Obituaries for the week of 1/16/18

Barbara Martin

Barbara Lynne (Miller) Martin was born Sept. 2, 1945 in Petaluma, California. She passed away peacefully on Dec. 25, 2017 at Banner Lassen Medical Center, Susanville, California, with her long-time “forever friend,” Marjorie Kinnaman, by her side. She had a massive heart attack prior to her death. She was 72 years old, and she had lived in the Susanville area for 37 years.

Barbara was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when she was a young woman, and she was homebound for many years; however, her faith in God and her brave and courageous spirit sustained her through it all. Elizabeth, her long-time, faithful and loving caregiver, was a Godsend to her. She was so thankful for her many friends and caregivers through the years and their continual acts of kindness toward her.

Barbara attended schools in the Petaluma area, and she graduated from Petaluma Senior High School in 1963. She was a very gifted pianist and vocalist. She sang in the choir at the Presbyterian Church, and in 1964-65 she took the lead singing part as Marion the librarian in the Petaluma Playhouse production of “The Music Man.”

She worked as a clerk-typist for several years in the Petaluma area. In 1968, she married Fred Martin at the Petaluma Presbyterian Church. From 1970 to 1975, she joined her husband in Germany while he was on military assignment there. While employed in Germany, she received several letters/certificates of commendation for her excellent work. Prior to her move to Susanville in 1980, she was employed by the Department of Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard, Public Works Section, Petaluma, California.

She is survived by her father, Robert Miller, of Petaluma; her brother, David Miller, and wife, Barbara. And, we cannot forget her faithful little companion dog, Star, that she loved dearly. Star visited Barbara at the hospital shortly before her passing. She was predeceased by her husband, Fred Martin; her mother, Evelyn Powell; her brother, Larry Bolan; and her stepmother, Wanda Miller.

Throughout her lifetime, Barbara always believed that she was surrounded by God’s protective angels, and she was waiting and looking for them to escort her to her heavenly home.

At a later date, a Memorial Service will be held at the Nazarene Church in Susanville.

When the date and time is set, it will be published so that her many friends can attend the celebration of her life.

Walton’s Colonial Mortuary is in charge of local arrangements, with private internment at Cypress Hill Memorial Park, Petaluma, California.

William Clarence Gratriex
Susanville resident William Clarence Gratriex passed from this life peacefully with his family at his side Tuesday evening, Dec. 19, 2017.

He was born March 17, 1933 in Dubuque, Iowa to Iowa natives Theodore and Mary (Linden) Gratriex and raised on the family farm. The family later moved to Napa, California where he joined the military and served his country honorably as a member of the U.S. Air Force as an Inflight Refueling Technician and tail gunner. He was awarded a Commendation Medal for his meritorious achievement for his performance during Operation Handclasp II a good will mission between Australia and America, resulting in the successful accomplishment of the longest non-stop flight at that time of a single jet aircraft in the history of the United States Air Force, a distance of 4,480 miles.

Upon his discharge, William returned to Napa and entered an Electrician Apprentice Program, and following his successful completion, worked with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local 180, retiring after 41 years in the trade. It is also, during this time, he met and married on July 15, 1956 the love of his life, Loretta Trussell, and to this union a son and daughter were born.

William enjoyed competitive shooting and was a longtime member of the Indian Valley Shooting Club. William received his private pilots license in 1958 and was a longtime member of the Experimental Aircraft Association as well as pursuing his interests in skydiving and shot gunning. He was a 61-year member of the IBEW.

In his passing, he leaves his loving wife, Loretta; daughter Karen and husband Lance Swinney; and son, Karl Gratriex and wife, Helen, all of Susanville. He was the proud grandfather to Shea and his wife, Alice Trask; and Rob and his wife, Tiffany Gratriex. He is also survived by his brother and Robert, of Independence, Kentucky. Along with his parents, he joins one grandson, Brandon, and brother, Ted, in their eternal home.

At William’s request, no formal services will take place. An opportunity to express your condolences to the family along with signing the memorial guest register is available online at