Albert Fonseca Sr.

Albert Fonseca Sr.


Albert Fonseca Sr. began farming in his boyhood and "farmed the fertile plains of South Manteca for 49 years." Farming was more than just an occupation, it was a passion.

There were many difficult years in farming due to the flooding of the San Joaquin River in the 1950's. Albert would move back and start from scratch. He employed as many as 300 people and was known for his good treatment of those who worked for him. He was voted "Outstanding Young Farmer" by the Junior Chamber of Commerce for his dedication to agriculture and the community.

He participated as a member of the Watermelon Board Association, the Western Growers Association, sponsored Chamber of Commerce agricultural tours, and served as director of the California Tomato Board.

He always lent a helping hand to fellow farmers and assisted young men in getting started in agriculture. In addition, he was very generous to youth groups and those with disabilities. He participated in and contributed to many fundraising campaigns. He was a recognized supporter of FFA, the Hanoi Foundation, 4-H, diabetes related charities, served on the MRPS board, and was recognized as sponsoring member of the Boy Scouts of America.

Antone E. Raymus

Antone E. Raymus


Antone E. Raymus came to Manteca on a wagon in 1923. From these beginnings, Tony has become a business and community leader for six decades.

It started in 1945 with a one man real estate office. The next year he purchased a ranch and started a subdivision. By 1964, the Raymus Co. accounted for 70 percent of all homes built in Manteca. He built the Manteca Bowl, El Rancho Mobile Home Park, and in 1977 founded the Manteca News. In 1982, he acquired the Ripon Record.

To date, Raymus Development has built 42 subdivisions with more than 3,100 homes.

His community activities include organizing the Teen Club in 1947, charter member of the Kiwanis Club, and chairman of United Crusade in 1963. Benefiting from his generosity since then have been Love Thy Neighbor with a house donation, the Boys & Girls Club, and Boy Scouts of America.

In 1988, he and his wife Marie started the Raymus Foundation which has donated more than $138,000 to local charities. Former Mayor Trena Kelley would also testify to numerous times when Tony silently has helped out families in the community.

Dr. Andrew Whitaker

Dr. Andrew Whitaker

Health Care

Andrew Jackson Whitaker graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1917, moved to Manteca and started the Manteca Veterinary Hospital in 1918. He remained actively involved until 1973, a career that spanned 55 years.

Many times, especially in the early years, he was remembered for house (barn) calls for animals, and much of the time received eggs, milk, and other goods for his services. Local farmers held him in the highest regard. In 1954, he was the founding member of the South San Joaquin County Mosquito Abatement District and acted as president until 1964.

Andrew also worked as the county Livestock Inspector, and played an important role in vaccinating cattle during the Brucellosis cattle epidemic in 1948. He was founding director of Central Bank in 1930 and was part of its executive board.

Besides being a dedicated veterinarian, he also was very active in community affairs. He served on the City Council in the 1920's, was director of the Chamber of Commerce in 1923, president of Lions Club in 1928, charter member of the Kiwanis Club in 1952, and was very active in Masons.

Drs. Clair and Elsie Weast

Drs. Clair and Elsie Weast


From austere, separate beginnings in the Modesto area, the "Weast Team" completed their education at the University of California at Berkeley through hard work and academic excellence. Elsie earned a Masters of Science in Nutrition, Clair a Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Chemistry.

With that background they conceived, patented, developed and produced an extensive line of special dietary food for Tillie Lewis Foods to be used by persons with restricted intakes of calories, carbohydrates, fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Much of the work was done in a test kitchen they built in the attic of their Manteca home.

Using these products, Elsie developed a complete 21-day 1,200 calorie diet that was the first and only one granted the "Seal of Acceptance" by the American Medical Association as nutritionally complete.

Concurrently, the team was active in community affairs. Elsie was a charter member of Soroptimist and Clair served on the New Haven School Board. St. Paul's United Methodist Church has benefited for years from their generosity and hard work, where they served as youth leaders, and Clair, 50 years in the choir. Elsie was instrumental in the development of the Biblical Garden which has been dedicated to her memory. For the last 32 years, the Weasts have donated the proceeds from their walnut orchards to the church's youth programs.

Jack Snyder

Jack Snyder


When transferred to the Libbey Owens Plant in Lathrop as Industrial Relations Manager in 1962, he immediately immersed himself in community activities.

While continuing civic activities, Jack served on the Manteca City Council from 1972 until 1990.

During that time, he was chosen as mayor in 1974-75, 1979-80, and from 1983-90, and served on numerous government advisory councils and associations at the local and regional level. He lead the campaign to build the Highway 120 bypass and the campaigns to put in the safety barrier and the eventual widening.

His far-reaching visions are still coming to fruition today as Jack's ideas for the Woodward Regional Park, a surface water treatment facility, and the transportation terminal on Moffat Boulevard are being implemented.

His service includes more than 23 years in Rotary and as a member or officer in more than three dozen charitable and public organizations. Jack is active in the Lutheran Church and was the founding president of the Manteca Boys & Girls Club.

Among Jack's honors include being the first grand marshal of the Fourth of July Parade (1985), "The Medallion Award" from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Outstanding Volunteer Award from United Way, "Outstanding Person of 1994" from SJ Juvenile Justice Commission, the COGNIZE award from the Council of Governments, and the Paul Harris Fellow honor from Rotary International.

Joe Freitas

Joe Freitas

Community Service

Joe devoted unaccountable hours to civic work with youth movements in the Junior of Commerce, the Boys and Girls Club of Manteca, and the Manteca Chamber of Commerce.

As local Junior Chamber President, he was instrumental in persuading Manteca Union High School District in donating four acres to the city for creating Lincoln Park.

Joe went to a Junior Chamber of Commerce meeting in Santa Cruz in a covered wagon drawn by two mules, which brought publicity in every newspaper in California. In 1960, as National Director of the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, he attended the Governor's Youth Council, was invited to the White House to represent the State of California, and visited Germany as a youth advocate to study youth programs overseas.

As president of Lions Club, Joe was able to get $10,000 donated for the equipment at Shasta Park. Joe was a founding member of the Boys and Girls Club of Manteca, where he served as Advanced Funds Committee Chairperson. He continues to be active on the Board of Directors.

His honors include the "Outstanding Young Man of Manteca" service award from the Manteca Lions Club and appointment to the l98th edition of the "Who's Who Historical Society" for having demonstrated outstanding professional achievement, superior leadership, and educational service.

Joseph Bisig

Joseph Bisig


Joseph Frederick Bisig was born of immigrant parents in Dexter, Iowa, on January 14, 1895. He began his career in education shortly after graduating from Ames Iowa State College in 1917 when he accepted a position to teach in the lower San Joaquin Valley. He later moved to the Danville School District where he remained until being hired as Superintendent of Manteca Union High School in 1934. He remained in that position until the end of the 1949 school year.

Knowing of the sacrifices caused by war from service in World War I, he counseled many current and former students who left to fight for freedom in World War II. He continued his support by being a pen pal to many.

During his career as an educator, he provided a role model in civic activities by being on the Manteca Planning Commission, Manteca Civil Defense Committee, 1942 President of the Manteca Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, American Legion, Manteca Sportsman's Club, California Teachers' Association, and other committees and organizations.

Louise Moeri

Louise Moeri


Louise Moeri graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1946, married Edwin Albert Moeri, and settled in the little town of Manteca. From 1961 to 1978, she was an assistant librarian at the Manteca Branch Library.

In 1972, she submitted a short story to the "Jack and Jill" magazine entitled "A Shaggy Dog Story." The story was accepted and her literary career was launched. Just three years later, her first book, "Star Mother's Youngest Child." was published.

Since that time, Louise has had 10 books published. All of her hooks are written for children, and are about serious subjects such as war, child abuse, and nuclear meltdown.

Her sixth book, "The First Egg," published in 1982, was made into an ABC television movie special.

In 1977, Louise was recognized by the Manteca City Council for the publication of her books.

Robin Taberna

Robin Taberna


Robin Taberna grew up in Lathrop on his parents farm. He attended Lathrop School and participated in Little League.

In 1964, he graduated from Manteca High School. He served in the famed White Horse Division of the United States Army during the Vietnam War, where he was stationed in Vietnam and Korea. It was in Korea where he studied Tae Kwon Do.

He attended Delta College after his honorable discharge, where he also taught classes to the students in the evening, many of whom were police officers.

In 1982, he started his long volunteer service with the Boys and Girls Club of Manteca, which continues to this day.

He was honored by being nominated for the 1987 President's Volunteer in Action Award, and as "Employee of the Month" at Tracy Defense Depot.

For three years running from 1990—1992, Robin was voted the "Best Official" in the International Martial Arts Competitors' Federation. In 1992, he was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame.

Still active as a competitor, he won championship belts in 1993 and 1994.

In 1992, he received the "Outstanding Service Award" and "Youth Service Award."