Sunday, 14 July 2024


Chet Johnson. Courtesy photo,

Chester F. Johnson


“Say not in grief he is no more but in thankfulness that he was.” — Hebrew Proverb

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Chet passed away quietly at his home in Lakeport on June 2, 2023, with his children lovingly watching over him.

He was an only child, born in Upper Lake, California in November 1936, to Franklin “Frank” and Frances “Frankie” Johnson of Nice.

He was raised on the shores of Clear Lake, at what was then Laurel Beach Resort in Nice.

Chet could swim at 6 months old. As a child, he developed a love of building engines. At 12 years of age, Chet rebuilt an old Model A flatbed truck that is still in the family today. It still runs!

Chet graduated from Upper Lake High School in 1954. That fall, he joined the military. Chet was a proud Navy "Seabee" veteran, having taken part in building a Naval Air Station and airstrip in Subic Bay, Philippines.

Upon his return to the states, the GI Bill sent Chet to San Francisco's Heald College of Engineering.

He roomed with his best friend Clyde Morrow. Clyde introduced Chet to his girlfriend's best friend, Fay. It was not long before Chet quit school, came home and married her. Clyde married his girlfriend Martha and the four were lifelong friends.

In later years, Chet would say he could not imagine working in an office environment and was incredibly happy that he chose to be a mechanic. His father was Lake County’s road commissioner/surveyor. His disappointment that his son would not follow in his footsteps was soon replaced with the joy of three grandchildren.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Chet was truly fortunate to work for Ed and Charlotte Brown at the Bar B Marina in Nice, directly across the street from his family home. He had great love and respect for Ed Sr. and thought of him like a second father.

Chet built and repaired boat engines and motorcycles for many years at Hillside Honda in several locations. There was not an engine made that he could not repair or an engineering problem he could not solve.

In later years he built several homes and a church with his brother-in-law, Richard, and son David. He loved the time he spent building race cars with his sons.

After selling the Nice property to Len and Lorraine Bassignani (Featherbed Railroad Bed and Breakfast was born!), Chet and Fay retired to their cabin in the woods on the outskirts of Fort Bragg. There, they lived 17 years before coming back to where they always called home, beautiful Lake County.

Chet often told a story of attending the Lake County Fair with Fay when they first started dating. He fondly remembered stuffing her pink petticoats and big blonde hair inside the cab of his 56 Ford Pickup. He claimed to remember the entire night from start to finish. They sat beside each other in that old truck wherever they went for many years. Chet never got used to life without Fay; after over half a century together, she passed away in 2016.

Chet had a wicked quick wit and a talent for twisting the English language. Friends gathered at his shop in Nice, where they would wrench, barter, banter and have an all-around great time. Beer was consumed!

Chet was among the last of his group, and he missed his friends terribly. Upper Lake High School alumni John Story, Lee Elkins and Ray Tisell continued to visit him often in recent months, as did Fred Middendorff. It never failed to lift his spirits.

There will never be another Chet Johnson. Those who knew him can attest to that!

He is predeceased by his parents, his wife of 56 years, Fay, and eldest son, Donald.

Chet is survived by his son and best friend, David; daughter, Denise; and son-in-law, Fred.

At his request, there will be no services. A very sincere thank you to Hospice Services of Lake County.

Eileen Brodie Hoberg. Courtesy photo.

Eileen Brodie Hoberg

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Eileen was born in Seattle, Washington and moved to San Francisco when she was 4 years old. Eileen was a champion ice skater, and professional model.

For many years Eileen was on the matchbooks and brochures of the Fairmont Hotel, and also on the album cover “Dance Atop Nob Hill.”

Eileen married George Hoberg Jr. in 1957 and together they ran The Country Club Restaurant at Hoberg’s Forest Lake Golf Course on Cobb.

After they retired in 1993, George and Eileen enjoyed traveling to England, Scotland, Ireland and Hawaii.

Eileen is survived by her daughters, Sandra Fox and Terry Hoberg Karabel, and son-in-law Howard Karabel, and by her beloved grandson Joseph Myers. Husband George and son-in-law Warren Fox preceded her in death.

At Eileen's request, there will be no services. Eileen suggested that you take and old lady to lunch in her memory. A bottle of wine would make the meal complete!

The family wishes to thank the staff at Orchard Park Retirement Home in Clearlake. They were kind and thoughtful and took wonderful care of Eileen these past 6 years.

As Frank Sinatra sang, “Parting is not goodbye, We'll be together again.”

Leanne Marcia. Courtesy photo.

Leanne Marcia

LUCERNE, Calif. — Leanne Marcia passed away peacefully in her Lucerne home on June 12, 2023.

She is survived by her two children, Serena Marcia of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Bailey Marcia-Bryant of Lucerne; and her one surviving sister, Lisa Barry of Sacramento.

Leanne was also dearly loved by her three granddaughters, Peyton Bell, Abbegayle Marcia-Bryant and Joanne Bell, all of Arkansas.

Leanne grew up in the Bay Area for most of her younger years and relocated to Lake County to live near her older sister, Cheryl Hopkins, in her 20s.

Leanne made Lucerne her home for over the past 30 years.

Leanne was an accomplished crafter, an avid reader and a caring soul. She overcame many setbacks in her early life but maintained her faith in God and a love for her family.

Leanne was homebound for much of her golden years and was able to rely on the strength of her friendships to help her make her way.

She will be dearly missed by those that knew and loved her.

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

Harry “Bill” Merriman. Courtesy photo.

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. — Harry William “Bill” Merriman was born Sept. 5, 1936, at Palo Alto hospital and passed peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family on June 11, 2023.

Bill was a graduate of Sequoia High School in 1955. He was hired by the Ampex Corp. in Redwood City in 1955 as a production worker. He climbed the ranks to become the youngest foreman in the history of the company.

In 1971, Bill relocated to Kelseyville with his then wife, Geraldine Ornellas. They had a son Brad in 1973. Bill owned a small gas station in Kelseyville in the 1970s. He was hired at Kelseyville Fire Department in 1983 as a firefighter/mechanic.

Bill married Jeanette Gilmore in 1985. For 25 years Bill loved and was honored to serve the citizens of Kelseyville. He was well respected and adored in the community and by his family and friends. He retired in 2008 from Kelseyville Fire.

Bill’s last few years were enjoyed in the company of his close lady friend, Jeanette Kemp, who he adored and loved.

He is survived by his son, Brad; daughter-in-law, Nichole; grandson, Shane; and step grandkids, Luca, Charlotte, Olivia and Samantha.

A memorial service will be held at Kelseyville Fire Department, 4020 Main St., on June 25 at 1:30 p.m.

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

Robert Norris. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Robert (Bob, Botts, Mr. Norris, Bob From Cobb) Michael Norris of Cobb, California, passed away on June 1, 2023, after a brief and intense fight with leukemia.

His family was with him at Adventist Hospital in St. Helena, California, during his final days.

At the time of his passing, he was 72.

Bob Norris was born in South San Francisco in 1950 to George and Lorraine Norris. He was the oldest of three boys and grew up in the many parks, ballfields and classrooms in the flight path of San Francisco International Airport. His childhood home’s proximity to Candlestick Park sparked a lifelong fandom of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers.

He attended San Jose State University and joined the Zeta Iota chapter of the Sigma Nu Fraternity. The friendships Botts made at SJSU would last the rest of his life and be the foundation for decades of memorable experiences, reunions, and camping trips.

Most importantly, it was where he met Nyla Jan O’Meara. The two wed in August of 1976. Bob and Nyla moved to Lake County, California, and ultimately to the small community of Cobb in 1984, where Bob served as the self-appointed “Mayor of Fox Drive.”

Mr. Norris was a career educator, having taught primarily in the Middletown School District at Cobb Elementary, Middletown Middle, Middletown High and Coyote Valley Elementary schools. He was also a devoted coach of many sports, from youth soccer to high school golf… and many in between.

A gifted storyteller, he enjoyed teaching California and US History and sharing stories — occasionally embellished — of his own life as they pertained to these subjects. In retirement, he would often “work” at Six Sigma Ranch and Winery and Adams Springs Golf Course.

Bob From Cobb had a passion for creating and documenting moments and making them into memories. His parents’ desire to travel instilled a lifelong urge to see and experience new places.

As a teacher, free summers led to countless family vacations and road trips across the United States and Canada. As a retiree, the boundaries for travel grew to Europe, South America, and anywhere Nyla could convince him would make good content for his travel “blog.”

It is hard not to talk about the impact of sports when describing Bob’s life. In his youth, he participated in baseball, basketball, swimming, and many more. He would tell stories about going to games at Kezar Stadium, Seals Stadium, the Cow Palace, Candlestick Park and Harmon Gym. Later in life he and Nyla secured season tickets to the San Francisco Giants and 49ers, and in retirement enjoyed annual trips to Arizona for spring training.

Bob is remembered by his wife of 47 years, Nyla and their children Rob (Chelsea) and Beth Norris (Nik Huerta). Bob cherished his two grandchildren: Brady (10) and Kinley (7) Norris; his incredible brothers, Jim (Adeline) and Rich (Cindy) Norris; and brother-in-law Jack (Cheryl) O’Meara.

Bob’s mother, Lorraine (99), still lives in his childhood home in South San Francisco. His father George passed away in December of 2022 at the age of 100.

A celebration of life is planned for later this summer.

If you are able, please consider giving blood and platelets to a local blood drive or hospital to aid others fighting leukemia.

Donations can be made to the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center in St. Helena where Bob received excellent care (visit

Efren Batres Rangel. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Efren Batres Rangel, “El Pato,” 71, of Kelseyville, sadly left us on June 11, 2023.

He was born on June 16, 1952, to Jose Batres and Maria Rangel in Ojocaliente, Zacatecas.

Efren is predeceased by his parents, Jose Batres and Maria Rangel; siblings, Juana Batres and Ignacio Batres, Ma. Jesus Batres; and grandchild, Leo Mendez.

Pato is survived by his wife, Ma Del Rosario Batres; children, Esmeralda Batres, Efren Batres (Ashley) and Jose Batres (Laura); grandchildren, Elizabeth Hernandez, Diego Hernandez, Cristian Mendez, Paulina Olmedo, Kasandra Batres and Sebastian Batres; great-grandchildren, Sofia and Santiago Mendez; and siblings, Vicenta Batres, Javier Batres, Melecio Batres, Lucia Batres and Guadalupe Luevano.

Visitation will be held at St. Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Lakeport on Friday, June 23, from 3 to 6 p.m. with Rosary to follow at 6 p.m.

Funeral Mass will be at St. Mary Immaculate Catholic Church on Saturday, June 24, at 10 a.m.

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

Upcoming Calendar

07.16.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
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

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.