William Ralph "Lucky" Skyrme 1928-2022

An only child who grew up during the Great Depression, William Ralph “Lucky” Skyrme was born on June 12, 1928 in Tuckerman, Ark. He was the son of Melvin and Alberta Skyrme. He and his parents moved frequently, living in Louisiana, Tennessee, Florida and Missouri, as his dad got various jobs as a surveyor. 

When Ralph was 13, he and his family moved to California, during World War II. Two years later, he told DMV he was older than he was so he could get his driver’s license a year early, which he felt well-qualified for given he had driven a truck on his family’s farm since age 11. Ralph attended Alameda High School. He had a 36 Ford convertible with a Carson top he extensively customized himself that he’d park in front of the school, so it was sure to be seen by his classmates.

After living in CA a couple years, Ralph and his father bought and began running a gas station in
Alameda. They were known for going above and beyond with their service and quality of work.
Ralph showed an aptitude in high school for working with numbers, and at 16, he got his first job
offer with a bank. After walking through the bank, however, he immediately decided “there’s no
way I’d want to stay at a job like this where I have to be indoors all day and never go outside”.
Looking across the street from the bank, he saw the Pontiac garage. The owner wanted him to do
mechanical work, but Ralph wasn’t interested in that, and told the owner he’d sell cars for him
instead. Thus began his career as an auto salesman.

After graduating from high school, Ralph’s family moved to Pittsburgh, CA, where his dad
opened “Wild Bill’s Used Cars”, and Ralph opened “Ralph and Ernie’s Crazy Trading Post”,
with the two car lots located right across the street from each other. During this time, he was also
in the National Guard for two years, attaining the rank of sergeant.

In 1950, during his first marriage, Ralph’s first son Ronald Gene Skyrme was born. Ron was
involved in quarter midget racing, and Ralph enjoyed helping him work on the cars and train in
the sport. Ralph competed in drag racing himself, and spent numerous hours under the hood to
get his car to go faster than his competitors. In 1952, Ralph bought 12 acres of land, a barn, and a house in Windsor, CA. At his Windsor ranch, he trained a couple horses, and was proud to ride
one of his horses in several parades, with full elaborate costumes for both himself and the horse.

After 8 years as a used car manager for Babe Wood Cadillac in Santa Rosa and a brief period
selling new cars for the Santa Rosa Lincoln-Mercury dealership, in 1961 Ralph opened his own
used car dealership in Santa Rosa, and for three decades had several car lots in different locations
along Santa Rosa Ave., including “World of Cars” and “Auto Expo”. He was known for his
honesty and integrity in an industry where that wasn’t always the case, and it was not uncommon
for customers to tell him and his family even years later how much they appreciated his character
and kindness in their dealings with him.

Ralph was also well-known among his fellow auto dealers for his work in the state and national
independent automobile dealers’ association. He was instrumental in re-invigorating the state
association, which he thought was a vital endeavor to help support individual dealers, work
towards meaningful safety regulations within the industry, and improve the image of auto dealers
in the eyes of the public. Ralph was awarded “Dealer of the Year” in 1969, and then again in
1979, by the Independent Automobile Dealers’ Association of California (IADAC). He also
served one term as the national association (NIADA) vice-president and one term as national
legislative chairman.

In 1968, Ralph married the love of his life, Linda Lee Adams, a kindergarten and first-grade
school teacher in Rohnert Park. They were married for 46 years, until Linda’s passing in 2014.
The couple was extremely devoted to each other and especially enjoyed traveling and ballroom
dancing. They never lost an opportunity to get out on the dance floor when live music was
playing, to the enjoyment of many onlookers. In 1975, Ralph and Linda welcomed their son into
the world, Gary Michael Skyrme (professional name Gary Skye), who showed an early passion
for music that was proudly supported by both parents. Gary resides south of Portland, OR, and is a professional solo and collaborative pianist, piano teacher, church music director, and composer/singer-songwriter.

Ralph had an entrepreneurial interest in side business ventures as well, including selling solar
systems, water purification systems, and various health supplements. He also served as Gary’s
talent agent through “Lucky Star Talent Agency”, a company of his own devising. For the last 12
years of his career, Ralph transitioned from selling cars to selling manufactured homes at
“Custom Manufactured Homes”, also on Santa Rosa Ave. He continued displaying his great
customer service in this new role, and he especially enjoyed using his very detail-oriented eye to
help design aesthetically pleasing floor-plans and choose high-quality upgrades to the homes he
sold.


In retirement, Ralph loved taking drives, tinkering with things around the house, gardening,talking with neighbors, watching old Western movies and comedies, taming his neighborhood feral cat, donating to charities, making sure every hair was still in place, and talking with Gary on the phone almost every day.Ralph passed away at his home in Rohnert Park on Feb. 6, 2022, a few months shy of his 94th birthday, surrounded by family, friends, and his devoted caregivers.

Ralph began attending our Center around 1975, when we were still located on Orchard Street. He was one of our oldest and longest-attending congregants. Ralph’s memorial service will be held this Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6:30pm, at Santa Rosa Center for Spiritual Living, 2075 Occidental Rd.



Jeannie LeMesurier, Ph. D. 1956-2022

The world lost a great friend on June 2, 2022, when Jeannie died suddenly and unexpectedly after a brief illness in Santa Rosa, CA. 

Jeannie was adored by her friends and family who describe her as a kind, loving, and vivacious sweetheart. She will be forever loved and cherished by Jim, her husband and best friend of 44 magical years. 


She also leaves behind her children, Michelle Satkin and Roger LeMesurier, who are grateful for their fun and love-filled childhoods, as well as her son-in-law Scott and granddaughter Julia Satkin, and Roger's partner, Helen Pitchik. She will be greatly missed by her siblings and their spouses, including Marshall and Elizabeth Johnson, Susan and Robin Grant, twin-brother, Larry Johnson and Anne-Marie Kovacs, and Bobby and Louise Johnson, as well as her many nieces and nephews. 


Jeannie was a playful and energetic optimist, who loved her work as a clinical psychologist and life coach. Past patients would frequently contact her to describe the lasting impact that she had on their lives. 


Jeannie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada to George and Lisette Johnson. Fluently bilingual, she earned her B.A. and M.A. in psychology at McGill University, where she met Jim. She then went on to earn her Ph.D. at l'Universite de Montreal. 


During her long career, Jeannie wore many professional hats. In Kingston, Ontario, she taught college psychology, counseled military families and university students, and was a school psychologist in the French-language schools. She was also a college professor in Marin, CA. 


Jeannie's legacy includes her extraordinary love, compassion, and generosity. This legacy touched countless lives, but was most appreciated by her family and closest friends. She had many interests and passions, including travel, dancing, meditating, gardening, learning Spanish, sewing, household repairs, playing puzzles in bed and playing hyper-competitive games of Pictionary. 


She will be remembered by friends and colleagues for her beautiful smile, her joie de vivre and her occasional mischievousness. In moving forward without Jeannie in our lives, a powerful source of guidance will be "when in doubt, what would Jeannie do?". 


No service is planned. Please consider a donation to Jeannie's favorite charitable organization, the Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa (https://cslsr.org/). 


Thank you, Jeannie, for so much. You will always be profoundly loved and missed.

Here at the Center, we remember how creative and artistic Jeannie was. Her beautiful spirit was energetic. She was always ready to be of service and not task was too small. 

 

 

Stacey Lynn Miller Pimental 1959-2022

Stacey Lynn Miller Pimental died peacefully on August 31, 2022, after a valiant ten-year battle with Parkinson's. Stacey was surrounded by her loved ones, and was welcomed into Heaven by her mother-in-law, Norma Harrison, whom she loved dearly.


Stacey was born on October 10, 1959 to Alan and Norma Miller in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. She would become the eldest sister to two brothers, Christopher and Dana. Stacey was a happy and bright child, who loved school, her family, swinging on swings for hours at a local park, and digging up clams at the beach.


Stacey moved with her family to Sonoma County, CA when she was 13, where she started at Slater Middle School and graduated from Montgomery High School. It was during this time, that Stacey built many life long friendships that continued until her passing.


Stacey met her husband, Steven Pimental through bowling at Holiday Bowl. Steve asked her out for the first time at Continental Lanes and they had their first date at the beach. One week later, he proposed and they began their life together. Stacey and Steve married on March 14, 1981 and moved to the Bay Area where Stacey worked for Mervyns. They had their first daughter, Nicole, on their anniversary in 1984 and their second daughter, Britni, in May 1987. They returned to Santa Rosa to raise their children and build a home and life where they had been raised.


Stacey and Steve were original buyers in Coffey Park and raised their family there, where many other friendships were built over the years. Stacey began running a daycare out of the family home, as she wanted to be there for her daughters and she provided loving care to the children in her charge for 17 years, where some even became more like her own children. Once her children were grown, Stacey moved into her career as a Real Estate Appraiser, opening her own incredibly successful business which she later passed to her eldest daughter.


Stacey loved her friends and family, bowling, bunco, camping and traveling. She lived an incredibly full life in her 62 years, doing what made her happy with those who were fortunate enough to be loved by her. Stacey was a feisty, fierce protector, hardworking, friend, mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, mother in law, and grandmother. Stacey found no greater joy than in being a grandmother to Xander and Jaxon Davis. Family was everything to her, including the family she was born into, the family she created with Steve and the family she chose.


Stacey continued to live with her family in Coffey Park until they lost their home in the 2017 Tubbs Fire. Stacey and her family re-built their home, but in recent years moved together to a family compound in Sebastopol, where she lived her final years surrounded by those she loved most. Those who were lucky enough to know her and be loved by her will never forget her smile, laugh, kindness, compassion, grace and strength. Stacey was truly exceptional.
Stacey leaves her loving family, husband, Steven Pimental, daughters Britni Pimental and Nicole Davis (Stephen), grandsons, Xander and Jaxon Davis, mother Norma Miller, father Alan Miller, brothers Christopher Miller and Dana Miller (Hillary). She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, family who were chosen family and friends. 

Here at the Center we remember Stacey's bright smile and beautiful spirit. She attended services with her mother, Norma. Stacey read the Science of Mind magazine along with our text book The Science of Mind and she enjoyed many hours of prayer with her Practitioner Tamarya Hulme. 


A private celebration of life will be held at Hook and Ladder Winery. Stacey and her family would appreciate any donations be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

 

 

 

Carolyn Sue Fesmire-Schott-Hammond 1938-2022

Carolyn Sue Fesmire-Schott-Hammond was born in Leavenworth, Kansas.on April 29, 1938. She passed at the age of 83 on January 31, 2022. 

She chose Sonoma County to be her home for 52 years and worked as a schoolteacher at Brookhill Elementary for 32 years. 

She graduated from Vallejo High School in 1955,  and received her BA in History from Sonoma State in1970; later she received her Masters in Counseling from the University of San Francisco in 1982. 

Carolyn was a voracious reader and an aspiring writer. Carolyn was fond of lunching and laughing with the Seniors in Spirit every week. 


She really did love everybody, but especially her husband Phil, her great grandson Andrew Covell and her little dog Posey. She always smiled real big when she saw Andrew.
Carolyn is predeceased by her sons, Mike Schott and Rick Schott. 

She leaves behind her husband of 46 years, Phil Fesmire, daughter Cynthia Schott, four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. We miss you so much. 

Carolyn was a long time member at the Center and we remember her for her loving kind ways and the joy she shared with everyone. 

Neptune Society is handling her cremation. Services will be announced. If you would like to make a donation please support the Heifer Project.

 

 

Ernest Steven Vierra 1935-2022

Ernest Steven Vierra was born June 29, 1935 in Visalia, CA to Emma Marie and Manuel Custodio Vierra. He passed away peacefully on February 26th, 2022 in Sebastopol, CA where he and his loving wife Sherry lived.

Ernie was a kind, charming, witty and sometimes downright silly man. Ernie attended Visalia grammar school and graduated from Mt. Whitney High School in 1953. He attended College of the Sequoias and played football as defensive end. He also drove the COS bus and joked that he looked in on rivalry teams practices. Ernie had a wonderful sense of humor!

He worked for the City of Visalia for 35 years and retired at 57 years old to spend more time with his family and to build his own house in Three Rivers, a labor of love it was! Most of his grandchildren were by his side at various stages of the build, digging and moving rocks for the foundation, etc. and have fond memories to share about those times!

Ernie was very active in the Visalia community. He was 3 times President of the Optimist Club, 3 times Chairman of the Tulare/Kings County All Stars Football games. A longtime member of Toastmasters. He also coached Pop Warner in the 70’s, of course they were Championship Teams under his coaching tenure.

Not only was Ernie a Sound Ranger in Counterfire Platoon in the US Army, he also played football for the US Army! He had shared many stories about his Army friends and organized reunions of the Counterfire Platoon for many years.

Ernie was preceded in death by his parents Emma and Manuel, brothers Manuel and John, sister Mary, his children Sandi and Vicki and too many close friends to name. Ernie is survived by his wife Sherry Hocker Vierra, Daughter Gail Vierra-Lyman, Son in Law Pete Lyman, Sister Rita Vierra Bettencourt-Taylor, 8 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, 4 stepchildren and 5 step grandchildren.

Mass was held at the St. Anthony’s Catholic Retreat on March 25th. In lieu of flowers your prayers for Ernie and his family will be greatly appreciated.

Here at the Center we remember Ernie by Sherry’s side in so many classes and services. His loving ways and his devotion to Sherry always touched our hearts.

 

 

Sandra Benko Fichtenberg 1946-2022

Sandra Benko Fichtenberg, beloved wife of Arthur Fichtenberg, former wife of Paul Benko (deceased) and devoted mother to Peter Benko and Eleanor Benko, died peacefully at her Santa Rosa home due to complications from cancer on February 22, 2022.

Sandy was born on October 6, 1946 to LaPreal and Dr. R. Dee Robbins in San Francisco, and was raised in Santa Rosa. She graduated from UC Davis and became an extraordinary and passionate teacher, with the majority of her career spent at Piner Olivet Elementary school, where she cultivated a love of arts and artists in her students.  It was there that she met several of her many life-long friends, as she naturally drew people to her.

Sandy loved adventure and traveling with her husband, Art. She loved the water and would dive into the ocean, no matter whether there were sharks, manta rays, or barracudas around her. She was fearless. Sandy had a knack for finding connection with anyone she met, and for warming the room with her smile and quick wit. Her family and friends knew her to be empathetic, loyal, joyful, and vivacious, and she made the world come alive for everyone around her. She had a zest for life. She carried a light inside that brightened the world around her.

Along with her husband and children, Sandy is survived by her brothers Craig Robbins (Susan) and Michael Robbins (Kathy), her daughter's fiancĂ©, Joshua Slater, and her nephews Chris (Ashley), Joshua, and Charlie Robbins, as well as many dear and devoted friends. 

Here at the Center our hearts were touched by the beautiful love that grew between Sandy and Art as they toured New Zealand with Dr. Edward. Her bright spirit and loving ways brought light to all of our hearts.

There will be a memorial service on April 30th at The Center for Spiritual Living, 2075 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa at 1pm. All are welcome.