Wednesday, 07 December 2022


Donald Brice had a passion for motor sports, on and off the water. Courtesy photo.



Donald Gene Brice was born on Aug. 5, 1929, in Cove, Ark., and passed away peacefully at his home in Chino Hills, Calif., on Oct. 25, 2008.

He attended California’s Burbank High School and graduated from Sonora High School. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956-58 stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco. Image

He ran his business, Brice Engineering, from 1967 and continued to work in the machining business until he retired in the spring 2008. His son, Keith, continues to run Brice Engineering in Lakeport.

Don was an accomplished machinist and innovator. He was introduced to water ski racing in the late 1950s and hand-built his first ski race boat, an 18-foot Rayson Craft named “Goosebumps,” in 1961.

During this period in his life, Don was actively involved with working on the Offenhaeuser powered Novi Indy Car Team and was partially responsible for the success of Lee Taylor’s “Hustler” jet boat world record run of 286.875 miles per hour, as Don personally installed the throttle mechanisms for this achievement.

He was also instrumental in introducing the late great Ray Caselli, blown fuel flat bottom icon and close personal friend, to drag boat racing in the early sixties. Another key achievement around this time, was building the first prototype Arneson pool sweep units for inventor Howard Arneson of San Rafael, Calif.

Don had a passion for motor sports and was an accomplished drag boat racer with the National Drag Boat Racing Association in conjunction with becoming a National Champion boat racer and elected official and founding member of the National Speedboat and Water Ski Racing Association. He served on the board of directors as a Commodore for many ski racing organizations. He loved dirt bike riding, driving his dune buggies and, in more recent years, enjoyed piloting his Seadoo as well as his golf cart with his two dogs on board. He was also a member of the Long Beach, Los Angeles and Marina boat and ski clubs.

Don and his family have vacationed and competed in ski racing events in Lakeport since the early 1960s. He loved Lakeport and all the many friends he made here.

He is survived by his loving companion of 32 years, Judith Cotner, of Chino Hills, Calif.; son and daughter-in-law, Keith and Dawna Brice of Lakeport, Calif.; daughter, Susan Rasmussen of South Lake Tahoe, Calif.; daughter, Cristy Brice of Lucerne, Calif.; stepdaughters and sons-in-laws, Rhonda and Gary Hardasty of Chino Hills, Michelle and Phil Kramer of Yorba Linda, Calif., and Melissa and Paul Rivera of Yorba Linda; grandchildren, Shiloh and Kura Brice, Ryan and Sarah Rasmussen, Jason Kramer and Amy King, Jeremy and Amanda Hardasty, and Lauren, Michelle, Crystal, Valerie and Jordan Rivera; great-grandchildren, Emily and Kayla, as well as many nieces and nephews and other family relatives including brother-in-law, Jeff Young of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

He was preceded in death by ex-wife Joanie Brice, and mother and stepfather, Effie and Paul Piltz of Big Oak Flat, Calif.

Family services will be held in the spring of 2009 at Lake Havasu Landing where Don and Judy had a second home. They both had many friends and cherished memories there.

Family and friends have decided to purchase a lamp post in downtown Lakeport.

Donations can be made to the “Don Brice Memorial Lamp Post Fund” at Savings Bank of Mendocino County, P.O. Box 156, Lakeport, CA 95453.

Don has the “pole position” secured at the newly dedicated “boat racer alley” on First Street next to Library Park in Lakeport.

“Big Daddy Don” will always live on in our hearts.


The Rev. Ruth Canady was remembered at a weekend service. Courtesy photo.




CLEARLAKE OAKS – A private celebration in memory of Rev. Ruth Canady was held Saturday, Aug. 16 at the Clearlake Oaks Community United Methodist Church.

On Sunday evening, Aug. 10, Pastor Ruth had difficulty breathing and was transported to Sutter Santa Rosa the next day. A biopsy of her left lung was performed and due to this procedure and her weakened state, she did not recover. At this writing the cause of her severely damaged lungs have not been determined.

Pastor Ruth’s husband Rev. William Thornton passed away in April 2005, leaving her to carry the torch of dreams for the Clearlake Oaks Church and the community’s integrity. Now it is up to the congregation and the community to keep that torch burning and realize their dream.

She is survived by her children: Charlene Stearns, Cheryl Carzoli, Diana O’Hara, Michael Thornton and Cherri Campbell; her grandchildren: Nathan Dukes, Kelsey Carzoli, Lexi Carzoli, Shannon O’Hara, Jan Bumgarner, Lindsey Campbell, and Kevin and Casey McCormick; and her great-grandchildren, Casey Clarke, Madison Bumgarner and Wyatt Dukes.

The memorable celebration was officiated by Rev. Paula Bishop Paciecha and Rev. Dr. Rick Schlosser; music by Rev. Dr. Rick Schlosser and Jim Coombs.

A special thank you to Rev. Paula Bishop Paciencha, minister of Congregational Care for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Northern California-Nevada and to Rev. Shannon Kimbal-Auth with the Methodist Church of Lakeport-UCP, who provided the crucial information to contact pertinent parties involved; and to all who prayed and helped put this celebration together so quickly and with great love.

The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Thornton-Canady Youth and Community Center c/o Clearlake Oaks Community United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 962, Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423, telephone 707-998-9435.


George cleaning a pool at Harbin Hot Springs in June 1987. The I-Ching Hexagram Gate (Wind over Earth) is behind him. Courtesy photo.


George (Oliver) Elder passed away May 26, 2008 at Lakeport Skilled Nursing Center. George was born October 21, 1936 in Mineral Wells, Texas, son of George Elder and Ethel (Waugh) Elder.

George lived in Lakeport for many years, but began visiting Lake County as a child. He and his family shared many fond memories of Austin Beach in Clearlake in the 1940s.

Beginning in the 1980s, George lived and worked at Harbin Hot Springs before moving to Lakeport.

An avid bicycle rider to the end, George was a steward of the Clear Lake shoreline, removing debris and driftwood from the lakeside at Lakeshore Boulevard and Rainbow Road, near his home. If it weren’t for George’s attentiveness, the many waterfowl and river otters that make that patch of tule reeds their home would have suffered.

Receiving an honorable discharge from the US Air Force in 1961, George will be interred at Hartley Cemetery in Lakeport.

George was my neighbor and I, along with his other neighbors, will miss him. He said he frequented the Lakeport Senior Center. If you knew him, or know anything about possible surviving relatives, please leave a comment below or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Jessica Davison, 20, died Oct. 25, 2008. Courtesy photo.


“Live, Laugh, Love” was the way 20-year-old Jessica Michelle Davison approached each day. Jessie’s love and compassion for others was evident to those who knew her. Jessie always gave her best when helping others.

She grew up in Nice attending Upper Lake Elementary School until she was in the third grade, when she moved with her family to Santa Cruz County.

Jessie always played recreational sports as a child and continued on into the high school and college level. She was a four-sport athlete, playing volleyball, basketball, softball and water polo for San Lorenzo Valley High School, continuing on to Bethany University to play softball and study for her career as a teacher. Jessie also played summer traveling softball with the Mountain Dream Team, Tremblers, Crushers, Santa Cruz Surf and the San Jose Strikers.

As a young child Jessie knew that she wanted to be a teacher for elementary students and children with learning disabilities. Children gravitated to Jessie; kids were always following her, hanging all over her like little monkeys. Unlike most, Jessie was a special person who had it all figured out. She was ambitious, driven and focused on being a teacher.

Jessie moved from Bethany University to Cabrillo Junior College to save money as she took her general education courses with plans to transfer back to Bethany University to complete her education. She was a tutor for elementary students, child care giver and always worked part-time as she studied for her teaching degree.

Jessie was always looking to help other people anyway she could. Her gentle spirit was always care giving. She worked at Sunshine Villa caring of the elderly, tutored elementary students, was part of the conflict resolution team, refereed for recreational sports, coached softball for younger girls and babysat. Jessie was currently looking into being a volunteer at the crisis center in Santa Cruz.

She had many jobs in her short life; during high school she was a day care helper for April Beltz and babysat in the neighborhood. Jessie worked in Scotts Valley at Jamba Juice, AT&T, Boulder Creek County Club and lastly at Beverly Fabrics in Capitola. She always knew how to make people laugh and brighten any situation with her beautiful smile.

Jessie was a very religious young women attending churches including St. Michael's, Santa Cruz Bible, Twin Lakes Church and Bethany Chapel.

Jessie was suddenly taken from us on Oct. 25 in a freak car accident. There was no foul play, she was not drinking, she was wearing her seat belt and was not speeding. Jessie went to school in the morning, worked in the afternoon, came home for a couple of hours and went out to meet a friend. She had a very long day and fell asleep at the wheel at about 2:10 a.m., less than a mile from her home.

She is survived by mother Dawn Peterson; brothers Jeffrey Pittman and Josh Davison; sisters Sherry and Melissa Davison; cousins Nick Thompson, Jeri Spehar and Chris Davison; aunts Barbara Thompson and Pam Spehar; uncles Bruce Spehar and Ronnie Davison; aunt Debbie and uncle Pete Jonas; and many other family members.

April Beltz of Ben Lomond will be hosting a memorial gathering for people in the community on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 3 p.m. Please park at the Red Mormon Church on Love Creek Road in Ben Lomond. San Lorenzo Valley Coach Lowe has opened "Jessie’s Memorial Fund "at Liberty Bank in Boulder Creek.

Family services will be held at Los Gatos Memorial Park in Los Gatos on Friday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m.

Jessie accomplished so much in her short life, she will always be our angel watching over us. Her big heart, and loving and nurturing spirit touched many and will be missed by all.

We love you, Jessie.


Kenneth Wickersham died June 22 at age 83. Courtesy photo.



Kenneth Alvin Wickersham of Homewood, Calif., died peacefully in his sleep on June 22, 2008. He was 83 years old.

He was born son of William and Margie Wickersham on August 18, 1924 in Springfield, Mo. He grew up in Hastings, Neb. from early childhood through young adulthood. He attended Platte Valley Academy in Shelton, Neb. for four years, where he met his sweetheart and future wife.

He proudly served his country in the military for three years at the end of World War II. Upon returning home from Europe in 1946, he married his sweetheart and they started a family.

In 1951 they moved to Houston, Texas where he took up auto body repair and then plumbing as trades to support his family. In 1958 he moved his family to California and returned to college where he and his wife, as young parents, completed their college education and began their professional careers.

He completed his master's degree at Pacific Union College in Angwin, Calif., and remained an educator for the remainder of his career, for his beloved church, the Seventh-Day Adventists.

Upon retiring he designed and built his own dream home, on the shores of Lake Tahoe, where he actively lived out the remainder of his life.

He was predeceased by his father, his mother and his brother.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Natalie; his daughter, Jeanette of Clear Lake; and his son, Ron of Napa.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, for he was a gentle spirit and a giving person who never hesitated to lend a helping hand to family, friends and neighbors. He now rests in the loving arms of our Savior and Beloved Master, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Memorial services were held at the Heavenly Valley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., on Wednesday, June 25, 2008. Interment and a military graveside service were held at the Lower Lake Cemetery in Lower Lake, Calif. on Friday, June 27, 2008.

Arrangements in care of Truckee-Tahoe Mortuary and Crematory.

Published Friday, July 4, 2008.


Irene Harmston's remains were carried to Hartley Cemetery in a horse-drawn hearse, recently purchased by Chapel of the Lakes. Mrs. Harmston's funeral was the first use of the hearse. Photo courtesy of Woody Hughes.


Irene passed away peacefully at her home, April 3, 2008, at the age of 74, surrounded by loved ones, after a short battle with cancer. She was born Aug. 9, 1933 in Olympia, Wash., to Joseph and Cora Lawant.

At the age of 12, Irene and her family moved to Palo Alto. She was the youngest of four children. Irene graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1952. Irene married in 1953, and after having three children, moved to Lake County in March 1964. Here she made her home for the past 44 years. She went to work for Bank of America, and after her retirement, worked for a short time at Bank of Lake County.

Irene met and married Norman Harmston after a brief courtship. She volunteered her time to the Lakeport Senior Center and was a current volunteer with the Gleaners. Each year at voting time you would find her sitting on an election board. Irene stayed involved with her church and the VFW.

Irene loved being around people. She looked forward to trips to her sister Pat's. She helped her children with parties and get-togethers. She loved spending time with all of her children and grandchildren. Irene and Norm loved to entertain and play cards with their friends and she was known to occasionally be seen at the casino trying her arm out on the machines.

Irene will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.

She is survived by her husband of 22 years, Norman Harmston; sister, Patricia Jack; children, Chris (Patrick) Lynch, Vicky (Dave) Cooper, Carol Lima (Steve Winant), Lynn (Sheryl) Harmston and Clayton (Marlene) Harmston; grandchildren, Shannon, Keith, Becky, Dustin, Jon, Molly, Chelsie, Kevin, Zoe, William and Katie Lynn; two great-grandchildren, Larsen and Jacob; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Earl, sister Catherine, brother-in-law Dale Jack, and nephew Dana.

A celebration of life and memorial service was held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 9 at the United Christian Parish, 745 N. Brush Street, Lakeport, officiated by Chaplain Woody Hughes and the Rev. Diana Green followed by a special memorial service by the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Post 2015 at the VFW Post 2015 Plot at Hartley Cemetery.

Family prefers donations in Irene's memory to the American Cancer Society.

For further information contact Chapel of the Lakes at 263-0357 or 994-5611 or vist


Upcoming Calendar

12.08.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
12.08.2022 9:30 am - 2:15 pm
Bucket Brigade Blood Drive Challenge
12.08.2022 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Adult Literacy Program in-person tutor training
12.08.2022 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Clearlake City Council special meeting
12.08.2022 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Middletown Area Town Hall
12.09.2022 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Hometown Christmas in Lower Lake
12.10.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
12.10.2022 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
12.10.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
12.10.2022 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Clear Lake State Park Christmas open house

Mini Calendar



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