James Duckett

James E. Duckett

March 25, 1937 – April 7, 2024

Jim passed away peacefully surrounded by family. He is survived by his wife Linda (Santa Rosa, CA) and son Paul (San Francisco, CA). He leaves behind his sister-in-law and brother-in-law and several nieces and nephews.

He attended Sonoma High School and Santa Rosa Junior College. It was at SRJC where he met the love of his life, Linda Brandt.

Jim went into the Air Force in 1958. He was stationed on the Island of Crete. Upon his return, Jim and Linda were married on May 7, 1961. They lived in San Angelo, Texas where Jim completed his time in the Air Force. 

Returning to California, Jim worked as an Electronic Engineer for several companies in Silicon Valley. Jim and Linda lived in Sunnyvale and San Jose for over 40 years. They moved back to Santa Rosa in 2006 to be closer to family (and great wine).

Jim and Linda enjoyed travelling. Trips to Paris, Italy, Australia, and Mexico are some of the highlights. They enjoyed drives to Bodega Bay for crab sandwiches at Spud Point.

Jim was genuine and kind, with a positive outlook on life, always smiling, a great sense of humor, quick witted, and enjoyed giving back to his community.  He volunteered at his church and for F.I.S.H., a local food pantry.

A celebration of life will be held on April 27, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. First Congregational United Church of Christ, 2000 Humboldt Street, Santa Rosa. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the church is preferred.

Joseph Radovich

Joseph Radovich

March 6, 1929- April 13, 2024

Joseph Radovich, beloved husband, brother, and friend, passed away peacefully on April 13, 2024. Born March 6, 1929, he lived a life marked by his dedication to his passions, animals, and loved ones. 

Joseph was a man of many diverse talents and interests. From a young age, he showed a natural inclination towards mechanics, eventually establishing his own Forklift company. His insatiable curiosity about the world prompted him to embark on numerous journeys, each filled with stories that now accompany him on his journey beyond.   

He shared 63 years of cherished memories with his beloved wife, Angelina Radovich, who preceded him in death on April 16, 2018. Theirs was a love story marked by unwavering devotion and mutual respect. In his passing, he can now find solace in their eternal companionship.  

Joseph Radovich will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. He is survived by his loving brother, Luciano Radovic, who will carry on his legacy of strength and perseverance. Though he may no longer be with us in body, his spirit will continue to live on in the hearts of those who loved him. May he rest in peace. 

Charles B. House Jr.

Charles B. House Jr.

June 24, 1927- April 7, 2024

Charles Brewer House Jr., age 96, passed away peacefully on April 7, 2024, in Santa Rosa, California. He was born on June 24, 1927, in Galesburg, Illinois to Charles and Margaret House. He served in the United States Navy and his career as a minister, educator and administrator spanned more than 50 years.

Charles is preceded by his sister Sally and survived by his sisters Jane and Beth, his wife June and 5 sons, daughters-in-law, as well as many grand and great grandchildren. He will be dearly missed by all.

Sherrill Miersemann

Sherrill Lee Miersemann

(Sher Shipway)

January 28, 1948 – November 12, 2023

Sherrill Lee Miersemann passed away Sunday afternoon, November 12, 2023 in Santa Rosa, California, at 75 years of age. Her laughter and love will be deeply missed and always hold a special place in our hearts.

Sher was born in San Francisco, California, where her parents resided at the time. Her father was born in England and immigrated to Canada and then to the US as a child. Her mother was born and raised in New York. Sher grew up in a large Catholic family, the third of seven siblings, and went to school at Camden High School near Los Gatos. She was on the high school diving team and her children remember her impressive dives and flips at the diving board platform, most often at The Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach on the Russian River where she regularly brought her four children. Sher also played field hockey before going to college at San Jose State, graduating with majors in both English and Psychology. She taught English at the University of Lyon, France, and traveled abroad extensively before returning to California in her twenties.

When in college she met her husband, Karl Miersemann, while working at a pizzeria he managed. After graduation, she earned her EMT certificate and worked as a paralegal. The two married in May 1973 and started a family in San Jose, where they had their first two daughters. Her husband’s career led the family to Illinois in the late 1970’s, where they enjoyed the Midwest lifestyle, buying country property with a barn and pasture. There Sher’s love for horses grew as she taught her own young children to ride and care for their two horses. Welcoming animals was always a part of her nurturing personality, with rabbits, chickens, fish, birds, cats and their beloved Golden Retriever becoming part of her family. She also had a green thumb that could bring almost any dying plant back to life, and enjoyed replanting all of the plants given to her. While in Illinois she gave birth to their third daughter, who was born with a congenital heart defect, facing open heart surgery at 3 months old. Sher’s strength and determination as a mother and advocate rose to the occasion as she fought for the best care available for her daughter. Something she would do for the rest of her life.

The family moved back to California with Sher driving the girls, dog and horse trailer across country, creating a memorable trip for all. They settled in Sonoma County in 1981 before welcoming their fourth and final daughter. Sher began studying and earned her Real Estate Broker’s license in Sonoma County in 1984. Eventually parting ways from her husband, Sher built a life and career in Rohnert Park, California. She started her own Real Estate company, guided by her compassionate nature, and eventually expanded into property management. She became one of the few licensed agents in the Bay Area to handle government foreclosures in the 1980’s, supporting her family through that economic downturn with this specialized skill. She had a strong work ethic and was a member of the Association of Realtors for four decades.

At her 35 year high school reunion she became re-acquainted with her high school sweetheart, Ray Shipway. They picked up right where they left off after high school, sparks still flying. They built a life together for over 10 years before getting married in June 2012. Together with Ray, Sher enjoyed riding Harley Davidson motorcycles, and learned how to fly ultralight aircraft, stopping just short of testing for her pilot’s license. They loved their home life where they continued to care for horses but balanced it well with plenty of travel; from weekends away to trips abroad. Eventually traveling in their motorhome during their retirement years.

Sher’s full and busy life always had room for the larger community. When the kids were young, she was an active PTA member helping to shape the new elementary school her girls attended. She was always excited to drive on field trips and was well known and loved by all the students. The students’ fondness for her followed her even into the high school classroom when she would occasionally substitute teach when her daughters attended Ursuline High School. Sher also supported multiple exchange students in her home over the years. After her girls were grown, she volunteered for the Rancho Cotati Rotary Club, giving hours of service to her community and for the Young Eagles where she coordinated pilots giving free flights to local youth.

Sher was upbeat, fun and outgoing, known for her infectious laugh and sharp wit, frequently offering a well-timed remark to lighten the mood, no matter how somber. Her stunning smile could light up any room!  She was dedicated to raising a family that loved and supported each other. She role modeled that with her loving relationships with her own siblings, always making the effort for family reunions or helping out when someone was going through a hard time. Family was always a priority; from searching for relatives in England to maintaining her relationships with her extended family, including regular trips to see her favorite Aunt Bonnie, Uncle Glen and cousin Jimbo in Florida. Sher’s children are grateful for the commitment to family that she created and fought to maintain, as they continue to enjoy those close family connections today.

Sher was a loving and proud mother and grandmother who successfully passed on to her children her love of travel, her real estate skills, playing card games, and her love for horses and gardening.

Her last years were spent struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. With Ray by her side, their love and playful characters gave them strength to get through the hard days. Her beautiful smile and laughter never faded. Ray became her dedicated caregiver with a loving and happy attitude. Their love for each other was truly inspiring during these years. She passed away peacefully in her own home surrounded by her loving family.

Sher is survived by her husband, Raymond Shipway, her four daughters and their husbands; Heidi Miersemann and Thad Fabish, Jamie and Patrick Lynch, Kristy and Lauren Mackey, and Katie and Brenton Taylor, two step sons; Raymond Shipway Jr. and Michael Shipway, as well as her sister Sharron Evans Moore and four brothers; James Evans, Walter ‘Skip’ Evans, Robert Evans and Patrick Evans, six grandchildren; Margarete ‘Greta’ and Emmett Lynch, Madelyn and Liberty Mackey, Bradley and Carson Taylor. She was preceded in death by her parents Cherry Bennett and Walter Evans, and her sister Jacqueline Evans Kochendorfer.

Please join us for her Memorial service on Saturday May 4, 2024 at 2:30pm at Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church at 398 10th street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401, followed by a Celebration of Life at The DoubleTree Hotel at 1 Doubletree Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928.


More information will be shared via her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sher.miersemann/

To those who wish to make a donation in her honor, the family suggests the Alzheimer’s Foundation or the EQUUS horse foundation.

https://alzfdn.org/donate/  select “honor gift” and list “Sher Miersemann” in her honor.

EQUUS Foundation

Jesse Guidotti

Jesse Phillip Guidotti

November 29, 1947 – March 13, 2024

Jesse Phillip Guidotti passed away peacefully March 13, 2024, at the age of 76. Jesse’s family loved him very much and will miss him dearly. We will always remember his fun and silly pranks, his 60’s VW bug, and his unique ways to wrap a present; old brown paper bags, newspapers, lots of duct tape, electric tape, PVC pipe, and cryptic Sharpie messages.

Jesse was born in Santa Rosa on November 29th, 1947, to parents Phillip and Janet Guidotti. He lived in Guerneville all his life. He graduated from Analy High School, Santa Rosa Junior College, and attended San Francisco State University studying English Literature. After school he obtained his state water treatment & operator’s license and joined the family water utility business serving parts of the Guerneville area. Jesse worked as a water system operator for 28 years and retired from California Water Service.

Jesse loved sports and followed all the Bay Area teams faithfully. He loved music and quirky humorous writers. Jesse was always kind and generous to his family and friends. He would always extend a helping hand when anyone was in need. He was charming with a wry sense of humor.

Jesse was lovingly cared for by the staff at Five Palms for several years. His charm and humor earned him the nickname “President” of the dining room. Jesse was happy at his “2nd home and family.”

Jesse is survived by his sister Gay (Don) in Guerneville, niece Angela (Kyle) and grandnephew Owen in Phoenix, nephew Ben (Mia) in Chicago, cousins Bryan (Heidi) and Howard in San Rafael. A private family service will be held at a later date. His remains will be placed under his favorite giant Magnolia tree at the Guerneville homestead.

Walter Arnstein

Walter Arnstein

February 25, 1932 – March 16, 2024

Walter Arnstein passed away on March 16th  2024 with his wife and daughter by his side. Born Vlado Arnstein in 1932 in Yugoslavia (now Croatia), he was the middle child of Helen (Jelka) Ackerman and Leo (Lavoslav) Arnstein, alongside his older brother Paul (deceased) and younger sister Eva. Walt is survived by his wife Donna (nee Delaney), daughter Laura, son-in-law Matthew Carpenter, and three grandchildren Jackson, Caleb, and Caroline. He also leaves behind 5 nieces and nephews (David, Judy, Michael, Sydney and Andrew) and their families.

Walt was born into a Jewish family in pre-WWII Zagreb, Yugoslavia where his father owned a men’s clothing shop. After Germany occupied Yugoslavia in 1941, the family’s home and business were both confiscated. The family were given yellow stars to wear on their clothing and Walt was told not to return to school. With coins sewn into their clothing, the family made a harrowing escape to an Italian occupied area of the country, and were interned on the Italian occupied island of Korcula, and then in Bari where he and his brother witnessed one of the most disastrous bombing of allied ships of the war. In 1944, Walt’s family, including his grandmother, were chosen to be part of an isolated group of almost 1000 Jewish refugees to be interned in the United States. This historical event is commemorated in the book Haven and in a 2001 television movie also called Haven. The refugees were interned at Fort Ontario in Oswego NY, and through extensive advocacy, were eventually permitted to immigrate legally to the United States. Three remaining coins from this escape have been passed on to Walt’s grandchildren.

Following his graduation from high school in 1950 in Cleveland, Ohio, Walter served in the US Air Force (1952-1956) during in the Korean war, and became a naturalized US citizen. He then used the G.I. Bill to attend college and graduate school at Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve) in Ohio, eventually obtaining a PhD in Engineering in 1964.  He held 2 patents and spent his career working for various Silicon Valley companies specializing in disk drive development.

Walt moved to California and met his future wife Donna Delaney, who he married on January 1, 1974. Their daughter Laura arrived in 1975, and together, the family spent almost 20 years making a home in Saratoga, California. Walt loved the wine country and in 2000, he and Donna moved to Cloverdale, CA, where the Redwoods meet the Wine Country. He loved both. He enjoyed volunteering at the visitor’s center and taking Vintners classes during his retirement years. An avid photographer, he did some of his best work in the picturesque wine country.

Walt’s life was characterized by diverse passions and interests. He had a lifelong love for Italy, having been interned there during WWII, and later stationed there during the Korean War. He believed the Italians saved his life. He learned to speak fluent Italian and often returned there for visits throughout his lifetime.  A lover of language, he also learned to speak French in his 80s. He also was an aficionado of automatic watches and as an early internet adopter, he enjoyed getting to know other collectors through internet forums. He loved classical music and had a massive record (later CD) collection, and frequently attended the symphony. He was a lifelong learner who enjoyed educational programs for seniors through Elderhostel and Sonoma State University. He loved to meet other American immigrants and hear their stories. According to family lore, he taught himself to drive by simply reading a book, imagining each step, and driving away from the car dealer during his first ever attempt behind the wheel. He loved his family, good food and wine, film and photography, the outdoors, and travel.

At 92, Walt was one of very few Holocaust survivors left who were old enough during the war to remember his experiences. He arguably saw some of the worst of humanity during his childhood years, yet he chose optimism, curiosity and kindness throughout his life. Whether you knew him as Vlado, Walter, Walt, Dad or Papa, you know he was a man who truly lived his life to its fullest.

Hanny Cummings

Hanny Annette Cummings

(AKA – “Hanneke” or “Anna”)

March 21st, 1945 – February 15th, 2024

Born and raised in Enschede, the Netherlands by Albertus Johannes Evers and Pauline Heutink Evers, Hanneke Evers grew up amidst the aftermath of World War II, cherished as the middle child in a close-knit family of six siblings. Despite the challenges of the era, she fondly reminisced about her joyful childhood, enriched by the bond she shared with her family.

As a young woman, Hanneke excelled as a gymnast and later found her passion for fashion and design. Her journey into the textile industry in Enschede marked the beginning of an extraordinary chapter in her life. In 1964, fate intertwined her path with the legendary arrival of the Beatles in Amsterdam. This momentous event led to her involvement in producing unique Beatle clothing in the textile company she worked at, igniting her brief career in modeling and her lifelong love of clothing design.

In pursuit of adventure and love, Hanneke embarked on a transformative journey to England and eventually to the United States. It was in Laguna Beach, California, where she found her soulmate, James Howard Cummings II. Their love story blossomed against the scenic backdrop of Laguna Beach, culminating in marriage and the joyous arrival of their two children, Shane and Arlette.

Settling in the idyllic landscapes of the Sea Ranch, Hanneke embraced her artistic inclinations, capturing the beauty of her surroundings through her lens. Her photographs adorned the walls of the Sea Ranch Lodge for over a decade, a testament to her keen eye for nature’s splendor.

In Santa Rosa, California, Hanneke’s multifaceted talents continued to flourish. A skilled tennis player, accomplished clothing designer, and avid photographer, she found solace and inspiration in the bountiful landscapes of Sonoma County and Napa Valley. Her affinity for nature, particularly flowers, fueled her passion for photography, a pursuit she cherished throughout her life.

She loved the beautiful wineries and would always be willing to show them off to everyone. The enjoyment she got from this was not just wine tasting but finding the details in the art, the Architecture and of course the flowers that she would seek out and photograph. Halfway through her life, she changed her name to Anna where she was recognized by her Italian circle and subsequently by her friends and acquaintances as well.

Amidst her creative endeavors, Anna remained devoted to her family, nurturing them with love and care. Her home-cooked meals, crafted from the bounty of her organic gardens, became a cherished tradition shared with loved ones. Despite the distance from her native Netherlands, Anna maintained a deep connection with her extended family, bridging the gap through shared memories and cherished visits.

In her later years, Anna’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease posed challenges, yet her spirit endured, leaving an indelible mark on those who knew her. As she reunites with her beloved husband of 50 years in a place of eternal peace, Anna leaves behind a legacy of creativity, warmth, and unwavering love.

Anna is survived by her sisters Jettie and Liesbeth, her brother and sister-in-law Gerhard and Lies, her brother Bert, numerous nieces and nephews, her son and daughter-in-law Shane and Anne Cummings, her daughter Arlette Cummings and her cherished grand dogs Teddy, Howie, and Colt.

Hanneke Evers (middle)

The old market in Enschede, 1964

Christine “Tina” (Worley) Vassar

Christine “Tina” (Worley) Vassar

December 24, 1952 – March 17, 2024

Christine “Tina” (Worley) Vassar, born on December 24, 1952 to the late Vernon L. and Mae Yvonne (Carniglia) Worley at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, passed away peacefully in her home on March 17, 2024 after courageously fighting an aggressive one-year battle with cancer. She was 71.

Tina attended St. Rose Catholic School from Kindergarten through 8th grade and then went on to Santa Rosa High School, graduating in 1971. In 1975 she started her 40+ year career at Exchange Bank. She loved her job and co-workers, who became lifelong friends. Tina has always been a huge Elvis fan – one of her most exciting memories was seeing him in concert at Sahara Tahoe in 1976.  While working at the bank she met Fred in 1980. They were married in 1982 and had their first child, Vanessa Leigh, in 1983. Their second child, Alexander Dane, followed in 1988. Tina’s family was the center of her life. She was a super-mom, working full time and shuttling both of her children to sports and after school activities. She enjoyed spending time with her siblings and their families, often doing large family get-togethers for various celebrations and holidays. Among her favorite vacation spots were Disneyland, Sayulita and Hawaii. She was at her happiest with a book, a beach and a glass of champagne.

Tina was a magnetic energy with an upbeat spirit and endless enthusiasm. She lit up a room with her excitement and joy for life. Her exuberance was unmatched. She was the person to call if you wanted to share exciting news, have a shoulder to cry on, or get some sage advice. She had a great sense of humor and always had those around her laughing. A firecracker until the very end, she was also extremely caring and loving and the best Wife, Mom and Gigi.

She is survived by her husband, Fred Vassar, her daughter Vanessa (Jake) Anderson, her son Alex Vassar, her grandson Maximus Anderson, her siblings Deborah McCracken, Rebecca Johnson, Daniel Worley, and Jennifer (Gary) Garrisi, aunt Nancy Carniglia, sister-in-laws Carol Spencer and Maxine Vassar, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Tina’s Celebration of Life will be held at Iron & Vine Restaurant at the Bennett Valley Golf Course in Santa Rosa on Saturday, April 20, 2024, from 11am to 2pm. Please email your favorite stories, pictures, songs and memories to celebrate.tinavassar@gmail.com

Tina will be deeply missed by her family and friends, but her memory will continue to live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.

Consuelo Tapia

June 29, 1927 – January 30, 2024

Consuelo Tapia died peacefully on January 30, 2024, from natural causes, she was 96. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. For years Consuelo traveled every summer to Mexico in their 1957 Ford Chevy pickup, to where her mom lived, finally making Santa Rosa her permanent home but always remembering her culture. She was proud to become a US Citizen at 65 and was determined to give her children an opportunity for a better life and she succeeded.

Consuelo was born in Tumbiscatio, Michoacán and came to Sonoma County while still in her teens. She picked apples, cherries, prunes, and grapes, then worked in Sebastopol at the Cannery, eventually working, and retiring from SR Memorial Hospital as a Hospital Housekeeper.

She spent her golden years hiking with Dad and the family, hunting for Clearlake diamonds and other treasures. She was famous for her authentic Mexican cooking, especially albondigas , homemake tortillas, and rice pudding. She loved gardening, her favorite flower was the red rose. She liked needle point and often made beautiful, embroidered pillows and tablecloths for family and friends . She enjoyed watching westerns, I Love Lucy, and tackling word puzzles.

She was predeceased by her husband Alvaro Tapia Sr., sons Charles(Betty);  JoseLuis; Alvaro Jr.(Chuya). She is survived by her loving children: Joe Sr.; Malinda; Jane (Marvin predeceased); Wanda (Richard); Albert; Jessie (Wayne predeceased); Larry; Angela (Will) and over twenty-two grandchildren and over twenty great-grandchildren. She also leaves behind many nieces and nephews.

We would like to thank Consuelo’s caregivers at Park View Post Acute, especially Darinel, & Saul J., for all their wonderful care.

Services will be held at Eggen and Lance Mortuary at 10:30am on Wed. Feb. 14, 2024, with services beginning at 11am. A Rosary will be held at the Eggen & Lance Chapel on Feb.13 between 4-8pm. Address: 1540 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, CA  95401

The family would like to invite all friends and acquaintances who knew Consuelo to join us at a Celebration of Life at Brookwood Social Club, email for details at ctapia1927@gmail.com

Francine L. Staggs

Francine L. Staggs

March 25, 1938 – January 28, 2024

With profound sadness we announce the passing of Francine L. Staggs, she passed in her sleep on January 28, 2024.  Beloved wife of Boydston D. Staggs and loving mother of Joanne Rich and Barbara Staggs Naranjo (and anyone else that came into her life needing a mother’s love, including her younger siblings, Virginia Carlson (dec.) and William Ellor, when she lost her mother at the tender age of 13.). Francine was born in Spokane, WA on March 25, 1938. Her family moved around a lot in the years after losing her mother, finally settling in Santa Rosa CA where she met the love of her life. They married at the young ages of 19 and 20 and recently celebrated 65 years of marriage.

She leaves behind a wonderfully dysfunctional family that she was always proud of. In addition to her Husband and daughters, she leaves behind 2 son-in-laws: Kenneth Rich and Francisco Naranjo, 3 grandchildren: Nicole Smith, Eric Naranjo and Isaiah Rich, grand-son-in law Eugene Smith, 3 great-grandchildren: Isabella, Timothy and Noah Smith and various nieces and nephews.

She did not have an easy life but you would have never known it. Even while battling Dementia she was comically sarcastic, snarky and quick witted, you never knew what was gonna come out of her mouth. She had a green thumb and was very proud of her flower and vegetable gardens, even though the last couple of years was hard for her to do, she was also an expert at resurrecting plants we thought for sure we had killed.  She insisted on and loved our rowdy family gatherings and they will not be the same without her. She was the biggest hearted, fiercest and strongest woman we’ve ever known despite her petite size. There are no words to express how much she will be missed by anyone and everyone who knew her.