Paul E. Hill


A celebration of life for former volunteer firefighter Paul E. Hill, 76, is 1 p.m. Feb. 9 at Carson Valley United Methodist Church. Mr. Hill died at his home on Jan. 24, 2008.

Born Aug. 27, 1931, in Burbank, Calif., to John and Marjorie Hill, Mr. Hill was a plumber and a member of Plumber's Union No. 761.

He was president of Jack's of San Fernando car club. He met wife Ann and they were married in Las Vegas in 1955. The couple moved to Ruhenstroth in 1976 when Mr. Hill retired.

He was a founding member of the Ruhenstroth Volunteer Fire Department and was a member for 20 years.

He loved spending time with his family. He enjoyed feeding and making houses for birds. He was a collector who would visit most yard sales. He enjoyed spending time at the ocean and was an avid angler.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers John and James.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Ann; sister Helen Hill of Santa Monica, Calif.; sons Colin of Los Angeles, Peter and wife Diana of San Diego, John and wife Joy of Valencia and Mike and wife Carol of Gardnerville; grandchildren Kevin, Kirk and wife Jenn, Kyle, Amy and husband Steve, Kimberly, Jeremy and Matthew; great-grandchildren Jayden, Ima and Guy.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements are in the care of FitzHenry's Carson Valley Funeral Home.

Luther L. 'Sonny' Swaffar


Topaz, Calif., resident Luther L. "Sonny" Swaffar, 68, died at home with his family by his side on Jan. 15, 2008.

Born one of twins on Dec. 20, 1939, in Bakersfield, Calif., he moved with his family to Newhall until 1943 before returning to Bakersfield and then moving to Madera, Calif., in 1947.

He graduated from school in Madera in 1958.

Mr. Swaffar married Elizabeth Sebesta in November 1971. He worked construction in Portland, Ore., Thatcher Glass in Newhall and gas stations in Bakersfield. In 1966, he went to work with his friend John Fowler in Bakersfield. In 1974, he became partners with Fowler, owning and operating several service stations including Union 76, Texaco and many years with Chevron until 1997. In 1998, the Swaffars moved to Topaz and built a home.

He enjoyed country life and built birdhouses out of 100-year-old barn wood and became known as the Birdhouse Man of Topaz. Each of the birdhouses came with a story.

Mr. Swaffar loved his family and kept in contact with his parents, seven sisters and numerous nieces and nephews. Family members said he lived his life on his own terms and enjoyed every minute of it. He enjoyed fishing, gardening and gambling. He was kind to all living creatures, good natured and polite.

Mr. Swaffar is preceded in death by his wife of 32 years, Elizabeth, who died in February 2003.

Arrangements are in care of FitzHenry's Carson Valley Funeral Home in Gardnerville.


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