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William Wharff
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William Watkins 'Bill' Wharff, 80, died Thursday, July 24 surrounded by his family.

He was born in Gilroy. He attended schools in King City and Los Gatos where he excelled in sports. After graduation, he worked as a cowboy on the Hearst Ranch in San Simeon and the Quinto Ranch in Gustine. He then entered the U.S. Navy, serving on the U.S.S. Warrick as a radio operator. After his tour of duty, he continued his radio operating duties for the Southern Pacific Railroad for a few years before moving to Oakdale in 1955.

Mr. Wharff was assistant manager of Copeland Lumber Yard until his retirement. In the early 80s, he decided retirement wasn't for him and he went to work at the Community United Methodist Church as custodian and gardener.

An avid gardener, he kept family and friends supplied with vegetables for years. He also kept friends and neighbors supplied with cookies and breads, as he also loved to bake.

He was a member and Past Master of Riverbank Masonic Lodge #459, member of El Rio Chapter #333 Order of the Eastern Star, and member of the Oakdale Community United Methodist Church. He also served several terms as Rainbow Dad for Oak Summit Assembly #128 International Order of the Rainbow for Girls in the early 70s.

He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Jeanne Wharff of Oakdale; son, Rev. Mark (Laura) Wharff of Modesto; daughters, Lynda Ogden and Elaine Wharff of Oakdale; brother, Don of Gilroy; grandchildren, Christopher (Ginger) Lovelace of Indiana, Melissa (Brad) Franca of Oakdale, Rebecca Alvernaz of Fresno, Andrew Alvernaz of Berkeley, Aaron (Lauren) Wharff of Utah, Jamie Lovelace of Oakdale, Andrea Wharff of Turlock, and Brian (Tiffany) Lovelace of Oakdale; great-grandchildren, Courtenay, Camilla, Kalen Dons of Indiana, Conner Lovelace of Indiana, Keoni Dean, Chester Lovelace, and Carter Franca, all of Oakdale.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11 at Oakdale Memorial Chapel. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 12 at Community United Methodist Church of Oakdale, 1480 Poplar Ave. Graveside service will follow at Lakewood Memorial Park, Hughson.

Remembrances may be made to Community Hospice of Modesto or Community United Methodist Church of Oakdale.

Oakdale-Riverbank Memorial Chapels in charge of arrangements.

The Riverbank (Calif.) News

Aug. 6, 2008