Obituaries for the week of 4/4/2013

Mildred Mae Anderson Kennedy Kast Strong

Charles Peter Bassin

Eugene Elwood “Gene” Rude

Donald Lee Duncan


  Long time Plumas County resident Mildred Strong died peacefully in her home in Oakdale, on the morning of March 13. Mildred Mae Anderson was born on Christmas day in 1923 in Palermo. She was one of twelve children born to parents Truman and Leona Cole Anderson. The family moved to Plumas County in the early 1930’s.

  Mildred married John Loren Kennedy at a young age and had five children: John “Jack,” Carroll Jean “Sis,” Robert “Bobby,” David, and Richard “Dickie.” In 1950, John Kennedy died in a car accident and Millie was left widowed at the age of 27 with five young children to raise. She went to work for the planing mill in Sloat to provide for her family. She then met and married Aaron Kast and had one more daughter, Sara Jane.

  Lovingly known as “Millie,” “Aunt Pink,” “Pinky” and “Nana,” Aaron and Mildred raised their family first in Meadow Valley and then settled in Quincy. Aaron was killed tragically in an accident in 1970 and Millie continued to live in the family home surrounded by her growing family. Mildred was known in Quincy as a strikingly beautiful redhead with great strength and a powerful love for her family. She loved to be entertained by her children and grandchildren, batting her eyelashes and giggling at their many stories and adventures. Summers were spent camping at Bucks Lake with her grandchildren at both Haskins and at the “Kennedy Cabin” that Aaron and her boys built for her.

  In 1972, she married the man she would refer to as the love of her life, Dave Strong from Greenville. Dave and Millie moved to Fremont and then Roseville and continued to enjoy entertaining family and friends. Millie returned to Bucks Lake every summer to camp at Haskins with her beloved sisters; their days filled with cooking, stories and hours of laughter.

  Mildred was preceded in death by her loving husband, Dave Strong and her two sons, Jack and David Kennedy.

  Mildred Kennedy Kast Strong is survived by three of her sisters: Ruth Gibson (husband Jerry), Kathe Hurn and Darlene Henderson (husband Chuck), all of Sacramento; sons Robert “Bobby” Kennedy (wife Sandy), of Fresno, Richard “Dickie” Kennedy (wife Starra), of Quincy, Carroll Wilson, of Sparks and Sara Kast, of Oakdale. Nana is also survived by 16 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

  The family is making decisions regarding a service at a later date. Donations in the name of Mildred Strong, a much loved matriarch of Plumas County, will be gratefully received by the Old Meadow Valley Schoolhouse, Plumas County Fairgrounds or the Plumas County Museum.


  On Sunday, March 17, 2013, we lost our beautiful son, Charles Peter Bassin, in a tragic accident at our family home in Whitehawk Ranch, Northern California. He had just returned from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells — a favorite outing of his.

  Charles was born on July 12, 1980, and lived his entire childhood in Palo Alto. He attended St. Joseph’s School in Atherton, Walter Hays and Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto, St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

  Charles’ athletic accomplishments were numerous in the sports of swimming, soccer, baseball, basketball, golf and tennis. His golf handicap was hovering at scratch. In recent years, Charles also enjoyed hiking and fishing in the Sierras and spending time with his Clumber Spaniels.

  Charles’ life was a contrast of incredible joys and pains but, when those of us who loved him were privileged to share in his journey, he was a consummate source of compassion, love and laughter. He leaves behind heartbroken parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and his Clumbers.

  Charles has been laid to rest at Skylawn Park in the hills of San Mateo overlooking the Bay Area he loved.

  We carry his heart, we carry it in our hearts.


  Eugene Elwood Rude, known by all as Gene, passed away Thursday morning, March 21, 2013 at Lincoln Meadows Care Facility outside of Sacramento.

  Gene, a longtime resident of the Lake Almanor Peninsula, had been living in the Sacramento area since January when health problems forced him to leave his home in Lake Almanor.

  Over the previous three decades, Gene and his beloved wife, Katie, were active members of the peninsula community and were much-loved fixtures in the town of Chester. Gene was a dedicated member of the Lion’s Club, as well as a supporter, along with Katie, of Sierra Hospice.

  After Katie’s death in the summer of 2011, Gene stayed active, continuing his daily trips into Chester where he exercised nearly every day at the Lake Almanor Fitness Center and took his meals, most often at the Kopper Kettle. He missed Katie fiercely but felt supported by his friends and the sense of community he experienced in Chester where he often told his worried children, “he had many friends.” 

  Gene was born March 25, 1926, in Richmond. According to his stories, as a child he frequently skipped school to pursue adventures such as exploring Mt. Tamalpais and body surfing in the Pacific.

  He was still in high school when the U.S. entered World War II, but after he graduated at the age of 17 he convinced his father to let him enlist in the Navy. While in the Navy Gene served on a supply ship in the Philippines until the end of the war.

  Upon returning home, he enrolled at U.C. Berkeley where he met Catherine Ellen Scofield (Katie) in a large anthropology lecture hall and was immediately smitten. Gene and Katie were married Sept. 25, 1949, beginning their long journey in life together.

  Shortly after his marriage, Gene began his career as a salesman for Jacuzzi Pumps, a job that required being on the road often.

  When his first child was born, he decided to go into teaching. Later in life he often mentioned what a good decision this had been, not only because of the satisfactions this career brought, but because it allowed him more time with his family.

  Gene’s teaching career began in a two-room school house in the logging town of Hyampom, California. The family moved to Redding in 1957 and then, three years later, to Napa, where Gene took the job of principal and superintendent of Brown’s Valley Elementary School District.

  As an administrator, Gene was especially intent on recognizing and supporting excellence in teaching. He was known for his lively, often self-mocking, sense of humor and for finding unconventional and creative ways to help students get along with each other and flourish in the classroom. He was a frequent presence in the halls and on the playground, where he was occasionally spotted jumping rope with the kids. 

  In 1969 the family relocated to Pearl River, N.Y., where Gene pursued his doctorate in education at Columbia University. He went on to work as an administrator in Watchung Schools in New Jersey. Both Gene and Katie loved working with children and there were nightly animated conversations around the dinner table, mostly about teaching.

  Gene is preceded in death by his parents Irvin and Ruth Rude; sister Jane Rude Riley; and his loving wife of 62 years, Catherine Scofield Rude (Katie).

  He is survived by daughters Stephanie Rude and her husband Jerry Smith, of Austin Texas, Janice Rude Franks, of Ukiah; and son Nathan Rude and wife Mary, of Sacramento; grandchildren Caitlin Kyllonen Miller, Nikki Hawkins, Wesley Franks, Analise Mullis, Alex Rude, and Elliott Rude; and great-grandchildren Samuel and Campbell Miller, and Kaylee, Alison and Felicity Mullis. In addition, he and Katie shared a close bond with their adopted family in Chester: Alex and Mari Morales and their children, Yessery, Yordi, and Bryana.

  Many people were touched by and played an important part in his life. He will be greatly missed by all.

  The family will have a private ceremony at a later date. The family also wishes to thank the community of Chester and Lake Almanor for everything that helped to make the last years of both Gene’s and Katie’s lives so very special to them both.

  An opportunity to express your condolences to the family, along with signing the memorial guest register is available online at fehrmanmortuary.

  Katie and Gene had a special place in their hearts for Sierra Hospice and the family would like any remembrances in Gene’s memory be made to either Sierra Hospice or the Chester Lions Club, c/o Fehrman Mortuary and Crematory, P.O. Box 803, Greenville, CA 95947.


  Donald Lee Duncan, 87, died March 23, 2013, in Reno, Nev.

  The Quincy resident was born Oct. 1, 1925, in Los Angeles, CA.

  He is survived by his wife Mina Duncan; son Don Duncan Jr.; daughters Nancy Duncan, Isabel Neff (Tim Neff), Veronica Duncan Royat; grandchildren Ashlee Hummer (Sean Hummer), Hailey Messeraul, Breeann Pence (Michael Pence), Stephanie Owens (Ben Owens), Michael Royat (Brittany Royat), Raquel Neff (Travis Bagley), Andrew Royat; and two great-grandchildren, Carson Bagley and Jillian Hummer, with three more on the way.

  Services will be held Saturday, April 6, at 4 p.m. at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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