Clovis News

Valley lost notable individuals from all walks of life

They represent justice, athletics and the arts, culinary excellence and social morality, among many pursuits.

These are some of the notable Valley people who died in 2010:


Jack Daniel, 60, Fresno civil-rights lawyer who championed causes for the poor, the mentally ill, children and farmworkers. Jan. 2.

Robert Sidney Miner, 96, longtime former Fresno educator and executive director of the Fresno Regional Foundation from 1975-91. Jan. 5.

Clu Cotter, 48, Kevin O'Connor, 40 and Tom Stolberg, 31, all state Department of Fish and Game employees killed along with their pilot in a helicopter crash. Jan. 5.

Robert L. Martin, 80, longtime Fresno judge. Jan. 12.

Yia "The Bull" Mua, 34, Muay Thai kickboxing champion from Clovis, Jan.15.

Edward P. Moffat, 63, Madera County Superior Court judge. Jan. 16.

Laurene Sandell, 95, first female sergeant in the Fresno County Sheriff's Department. Jan. 16.


M.D. Crocker, 94, Fresno's first federal judge and a four-decade veteran of the federal bench. Feb. 1.

Ethie Radanovich, 50, wife of Mariposa Congressman George Radanovich and a former California political consultant. Feb. 4.

Dr. Mervyn Uhuda Schwartz, 88, Fresno pediatrician for more than half a century who was involved in the beginnings of Children's Hospital Central California. Feb. 4.

William "Bill" Riddlesprigger Jr., 67, a retired English professor who was a Fresno Unified School District trustee and president of the local chapter of the NAACP. Feb. 6.

Kendall L. Manock, 80, Fresno attorney, civic leader and nationally known expert on agricultural marketing orders. Feb. 11.

Jamie Evans, 50, the son and grandson of Presbyterian ministers who led Fresno's largest Presbyterian church. Feb. 25.

Mike Eagles, 70, perennial candidate for mayor, governor and president. Feb. 25.

Joel Wahlenmaier, 49, Fresno County deputy sheriff killed in the line of duty. Feb. 26.


Javier Bejar, 28, Reedley police officer who died of wounds suffered in the line of duty, March 1.

Bill Bunetta, 90, charter member of the Professional Bowlers Association and the only bowler in the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame. March 22.


Roy Isom, 72, KMJ editor and reporter and a Valley icon in the broadcast business for 45 years. April 15.

Walter Marshall "Dyke" Fink, 77, professional logger and one of the three founders of North Fork's annual Loggers Jamboree in 1959. April 19.


Jeriome Robertson, 33, former major-league baseball pitcher from Exeter. May 29.


Les Richter, 79, Fresno native who went on to an All-Pro career as a linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams and then to leadership roles at two major Southern California speedways. June 12.

Stanley George Kooyumjian, 77, longtime Fresno grocer and restaurateur. June 25.

Robert Shapazian, 67, Fresno native who was the founding director of the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. June 27.


Harold Charles "Hal" McKinney, 86, Fresno County's sheriff from 1975 to 1987 and a 37-year veteran of the department. July 1.

Woody Laughnan, 86, former Fresno Bee writer who for 21 years described the folklore of the Valley in his popular column, Around Here. July 12.

Mac Foster, 68, pro boxer from Fresno who rose to No. 1 heavyweight contender in the world in 1970. July 19.

Brian Piercy, 27, Buchanan High School graduate and Army staff sergeant who died of injuries suffered while serving in Afghanistan. July 19.

Kenny Guinn, 73, former two-term Nevada governor who grew up in Exeter. July 22.


Ollie Bidwell, 90, a central figure in Valley baseball for more than 60 years as a player, coach, umpire, pro scout and administrator. Aug. 4.

Jack Pandol Sr., 87, longtime Valley grape grower and industry leader. Aug. 4.

Steven Neil Parks, 67, longtime Fresno doctor who is credited with establishing a standardized system of trauma care in the central San Joaquin Valley. Aug. 21.

Janet Saghatelian, 72, owner of Valley Lahvosh Baking Co. Aug. 24.

Clay Sannar, 40, Mormon lay bishop shot to death at his Visalia church. Aug. 29.

G.L. "Gib" Rambo, 98, Fresno Athletic Hall of Famer who also was credited with saving the Central California Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Aug. 31.


Nathan Luke Ray, 18, Fresno State student and band member, Sept. 5.

George "Elfie" Ballis, 85, photographer who walked with the late United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez, led a rebellion against farmers over water and documented peace movements in Fresno. Sept. 24.

Rollin Pickford, 98, artist who made thousands of paintings of the Valley in a career that stretched nearly 10 decades and was a leader in the art community. Sept. 26.


Nancy Miller, 65, longtime Good Company Players staff member and director. Oct. 4.

Richard Wing, 89, the chef behind the acclaimed Imperial Dynasty in Hanford. Oct. 8.

Brett Land, 24, a U.S. Army corporal who grew up in Porterville, and who died of injuries when his 101st Airborne Division unit was attacked in a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan. Oct. 30.


Al Pombo, 85, Valley auto racing legend. Nov. 19.

Larry Huebner, 79, co-founder of Fig Garden Swim & Racquet Club and a tennis player, coach and advocate for 60 years. Nov. 28.


Matthew Abbate, 26, former Buchanan High student and Marine sergeant who died of injuries suffered while serving in Afghanistan. Dec. 2.

Bishop John T. Steinbock, 73, who led the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno through nearly two decades. Dec. 5.

Wilber Ray Johnson, 65, executive director, African-American Historical and Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley. Dec. 7.

Carolee Boele, 68, livestock superintendent for the Big Fresno Fair, Dec. 14.