IBEW Local 1245 notes the passing of these members,
with gratitude for their service to the union.
Brother Chad Fagan
June 16, 1972 – April 13, 2013
It is with great sadness that we report the sudden and unexpected passing of Brother Chad Fagan on April 13, 2013. Brother Fagan was initiated into the Local in 1996 and was a Troubleman headquartered out of Santa Rosa. He is survived by his loving wife Marylyn, their three children, their families and numerous friends, Union Brothers and Sisters. The following is reproduced at the request and permission of the Fagan Family:
Don’t cry for me…
I am sorry I had to leave you. A distant voice called me away.
There was so much left to share, so much we never got to say. But all my pain is far behind me, confusion finally laid to rest.
I hope my life here had a reason. What you do now will be the test.
I died too early, but I always knew I would. I lived life the way I wanted, and always looked for something good in everyone.
As I look down upon you now, my hopes for you are still so strong. Better to have loved and lost, but we haven’t lost for long.
Don’t cry for me, beloved friends. I’ve risen beyond this world of fear.
Hold my friendship in your memory, and always know that I am near.
Dry your eyes and carry on.
Remember me, for through your lives, my spirit will live on.
Brother James Francis Parker
June 5, 1926 to March 20, 2013
Brother Jim leaves behind Marie, his loving wife of more than 65 years. Jim was a native of Louisiana who also has a surviving son, Mike Parker and step son, Keith Davis. He has five grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren. Jim worked for Pacific Gas and Electric for 45 years and served in the US Navy.
Brother Ken Rawles, the Santa Rosa Retirees Club Recorder and retired PG&E Substation Electrician relayed it best when told us that Jim was an active participant at the Retirees Club meetings. Jim kept them flowing smoothly by reminding us from time to time about Robert’s Rules of Order! Ken first met Jim at the Santa Rosa Substation M&C department in 1970. Jim was a telecomm Tech who worked his way up from Electrician and understood all the aspects of High Voltage Electrical and Utility Communications work.
A very active IBEW 1245 member, Jim had spent some time as the Santa Rosa Unit Chairman.
Brother Rawles concluded his remarks by saying, “I looked over at his empty chair in Santa Rosa [Retirees Club] this morning and have to say we already miss him.” A very touching and true statement as we all mourn the loss of a fine Brother. We send all of our thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones.
The memorial service will be private.
March 6, 1952 - March 9, 2013
Jeff Solden, a 40-year member of IBEW Local 1245, passed away on March 9, 2013 in Petaluma surrounded by his loving family. Devoted husband of Sandy Solden of Petaluma. Cherished father of Jennifer (Erik) of San Francisco and Bob of Penngrove. Friends and family are invited to attend the Memorial Service, Friday, March 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM at Duggan's Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Ave., Daly City, California.
Brother Richard Hedley
3/19/1944 to 2/10/2013
It is with great sadness that Local 1245 reports the passing of Brother Richard Hedley, Subforeman A, retired.
Richard Hedley passed away February 10, 2013 in Santa Rosa, CA, his wife Jeannie holding his hand, his dog Buddy and cat by his side. Richard was born March 19, 1944 in Fortuna, Ca., graduated in 1963 from Fortuna High School. He served in the Army with assignments in Germany. He was employed with PG&E for 35 years until his retirement. Richard loved riding his Harley, hot rods and hanging out with friends at "The Wheel".
Richard was initiated into the Local in 1969 eventually retiring from Pacific Gas and Electric’s Geysers operations in the North Bay. Rich was very active with our Local’s efforts. Richard was a staunch unionist, always at the ready to defend and speak up for all labor causes, not just those held by our members at PG&E. If there was any local or national labor cause needing support, Rich was at the ready to help out and let everyone know what part we could play in supporting and furthering the cause. As a retiree, he was a steady contributing presence at the Santa Rosa Retirees Club meetings, always on point and always adding benefit to the meetings with his straight forward candor and wisdom.
Richard will be greatly missed by those who worked along side him and those who enjoyed his camaraderie in retirement.
Richard is survived by his loving wife Jeannie Hedley, sister Carolyn Cahill, brother Michael Hedley and many loving nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his sister Ann Terribilini. At his, request there will be no services at this time.
We’ll keep Brother Richard and his family in our thoughts and prayers.
—J.V. Macor, Business Representative
Robert (Bobby) Lee
Robert (Bobby) Lee "The King" went to heaven on February 3, 2013 at the age of 62. He was born on September 4, 1950 in Marysville, CA to Robert and Beverly Lee.
He attended Marysville High School and then he served in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in London, England for 4 years. Bobby returned home to attend Yuba College where he played baseball and earned an AA degree.
He was currently employed by PG&E. Bobby was a 16 year member of IBEW LU 1245 working for PG&E in the General Construction Line Department and was an active Shop Steward.
Bobby loved people. When he entered a room, it lit up and his laughter was contagious. His hugs and huge heart will be greatly missed.
Bobby touched so many lives and he loved the town of Marysville. He coached every level of Little League and he also coached baseball at Yuba College. He loved the game of baseball. The life lessons he taught through coaching will live on through all the players he touched. Bobby also enjoyed riding his horses and he loved his cowboy friends.
Bobby was a proud and honorable man and his greatest accomplishment in life was his family. He loved deep and created family ties that can never be broken.
Bobby is survived by his wife of 43 years, Kathy. She was the love of his life. He is also survived by two sons, RA Lee (a current PG&E employee) and RA’s wife Alicia, Tony Lee and his daughter, Michelle Lee Clavelle (Maurice), but most of all, he is survived by his pride and joy; his six grandchildren, Marissa, Cassidy, Hannah, and Kallie Clavelle, and Robbie and Jaycee Lee. He is also survived by his mother, Beverly Terrell and a brother, Mike Lee (Denise) and nephews Ryan and Michael Lee.
In lieu of flowers, a MHS Softball/Baseball Scholarship fund is set up at Rabobank in Marysville. A memorial service was held Feb. 9 at the Marysville Elks Lodge.
Sept. 30, 1957 - Feb. 2, 2013
Jim Kuehnau, 55, died on Feb. 2, 2013, at UC San Francisco. He was born on Sept. 30, 1957, in Albany. Jim graduated Esparto High School class of 1975. He worked as a Lineman for PG&E for 35 years.
“He was a really good lineman,” said his brother-in law, Gary Cardoza, who works for PAR. “He was a lineman and I was his apprentice. We worked together quite a bit.”
Cardoza remembered Jim as a joker, someone who liked to cut up and have a good time at work, “but was still able to do his job professionally.”
Jim is survived by his wife of 31 years Renee Kuehnau, daughter Cassie Kuehnau, son Matt Kuehnau; mother Edith (Punkie) Kuehnau, sisters Staci Cordoza (Gary), Kim Flanagan (Kevin), Kristi Whitehead (Rick); brother Jeff Kuehnau; and one granddaughter Natalie. He was preceded in death by his father Ronald Kuehnau.
A celebration of life was held Feb. 8, at the Woodland Elks Lodge. Donations can be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Walter Lynn Barron
April 6, 1943- December 4, 2012
The following notice about the death of Local 1245 member Walter Barron was provided by his wife, Bonnie Barron.
“My Huggable Teddy Bear”
My Dearest Walt,
You were the love of my life. You were kind, funny, strong, generous, but most of all extremely loving. You were my rock. I loved you with all my heart and you loved me right back. I will miss you forever…
For all those who knew Walt, you remembered him. He left a fond memory for everyone he met. Walt did not have a specific religion, but he believed in God. If anyone needed help, he was always there to lend a hand or give advice. When I married Walt in 1994 I had three grown children. Walt loved and accepted them and eventually they multiplied and produced five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He loved them all very much.
He had quite a few jobs before he started working for PG&E, but he loved PG&E the best. He loved bonding with his co-workers. He loved to tell jokes, play pranks and his booming baritone voice commanded respect.
He was quite the sentimental guy. Although he had a gruff exterior he was a cream puff inside. He would cry at sentimental movies and laugh at jokes so hard he would cry. If you became his friend, you would be his friend forever.
He was so passionate about the Raider's and the A's, and even had a tattoo on his left shoulder for the Raider's "Till Death Do Us Part". Although he was disappointed by their performance, he still watched them on TV and cussed up a storm during their games.
The last week of his life, he was terribly miserable. He would tell my brother and myself, "I just can't live like this." I am lost without Walt here beside me, but I know he is under God's care and not feeling pain anymore.
Love, Bonnie Barron
Pete Alvarado’s life will be celebrated at a memorial service on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the SGI-USA Community Center on 1875 DeLaCruz Blvd., in Santa Clara. The service will be 1:00 – 2:30 pm, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Pete Alvarado's name to Hospice of the Valley, 4850 Union Avenue, San Jose 95124; the San Jose Fire Department, Wildlife Conservation, or a charity of your choice.
Brother Alvarado worked for Asplundh Tree Expert Co. and was an active member of IBEW Local 1245.
Edward H. Ahlf
By T Bird
Brother Edward H. Ahlf passed away July 2 after a long illness. Ed was foreman here in Yerington and retired from Sierra Pacific Power at 62 years of age.
He was a longtime IBEW member carrying an “A” card for 53 years. He started in Covina, CA with Southern California Edison, moved to Lake Tahoe and worked with Sierra Pacific Power, and ended up in Yerington.
Ed retired in 1994 and found that Yerington was the perfect place to do so. He could ride his motor scooter all over town and never have to sit at a traffic light. He was very well liked in the workplace and the community. He will be missed by all who new him.
By Smily Stahl
Friends and family,
I hope these thoughts help everyone through sorrow times. Bobby was my best friend for many years. He helped me in so many ways with building many sheds, with fixing cars and bikes. His huge heart and kindness made him an amazing man of great skills on any task he performed.
As a lineman and a groundman we tramped around the country for about 10 years and I will always remember many good times we had, such as wild parties and riding motorcycles. From highlines in Montana and many contractors in California, Bobby was always the person they wanted to clear out the hall for them for his hard hard work and his great work ethic. He always made the jobs go smooth and profitable for the contractors.
There were so many good times it’s hard to pick out one that was better than the other. I can remember on the Bowman Lake job we were digging holes on a mountain and the GF yelled up, “How’s it goin’, guys?” And Bobby yelled down, “Just R and R up here, boss.” Needless to say, the boss took it the wrong way and he was going to have our checks ready for us at the end of the day. When we got back to the yard at the end of the day the GF said, “There will be no relaxation and rest on my job!” Bobby laughed and said, “I meant rocks and roots, boss.” We all laughed and drank beers over the misunderstanding.
I know in my heart that Bobby is helping somebody with the golden streets where there is no pain. I will miss my very, very, very close friend Bobby.
Ronald Karl Meier
Ronald Karl Meier
Ronald Karl Meier, vice chair of the East Bay Chapter of the Local 1245 Retiree Club, died June 15, 2012.
Fellow retiree Larry Darby offered this remembrance:
“I knew Ron for only 7 years but we became very close friends. Ron was active in the IBEW 1245 Retirees Unit in Dublin/Eastbay, serving as Vice Chairman. He loved our Union and cared so much for his fellow PG&E retirees. He organized and would personally call each retiree he knew for a breakfast get-together at Denny’s in Fremont every 3 months. But he was unable to call his friends or make it to June breakfast due to his illness.”
The following obituary appeared at www.legacy.com:
Ronald Karl Meier, Feb. 2, 1936 - June 15, 2012, a resident of Fremont, passed away after a courageous battle with multiple myeloma. A loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grand-father, he is survived by his wife of 55 years Carolyn; sons, Ronald E. (Stephanie), and Robert (Julie); daughters, Jana Olsen (David) & Teresa Meier; 11 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his parents Audrey Willis and Ewald Meier and one grandson Karl Anders Olsen. He graduated from San Lorenzo High in 1954. He was a Korean War Veteran and a retired 35-year PG&E employee. He loved camping, boating, and fishing with family and friends. A memorial and reception will be held in his honor at 4:00pm on July 7, 2012 at InRoads Christian Church, 3111 Washington Blvd., Fremont 2012 at In Roads Christian Church, 311 Washington Blvd. Fremont, Ca.
Devin W. Scotto
Devin W. Scotto
Devin W. Scotto, General Construction Lineman out of Area 7, passed away suddenly on May 29, 2012 at the age of 27. Brother Devin was hired into PG&E in late 2006 and was initiated into the Local in early 2007.
He is survived by his beloved parents, Gary and Sharon Scotto, and loving brother, Branden Scotto, adored grandson of Shirley Halpin and Guido Scotto; also survived by several aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park.
Devin loved being a Lineman and working for PG&E. He also loved camping, restoring his motorcycle and most of all being with family and friends who will miss his wonderful sense of humor.
MOISE JOSEPH CORTEZ JR.
Brother Moise Cortez, or Joe as most of us called him, passed away on May 25, 2012 while on the way to his favorite fishing hole, Eagle Lake. Brother Joe was hired into PG&E in 1981 and initiated into Local 1245 that same year. His long service career took him from the Geysers to Meter Reading and finally to Gas Services where he was just a tremendous coworker and friend to all. His smile was infectious and his laughter showed up even during the roughest of times. He was always there to help anyone out, whether a co-worker or someone in the general public.
Joe is survived by his wonderful daughters April, Heather and Nicole and also his granddaughters Abigail and Sophia. He will truly be missed by his family, friends, brothers and sisters of the Local and anyone who ever met him, even once.
For those that are interested, the family has set up an account at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in remembrance of Joe. Donations can be made in Joe’s name and sent to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 2425 Stockton Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95817.
I lost my "Wing Man.” I have been trying to contact Darrel for many years now. Darrel was my Apprentice Electrician in Vallejo, and then bid into the Santa Rosa Substation maintenance department where he worked until he took the early retirement. He will be missed!
Darrel Melander passed away Monday, April 2, 2012 at Mountain View Medical Center. He was born February 12, 1943 in Dayton, Washington to Leonard and Geraldine Melander. From the age of two, he grew up in Seattle, WA. He joined the army in October, 1961 and served his country proudly, for 1 year in Korea & the last year he was enlisted, he was in the Honor Guard at the Presidio in San Francisco. Darrel returned to civilian life in 1964 and with his first wife Antoinette, lived in the San Francisco area for twenty-three years, where he worked for Pacific Gas and Electric Company as a lineman and then an electrician for sub-stations for 29 years. He was well regarded as a very intelligent, hard worker and very exacting in his work. He saved more than one life with his attention to detail in preventing accidents.
Darrel met and married Renette Martin in 1991, while working in the Central Valley of California. After he retired in 1995, he and his wife were able to enjoy several years of RVing throughout the United States. Darrel especially enjoyed the Louisiana Cajun country and the Gulf Coast of Texas. Darrel and his wife settled in Las Cruces in January of 2004. The dry climate really helped Darrel's health. Darrel will be greatly missed by his wife Renette Melander, his daughter Mary Anne Hammers and Bob of Las Cruces and his son Steve Melander and Jackie of Atwater, California and his son Darren of Port Angles, Washington, grandchildren Robbe and Tony Horton, and Allison and Lauren Melander, and his brother Murray Melander of Las Cruces and Eric Melander of Seattle, Washington. A memorial service was held Thursday April 4, 2012 at La Paz-Grahams's Funeral Home Chapel.
Jeffrey Morris, a long-time Local 1245 member and resident of Pacifica, passed away on Friday, Sept. 23, 2011 at the age of 63 after a four-year battle with kidney cancer. Jeff was initiated into the IBEW in August of 1973 and remained a member until his retirement from Pacific Gas & Electric in 2010. He worked as a Gas Service Rep.
Born in San Francisco on June 7, 1948 the son of Fred Morris and the late Edna Johnston, Jeff lived most of his life in Pacifica where he graduated from Terra Nova High School in 1966. In 1967 he joined the United States Navy where he served until 1971 and fought in the Vietnam War. After his services concluded he began working at PG&E up until his retirement in December 2010.
Jeff is survived by his two daughters Brianna Morris and Alanna Lyons, son-in-law Patrick Lyons, sister Colleen Morris, father Fred Morris and stepmother Ann Morris as well as his extended family.
Jeff was an avid sports fan who supported the 49ers and Giants and his hometown high school Terra Nova sports teams throughout his life. His other hobbies included photography, kayaking, astronomy and hiking but above all he enjoyed spending time with his family.
Donations in Jeff’s memory can be made to the Kidney Cancer Association in honor of Jeffrey Morris. Please go to http://www.kidneycancer.org/ to donate.
John Edward Metrovich, who joined IBEW Local 1245 in 1961, died Sept. 23, 2011 at the age of 72. His son, Mike Metrovich, is a PG&E Troubleman in Stockton.
John was born on October 14, 1938 in Jamestown, CA to Mark and Thelma Metrovich and graduated from Stockton High School in 1956. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1956 to 1960 and was honorably discharged as a Corporal after serving in the Pacific on the USS Philippine Sea.
John had a 42 year career at Pacific Gas & Electric as an Electric Crew Foreman. He was a dedicated and loyal member of the PG&E family and shared years of service to PG&E with his wife, Patricia and son, Michael E. Metrovich. He enjoyed many afternoons sharing drinks and conversation at the “Wall”. John’s passions were sharing time and stories with his family, a strong interest and love for military history, the love of an ice cold Hamm’s beer, trips to Reno with “the boys” and being a remarkable grandfather. John was a very generous and loving man who will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
John is preceded in death by his parents, Mark and Thelma Metrovich and his beloved wife of 38 years, Patricia. He is survived by his son, Michael E. Metrovich (Tammy); grandchildren, LCpl Travis A. Metrovich USMC, Megan Elyce Metrovich, Mark E. Metrovich and Tim R. Smith; sister, Marlene Drew (Otis Kelley); nephew; Mark Drew all of Stockton; brother-in-law, Ron (Carole) Holzkamp and family of Medford, OR; sister-in-law, Debbie (Marv) Leach and family of McMinnville, OR. He is also survived by other nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews as well as many loving friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John’s memory to St. Joseph’s Foundation; Linear Accelerator Program, Hospice of San Joaquin or the charity of your choice.
WAYLAND BONBRIGHT III
Irving Wayland Bonbright III, the former head of PG&E Industrial Relations, died July 23. He was 84.
As lead executive negotiating on behalf of the company for 20 years, he earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues on both sides of the bargaining table. Whatever our differences on matters under negotiation, the union always found Bonbright to be a worthy and honorable opponent.
Though this section of the IBEW 1245 website is normally reserved for members who have passed, the union chooses to honor Bonbright here for his contribution to fostering constructive labor-management relations at PG&E. And in fact, Bonbright qualifies as a union member: When he retired from PG&E in1988, we named him an honorary member of Local 1245.
The following is excerpted from an obituary that appeared in the Marin Independent Journal:
Wayland was an exemplary husband, father, friend and community leader. His community service revolved around activities about which he was passionate: personnel and labor relations; ice hockey; yachting; and travel. He served for 12 years (1969-1981) as a Member and four times Chair of the Marin County Personnel Commission. In addition to coaching his sons' ice hockey teams for many years, he served in various roles including Director, Secretary and President of the Northern California Amateur Hockey Association. In addition, he spent two years as Pacific District Registrar for the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States. Wayland had a talent for integrating two of his other passions: yachting and traveling. Upon arriving in San Francisco in 1950, he purchased a sailboat and became a member of the San Francisco Yacht Club and later the St. Francis Yacht club. He remained a member of the St. Francis Yacht club throughout his life. Wayland played a variety of leadership roles, including Commander, in the Marin Sail & Power Squadron, an affiliate of the U.S. Power Squadron. Avid travelers, Wayland and Shirley explored the globe, often with their children. Once retired, they sailed all over the world with friends. In 2009 they moved to Smith Ranch Homes in San Rafael. Wayland is survived and sorely missed by his wife, Shirley Vallerga Bonbright; his children: David Wayland Bonbright of London, England and his wife Elaine; Elizabeth Marie Bonbright of Tacoma, Washington; and Christopher Vallerga Bonbright and his wife Lisa of Beverly Hills, California. He is also survived by his sister Mary Birge Hendrian, of Topsham, Maine and six grandchildren: Paris McShane Bonbright and Eden Vallerga Bonbright of Beverly Hills; Megan Lucia Thompson and Heidi Victoria Thompson of Tacoma, Washington; and Lucia Thandi Proctor-Bonbright and Jacob Wayland Proctor-Bonbright of London, England. The family will observe a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers, donations in Wayland's name may be made to Marin Hospice by the Bay.
Robert L. Partridge, 67, succumbed after a courageous battle against terminal illness on August 2, 2011. He was hired on at PG&E in 1963 and proudly served as a Gas Mechanic and IBEW Local 1245 member working out of the Santa Rosa Service Center until 2004. He was greatly respected by family, friends and coworkers. He will be truly missed.
Daughter Margaret C. Tourady, son Robert M. Partridge and son Brother Daniel T. Partridge are all deeply saddened by the loss of their loving father. Brother Daniel, who honorably chose to follow his father’s lead in service at PG&E, is a General Construction Lineman working out of the Airport Equipment Yard in Santa Rosa.
Our deepest sympathy and sincerest thoughts go out to the family in this time of sorrow.
Long-time union activist Kathleen "Kathy" Hughes, 56, died July 5, 2011 after a brief illness.
Sister Hughes, a Senior Operating Clerk for PG&E, was a 35-year member of Local 1245.
She began her career at PG&E in General Office and had most recently been working at the Sacramento RMC. She was known for her strong support of Local 1245 and for union principles in general.
"She took her role as a steward very seriously and worked as hard, sometimes harder, in that role as she did in her role as a PG&E employee and was outstanding in both," said Business Rep. Debbie Mazzanti. "To say that Kathy will be missed is truly is an understatement."
Sister Hughes had been working in the final phases of a UC Davis Conflict Resolution class, obtaining further skills which she would no doubt have put to good use in her role as union steward. She also had won praise for her interest in recruiting and training younger members to take on leadership roles in the union.
Local 1245 extends it condolences to the friends, family and co-workers of Sister Kathy Hughes.
On-the-job fatalities are memorialized in our Safety section.
Posting Policy: IBEW Local 1245 will post notices concerning the recent death of any member or retired member or their immediate family members. Notices will be posted for approximately 2-4 months. Remember, we are not automatically notified of such events, so we will only post notices when someone contacts us and supplies the information. E-mail to Eric Wolfe. Please give your name when sending us information. Thank you.