Charleen Carroll

Special Recognition

To say Charleen Carroll is deeply rooted in Manteca would be a huge understatement. A descendant of pioneer families, a California Native American, and a daughter, sister and wife of military veterans, Charleen has dedicated her life and service to supporting these causes. A founder, Board member and third President of the Manteca Mural Society, she has been involved with all of the murals that are displayed at the corner of Yosemite and Main streets. The murals recognize local area veterans and branches of service, during the wars from World War I through the Global War on Terror. Charleen, sister to Brock Elliott, the first fallen Vietnam War serviceman from Manteca, is known by veterans and others in Manteca and Lathrop through her long-time participation in and support of various organizations. A graduate of Manteca High School, Charleen has served on the Manteca Mural Society, the Veterans Mural Project, Mayor’s Committee on the Arts, Manteca Workforce Housing Committee, Manteca Growth Management Committee, Manteca Planning Commission and now the Manteca Centennial Committee. Those who have worked with Charleen over the years applaud her for her ability to bring together people with strong opinions, develop consensus, and then get “buy-in” on a final product. Charleen is Founder and Co-Owner of Pollination Contracting, Inc. since 1978. An agriculture-based business with beekeepers and almond growers, it brings thousands of beehives from throughout the United States into California for pollination of almonds – one of the top production crops in San Joaquin County and the State. Charleen and her husband, Michael, have three adult children and five grandchildren. In addition to her extensive volunteer efforts, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, gardening, and serving her church and her community.

 


Connie Lum

At Large

Connie Lum, our Hall of Fame inductee for Education has been teaching our children in Lathrop since 1984 at the Learning Tree Preschool. This is Connie’s 34th year in preschool education in which she has served over 2100 students and families. Connie graduated from East Union High School in 1973 and attended UC Berkeley and UC Davis. Many of the preschool graduates have gone on to universities and have obtained B.A., B.S., M. A. to PhD degrees. Connie and her staff love teaching and all have a passion for shaping young minds that will someday lead our communities. Connie has lived in Lathrop since 1962, over 56 years, and continuously gives back to the community. In 2009 Connie created the Justice for Jeremy nonprofit foundation. This organization was created to promote Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy in our community. She has made it her mission to help de-stigmatize mental illness and seek adequate training and education for First Responders who may have interactions with a mentally ill individual. Her family includes her husband Jose Perez, three sons Tyler, Aaron, and Geoffrey. Another person that Connie is really close to is her mother May Lum of Lathrop. In her spare time, Connie loves performing locally and in nursing homes with the “Strummin Wonders”, ukulele group. Connie is best described as an optimist that tries to find the best in any situation or person. Congratulations!!!

 


Dr. Jerry Weiner, MD

Healthcare

As Manteca’s only full-time general surgeon, Dr. Jerry Weiner has improved and saved countless lives through his selfless commitment to his patients, hospital, and community. Over the past 35 years, Dr. Weiner has performed over 9,000 surgeries for patients in Manteca, Lathrop, and the surrounding communities. He continues to serve as an “on-call” physician within the Emergency Department, which means that he must be ready to respond immediately to an emergency regardless of his plans with family and loved ones. He has served in essentially every leadership role at Doctors Hospital of Manteca (DHM) including chairman of the Governing Board, Vice Chief of the Medical Staff and Chairman of the Department of Surgery. Exploring ways to better serve patients, Dr. Weiner formed the Tumor Board at DHM which serves as a platform for oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, and other physicians to collaboratively determine the best clinical care for patients with cancer. For many years, he has also led the DHM Ethics Committee, a committee that is tasked with making critical decisions for patients in their greatest time of need. Dr. Weiner serves as a role model for new physicians who come to our community. More times than can be counted, he provided guidance and counsel to other physicians. Of course, these many accomplishments are only a small sample of the immeasurable impact he has made and continues to make in our community. It is difficult to find a resident of the area, who has not been treated by Dr. Weiner or knows someone who has.

 


Everett Rankins

Agriculture

Everett Rankins, inducted in the Hall of Fame for Agriculture, is described as a man that has baled more hay than anyone in the history of San Joaquin County. In peak seasons it was not uncommon for bale counts to reach one million. He has also baled hay more years than anyone in the industry. Everett has baled hay in this area from 1944 to the present. He has been instrumental in revolutionizing the hay industry in the West. Everett holds 15 patents in the agricultural machines industry and has employed over a hundred people in the Manteca/Tracy communities. In describing some of Rankin’s patents, he developed modifications that redesigned four-man balers, allowing them to be operated by two men. This remarkable innovation required the elimination of the “eye” wire system in favor of spooled baling wire. He invented the first commercial spray rig for the application of herbicide on hay fields. He also invented the first tomato bin dump trailer. Additionally, he invented the first bale pick up machine which formatted bales into block stacks for ease in squeezing them onto trucks or into barns and completely eliminated the booming of each bale by hand. Everett completed the 9th grade in 1944 in Melissa, Texas. He went into the Military from 1945 to 1947 serving on the U. S. S. Scabbardfish and the U. S. S. Blower. Everett’s hobbies include restoring antique vehicles and competing in several shows. He has won the Iron Stone’s Best in Class.

 


Gary F. Dei Rossi Ed.D.

Education

A dedicated educator for over 35 years, Gary Dei Rossi has taught history, reading, math, physical education, and drama. His love for education led to serving on many district curriculum committees and designing an innovative classroom. In 1979, Gary was selected as Young Teacher of the Year recognition of the first district wide computer awareness program he started. But that was only the beginning. He also kicked off a bilingual migrant program, directed a $1.6 million modernization project, and had the highest 8th grade California Assessment Program (CAP) scores in 22 counties. Adding to his many credits, Gary started the professional development center and the Teachers College of San Joaquin (TCSJ). During his time with San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE), Gary rose in the ranks from Director of Curriculum to Deputy Superintendent for Educational Services. He is credited with revitalizing the Program Quality Review (PQR) process and developing the History of San Joaquin County Curriculum. He also assisted many student groups including the Academic Decathlon, Mock Trial, Spelling Bee, Honor Bands, and choirs. Just to give a sense of his dedication, for over 20 years Gary has served as the Super Quiz Master for the Academic Decathlon and as the emcee for the High School and Middle School Honor Bands and choirs. Gary also coached boys' basketball at Lincoln Elementary, varsity soccer at Manteca and East Union High Schools, and sophomore baseball. He even coached both the girls’ softball and track as they were crowned Acorn League champions – not once, but twice. After retiring from education, Gary did not stray far from his love of education and began writing children’s books. He co-wrote The ABC Book of San Joaquin County, 2013, and wrote the Napping Quilt, 2016.

 


Joyce Gatto

Art

Joyce Gatto is being inducted into the Hall of Fame for the category of Art. Joyce has lived in Lathrop for over 80 years. She has contributed to the community in the area of Art by establishing the Lathrop Mayor’s Art Show in 1994. This year will be the 25th anniversary of the Art Show. In 2005, Joyce was honored with the naming of the “Joyce Gatto Art Gallery”, located at the City Hall building in Lathrop. As a result from the Lathrop Mayor’s Art Show, local artists such as John Fry, Jarred Mays, and Randy Johnson have all become a tremendous success. Joyce also created the teen art show through involving local schools and students in honor of Mr. Mike Bradshaw. This art show creates a special opportunity for young artists to create special pieces and work on their craft. Joyce has received several awards and recognitions. She received the Dedicated Service Award from the City of Lathrop, San Joaquin County Commissioner on Aging award, and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Association of Firefighters. She is a founding member of the East Union High and Lathrop High Booster Clubs, member of the Lathrop Senior Commission during the design and building of the Lathrop Senior Center, member of the Veterans Memorial Committee during the design and building of the memorial. Joyce is married to Hall of Fame member Benny Gatto and has two wonderful children, daughter Karen Gatto and son James Gatto. Joyce’s hobbies include painting, doing Arts and Crafts, remodeling, cooking, gardening, and sewing.

 


Leon Sucht

Business

Born in 1935 in a small western Kansas town, Leon Albert Sucht graduated with a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Kansas State University in 1957. After a stint in the International Farm Youth Exchange and the military, Leon was recruited to work for Bank of America. Luckily, for our area, he landed in Manteca in 1978 as Vice President and Manager of the Manteca branch. Not ones to be idle, he and his wife, Liz, became joined of St. Paul’s Methodist Church. He became a familiar face at the Manteca Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club. Much to the chagrin of his new friends, Leon’s job moved the family to other communities in California. After retiring in 2002, Leon returned to Manteca. He picked up where he left off with even more energy and dedication, investing countless hours at St. Paul’s, Manteca Historical Society, Manteca Mural Society, and Rotary Leon has held many leadership positions at St. Paul’s, most notably in the men’s group, Chancel Choir, and Door Keepers. He was even named the Women’s Society Man of the Year! Leon is also an active member of the Manteca Historical Society Board of Directors and served as President from 2008 to 2014. He is involved in planning the popular monthly programs as well as the fundraisers. He is also available to give tours about the history of Manteca and enjoys sharing his knowledge of our beautiful community. A member of the Rotary Club, Leon sets an example with his 35 years of perfect attendance and is a Paul Harris fellow. Leon has been a member of the Manteca Mural Society since 2003, serving as Membership Chairperson. He is heavily involved with the selection of the muralists and subject matter for the many beautiful murals that adorn our downtown.

 


Michael Dean Moore (Pastor Mike)

At Large

Few people know Mike by his full name. Rather, he’s more widely recognized by the name “Pastor Mike.” After graduating from Carson High School, Mike attended Long Beach Bible School. He went on to work for Standard Brand Paints and Cobbs Door Co. before exploring his passion of working as a self-employed musician. In 1987, Pastor Mike, his wife, Grace, and their three daughters, moved to Manteca and established Crossroads Grace Community Church. The first 17 members met in a home. Later, they met at Manteca High School. Thirty years later, the church is now located at a large and beautiful worship center on Moffat Boulevard. Mike’s heart was in outreach. He was an active leader in the Manteca Ministerial Association, and was instrumental in the formation of the Hope Family Shelter in 1989. The church also ran a mobile medical station for years, going out into the community to reach those finding it difficult to see a doctor. Under Mike’s leadership, the church started the Second Saturday Program – now 11 years old. Once a month, the church members go out into the community to work on various projects, including the City’s Tidewater bike trail, paint fire hydrants, pick up trash or visit the elderly in rest homes. Pastor Mike retired in February 2016, and now resides in Pismo Beach – not far from where he was raised as a child. As one longtime friend and church member stated “You don’t know just how important a person is until they’re gone.” Although “Pastor Mike” may be physically gone from Manteca, his legacy continues and, thus, qualifies him to be inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame. .

 


Peggy Thompson Spears

Community Service

It would be difficult to attend any event at the Manteca Senior Center without encountering Peggy Thompson Spears. To illustrate, Peggy logged a monthly average of 100 volunteer hours in 2017 alone. She has been a vital part of the Senior Center since 2002, and was the first recipient of the Senior Center Volunteer of the Year Award in 2013. Peggy graduated from Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles before starting her 34-year career at Owens-Brockway Container Glass in Tracy. After her retirement, she began to volunteer at the Senior Center. It was while volunteering during a community fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina at the Center when she met Jim Spears. Peggy and Jim married in 2007 at the Senior Center. The two remain active at the Center, and are featured in the 2018 Senior Wall Calendar re-enacting a scene from the movie “Titanic.” Peggy and Jim have a total of six adult children between them, as well as one daughter who has passed. In 2010, Peggy was appointed to the Senior Advisory Committee (SAC). She is now in her third term, and currently serves as Co-Chair. In addition to serving on the SAC, she is involved with nutrition/kitchen services, Senior Center Breakfast Program, and assistance with regular and special events at the Center each month. Peggy has been recognized for her volunteerism by Congressman Jerry McNerney, San Joaquin County and the City of Manteca. Those who work beside her at the Center say “Peggy is the glue that holds everyone together.”