Obituaries for the week of 1/10/17

Herbert Elefant

Herbert Elefant passed away Dec. 12, 2016.  He was born in New York City on the 4th of July, 1917 and grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn. Herb was one of five children, with sisters Dottie and Jean, and brothers Jack and Joe. He out-lived them all, living to be 99 years old. 

At age 17, Herb was the first of the Elefant siblings to head west and left Brooklyn to attend the University of Michigan. He quickly realized he couldn’t afford to stay at Michigan so moved even further west to the University of California, Berkeley where he obtained a degree in optometry.  In the Bay Area, he met and married his loving wife, Florence — a San Francisco girl — and had an optometry practice in downtown San Francisco. Raised a city boy from back east, he quickly adopted a Californian’s passion for the outdoors and owned a horse and a sailboat in San Francisco.

In 1954 he followed his brother Jack to the mountains and moved to Susanville to raise his family and practice optometry in a small town setting. In Susanville, Herb was able to follow his love for all things outdoors:  fishing, bicycling, hunting, swimming, hiking, snow-skiing, waterskiing and traveling. He was fortunate to retire in his 50s and then never stopped being active — doing something physical pretty much every day for the next four decades of his life. 

He was a well-known fixture fishing on many Northern California steelhead and salmon rivers, especially the Sacramento, Trinity, Klamath and Mattole, and formed lasting friendships with his loyal fishing buddies. He and his wife Flo were also avid snow-skiers. They were icons at Mt. Rose and Slide Mountain, skiing well into their 80s. 

To many family and friends, Herb was most identified by his love of cycling. He wore out many tires biking all over Northern California and on great adventures all over the world.  One of his most amazing travels was bicycling with “IBTS,” as only the second cycling group from the west to go into China in 1981. 

Herb, known to many in Susanville as “Doc,” was very involved in local and state politics, and was a long-time member of the Lassen County Democratic Central Committee.  In Susanville he also served on the school board for many years, was active in scouting, and president of the local Lion’s Club. 

In 2006, Herb and Flo moved to Chico, California to be closer to family. He continued to bike, and fish for many more years based in Chico. He even took a family fishing trip to the Klamath River this fall at age 99.  He thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Crackerbarrel weekly discussion group of the Chico State ElderCollege/Primetimers program, and loved his regular workouts at NV Fitness (formally Fit One).  

He is survived by his wife Flo and his children: Steve and Peg Elefant, Rick Elefant and Diana Jacobs and Sue Elefant and her partner Michael Fromer.  He is also survived by his grandchildren: Ryan and Mollie Zuehlke and Dan and Sharon Elefant. 

Herbert taught all those that knew him to live life to the fullest and that “every day was a good day.”

Andrew Jackson

Andrew V. Jackson was born on Jan. 9, 1928 in Willow Creek Valley, California. He was a life-long resident of Susanville, California. He graduated from Lassen High School. After graduating from high school, he went into the Army. He was wounded in Korea and received numerous medals, including a bronze star and a purple heart.

Andy was the son of Albert and Mable Jackson. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Ed Jackson and Sam Jackson; and sisters, Lillian Jackson, Erma Alvarez, Ina Jackson and Ansil Jackson.

His wife, Emeline Eppley; a brother, Wesley Burch; and numerous nieces and nephews remain.

Andrew passed away on Dec. 28, 2016. A wake will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, 2016. Funeral services will be held at the Church on the upper Rancheria at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, 2016 at Interment will be at the Diamond Crest Cemetery.

Louis Melendez

Louis Melendez, 93, passed away peacefully on Dec. 26, 2016 at his residence in Sacramento, California. He was born July 29, 1923 in Nixon, Nevada, the eldest son of Manuel and Nellie (Taylor) Melendez.   

He leaves his wife of 73 years, Irene (Smith) Melendez; his son Michael; brothers, Donald and Carlos Melendez; sisters, Rose Rodriquez, Nancy Otero and Josephine Shores; three grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; eight great great grandchildren; and a host of other beloved family and friends.  

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sons, Wayne, Robert and Ralph; sisters, Irene and Alveda; and brothers, Harold, Valentine and Freddie Melendez.

Louis was a dedicated and proud husband, father and patriarch to four generations of family. His wife, Irene, and his family were what he cherished most in life. Mr. Melendez was also proud of his military service with the U.S. Army during World War II, which included time in the brutal conditions of war and climate in the Aleutian Islands. He was also very proud of his career with Southern Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads, from which he retired as a Roadmaster after 42 years. He and Irene loved road trips and traveled extensively throughout the western U.S. They camped and visited National Parks and State and World Fairs. In later years, weekends always found them in Redding or Reno, or wherever the Lassen High School Grizzly football team was playing; fans since their own sons played over 50 years ago. Although Louis and Irene raised their very young family in various places including Utah, Nevada and California, they made Susanville their home until illness required that they be near family in Sacramento, where they have lived for the last three and a half years.

Funeral Services honoring Louis Melendez will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 5, 2017 at East Lawn Mortuary, 5757 Greenback Lane, Sacramento, California 95841. Interment following at 1 p.m. at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road, Dixon, California 95620. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations in Louis’ name to the Veterans services of your choice.

Barbara Jean Stokes

Barbara Jean Stokes, 83, passed away in Hayward, California on Dec. 17, 2017.

She leaves her daughter, Laura Leupp; sons, Dana Stokes and Gary Stokes; brother, John Gooden; seven grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; one great great grand daughter; and many nieces and nephews.

Barbara was born in Los Angeles, California on April 9, 1933 to Orville Madison and Ruth Adele (Freemen) Gooden.

She was the wife of Bob Stokes who preceded her in death in 1976 (Bob is the brother of Orval Stokes). A grandson, Corp. Sean Andrew Stokes, was killed in Iraq in 2007. Bob and Barbara lived in Susanville many years.

Memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 14, 2017 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, onRichmond Road.

Jacquelyne Weston-Chase

Jacquelyne “Jackie” Weston-Chase passed away on Dec. 4, 2016. Jackie was born Jan. 16, 1958, in Sacramento, California, to parents Jack Weston and Karen Weston (Gordon). Jackie was a long time resident of Lassen County. Her passions were reading, puzzle books and knitting. She always had an open door and heart for everyone she met.

She is survived by her husband of 16 years, David Chase; five children and 13 grandchildren, Bill Weston and his wife, Deanna; Casey Humphrey and his wife, Angel; Rocky Rodriguez and his wife, Nina; Nikki (Rodriguez) Johnson and her husband, Leon; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.

Jackie was preceded in death by her stepdaughter, Shelly Humphrey, and her father, Jack Weston. A Celebration of Life will be held for Jackie at 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 14, at Fort Sage Family Resource Center’s chapel in Herlong, California. Memorial donations can be made in her honor to Lassen County Humane Society, P.O. Box 1575, Susanville, California 96130.