and smiles during the last months of her life as they reminisced about the big life they had lived together.

In her professional life, Millie excelled in the world of finance and management. She shared her expertise for 15 years at Clearlake National Bank, where she ascended from Assistant controller to chief financial officer, followed by over a decade at Jonas Energy, and most recently, Highlands Water Co. in Clearlake. Her dedication and leadership have left a lasting imprint on the businesses and the friendships she made in the process.

Millie and Dick lived most of their married life in Hidden Valley Lake, California, where they met many of their longtime friends whom they traveled with and shared many of their adventures.

But Millie's impact extended far beyond her immediate circle. Her kindness, humor, generosity and thoughtfulness endeared her to many in this small community and beyond, making her a beloved friend to all who had the privilege of knowing her.

Tragically, on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, Millie's voyage on this earth came to an end as she peacefully passed away in the embrace of her family within the walls of the Adventist Health Clear Lake Hospital.

The last of many months of suffering were finally over for both Millie and Dick. The love and warmth that surrounded her in those final days were a reflection of the vibrant life she had led, a life that touched countless hearts.

The last few years had been a challenging period for Millie and Dick, testing their strength and conviction in ways unimaginable. Through it all, Dick's unwavering dedication to Millie's well-being shone as a beacon of love for all who loved her to see. His dedication was a testament to the depth of their bond and a reflection of the enduring love they shared.

Millie's memory lives on in the hearts of her devoted husband, Richard "Dick" Hammes, who stood by her side for all these many years.

She is also survived by her sister and best friend, Sylvia Jean (Irwin) Wink, who shared a lifetime of laughter, secrets and unbreakable bonds, and her brother John Dale Irwin Sr. Her spirit and legacy continue through several nieces and nephews, many in-laws, and friends who were like family to her.

Millie's passing leaves a void that can never truly be filled, yet her spirit continues to shine through all the cherished memories she leaves in all of our hearts. She is now reunited with her parents and her sister, Judith (Irwin) Cunningham, who preceded her in death.

Millie leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter and an unwavering spirit. She touched the lives of many, and her memory will forever remind us of the power of love and the beauty of a life well-lived.

As we mourn her passing, let us also be grateful for the deep impact she had on everyone fortunate enough to know her, and that she is now at peace.

A celebration of her life will be held at the Greenview Restaurant in Hidden Valley Lake on Sept. 30 from 2:30 to 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity in Millie’s memory.

Melinda Wright. Courtesy photo.

Melinda Sue Wright
Aug. 31, 1954 — Sept. 1, 2023

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Melinda came into this world as the first child to James and Dolores Easter.

The day after her 18th birthday she moved in with her life partner and eventual husband, James Wright. Together they had one child, Matthew.

She enjoyed good music, traveling, gardening, genealogy and, most of all, her grandchildren, who will carry her cherished memories in their hearts forever.

Melinda will be remembered as a kind, thoughtful, intelligent and loving woman to everyone around her and she will be dearly missed.

A memorial service will be held at North Shore Christian Fellowship in Upper Lake on Saturday, Sept. 30 at noon.

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

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Gaye Haas, born on May 9, 1930, passed on May 16, 2023 at 93 years of age. She was born in Minden, Louisiana to Myrtle White Burnett and William Burnett.

After moving to Upper Lake, California at the end of World War II, Gaye graduated from Upper Lake High School in 1946.

Gaye later married Harold Haas, the love of her life. Their marriage spanned over 60 years and they raised five children. Her family was her deepest passion.

In the mid-60s, Gaye began her career in education. While she wore several hats during her tenure at Lakeport Unified, she primarily worked with Joan Cox in the third grade classroom.

Gaye so enjoyed working with young children and loved seeing past students as grown adults. For much of her career, she was also a school bus driver.

Survivors include Pat Haas of Lakeport, California; Penny Haas of Little River, California; and Tim Haas of Chico, California.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Haas; daughter, Sandra Butler; and son, Michael Haas.

She will be greatly missed by her five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Gaye leaves behind a legacy of love and compassion for children and animals; she led a full and complete life.

The family wishes to thank the Hospice Services of Lake County for their kind support and compassion.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the United Christian Parish of Lakeport, 745 N. Brush St.

Milton Hodgkinson. Courtesy photo.

Milton passed away on Aug. 31, 2023.

He arrived on his Mother’s birthday in Bloomington, Illinois on Oct. 3, 1935.

His family moved to Tucson, Arizona and then to Lake County, California, in 1952, his sophomore year in high school, where he met his future wife, Laura Covey at Clear Lake High School.

He was an avid hunter and fisherman and fell in love with Lake County.

After graduation, Milton attended Chapman College and Chico State College, he worked summers for the U.S Forest Service to help pay for his tuition.

Along the way he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served two years in Germany as a staff sergeant, E6.

After the Army he went back to Chico State and earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in industrial arts. And, he married Laura Covey. He served two years active Army Reserve and two years inactive Army Reserve.

Milton moved to Maxwell, California with his newly arrived twin sons, Ross and Michael. He taught high school industrial arts and served on the Maxwell Service Club and the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce for six years.

When the boys were fourth graders they all moved back to Lake County and farmed for 30 years on the family farm.

Milton had many varied interests and hobbies, including restoring his model A, sailing boats and racing a Hobie Cat named Double Trouble with his family. He sang barbershop, taught 4-H and served on the Lakeport School Board.

Milton Hodgkinson. Courtesy photo.

He enjoyed building and shooting muzzleloading guns and going to rendezvous, pheasant hunting with his two German shorthairs Bo and Ticker, and trap shooting.

He was a Farm Bureau Board member and belonged to the Konocti Rod and Gun Club, Lake County Trap Club and was a lifetime NRA member.

Milton proudly served with the Lake County Military Funeral Honors Team and helped support veteran and military support groups like Operation Tango Mike. At one time, he was named Lake County Veteran of the Year.

Milton is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Laura; son, Michael; Ross’ wife, Lynn Hodgkinson; granddaughter, Barbara (Jordan) Waggoner and their baby girl, Addison.

He is predeceased by his son, Ross; brother, Read Hodgkinson; and his parents, George Read and Rachel Hanson Hodgkinson.

Happy hunting Dad! Love ya and know that you will be missed.

Graveside service will be held at Hartley Cemetery, Veteran’s Circle on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 10:30 a.m. followed by a remembrance at Milton and Laura's home.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lake County Military Funeral Honors Team, P.O. Box 1365, Kelseyville, CA 95451 and Operation Tango Mike, 5216 Piner Court, Kelseyville, CA 95451.

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

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05.26.2024 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
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05.28.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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