Friends of CCHS Memorial

"Within proper respect and etiquette, CCHS wishes for you to consider a donation in behalf of the individual. Many people choose to honor the deceased by making a monetary donation to a cause that was meaningful to them. If your loved one, or friend personally supported a charity, you might donate to the same charity. CCHS in no means wants this consideration to lessen the respect that is given the individual by their inclusion in this memorial page. It is their efforts that CCHS admirably honor." Friends of CCHS Memorial


In Memory of

Eugene Serr

Long standing activist of Northern California history. Eugene (Gene) was a long standing CCHS RVP of Region 4 (Tehama, Glenn, Butte, and Colusa Counties).

Gene passed away on September 13, 2019 in Redding CA. Gene was 94 and attended many CCHS functions until his early 90's.



In Memory of

Barron Smith

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of CCHS Past President, Barron Smith.  

Barron passed away on December 16, 2018 with his wife Kyle and close friend Robin by his side.  Barron was devoted to heritage preservation and donated his time and expertise not only to CCHS but as state division commander to the Sons of Confederate Veterans among many other historical organizations.

Barron Smith Obituary


In Memory of

Mary M. Otis

Mary M. Otis, 96, longtime editor of the California Historian and champion
promoter of the Conference of California Historical Societies,
died on March 17, in Folsom.

Going back to at least 1992 when the California Historian was a
quarterly with an editorial staff, Otis played a major role. She was listed
then as publications director and editor. Even in 2010 her name was on the
masthead as editor-in-chief, with Mary-Ellen Jones as executive editor.

In the interim, Otis was also listed as media director.

She was also active in the Sacramento County Historical Society and the
Sacramento Area Consortium of Historical Societies, often imploring members
to be part of CCHS and contribute articles to the Historian.

Age caught up with her in later years and the last meetings of the
Consortium occurred when she implored her caretaker to make sure she wheeled
her in, in her chair.

Otis in 1995 was the special editor of the SCHS' Golden Notes (Vol 41, No 2)
on "Sacramento's Sophisticated Ladies: Prostitution in 1860."

Otis noted that the well-researched pamphlet by Cindy L. Baker, MA. Grew out
of Baker's talk to a Society meeting in the early 1990s that drew the
organization's best crowd ever. The preface says "In this well-researched
article, the author has fleshed out the dull statistics with the human drama
surrounding four of the best documented women in Sacramento in 1860."

Mary was born in Iowa on Nov. 9, 1920. The Folsom Chamber of Commerce lists
her as an honorary member for all her volunteer activities. She was preceded
in death by her husband, James Otis. She is survived by her daughter, Linda
Otis-Gutman, and a grandson, James. [Thanks to Michael Otten for this information]

>Tribute: Melba Leal, National Pony Express Association (CA Division) "Mary Otis was a really special friend to the CA Division and [I] enjoyed her work...  In fact, it was Mary Otis who pushed me to write my book about Women and the Pony Express.  Her quote to me, “Write it before you forget it, or loose it.”  She was a dear friend." 

>Tribute: Mary-Ellen Jones, CCHS California Historian " At a CCHS annual meeting over thirty years ago, Mary Otis made a plea for a little help with the Historian. After the meeting, I introduced myself, explained that I had never worked with magazines but I would help her if possible. Little did I realize that Mary’s definition of a little help was worlds apart from my definition. I spent over thirty years learning from a pro how to produce a magazine.  I treasure those years." 


In memory of

Mary Lou Lyon


Sept. 18, 1926 - Nov. 8, 2016

Mary Lou Lyon was the matriarch of the Conference of California Historical Societies.  As a history teacher, she embodied the thought that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.  Mary Lou loved history and she loved the Conference of California Historical Societies. 

Her service extended to positions such Site & Times coordinator (which plans the conference’s symposiums and annual meetings), to nominating committee, past president, and just about any role one can think of.  Her influence in CCHS was great - she had a vision for California’s historical community, a community which she believed was driven by a love of history and the places which we all call home.   She worked tirelessly to improve the experience of all people in the State of California who wanted to learn more about their communities and who wanted to join a historical society.  She believed that there were so many interesting stories about all communities in California and actively sought the lesser known communities.

She was an historian in her own right.  She published several books and was the editor of Santa Clara County Pioneers for decades.  Past retirement, she continued to teach history to adults and opened the door to many about the rich history of the Santa Clara Valley.

Most CCHS dinner programs end in a raffle and Mary Lou would use her booming voice to read raffle numbers and organize the raffles.  Her humor would come through when watching what people would select, humorously telling patrons that a book is too advanced or that another guest shouldn’t take the bottle of wine.

CCHS and California’s historical community will miss Mary Lou.  With her passing, we have lost a leader with a great passion for California’s history.

Our memories of Mary Lou are long lasting, and with our thoughts go prayers for her family. 


In Memory of

Gordon John Martin

July 5, 1931 - March 6, 2016


Gordon John Martin, 84, of Stockton CA passed away on March 6 2016 in Prescott AZ. Born in Monterey, CA and raised in Carmel Valley, CA. Gordon is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Gracelyn Martin. His children, Bill (Lynda) Martin, Kim (Tris) Boscacci, Greg (Stacy) Martin and grandchildren: Matthew Martin, Peter, William, & Alyssa Boscacci, Hunter & Christa Martin.

Gordon was a devoted U.S. Marine veteran, who served his country with distinction during the Korean War. He received numerous medals including a Purple Heart.

He served on various committees including: Jedidiah Smith Society, Disabled American Veterans, and Conference of California Historical Society.

Family and friends are invited to attend services at DeYoung Memorial Chapel at 601 N. California St., Stockton CA 95205. Visitation on Monday March 21, 2016 2-6pm, Rosary [Vigil] at 6pm. Memorial Service Tuesday March 22, 2016 at 11AM with Military Interment following at San Joaquin Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Assistance League of Stockton &/or Disabled American Veterans Charities of San Joaquin County. 

CCHS welcomes your donations in honor of Gordon.  


In Memory of

Charlotte Price

Charlotte Price

January 13, 1922 - May 4, 2015


Charlotte was born January 13, 1922 to Harrison Rockwell and Eula Mae Spaulding at their home at 313 Queen Street in Inglewood, California. This house was built by her grandfather for her parents in 1912. Charlotte's father was Inglewood City Treasurer and when he died at 46 years of age, Eula became Treasurer for the next 20 years while raising six children. In 1939 Charlotte served as student body vice-president of Inglewood High. She married a fellow classmate, John Kenneth Price on December 12, 1941. They were married for over 61 years until his passing in 2002. Charlotte and Kenney raised three children, Marilee, Rocky and Christy. Her main focus at this time was her family. She was a member of the PTA, (President for three years), Girl Scout troop leader, and Inglewood Park and Recreation Commissioner. In 1972, she and Kenney made their home in Redondo Beach where she continued to be active in the community. Charlotte was on the Board of Directors for the Centinela Valley Historical Society. She also participated in the Conference of California Historical Society seminars throughout the state which she and her daughter Christy attended. She enjoyed the annual LA Times Book Festivals. Charlotte played golf until the age of 90 and continued to enjoy weekly art classes which she started at the age of 84. She did amazing paintings reflecting her love of nature and people. She wrote poetry as well but her real creative expression was the art of living. A spiritual person, she attended the Journey of Faith Church. Charlotte died on May 4, 2015. She was preceded in death by her daughter Marilee and granddaughter, Tiffany. She leaves behind to cherish her memory, her grandson Robert K. Nyman, his wife Andrea and her great grandson Jack; her daughter Christy and her son Rocky, his wife Karen, sons Michael, Matthew and his wife Jaylina and great grandchildren, Matthew and Sophia. Her focus had always been around family. She was a "kin keeper", bringing together a large extended family of Spauldings and Prices. Her wisdom and love will be missed by the many people whose lives she touched. Service will be held at the Inglewood Mortuary 1206 Centinela Ave. 1pm Monday May 11th.

Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 8 to May 9, 

 CCHS welcomes your donations in honor of Charlotte

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published this page in Home 2016-03-25 08:48:16 -0700
Conference of California Historical Societies
Bringing together California's historical community to share California's heritage, learn from one another and strengthen our communities.