In Memory of our Friends....
Judith Ann Johnson
May 30, 1941 - October 12, 2021
Grass Valley, California - Judy Johnson, of Grass Valley, died the morning of October 12 with family by her side. She had battled COPD for many years.
She leaves behind her husband, of 59 good years, Steve and their four children Brandon(Chris), Kirsten, Suzanne Alonzo(Rod) and Tim(Heather). She also leaves nine grandchildren: Kaitlin, Emily(Cameron), Scotty, Dante, Cameron, Ben, Noah and Aaron(Sharon) and two great-grandchlldren Zooey and Eirik. Judy is also survived by her brothers Tom(Christy) and Tim(Nancy) Goldthwaite.
Judy was born in Sacramento to Chet and Gay Goldthwaite. As a Navy family she and her brothers grew up on the move, living in Norfolk, San Diego and Guam. After Navy life they resettled in Sacramento, where she attended Sacramento High School. During high school she met the love of her life, Steve. They married in 1962 and worked and raised their four children in Modesto. During her years in Modesto, Judy owned and operated The Gift Horse Boutique and Restaurant with two partners Bob Crismon and Belinda Jones and later Bev Haub. She also worked as an administrative assistant for Modesto City Schools until the mid-1990s. In 1991 she embarked on her next adventure starting the Johnson Llama Ranch. She remained active in the Llama Community well into her 70's. Judy was so proud of her family, her years owning the Gift Horse and her years as a llama rancher.
We all miss the nicest person we ever knew, the best friend we ever had and the best wife, Mom and sister we could wish for.
At her request, the family will celebrate her life privately.
James Benjamin Williams, Cal graduate and long-time Petaluma resident, business owner and llama rancher, died peacefully at the age of 90 on March 2, 2021.
Survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Beula Williams, and his five children, Daniel (Emily), Tom (Caroline), Brian (Lynda), Andy (Shana) and Brenda (Laura), and preceded in death by his mother Emaleen Dickey, and his father Benjamin Williams of Salem Oregon.
An only child, Jim was born and raised in Salem Oregon where he met Beula. Jim was always athletic and never missed an opportunity to ski throughout his life and loved sharing his joy of skiing with his family and friends.
After their marriage in 1950, Jim and Beula moved to Berkeley California where they began their family. Jim worked as a buyer for The Emporium during the early years of their marriage. In 1960, they moved to Petaluma to raise their family and there they started their first women's clothing store in Petaluma, "The Village Shop". The original "Village Shop" grew to four shops in four cities in Sonoma County, plus their fifth shop, "The Calico Cat" in Codding Town. Jim was also active in the Petaluma Rotary for many years and served a term as president.
In 1975, Jim and Beula purchased their first llama and fell in love with the animals. Soon they purchased the old Fowler Ranch in Valley Ford where they lived for 40 years raising and breeding llamas which they sold all over the U.S. as "Big Tree's Llama Ranch".
During the years in Valley Ford, their eleven grandchildren were born and many happy memories created. Jim and Buela began attending the Two Rock Valley Presbyterian Church during this time, where Jim found many ways to serve using his extraordinary people skills. He especially enjoyed starting the tradition of the Ebelskiver breakfast each Mother's Day. In his later years, Jim loved working at Vintage Bank Antiques in the old bank building in downtown Petaluma. No matter where Jim was or what he was doing, Jim loved talking with people.
His friendly manner and kindness endeared him to everyone he met throughout his life. All who were blessed to know Jim will miss his extraordinary personality, thoughtfulness and service to others.
Jim is also survived by his eleven grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
A private service will be held for family at Two Rock Presbyterian Church in the next month. In lieu of flowers, and because they are angels among us, the family asks for donations to Hospice by the Bay, 355 W Napa Street, Suite B, Sonoma, CA. 95476.
James Benjamin Williams
1930 - 3/2/2021
Daniel Ernest Russell Milton
FEBRUARY 6, 1939 – JANUARY 4, 2021
Esther Sue Sykes
1950 - 8/26/2018
April 21, 1941 - May 8, 2017
The Llama community lost a long time llama ranch owner, treasured friend, and camelid advocate on 8 May, 2017, when Lora Crawford passed away. This icon of our community often characterized herself simply as "a seeker of knowledge" despite multiple decades of being an active llama owner/breeder, show exhibitor, organizational leader, mentor, teacher and ALSA judge. When Lora was introduced to these fuzzy camelid heart stealers years ago, she was like the rest of us - long on llama love and short on knowledge of llama care, training, handling, breeding and showing. As this "seeker of knowledge", she immersed herself in all things llamas. By attending and participating in open ranch programs, clinics, organizational conferences and expos, sales and ALSA shows, Lora steadily built an expansive knowledge base which she generously shared with others through her mentoring, teaching (formally and informally) and her support and encouragement of llama youth. Lora worked diligently with some of the very first ALSA judges to better understand the nuances of successfully selecting and showing llamas, and acquired her ALSA judging credentials in the process. For decades she was called on to judge ALSA shows all over the country, including the honor of judging at Grand Nationals. Lora stepped up as an active and supportive member of multiple organizations such as the Alpaca and Llama Show Association, International Llama Association, CAL-ILA, and Llama Association of North America to name a few. Her years of dedicated service, leadership by example, teaching, and mentoring were truly significant and much appreciated as evidenced by the prestigious "Pushmi-Pullyu" Award from the ILA, The Murray Fowler Award from CAL-ILA, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from LANA. Lora, we will miss you so much.....You have left your legacy in memories and accomplishments everywhere, and they have been firmly and irrevocably woven into the fabric of this Llama Community. Remember the directions... "Second star to the right and straight on to morning"*.... Isn't that “Bold Venture” and “Sizzling Hot” eating in the lush pasture just on the other side of the rainbow bridge? Your beloved llamas will never leave you... like you will never really leave us.
by Cris Jennings
* Peter Pan directions to Neverland