Obituaries: April 4, 2024
By Mid Valley Times Staff
5:51 am,
April 4, 2024
Jose Luis Andrade

Jose Luis Andrade of Orange Cove, died on Friday, March 22, 2024. He was 69 years old. Dopkins Reedley Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements. 

Ian Daniel Brady

Ian Daniel Brady of Parlier, died on Saturday, March 23, 2024. He was 12 years old. Visitations will be held on Sunday, April 7, 2024, at Wallin’s Parlier Funeral Home from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Monday, April 8, 2024, at Wallin’s Parlier Funeral Home at 10 a.m. followed by a graveside service at the Parlier Cemetery. Wallin’s Parlier Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Lucelva Saldivar Cerda

Lucelva Saldivar Cerda of Orosi, died on Sunday, March 24, 2024. She was 84 years old. Mrs. Cerda was a homemaker. Visitations will be held on Friday, April 5, 2024, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. followed by a funeral Mass at 12 p.m. at Dopkins Dinuba Funeral home. Interment will be at Smith Mountain Cemetery. Mrs. Cerda is survived by three daughters, one son, two grandchildren, one sister and one brother. Dopkins Dinuba Funeral home is in charge of arrangements.

Maria Cortez 

Maria Cortez of Dinuba, died on Friday, March 22, 2024. She was 75 years old. Mrs. Cortez was a homemaker. Visitations will be held on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Dopkins Dinuba Funeral Chapel. A funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, at St. Catherine’s of Siena Catholic Church in Dinuba at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Smith Mountain Cemetery. Mrs. Cortez is survived by her husband, Jesus Cortez, one daughter, three sons, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Dopkins Dinuba is in charge of arrangements.

Eugene Othel Danner 

Gene, as he was known to all, passed away peacefully on March 21, 2024, in Fresno, California. Born on July 28, 1949, in Fowler, California, to Bertha May and Artie Eugene Danner, Gene lived a full 74 years. 

Eugene Othel Danner
1949–2024

Gene’s formative years were filled with valuable lessons. He learned a strong work ethic and the importance of striving for excellence from his father, who also instilled in him a love for tinkering with cars and exploring the outdoors through fishing and hunting trips. Meanwhile, his grandparents nurtured his spiritual side, fostering the deep faith that would remain a cornerstone of his life. 

Life presented Gene with some significant obstacles. He served bravely in the Vietnam War and later faced a debilitating industrial accident that poisoned his body and damaged his lungs. Even in his early 70’s, he battled and conquered cancer. Through it all, Gene displayed unwavering resilience, always pushing forward with a determined spirit. 

A master machinist and engineer, Gene possessed an unwavering work ethic and dedication to his craft. He inspired his fellow workers with his leadership skills and ability to translate creative ideas into tangible solutions. Among his many accomplishments, Gene played a key role on the team that developed the Upright grape harvester, a machine that revolutionized the industry. His innovative spirit further shone through his design of two unique hydraulic systems for log splitters. Leveraging his expertise, Gene transitioned to a successful construction career, where his meticulous attention to detail as a final grader for track housing projects left a lasting mark on Salinas Valley and San Joaquin Valley communities. 

Gene cherished his three children, Timothy, John and Jeanine. He taught them how to swim and enjoy the outdoors as well as value a good day of fishing. 

In 1994, Fresno, California, fate brought Gene the love of his life, Linda Van Buskirk. From their very first meeting, Gene knew he’d found his forever partner. They married in 1997 and spent the next 27 years building a cherished life together in Squaw Valley. Gene’s devotion to Linda shone through in the way he meticulously crafted their home, ensuring it was a safe and manageable haven for her. 

Gene brought warmth to his home with the delicious aromas of his cooking. 

A master of comfort food, his legendary fried potatoes, fried chicken, tacos, and perfectly barbecued steaks were a mainstay at family gatherings. For Gene’s extended family, these meals transcended mere sustenance; they were cherished moments of togetherness, forever etched in their memories. 

Gene possessed an insatiable passion for solving problems. Family and friends knew him as the ultimate fixer—someone who could tackle any challenge and wouldn’t hesitate to lend a helping hand. If you needed something, he’d be there. Beyond simply resolving the issue, Gene thrived on the process. He transformed broken objects into something better, turning concepts into creations, and relishing the learning journey along the way. 

Gene is survived by his wife, Linda Danner, two sons John and Timothy Danner, one daughter Jeanine Danner, two grandsons Jessy Klemstine and Tobin Townsend, and one granddaughter Tiffany Danner. 

Gene left this life with a strong mind and will. Once he received his final prognosis of not being recoverable, he asked for a Pepsi, told his family he loved them and drifted off to sleep one last time. 

A memorial service will be held On Friday, April 12, 2024, at St. Rita’s Indian Mission in Squaw Valley. A Rosary will be recited at 9:30 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass. Gene will be laid to rest at Squaw Valley Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to the American Cancer Society. 

Luis Garcia Jimenez

Luis Garcia Jimenez of Sanger, died on Friday, March 22, 2024. He was 73 years old. Mr. Jimenez was an agricultural laborer. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church at 9 a.m., Rosary said at 9:30 a.m. and a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Sanger Cemetery. Wallin’s Sanger Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Daniel John Luna, Sr. 

Daniel John Luna, Sr., passed away on Monday, March 25, 2024. He was 68 years old. Dopkins Reedley Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Pete Mierau 

Pete Mierau, of Reedley, passed away on Saturday, March 23, 2024. He was 83 years old. A graveside service will be held on Monday, April 15, 2024, from 9 to 9:45 a.m. at Dopkins Reedley Funeral Chapel. Dopkins Reedley Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Gary H. Mimura 

Dr. Gary H. Mimura, MD of Reedley died on March 5, 2024, in Reedley. He was 78 years old. 

Gary H. Mimura

Dr. Mimura worked as a doctor and practiced medicine for 42 years in Dinuba, Calif. 

He was preceded in death by his father Ted, in 2001, and his mother Kay, in 2013, and his baby brother, in 1952. 

Dr. Mimura is survived by his wife, Bernadette, of Reedley; three children, Christopher Mimura and his wife, Melinda, of Fowler; Tritia Hirayama and her husband, Bryan, of Tulare; and Bryan Mimura and his wife, Stacie, of Fresno; and seven grandchildren, Zachary and Garrett Mimura, Kiano, Kai, and Kinen Hirayama and Logan and Reese Mimura. 

Celebration of life service is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at Redeemers Church, in Reedley, California. 

Dopkins Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please make donations, in memory of Dr. Gary Mimura, to Sierra View Homes or the American Cancer Society. 

Delia Padilla

Delia Padilla of Reedley, died on Friday, March 22, 2024. She was 66 years old. Mrs. Padilla was a homemaker. Visitation will be held on Monday, April 8, 2024, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church downtown from 4 to 7 p.m. with a Rosary at 5:30 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church downtown at 10 a.m. Mrs. Padilla is survived by her husband, Louie Padilla, two sons, four daughters, 18 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Dopkins Reedley Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. 

Ardis Rose Pharis

Reedley, Calif. lost a beloved member of the community with the passing of Ardis Rose Pharis on March 19, 2024. Her family was able to be with her as she passed away at home with almost all her family being able to visit during her final weeks. Her 91-years were marked by countless examples of her love of God and for her family. 

Ardis Rose Pharis
1932–2024

Reedley residents knew Ardis and Chet primarily as the original owners of Chet’s Plumbing in Reedley. While Chet soon became Reedley’s favorite plumber, Ardis managed the business. Both also worked at Hume Lake Christian Camps, Ardis as the camp’s registrar and Chet as construction supervisor. 

Ardis and Chet were both very active in the Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) in Fresno. Both held various offices in the organization. Chet also helped set up a trade school for non-union plumbers at Fresno City College. 

Mrs. Pharis was active in The Little Country Church of Navelencia and later in The First Baptist Church of Dinuba serving in AWANA, as deaconess, choir director, pianist, and various other roles throughout the past 54 years. 

Chet and Ardis both had a heart for missions and while neither of them became fulltime missionaries they served the Lord throughout the world with Wycliffe Bible Translators including England, Mexico, and Suriname. Chet used his general contracting skills and Ardis cheerfully used her skills in organization, writing and management to assist the missionaries. They also traveled to China, Japan, Okinawa, Israel, Spain, Portugal, Germany, France and throughout the United Kingdom. 

She is survived by their daughter, Carola Shehan of Reedley, their sons, Steven Pharis and his wife Jill, of Newberg, Oregon and Daniel Pharis and his wife Margaret of Reno, Nevada, and daughter Julia Aydelotte and her husband Mark of Boerne, Texas, 11 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends. 

Funeral services will take place at First Baptist Church in Dinuba, California on Saturday, April 6 at 2 p.m. Donations in her honor can be sent to Hume Lake Christian Camps, 64144 Hume Lake Road, Hume Lake, CA 93628. 

Maria Del Refugio Rodriguez 

Maria Del Refugio Rodriguez of Dinuba, died on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. She was 99 years old. Mrs. Rodriguez was a housewife. Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 4, 2024, at Sterling & Smith Funeral Home in Dinuba from 5 to 8 p.m. Rosary will start at 6 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held on Friday, April 5, 2024, at St. Catherine’s Church in Dinuba at 9 a.m. A graveside will be at Smith Mountain Cemetery. Mrs. Rodriguez is survived by one daughter, three sons, nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Sterling & Smith Dinuba Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Randy Valdez 

Randy Valdez passed away on Saturday, March 29, 2024. He was 42 years old. Dopkins Reedley Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Diane Willems Vaughan 

Diane Willems Vaughan of Medford, Oregon, (formerly of San Carlos, Calif.), passed away on Feb. 28, 2024 at the age of 81. 

Diane Willems Vaughan
1942–2024

Diane was born on December 23, 1942 to Claas and Sarah (Eitzen) Willems in Exeter, California. She had two older sisters, Maxine and Marilyn, attended Exeter schools, and the family was active in the First Baptist Church of Exeter. She graduated from San Jose State University where she received an education degree in 1964. 

Diane taught fourth grade in Salem, Oregon for two years. In 1966, Diane and a friend decided to become airline stewardesses. Diane flew for United Airlines for more than 20 years, a job she loved which took her all over the world. 

In 1985, she met Bill Vaughan whom she married in 1987. Their wedding was held on the Oregon coast overlooking the ocean with her family participating. Her brother-in-law, a pastor, performed the ceremony. 

When Diane retired from flying a few years later, she found a new career as office manager of Bill’s dental practice in Atherton, California where she made everyone feel welcome. When she and Bill retired in 2010, they moved to the Rogue Valley Manor retirement community in Medford, Oregon. She kept flowering pots and hummingbird feeders on the balcony of their cottage where they enjoyed views of beautiful Oregon sunsets. Diane loved living there and made numerous friends over the years. 

Diane, called Didi by her nieces, nephews and step-grandchildren, cared deeply about family members, friends and just about everyone she encountered. She was devoted in her care for several family members over the years and had a special way of leaving all who spent time with her feeling understood and loved. 

Diane will be greatly missed by her extended family. Diane’s parents were from large Mennonite families and she had 54 first cousins, many of whom she remained close to. She was proud of her Mennonite heritage and was a beloved aunt to her five nieces and three nephews. In time she became a favorite great-aunt to 13, and a beloved great-grand aunt to six. She never missed the big events in their lives, and was a tremendous support during weddings, childbirths, and birthdays. 

Diane was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters. She is survived by her husband, Bill, her stepdaughter, Catherine (Tom Scanland), step-grandchildren, Jack and Taylor, and stepson Craig Vaughan. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews: Debbie Wallin (Bob), Stephen Sondericker (Loraine Ferguson), and Philip Sondericker all of Washington state, Becky Machin of Arizona, Leslie Davidson (Ben Voris) of Idaho, Laurie Davidson (Robert Chapkin) of Texas, Eric Davidson (Mary) of Oregon, and Lisa Davidson (Matt Tartar) of Colorado. Their 13 children and 6 grandchildren all loved their Didi, as well. We dearly miss her. 

A celebration of life is being planned for later this year. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to these organizations which Diane has supported for years: The Rogue Valley Manor Foundation (1200 Mira Mar Ave., Medford, OR 97504, Tax ID #93-0712867), or The Mennonite Central Committee (mcc.org). 

Carlos Viscarra 

Carlos Viscarra of Dinuba, died on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. He is survived by his four children, 15 grandchildren and three siblings. A celebration of life will take place on Friday, April 5, 2024, at 11 a.m. at the Riverway Sports Park in Visalia. Sterling & Smith Dinuba Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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Mid Valley Times Staff