BC: Please help us finance the publicly accessible memorial monument in Yuba City for remembrance and reflection. Your gift can be mailed to: YCHS Choir Memorial Monument c/o YCUSD 750 Palora Ave Yuba City CA 95991
FC: We keep their memory in our hearts. May 21, 1976 | Our Precious | Yuba City CA
1: They left us too soon in the YCHS Choir Bus Crash
2: Our friends, | Family,,
3: Classmates. . . | Live forever in our hearts
4: Larry Robert Shearer 1962-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-158-5
5: Larry was the youngest member of the choir and was to solo that day singing the spiritual, "I Want To Die Easy When I Die." His mother remembers him as "the perfect kid; the one you always dream about having." He was a straight-A student, freshman, and technically not eligible for choir. He was allowed in because of his special talents. He arranged some of the choir's music and loved art, music, math and science. His father, a minister, was diagnosed with cancer soon after the accident and died 15 months later. Just before he died he told his family he saw the kids in white robes getting on the bus.
6: Steven Andrew Gust 1958-1976 | Sutter Cemetery E-210-8
7: Steve was a senior, on the honor roll, and left behind 2 siblings. He was the son of a California Highway Patrol officer. "I've seen a lot of accidents in my work," said his father after his son's death. "A lot of deaths and a lot of people hurt. But when you get down to basic feelings, you hurt the same as anyone else." Steve is remembered by classmates as a nice and polite young man.
8: Bonnie Dell Barfield 1958-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-102-1 | A child loaned...
9: Bonnie, a senior, was known as Sissy to her parents and older brother. Dyslexic and hyperactive, she began taking medication in elementary school for what we now call ADHD. She overcame these handicaps to become an honors student, yearbook editor, choir member and actress at YCHS. She joined Grace Baptist Church and was a youth group leader. "A Child Loaned," the title of a poem written to comfort parents whose children die, is chiseled on her headstone.
10: Constance Joane Adkins 1958-1976 | Burial in Panola Minn
11: Connie, a senior and trumpet player, planned to join a band in Sacramento after graduation. At the time of her death, she was transposing the music of Scott Joplin's ragtime "Sunflower Slow Drag" for the high school band and was going to direct it. Connie also tried out for and was elected to the cheer squad. She taught her younger brother to play trombone when he was eight. Her mother buried her in a small cemetery in Panola MN where she used to work. Carved on her headstone: "Yuba City Bus Tragedy".
12: Bobby Ray Ortega 1960-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-80-4
13: Bobby Ortega, 16, was the middle child in a family of 2 boys and a girl. He approached anything that interested him with zest. He sang and played five instruments, often rising at 5 am to practice. His parents learned of his interest in photography when they returned home one day to find the bathroom walls and windows painted black. He had converted it to a darkroom. He wanted to major in veterinary medicine and worked part time for a veterinarian.
14: Catherine Rebecca Mudge 1960-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-96-7
15: Catherine's classmates affectionately remember the sophomore as a clown. She was big, strong, full of life, an avid tennis player and bike rider, and a collector of friends. Her goal was to become a child psychiatrist. Her godson remembers her beautiful voice, great strength, and sense of humor always ready below the surface.
16: Lynda "Kris" Huston 1960-1976 | Oroville Memorial Park Oroville CA
17: Known as Kris, the active sophomore had taken piano lessons since age 7, sang in the choir, played in the marching band, was an actress, and served in the youth group at Pentecostal Christian Center. Friends describe her as sunny, vivacious, kind, poised, and enchanting. She and her new boyfriend played romantic leads in the school play "Fiddler on the Roof" that year. She died instantly. Her boyfriend who had been seated next to her, survived, and told her goodbye before he crawled from the wreckage.
18: Joanne Arlene Matson 1961-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-158-2
19: Joanne was a late-in-life child for her parents. She was three weeks from her 16th birthday and had joined the Mormon church on her own the previous year. From the tender age of 3, she had been her dad's fishing partner joining him on weekend and vacation outings. "She was just an all-around girl, a real pal to me," said her father. "One thing I don't do anymore; I don't fish. It was my biggest sport but I lost my fishing partner."
20: Robert Francis Randolph 1958-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-132-1
21: Robert was a tall (6'5") fun-loving extrovert from a family of seven children. He shared an overnight bag with his friend Robbie Stafford and the boys had packed (girlie) magazines and cigars for the trip. He played the lead role of Captain Georg Von Trapp in an elementary school production of "The Sound of Music". His twin Tom was also on the bus and survived.
22: Thomas William Brooks 1958-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-175-3
23: Tom, a senior, was remembered by his parents as "all boy and a yard wide." He grew up devoted to football and baseball until his teens when he shifted his time to work to pay for his old pickup truck, lead a Bible study group at First United Methodist Church, and master the guitar. He met and fell in love with Lorie Killingsworth and they planned to marry. They are buried side by side in Sutter Cemetery.
24: Lori Jean Killingsworth 1958-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-175-4
25: Lorie was the second of three children in a musical family. She sang and played piano and organ. She led a Bible study group, belonged to the youth group, and sang in the group Charity at First United Methodist Church. She had plans to become a dental hygienist and marry her beau Tom Brooks who was sitting beside her on the bus. They are buried side by side in the cemetery.
26: Daniel Wright 1960-1976 | SSuS | Sutter Cemetery J-204-8
27: Daniel was a sophomore who had been recently converted to the Mormon church by the Engle twins who were also in the choir. He lived with his mother who was a teacher at the high school. He liked scouting, music and youth group activities at church. His father was a doctor. The family kept him on life support until his heart could be donated for transplant at nearby Stanford Medical Center.
28: Rachel Carlson 1960-1976 | Osage City Cemetery Osage KS
29: Rachel was a sophomore and one of three children. Her father was a music teacher in the school district and taught her to play the violin. She joined the choir just weeks before the accident. At her funeral, her father played "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" on his violin and said it was her favorite song. The family had her buried in a family plot in a Swedish cemetery in their home state of Kansas.
30: Carrie Lee Emmrich 1961-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-191-4
31: Carrie was the youngest of three girls and a sophomore. She was active in the First United Methodist Church where she sang with a group of girls who called themselves "Charity". The bus was on its way to her childhood hometown of Orinda. In Orinda, she was a competitive swimmer. She had a subtle sense of humor and easy manner that helped her make many new friends when the family moved to Yuba City a few years before the accident. She was also an excellent student.
32: James Byron Frontz 1958-1976 | Ashes scattered at sea
33: Jim's mother recalled "I can still see him standing in the bathroom that morning, combing his hair in front of the mirror with his sleeping bag and suitcase beside him. After he left, I saw he'd left his sleeping bag in the hallway and I thought, 'Oh Jimmy. There you go again'." Jim was a gifted child. He remembered everything he read and spent hours at the county library. He had a particular interest in science and said he wanted to become an astrophysicist.
34: Sharlene Renee Engle 1958-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-156-8
35: Sharlene died at the hospital. She was a senior. She was a caring and reserved young lady although more outgoing than her twin, Carlene. The sisters had been taught piano by their mother and sang in the youth vocal group at the Mormon church.
36: Carlene Diane Engle 1958-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-156-7
37: Carlene was killed instantly in the accident. Her parents could tell her from her twin Sharlene by the roundness of her face and her quieter attitude. They attributed her personality to time spent hospitalized at age three after being burned by a pot of broth she pulled off the stove. She learned music from her piano teacher mother and was active in Mormon youth group activities. She wanted to go to nursing school.
38: Cynthia Louise Graham 1959-1976 | Sutter Cemetery B-87-2
39: Cindy was a 17-year old junior. Her mother had remarried two years earlier but died the previous fall from cancer. A quiet, bookish girl, she was active in the First United Methodist Church youth group. She also worked part time in the school cafeteria and maintained good grades. She planned to go to college. Her stepfather's son, Mark Hughes, was also on the bus. Mark survived the crash.
40: Amy Kathleen Hicks 1958-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-204-4
41: Amy was a senior and sitting in the back of the bus with her boyfriend Seth Rosebrough. Both died. A native of Oregon, she was survived by her mother and two brothers. Amy was active in Camp Fire Girls. Friends say she had an infectious giggle and was always smiling. Amy and Seth are buried side by side in the cemetery.
42: Seth Thomas Rosebrough 1960-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-204-3
43: Seth was the only son and the youngest of five children. It was his 16th birthday. He was an outdoors sort of guy and lived in a rural area outside of town. The choir bus stopped by his home to pick him up that day. His mother recalled his experience as a musician and said "Seth started out with a sweet potato, then the flute, then the tuba". She remembered him practicing his "oompahs" in his bedroom. Seth was seated next to his girlfriend Amy. They are buried side by side at the cemetery.
44: Ruth Annette Bowen 1960-1976 | Burial in Salt Lake City UT
45: Ruth, a junior, was the third of four children in a military family. Born in Alaska, the family relocated to Yuba City two years earlier. She was an A student who was going to graduate early and had been accepted at Brigham Young University for the fall semester. She was excited about college and had already picked out an apartment to share with her older sister. Her declared major was French and her goal was to work for the United Nations in New York. She had learned so much about other cultures from her father's moves with the military. Ruth loved animals, cheerleading, and singing with a group named "Chante".
46: Marla Leslie Azim 1961-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-192-3
47: Marla was a quiet and studious, straight A teenager remembered by classmates for her particularly sweet nature. She would tell friends at the Christian Center of her born again experience only six months before the accident. Marla was also a member of the Christian girls' singing group "Charity". The youngest of three girls, her father remembered her as having a conciliating and mediating personality.
48: Pamela Susan Engstrom 1958-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-95-4
49: Pam was an honors student and had been named the salutatorian for her graduating class. She had an academic interest in medicine and a natural musical talent. She also had leadership skills which endeared her to students looking for friendship and guidance. One of two daughters, she surprised her family by converting to Mormonism a year and a half before the crash. In her childhood, she was a member of the Camp Fire Girls as a Bluebird. Pam celebrated her 18th birthday the previous day and was buried in the red gingham dress she received from her mother.
50: Danielle Claudette Cote 1961-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-223-4
51: Danielle was a sophomore and good friend of seatmate Catherine Mudge. Both perished. The second of three girls, she adored Bobby Sox softball and music. In addition to singing, she played piano, clarinet and guitar. She was her daddy's girl. A week before her death, she and her father went sailing together on a nearby lake. After her death, her dad never wanted to sail again and sold the boat.
52: Marti Ann Melani 1958-1976 | Sutter Cemetery P-18-3
53: Marti was a late-in-life child for her parents. As a child, she went everywhere with them. "She never was a child. She was a grown person because she lived with older people," her father said. An honor roll student, she planned to be a nurse. In addition to choir, Marti also played clarinet in the school band. Marti's parents and others have remembered her by funding the "Marti Melani Scholarship". Each year, musically talented seniors at YCHS vie for this generous financial assistance for college.
54: Lawrence Homer Rooney 1961-1976 | Sutter Cemetery J-66-1
55: Larry was the oldest of three children, an honors student and a leader in the Grace Baptist Church youth group. | His mother said he grew 9 1/2 inches his final year and was "one of those kids whose pants was never long enough." | His younger sister, who was only five when he died, fondly remembers him practicing conducting an imaginary orchestra in the family room.
56: Robert John Stafford 1959-1976 | Sutter Cemetery E-220-2
57: Robert indulged his teenage yearnings with his best friend Robert Randolph. But he took on an adult role at home providing money from his paper route for household expenses. He was the third of five children and active in the youth group and choir at First Christian Church. He was also a self-taught guitar player. "Robbie", as he was known to close friends, once tried to help a stray dog and ended up receiving anti-rabies shots in his stomach. This was his first trip to the Bay Area.
58: Jodi Lynn McCoy 1958-1976 | Ashes scattered at sea
59: Jodi, a senior, was best friends with Lorie Killingsworth who she met in grammar school after moving from Peoria IL. She was quiet and somewhat shy, but came out of her shell with friends. She was a Campfire Girl, played piano, and sang in the choir starting from middle school. Jodi was a talented sewer and had made her own clothes for several years. She wanted to study fashion design in college.
60: Cristina E. Cadena Estabrook Teacher Age 25 | Santa Clara Mission Mausoleum, Santa Clara CA
61: Cristina was the vivacious and effervescent wife of choir director Dean Estabrook. They met in the Bay Area and married about three years before the accident. She was an accomplished pianist, singer, ballet and flamenco dancer. She immediately captured the hearts of the music students in the school district with her warmth and style. Cristina was acting as a chaperone on the trip.