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Many of the people who died along the North Coast in 2013 were, as is generally expected, older — among them Pat Wiggins, 73, Jesse Love, 91, and Jim Grady, 77 — and so their passings prompted reviews of their many decades engaged in living.

But others died tragically young. The deaths of Alyssa Byrne, 19, and Hope Sega, 18, were excruciating reminders of the dearness of life and how final youthful error can be.

The October death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez, shot dead on Moorland Avenue by a sheriff's deputy, grieved and enraged the community, with many residents taking to the streets in protest of the deputy's use of deadly force.

Some deaths, like that of banker Dave Brown, 53, rattled industries. Others, like that of winemaker of Jim Barrett, 86, summoned memories of landmark achievement.

Death also occurred at society's margins. At least two people who had long been homeless died on local streets, Anatolio Barocio, 58, and James Wood, 60 — shoving to the fore life's hardness.

Sometimes death can knit a community more tightly.

"The larger culture has celebrated individuals to such a degree that people don't celebrate how connected we are. And it's quite clear that when people lose people, that they become aware of their connections," said Kathy Charmaz, a Sonoma State University sociologist.

"I think we tend to deny and minimize our connections to community," said Charmaz, who teaches a course titled Death and American Culture. "In that way, recognizing the lives of people who have died, whether they are known to many or just a few, is important."

In the early hours of 2013, Alyssa Byrne of Petaluma, 19, a Casa Grande High School graduate known for her fierce wit and lacrosse skills, died in a Tahoe snowbank after wandering off alone after a concert. Friends said she had been drinking and methamphetamine was later found in her system. Her parents launched a public awareness campaign urging young people to look out for one another to keep danger at bay.

In January, George Snyder of Occidental, a chronicler of his community, and an avid campaigner for the outdoors, died. A San Francisco Chronicle reporter, Snyder, a tall black man of American Indian ancestry who liked to wear a cowboy hat, was 68.

In January, too, the region's banking industry was shocked by the death of Dave Brown. The Bank of Marin executive, who had been in the business for three decades, 17 of those years with Exchange Bank, was found dead on his front porch. He was 53.

An Italian who became a proud American, Tony Vicini, the co-owner of Los Robles Lodge, the now-vanished remnant of Santa Rosa's past, died in January, at age 82, 6? years after his hotel and restaurant shut and joined history.

Death silenced an icon of Sonoma County's airwaves, Jim Grady, in February. The longtime KSRO and KZST radio host, a born ad-libber who greeted morning listeners for five decades, was 77.

Raymond Castro helped transform SSU's Mexican-American Studies program into what would become the Chicano and Latin Studies Department. He invested himself in steering Latino students through college, calling those who dropped out to urge them to return. He was 64 when he died in February.

Healdsburg resident Cliff Melim, who watched Japanese fighters fly over his Honolulu home to attack Pearl Harbor and then joined the Army, died in March. A developer and winemaker, he helped rally the 1990s effort to save Healdsburg Hospital from closure. He was 87 when he died in that hospital.

Hope Sega, 18, remembered as a vibrant Elsie Allen High School graduate who loved to arrange events for friends, died in March, too — in a homeless camp. She had been inhaling nitrous oxide. Her death led a friend to kick a drug habit, and her mother now works to make teenagers aware of how deadly common inhalants can be.

Winemaker Jim Barrett's death in March, stirred recollections of a 1976 triumph. That year his chardonnay topped five French wines in a blind tasting in Paris, swiftly elevating Napa Valley's profile in the world of wine. The owner of Chateau Montelena was 86.

A former football player recruited by the pros, Hugh "Wes" Mitchell solidly backed his wife Hazel Mitchell through her 45 years of coastal activism, and at the same time became a respected Bodega Bay builder and volunteer fireman. Mitchell died in April at age 84.

Known as "the singing actress," Claramae Turner loosed her big contralto voice with the San Francisco Opera, in venues including Carnegie Hall, and most memorably, perhaps, in a rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" in the 1956 film "Carousel." Turner died in Santa Rosa in May at the age of 92.

Petaluma dairyman Ralph Bettinelli, a fixture at the Sonoma-Marin Fair's 4-H replacement heifer sale, and a Sonoma County Fair Board president, was of a piece with the North Bay's agricultural heritage. He shook dice, worked hard and, at times, brushed with authorities over hunting and farming practices. He was 75 when he died in July.

Convicted double-killer Ernest "Kentucky" Pendergrass was 90 when he died in Santa Rosa in August, two months after winning a "compassionate release" from state prison authorities. Pendergrass had been a well-known businessman when, in 1981, he shot dead a former girlfriend in an attack that led also to the accidental killing of a friend.

A leader of North Coast liberals, Pat Wiggins was 73 when she died in August after an illness that was never disclosed. Wiggins started her political career at the Santa Rosa City Council, progressing through the state Assembly before retiring as a state senator in 2009, after concerns arose about her behavior in office. Just as her final illness was kept secret, the severe hearing disability she overcame was known to only a few.

Mike Panas was the son of Greek immigrants and a World War II veteran. Panas, 99 when he died in August, was also a banker and one of the region's busiest civic leaders, heading at various times Santa Rosa's Chamber of Commerce, the Redwood Empire Boy Scouts Council, the local United Way chapter, the county Grand Jury, and Santa Rosa's Urban Renewal Agency and Housing Authority.

A son of Mississippi sharecroppers, Jesse Love wanted to be a Navy mechanic but because he was a black man was assigned to be a cook. He was stationed in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. At the war's end, he settled in Santa Rosa, where he helped found one of the county's oldest black churches, Community Baptist. He was 91 when he died in September.

Also in September, James Wood's body was found near Willow Brook Creek in Petaluma. He had long been homeless, but recently permanent housing had been set up for him. Just three weeks before, the skeleton of a woman whom police believe was also homeless had been found near the city's downtown. She remains unidentified.

Sonoma State University was in turmoil when David Benson took over as its president. Over eight years, Benson put the university back on course, restoring faculty morale and starting it in the direction of becoming a residential rather than a commuter campus. He was 81 when he died in October.

Gloria Duncan loved news and politics — she marched against the Vietnam War — and skillfully promoted Sonoma State University, Community Foundation Sonoma County and the regional American Red Cross despite having no college education and working in a male-dominated public relations profession. She died in October at age 76.

Charles Bacigalupi's chardonnay grapes went into the wine that Jim Barrett won with at the 1976 Paris Tasting. The renown that brought to California's grapes advanced the modern Sonoma County wine industry. Bacigalupi, a Healdsburg dentist who soothed patients with well-told jokes, died in October at age 89.

A force in Mendocino County government and politics died in November at age 79. Al Beltrami was the county's administrator for 29 years before retiring in 1989. In retirement, he served in that position twice more on an interim basis, as well as in a number of other public service posts. He also co-founded the Employers Council of Mendocino County.

In December, Anatolio Barocio's body was found near railroad tracks in Petaluma. Homeless services workers said they knew of him, but not well.

Hattie Stone, too, died in December after decades of serving fellow military veterans. Stone, who was a member of the Navy WAVES during World War II, was a staunch advocate for veterans, especially for those in need or struggling and for women whose service was for many years unrecognized. She was 95 when she died.

Also in December, Dorothy Guest of Santa Rosa, who put in some 25 years as a volunteer for a food pantry — and donated monthly to it as well — died at age 88.

After retiring from a career selling newspaper ads, Guest started answering phones and collecting food for the Friends in Service Helping pantry operation, or FISH. When her health declined, she worked from home, preparing volunteer schedules.

The comfort she took from volunteering helped cushion her decades-long quest for justice for victims of violent crime, particularly for her slain daughter, who was 36 when she was killed by a former partner. Guest's heart was broken when the killer was imprisoned for just four years.

This May, Guest was in a Napa courtroom when her daughter's killer was sentenced to more than 28 years in prison for an attack on another woman.

It had taken too long, she said, but she added: "I can't believe it. What goes around comes around. Thank God I lived to see this day."

You can reach Staff Writer Jeremy Hay at 521-5212 or jeremy.hay@pressdemocrat.com.

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