Luther Urton of Sebastopol, veteran, longtime trucker, dies at 95

Luther Urton, a Sebastopol native, World War II veteran and longtime trucker for Frizelle-Enos, the local feed store, died Monday at the age of 95.

From his youth through retirement, Urton carried on his family's working-class legacy. One of four brothers raised on the family farm on Lone Pine Road, he shadowed his father, who captained the steamer ship that carried freight and passengers between Petaluma and San Francisco.

After a year of high school, he began his trucking career in the feed industry and later took his turn managing the family's small dairy and apple and peach orchard.

The long work days stretched from dawn to a few hours shy of midnight. But they kept him going just as the farm life assured his own two boys stayed out of trouble, relatives said.

"That's why he lived so long, I think," said his brother Wyatt Urton of Sebastopol.

His military service was the one notable break in his career. It came around 1942, when he was drafted into the Army. He worked in the motorpool on Saipan, the island base taken over by American marines and soldiers in 1944.

He didn't talk much about his service, but did tell a few stories about being the driver for the base's high-ranking officers.

"He got to drive all the big shots around," said his son Ernie Urton, of Santa Rosa.

He returned to Sebastopol in 1946 and resumed work as a trucker for Frizelle-Enos.

"They told him get through with your service, come back and you'll have a job," Ernie Urton said. "It was different back then."

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