Arnita Yepez

Arnita Marie Yepez

Community Service

Determined…Modest…Proud of Lathrop.  These words describe Arnita Marie Yepez.  Normally working behind the scenes to recognize the accomplishments of others, Arnita works tirelessly for the community of Lathrop.
A volunteer at the Lathrop Senior Center from 2001-2004, Arnita pursued a Veterans Memorial for the eleven Lathrop veterans that made the ultimate sacrifice.  The memorial was dedicated in the updated Valverde Park.  Arnita organizes annual ceremonies on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Unwavering and focused, Anita makes it her priority to ensure acknowledgment to those who deserve it.  When it became known that the gymnasium at the Lathrop Community Center needed to be named, she proposed Scott Brooks, who grew up in Lathrop and played basketball in the gym.  It is now the Scott Brooks Gym. Her next project was the sports field at Lathrop High School.  Again with a desire to recognize former Lathrop residents, she proposed Paul Wiggins.  Today it is the Paul Wiggins Stadium.
Arnita worked diligently for the Defense Depot in Tracy.  She was hired as a packer during the Vietnam War and was the first woman promoted to Leader Man ultimately earning the title of Packer Foreman until her retirement.  She has earned numerous letters of appreciation for her work ethic.  
Continuously going above and beyond for her community, Arnita’s acknowledgement for her dedication is well deserved. The City of Lathrop recognized Arnita in 2012 bestowing the honor of Grand Marshall for the Christmas parade.  She received a plaque in 2004 for her dedicated service on Senior Advisory Commission. She was a member of the Lathrop-French Camp Kiwanis Club from 1999-2005, and has been a member of the Lions Club since 2009.
Widowed twice, Arnita has eight children, 19 grandchildren, and 29 great grandchildren.


George Handy

George (Joe) Handy


Joe Handy is a man who has had a variety of jobs and he has excelled at each of them. His primary profession was that of being an educator.
Throughout his career Joe worked in the lumber industry, as a grounds keeper, above group pool installer, honey bee keeper, Christmas tree farmer and bookkeeper.
Joe’s first love was teaching students in science. He was a teacher’s teacher and his students appreciated his efforts as an outstanding science teacher. For 37 years Joe taught biology, geology and life science. In addition to teaching these subjects, he promoted athleticism, leadership and respect for all. He did all of these things with positivity and humor and was liked by all who knew him.
During his 37 years as an educator, Joe coached the following sports: 12 years as a basketball coach, 5 years as a track assistant coach, 5 years as a baseball assistant coach, and 2 years as a varsity swim coach.
Joe also served 12 years as the chairperson of the Science Department at Manteca High School, 22 years as chairperson of Manteca High Curriculum Council and 12 years as master teacher for the University of California, Stanislaus, primarily mentoring future teachers.
Joe earned several awards during his time in education including Basketball Coach of the Year for Valley Oak League, Certificate of Merit from the Stockton Scottish Rite, Sigma XI for Teacher of the Year and the Summerville High School Hall of Fame.
Mr. Handy’s accomplishments have earned him an entrance into the Manteca, Lathrop, French Camp Hall of Fame. Joe typifies what a great teacher embodies.


Henry Long

Henry C. Long


The Long family has called French camp home since 1901.  As a child, Henry grew up around agriculture and worked on the family farm of 300-acres.  After a two year stint in the Army, Henry assumed the reigns of the family farm in 1954. Along with his brother William, and operating under the partnership Long Brothers, Henry made the transition from dry crops to farming alfalfa, asparagus, tomatoes, sugar beets and wheat.  At the height of their farming operations, the brothers farmed over 550 acres retiring in 1995.  
Chairman of the Reclamation District 17, Henry served on the board for over 33 years.  Being a member of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation for 48 years, Henry joined the Board of Directors in 1987.  Along with being a member of the Calla Nile Farm Center Board for 28 years, Henry also associated with the following boards:  The Ag Advisory Board, Nisei Farmers League Board of Directors, The Delta Water Use Association, and The San Joaquin County Economic Development Association. In 1988, French Camp named Henry “Man of the Year”. He directed the French Camp-McKinley Fire District for 40 years (1969-2010). The San Joaquin County inducted Henry into the Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2012.
Outside of agricultural organizations, Henry actively participates in his community.  He has been committed member of the Dante Club for over 63 years.  He also takes part in the following clubs: Liguri Mondo Club, Swiss-Italian Club, Italian Catholic Association 390 in Tracy, Bersaglieri Men’s Club and Native Son’s Club in Stockton.  Henry is involved in the San Joaquin Valley Swiss Club in Ripon as well as the Stanislaus Swiss Association.
Henry married Angelina Bacchetti in 1955. They have three daughters, three grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.


Mike Mallory

Mike Mallory


Mike Mallory, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties (SHFB) located in Manteca, will tell you “it takes an army to accomplish their mission”, and it does.  Fighting Hunger-Feeding Hope!  It is a daily challenge accomplished by a committed and dedicated group of stakeholders led by Mike.  He will tell you “others make it happen”.  Others will tell you “Mike makes it happen”.  The reality is with Mike’s guidance and leadership, and with the dedication of staff and the commitment of community minded individuals, together, they accomplish this monumental feat every day.
Mike began as a member of the Board of Directors in 1998.   Mike was invited to become the new CEO in 2008.  At this time the economy was experiencing significant challenges, and the food bank was faced with equally significant organizational and operational issues.
Mike’s leadership led to a restructuring of the board and increased the effectiveness of the food bank.  The food bank has grown to include many additional communities including Merced and the Mother Lode that rely on the food bank for food.  There is a collaboration of over 100 non-profit agencies that distribute over 15.8 million pounds of food to food pantries and after school programs serving 365,000 adults, seniors and children that suffer from food insecurity.
Current programs that have expanded or were created under his leadership include: Food 4 Thought, Senior Brown Bag, Mobile Fresh, Green Bag (Go Green for Seniors), Chef Program, Farm to Family and events such as The Chili Cook-Off, Hit the Streets for Hunger, Empty Bowls and Turkeys R Us.
Mike has become the face of Second Harvest Food Bank, but his service continues by being involved and serving on the Wells Fargo Advisory Board, California Food Bank Association, Mountain Valley Express Board and Stanislaus County Healthy Aging Association.  Because of his involvement he has been able to expose the food bank and garner additional support and resources that extend the impact of the agency.  Mike and the staff at SHFB are tireless and innovative, working every day to eliminate hunger.  
Mike attended and graduated from Sacramento City College in 1975 and Cal Poly-Pomona in 1977.  He is married to his best friend Suzanne and is a proud father and grandfather.


Peter Dalben

Peter P. Dalben


A resident of French Camp since 1929, Pete Dalben served as a member of the Board of Education for 26 years. Mr. Dalben was elected to the school board in French Camp and was the President of the Board of Education for a number of years. After unification, he was elected to the Manteca Unified School District Board and served three terms as president.  He was also was a member of the French Camp McKinley Rural Fire District and served as president for four years.
During his 26 years of continuous service on the
Manteca Unified School District Board, Pete Dalben was
instrumental in the development of the school district and its facets of education. His continuous guidance saw many curricular and facility changes. The East Union High School Gymnasium complex was one of the highlights of his tenure in office and the complex was named in his honor. His advice and expertise were invaluable in the development of many projects.

In addition to his service in the field of education,
Mr. Dalben was active as a leader in the 4-H Club in French Camp, served as a director of the U.S.O., and was on a three-member commission for softball.

Pete was an electrician working at Rough and Ready Island.  He became the Public Works Shop Division Director at Rough and Ready Island in Stockton.  He supervised, through subordinates, a work force that employed over 200 people at bases located in Dixon and Mt. Diablo.

For his many community contributions and continuous leadership in the area of government, Pete Dalben is deserving of the honor of being inducted into the
Manteca, Lathrop, French Camp Hall of Fame.


Phil Waterford

Phil Waterford

Special Recognition

A native of Chicago, Phil Waterford decided on a career path with Ford Motor Company eventually opening his very own dealership. Searching in California for the perfect opportunity, Phil opened his Ford dealership in 1997 in the heart of Manteca, making this wonderful town his home.
Not only is Phil an astute business owner, he is also community minded.  From serving breakfast to hundreds of people on Christmas Eve, to donating vehicles to war veterans in dire need of reliable transportation, He is a supporter of the Boys and Girls Club and the Memorial Day Event.  Phil has made significant contributions to our community. Even though the automobile industry was affected by the “Great Recession,” Phil’s generosity was not daunted.  He continued, in spite of poor economic circumstances, to reach out to his community and lend a helping hand wherever and whenever needed. When a young Mantecan was struck and injured in a hit-and-run crash, Phil arranged for a limo to help her get to her doctor’s appointment in Sacramento. Phil also inspires others to give back by recognizing aspiring community leaders.  One such instance happened just a few years ago when a young man returned a lost wallet containing $2000. Phil made sure this kind soul was rewarded and publicly recognized for doing the right thing.
The Ford Motor Company recognized Phil with the Heroes of the Planet award in 2013. Other awards Phil has been honored with include: Salute to Dealers award from Edsel B. Ford in 2013, Rising Star award from Essence Magazine in 2012, Blue Oval Certificate from Ford Motor Company in 2012, Who’s Who award from Heritage Registry in 2011 and Partners in Quality award from Ford Motor Credit in 2010.
In his free time, Phil enjoys playing sports, driving radio controlled cars and writing music. Phil also enjoys public speaking, coaching, and mentoring our local youth.  Phil and his wife, Rose, have five children: Phil Jr., Eric, Brandyn, Amare and Desiary.


Randall Yee

Randall Yee M.D.

Health Care

Following in his fathers footsteps, Dr. Randall  Yee attended local schools growing up in Manteca and graduated from Manteca High in 1968.  He also attended the University of Southern California, University of the East Medical School.  He completed his internship and and internal medicine residency at the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey , Edward Hines VA Hospital, and  Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Since 1982, Dr. Yee has worked as a dedicated physician in Manteca.  His practice includes Internal Medicine (adult primary care), inpatient (Doctors Hospital Manteca and St. Dominic’s Hospital), outpatient (adult primary care) and the Internal Medicine Clinic.
As part of the medical staff at Doctors Hospital for 34 years, he served as Chairman of the Patient Care
Committee, Chief of Medicine, member of the executive staff, Pharmacy Utilization Review, and Credentials
Committee.    He served on the medical staff at St. Dominic’s Hospital from 2000-2010 as a member of the Board of Trustees, Chief of Staff, Chair of the Department of Medicine, Executive Board, and Pharmacy and ICU Committees.  He also served with St. Joseph’s Medical Associates (13 member primary care physician group) from 2001-2004, as well as on the
St. Joseph’s Hospital Board of Trustees from 2001-2003.
Dr. Yee has provided care for the indigent and  poor  in need of medical care.  He has maintained his Internal Medicine Clinic in Manteca for 34 years.
Dr. Yee was active with the Deuel Vocational Institute Ministry in Tracy from 2005-2013 and from 2008 to the present continues his weekly Bible study group in Manteca.
Dr. Yee enjoys studying the Bible, gardening and spending time with his grandson Luke.  He is married to his wife Catherine and have two children Justin and Brittany.


Richard Yee

Richard D. M. Yee MD

Health Care

Dr. Richard Yee was one of the founding physicians of Manteca Hospital, now Doctors Hospital of Manteca.  A former patient Sandy Leal stated “without his dedication to the people of Manteca and the need for quality health care, the hospital may not have happened as soon as it did”.
Dr. Yee attended the University of California, Berkeley, University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, and California College of Medicine.  He was an International Board of Proctology Fellow, and a member of the American College of Emergency Room Physicians.  Additionally, Dr. Yee proudly served in World War II in the Medical Corp. from 1944-46.
Dr. Yee served as a Family Practitioner in Manteca from 1956 to 1982.  He was a Kaiser physician from 1985 to 1995.  He was one of the first physicians on the medical staff at Manteca Hospital and Oak Park Hospital in Stockton.  He was well known as the “Rear Admiral” for his work in proctology.
Dr. Yee appreciated and loved his patients and worked long and dedicated hours caring for them and remembering their names as well as their children’s names for decades.  He often made house calls and visited with many of his patients socially.
Dr. Yee was a gentleman farmer, raising Black Angus cattle in Manteca.  He valued hard work and getting an education.  He was the proud husband to Nora, father and grandfather.  He enjoyed traveling the world, dining anywhere at any time, and attending celebrations with family and friends.
Dr. Yee passed away in 2012.  He lived a complete and fulfilling life and was blessed to have all of his children and grandchildren graduate from college and contribute and make a positive difference in their communities.


Walker Vick

Walker W. Vick


Walker Vick is an educator who has contributed to the Manteca community in a multitude of ways. He was a teacher and coach at Manteca High School for over four decades. Walker also served on the Sac-Joaquin Section after his retirement from education for twelve years. Walker contributed over fifty-four years to promote athletics in the area.

Walker’s list of accomplishments put him in elite company. He was Sac-Joaquin Section Athletic Director of the Year in 1987. He was later named the California State Athletic Director of the year in 1989 and also the United States Regional Athletic Director of the Year. He was inducted into the Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame in 2012 for his efforts as both a coach and athletic director.  Coach Vick was one of the few coaches who was a head coach for two major sports at the same time, serving as the head football coach and head baseball coach at Manteca High School. He made his mark in football, where he was Manteca’s head coach from 1969-1980 and held the school record for wins until last year. He was widely recognized as one of the best defense-minded coaches in the state. His appreciation from the community at Manteca High was recently recognized when the new field house was named “The Walker Vick Field House.” After retiring, Walker began working for the Sac-Joaquin Section Office.

With all his awards and accomplishments notwithstanding, his role in athletics and education go far beyond. There are few people who will always be addressed with the endearing term, “Coach.” Walker is one of those people. He touched many lives and will continue to do so as many of the people he coached and taught now teach and coach in our community as well as many other communities.