Cecil Horatio Gates
David Ray Totten
Genevieve Jesse White
Stephen John Erdos
Cecil Horatio Gates
A creative, imaginative, loving, bright, fun man left this material orb on April 5, 2011. The legacy Cecil Horatio Gates, Jr. left behind will long outlive his earthly experience.
Born in Lihue, Kauai, he was the elder son of civil engineer father, Cecil H. Gates, Sr. and a teacher/principal mother, Helen Burhans Gates.
Cecil and his brother, Robert, grew up in a floral, idyllic, early south sea Kauai Island setting in the then Territory of Hawaii. Cecil's boyhood consisted of riding the sugar cane flumes on home-built canoes, enjoying mongoose lunches with his Chinese friends, camping with his Boy Scout troop in the wet/dry caves of Kauai, exploring a yet-to-be found Fern Island Grotto, playing barefoot football at Kauai High School, diving for coins thrown from the freighters off Nawiliwili harbor, hiking into Kalalau Valley with three young teenage friends and enjoying three-day plantation luaus with friends.
This unique boyhood was interrupted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Cecil's father had moved the family to Honolulu from Lihue in 1940 due to his engineer's job. The Gates family was living on the slopes of Kimoki when Dec. 7, 1941, struck.
Cecil, a senior at Roosevelt High School was, on that Sunday, building an outrigger canoe in his back yard. Surmising the strange planes with the big red circles on their wings were part of a US Navy training mission flying above his home, he looked up, shocked to see them so close. Hearing the bombs hitting some miles away he turned to see Pearl Harbor aflame. His life was changed in seconds when he found that Oahu was being attacked.
With his high school out of commission he was told he could immediately join the armed services and receive his high school diploma or go to work on Sand Island in the employ of the U.S. Army. He elected to do the latter and worked on a lathe building bombs. His senior high school diploma was mailed to him.
Hearing more about the far-off war in the ETO he chose to take an empty troop ship and headed for San Francisco, hoping to get in one year of college before going into the U.S. Navy. Part of this voyage was being used as crew where he had to climb into the crow's nest and watch for subs as the ship zigzagged its 10-day trip across the Pacific from Honolulu to San Francisco.
Although a seaman's life was the focus of his future, he did achieve one year of college at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before he could enlist in the Navy, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. Cecil spent the early part of his Army Engineer schooling being trained in explosives. He learned to build Bayley Bridges. Subsequently he learned to blow them up. Promoted from school to training school all over the USA he always felt this extra schooling is what saved him from the infantry in the early South Pacific invasions.
In September of 1944, Cecil was shipped overseas to France, then Germany and was head of a large motor pool under the command of General George Patton. His 1637th Eng. Battalion was near the Battle of the Bulge, repairing bridges, guarding towns that the RAF and 8th Army Air Force had bombed, taking and guarding German POWs.
V-E day came and Cecil's battalion was scheduled as high point soldiers to be sent to New York and home. First sent to Marseilles, France, they boarded a crowded troop ship for New York. The ship was diverted and was sent through the Panama Canal (the only troop ship to run aground there during the war — a three-day stop in Panama!) then on to New Guinea and, finally to Manila, where they were poised to be in on the invasion of Japan. President Truman dropped the bomb and V-J Day came as they were landing in Manila. Because there were not enough ships to bring the servicemen home from all over the world, his battalion stayed at Clark Field, P.I. for five more months. While there, Cecil built three-seater motorcycles for his friends and there were many forays into the jungle and verboten places.
TSgt. Gates finally headed home, sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge, was honorably discharged from the service and went to Los Angeles to wed Pat Woodward. They were married in July 1946, and moved to Santa Barbara where Pat taught school to put Cecil through three more years of college. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1949 and was a charter member of Lambda Chi Alpha. He and Pat taught school in the Los Angeles Unified District for 30 years each. Cecil was the head of a large Industrial Arts Department in the San Fernando Valley. He taught industrial art courses, but enjoyed most his 25 years of teaching Architecture and Mechanical Drafting. He was proud to have sent many future AIA's on their way to success. At this time he also became a 3rd degree Mason.
In 1974 Cecil began to dream of his idyllic boyhood in Hawaii and his missed Navy opportunity. He started to design and build miniature, engine/people driven battleships. He ended up building four 18-foot battleships, one 20-foot carrier, one 23-foot RMS Titanic and the 36-foot USS Arizona. Johnson Outboard was one of his sponsors and all his ships were powered with various sized Johnson engines. He, wife Pat and captains Bill Brockett and Skip Crabtree took eight long voyages with various segments of their seven-ship Friendship Fleet, Inc., covering all the navigable waters of the USA. The finale was when Matson Navigation offered to take their 36-foot USS Arizona on a ro-ro from Oakland, Calif., to Honolulu Hawaii, as the USS Arizona Survivor's Assn. wanted him and his ship there for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1991. There the Gates’ had an eight-day appearance with their gray lady in the lobby of the Sheraton Waikiki. Pat chronicled these watery adventures in her book “You Can't Go Incognito in a Battleship.” This book was written to honor Cecil's accomplishments and to thank him for a wonderful, adventuresome life.
The Gates continued to travel and Cecil's life was filled with sketches for upcoming inventions — some coming to fruition, some languishing in files. As time marched on and the upkeep of seven ships plus his last invention (a 1/3 scale Sherman Tank) proved to be too much responsibility, he decided to sell, donate and disperse his seven-ship fleet. Today, his ships and the Sherman Tank are scattered over the USA, still carrying on his primary thrust — to uphold the thought that so many sacrifices went into giving the USA the freedoms we all enjoy today. They are all now under the sheltering wings of veterans’ organizations.
Cecil and Pat left Los Angeles and retired to Lake Almanor. They enjoyed this life for 27 years at the lake. Then they moved to Reno, Nev. Cecil enjoyed hearing reports that his ships were being appreciated and used by veteran’s groups all over the USA.
Cecil leaves his beloved wife of 64 years, Patricia; daughter Darcie Regall, of Chico, Calif.; and two grandchildren Aja, of Oregon and Ryan Regall, of California. His brother Robert resides in Elk, Calif.
At Cec's request there will be no memorial service. He felt his ships are his memorial/legacy. His ashes will be scattered in Pacific waters off his island birthplace, Kauai.
Great gratitude is expressed to Dr. Donald Van Dyken, Dr. Malcolm Bacchus, the TLC from VistaCare Hospice staff (RN Rowena, Henry, Chaplain) Sam/Gigi Valera of Longevity Care and their loving caregiver staff, Nelson, Gilbert, Roger, Ber and Marlene. The care Cecil received was 24/7, given with uncompromising kindness and patience. The Longevity staff devotedly cared for him with unconditional love.
Mahalo, dear Cecil, for giving so much to so many. Your light of creativity and love will be enthusiastically received and united in the embrace of God's eternal heaven. Your beloved, creative ships live on in caring hands as your legacy continues to represent your “up with America” theme. You have left a beautiful wake! Bon Voyage, much-loved, gentle giant. God bless. Thanks for the ride, Babe! Aloha 'oe!'
Irvin Moore, passed away Wednesday, Jan 5, 2011. He was born Feb. 25, 1916 in Roseville, Calif.
For most of his work life, he was a correctional officer for the California Department of Corrections, working at Folsom Prison for many years and then later at the correctional facility in Susanville, Calif. He married Rose Ann Wattawa in 1938, who predeceased him death in 1974. Together they had five children, Linda, Kathleen, Michael, Cindy and Doug. His favorite pastimes were road cycling, glider flying, cooking and reading.
As well as his children, he is survived by two sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law, six granddaughters and four great-granddaughters.
A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 14 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, in Susanville. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the charity of the donor’s choice in memory of Irvin Moore.
David Ray Totten
David died on April 9, 2011 in Anchorage, Alaska after a long illness. He was born on Nov. 6, 1956 in Bieber, Calif., a fifth-generation Lassen County native. He grew up in Susanville, Calif. He was a 1974 graduate of Lassen High School and attended both Lassen and Shasta colleges.
He worked throughout the Northeastern California region in the construction and timber industries. A 17-year resident of Alaska, he worked across the state in Prudhoe Bay, Barrow, Kotezbue, Nome, Saint Paul, Ketchikan, Fort Yukon, Fairbanks, Denali and Valdez as an electrician and telecommunications technician.
David also worked on the maintenance of the Coast Guard radio network in the Gulf of Alaska and the Aleutians. He was pleased to be able to help tele-connect many remote Alaskan villages to the “outside.” At times his work also took him to the “lower 48.” He met his wife Sharoline while working on a telecommunications project in Des Moines, Iowa. David was respected as a hard worker.
He is survived by his wife, Sharoline, of Anchorage; parents, Mark and Mary Ellen Totten, of Susanville; brothers Robert, of Danville, Calif., Phillip, of Fort Bragg, Calif. and Tracy, of Susanville.
An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed fishing and hunting as a young man. He took every opportunity to spend time in the woods. Pets were an important part of his life; he often had a dog as a co-pilot when driving truck. In his later years he had several beloved cats.
Private memorial services are pending.
Genevieve Jesse White
Jennie passed on peacefully, surrounded by loved ones at Renown Medical Center March 11, 2011 to become an angel in heaven.
Jennie was born Dec. 8, 1943 to Harry and Olivene Loyer, in San Francisco, Calif. She was the younger of two children. Jennie attended school in San Bruno and graduated from Capuchino High School in 1962. In 1966, she married William White and moved to Half Moon Bay, where she lived for the next 37 years. In December of 2007, Jennie relocated to Janesville, Calif., to enjoy the benefits of country living.
Jennie was a true gift to all who knew her and will be dearly missed. She never stopped enjoying her friends and family. She was a loving daughter, sister, mother, grandmother and friend.
Jennie was preceded in death by her parents.
She is survived by her son Darrick White and his wife Julee; daughter Cheriece White; granddaughters Calista and Cailyn; sister Victoria (Diane) Morrell and friend Penelope Gilly.
A celebration of her life, presided by Pastor Bruce Ingle, will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 14, 2011, at the Gospel Tabernacle, 425 Ash St., Susanville, CA, 96130.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations in her name be made to the Gospel Tabernacle.
Stephen John Erdos
Stephen John Erdos, of Lake Almanor, Calif., died on April 16, 2011 of complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was born on Sept. 11, 1919 in Oradea, Romania.
Stephen was preceded in death by his son Peter Erdos.
He is survived by his wife Beverly; son Leslie and granddaughter Leigh.
Stephen can be remembered with donations to the Alzheimer’s Association in care of Newton-Bracewell Chico Funeral Home.
View full obituary online at NBCFH.com.
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