Obituaries for the week of 2/3/2010

Grace Bulla Keller, 98

Jerry Drew Spurlock, 76

Casper John Sheets, 80

Richard Allyn Bacon Jr. , 68

Anita K. Dowell, 52

    Longtime Genesee Valley/Indian Valley resident Grace Bulla Keller passed from this life Jan. 4, 2010. She died peacefully in her home in Genesee, surrounded by two of her children and three grandchildren.

    Grace was born May 19, 1911, in Randleman, N. C., the third oldest in a Quaker family of three brothers and eight sisters born to Allie Marsh Vuncannon and Thomas Jefferson Bulla.
    She grew up in High Point, N.C., and was educated at Guilford College until the Great Depression forced her to help support the large family.
    She was married to her first love, Tommy Taylor, in the years before WW II, but was widowed in late 1942.
    She met and married her husband of 36 years, Rex Edwin Keller, while working in Washington, D.C., during the war. Rex, originally from a Colorado hardrock mining family, was then a major in the army.
    After the war they moved to southern California and later to Baja California, Mexico, where they developed a small mine and milling operation in the outback south of La Paz.
    There she raised their three children, home schooling them through their middle grammar school years. After eight years the family moved back to their home in the hills above West Hollywood, where Grace worked as a school teacher.
    Rex passed away in 1979, and Grace moved to Plumas County to live near her son, Gordon, and his wife, Jeanette Brauner, and their two children. During those years, Grace lived in one of several homes she built during her life, became a local health food guru (a lifelong passion), and actively pursued her love of music. She performed around Plumas County with her friends as the Melodeers and ìGrace and Love.î
    Grace was well known locally for her energy and enthusiasm for exercise, health food (her ìgreen drinkî remains a well known concoction), bridge and being the matriarch of a large extended musical family, Amazing Grace. She was always extremely enthusiastic about lifeópositive to the very end, saying every day was the best day of her life!
    In 2006, at age 95, Grace moved to Eugene, Ore., with daughter, Gail and husband Palmer Utterback and their family, who cared for her in their home.
    There she found new friends and continued her love of music, performing with family, friends, and occasionally with a popular local group, the Sugar Beets.
    She finally had to hang up her autoharp, but loved to listen and harmonize with familiar songs until the very end.
    She is survived by her two youngest sisters, Ann Grant and Winkie Rotello; her children, Donald, Gordon and Gail; her grandchildren, Monica and Melissa, Daniel and Alyne Rose, and Katie, Danny and Jimmy and a host of nieces and nephews.
    A celebration of Graceís life will take place in late May or early June in Genesee, around the time of her birthday and when family and friends can attend.
    A tribute to Grace and some of her life and music can be found on YouTubeóunder Grace Kelleróand her favorites, ìRippleî and ìApple Tree Song.î

    Jerry Spurlock passed away Jan. 22, 2010, in Willows; he was born Jan. 19, 1934, in Willows, to Claire and Marjorie Spurlock.
    He is survived by his wife, Hollis, brother Jim, children Hank (Nancy) Spurlock of Clatskanie, Oregon and Pinie (Vince) Minat of Elk Creek; grandchildren Jessie, Holly, Erin, Pete, Scott and Caleb, and six great-grandchildren.
    Jerry graduated from Willows High School with the class of 1951. He married Hollis Burrows May 11, 1952, in the Elk Creek Church. Twins Hank and Pinie were born Nov. 16, 1953.
    Jerry spent his life as a successful farmer and rancher in partnership with his brother, Jim, in Glenn and Plumas counties. He was the owner of two ranches that have been in his family more than 100 years.
    He enjoyed working on his ranches and running his Walker hounds. He was Papa Jerry to his grandchildren and Spur to his friends.
    Jerry was a member of Willows Christian Church; he served on the Glenn County LAFco board, the board of directors for the Plumas-Sierra Cattleman and the Glenn County Farm Bureau. He was also a member of the CHA and NRA.
    Funeral services were held Jan. 27, 2010, at Elk Creek Community Church in Elk Creek.
    Jerry was laid to rest at the Elk Creek Cemetery, pallbearers were grandsons Pete Spurlock, Scott Minto and Caleb Spurlock, and Anthony Sunseri, Van Probst and Dean Conard.
    Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice or the NRA.


    Casper John Sheets, 80, of Graeagle, died Jan. 8, 2010, in Reno, Nev.
    He was born Feb. 28, 1929, in California, Pa.
    Survivors include his wife, Louise Sheets; sons Barry Sheets and Jeffrey Sheets; Debra Kent, Greta Hill and Arden Gillberg.
    No services are scheduled.
    Memorial donations may be made to the Graeagle Community Church.

    Richard Allyn Bacon Jr., born July 4, 1941, died Jan. 16, 2010.
    The former Portola resident is survived by his father, Richard A. Bacon Sr., sister Cheryl Edwards and family, daughter Teri Lynn Bacon, sons Steve Bacon and Brian Bacon, five grandsons and two granddaughters.
    He is preceded in death by his mother, Maxine Bacon, and son Brett A. Bacon.
    A private family service to be held at a later date.

    Anita Dowell passed from this world on January 29, 2010, with family near. She is survived by her husband Mark H. Walsh; sons Matthew and James Baxter; brother Robert Dowell, and four sisters. Anita was born in Sacramento on Nov. 19, 1957. She was a resident of Plumas County for twenty-four years.

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