Notes about and for longtime residents

October 4, 2013 

• One of Stanislaus County’s older traditions continues this month – the annual dinner only open to people who have lived here 50 years or more. It will be held Oct. 26 at the SOS Club, 819 Sunset Ave in Modesto. The cost is $20, and arrangements for reservations can be made by calling Alta Robbins at (209) 578-1524 or Linda Pedego at (209) 523-1420. The 50 Plus Club doesn’t have a lot of activities, but it has been holding this dinner since 1941, according to a press release from the club. It was men only until 1958.

• We note the passing of Dr. Delmar Tonge, who was part of a medical family that has served Modesto for decades and established Modesto City Hospital, a downtown landmark for four decades. It recently reopened as Central Valley Specialty Hospital. Tonge also was a longtime advocate for the arts.

• Happy anniversary to the Modesto Gospel Mission, which is marking its 65th anniversary of helping the homeless and needy in our community. Its celebration banquet will be Tuesday night at Modesto Centre Plaza.

• Sue Siefkin is retiring next month as a Stanislaus County Superior Court judge, ending a distinguished career of public service that included 18 years on the bench and, from 1975 to 1983, eight years on the Modesto City Council. She earned her law degree just as she finished her second council term and worked in private practice at two prominent firms before being named to the Municipal Court by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. Siefkin served on the council with the late Peggy Mensinger.

As an aside, we note that Modesto has never had more than two women City Council members at any given time. At the courthouse, on the other hand, there’s much more balance. Ten of the two dozen current judges and commissioners are women. The governor hasn’t yet named a judge to replace Siefkin.

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