December 23, 1917 – October 11, 2019

Virginia Trina Denton

Public high school and elementary school food services manager.

In Palo Alto for many years, Virginia Trina Denton, 101, passed away on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, at Avalon Health Care in San Andreas of natural causes. She was born on Dec. 23, 1917, in Fresno to Charles Franklin Gore and Trina Vergara, and was raised in the Sonora and Columbia area of Tuolumne County by her uncle Manuel Pedro and her aunt Charlotte “Lottie” Vergara Pedro, after her mother died, when she was 2 years old and an only child. She had a pony and then a horse as a child, and often rode to her elementary school. The ruins of that small wooden building still stand near the entrance to the Columbia Airport.

She married her high school sweetheart, Henry Jackson “Jack” Denton in 1938 in Sonora. In 1940, they moved to Palo Alto, Calif., and Jack Denton became a certified county surveyor for the City of Palo Alto. In 1941 they had their first child, Kathie, and a few years later their son, Douglas, was born. They raised their two children in Palo Alto.

She was first employed as a cook in the Palo Alto public schools system, and later became a public high school and elementary school food services manager. Doug became an accomplished horseman and rode in the rigorous mountain endurance race from Sacramento to Reno.

She and her husband, Jack, obtained a lease for property on federal lands and managed the summer horse-riding camp at Douglas Resort during the 1940s through the mid-1960s. This summer resort was often used as the location for filming western movies, and the family members met many actors and actresses.

Virginia began to breed, raise and show Yorkshire terriers as a vocation, and became a leader in attending and managing Northern California dog shows. She raised a champion male Yorkshire terrier.

She and her husband enjoyed golf and introduced their grandchildren to that sport. They also were avid fans of the San Francisco Giants.

Virginia survived her beloved husband, Jack Denton, who died in 1987 after 49 years of marriage. She also survived her great-granddaughter, Carly Savickas, who died in 2000, and her son, Doug, who died in 2016. She also survived the husband of her daughter, Vincent G. Savickas, who died in 2009, and Les and Helen Sherwood, lifelong friends of Virginia and her husband Jack.

Altogether, Virginia is survived by one child, five grandchildren and their two spouses, five great-grandchildren and their two spouses, and five great-great-grandchildren. Virginia is also survived by the daughter of her lifelong friends Les and Helen Sherwood, Judy Elliott and her husband, Doug Elliott, and their children. Virginia is also survived by her daughter, Kathie Merrick, and her husband, Rob Merrick, and by her late son’s wife, Rita Denton, and their two daughters, Kimberly Denton and Jennifer Garcia, and Jennifer’s son, Bradley Garcia. She is also survived by her granddaughter, Kristie Purdy, and her husband, Mark Purdy, and their son, Cody Purdy. She is also survived by her grandson, Steve Savickas, and his wife, Renee Savickas, and their son, Kyle Savickas, and by her grandson, Mark Vincent G. Savickas, and Angela Savickas, and their two children, Bryce Savickas and Chelsea Kersey, Virginia’s great-grandchildren. Virginia is survived by the sons of Bryce Savickas, Logan Bailes and Brayden Savickas, and by Bryce’s wife, Vanessa Savickas, and their son, Talon Savickas. Virginia is also survived by the children of Chelsea and Garrett Kersey, Jackson Kersey and Carley Kersey.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, at the San Andreas Town Hall, 24 Church Hill Road, San Andreas, 95249, at 11 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. for an open casket viewing, with the funeral service beginning at 11:30 a.m. A luncheon was served in the Town Hall at 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. A graveside memorial service was held at 3:30 p.m. at the Mountain Shadow Cemetery, in Sonora at the intersection of Lyons Bald Mountain Road and Greenley Road. The contract for this notice of Mrs. Denton’s death asked for two publications. This notice is a revised version of the original and includes corrections of all prior errors.


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