Gone but not Forgotten!

This page is to honor members who have passed on.



Smagllck, DDS, Paul R. Died after a courageous battle wth cancer, surrounded by the love and warmth of his family and friends, on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at the age of 61. Beloved husband of Dorothy (nee Keller) for 38 years. Proud father of Katie Urbanek (Mark Van Wolvebere), Mice (Austin Stuckert, MD) Smaglick, MD and Andy Smaglick. Loving grandpa of John Urbanek and Fritz Urbanek. Son of Paul W. and Suzanne Smagfick. Brother of Mary Smaglick, Richard Smaglick and Julie (Tim MD) Carmody, MD. Dear brother-in-law of Fred (Judie McCoy) Keller. Also fondly remembered by nieces and nephews, Lori (Jason Weiner) Keller and Josef Weiner, Chris Keller, Rosemary SmagDck, Torn, John, Joseph, AllBon, Matthew, James, and David Carmody, special friends, Jerry and Ginny Kohimartn, and many other relatives and friends. Paul provided exceptional dental care for over 35 years to the people of Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin at his downtown office. As evidence of hls work, Paul was often mentioned h the Milwaukee Magazine as one of the city's top dentists. Teaching and continuing education were an important part of Paurs professional experience. He served in the Department of Restorative Sciences at Marquette University School of Dentistry as a clinical adjunct associate professor and was a long standing member of several dental study clubs and professional organizations. In his free time, Paul enjoyed gardening and travel with his family. He loved classical music, particularly works by Mozart. He also had a passion for military vehicles and took great pride in the restoration of his 1970 M35A2.


With sadness we must report the passing of Dann Spear, Museum of the  Forgotten Warriors,  Founder, Director and Curator on February 22nd , 2018

A memorial is planned to celebrate Spear’s life. Roberta said the theme will be “no regrets.”

Saturday March 17 at 10am 
Yuba College theater
North Beale Road Marysville 
Food and visiting to follow at the Museum 

 
Roberta said anyone interested in helping the family can donate to the Museum of the Forgotten Warriors, something her husband would’ve wanted.

 FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE



He was the curator of the Museum of the Forgotten Warriors!
 Friends mourn the death of Dann Spear
By Jake Abbott /jabbott@appealdemocrat.com
It wasn’t just the veterans community that loved and admired Dann Spear, it was anyone who had the chance to spend a few minutes learning from him, said friends.
He was a community leader, collector of history, a professional cowboy and decorated roper, a long-time Sutter County employee, and a storyteller who was always looking out for the well-being of others, something those closest to him will remember him by.
And he founded, built up and took care of the Museum of The Forgotten Warriors.
Spear, 63, died unexpectedly Thursday. He is survived by his wife, Roberta, sons Caron and Brandon, and daughters-in-law Erin and Cotie.
Roberta Spear said her late husband could best be described as “multi-faceted.”
“My philosophy of life with Dann, after 43 years of marriage, is this: It was frequently annoying, but never boring,” she said. “He lived life to the fullest. I don’t think there was anyone that met Dann that didn’t like him.”
Roberta said her husband loved listening to people’s stories, no matter their rank or where they came from. Spear felt everyone had a story to tell and that those stories were important, she said.
“He was an amazing dad to us and all my friends,” Carson Spear said. “He taught us all how to rope; he was at every sporting event and promotion ceremony; he was there when I got back from Iraq. It’s been awesome to see such an amazing outpouring of support from the community.”
Curator for the forgotten
Though he was many things, Spear was known by most for being the founder, director and curator of the Museum of the Forgotten Warriors – something he started over three decades ago out of a small room on his family’s property that has now turned into something much more.
“We never set out to have this giant thing, but it took on a life of its own as the years went by,” Roberta said.
Many that have walked through the halls of the museum and gazed at its complete collection of war memorabilia consider it the Yuba-Sutter area’s “best kept secret.”
Don Schrader, a long-time friend and a board member of the museum, said Spear helped him and countless other veterans feel appreciated for their service and gave them a sort of home away from home when they needed it the most.
“He was just a special guy,” Schrader said. “He never served in the military himself, but he built this museum to honor veterans. I heard him say it thousands of times, ‘the museum is not about war, it’s about people,’ and that’s what it truly is.”
Another one of the museum’s board members, Tony Pinto, who has helped with the museum every step of the way, said Spear had been an avid memorabilia collector since he was about 10 years old.
“He had some friends go to Vietnam, so he started the museum as a way to say ‘thank you’ to them. It has continued to grow over the years to what it is now,” Pinto said.
Pinto, who was given the nickname “Tony man” by Spear, said his friend was a fantastic man who liked to make people laugh. He said Spear was a “saint” who would lift his spirits whenever he was down and would frequently give Pinto the keys to the museum when he needed to get away and reflect.
“He was always there with open arms and to give you a ‘thank you for your service,’” Pinto said. “He would always like to sit around with veterans and listen to their stories. For me, he was always someone I knew I could talk to.”
Schrader said Spear had a knowledge about war and history that is hard to find. Spear knew every “nook and cranny” of his museum, he said, and had stories about each piece.
But board members don’t plan on letting the history Spear collected over the years fade away.
“It’s absolutely critical that Dann’s legacy lives on, and it will,” Schrader said. “We will carry on what he started.”
Celebration of life
A memorial is planned to celebrate Spear’s life. Roberta said the theme will be “no regrets.”
A service will be at 10 a.m. March 17 at the Adventure Church of Yuba City – 1100 Garden Highway – followed by a gathering for food and stories at the Museum of the Forgotten Warriors – 5865 A Rd., Marysville.
Roberta said anyone interested in helping the family can donate to the Museum of the Forgotten Warriors, something her husband would’ve wanted.
For more information, go to  http://www.museumoftheforgottenwarriors.org/

Nate Chute/Appeal-Democrat

Dann Spear talks about a display of dog tags representing each American service members who lost their life in Afghanistan and Iraq at the Museum of the Forgotten Warriors on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011.
Spear’s eternal message to Vietnam veterans
Dann Spear put up a plaque the day the Museum of the Forgotten Warriors opened. Here is what it says:
Honoring Vietnam veterans
The dispute over whether the war was right or wrong, and whether it was winnable is not ours to answer. With this plaque and the raising of the American flag today, we are honoring all Vietnam veterans who, during such troubled times, gave so unselfishly. The Museum of the Forgotten Warriors is dedicated to you, the veterans, in tribute of your service to this country. Lest you not be forgotten. I, along, with the citizens of the United States, want to thank you one and all.
Dann Spear
Curator of the Forgotten Warriors
Jan. 5, 1985


John Essary 3.jpg
John Essary.jpg
John Essary of Bend Oregon was born on July 6, 1947 and passed away on February 22, 2018. John resided in Yuba City, Ca when he restored his M-38A1 Jeep back to U.S. Navy service markings.
07%20RUFFIN-IT%202012.jpg
He did an off the frame restoration of his jeep that he spent every minute making it a perfect veteran of the U.S. Navy as he also served in the Navy. As a Navy veteran, he was a strong supporter of the Northern Recon Group and the hobby. He later moved to Bend Oregon. John enjoyed driving his Jeep and telling his stories of his service. He really enjoyed his time on Ruff-N-It with the guys and displaying it for other veterans to enjoy.






The Burke Family Remembers:
 
Owen Fredericks
October 31, 1923 - August 27, 2015



Joseph K. Langdell
1914-2015


Lieutenant Commander Retired, Joe Langdell is very well known in the Yuba and Sutter Counties. Floyd Jones can be very proud that he drove Joe in the Veterans Day Parades in Marysville.

 
Each year at the Marysville Veterans Day Parade the Northern Recon Group would be requested a special jeep to give a ride for Joe. One year Joe was given the option of riding in a local dealer’s new car and he replied hell no he wanted to ride in a World War II jeep.
Lieutenant Commander, you will be remembered each year on Veterans Day in Marysville.


Norman A. Palmer



Norman A. Palmer, 98 passed away June 20, 2014 at The Courtyard in Yuba City, CA. His wife Blanche Palmer passed away January 20, 2013.
Norman was born and raised in Arboga, CA on February 15, 1916. He went to school in Arboga and then rode the first Yuba County Bus to Marysville High School. Blanche and Norman met at her work at the Farm Land Investment Company and were married in 1942. Three months later he was drafted into the Army and deployed to the Pacific where he was assigned to the 32nd Infantry Division. He spent three years in the Pacific and made numerous amphibious bench landings. He knew the Museum of Forgotten Warriors LCVP very well!
Norman each year would make sure and contact the Northern Recon Group before the Marysville Veterans Day Parade. He wanted to make sure and get a ride in a World War II jeep. Each year he had his son, Dale Palmer, also a combat veteran of Vietnam and Gulf War drive the jeep. Each year he would insist the top be lowered and the windshield be put down. Even if it looked like rain he would insist the jeep not have a top or windshield.
Finally we asked him why… Norm explained that he was in a field artillery unit, with mortars on one of the islands that had no roads. The jeep had to be dismantled and hand carried over the mountain by local tribe members and his unit personnel. When they reassembled the jeep they had not remembered the windshield. As First Sergeant, he put many miles on that same jeep and wanted to remember that great vehicle while he rode in the parade.   
Blanche worked in the personnel office at Camp Beale, while he was away. He returned home three years later in 1945, established, and began work in his very successful family business called Palmer’s Auto Repair in Marysville, CA.
Norm you will be missed but not forgotten at future Veterans Day Parades in Marysville!


L. W. “Red” Murphy


L. W. “Red” Murphy, 90 of Yuba City, passed away on May 08, 2014. He died peacefully in his sleep, of natural causes. At the time of this passing, all of his closest family members were in attendance at his bedside.
Red was born on June 21, 1923- the longest day of the year (especially for his mother) in Crosby, N.D. While still a young boy, his family moved to Scobey, MT where he grew into a tough, strapping young man. He graduated High School in 1941.
Following his graduation, Red volunteered for the war effort and became a Signalman in the Armed Guard of the United States Navy. He served meritoriously in various combat theaters during World War II and was honorably discharged on Christmas Day, 1945. Red Murphy settled down in a little town called Yuba City which he passed through a few times while in the service. Yuba City became the focus and center point of his entire life.


After the war he took up barbering, found the love of his life, started a successful barber and beauty supply business, became active in the Catholic Church, and comfortably settled into what would became a full, bountiful, and complete life. In 1947, Red married Vera, who would be his best friend, loving wife and confident for the next 65 years.

Becky and I were introduced to Red at the Marysville Veterans Day Parade in 2009. This was his first parade and he would like a ride. Red was dressed in his original WWII Signalman's uniform
and it fit him well. We had the Chaplain's jeep that year and Red's first question was "If it's the Chaplain jeep....can I still cuss"? While waiting for the parade to start Red passed the time telling us stories of his time in the Navy, things like you always wore boots so you could hide a bottle inside and sneak it aboard ship. Once the parade started Red was amazed at how many people had turned out to honor the Veterans. As I said, he had never been in a parade and was overcome by the shouts of "THANK YOU" coming from the crowd.

The following year we were once again waiting for the parade to start when Red came walking up to the jeep. He had a hard time finding us and had to ask several persons where the Chaplain
jeep was. We were honored that Red wanted to ride with us again. We visited Red and Vera at his home, were invited out to lunch at his favorite eatery and given a tour of the business that bore his name. We will miss you Red.

Bill and Becky Campbell 
and was run by his daughter.

Hattie Stone


Smart, determined, endearing and potently independent — Hattie Stone was a retired teacher and a World War II veteran proud to have worn the uniform and, 70 years later, to still fit nicely into it.
One of Sonoma County’s most visible and best known veterans and advocates of honorable treatment of ex-servicemembers who struggle, Stone died Monday at home in Santa Rosa. She was 95.
“Her death makes a big hole in the veterans community here,” said friend Dave Richey, who, like Stone, served in the Navy, though decades later.
For years, Stone appeared in parades in her own 1944 military jeep. She was past commander and a life member of Santa Rosa’s Theodore Roosevelt Post 21 of the American Legion, a charter member of Michael Ottolini AMVETS Post 40 and a benefactor and member of the Pacific Coast Air Museum.
PCAM leader Lynn Hunt felt fortunate during the air show last August to walk into the VIP tent and spot an empty chair next to Stone’s.
“It was kind of the last time I had to be around her and see that glow,” Hunt said. “She just had that glow about her.”
Born Hattie Louisa May in Oklahoma City in 1918, she grew up Hutchinson, Kan. At 25 in 1943, she’d begun a career as a teacher but put it on hold to join the Navy WAVES, Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. She went to work at the Naval Communications Center in Hutchinson and soon was promoted to supervisor.
While in Hutchinson she fell in love with a musician and fellow Navy recruit named Vernon Browne. They married in 1944.
Following the war, they settled in San Bruno. Hattie pursued a doctorate in education at Stanford but stopped short of a dissertation. Her daughter, Verna Larson, said she taught public school and in the 1960s became Dean of Girls and Assistant Vice Principal at the then-new El Camino High School.
Larson’s parents divorced and her mother later met and married Robert Stone, then an Air Force officer. As a civilian, he took work that brought him and his wife to Santa Rosa in the mid-1960s.
They’d lived for decades in the country on Mark West Springs Road when Robert Stone died in 1992. It was as a widow that Hattie Stone immersed herself in endeavors that involve and serve military vets.
She also loved playing the French horn in the New Horizons Concert Band.
And she couldn’t spend enough time with 3-year-old great-grandson Nakoa Throop, son of her granddaughter, Delane Larson of Santa Rosa.
“She adored him. He was just all there was,” Verna Larson said.
Stone’s caregiver the past 20 months, Karla La Rosa, saw her through five recent strokes and indulged her desire to pile into the car for a meal out or a drive.
“They nicknamed us Thelma and Louise because we were always on the go,” La Rosa said.
Plans for a memorial service aren’t yet in place.


Col. Nicoll F. Galbraith



Colonel Nicoll F. Galbraith, M. D.
July 13, 1932 - Apr 4, 2012

Colonel Nicoll F. Galbraith, M. D. passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family. He was 79 years of age.
He considered it an honor and privilege to serve this community as a physician for many years. He was honored to serve in the military as a physician also.
He leaves behind his three children Davis, Robert and Susan.
He will be buried with full military honors at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to Franklin and Downs Funeral Homes. Services will be private.


“To All,
 
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated and helped with the Spooner Fall Get-Togethers. We had ten great, safe and fun filled years of driving, swimming and flying historic military vehicles and airplanes. Many friendships that will last a lifetime have come out of these events.
 
They would not have been possible without all of the help from the MVPG of Spooner, the Red Arrow, the Red Ball group from Minnesota and the AMVET Post 190 from Spooner. Also, thank you for your help to the many friends close and far away.
 
These events were probably the least advertised but most fun event of the year for many people. Where else could you ride in a Sherman tank, swim in an LVT, DUKW, GPA, Gaz, Weasel, Trailer, or Gamma Goat and then possibly fly in a Vintage Warbird, all for twenty bucks! Even Disney can’t top that!
 
But, all the good things must come to an end, so, thanks for the memories and thanks for the friendships.”
KEVIN KRONLUND
 
Kevin C. Kronlund, a resident of Spooner, Wisconsin died February 8, 2012 (1957-2012) after a tragic accident. Kevin was a cranberry grower and very active community member offering his time to a number of organizations. He was a proud and very active member of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association which he took pride in and served on the Board of Directors. Kevin Kronlund was truly an inspiration to many.






Hill H. Luz
Hill passed peacefully from this life on December 30, 2000. Born on May 16, 1939 in Rio De Janiero Brazil, Hill’s proudest moment was when he became an American citizen in 1966. His happiest times were spent with his wife of nearly 38 years, Sherry, their two children, and five grandchildren.
A graduate of California State Polytechnic University- Pomona in 1966, Hill worked for several years in the seed trade before founding Bonanza Seeds International, Inc. in Yuba City. A long-time member of the American Seed Trade Association and the International Seed Federation, Hill began easing into retirement in 1999.
While semi-retired Hill pursued his passion for the American military through his collection of antique military vehicles and jeeps that were frequently seen in local parades. Hill's passion and professionalism reinvigorated the Northern Recon Group into getting members to use their vehicles. Passion soon became a form of “guilt trip” or “peer pressure” for some members of the NRG. He even made the comment to one member that he had heard all about the vehicle collection the member owned but had never seen one at an event. Thanks to Hill that member is actively using and enjoying his vehicles.
Hill was a very strong member of the Northern Recon Group. He could be referred as the ‘spark plug” of the group. Hill was a serious supporter of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association and attended numerous conventions. He also became the area vice president of the California chapter of the MVPA. At the age of 60, Hill proved that you are never too old to follow your dream when he became active in the California State Military Reserve holding the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2.
Hill faced his greatest challenge- cancer. He fought a valiant battle against the cancer, but without a cure it was a battle he could not win. A battle Hill would be so very proud of are the accomplishments of the Northern Recon Group. Hill’s family still display his vehicles at local events. All of his passion will not be forgotten. You are truly missed. Thank you, Hill for your dedication, passion, and professionalism that you brought to the Northern Recon Group.  






  
George Richard Schaefer lost his battle to cancer on 08 January 2016. He was born 22 February 1934, in San Rafael, California. He is preceded in death by his wife Marjorie Ruth in 2010. George Schaefer was a longtime member of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) and the Northern Recon Group (NRG). He supported numerous military vehicle events in California even after they moved to Idaho. George and Margie even supported a trip to Europe with their 1941 Dodge Ambulance.
 
George first served in the United States Navy from 18 June 1952, to 18 June 1956, when he was honorably discharged. While in the Navy, he served as a ship boiler operator, graciously known as “Snipe”. He was a plank owner on the USS Mitscher DL-2.
 
 
Upon discharge from the Navy, George worked as a fireman and in road construction in Northern California. He went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He retired in 2000, he and wife Marjorie moved to North Idaho in 2006. George enjoyed hunting and was an avid collector of World War II vintage military vehicles and historic firearms. His perfectly restored 1941 Dodge Ambulance and 1941 Jeep were in many parades in Petaluma, California and then in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
 
George and Margie would make the long two or three day trip back to California in their motorhome to Camp Gridley and other events. While at Camp Gridley he would volunteer to help with event organizing and was very well known. George again took on another nickname in the NRG and was graciously known as “Schultz” from the TV series Hogan’s Heroes.
 
George spoke with pleasure about attending the 60th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France, where he and wife Marjorie were able to drive the ambulance on Omaha Beach. A memorial was held for George at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 23 January 2016, at the Hayden Lake Friends Church, Hayden, Idaho.
 
Marjorie Ruth Schaefer was born in Lynn Massachusetts on 26 November 1927, and passed away on 12 September 2010. Margie met the love of her life, George, and married him in 1955. She had six children, Edward, Robert, Roxanne, Paul, George Jr., and David; 20 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren, as well as a myriad of nieces and nephews.
 
She and George were generous to a fault, and were always ready to help friends and relatives in need, and sometimes friends of friends. They spent much time at functions of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, which they greatly enjoyed. George restored a 1941 Willys Jeep (as well as several other WW II-era military vehicles) and dedicated it to the memory of Margie’s brother “Tiny”, who was a medic during WW II, and was killed during the D-Day Invasion at Normandy while attending to wounded men on the battlefield. The Jeep had speakers in the front grill that played patriotic music and other sound effects. The Jeep also had a replica machine gun that used propane to simulate firing and at a local church in Yuba City, California always looked forward to George firing it during a Memorial Day presentation each year. Yes, they even drove back from Idaho to support the veterans and the church each year.
 
Margie and George took their restored 1941 Dodge Ambulance to the actual Omaha Beach in Normandy France on the 60th Anniversary of D-Day. They also entered their vehicles in numerous parades in California and Idaho. A memorial service was held at the Hayden Lake Friends Church, Hayden, Idaho on September 19, 2010.
 
Both George and Margie are gone but not forgotten. Thank you both for making this hobby more fun and enjoyable for all.


Jack Tomlin
Jack Tomlin passed away Sunday, July 25, 2010 (1940-2010) after a long and valiant fight against cancer. Jack was a United States Marine and was dedicated to the Corps all of his life. He moved to Toole, Utah in his search for open space and freedoms. From his early youth Jack was a collector of World War II military paraphernalia. Jack was an avid collector of military vehicles and military arms. His collection of military vehicles was one of the finest in the country. Jack restored a number of rare military vehicles including a WWII DUKW amphibious vehicle (a duck). Jack drove the DUKW to California to Camp Patterson in 1984, then shipped it to England, and sailed it across the English Channel to France in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy (D-Day). He also drove this vehicle throughout France and other various countries. Jack also donated much of his time and talent to the community. He often showed his collection of vehicles in local parades, to school students, and various veteran celebrations and activities all over the country. Jack had a quick wit and colorful sense of humor.


Harold "Hal" L. Simpson of Yuba City died July 19, 2006.  Born in Evansville, Indiana he was a Yuba Sutter resident for 39 years. He retired as a major in the United States Air Force after 20 years serving during the Vietnam War and Cuban Missile Crisis, and later retired as owner and operator of AAA Printing in Yuba City and Simpson Business Forms after 25 years. He was a member of the Grace Baptist Church and Enterprise Lodge No. 70 and the Masonic Lodge.  He was a life member of the Daedalians Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2563, Beale Air Force Base, and Scottish Rite.
In addition, he was  a past chairman and member of the Board of Trustees at Sutter Cemetery; past president and member of the Board of Sutter County Taxpayers and the Central Valley Sacramento Shrine Club; and served on the Sutter County grand jury. A 1955 graduate of the Indiana University in Indiana, he received a bachelor's of degree in business. He was a strong supporter of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association and Northern Recon Group.


Harold Corn
Harold Corn

Harold Corn proudly served in the United States Army during World War II. Harold then became a school teacher in the Oroville area and then a school administrator/Superintendent. Many students will never forget Harold.

Harold purchased his WWII jeep and then restored it back to the unit markings in which he served during the war. Numerous individuals were challenged by Harold to race his jeep up the hill of the Oroville Dam. Many did not take him up on losing their pink slip as he really had confidence in his jeep. His confidence led many to refer to Harold as "Col Corn" and the name stuck.

Col Corn stated he would never put a top up on his jeep! He never did. We even have 8 mm video proof of him driving six or more hours down highway 5 on his way to the Patterson meet and on his way home from Patterson in heavy rain. His manual wipers were operated by his father-in-law, Charley Helzer. Harold loved to be the convoy commander in his jeep leading all the vehicles safely to our designations and back home. There are some pictures of Col Corn and his vehicles on the NRG Web Site under NRG History that will make you smile.

Harold was always positive and got others to smile! He really enjoyed the Northern Recon Group and inspired others to enjoy the hobby. He served the California Chapter of the Military Vehicle Collector's Club (now known as Military Vehicle Preservation Association- MVPA) as the Northern California Vice President and President of the California Chapter.

Col Corn would be very proud to know that his jeep is still in operation in the Northern Recon Group.


Bob Thelander
Bob Thelander

June 20, 1926 - June 3, 1992
 
Bob Thelander is known in the Northern Recon Group as the “father of the NRG” as he was the first individual to collect and restore military vehicles in Oroville, CA.  Bob proudly served in the United States Army in World War II and served most of his time in the Philippines.  It is there he gained a tremendous respect and admiration for military vehicles.  His first military vehicle restoration was a 1945 Ford jeep in 1975, which is still used today.
 
Bob was a role model for many members in our club.  He first became a member of the Military Vehicle Collectors Club (now known as Military Vehicle Preservation Association) in 1979.  Bob served as the newsletter editor of the California Chapter of the Military Vehicle Collectors Club in 1986 and 1987.  He then became president of the California Chapter of the Military Vehicle Collectors Club in 1989.
 
Bob’s hobby and passion was restoring cars and military vehicles.  He had a very large collection of military vehicles and specialty cars.  His professionally restored military vehicles included a 1940 Dodge ton pickup, T-16 universal carrier, weapons carrier, M-16 halftrack, Indian motorcycle and a 1943 ton Dodge ambulance that was completed in 1991.  Today the ambulance is on display at the Tony Harrah’s Museum in Sparks Nevada.


Mike Kelly
Mike Kelley

Michael James Kelley Sr. was born in Wheaton, Kansas on 20 June 1922. Mike Kelley passed away in Chico, California 07 December 2003. Services were conducted at the Oroville Funeral Home with the VFW Honor Guard officiating on 15 December 2003.
 
Mike Kelley served with the United States Navy in the Pacific Theater on the USS Cecil (APA-96) in World War II. The USS Cecil was a Bayfield-Class Attack Transport Ship with landing craft on board (12 LCVP, 4 LCM, and 3 LCP) while transporting troops and supplies in the Pacific. The USS Cecil first launched in 1943 and then commissioned on 15 September 1944. After the war the ship was decommission in 1946 and served commercially until being scrapped in October 1974.


Mike Kelley was very proud of his military service. When Mike became a member of the Northern Recon Group in Oroville, California he began restoring his WWII jeep in Navy colors. In the early 1980's, Mike proudly painted his ship's name, USS Cecil and APA-96 on his jeep. Some members gave him flak about having a Navy jeep around so many Army jeeps so he even wore his Navy uniforms when on display.


There are some members that recall Mike being called "Horse Apples" at the Patterson meet. Horse Apples and Harold Corn attended many Northern California events and MVPA conventions together. Together they made a great team! Mike's jeep is still displayed at local events by his family.



Jim Causey

Back in about July of 1979, I first met Jim. He was on a road trip with Bob Harris and Randy Canova to pick up a couple of GPA’s here in Oregon. I think the GPA’s ended up at Lloyd White’s place up by Portland.
About a year later, I met Jim again at the Harrah’s auto swap meet in either Reno, NV or Lake Tahoe. We talked and talked about military vehicles. Jim was into Dodges then and I had a Willy’s MB and needed some parts for it. Jim invited me over to his house and the next day my wife and I met him there in Truckee, CA.
In those days, if someone was working on a “project” it was not uncommon for someone else to help him along with advice, parts, etc. I needed a speedometer and some other parts for the Willy’s and Jim gave them to me free. Jim would not take any money for them and related that maybe someday I would have something he needed.
Years had gone by and I would see Jim and his family at the Patterson, CA meets. One day I was able to finally return Jim’s favors and give him some parts for a Dodge project he needed to complete it. At this time I had also got the Dodge fever and had some extra parts that I really didn’t need for my Dodge project.
Later in time and in many of our moves around the state, Jim was there for us, helping to move vehicles to our new destination. Jim was always available for help, advice or just a friend. I valued his friendship over the last 30 plus years and never forgot the help he gave me from the start of this hobby so many years ago.
Jim was a true gentleman of the old school and his passing has left a large hole in this hobby. Thank you for all you have done to improve the hobby and your friendship for all these years which has never wavered! You are and will be missed by many of us! Rest in Peace Jim and it has been a pleasure to know you and your family.
Frank Steele

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