Former Juneau resident Thomas Jon Dreyer died May 10, 2007, in Atascadero, Calif. He was 66.
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He was born May 17, 1940, in Winegar, Wis., to Morris and Erma Dreyer. Having moved to the Bay Area as a teenager, he graduated from Carlmont High School in Belmont, Calif., and then joined the U.S. Navy.
He moved to Alaska to become a Merchant Marine. He worked as a first mate on tugboats and piloted ferries for the state of Alaska. He left Juneau in 2005 to move to Atascadero to be close to family.
A compassionate, caring person, he most often was defender of the "underdog," family members said. He enjoyed working on cars and trucks. Tinkering with and riding motorcycles was his true passion. He was a strong supporter of the Alcoholics Anonymous program and took great pride in his 25-year affiliation.
He enjoyed fishing and camping and was outfitting his truck and camper in preparation for his "return to his roots" trip to trace his family's history, family members said.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Gerald Williams; and sister, Ramona Alderson.
He is survived by his cousin, Letha Blythe and her husband, Don, of Templeton, Calif.; aunt, Joyce Wright, of Templeton; son, Russell Kalchbrenner and his wife, Laura, and children, Rachel and Loren, of Cordova, Tenn.; ex-wife, Virginia Kalchbrenner and her husband, Wally, of Clancy, Mont.; brother, Gordon Williams and his wife, Mary, of Gasquet, Calif.; sisters, Nancy Spalding and her husband, Bob, of Weed, Calif., Norma Johnson and her husband, Lyle, of Mad River, Calif., Judy Cleveland, of Kneeland, Calif., Debbie Beatty and her husband, Mike, of Red Bluff, Calif., and Becky Williams, of Shingletown, Calif.
A celebration of life will take place in August in Kneeland.