Published: Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 3:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 3:46 p.m.
Ramey Chaney loved camping, from rustic tents to the trailer variety. He was proud that he was able to vacation in all 50 states.
Chaney, a longtime Petaluma business owner, died Monday at home after a short illness. He was 88.
Born in Healdsburg, Chaney's family moved to Petaluma when he was 3 and he never moved away. He graduated from Petaluma High School, class of 1942, where he met his wife of 66 years, Genevieve Chaney.
He began working at the U.S. Bakery at 141 Petaluma Blvd. N. in 1939. After a stint in the Navy during WWII, he returned to work there.
The couple purchased the business in 1958 and operated the bakery until retiring in 1990 and selling to new bakers. The business has since gone through several name changes, and now is Della Fattoria.
In the Navy, Chaney was assigned to the destroyer USS Prichett, where he worked as a radio technician first class, said his son, Bob Chaney of Paso Robles.
“He was on the ship when it was commissioned, and he stayed on it until it was decommissioned after WWII,” he said.
The ship was later recommissioned and served in Korea and Vietnam, Bob Chaney said. His father attended his first reunion of the ship's crew last year in Albuquerque, reconnecting with three other WWII veterans who served on the ship.
His U.S. Bakery was an institution in town.
“He was very proud of the fact that it had been in business for more than 100 years,” said his daughter, Diane Weis of Petaluma.
Almost everything he and his wife sold was made from scratch. They were noted for their Danish pastries and the butter horns.
Chaney also loved the outdoors and especially camping, Weis said. When the kids were young, the family camped in tents. Later, they hauled trailers. They often spent time at a family ranch on the Klamath River.
“He loved camping every year,” she said, teaching his grandsons to camp and fish when they were toddlers.
Chaney was a member of the USS Prichett (DD-561) Association, Sirs #147, American Legion Post 1000, “Go-Fer Kix” trailer group, a 40-year partner in the R-Ranch of Hornbrook and a life member of the Petaluma Elks Lodge 901.
In addition to his wife and children, he is survived by four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Monday at Parent-Sorensen Mortuary & Crematory, 850 Keokuk St., Petaluma. A graveside committal will follow at Cypress Hill Memorial Park.
“He was always a joker and had a really good sense of humor,” his daughter said. “He liked it best when he pushed people's buttons. He kidded you and you kidded right back.”
He told his family, “When I die, put me in the ground and open a bottle. Just have a party,” which Weis said the family will do following the services.
— Lori A. Carter
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