Don I Asher

Don Asher


Don received his early education in Stockton. He began work at age 15 to help his family financially.

Don was encouraged to attend Stockton Junior College while working 40 hours a week.

He went on to Sacramento State College, graduating in the top 10% of his class. He attended UC Berkley Law School, where he graduated in the top third of his class, and passed the State Bar in 1964.

Having been the recipient of a scholarship for law school, Don immediately began to repay that support by helping other struggling students.

His first position was in the office of the San Joaquin District Attorney, and lasted there until 1971. That same year, he joined the Law practice of McFall, Burnett, Martin and Asher.

As a private attorney, Don included pro-bono work for non-profit organizations and all adoptions.

In 1981, Don was appointed as the Municipal Court Judge for Manteca and remained in that position until his untimely death in 1996.

While he was President of the Manteca Rotary, Don initiated the recognition of Peace Officers at Law Day. This award was later renamed The Don Asher Memorial Award.

We are honored to induct Don Asher into the Manteca Hall of Fame in the field of Government.

Don Widmer

Don Widmer


Don Widmer graduated from Manteca High School in l966.  Don was an outstanding student-athlete in both football and wrestling.  He was an All-League football player his senior season and was also named the “Most Valuable Player” of the league.  He was named First Team to the All Northern California team and he went on to play in the North-South Shrine game.  He won back-to-back Northern California Wrestling titles, and during his senior season, was undefeated and named “Most Outstanding Wrestler” in the Section.  He had a 67-match winning streak and, during his junior and senior years, allowed only four points to be scored against him.  Don was recruited by numerous schools during his senior year, including Stanford, where he was recruited by then coach, Bill Walsh, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah State, Colorado State, and the Air Force Academy.  He accepted a full-ride scholarship to UCLA.

In college, Don started as linebacker for the Bruins, beginning in his sophomore year.  Don received numerous awards at UCLA in both football and wrestling, including “Most Improved Player” in football and “Most Valuable Wrestler.”  Don graduated from UCLA in l970.

After college, Don returned to his hometown and was instrumental in the development of the Manteca Cowboys Youth Football organization, which he coached from l975-l979.  He has also been active in the South County Police Bowl, the Bacon Bash, Ripon High School Football, Lathrop Steelers, Swiss Wrestling through the San Joaquin Valley Swiss Club and the Sierra High School Athletic Boosters in 2010.

Don is married and, with his wife, Kim, has raised three boys, who have followed in his footsteps as football players and wrestlers —Raymond, Grant and Lucas.  It is an honor to induct Don Widmer into the Manteca Hall of Fame in the field of Athletics.

Dr. William “Bill” Jones

Bill Jones


Dr. William “Bill” Jones is dedicated to the education and well-being of all children.  Throughout his illustrious professional career and tireless volunteer service, Dr. Jones has maintained a personal philosophy that “all children have the right to have the opportunity to have the best possible education and that parents and community members have an obligation to support and encourage children to succeed.” He enthusiastically embraces technology as a powerful educational tool and has laid the groundwork for technological advances in the school’s where he is employed and the organizations for which he has volunteered.

As a decorated Korean War Veteran, Dr. Jones has dedicated his life to serving others not only in his professional life but also through his volunteer work with Partners in Prevention, Boys & Girls Clubs of Manteca/Lathrop, Saturday Night Life and Give Every Child A Chance just to name a few.  His passion is for working with young people, encouraging them to achieve their very best in education, avoid the dangers of drugs and alcohol and to thrive and succeed in their personal lives.  Dr. Jones is a long-time resident of Manteca, raising a family and building a full and meaningful life for his children in our family city.  He continues to volunteer his time with his wife, Debbie, at Shasta Elementary School just blocks from his family home.

There are so many aspects of our community that Dr. Jones has had a positive influence on throughout his life.  However, it is unending advocacy for access to quality education, literacy programs and technological advancements that makes him a natural choice for the selection committee as the Educational Honoree.

Jack T. Kelley

Jack Kelley

At Large

Jack Kelley and his family arrived in Manteca in 1966.  Thus began years of service to the community and its schools.

Elected to the Manteca Unified School District Board of Trustees, Jack spent 22 years in that capacity and was elected Board President five times by his colleagues.  During his time of service, Jack worked as an effective team board member, was well-informed, was mindful of the public finances in budgetary issues and determined to uphold the integrity of the public schools of Manteca.

His interest in children and education had begun with his career in the California Youth Authority, at which he served for 35 years.  He was eventually promoted to Treatment Team Supervisor at the Northern California Youth Authority in Stockton.  An important achievement was his development and implementation of the Foster Grandparent Program, training seniors to work with CYA wards as surrogate grandparents/advisers.  This highly successful program received State recognition by the CYA, as it benefited both the youth wards and the senior citizens.

Now 88 years old, Jack continues his involvement in the community.  He is a past docent and charter member of the Manteca Historical Society, and is a regular participant in, and supporter of, the Manteca Senior Citizens Center.

With so much of his lifetime spent in community and young peoples’ activities, Jack Kelley is more than qualified for membership in the Manteca Hall of Fame.

Jessie Marina

Jessie Marina


Jessie Marina is a very talented artist who has endured much pain to do what he loves.  He started painting at the age of 10 and showed outstanding talent.  A career in mechanical engineering would take him away from his avocation.

In more recent years, degenerative spinal problems have changed his life.  He turned to his first love, painting.  He agreed to compete in a mural showdown with professional muralists from the western United States and Canada.

Jessie’s design was approved and, despite several spinal surgeries, he worked to complete the mural on time.  He painted one-foot sections of the eight-foot mural due to his limited movement.
Jessie Marina’s perseverance paid off, as his beautiful mural “The Harvest Continues’” won first prize and now hangs in the Manteca Senior Center.

Jessie has undergone more surgeries, yet he continues to paint.  He had a one-man art show, was named Asian Artist of the Year, was featured artist in a gallery in Ferndale, Calif., and received honorable mention in the 2008 Delicato Art Show, and First and Third prizes in the 2009 Delicato Art Show, again competing with more than 300 entries.

Jessie is determined not to let his physical problems stop him.  His family, his faith and his aspirations keep him going.  After each surgery, he creates another masterpiece, filled with detail, light and emotion.  Part of his signature style is that he paints with a nail to add the final details to his work.  If you look at the “Harvest Continues” or his “Passion” painting, you will see each nail line throughout the painting.

Jessie is an excellent representative of the talent and dedication to we want for our community.

Kathryn Aartman-Weed

Kathryn Aartman-Weed

Community Service

Kathy has devoted nearly 43 years to working with young people and has been a mentor to many. For more than 35 years, she has worked with the developmentally disabled residents at the Hanot Home in Lockford, Calif.

She has used her artistic ability to help and influence others — from  small children to senior citizens. Kathy has won many ribbons and awards for her artwork, but feels that her greatest accomplishments have been in helping others.

She received the Pope Pius X Award for contributing as a volunteer, more than 10 years to teaching religion classes to high schoolers and junior high students.

Kathy was honored by St Anthony’s school PTG for dedicated service to the school’s programs and for being on the School Board.

Kathy is a Board member and Past President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manteca and Lathrop.  She volunteers weekly at both the Manteca Club and the Lathrop Club, teaching an art class.  

Kathy, along with her husband, ran the Manteca Idol singing contest for two years as a volunteer. She is a Board member and current President of Soroptimist International of Manteca.

Kathy and her husband, Jerry, live in Manteca.  She has three sons and one daughter, 22 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild and another on the way.

Leo Omlin

Leo Omlin


Born into a hard-working Swiss dairy family, Leo Omlin has lived on the same farm on South Union Road in Manteca for all of his 73 years.  Turning the original 40-acre dairy into a 70-acre Texas Longhorn ranch, Leo has worked his way to being a respected individual in the agriculture community.

His love for agriculture is obvious in all that he does.  From donating his time and labor to help his neighbors or showing his Texas Longhorn cattle at county, state and regional fairs, he has decades of breeding, showing  and judging of this unique animal.

His activities at various events have been recognized with awards such as Premier Breeder and Herdsman Awards at the California State Fair (seven times).

Recent additions to Leo’s herd of 50 longhorns on his Rolling O Ranch have been a llama and an African Watusi steer.  When complete strangers stop at his ranch to take pictures of the animals, Leo is only too happy to greet them and show them the steers up close.

Leo feels that educating today’s youth about agriculture is important and does all that he can to support that belief.  He volunteers his time to local 4-H Clubs, hauling the students’ animals to the fair and donating space on his ranch for the 4-H’ers to keep their animals at no charge.

Leo Omlin’s dedication and achievements in the ranching community have earned him this Hall of Fame induction honor.

Norman C. (Norm) Knodt

Norm Knodt


Norm Knodt has been active in community service since being a member of the Key Club at Manteca High. From 1976 to 1981, Norm was in real estate sales and home building in Manteca, and served as Secretary, Treasurer of the San Joaquin County Board of Realtors. He was also active in the Manteca Rotary Club, serving as President in 1980-1981.

From 1981-1996, Norm worked in the commercial helicopter industry, working as Chief Pilot of the Pan American World Airways Helicopter Shuttle in New York, Director of Operations for Omniflight Helicopters in Corpus Christi and Chief Pilot for Papua New Guinea Operations for Columbia Helicopters.

In 1996, he left the aviation industry to go into security sales as an Investment Adviser on a full-time basis.

He became very active in the Manteca Chamber of Commerce, serving as Treasurer for two years. Norm also rejoined the Manteca Rotary Club and served as President from 2004-2005.

From 2001 to the present, Norm has been serving as Chairman for the Manteca Friends of the Stockton Symphony.

Norm joined The Manteca Mural Society in 2002. While involved as both Vice President and President of the Mural Society, 12 murals have been completed beautifying buildings in down town Manteca.

Norm is an excellent representative of the Manteca business community, and a worthy choice as Hall of Fame inductee.

Sister Margo Young

Sister Margo Young

Health Care

A native of Manteca, Sister Margo began her formal education at Lincoln and St. Anthony elementary schools.  After her sophomore  year at Manteca High School, she transferred to San Luis Rey Academy in Southern California, when she entered the Sisters of the Precious Blood novitiate.

After receiving her Bachelor’s degree and teaching credential in Dayton, Ohio and spending time teaching school, she received her Master’s degree in Counseling from Wright State University.  In 1990, Sister Margo finished medical school and earned her M.D. degree.

Armed with this impressive educational background, she has gone on to serve the poorest of the poor all over the world.  After serving as a hospital Director and Chaplain in India, she spent 13 years in Guatemala, practicing medicine and helping during earthquake disasters.  Sister went from village to village, covering five communities in three months.

In 2010, Sister came “home” to Manteca to be named a Distinguished Graduate of St. Anthony School.  Currently, she is a Community Outreach Physician at St. Bernardine’s Medical Center in San Bernardino.

With her years of helping people by teaching, counseling and practicing medicine, Sister Margo is one of those rare individuals who has been able to combine her skills within the religious life to give part of the world’s people a better life.

It is appropriate that she be honored by inclusion in the Manteca Hall of Fame.