Feb 24, 2012
by WLJ


Floyd Norman Bidwell

Floyd Norman Bidwell passed away Feb. 12, 2012, at the family ranch in Hat Creek, CA. Mr. Bidwell passed of natural causes at the age of 87 years old. A life-long resident, rancher and farmer, Mr. Bidwell prided himself in raising Hereford cattle.


Preceding Floyd in death is eldest son Chuck, father Mack, mother Birdie, and sisters Virginia DeAtley, and Marjorie Earnest. Surviving family members include first wife and life-long friend, Ethel Bidwell, Hat Creek, second wife, Sharon Stevenson of Cottonwood. Also son James Ross, and Peggy, Hat Creek, son Mark Norman and Debbie of Hat Creek, daughter Cynthia Marie Bidwell of Burney. Grandchildren Charles Martin Bidwell and Robin, Cottonwood, Chad James Bidwell and Carrie of Alturas; granddaughter Lindsey Marie Carrington and Jeremy of Santa Rosa, Tanner Wayne Songer, San Diego, Wade Michael Songer of Idaho; granddaughters Blaire Mackenzie Bidwell, Hollister, Bliss Cherie Bidwell, Chico, Bailey Lee Bidwell, Hat Creek. Greatgrandchildren include Bryce Floyd Bidwell, Cottonwood, Cooper Wayne Carrington, Santa Rosa, Madison Lynn Bidwell, Alturas. Sisters include Maxine Bidwell Summers, Redding, and Joann Bidwell Wolfe of Medford, OR; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Fall River Big Valley Cattlemen’s Association Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 66, McArthur, CA 96056, or California Nevada Junior Hereford Association Awards Fund at 5640 County Rd. 65, Willows, CA 95988.

A private family burial was held at the Burney Cemetery Friday, Feb. 24, and a Celebration of Life was held Feb. 24 at the George Ingram Hall in McArthur.

James Eaustace (Jim) Wolter

Even when reaching 86 years, 339 days of age and poor health suggested the passing of a dearly loved one was on the horizon, Jim E. Wolter’s death on Valentine’s Day, 2012, still came as a shock.

Born March 10, 1925, in Pacific Grove, CA, to Joseph Eustibio Wolter and Mary Grace Wilmont, Jim was raised in Carmel Valley, CA, in the days when draft horses were used to bale hay, dances took place at the Farm Center, and local rodeo exhibitions were held at the San Clemente Dam. Hard work and overcoming hard times created satisfaction beyond words and stories that will live on for generations.

After serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS O.H. Ernst from Oct. 12, 1943. to May 7, 1946. as Quartermaster 3rd Class, Jim attended U.C. Davis, where he met Janet Ione Larson of Oakland, CA. They married on Oct. 27, 1950. Their marriage of 61 years lasted until his death.

In 1959, Jim and Janet moved their family from Monterey County to buy a piece of property in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, between Auburn and Grass Valley, CA. Beginning in 1970, he worked as a foreman on a Nevada County cattle ranch. He and his family eventually leased that  property and established their own livestock business of commercial cattle and hogs in 1976. Jim and Janet retired from their own cattle operation and moved to Adin, CA, in 2000.

Known for his quick wit, great sense of humor, compassion, adventurous stories and the integrity characterized by those from his “Greatest Generation,” Jim’s life was rich in terms of the love and integrity he demonstrated. He will be remembered by young and old alike who represent all walks of life and societal backgrounds. He left this life with family and friends grateful to have crossed his path.

While “April Fools Day,” his favorite holiday, may have seemed like a more fitting time for his departure, from now on Jim’s huge heart for us all may be honored by his family and friends each future “Valentine’s Day.”

Jim was predeceased by both his parents, and his two older brothers, David and Dean Wolter. Left behind to continue his legacy are his wife, Janet, as well as their four children: Kathy DeForest (Tom) of Adin, CA; Joe Wolter (Jimmie) of Aspermont, TX; Matt Wolter (Jackie) of Corning, CA; and Sally Askew (Bill) of Carmel Valley, CA. He will also be greatly missed by his grandchildren: Sarah DeForest, Becky DeForest Hansen, Jess and Emily Wolter, Chanell Mason Adamson, Corey, Jimmy and Kathleen Wolter, Kate and Kylie Askew, Ross Dalby and Will Edwards; along with great-grandchildren Ruby and Hayden Hansen, Kaidin and Tilly Adamson, and Lynna Wolter.

Jim was buried at the Adin Cemetery, Adin, CA, on Feb. 21, 2012.

Contributions in memory of Jim Wolter may be made to the Big Valley Endowment Foundation, (Adin Ambulance Fund), P.O. Box 365, Adin, CA 96006; or to the California Cattle- Women’s Scholarship Fund, c/o Millie Krause, 8806 Wamble Road, Oakdale, CA 95361; or to the charity of the donor’s choice.