Monday, 25 October 2021


Kathleen Harness marched in the 2008 Clearlake Independence Day parade in an entirely homemade Statue of Liberty costume. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Kathleen Anne Harness of Witter Springs passed away Aug. 2, 2021, in Santa Rosa, California as a consequence of Alzheimer's disease.   

She and her twin brother Jim were born Aug. 26, 1950, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin to LeRoy Russell Erickson and Agnes Mary Farley.   

In 1952 she moved with her family to the Farley family ranch near Tomales in western Marin County. 

She was a third generation graduate of Tomales High School, attended Santa Rosa Junior College, then transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, where she met her future husband Steve Harness while living at Stebbins Hall, a house in the Berkeley Students Cooperative. 

She and Steve were married on Sept. 8, 1973, in Berkeley. 

Kathleen worked for the Veterans Administration in Oakland and in Martinez. She finished her AA degree at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill.   

The couple moved to Upper Lake in 1978 when Steve was employed as a teacher at Upper Lake High School.

Kathleen worked as a medical transcriber for Dr. Duane Bradley until the birth of their daughter Erin in 1982.   

When Erin and son Kevin were attending Upper Lake Elementary School, Kathleen became a volunteer aide, and was later hired as the English Language Learner aide at the school, serving there until 2010.   

During this time she completed her BA degree in communications at Sonoma State University in 2000.

Kathy was an attender of the Lake County Friends Worship Group and a member of the Lake County Democratic Club and Sweet Adelines. She was a talented cartoonist and used this skill extensively in teaching her students to learn English.   

Kathy had a firm faith in the goodness of God. She played the piano well, loved to sing and could still hum the tunes of hymns long after she lost the ability to speak the words.   

Kathy was interested in politics and applied her quirky sense of humor, when she marched in the 2008 Clearlake Independence Day parade in an entirely homemade Statue of Liberty costume.

Kathleen is survived by her husband, Steve Harness of Witter Springs; her brothers, Lee (Janeann) Erickson of Valley Ford, James (Lynn) Erickson of Burney and Daniel (Fran) Erickson of Tomales; sister, Carol (Craig) Maxey of Parker, Colorado; daughter, Erin of Santa Rosa; and    son, Kevin of Mountain View.   

Kathleen's remains have been donated to the University of California, San Francisco, Medical School for research and education. No formal memorial services have been planned.

Gene Paleno in 1976. Courtesy photo.

Gene Paleno grew up in the 1930s on his family's farm near Detroit, Michigan. As a boy, he learned to drive an old Model T Ford, hauling hay and feeding the cows at dawn.

Gene was the eldest of six children born to Eugene and Alice Paleno, with a work ethic that was incumbent upon his role as the eldest boy.

After high school he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and as a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve until 1966.

Gene taught school after graduating from Michigan State University in 1946.

Gene Paleno in Paris, France, in 1958, participating in a marketing demonstration that had him wearing a helium balloon to simulate walking on the moon. Courtesy photo.

In the early 1950s during the aerospace industry boom, the entire Paleno Family (parents, sisters, brothers, spouses and children) packed up and moved to California. Gene was employed by Douglas Aircraft Corp. as a commercial artist.

While with Douglas, he traveled to a Paris airport hangar to participate in a marketing demonstration. The company had him wearing a helium balloon to simulate walking on the moon. He would recall how the wind almost carried him into the busy landing path at Le Bourget Airport.

Gene raised his own family in Southern California where he began his career in art, then sales and marketing.

Later in life, Paleno fell in love and married a second time to a beautiful Dixieland musician. They established a small farm in Northern California and enjoyed life together for many decades until he became a widow at the age of 84.

Losing his life-partner could have been a showstopper, but Gene went to work reinventing himself. He adopted Cleo the cat to keep him company and plunged forward to pursue his passion for writing science fiction.

Gene Paleno with his beloved friend and muse, Cleo the cat. Courtesy photo.

He would tell you he was a sign maker, an oil painter, a sculptor, mold maker, illustrator, carpenter, mason, inventor, scholar and farmer. He was also a great philosopher which led to a great many conversations regarding life, the universe, and all the questions these inspire.

Gene’s most significant source of pride was that of his loving children, and his many friends and community members in Lake County, California.

Gene Paleno’s accolades include columnist of the Witter Springs Chronicles, author of “Lake County History,” guest of Olga Steele on KPFZ 88.1 “News from the Past” and “Voices of Lake County,” member of the Lake County Historical Society and member the Civil War Round Table at the Blue Wing Hotel. He related to so many in the community, there are most likely some unintended exclusions to this list.

Gene Paleno. Courtesy photo.

Gene became active on the Western Region Town Hall (Municipal Advisory Council) as chair until he retired from community service at the age of 93.

Gene was a founding board member of the Lake County Silver Foundation, where he worked closely with his dear friend Jim Steele. He became very fond of each of the board members and the community in which he served tirelessly.

Be it known that Gene Paleno was motivated to fight for justice, equality, and any struggle to be won that would benefit his community, friends and family. For his contributions, Gene was a recipient of Lake County Outstanding Senior Award in 2018.

Gene embraced every day of his life with optimism and joy. He intentionally strove at uplifting the spirit to all he met. He would greet a stranger with, “Hello Friend.”

Gene Paleno at the 2017 Senior Summer in Lake County, California. Courtesy photo.

Gene wrote stories for more than 30 years and at the age of 87 became a syndicated columnist and publisher. His popularity as a writer grew after the release of “Lake County History: A Mystical Adventure in Time.” A second historical nonfiction novel, “The Porter Conspiracy,” is a compelling saga of the Civil War.

Paleno wrote and worked every day as an independent author and business owner in Lake County, California. Other books include “The Wish Machine” and “The Partner” (science fiction), and of course, “Cleo Chronicles” (now available at the Wasson Memorial Vet Clinic).

Quotes by Gene Paleno include, “I’m two steps ahead of whatever is behind me,” “We will be remembered for what we do after we’ve left this little blue ball of mud,” “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” “Tell the brain and the body will listen,” “God is the amalgamation of all living beings” and “Our spirits are energy, and energy cannot be destroyed.”

Cleo the cat keeping company with her friend Gene Paleno at the keyboard. Courtesy photo.

Gene is survived by his four children, Gene Paleno III, Dolly P Riley, Christina Paleno Ericksen and Virginia Paleno; beloved grandchildren, Vanessa Ericksen, William Riley and Ellery Clark; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins of the Paleno Family; and Cleo the cat, who will make her home now with friends of Gene.

He is preceded in death by his younger siblings, Janis Colette, Virginia Duprey, Louis Paleno, Tony Paleno and Mary Alanson.

To honor Gene’s memory, donations or contributions can be made to the Lake County Silver Foundation and Hospice Services of Lake County.

Love and gratitude goes out from the Paleno Family to all who were his friends, his support, his colleagues, his readers, his fans, his kind and generous caregivers, and his Lake County newspapers.

The family will share a private memorial when the COVID-19 surge has subsided.

We humbly ask that Gene’s community continue to remember him as in the past several weeks; comfort each other and celebrate his contributions to our lives on this little blue mud ball.

Gene Paleno in his backyard in Upper Lake, California. Courtesy photo.

Norma D. Bethel. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Norma D. Bethel (Stone) entered into rest July 20, 2021, after a lengthy illness.

Norma was born in Redding, California, on Oct. 12, 1941, and raised in Dunsmuir, California.

She is predeceased by her mother, Naomi; father, Art; and brother, Donald.

Norma is survived by her husband of 52 years, Henry; three children, Jennifer Maher from Yakima, Washington, and Lance and Todd, both from Lakeport, California; and 11 grandchildren.

She loved the Lord above all and wanted to share this love with as many people as possible, especially children. This dedication led her to share this love with others.

She was also very involved in her community, often holding leadership positions.

She was a lady of many talents, always ready with a smile and a hug to brighten your day.

Visitation will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 7, at Lucerne Community Church, 5870 E. Hwy 20, Lucerne, with a funeral service at 10 a.m.

Interment will be held at Upper Lake Cemetery.

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

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — A celebration of life for Larry Camotta will be held on Saturday, Aug. 14, at 2 p.m.

It will take place in the Cultural Hall of The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, 1725 Peterson Lane, Santa Rosa.

A mask is requested inside the building. Seating will be socially distanced.

Camotta died in his Santa Rosa home on March 27, 2020, at age 83.

He and his wife, Frieda, were Lake County residents for many years before moving to Sonoma County.

Read his obituary here.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Frieda at 707-293-9872 or Jerry at 707-483-7363.

Charles R. Marsh. Courtesy photo.

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Charles R. Marsh peacefully passed away July 24, 2021, in Lakeport.

Charles was born July 31, 1943, in San Bernardino, California, and was the second of four children born to Charles C. and Carmen Marsh.

He was married in his early 20s for 20 years to Sheila, with whom he had two beautiful children.

Charles worked as a machinist for the majority of his working years. He was a car, motorcycle and bicycle enthusiast and would always tinker with their mechanics.

After moving to Lakeport in 1992, Charles began repairing bicycles for the local kids and their parents and soon had the name "Bicycle Charlie" bestowed upon him.

Charles was a friendly and extremely outgoing individual and could often be seen around Lake County starting up conversations with just about everybody.

Charles is predeceased by his sister, Wanda; nephew, Tim; and niece, Tammy.

He is survived by his children, Shanahan (Corky) and Cody (Cheryll); three grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Peyton and Grace; sister, Cherie (Ernie); brother, Randy (Bonnie); three nephews (in-law) and three nieces (in-law), (Marilee), (Rodney), Trudy (David), Kenny (Deborah), Kevin (Julia), Danny (Jodi), Jill (David), Brianna (Dustin); 17 great-nephews (in-law) and great-nieces (in-law), Austin, Amanda (Cobie), Mark (Leah), Ryan, Heather, Kylie, Ryan, Brandon, Nicholas, Andrew, Jacob, Alice, Camryn, Ashlee, Anthony, Kristy (Victor), Rick (Neneth) and Troy; three great-great nieces and nephews, Braeden, Addison, Jeremy and Kaylee; and many friends.

In lieu of a funeral service, his family members will have a private celebration of life memorial in the spring of 2022.

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

James A. Smith. Courtesy photo.

James Arthur ‘Jim’ Smith
Feb. 7, 1943 — July 27, 2021

UPPER LAKE, Calif. — Jim Smith, 78, of Upper Lake, passed away July 27, 2021 after battling many health issues.

Jim was a very loving and caring husband, father and Papa to all of his much-loved family.

He leaves behind his wife of 54 years, Marilyn; daughters, Gaylene and Shelly; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

He is predeceased by his loving son, Steven.

Military honors will be held at Upper Lake Cemetery on Tuesday, Aug. 3, at 9:30 a.m. with a memorial service to follow at the Upper Lake Methodist Church at 10:30 a.m.

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

Upcoming Calendar

10.26.2021 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Board of Supervisors
10.26.2021 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
10.26.2021 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Retail Trends and Opportunities in Downtown
10.27.2021 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Retail Trends and Opportunities in Downtown
10.27.2021 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Lakeport Retail and Franchise Opportunities
10.27.2021 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thompson virtual town hall
10.28.2021 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
10.28.2021 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Lakeport Retail and Franchise Opportunities
10.30.2021 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Rodman Preserve Saturday self-guided walks

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