Betty Jane Brent Besaw Abrams
Harold H. Gartner III
Betty Jane Brent Besaw Abrams
Betty was born July 14, 1917 in Oakland, Calif., to Roy G. Brent, Sr., and Marguerite E. Brent. She passed away Nov. 30, 2009 at her longtime home in Sparks, Nev.
Betty led an adventuresome life from an early age. As an infant via train to Keddie, Calif., then on to Westwood in a motorized stage with roll up canvas windows. The journey took them past the site that was later dammed to create Lake Almanor.
Mother and daughter were greeted in Westwood by Betty’s father, who had gone ahead to secure a job with Red River Lumber Company. At that time the town consisted of little more than a sawmill, the “Big Store” (the forerunner of today’s indoor malls), and other necessary services. The town was laid out, and housing being erected. Since demand greatly exceeded supply, the little family lived in a tent with wooden walls the first winter. A wood stove provided heat and cooking.
Betty grew up with the total freedom the little community of Westwood afforded. She fondly recalled riding with her father down a steep mountain in Modoc County on a horse drawn wagon with logs pulled behind to slow their decent. In later years she hunted with her father, and even piloted a small airplane on a short flight over the town.
Her school years were cut short when she married the love of her life, Harold Besaw in 1934. The couple had two children, JoAnn and Richard (Dick). In 1941 they moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. A divorce followed. Betty later wed Ted Johnson, and bore a son Lonnie. That marriage too was ill-fated. A third marriage to Woody Harrington bought daughter Sharon into the world, but it too failed.
Having lived in numerous places throughout the west coast, Betty returned to the Reno, Nev., area in 1950. While working to support her family she completed her education, and went on to achieve a Master’s degree in psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. During this period she married Sol Abrams, a union that lasted until his death.
Betty secured a position with the Nevada Institute of Mental Health. She was a dedicated patient’s advocate, and filled a number of positions in both mental health and substance abuse until her retirement in 1982.
On the occasion of their 50th anniversary, Betty and her first love, Harold, re-united. Their joyous reunion resulted in trips to Alaska, Baja California, and other long awaited destinations. Harold died in 1993. She filled the void with worldwide travels including trips to Europe, Australia, the Galopagos Islands, Mexico and Alaska with longtime friend Ann Hartwick.
Following an extended illness, Betty went to live with her daughter JoAnn Nichols in Fernley, Nev., until her recent return to the Reno area.
Betty was a long time member of the Methodist Church, and was instrumental in preventing the demolition of the little church in downtown Reno. She was active in a number of service and political groups, serving as a delegate to Washington D.C, New York, N.Y., and Baltimore, Md. She also served as President of the Nevada Business and Professional Women’s Club.
She is survived by daughters JoAnn Nichols, of Fernley, Nev., and Sharon Patterson, of Sparks, Nev.; son Richard Besaw, of Reno, Nev.; sister Margie Kirby, of Wenden, Ariz.; brother Roy Brent, Jr., of Westwood, Calif.; sister Eve DeVeir, of Janesville, Calif.; 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, six great-great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; son Lonnie Johnson; brother Robert Brent; and late husbands.
Services will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the Methodist Church in Sparks, Nev. Graveside services will be held at the Westwood Cemetery at a later date.
Angelo DiMaggio, a resident of Lake Almanor, Calif., passed away Nov. 28, 2009 at the age of 71. He was born July 23, 1938 to the late Anthony and Mary DiMaggio in San Francisco, Calif. He graduated from Sacred Heart High School and later served eight years in the Unites States Navy. In 2001 after 48 years of hunting, fishing and camping in Plumas County, Angelo and his wife Bonnie retired in Lake Almanor. Angelo enjoyed hunting, fishing, abalone diving, dancing with his wife, telling stories and spending time with his friends and family.
He is survived by his wife Bonnie, sons Michael and his wife Mary Kay; grandchildren Jake and Molly; his son Scott and his wife Jessica; brother Earl, his wife Connie and son Jared; and brother Tony, his wife Alice and daughter Jody.
A celebration of Angelo’s life will be held at St. Peter and St. Paul Catholic Church in Rocklin, Calif., at 11 a.m., on Friday Dec. 11, 2009. In lieu of flowers donations can be sent to Susan G. Koman for the Cure or Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.
Harold H. Gartner III
Harold Henry Gartner III, who was also known to his close friends and loved ones as Skip or Hal, passed away on Nov. 20, 2009. He was 61. Hal died doing one of the things that he loved best, flying his Cessna 182. He lived large and embraced life with adventure, love, passion, humor, kindness and a gentleness that will never be forgotten. Missing his intelligence, generosity and fierce love of those who he identified as “his”, will leave a huge hole in each of our lives.
Hal was born on June 23, 1948, in Los Angeles County and resided in southern California until his relocation to Lassen County in 2005. A practicing attorney during all of his professional life, he was awarded the degree of Juris Doctor through Loyola University, School of Law, from which he graduated Cum Laude.
Hal earned an outstanding and honorable reputation as an attorney, working in his early career with the firm of Hitt, Murray and Caffray from 1971 to 1972, and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office from 1972 to 1973. In late 1973, he entered the field of medical malpractice defense, as an associate and later as the managing senior partner with Patterson, Ritner, Lockwood, Gartner and Jurich, where he remained until 2005.
Hal’s legal expertise in the field was respected and valued by his peers, his colleagues, and by the judges before whom he appeared. Moreover, his physician clients respected and trusted both his legal acumen and his knowledge of the field and the practice of medicine. They were comfortable in his hands and appreciated his office and courtroom manner. In 2005, Hal made the decision to re-establish himself in northern California, with his last place of employment at the Law Offices of Eugene Chittock in Susanville, Calif. Once again, he quickly gained the respect and admiration of this community, managed a considerable caseload and served as the in-house counsel to Lassen Municipal Utility District.
With Hal’s relocation to Lassen County, he embraced a new phase of his life, working as a general practitioner in the area of family law and personal injury. He made new and precious friends, traveled extensively, lived in the middle of paradise, and felt tremendous joy and peace. His interests beyond his treasured family and friends included at various times, his love of flying (he was an instrument rated private pilot), working in his sparkling and beautiful yard, mixed-gas diving, sailing, history, reading, exploring and travel.
Hal was preceded in death by his parents Harold Henry Gartner, Jr. and Frances Mildred Evans (Gartner), both of Los Angeles, California.
He is survived by his beloved sons Patrick and Matthew, of southern California and Patrick’s wife Valerie, whom Hal lovingly referred to as “his” daughter and who was about to present him with his first cherished grandchild, Soleil Gartner. Hal is also survived by Jaye Davis, whom he referred to as, “the love of his life,” her son Cameron, his brother Rick Gartner of Chico, Calif., and by a multitude of dear and cherished friends.
Hal was and is an amazing and cherished man and will be missed tremendously by those blessed to know him. He is a man of integrity. He is a gentleman. A small memorial for Skip’s closest relatives, friends, and colleges was held at the residence of his friends, Jack and Marianne Rotenberg on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009.
For information contact Marianne at 805-377-3639 or visit the Web site established by his friend David Schwartz, at web.me.com/david2ds.
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