Respected leaders in the Hmong, spiritual and agricultural communities were among some of the notable central San Joaquin Valley people who died in 2011:
Gen. Vang Pao, 81, iconic figure in the Hmong community and a key U.S. ally during the Vietnam War. Jan. 6.
Gus Zernial, 87, the former major league slugger who settled in Clovis after his 11-year career ended and became a sports broadcaster and one of the Fresno Grizzlies' biggest advocates. Jan. 20.
Alice A. Peters, 97, whose family provided generous support to educational and cultural institutions for decades. Jan. 24.
Jack Pieroni, 80, area skiing icon for six decades. Jan. 27.
Doug Walker, 80, a California bowhunting pioneer and record holder who published a national magazine from his Squaw Valley home. Jan. 30.
Victor Martinez, 56, Fresno native who won the 1996 National Book Award for Young People's Literature for his "Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida." Feb. 18.
Stan Holmes, 52, who starred in football and baseball at Dos Palos High in the mid-1970s and went on to be a College World Series MVP for Arizona State. Feb. 28.
Jean Ray Laury, 82, Fresno artist who was a key national figure in the renaissance of quilting during the 1970s and 1980s and an internationally known fiber artist and author. March 2.
Saverio "Sam" Marziliano, 67, owner of Sam's Italian Deli and Market. March 27.
Paul "Archie" Hodsdon, 58, West Hills College baseball coach. April 1.
Marc A. Stefano, 78, two-term Fresno City Council member and lawyer. April 20.
Thomas Charles Turk, 70, worked for the Madera County Sheriff's Department for 31 years, the last seven as undersheriff. April 25.
Bob Fenton, 89, Fresno-area tennis instructor for more than 50 years. May 8.
Jack Stone, 93, west Valley farming icon who amassed a 10,000-acre ranch, ascended to lead the board of the largest federal water district in the country, Westlands Water District, and became a voice in statewide farm water issues. May 17.
David R. Taylor Sr., 90, Fresno doctor who made house calls and was a local pioneer in dermatology. June 11.
The Rev. G.L. Johnson, 83, the longtime senior pastor of Peoples Church. June 29.
Dan Takeuchi, 83, champion senior weightlifter. July 2.
John Kallenberg, 69, Fresno County chief librarian from 1976 to 2003. July 4.
Gabe Terronez, 71, Fresno native who became one of the world's top welterweight fighters. July 8.
Jesse E. Cooley Jr., 79, who as a musician performed with such jazz greats as Lionel Hampton and Count Basie before returning to Fresno to run the city's oldest black-owned mortuary. July 20.
Len Tucker, 81, former Fresno State baseball and basketball star who was the first African-American signed by the St. Louis Cardinals. July 25.
Terry Richards, 56, the inspiration for Terry's House, where family members stay while a loved one is treated at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. July 29.
Steve Pepper, 63, a regular fixture of the Fresno stage who appeared in more than 85 shows with Good Company Players. July 30.
Frank J. Sanders, 99, longtime Fresno businessman best known for his car dealerships. Aug. 3.
Dr. Leo Shishmanian, 80, who brought the first diagnostic imaging machines to Fresno and opened one of the first free-standing radiology centers in the U.S. during a medical career that spanned about five decades in the central San Joaquin Valley. Aug. 12.
Dewey E. Johnson, 79, Fresno State professor who was a key player in putting the Sid Craig School of Business on the map. Sept. 26.
Jack Kelley, 91, the Fresno State star athlete who went on to break racial barriers in the Fresno Police Department and founded, with his wife, the city's African-American historical museum. Oct. 25.
Theodore Steinberg, 101, nationally respected ophthalmologist in Fresno during a career that spanned almost six decades. Nov. 2.
Raymond Elder, 69, Caruthers racer who won a record six championships in NASCAR's top western U.S. series and also won two races in NASCAR's top national series. Nov. 24.
Earl Bradley, 74, KSEE (Channel 24.1) cameraman for more than 30 years and best known for accompanying reporter/anchor Bob Long up and down the central San Joaquin Valley for the long running "On the Map" series. He also was was the first black person to work in a Fresno TV newsroom. Nov. 28.
Doug Maddox, 75, a leader in the Valley's dairy industry and patriarch of a diversified, family-run farming operation. Dec. 19.