Obituaries |


Record Courier Staff Reports

Dennis John



A graveside service will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Eastside Memorial Park in Minden for Dennis John Gabelman, 64, who died Dec. 17, 2006, in Reno.

Mr. Gabelman was born Nov. 18, 1942, in Los Angeles, Calif., to Aaron and Frances Gabelman. He was a former longtime resident of Gardnerville, returning to the Valley three months ago from Kingman, Ariz., where he had lived for eight years. He was an Army veteran of Vietnam and he loved traveling and the outdoors.

He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his children Jeff Gabelman of Carson City, Lori Britton of Minden, Heidi Gabelman of Reno, Kris Gabelman of Gardnerville; brothers Dale Gabelman of Los Angeles, Bill Gabelman of Maui, Hawaii; two grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Arrangements are in the care of Walton’s Chapel of the Valley in Carson City.

Howard A. Godecke


A memorial service is 11 a.m. Jan. 8 for Minden native Howard Arthur Godecke, 83, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1480 Douglas Ave. in Gardnerville. Mr. Godecke died Dec. 11, 2006, at a care facility in Carson City after a long illness.

Born Jan. 4, 1923, to Clarence W. and Esther M. (Menzel) Godecke at Mrs. Noonan’s maternity home in Carson City, Mr. Godecke grew up on the Milky Way Farm off Heybourne Road in Carson Valley.

After what he often called “a perfect, idyllic childhood,” Mr. Godecke graduated from Douglas County High School in 1941 and moved to San Francisco to attend college to become an architect, but after the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor he became a draftsman for the U.S. war effort.

He was an inventor and founded several businesses based on his inventions, most of them in the Sacramento area.

He founded the Songbird Survival Project, where he sold his yellow fabric Seedsox full of seeds for wild birds. That business spread nationwide.

Mr. Godecke was also a landscape designer, coordinating the landscaping expansion at Walley’s Hot Springs in the early 1980s, including the island gazebo and tennis courts.

He was also involved in the community effort to convert Douglas County High School in Gardnerville to the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center. He was a favorite subject of many local articles on the history of Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe, as well as the story of his songbird feeding business, which was also featured in Sunset Magazine.

Mr. Godecke was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Elinor Witt. He is survived by his son, Cameron Godecke of Fort Collins, Colo.; brother Clarence W. Godecke Jr. of Minden; sister Carolyn Ernst of Rocklin, Calif.; brother-in-law, Herb Witt of Minden and several cousins, nephews, nieces, grand-nephews and grand-nieces.

Mr. Godecke donated his body to the University of Nevada, Reno medical school. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to: Trinity Lutheran Church, WNCC Foundation for Jack Walters’ Bird Park at the Douglas campus, Lahontan Audubon Society, or St. Mary’s Hospice of Northern Nevada.

Olive Mae Graves


Olive Mae “Sally” Graves, 84, died Dec. 8, 2006, at the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center in Carson City. She was born in Bellflower, Calif., to Ross and Orla Jeanson, and lived in Walker and Coleville for more than 30 years.

In 1941, she completed one year at Whittier College where she received her “Mrs.” degree upon marrying her husband, Bart Graves. She was a homemaker until moving from Southern California to Coleville in 1962. There they bought a fishing lodge which they named Mountain Gate Lodge. They ran the Lodge, located at the mouth of Walker Canyon on Highway 395, for 11 years before retiring.

Mrs. Graves was an award winning artist, and an accomplished dancer who performed in dance recitals when she was young. While a member of the La Habra Jr. Women’s Club, she won the outstanding woman of the year award. In Coleville, she was active in the Antelope Valley Women’s Club, the senior center, and various artists groups.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years in 2001 and brother Hugh Jeanson in 1991.

She is survived by son Garrett Graves and daughter Gaye Graves; cousin Mildred Hawkings; nieces Rosanna Silvester with her husband and two children, and Judy Protiva with her husband and four children survive her.

No services have been announced.

Paul A. Juergens Jr.


A memorial service is 1 p.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Tahoe in Zephyr Cove for Paul A. Juergens, 50, who died Dec. 16, 2006, at Stateline.

Mr. Juergens was born Jan. 12, 1956, in Philadelphia, Pa., to Paul A. and Beatrice Kishbaugh Juergens. Raised in Wyndmoor, Pa., he graduated from Springfield Township High School in 1974 and attended Chico State College in Chico, Calif. A resident of Stateline for 25 years, he worked in the gaming industry.

He was preceded in death by his father Paul A. Juergens Sr. in 1999. He is survived by Linda Dane and son Kyle Dane; his mother Beatrice K. Juergens of Wyndmoor; sisters Suzanne and her husband David Kreines and Kathryn and her husband Francis Friel as well as three nephews.

Arrangements are in the care of Walton’s Douglas County Mortuary in Minden.

Alicia Smalley


A memorial service is 11 a.m. Thursday for former Douglas County School Board trustee and native Nevadan Alicia Laura Smalley, 54, at First Presbyterian Church, 306 W. Musser St., Carson City. Ms. Smalley, 54, died Dec.16, 2006, in Carson City. She was a 32-year resident of Carson Valley.

Born Feb. 19, 1952, in Las Vegas to Jim and Rae Smalley, she is survived by her mother Rae, her older brother Ed, and younger sister Esther Cothrun. She is also survived by her three children, Brook Adie, Darin Arigoni and Drew Arigoni, two grandchildren Sierra and Sage Adie (5 months old), many nieces, nephews, cousins and her life partner, Stephen Nicholas.

Ms. Smalley grew up in Henderson where she graduated from Basic High School in 1970. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Arizona State University in 1974. Upon graduation she moved to Carson City. She worked for the State of Nevada for more than 20 years in the Employment Security Division, the Welfare Division, SIIS, Vocational Rehabilitation, the Division of Aging Services, and the Sierra Regional Center.

She was elected to the Douglas County School Board and served 10 years in this position, where she reconciled home schoolers and the public education system among other challenges.

In 1995 Ms. Smalley earned her masters degree in social work at University of Nevada, Reno, and relocated to Washington, D.C., to work as an intern in the offices of Sen. Carole Mosley Braun, D- Ill. Upon completion of her internship she began working at the University of Nevada, Reno, as the educational equity coordinator in the college of education. She eventually earned her position as field work coordinator in the social work department. In addition to her commitments at UNR, she taught social work courses at TMCC. Ms. Smalley was active with the Women for Political Action and served on the National Women’s Political Caucus. She was on the National Board for the National Association of Social Workers. She served as president of NASW of Nevada and earned their Nevada social worker of the year award in 1993.

In addition to memberships in NOW, the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, the Women’s Resource Center in Carson City, she also served on several community boards including the Judicial Selection Committee in Douglas County, the Board for the Partnership for Community Resources, Douglas County Mental Health Advisory Board, the state Community Mental Health Advisory Board, and the Douglas County Parks and Recreation Board.

Ms. Smalley had completed all course work necessary for her doctorate in social work at the University of Utah when her lymphoma symptoms interrupted her work on her dissertation.

A reception will immediately follow services.

In lieu of flowers please make contributions to the Scholarship Fund of the Partnership of Community Resources in Douglas County to help local youth further their education.

The Partnership’s address is P.O. Box 651, Minden, NV 89423.