Sunday, 14 August 2022


Michael Willingham. Courtesy photo.

Michael Brian Willingham
Feb. 21, 1954 — Jan. 27, 2022

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Michael Brian Willingham of Lakeport passed peacefully in his home Jan. 27, 2022.

As he goes to join all those that passed before him in heavenly glory he leaves behind his mother, Roberta Christensen; his two sisters, Linda Moyers and Lori Wagner; his two children, Marcie Willingham-Burke and Ian Willingham; and his five grandchildren, Kayla, Cobe, Bailey, Iryss and Archer.

Michael was born in San Francisco, California, to Daryl and Roberta Willingham.

While he grew into a young man, he developed a close bond with his cousin Richard Lenormand; they would remain very close throughout his whole life.

Michael excelled in sports at Serra High School, playing football, basketball and baseball. Wearing an old pair of Converse, he broke the state high jump record his first time trying it, which made newspaper headlines at the time.

After high school he worked in the San Francisco nightclub scene as a bouncer briefly before joining the US Air Force and becoming a crew chief.

It was while stationed in England that Michael would find his true calling by giving his heart to Christ.

He also met Ruth Grant, with whom he would marry and have his two children.

After his service to the country in the Air Force, Michael attended Trinity Bible College where he would become an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. He worked as a youth pastor at Trinity Church sharing his love of Christ and developing his gifts as a minister.

It was then that Michael felt called back to England. Following the Lord’s leading, he packed up his family and set off. While times were not easy for him in England, a light was cultivated inside him there that would shine brightly for the rest of his days.

Upon returning to the United States Michael would take the role of pastor, leading the congregation at Lakeport Christian Center. Over his time there he was instrumental in bringing many souls to Christ by sharing his love for Jesus and the bibles teachings with countless people.

After his time in Lakeport he moved to San Diego. He took a job as a lot manager at Encinitas Ford and quickly excelled to a top performer at the dealership.

It was during this time that he was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the throat. Undeterred by this diagnosis, Michael would go on to beat the bleakest odds, coupled with a divorce, and survive.

Michael would return to Lakeport with Richard Lenormand where he would continue to minister until his passing.

It’s impossible to overstate the impact Michael Willingham had on this world through his ministry, generosity and kindness. All who knew him loved him and had a great story with him. He will be deeply missed.

Services will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, at Lakeport Christian Center, 455 S. Forbes St., and at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 18, at the National Cemetery of Sacramento, 5810 Midway Road in Dixon.

Kjellaug Lieb. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Kjellaug Hjelvik Lieb (Jan. 17, 1938 to Jan. 20, 2022) passed away peacefully at her home.

Kjellaug, affectionately known as Molla, was one of six children born on the family farm in Vågstranda, Norway.

Before emigrating to America, Kjellaug worked as a nanny in Oslo, Norway, and Stockholm, Sweden.

At the age of 19, she and a friend sailed to New York City on the Queen Elizabeth II. After returning to Norway, she found herself missing New York City, so she applied for an immigrant visa.

Upon her return to the US, she worked as a nanny in New York City, before being offered employment as a fashion model.

Kjellaug's fashion modeling soon led to some small acting parts in “Requiem For a Heavyweight,” “Car 54 — Where Are You?” and “Naked City.” Before long, she became a regular at Studio 54. She also made many friends in the UN diplomatic community and enjoyed attending many galas.

It was in New York City where she met her husband, Joseph Charles Lieb, a Madison Avenue advertising executive. They soon married and, in 1963, Kjellaug gave birth to fraternal twin boys.

Eventually the family moved to Southern California, where Joe ran his own Beverly Hills advertising agency while Kjellaug worked as a full-time mother. Joe’s advertising work took the family to the Northeast for four brief years before the family returned to Southern California, and then, one year later, the family relocated to Lake County, California.

Kjellaug joined Buckingham Realty as a salesperson in 1977, which led to her earning her broker’s license. In 1980, Kjellaug and Joe bought Buckingham Realty. Due in large part to Kjellaug’s boundless energy, ambition and tenacity, the business flourished.

During her 43 years in real estate, Kjellaug was one of Lake County's top Realtors. She was a long-standing member of the Lake County Association of Realtors and her knowledge and professionalism brought Buckingham Realty much business and accolades.

Described by some in the community as “a powerhouse of real estate,” she was also known for her thoughtful acts of kindness, often leaving bottles of wine and gift baskets for clients in their new homes.

Over the decades, she not only helped many people achieve the dream of homeownership, but she also helped people make those houses feel like home.

She retired in 2019 at age 81 and devoted herself to her beloved house and garden. Kjellaug enjoyed cooking (she was superb), country line dancing and following the latest fashions.

She will be remembered for the kindness and hospitality she showed family and friends near and far.

Kjellaug, daughter of Tordis Agnete and Knut Knutsen Hjelvik, widow of Joseph Charles Lieb, is survived by her two sons, Jonathan and Michael, her daughter-in-law, Maggie, and her siblings, Alf, Trygve and Reidun, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

At Kjellaug's request there will be no funeral or memorial service. Her ashes will be returned to her birthplace in Hjelvika, Norway.

Anyone wanting to send their condolences may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association.

Manuel Gomez. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Manuel Gomez entered into rest on Feb. 1, 2022.

Manuel was a beloved tribal elder of Big Valley Rancheria where he lived most of his life.

Manuel is survived by his only son, Jarvis Gomez Sr., and stepdaughter, Linda Steel; and sisters, Jane Sonnenfelt and Catherine Gomez.

Traditional visitation will take place at Big Valley Rancheria Gym starting on Feb. 4, at 11 a.m.

Graveside Service will be held on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Cemetery. Family and friends are welcome to attend.

Arrangements by Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary, 707-263-0357 or 707-994-5611, or visit

Vonda Brown. Courtesy photo.

Vonda Loraine Brown
Dec. 31, 1954 to Feb. 4, 2022

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Our beloved daughter and sister passed on to Our Lord Jesus Christ on Feb. 4, 2022, at 11:20 p.m.

Vonda was a unique soul, and loved by all her family and friends.

She is survived by her mother, Freddie Brown; brother, Fred Brown and wife, Jaynie; brother, Jon Brown and sister-in-law, Merry Brown; her dear friend, Karen Jones; and nieces and nephews, Clinton Brown, Cody Brown, Courtney Eberhardt, Lexi Toy and Tucker Brown.

Preceding her in death were her father Roy Brown and brother Nathan (Nate) Brown.

There will be a graveside service for Vonda on Saturday, Feb 12, at 10 a.m. at the East Line Street Cemetery in Bishop, California, where she will be laid to rest beside Nathan. Reception to follow.

Vonda will be missed with broken hearts every day.

Arrangements by Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary, 707-263-0357 or 707-994-5611, or visit

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Deborah Kay Sylva, 70, of Lakeport, passed away peacefully at her home on Jan. 20, 2022.

She was born April 19, 1951, in Topeka, Kansas, to Jacquelyn Bunce and Arnold Spencer of Kansas.

Debby is survived by her children, Rebecca Sexton (Robert Sexton) of Clearlake, Joe Sylva (JoAnn Sanchez) of Ukiah and Justin Sylva of Lakeport; grandchildren, Julie, Jade, Naomi, Taelor, Aubrey, Alayna and Noah; aunt, Joanie Peek; uncle, Ross Spencer; aunt, Marylou Spencer of Kansas; cousin, Sue Westermark of Washington; sister-in-law, Candace of Lakeport; brother-in-law, Jim Sylva of Lakeport; mother-in-law, Patricia Sylva of Lakeport; aunt-inlaw, Marie Odom; and many other nieces, nephews and cousins.

Debby Sylva helped and was there for anyone and was loved by all.

No services will be held.

“For the grace of God, go I.”

Arrangements by Jones Mortuary, Lakeport, California FD311 707-263-5389, .

María Elena Martínez Vázquez. Courtesy photo.

María Elena Martínez Vázquez
June 23, 1961 — Dec. 21, 2021

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Maria grew up on her family’s pear ranch in Kelseyville, with her siblings Grace and Sal, they were true Kelseyvillians.

She was a tribal member of Big Valley Rancheria.

Maria married Carlos in 1985 and together raised their son, Octavio (Tasha); daughter, Mikaley (Skins); and son, Dasan (Cheresse) and foster daughter, Crystal.

They worked hard to provide and give their kids the world, they left them with their legacy.

She is also survived by her pride and joy, 14 grandkids, Kalaya, Octavio, Makenzee, La’Akea, Xavier, Victor, Jaydyn, Lupyomya, Kaiwinabax, Azalia, Milania, Zavani, Na’Leah and Noah.

We miss you Momma!

Arrangements by Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary, 707-263-0357 or 707-994-5611, or visit

Upcoming Calendar

08.15.2022 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Community Visioning Forum Planning Committee
08.16.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.16.2022 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
08.18.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
08.20.2022 7:30 am - 3:00 pm
Yard sale to benefit Sponsoring Survivorship
08.20.2022 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Junior Ranger Program: Weather and climate
08.20.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.20.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
08.20.2022 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Taste of Lake County

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