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James (Jim) Ernest Chastain (98)

James (Jim) Ernest Chastain (98), a native of Lebam, WA and a resident of Fresno, CA for 3 years, passed away Wednesday, January 10, 2018 in Fresno. He was a retired aircraft mechanic and a member of Madera First Baptist Church. James was a member of the Senior’s Club in Madera and was a Chaplain for hospice as well as local hospitals such as Valley Children’s Healthcare and the Madera Prison.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents James and Hazel (Adams) Chastain, his wife Edith Chastain, his two brothers Joseph and Clement Chastain, and his sister Alice Steen.

Samuel Timothy Barnes (29)

Samuel Timothy Barnes (29) passed away suddenly on Saturday, December 30, 2017 at the age of 29. Sam was a lifelong resident, born on April 24, 1988 to Leo and Candice Barnes. He was a graduate of Liberty High School class of 2006. Sam then attended Fresno City College and received certificates in Maintenance Mechanics, HVAC, EMT and Fire Academy; he was also a certified, first responder and volunteer firefighter. Sam was an Eagle Scout Troup 331 in Madera and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He is survived by his wife, Tanlynn Woolsey-Barnes, his parents, Leo and Candice Barnes all of Madera, his in-laws, Jodi Ragsdale and Gary Ragsdale of Madera and father-in-law Wayne Woolsey of Arkansas. He also leaves behind his siblings, Meghan Hunt and her husband Daniel, Breanna Lopez and her husband Chris both of Madera, Kassie Humann and her husband Brian of Clovis, his brother-in-law, Gary Dean Ragsdale of Clovis and sister-in-law Katelynn Ragsdale of Madera, and many nieces and nephews.

Marcello P. Ayala (92)

Marcello P. Ayala (92) of Madera, CA passed away on December 24, 2017 surrounded by the love of his family. Marcello P. Ayala was born in Fabens, Texas on April 26, 1925. Marcello and his family moved to Madera, CA when he was ten years old. At the age of eighteen, Marcello enlisted in the United States Army and became a Private First Class Rifleman.

Marcello was part of the 333rd Infantry, 84th Division, known as the famous Railsplitters. On September 20, 1944 he boarded the Edmund B. Alexander and set sail to the European Theater, where Marcello and his infantry took part in the most historical battles known to this date. He was in the front lines during the Battle of Ardennes, later to be known as The Battle of the Bulge, The Battle of Rhineland and the Battle Central Europe, all of which ended WWII. Marcello and his fellow soldiers became admired and were heroes to people across the world.

Former Madera Librarian Passes: Stanley John Matli (77)

Stanley John Matli (77) was born on January 24, 1940 to Paul and Imogene Matli in Merced, California. His Aunt Lena and Uncle Lefty Gai played an important role in raising Stanley. He graduated from Chowchilla Union High School in 1957. He received his BS from the University of San Francisco in 1961. After earning a teaching credential at Fresno State College, he taught at various elementary, middle and high schools in the San Joaquin Valley.

During this time he also served 8 years in the Army Reserve. In 1971 he received a masters degree in library science at San Jose State. He worked several years at the Lodi Public Library before he took a position at the Madera County Library. He was known as “Stan the Answer Man” during his 24 year career at Madera. Stan married Rebecca Jennings in 2001.

Angelo Pierotti (94)

Angelo Pierotti (94) was born December 27, 1922 to Italian immigrants, Carlo & Eda Pierotti, on South “D” Street in Madera, which at that time was called “Little Italy.” His family then moved to the country and Angelo attended Ripperdan Elementary School and Madera Union High School. He married his wonderful wife, Dora, on June 6, 1943 in Madera and Honeymooned in San Francisco. They have been married for 74 years.

Angelo and Dora bought a vineyard on Avenue 8 ½ and raised two daughters together. A little later Angelo became a beloved Head Custodian and Bus Driver for Ripperdan Elementary School, while still farming 20 acres of vineyard in the Ripperdan area. He loved that school and kept it beautifully manicured with flowers planted every spring. Because of his encouragement to the Ripperdan students, all the students had respect for him and said his name with excitement when they called him “Mr. Pierotti.”

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