Obituaries for the week of 5/30/17

Robert “Ralph” Diggs

Robert “Ralph” Diggs passed away May 4, 2017, at the age of 85. He and his mother, Lottie, and father, C.K. Diggs and family lived in Texas for a time, then found their way to Westwood where they made their home, worked and went to school. Upon graduating from Westwood High School in 1950, he married Ila Diggs and served in the U.S. Navy for four years. The couple had three children, Steven Diggs, of Chico, daughter Julie Brown, of Oregon, and John, who lives in China.

Ralph also leaves behind three brothers and two sisters, Donald, of Portland,Oregon, Richard, of Yuba City, Kenneth, of Chester, Betty Conklin, of Chester and Myrna Guerra, of Reno, Nevada. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren, one reatgranddaughter and several nieces and nephews.

Ralph’s main love was listening to music whenever possible and sports, of course. He also loved math and history.

He was a railroad engineer for a while, and then worked as a guard at the High Desert Prison in Susanville for seven years, then he returned to the railroad until his retirement in 1996.

After Ralph’s first wife Ila passed, he later married Norma Ransome Diggs from whom he was widowed again. He went to a Westwood High School reunion on Oct. 5, 2013, where he met an old classmate, Georgia Ballinger, with whom he comfortably spent the rest of his life.

He will be greatly missed by those who knew him.


Billie (Jones) Sears

In memory of Billie Marie (Jones) Sears, born March 4, 1934.

Passed from this life, March 24, 2017 at the age of 83 years old at Sierra Vista, Arizona. Billie was one of two children born to Henry S. Jones and Delia Jones in Crawford County Arkansas at Lee Creek.

At 2 years old, Billie and family moved to Susanville to pursue a better life and work. Billie grew up in Susanville and went to school here. When Billie was 16, she went to work at Spencers Boarding House, helping, cleaning and cooking to help her family. Billie loved music and loved to sing and yodel. She loved the great outdoors, fishing, nuts and helping her family. Billie moved to Reno, Nevada, when she was 20 and went to work as a Black Jack dealer. She worked for over 50 years in that industry in just about every club in Reno and Laughlin. Later, she moved to Sierra Vista, Arizona.

Billie is the mother of five children, Raymond Dale Kindle, Dean Ramsey, Tammie Lowes and Douglas Ramsey. Proceeded in death by her youngest son, David Patrick Sears; mother, Delia Jones; father, Henry S. Jones; and brother, Hank Rodger Jones.

Billie also leaves her nine brothers and sisters, Newman Jones, Jean Archer, Bonnie Sue Gordon, Betty Erwin, Dennis Jones, Donna Prosic, Cleta Green, Mary Jo Williams and JoAnne Tinnin. Billie is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. She will be loved and missed.

In memory of Billy (Jones) Sears, there will have a celebration of her life at 1 p.m. June 3 at Riverside Park in Susanville. Come help celebrate her life. There will be a barbecue to follow. Please bring a dessert.


Hugh Gale Pangborn, Jr.

Hugh was born on Sept. 9, 1934 in Los Angeles, California to Hugh and Muriel Pangborn. He passed away after a difficult time with Alzheimer’s on May 22, 2017, at 82 years old. Hugh attended Marshall High School in Los Angeles graduating in 1952. He also graduated from Los Angeles Trade Tech as a journeyman plumber. Hugh entered the U.S. Marine Corp in February of 1957, and married Emily Lewis on June 1 of that year, after basic training. He was stationed at El Toro Air Base while he worked in water supply. During his service he lived with Emily at the Lewis family beach home in Laguna. The four Pangborn children were born in different cities where Hugh and Emily lived. Deanne in Laguna, California, Muriel in Northridge, California, Alice in Fortuna, California and Garth in Glendale.

Hugh was a foreman and later general manager of Pangborn Plumbing, a family contracting business in Los Angeles. He also worked on an atomic power plant in Idaho Falls in 1960.

In the 1960s, in partnership with his parents, he owned and managed the Fortuna Trailer Village, apartment, rentals, laundromats and café. The family had a ranch in Davis Creek, California for almost 20 years in the 1970s and 1980s, growing wheat crops and raising Hereford cattle. The children enjoyed horses and raising sheep. Hugh sold pellet stoves and pursued other business development in Alturas, California. From 1997 to 2011, Hugh and Emily owned the Rocky Crest Mobile Home Park in Susanville. Hugh enjoyed hunting, fishing and boating with his family. He was an assistant scoutmaster when his son Garth was active in scouting. Hugh’s favorite venture was his hard rock gold mine in Plumas County.

He loved California, especially Northern California and its rich history. He belonged to the Masonic Lodge and to the Fortuna, California Rotary Club. To please Emily, they were partners for a few years square dancing with the Warner Whirlers.

Hugh is survived by his wife of 60 years, Emily; daughters, Deanne (Paul) DeWitt, Muriel (Mark) Llewellyn and Alice (Hal) Rosendahl; grandchildren, Gale, Eric, Alex, Amber, Mark Jr., Bonnie Jean, Rachelle, Chelsea, Seth, Brooke, Kris and Emily; step-grandchildren, J.P., Jenny, Katie and Daniel; great grandchildren, Christian, Evelyn, Kai, Shelby Ross, Melanie, Lorelei, Amelia, Samantha and Adalind; sister, Barbara (Bob) Alm; and nieces, Karen and Diana; brother, Ron; and nieces, Francine and Michelle.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Hugh and Muriel; son, Garth; granddaughter, Anna; son-inlaw, Brian; and sister-in-law, Mandy.

The family will gather on his birthday, Sept. 9, at his gravesite in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California, for a graveside service.


Robert Edwards

Robert Edwards passed away from this life May 21, 2017 with family by his side, due to complications from an illness.

Bob was born Feb. 7, 1950 in Oroville, California to John Edwards and Mary Bradford Edwards. He was a long time resident of Lassen County, moving here at age 11 and never wanting to live anywhere else.

After graduating from Lassen High School in 1968, he enlisted in the Army and served his country in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne. Bob returned home in 1971 with a Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals.

He worked for Sierra Pacific Industries as a headrig sawyer and as sawmill foreman. He alsoworked for Baldwin Construction and Larimer- Surian Construction until he retired.

Bob’s passion was the outdoors. He took every chance he could to go hunting, fishing, shooting or simply to cruise his truck down long back roads, enjoying the wildlife while taking note of each dry lodgepole pine that would make for the best firewood. When he was at home, he could be found working in his shop — tying jigs, reloading ammunition or picking a tune on his old guitar.

Bob is survived by his loving wife, Dottie, of almost 45 years, and his daughter, Carla (Cliff) Arnold, of Kuna, Idaho. He was Papa to Trever, Trace and Bailey Arnold, also of Kuna, Idaho. He is also survived by brothers Ray (Jennifer) Flowers, of Herlong, California and Carl Ed Flowers, of Sparks, Nevada; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial will be held at a later date.


Martin John Herzog

Oct. 9, 1930 – Apr. 27, 2017

Born in Vienna, Austria. Died in Stockton, California.

Marty leaves behind his wife of 37 years, Jo Bell Herzog; daughters, Joy S. Herzog Kruse (Kermit), and Julie Herzog; and beloved grandsons, Wyatt and Rhett Kruse.

Marty lived for a good buy and loved searching for the best deal. He was a wonderful father and grandfather, a terrific cook and just an all-around character. Marty was one of the strongest people you would have ever met, and you would not forget meeting him. He had great pride in being welfare director of Lassen County in Susanville. Marty’s work ethic was like no other. Memorial will be on Sept. 20. Time and place to be determined.


Donald R. Baker

Donald R. Baker passed away on May 23, 2017 at the age of 78. He was the youngest of three boys born in Fort Smith, Arkansas on May 24, 1938 to Roy and Flossie Baker. At a young age he and his family moved to Richmond, California where his parents found work in the shipyards.

He met his wife, Kay, at UC Berkeley where they were members of the Glee Club and Treble Clef singing groups. They were married Aug, 10, 1958. He later earned his bachelor’s degree from USC Chico and his masters from UNR.

Don was first a teacher and then an administrator in Lassen County for 40 years, finishing his career as part of the Lassen County Office of Education before retiring. He was an avid golfer for many years and was proud to be a part of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. As a member for over 40 years, he held several offices both locally and statewide, coached the Ritual Contest team and supported its many charities.

Pursuing his love of singing, he conducted his church choir, sang in the local production of the Messiah and was a member of the Chorale Society. He also enjoyed dancing with his wife and the two of them took advantage of every opportunity to “cut a rug.”

Don was proceeded in death by his parents, Roy and Flossie Baker, brothers, Roy Lee and Robert Eugene, and daughter-in-law Tammy Baker.

He is survived by his wife, Katherine Baker, daughter Lynne Sella (Greg), son, Doug, grandchildren, Lucas Baker, Sarah Sella, Katie Sella and Jacob Baker.

A viewing will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on June 2 at Walton’s Colonial Mortuary. Services will be held at 11 a.m. on June 3 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church with a graveside ceremony presented by the Elks and a reception at the Lutheran Church following.