|Birth: ||Jan. 26, 1925|
|Death: ||Feb. 23, 2012|
Santa Cruz County
Wilson, called Joe by some friends and army buddies, was called Wilson at home. He was my uncle & the youngest son of Henry Frank Vavak, [1886-1968] and Mary "Lurany" (Combs) Morgan-Vavak, [1890-1948]. Dwc
Wilson married (1) Dolores Schafer, 24 Sep 1945, (Div'd)
and they had one daughter, Susan Dolores, who m. Gerald Dyer and had 3 sons.
Wilson married (2) Liesel Loesing, 23 Nov 1960, deceased, and they had one son, Michael, of Rocklin and one daughter, Deborah of Folsom.
A WWII Veteran of the European Theatre & wounded twice, a member of the 45th Division of the 181st Infantry, he served in France, Italy, Austria and Germany, earning numerous decorations. His obituary of sorts:
SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL,FELTON, CA -
February 24th 2012
An elderly man died Thursday afternoon after falling 250 feet over a steep, wooded cliff while clearing brush on his Santa Cruz Mountains property.
According to Felton Fire Chief Ron Rickabaugh, the man was working with a day laborer to clear brush and throw it off the cliff, which drops about 300 feet to the San Lorenzo River.
"He had a gardener there helping him," Rickabaugh said. "He came out to help and was passing the branches over the hillside and then the gardener didn't see him anymore. He assumed he went back into the house."
When the gardener realized the homeowner, believed to be in his 80s, (87) was no longer with him, he looked around the property and inside the house. It took a few minutes before he made the grisly discovery that the man had fallen over the cliff, landing about 50 feet shy of the riverbed, his fall was stopped by a tree, Rickabaugh said.
Rickabaugh described the recovery as "long, about 300 feet from where we were to the river and it was very steep, at some points it was close to vertical."
Emergency personnel got the call for help around noon. About 15 firefighters from Felton, Boulder Creek and Ben Lomond responded to the El Solyo Heights property, which is roughly halfway between Felton and Ben Lomond.
Firefighters initially thought they had a rescue on their hands but soon realized the man was dead. He suffered obvious head trauma, Rickabaugh said, and likely other injuries in the fall as well.
"He fell 250 feet, only about another 50 to 60 feet to the river," Rickabaugh said. "He finally came up against a fallen tree that caught him."
Emergency crews spent four hours working to recover the body in steep, dangerous terrain. Working with a team of people at the top of the cliff helping with ropes, several firefighters struggled to bring the body down the final 300 feet to where the unseasonably shallow San Lorenzo River flows. Another group of rescue crew members waited at the bottom, behind a cluster of homes on Glen Lomond Lane, to help with the recovery.
"It was very difficult," Rickabaugh said. "The guys did a great job getting it done. It's just one of those skills that we have to keep up."
While the fire crews practice for just such situations, they don't often have to use those skills, he said. But the departments, all located in the mountains, have the equipment and personnel necessary to carry out the mission when called upon.
The man's body was recovered from the heavily wooded cliffside around 4 p.m., according to sheriff's Sgt. Roy Morales.
His identity was not released Thursday, pending notification of relatives.
Copied from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, story by reporter Jessica M. Pasko.
Survivors: 1 bro., Franklin of Cupertino, 1 sis., Lorene Cook, of Modesto, 5 grandsons & 3 granddaughters, many nieces, nephews, & beloved friends. ~~SuzyQ/Dwc~~
Henry "Frank" Vavak (1886 - 1968)
Lurany (Combs)Morgan- Vavak (1890 - 1948)
Evie May Vavak Hickey (1910 - 1996)**
Simon Joel Morgan (1911 - 1970)**
Susie B Anderson (1912 - 1994)**
Samuel Lafate Morgan (1913 - 1968)**
Minnie Belle Morgan White (1915 - 1987)**
Martha "Naomi" Vavak Bradley (1915 - 2000)**
Lucille L. Morgan Keeton (1918 - 1998)**
Cecil Franklin Vavak (1921 - 1996)*
Joseph Wilson Vavak (1925 - 2012)
Santa Cruz County
Created by: SuzyQ
Record added: Feb 28, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 85962756
R.I.P With great affection, your favorite pesky niece. :)|
Added: Nov. 13, 2012
Added: Feb. 28, 2012