Sheila Synowicki

Sheila Synowicki, 90, of Lodi passed away on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

She was born to Madeline and Luke Walsh on November 26, 1926 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

As a teenager in Newfoundland, Sheila had great memories of dancing at the Newfoundland USO during World War II. After moving to Toronto, Sheila was swept off her feet on the dance floor by Walter, the love of her life, and they continued to dance together every night of the week. They married in 1949 and resided in Toronto where they soon began their family. In 1958, Walter, Sheila and their 3 children, Susan, Donna and Bob moved to Lodi, where their fourth child, Brian was born.

Sheila loved music, dancing, and playing bridge with her friends. She was a loving mother and grandmother and will be dearly missed.

Sheila was greatly loved and is survived by her children Susan (Douglas) Schnaidt, Bob (Corina) Synowicki, Brian (Laurie) Synowicki; her grandchildren Lindsay Schnaidt, John Schnaidt, Jennifer (Henry) Weaver, Brooke (Vani) Yepez, Melissa (Jason) Ezell, Kristen Synowicki, Erica (Trevor) Phillips, Alec Synowicki; and her 11 great-grandchildren.

Sheila is preceded in death by her husband Walter, her daughter Donna, her sisters Betty, Maureen, and Helen, and her brother Derm. She is survived by her brother Brian.

Services will be held on Thursday, May 4, at 10:00 a.m. at Donahue Funeral Home.

Avis Sacrider

Avis Sacrider

Avis Louise Sacrider was born March 29, 1942 in Casa Grande, Arizona, She passed away on April, 7, 2017 in Lodi, California at the age of 75. Avis is survived by her daughters; Michelle Combs (Rob), Danneal Pounder (Jeff), and Alice Hart (Ken), all of Aloha, Oregon, 8 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; Ernie and Reba Wheeler, husband; William “Bill” Sacrider, and daughter; Pamela Beehler. Friends may visit Tuesday, April 11th from Noon until 4:00 p.m. and are invited to attend funeral services on Wednesday, April 12th at 10:00 a.m. at Donahue Funeral Home, 123 N. School Street, Lodi, CA. 95240, with interment at Cherokee Memorial Park, Hwy 99 and Harney Lane immediately following.

Irvin Bender Photo

Irvin Bender

Irvin Bender passed away peacefully on the morning of April 4, 2017 with his family by his side. Born July 10, 1926, Irvin was 90 years old and he lived those years well. He was born near Brandt and Jack Tone Roads in Lockeford, on a little rise named Peanut Hill. Six brothers and sisters proceeded him in death. He is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, Loneita Bender and three daughters: Norma Brandt (Gary), Kathy Fleming, and Cindie Bender. Seven grandchildren, many great grandchildren, and a great-great grandchild all will love and remember Grampa Bender. Irvin grew up cleaning out chicken coops and hopping rocks in the Mokelumne River. He and his younger brother, Eddie, were heartbreakers in high school and loved to dance. Irvin lied about his age by a few months to join the Navy a few months shy of his 18th birthday, and served on a submarine during WWII. After the service, he attended University of the Pacific, and tried out a variety of jobs, including work for the railroad. Although there were many casual dates, when he met Loneita, he fell instantly in love. He liked to recall the first time he saw the slender widow on the landing of her upstairs apartment. He called them the “sacred stairs.” They were married four months later. Poor as church mice, they paid for their wedding rings with installments of $4 a month. With Neita’s five-year old daughter Norma, they were an instant family.
He got a second job moving 300-pound blocks of ice – no easy task for a 135-pound man. At his mother Minnie Mittleider’s suggestion, he became a real estate salesman. Irvin and Neita set about to leave their poverty behind. They scrimped and saved through the birth of two more daughters. Family vacations were all about fun on the cheap: he found a WWII 40-foot lifeboat to convert into a cabin cruiser and berthed it at Herman and Helen’s for weekend fishing trips to the Delta. Camping trips gave way to ski trips when money became more plentiful, although never involving ski lodges. It was sandwiches in the parking lot and sleeping in the van for us. Irvin became a broker and, during the 1960s, had five offices in Lodi, Galt, Fresno and Oakdale. His yellow and green signs – handmade in the garage to save money – could be seen all over town. Not content just with selling and listing, Irvin was also a developer and worked with Bob Houston to build some of the first townhouses to appear in Lodi in the 1960s. He stayed close to his brother Eddie all his life, playing chess once a week. In 1972, his son-in-law Gary Brandt took over the business, so he could officially retire in his forties. Now that he was financially secure, he let himself play. Irvin and Neita played on Woodbridge Golf and Country Club tennis teams, and built a house on the first River green, so they could sneak onto the course after-hours to play a few holes in intense competition for their 10-cent bets. Dad would moan the next morning, “Your mother took 30 cents off me last night!” They also traveled all over Europe and to Cancun. And they rarely passed up an opportunity to twirl on the dance floor, whether at country club dinner dances or the Cotati Accordion Fest. Irvin didn’t actually retire until a few years ago, remaining active in real estate investment until his eighties. He taught all his grandkids how to ride bikes, play tennis, and fix things. His van was legendary for being filled with tools for fixing every problem a rental could conceive. He could “MacGyver” anything back together. He was a big proponent of family reunions and the annual Horseshoe Tournament, complete with a handmade trophy.
Irvin was a passionate champion of civil rights. Irvin was politically active, advocating for fair housing as Lodi Board of Realtor President (two terms in the 1960s). When Cesar Chavez and the UFW March traveled through Lodi to the State Capitol, the family passed out soda cans to the thirsty men to show their support. Another family trip honored Lyndon Johnson for his War on Poverty. Along with Disneyland, the family saw the poverty of Watts. Irvin always had great empathy for the struggle of his fellow man. He died from heart failure, because he loved us so much. He gave so much love, always tender hugs, kisses, compliments, kind words. He was a great public speaker, having participated in Toastmasters for several years, but it is those little moments, when he made each of us feel like the center of his universe, that we will remember forever. Visitation will be Friday, April 7th, from 2pm-8pm, at Donahue Funeral Home, 123 N. School St.. Lodi, CA. A Graveside Service will be held at Lodi Memorial Cemetery, 5750 E. Pine St., Sat. April 8, 10:30 am. A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday April 26th, at Temple Baptist Church, 801 S. Lower Sacramento Rd, Lodi, CA. Please donate to your favorite charity or Hospice in lieu of flowers.

Kay Fry Photo (2)

Kay Lester Fry

Kay L. Fry went to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. He was the son of Lester and Arlene Fry born in Sacramento, California on September 20, 1942. He attended school in Lodi and Sacramento. Kay worked as a custodian and in fast food restaurants. Kay was married to Heidi Dahl on May 18, 1985 in a beautiful garden setting. Kay’s favorite past time was golfing in which he excelled. He participated in Special Olympics, traveling to Florida and throughout California. He was honored with many Special Olympics medals and ribbons. Kay also participated in a neighborhood Bible study with testimonies and singing. He loved to sing hymns. Kay leaves to mourn his wife; Heidi, mother-in-law; Betty Dahl, brother-in-law; Ed Dahl (Rebecca), sister-in-law; Marilee Dragsdahl and four nephews; Taylor, Morgan, Gabriel, and Severin. Friends may visit Thursday, April 6th from Noon until 4:00 p.m. at Donahue Funeral Home, 123 N. School Street, and are invited to attend services at the funeral home on Friday, April 7th, at 10:00 a.m. Interment at Lodi Memorial Cemetery will be private. His family would like to give a special “Thank you” to the staff at Wine Country Care Center for their loving care, and to Lifeguard Hospice for their support along with Chaplain Roberto Javellana for his many calls.

Mettler, Melinda

Melinda “Lindi” Honour Mettler

Melinda “Lindi” Honour Mettler, 76, of Lodi passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on March 16, 2017 following an unexpected surgery.
Lindi was born to Walter and Eleanor Jory on March 1, 1941 in Stockton, California. She was raised in Morada with brothers Michael and Jay Jory, near her maternal great- grandfather George Mosher’s Ranch, where she spent many happy days in the Victorian home along highway 99. From the time she was a little girl, she was fascinated with the works of her maternal grandfather, Victor Galbraith, a prominent architect who designed many beautiful custom homes in the older part of Lodi, Stockton, Morada, and the surrounding countryside. She inherited her mother’s love of art and impeccable style. Lindi surrounded her home and graciosly gave to her family members many of the vintage heirlooms that had been passed down for several generations.
Lindi was an avid gardener, a skill she acquired from from her father, Walter “Bud” Jory who was a 3rd generation San Joaquin Valley Farmer. Bud taught his daughter how to grow just about anything and Lindi’s incredible garden around her home was a true testament to their love of the soil.
When Lindi was 13, she met the love of her life, another local farmer, Leroy Mettler at 4-H Camp. He impressed her with his piano playing and several years later they wed on November 28, 1959. Together they made their home east of Lodi and raised their 2 children, Jon and Amy on the family ranch.
Lindi was an impeccable hostess and threw many parties and dinners for their friends. Lindi was noted for her incredible cooking abilities and loved to entertain. She wrote volumes of cook books for her grandchildren Jared, Alexandra, Angelina and Tallene.
Lindi is survived by; her soulmate, Leroy, her children Jon Mettler, Amy (Joe) Bondanza, her grandchildren, Jared and Tallene Mettler and Alexandra and Angelina Bondanza, her brother Mike (Carolyn) Jory, and several nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her father, mother, and younger brother, Jay Jory.
A Celebration of Life will be Thursday May 4th, at 12pm , at The Mettler Family Vineyards, 7889 E. Harney Ln, Lodi, CA 95240 In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lodi House or Micke Grove San Joaquin Historical Museum. Burial will be private.