Services were held Tuesday in San Jose for Vernalis native Ervan William Mecklenburg Sr. who died Saturday at Kindred Hospital in San Leandro.
Mr. Mecklenburg grew up on farms in Vernalis and Tracy and in family homes on Ninth and 10th streets in Tracy, living with his father, William, grandmother Doris and sister Dorothy. His mother, Ella Alys Goodenow Mecklenburg died when Ervan was a child.
He attended Tracy High School, and with advanced wood working skills he was often placed in charge of the class. He designed and made the name identifying the high school which lasted for many years.
Mr. Mecklenburg joined the U.S. Navy following his years at Tracy High. Upon being discharged from the Navy, he drove trucks for Hennessy in San Jose, hauling fruit to canneries. He drove for Greyhound Bus Lines all over California and rejoined the Navy following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
After World War II, he owned and operated various small businesses, including a cabinet shop that manufactured items for Sears and Farmers Union. He also owned a boat shop where he built everything from fishing boats and speed boats, to a Police Boat for Santa Cruz Police Department to a yacht for the former president of the Palo Alto Yacht Club. His final entrepreneurial endeavor was a trucking business that handled hauling construction materials all over the Bay Area.
His family will remember him as a good and generous man who contributed much of his time helping out anyone who needed it.
Active in the communities in which he lived, he singlehandedly obtained all of the materials needed to build the first Little League park in the Santa Clara Valley and supervised its construction, drawing on his contacts to donate money and materials and to volunteer labor, having signs painted surrounding the field advertising the business contributors to the project.
The land for the project was obtained by the San Jose Mercury News sports editor, Wes Mathis, from Father Schmidt of the University of Santa Clara.
Throughout the years, Mr. Mecklenburg loved to fish and often took his sons, father and father's buddy fishing in the Delta area, where they nearly always caught their limit of "stripers" to be shared with everyone in the neighborhood. They laid their catch out on gunnysacks on the back porch, and each neighbor took the pick of freshly caught, scaled and cleaned stripers.
Mr. Mecklenburg is survived by his daughter, Beverly Mecklenburg; his son and daughter-in-law, Marvin and JoAnn Mecklenburg, his daughter and son in-law, Barbara (Mecklenburg)and Ross Dohlen; his grandson and family, Dominic and Maria, and children Nicholas and Steven Mecklenburg; his granddaughters, Leanne Mecklenburg, Peggy Dohlen, step-granddaughters, Julie Cepeda, and Janine McKay; three great-grandchildren, Daniel Whitfield, Jessie Poshepny and George McCleese; and eight nieces and nephews, and their families.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Edith Florence (Grassi) Mecklenburg; his son, Ervan Jr; his sister, Dorothy (Mecklenburg) Hunke; and his eldest granddaughter, Marla (Mecklenburg) Whitfield.
Memorial services and interment were held at Oak Hill Memorial Park and Funeral Home, 300 Curtner Ave, in San Jose.