Retired California Game Warden

In Memory

In Memory of our Brother & Sister Officers


This website was started in 2004, which means that there have been many of our fellow officers who have died but are not recorded here. Unfortunately, I only have information on those after that year who have been reported to me by my fellow retirees.

If you know of a passing that should be posted here,

please Click on this link and email me and I will add it immediately.

Link to the “Wardens Killed or Wounded In the Line of Duty” Page

Services, etc…
Ken Taylor October 2021 The following was passed on to me by Jake Bushy.

He was notified by Carol Taylor, Ken Taylor’s wife, that Ken passed away from complications from COVID on November 24th. Per his wishes, he will be buried at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Igo, CA.

We have a date for Kenny’s service,
Tuesday Dec 28th at 9:30 am in the chapel at the Veterans Cemetery in Igo, 

John “Dennis” Dymek Dennis John Dymek Jr., age 73, of Somerset, California passed away on Saturday, October 2, 2021. Dennis was born August 25, 1948.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Dymek family.
No memorial services are planned at this time for John.

Larry Parkison June 2021

I regret to inform you of the passing of Retired Warden Larry Parkison.  Larry died  on 6-29-21 as a result of complications that arose during a hospital stay after a motorcycle crash on Mother’s day 2020.

There will be a memorial on July 17, 2021, 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM, at the Northern Queen Inn, 400 Railroad Ave Nevada City, California 95959. I wish I could be there to pay my respects to Bobbie but am already booked on that day.

Cards can be sent to PO Box 714 Nevada City, CA 95959

Share your Larry tales here:

Jack Edwards

Reserve Warden
Ron Dong
 January 2021 Ron Dong was a reserve with Dale Wong in San Francisco district from the inception of the program until Dale transferred to the Sacramento Delta. After that, Ron worked Jim Beckwith.  He was heavily involved in SOU activities during Dale’s time working many hours with Lt Miles Young and Jim Beckwith regularly after that.  He was a martial arts instructor, one of the first licensed acupuncturist in California.  He is survived by his wife, Jeanette Cordero and two adult children, Ryan and Heather.   Jeanette Cordero, 443 Orizaba Ave, SF, 94132
Bob Koch November 2020 Bob Koch has passed away on Saturday from a massive heart attack.. For those of you who never met or did not know Bob he retired in 2002 from San Luis Obispo County. Bob retired as the Patrol Lieutenant for San Luis Obispo County and lived locally in Templeton.

The local wardens would still see Bob at the Lockwood Hunter Ed classes or get calls about him hunting in the Big Sandy by Camp Roberts. Bob and his wife Alice were both very active in helping with the Chimineas Ranch and numerous other activities. As I learn more about any services I will let you know.

For those who knew him and his wife, here is her contact info. I don’t have an email or phone number for her.
Alice Koch
1073 Tishlina Lane
Templeton, California 93465

Don Jacobs October 2020

Thanks to Steve Callan for the following info.

Don passed away last Friday, October 2, at the age of 73, after a years-long battle with cancer. One of the most courageous people I’ve ever known, he maintained an uplifting, positive attitude all the way to the end. At the beginning of last week, Don was still able to laugh and talk about other things besides the terrible cancer that gave him so much pain.

Don retired as a lieutenant in Redding, after many years as a hard-working warden in Burney. He was one of the best wardens I ever worked with and was passionate about protecting our precious natural resources. After retirement, he was a volunteer docent at the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area Visitor Center.

He was also a dedicated family man and a tireless advocate and fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Don strived to stay in good shape after retirement by swimming and long-distance walking. He made many friends along the way. Don Jacobs will be greatly missed. Obit

Here’s Lois Jacobs’s mailing address:

Lois Jacobs
2269 Canal Drive
Redding, CA 96001

There are no current plans for any services because of Covid19

Gary Paoli August 2020 I received word from Nick Albert that Gary passed on the 20th of August. In lieu of flowers, Gary’s family asks please consider making a donation to Hospice of Humboldt. Obituary Link
Ray Azbill
July 2020 This week my grandpa Ray Azbill died. He was a good man and all these years he was just full of stories from his time as a game warden. They even have an annual pheasant hunt in his name. Ray Azbill Junior Pheasant Hunt. I just thought I would share, because I’m sure some people on here would remember him, he made a big impact everywhere he went.
Larry Kirsch July 2020 Laurence W. Kirsch
Nov. 30, 1955 – July 10, 2020
Resident of Walnut Creek
The consummate warrior, Larry ultimately surrendered to complications related to cancer. He was a beloved husband to Julie, a generous and loving father to William, Grayson and Kylé and a treasured brother to Carol.
At 25, Larry was then the youngest Game Warden to be hired by the Department of Fish and Game. Through his long career he advanced to Captain of the Oil Spill Prevention and Response division where he was influential in effecting processes and procedures to abate oil spills and other pollutants in our Bay.
An accomplished athlete, Larry enjoyed skiing, golfing, mountain climbing, fishing, tennis and was a friendly competitor who enjoyed the comradery above all else. He loved to read, root for his Bay Area teams and was a talented handy man who just seemed to figure out how to fix or build things.
The world is absent a little less joy. We would like to thank our incredible support team of friends and family for making his last days joyful for him. He will always be remembered for his kindness, generosity and his enthusiasm for a cold beer shared with loved ones.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of choice in memory of Larry. Express condolences at oakparkhillschapel.comView the online memorial for Laurence W. Kirsch
 Paul Maurer
 March 2020 I was notified by Karen that Paul passed away. At this time no public services are planned. Obituary Link
 Danny Reno  January 2020 I received word from several active and retired wardens that Danny Reno had died as a result of a traffic accident following a heart attack. His wife Linda was injured in the accident but is expected to recover soon.  Here is a link to the story.

I have the info for his services.

September 25th, 2021
Gualala Community Center
47950 Center Street, Gualala, CA 95445.
2:00 p.m. 

I sent it out via email to all on my list.

 Bob Rufenacht  November 2019  I received word from Rob Kilbourne that Retired Captain Bob Rufenacht passed away after a long fight with Leukemia. I will announce info about services when I receive it.
 G. Ray Arnett  June 2019 Although Ray was not a warden, he was one of our directors and worth mentioning here. He passed away after a long live, 95 years to be specific. He came to us from the Atlantic Richfield company, but spent the rest of his life in various conservation based organizations. He was also a long time hunter. He was our director from 1969 to 1975. His chief of patrol was Bernie Faist, who was still the chief when I hired on in 1977.
Charles Ken Gulling March 2019 Charles Kenneth “Ken” Gulling passed away at the age of 88 from natural causes on March 7, 2019. He was born in Portola, California, on December 16, 1930. He married Betty Louise Jasmann on December 20, 1951, in Sparks, Nevada.

Ken became a Game Warden for the State of California in 1967. The Gulling family lived in many places before moving to Dunsmuir, California, in 1974, followed by Mount Shasta, California, in 1979, where they stayed until Ken’s retirement in 1992. After retirement, they settled in Anderson, California.

Click Here for his Obituary

 Jack M Edwards July 2018 Jack passed away on July 26th at Kaiser Hospital in Vacaville after a long illness.  Jack retired as a game warden in the 90’s after working for the department with 30+ years of service.

Celebration of Life: Sept 8th in Fairfield at Bryan Baker Funeral Home beginning at 11 am

 Ron Columbani July 2018 I am sorry to inform you that Ronald S. Colombani, retired game warden with California Dept. of Fish and Game, passed away on Thursday, July 12, 2018, following a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Ron was a former sergeant in the USMC, who served in Vietnam 1966 -1967.  He worked as a deputy sheriff with the Yolo County SO in the late 1960s, and later moved on to the California Department of Fish and Game, where he worked as a game warden until retiring in 2000.  He remained active in various wildlife causes and projects, and was a past president of the Western Sierra (Sonora) chapter of the California Deer Association. His father, Vic Colombani,was also a deputy sheriff at the YCSO, and passed away in June 2001.Funeral services are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, 2018, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 127 W. Jackson St., Sonora, CA 95370.
Cards and remembrances may to sent to:
Mrs. Jan Colombani and Family
19090 Canaan Court
Sonora, CA 95370
Bernie Faist April 2018 Bernie Faist hired on as a game warden in 1948. His first assignment was at Georgetown in El Dorado County.  After working through the ranks, Bernie promoted to the top spot, Chief of Patrol in 1969 when Charlie Fullerton moved up to  became a Deputy Director under G. Ray Arnett. For those who may remember, Bernie was the chief at the same time his cousin, Carrol Faist, who passed away in December 2016, was the Senior Warden Pilot. Bernie retired in 1978. I don’t have any info on services. Here is his obituary.
 Wally Callan January 2018

I received notice from Retired Lt. Steve Callan that his day, Retired Region Chief Wally Callan passed away. Here is his obituary.

 Fred Brown
Fred Brown Obit
 January 2018 June 29, 1929 – January 14, 2018

Fred Brown expired (his term) on January 14, 2018 at the age of 88.

After college Fred moved to Jackson CA, got married, worked in the family Golden State Dairy business, and became a California Fish & Game Reserve Warden.

In 1963, Fred returned to Gridley and began his career as a California Fish & Game Warden. He served in this capacity for the next 25 years. He was both feared and revered for his position. In the end, most considered him always to be fair.

In 1990 Fred acquired property outside the City of Eureka in northwestern Montana.

A Celebration of Life will be held in Eureka, Montana with private interment in the Gridley-Biggs Cemetery.

Ken Boettcher December 2017 Ken passed away on December 2nd.  I knew he had been suffering from cancer so I am assuming that is what caused his death.  The family plans on having a celebration of life for him sometime in the spring up in Sonoma.

Lana Boettcher / Kirstin Burghart
20 Batchelor Terrace
Petaluma CA 94952

Jim Wictum November 2017 Jim passed away in November following a stroke earlier in the month. There will not be any services planned.
  Wayne Klein  November 2017 I received a notification that Retired Regional Patrol Chief passed away at his home on November 9th. No information on services at this time. Here is his obit.
 Ken Bain
 October 2017
 Kenneth LaMar Bain
November 28, 1935 — October 19, 2017
     I was fortunate to be able to work with Ken for most of my career. He was my Lieutenant when I was a warden in Half Moon Bay, and years later, he was one of my regional hunter education captains when I worked as the Hunter Education Coordinator in Headquarters.
     I remember working a lot of 1603 cases, and since Ken was the father of the program, I had a very thorough indoctrination. It wasn’t as much fun as chasing poachers, but I am sure that we saved more wildlife resources through his effort to build the program and to train new wardens in how to properly manage a stream bed alteration permit. He was a force of nature that I will always remember fondly. I can hear his bag pipes now.
     Ken passed away Thursday night around 20:00 after a very lengthy and debilitating battle with cancer.
 Lt. Tim Hicks  June 2017 I just got word today that Retired Lt. Tim Hicks passed away. He retired in 1980. He was the Bass Lake Warden, Madera County, back in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. He was a Lt. (4210) in the Central District in Fresno when he retired. The positions in Oakhurst (Luther Young), Shaver Lake(Chuck Koons), Madera(Ralph Schlitzkus) and Clovis(John Peabody) were in his squad.  Some of you old farts should remember his name, especially if you worked in Region 4 in the 1960’s to 1980.

I don’t have any info on services. If you knew Tim and would like to touch bases with his daughter,  you can reach Connie Teague at 408-270-7339.

 Harold Ray “Meff” Mefford (1926 – 2017)
 April 2017 Meff passed away April 22, 2017 at the age of 90. Here is his obit from his son. He was a man of honor, hard work, discipline and dedication to those he loved and worked beside. He was born in Mill Valley, California December 2, 1926. As a boy growing up, he delivered ice and coal for Browns Hardware; built cabinets for high end homes in the area; rode and took care of horses. Graduating early from Tamalpais High School, he joined the Marines as a Rifleman, November, 1944. He was deployed to Okinawa and then on to China, honorably discharged in August of 1946. He was a very proud Marine and made sure everyone knew it. From there, he went to UC Davis, where he also swam competitively for Sherm Chavoor, and then on to UC Berkeley, completing his degree in Wildlife Management. He worked for the California Department of Fish and Game as a Warden in Lodi and Loyalton, moving to Alturas as a Captain. He moved the family to Sacramento as a Captain, which gave him the opportunity to go into the State Office in his final role as a Patrol Inspector.

He met my mother, Rosemarie Zegarac, in 1946. He loved no one more. They were together for 60 years and were best friends. They were rarely apart from each other. Even during his battle with Alzheimer’s, she remained the memory he kept to the end. In his 35 year retirement he enjoyed spending time with Ro camping, hiking, cross country skiing, attending the Sacramento Jazz Festival, lots of dancing, working in his yard, riding his Harley (till 85), an occasional cigar and a good Manhattan or a fresh cold beer out of his keg. He had many friends that enjoyed the same things and they would have great times together sharing stories and having family get-togethers.

He was a resourceful, crafty and detailed guy that could repair anything and build most things, given the time to research and draft plans. He kept meticulous notes on projects around the house that we still run across and amaze us to this day. He was a master of tying knots. He carried rope with him everywhere he went and managed to secure things you wouldn’t think a rope could secure. He dropped many trees, by himself, stacking the branches and core in a nice neat pile. The only assistant he needed was his rope. He leaves behind his wife, Rosemarie, twin sons Colt and Tory, and youngest son, Scott. He also leaves behind his grandchildren: Brandon, Devin, Mikayla, Bryce and Colby. I loved my dad. He was tough, demanded respect of others and his name, and he had high hopes and aspirations for his children. While I didn’t realize it then, he groomed us for success. And, in that, he was successful. He had a very fruitful life and I’m glad he was our father.

Pat Symons March 2017 Retired Warden Pilot Pat Symons died of natural causes. No info on services.
 Carrol Faist December 2016  Retired Senior Warden Pilot Carrol Faist Died in 2016 – natural causes. No information on services.
 Charles E.Fullerton
 December 2016 Most of us remember that Charlie was the first warden to make it all the way to Director. Here is a summary of his career. Warden = 11/1/1949, Captain = 7/16/1956, Inspector = 2/1/1962, Chief of Patrol = 6/1/1964, Chief of Operations = 2/4/1969, Deputy Director = 1/11/1972, Director = 3/18/1975, Chief of Patrol = 6/27/1983 (From what I remember, that was the year that George Deukmejian was elected Governor.) Left DFG to go to NMFS = 1/22/1984.

We have no information on services, but several retirees have reported that he did not want any services.

He was born on 8/22/1922.

 Dave Rawlinson
 September 2016  David Frank Rawlinson, 76, of Santa Maria, CA passed away peacefully in his home September 7th, 2016. Dave was born October 31st 1939 in Los Angeles, CA to George and Carolyn Rawlinson.

He worked for the State of California Dept. of Fish & Game from 1959 until he retired in 1992. He was a long time resident of Santa Maria, CA.

Dave married his high school sweetheart, Arlene Rawlinson November 26th 1958. They shared a magical 58 years together.

WarrenDukeWarren A. Duke, Jr.  April 2016 I just received a note from Roberta Duke that her husband, Warren, had passed away on the 19th of April. His services are at the Sunset Cemetary in Corning, CA on April 23rd at 10:00.

Warren retired in 1996. The photo is from 2009 at one of the annual retired warden reunions at Tyler Young’s ranch.

Wesley “Wes” Johnson  April 2016  I received a notification from Retired Warden Dick Padgett that retired warden Wes Johnson passed away after many health issues on Tuesday April 12, 2016. He was living in Anacortes, WA.

I don’t know if there will be any services for Wes at a future date. Memorial donations may be made to: Guide Dogs for the Blind, Donation Processing, P.O. Box 17068, Baltimore, MD 21297-0334 or online in memory of Wes Johnson. Wes was the warden in Lee Vining when he retired in 1988.
Warden Sgt. Joe Knarr, Montana FWP
 March 2016  It is with terrible sadness that I report the loss of another active duty warden, Joe Knarr. Although Joe left DFG and went to work in Montana about 21 years ago, he is still one of our own.

Joe’s life was full of happiness as he and his wife, Jen, had a son, Daniel, just about 6 months ago. Joe was married to a fellow warden.

Apparently, because of postpartum depression, Jen killed Joe and their son before killing herself in their Bozeman Montana home.

Funeral services for Joe will be held on April 4th, 2016 at 10:00 am at Grace Bible Church, 3625 S. 19th, Bozeman, Montana.

Following the services, there will be a traditional Law Enforcement procession from either Grace Bible Church or another staging area to a yet to be determined location where we will have a law enforcement memorial service to honor Joe & Jen.

Some of you have asked for mailing addresses to send cards, letters and donations:

Cooper Knarr (Joe’s Daughter)
Heather West (Cooper’s Mother)
364 Bear Crossing
Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730

Trina (Joe’s Sister)
Address will be provided later


Warden Alan Weingarten

 March 2016 We lost another warden who had not yet retired. Still out there, the Thin Green Line, protecting our fish and wildlife resources. Alan was a great warden, loved by his peers and the people he served.

Unfortunately he lost his long, hard battle with cancer on Wednesday, February 9th..

In addition to leaving behind a job that he loved, he left behind a loving wife an two young children.

Alan’s Memorial Service will be at 1200 pm, on April 2, 2016, at the Granite Bay Activity Center in Folsom State Park.  His immediate family will be present at the event.  They have asked that the event be a pot luck BBQ (Alan’s wishes).  If everyone that plans on attending could bring a side dish (i.e. salads, appetizers, drinks) other than the main course, which will be provided.  In addition, the Weingarten family would like to hear about Alan’s career from people that have worked with him, in hopes we can all laugh and celebrate Alan’s life.

His wife, Rosemary has asked for photos of Alan throughout his career.  You can forward those to Lt. Longwell for a slide show presentation in his honor for the memorial.  Copies of those will be presented to the Weingarten Family.

If anyone would like to write the family a note they can forward them to Lt. Longwell or contact him directly for Rosemary’s address.

Lt. Longwell will be coordinating the event with the Weingarten family and the Department.  All questions and RSVP’s should be directed to him.  Thank you all for your help and consideration.

Directions to Granite Bay Activities Center:

Lieutenant Jeff Longwell
Cell 916-425-9043


Captain Hank Hoover

February 2016

Henry ( Hank ) (Herb) Hoover passed away at Mesa Verde, Arizona, Sunday, Februrary 28. Hank retired in 1985 as a Patrol Captain. Hank came to work for the Department  in 1954 and became a warden in 1959. Hank spent his years in Marine Patrol and captained Patrol Boat Albacore out Long Beach for many years.Hank is survived by his wife JilI and son Mike and a daughter.
Funeral Service for Hank Hoover will be at Bular Funeral Home, 143 E Arnold in Camp Verde, Arizona on Saturday March 19 at 1100 AM.

Bill Bakker
Bill Bakker

February 2016

William T. “Bill” Bakker  —  9/28/1925 – 2/16/2016

Retired Foresthill Warden Bill Bakker passed away in February. Bill left the Berkeley Police Department in 1956 to become the Boonville Warden (old R-3), then transferred to Foresthill (old R-2) in 1969 where he retired in 1984.

Graveside Service:
Wednesday  March 16  1 PM                                    New Auburn Cemetery
1040 Collins Drive, Auburn CA 95603Local Reception following:  2:30 – 4:30PM
Forest Hill American Legion Clubhouse              (Behind the Veterans Memorial Hall Bldg.)            24600 Harrison St., Foresthill 95631                      Legion Bar will be open for purchasing drinks          Light food & cake served

Ray Nilsson


January 2016

Retired Captain Ray Nilsson passed away peacefully in Yreka on Sunday January 24th; he was 91.  He held the first resident Warden post in Foresthill (1956) and then Captains assignments in Indio and Yreka.

Services at Girdner’s Funeral Home Chapel
202 S. Oregon St. Yreka, CA

Date & Time: February 6, 2016 at Noon

Reception to follow at the Covenant Chapel
200 Greenhorn Rd.,Yreka

John Stark


January 2016

Hello to all:  It is with a heavy heart I am writing to tell you we lost John Sunday after a long fight with emphysema. Please keep him in your prayers.I have included the following information for you.
Monday, January 25, from 5 PM to 7 PM.
San Andreas Memorial Chapel
254 W. St. Charles St.
San Andreas, CA 95249
The funeral service
Tuesday, January 26, at 11 AM.
St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church
920 W. March Lane
Stockton, CA 95207
Interment will be at:
Sunset View Cemetery
10200 Highway 88
Jackson, CA 95642

Steve Messick


January 2016

Steve Messick passed away this past Sunday 1-3-16.  Steve had been battling brain cancer for the past year.  Steve was a Department reserve from 1981 to 1985 when he joined the Warden force.  Steve retired in 2000 with 15 years on the Department.  Steve served his whole time in the Imperial Valley.
Services will be held on Saturday January 16th at 10 am at the First Christian Church in El Centro, 450 So. Waterman, El Centro.
Cards can be sent to the Messick Family ( Dell, Aaron and  Delaine) 405 Vaquero Trail, Imperial, CA  92251

 Don Dunham


November 2015

May 20, 1935 – November 3, 2015

Donald D. Dunham, 80, passed peacefully November 3, 2015, with Bernie by his side. He was a 52 year resident of Greenville.

Don served 33 years with the California Department Of Fish And Wildlife as a Game Warden, protecting the critters and the environment of Plumas County, where he claimed “God goes on vacation”. After his retirement, he and Bernie enjoyed 13 years as PG&E campground hosts on the shores of Lake Almanor.

He will be remembered as a ” larger than life” personality, with infectious humor, sharp wit, and a whole-hearted devotion to family, friends, and his community.

Masonic Memorial Services will take place at 1:00 PM November 14, 2015, at The Greenville High School gymnasium. A celebration of his life will follow at the Greenville Masonic Lodge. Private inurnment will precede the ceremony.

The family asks any remembrances in Don’s memory be forwarded to Bernie Dunham, P.O. BOX 629, Greenville CA, 95947. The funds will be used to update Greenville High School sports PA System.

 John Suchil
October 2015 November 12, 1944 —  October 25, 2015
As many of you may have heard earlier this spring, John was diagnosed with Adult Acute Lymphoblasic Leukemia. He passed away at 1:00 in the morning on Sunday, October 25th.John hired on as a warden on 6/14/1982 and promoted to Lt. on 7/1/1985. He retired on 12/1/2009.Rosary will be Monday November 2nd, at 7:00 PM
Camino Del Sol Memorial Center & Funeral Home
200 North C street, Oxnard CA 93030 Funeral Mass will be Tuesday November 3rd, at 10:00 AM. Blessed Junipero Serra Catholic Church (Padre Serra Church) 5205 Upland Road, Camarillo CA 93012 Reception following graveside service, approximately 1:00 PM. Location and directions will be provided during the service If you wish to send a card to the family, the Suchil family address is:
622 W Roderick Ave
Oxnard, CA 93030

Mike Darling

Feb 2015

No info on services.

William R. Fisher

July 2015

William Fisher, former Fish and Game Warden passed away July 31, 2015. He started as a warden at Lake Elsinore in 1969 and retired at Redding in 1990.

He is survived by his wife Diane of 55 years, children Bill Jr., Mark, and Debbie Hobson, 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Service and Mass will be at Our Lady of Mercy, Thursday, August 13 at 11:00 a.m.

Internment at the Veterans Cemetery in Igo Monday, August 17 at 9:30 a.m. – See more at:

Bill Slawson




June 2015

I just received word that we lost a hero from our ranks. Retired Warden Bill Slawson, a WWII hero and fellow retired warden, passed away on Saturday.According to his wife, Jane, after 90 years of living life, Willy passed away on Sat. 6/13. He did it his way!!! No hospice, pain meds etc. He will go to the National Cemetery in Dixon, but not for several weeks we think. He is in CROW HEAVEN. Dogs with him entire time (week).We hate to see any of our fellow retirees go, but it is nice to know that he went out on his own terms with his beloved dogs and his loving wife at his side.Here is a little background on Bill for those of you who don’t know him.Like many wardens, Bill was a great storyteller. If one were to sit down with Bill and ask him to tell them a story- he could go on for hours about whatever it is one wanted to know.For the basics, Bill was born in 1924 and grew up in Vallejo. He quit high school in 1943 to join the Marines, but his father wouldn’t let him- so he got a job with the California Division of Fish and Game.“Back then in Vallejo, if we didn’t hunt for food we couldn’t eat,” he said. “We were poor.”

If you asked him, he would say that he doesn’t believe he’s a war hero, despite being awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for serving in the First Special Service Force in World War II.

“It’s no big deal,” Bill said. “I just happened to be there at the right time. I ain’t no damn war hero.”

When he was drafted into World War II at the age of 18, he volunteered to be part of the First Special Service Force (FSSF), a group of soldiers from the United States and Canada. They were all specially trained in various combat situations, including learning to perform parachute jumps, amphibious training and hand-to-hand combat. Bill was a light machine gunner in the elite assault unit of 2,400 American and Canadian infantry soldiers known as “the Devil’s Brigade.” The 1968 movie “The Devil’s Brigade” was based on the group’s experiences in World War II.

While in Europe, he helped in the liberation of Rome, and later in 1944 helped liberate several Nazi-invaded French towns. From November 1943 to December 1944, the Devil’s Brigade suffered 2,700 casualties- with 401 killed and 124 missing in action.

After the Devil’s Brigade was deactivated, Bill joined the 82nd Airborne Division of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He helped defeat the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge. There, he suffered extreme cold injuries- as his feet were essentially frozen. He continued to suffer from the extreme cold temperature exposure throughout his life, especially in the winter.

Bill received numerous awards for his exemplary service to the Department of Fish and Game. He was dedicated to protecting California and the Delta’s natural resources to insure the future of wildlife and nature for generations to come. He retired in 1982 after nearly 40 years of service to the department.

If that wasn’t enough, at the annual Walnut Grove Rotary year-end banquet in 2011, Bill was presented with a lifetime achievement award for his lifelong service to his country, Walnut Grove, the Delta and the state of California.

Bill Slawson, along with the other members of FSSF, were honored with the Congressional Gold Medal on Feb. 3, 2015 in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

He may not have called himself a hero, but those of us who knew him can surely call him a hero.

Friends can send a note to Jane Slawson at

Bill’s funeral services will be held at the National Cemetery in Dixon, 5810 Midway Road, Dixon, Ca 95620 on Thursday, July  9, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. There will be a reception following the service at  Walnut Grove Fire District Station 96 located at 14160 Grove St., Walnut Grove, Ca 95690

Wayne Caldwell
April 18, 2015
I received a note from retired Captain Jim White that retired warden Wayne Caldwell of Auburn suffered a stroke the morning of April 18 which resulted in his death. He had been improving since his recent stay in the hospital and was able to get around using a walker. A celebration of Wayne’s life will be held by the family later this year. For anyone that might be interested in attending, his memorial service will be on Friday, May 15 at 2pm at Crossroads Church, 10050 Wolf Road, Grass Valley (corner of Wolf and 49 where North Auburn meets Grass Valley). 
Lew Pengilly
December 2014
I received word on the passing of Retired Warden Lou Pengilly. Arrangements are as follows: Wednesday Dec. 17th the Rosary will be a 6 p.m. and Thursday Dec. 18 the Funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Both will be at the St. Joseph Catholic Church, 130 S. Fourth St., Rio Vista. A reception will follow across the street in the parish hall after the mass. If you wish to send a note to Barbara, here is her email.
March 2014
I received word on March 7th that Norm had passed away. Apparently his neighbor noticed that his lights had been on all night and went to check and found his body in the kitchen. Norm Reuther was the warden in Alpine County when he retired in 2000. He was often referred to as “Stormin’ Norman” but someone older than me will have to tell you why because I don’t know. Memorial services will be conducted for Norm Reuther at 2pm on Saturday, March 29 at Turtle Rock Park. It will be a Celebration of Life, an opportunity for family and friends to come together to remember Norm and the indelible mark he made on all of us. He truly was one of Alpine County’s own and his presence is missed. Food will be provided and we welcome potluck sides dishes and desserts to compliment the gathering.In lieu of flowers and cards, the family asks donations be made in Norm’s name to the California Wildlife Officer’s Foundation, a non-profit foundation that supports California Wildlife Officers in need.

Donations can be made at their website at or by mail at: California Wildlife Officers Foundation Attn: Amanda Warner 480 Lytton Ave # 4 Palo Alto, CA 94301As friendly and talkative as Norm was, he seems to have managed to avoid the camera lens well. We are looking for pictures to share at the memorial service, if anyone has photos of Norm please contact Clint Celio at 530-694-2289 or at to coordinate providing them for the service.

Les Edgerton

February 24, 2014
The California Fish and Game Family lost another legend with the passing of Les Edgerton. Les Edgerton passed away on February 24, 2014 at the age of 92.He had a long history with DFG, from his start at the Mt. Whitney hatchery to working as a warden, captain and finally as the Executive Secretary to the Fish and Game Commission. Les retired from the state in 1979 with over 38 years of service to the wildlife resources of California, but he wasn’t finished yet. Les went to work as the Western Regional Director for Ducks Unlimited and gave another 10 years in service to the future of wildlife resources for us and our children. His memorial service is open to all and is on March 21st, at 1:00 PM at the Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church, 11427 Fair Oaks Blvd, Fair Oaks, CA 95628. Les was also a proud Shriner and asked that donations be made in lieu of flowers to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children of Northern California, 2425 Stockton Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95817 – in the name of Leslie Franklin Edgerton. I know that he loved to fish as I saw him regularly on the American River when I was the local warden in that area.
Capt. Bill Sheflin
December 2013
Sheflin, William H. “Bill”, born in 1924, Bill left us on December 29, 2013 at eighty-nine years old. In the early 1950s, Bill became a Warden for the State of California Department of Fish and Game. He was immediately assigned to his home turf of Orange County. In a few years, Bill rose to the rank of Captain and was eventually responsible for supervising wardens in both Los Angeles and Orange counties. After retiring from the DFG in the 1980s, he moved to Waldport, Oregon and spent many years happily fishing. He is survived by his three sons, one daughter, and eight grandchildren. To our father and grandfather: “Fair Winds and Following Seas.” See more at:
Bill Ynclan
Bill Ynclan passed away from a massive stroke. He had only been retired for 4 years. Bill became a sworn peace officer to serve and protect wildlife as a Game Warden for the California Department of Fish and Game in 1987. Bill leaves behind Kathy, his wife of 30 years and his 26 year old son, Shane. A memorial for Bill will be held on February 8, 2014, 4:00 p.m. at Light of the Hills Lutheran Church in Cameron Park. Please bring a favorite photo of Bill to give to his family for the memorial table. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Light of the Hills Lutheran Church (in the memo section state “Food Bank”) at 3100 Rodeo Rd., Cameron Park, CA 95682. See his full obituary at:
Jack Rhea
I  was just advised that Retired Warden Jack Rhea died on 11-16-2013.Jack was 86 years old. He worked in Stanislaus County before he retired. 3-14-27 to 11-16-13 Thanks to Regional Chief John Baker and to Retired Lt. Mike Macias, I have updated info for Jack Rhea’s services. Graveside service will be on Friday, November 22, 2013 at 10:30 am at Wood Colony Cemetery on Dakota Avenue, in Modesto. Reception to follow. If you want to read his Obit, here is the link for you.
Mike Castleton
I just received information advising that retired Lt. Mike Castleton passed away after surgery for a brain tumor in October of 2013. After retiring from DFG in 2004, Mike worked for TSA. In May of 2013, he finally retired from working altogether and moved up to the Lake Davis area to relax and focus on some fresh water fishing. In October, he started having some strange balance issues and dizzy spells, so he got checked out by the doctor. They found 3 large “rapid growing brain tumors” in his head. They were non-cancerous, but they needed to be removed before doing serious damage to his brain. He went into surgery and they removed the largest one successfully. Apparently while in recovery, a large clot broke loose in his brain where they removed the large tumor, and they performed emergency surgery. After the surgery, the doctors told Brian that significant brain damage occurred and that Mike most likely would not be able to recover from needing life support. The next day, his family decided to take him off life support and Mike died 48 hours later. The family already had private services.
Jim Hampe
Lt. Jim Hampe, Alturas, recently passed. I don’t have info on illness or cause of death. Jim retired 21 years ago. Jim was one of the first Lieutenants when he was promoted in 1975 at the time the classification was created. Jim Hampe’s Life Celebration Services will be held in Alturas on Saturday, October 12. Graveside Remembrance Service is at 11 a.m. at the Alturas Cemetery, directly followed by a Memorial Service and Reception at the Alturas Elks Lodge, Main Street. All are welcome to attend, potluck side dishes welcomed. Alturas Cemetery, 900 E 8th St, Alturas, CA 96101

Russell Murphy
July 22, 2013
Warden Russell Murphey was 74 years old. He was hired in July 1968 and he retired in March of 1990. He started his career in Indio and when he retired he was working in Redding. He was diagnosed with Lymphoma and battled the disease for several years. He passed away peacefully with his wife by his side at their home in Oregon. 11-20-38 to 7-22-13 Services will be held Monday July 29, 2013, at 3:00 PM at Baker City Christian Church in Baker City, Oregon.

Glenn Sparks
8, 2013
I received word from Retired Warden John Suchil that Glenn’s wife found him dead at home. No other info available at this time.
Lori Oldfather
14, 2013
I received word on March 15th that Lori passed away as of her long battle with cancer. There will be a celebration of life for Lori, at The Waterloo Club, 10447 East Waterloo Rd., Stockton Ca., Friday, March 29th from 1800 to 2100. This is just North East of Stockton off Comstock Rd.
From Sacramento, south on 99, east on 8 mile road, south on Highway 88 which is Waterloo Road, to just south of Comstock Road.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to: Becoming an Outdoors- Woman California, P.O. Box 1505, Cottonwood, CA 96022.
Lt. Larry St. Clair
March 2013
I received word on March 11th that Larry passed away recently, but no additional information at this time.
Lyle Ingold
I received word that Lyle had passed away, but no other info about cause of death or about services. 5-4-29 to 12-2012
Lt. Bob Terwilliger
October 25,
Lt Bob Terwilliger had passed away in his Lodi home on October 25, 2012 at the age of 94. Bob had spent many years working Marine Patrol in the Newport Beach area, retiring as a boat Lieutenant in the early 80’s. I do not know his complete Fish and Game career, but I know it did include working the Region 5 pheasant co-ops in the early 50’s. He was a great guy to those of us who had the pleasure of knowing him. No information on services. 9-25-18 to 10-25-2012

Lt. Reed V Smith

1, 2012
LT. Reed V Smith, Retired, died October 21, 2012 at his home in Ventura, CA attended by his wife, Mariana, after a year long struggle with cancer. He was 68 years old. A memorial given by the family for all who wish to attend will be held on Sunday January 13 2013 at 11:00 am at the Ventura West Marina, 1198 Navigator Drive, Ventura 93002. Contributions in Reed’s honor may be sent to: Hedrick Ranch Nature Area, c/o Friends of the Santa Clara River,660 Randy Drive, Newbury Park, CA 91320 or the Ventura Audubon Society, PO Box 24198, Ventura CA 93002.

Bob Pirtle

11, 2012
After working for the Sheriff’s department, Bob started his career at DFG as the office warden in Headquarters in the early 1970s. From there, he transferred to the Orangevale position. At the time of his retirement, he was the warden at Georgetown. Bob died from a lung infection.Bob’s son, Sean, followed in his dad’s footsteps and is a Game Warden in Northern California. His daughter, Shelly, works as a biologist for the Department. Please join us in a celebration of life on Friday, October 5 at 1:00 p.m. at the Green Valley Community Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Rd. Placerville, CA 95667. Please
come causal, as that is how Bob would have preferred. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the California Deer Association, the National Wild Turkey Federation or to Interstitial Lung Disease Research or Diabetes Research. If you wish to send a card to Gayle and the family, please send to 5460 Rainier Drive, Garden Valley, CA 95663

Joe Burnett

10, 2012
I found out this evening that retired Warden Joe Burnett passed away last Monday. Joe was a Warden from 1951-1974. During that time he spent his entire career as the Tulare Warden.Joe was known as a great game warden and not only
did he dedicate his life to being a warden, he also gave us recently retired game warden Kathy Ponting… Joe was her father. Kathy’s daughter (Joe’s granddaughter) graduated with top honors at the recent warden’s academy, so his legacy will continue.Kathy advised that the family will most likely be having a private get together to celebrate his life. Please keep Kathy and her family in your thoughts. 8-18-21 to 9-10-12
Captain Jim Dixon
6, 2012
Captain Jim Dixon retired from Region 2 as the Hunter Education Coordinator. He passed away from pancreatic cancer. He will be missed by his friends and family. Here is his obituary from the Sacramento Bee

If you wish to send a note, please send it to:
PO Box 536
Walnut Grove, CA 95690
Phone: 916-776-1313

Inspector Jack Traub
14, 2011
Retired Patrol Inspector, Jack Traub, passed away at 2:00 AM on the morning of July 14th.He truly was a remarkable character and warden. He will be missed by all of us who knew him. We will always remember his Tarzan yell.A Memorial Celebration is scheduled for August 13th at 10:00 am. It will be held at the Campus Commons Clubhouse which is at: 650 Commons Drive, Sacramento, CA. If you wish to send a card to his wife, here is the address. Ann Porten-Traub, 2888 Pekins Court, West Sacramento, CA. 95691.

Rememberances can be made to a charity of the donor’s choice or to Jack’s favorite charity, which provides cleft lip and palate surgery for children.

Bill Peters
14, 2010
Retired Warden Bill Peters passed away unexpectedly at home in Quincy this evening at around 5:00 p.m. He truly is an inspring teacher and an outstanding wildlife artist who hosted artist workshops in Chester.A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 23rd at 11 AM at the Plumas County Fairgrounds. The service will be outdoors at the Pavilion and will be followed by an indoor reception. All are welcome.  Plan on cold and wet weather and drive safely on your way. If you wish to send a card to the family, here is the address. Kathy Peters, P.O. Box 1954, Quincy, Ca. 95971
Inspector Duncan Snell
October 12, 2010
It is with great sadness that I must tell you that Duncan passed away yesterday, 12 October at Mercy General Hospital. He was surrounded by his wife and his children, Catherine and Mark, Jennifer, daughters Devin and Megan and David and Amy. At 4AM on Tuesday he awoke with chest pains bad enough to want to go to the hospital. He was driven to Kaiser, and upon a doctors evaluation, they moved him to Mercy General. The problem was diagnosed with dissected Aorta. The decision was made to perform a 6-8 hour surgery…while in the process of preparing for the surgery, Duncan passed.If you wish to send a card to his wife, here is the info. Carolyn Snell, 2711 La Chova, Rancho Cordova, 95670
Alan Nack
12, 2010
I just received word that Alan passed away in August from pancreatic cancer. The following information below has been provided by Alan’s wife, Carole: Alan touched a lot of people during his life. So, There was an Open House Remembrance for Alan on Sept. 19th at The Point restaurant in Rio Vista, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
JF “Jack” Schmidt
I just received word that Jack passed away in Springfield, Oregon. He split his time between Sun City, Arizona and Springfield, Oregon. His services were attended by family and friends.
Lt. Carl McCammon
May 13, 2010
Carl retired as a Lieutenant in the Ridgecrest area of Region 4. I have no information on services yet. Reportedly he died of congestive heart failure.
Richard Phillips
23, 2010
Dick, who was the warden at Wrightwood Warden inSan Bernardino County died from a stroke/heart attack and died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. The services were held on May 1st.
Henry Lyle Null
27, 2010
Lyle was born on January 23, 1926 and died on February 27, 2010. He was 84. He was a game warden for the California Department of Fish and Game where he worked for 36 years. During this time, he received the California Citation and Medal of Valor Pin in recognition for performing “an extraordinary act of heroism at great risk to his own safety and life, in saving the lives of four persons”. Lyle was a true outdoorsman, enjoying hunting and fishing whenever possible. The family requests that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the NRA or charity of your choice.
Gary Strait
14, 2009
Gary was a game warden in Region 4 for many years, working in the Atwater and Modesto Districts. He retired in 1986. Gary was 80 years old. Services were private.
Doug Messer
20, 2009
Doug   passed away peacefully in his sleep after a long battle with cancer. The memorial service is on Saturday, October 24 at 2:00pm at the First Congregational Church in Murphys on the corner of Church and Algiers St. Cards can be sent to Fay Messer and Family at PO Box 249, Murphys, CA 95247.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:First Congregational Church, P.O. Box 48, Murphys, CA 95247 or The North American Game Warden Museum, RR #1 Box 116AA, Dunseith, ND 58329

Doug’s service was very nice. Obviously he was loved and respected by the people in Murphys. We had a nice turnout of retired wardens along with a few active wardens. Great to see Dan Hoggard, John Dymek, John Stark, Bill Slawson, Rob Kilbourne, Ron Perrault, Wendell Barns, Mike Macias, Lorraine Doyle and Dennis DeAnda. Old friends of his from State Parks were there too; Chuck Grinnel, Mike Lynch and a few others.

Gary Campbell
19, 2009
Gary worked as a Fish & Game Warden for the State of California from 1977 until his retirement in 1988. A memorial service is scheduled for 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 24, 2009 at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 308 E. Acacia, Hemet. Cards can be sent to Lynn Campbell & Family at 30145 Stein Way, Hemet, CA 92543. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Visiting Nurse Associationof the Inland Counties Murrieta Hospice Program at 39815 Alta Murrieta Dr., Ste. C-8, Murrieta, CA 92563.
Jim Stevens
Jim Stevens, Retired warden from Region 4, passed away. Funeral services will be on May 9, 2009 at 1100 hours at St. Jude Catholic Church in Wofford Hieghts.
Johan Lysne
Johan Lysne, retired warden from the Eureka area, died today, April 29th from cancer. There will be a memorial service for Johan Lysne on May 11, 2009 at 3:00 PM. It will be held at the Eureka Elks Lodge, 445 Herrick Ave. Eureka, CA 95503.
Bob Houghtby
Bob, who retired as the warden in Likely, Modoc County, passed away in late April. Retired wardens Szody, Albright, Harrison, Hampe and Albert were present for the services on April 28th. Bob will be remembered by those who knew him as the warden
with the bagpipes.
Bill Hart
Long   time Nevada birder Bill Hart died Wednesday night, March 25, claimed by cancer after a few months of illness. He was about 76. Bill is survived by two sons, two daughters, four grand children, and a great grand baby. After a stint as at
the aviary at the San Diego Zoo, Bill had a long career with the California Dept. of Fish and Game, beginning as a hatchery worker in Independence. He made warden at Earp, along the Colorado River. In about 1968 he transferred to South Lake
Tahoe, where he worked until his retirement in about 1990. At that time he wore badge number 1. Bill was at various times a champion pistol shooter, an avid bow hunter, and a blue ribbon winning carver of decoys, both service and decorative. He birded throughout his Fish and Game career and devoted a lot of time to birding after his retirement. Among his many qualities he was a practical person. He knew how to do a lot of things and was a problem solver. Perhaps best of all, he never
complained, even under the most trying circumstances. No services are planned; Bill didn’t want a fuss of any kind.
Weldon Sanford
Weldon passed this weekend from a lung disease.
Services will be in Modesto at 2:00 on Wednesday 1/21/09 at the Bethel Church, 2361 Scenic Dr., Modesto. The family requests that donations be made to Ducks Unlimited, NRA and Pheasants Forever in lieu of flowers. 
Notes to the family can be sent to Joan Sanford at 1704 Wylie Drive, Modesto, CA 95355
Harold Lantis
Passed away at age 93. When this photo was taken (1983 or 1984), Harold had already been retired about nine years. He was the Santa Maria warden and would fly his personal
airplane on patrol. He retired to Camp Verde, Arizona.
Larry Redfern
29, 2007
Larry Redfern, retired as a patrol lieutnant in Sanger. He was 69 years old when he died. Cards may be sent to Larry’s wife, Delores, and the family at their home. 432 N. Del Rey, Sanger, CA 93657
Chief Greg Laret
28, 2007
If you wish to send a card to his wife & family, Kathy’s address is: Kathy Laret, 5142 Dredger Way, Orangevale, CA., 95662
Jim Englehart
August 2006
Fred Alwurm
Chet Gall
Ray Skochko
Captain Skochko retired from the Department of Fish and Game in 1987 after 28 years of service. He lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday, June 6, 2006.
John McClain
His family’s home address: 640 Malaga Dr., Ukiah, Ca 95482 Phone: 707-468-1340.
Lt. Bob (Robert) Eckwall January 17, 2006. Before he passed away, he was still living in Trinity Center where he retired in 1982. He was 79 at the time of his death.



Lt. Rich Colby

Lt. Don Harn
The family requests donations to Fremont Rideout Hospice, 970 Plumas Street, Yuba  City, CA 95991, American Cancer Society, United States Marine Raider Association or the Disabled American Vetrans. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Julie Cole (Don’s Daughter) at (530) 674-9465. call Jo at 530-743-5624
Bill Donovan 

August 2005

If you wish to send a card to  Delma, here is her address.
Delma Donovan, P. O. Box 113, Groveland, CA 95321
Chuck Monroe
July 2005
Jere Warden
May 2005
Dennis Messa
May 2005 
Lt. Bob Orange Sr.
February 2005
Luther Young
December 2004
Captain Luther Young served the Department of Fish and Game for 28 years. Hiring on in 1959 and retiring in 1987. Her served as the hunter safety captain for the central valley region prior to his retirement. He was 71 years old at his passing. November 10, 1933-November 28, 2004.
Harlan Seals
November 2001
Jim Worthington
September  2001
Lt. Glenn Moor Jr
April 2001
Ernie Nies Sr
November  1998
Mark Zumsteg
Warden, South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County .
Mark died from brain cancer.
Roy H. Pedersen
Lieutenant in Rancho Cordova
Russell Ild
Warden, Marin County
Brian Replogle
Captain, Eureka.
Brian died from Melanoma.
Ken Lindeman 
Kenneth James Lindeman, Lieutenant, San Mateo County.
1947- 1986 Ken died from Leukemia
Stan DeSilva

If you prefer to call, call me at 916-240-9302

8 thoughts on “In Memory

  1. Bob

    Warden Jack Vorhies died August 25,2003 at the age 86 after twenty years of service with the Department. Jack retired in 1977 as the Truckee Warden after working as a boarding officer on the PB Yelowtail in Port Hueneme and also as a pollution warden in Long Beach. He was an Army Staff Sergeant during WWII, serving in direct support of combat operations from July 1944 to May 1945, in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. For his meritorious war actions he was awarded the Bronze Star.

  2. James Randolph

    You missed warden Herbert Christie who worked on Humboldt County. He was a close friend of my dad Henry L. Null. He also received the medal of Valor for his rescue efforts during the 1964 flood.

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