Several prominent Lodi-area residents died in 2005. Included:
Walter Pruss, 89, died Jan. 17, 2005
Pruss was a longtime Lodi resident and helped start the Lodi Police Partners program in 1993.
He was a longtime City Hall gadfly and Lodi Police Partners alumnus.
Pruss is remembered not only for his hard work on the Partners program, but also his commitment and interest in the community.
He remained supportive of the Partners program, writing letters to companies, making presentations to the community and spearheading fund-raisers.
Dr. Frank Johnson Jr., 83, died July 11, 2005
Johnson was an optometrist in Lodi since 1955, and was a member or board member of several organizations in Lodi.
After he moved to Lodi and set up his own practice, he continued to drive to Berkeley one day a week to teach classes.
Johnson served on the Lodi Memorial Hospital Foundation board, as a director for the Lodi Grape Festival board and on the Hutchins Street Square Foundation board, as well as helping to build Hutchins Street Square.
He stood out in front of the library on every White Cane Day, and delivered thousands of pairs of glasses to Vallejo, where they would be sent to other countries for distribution.
Kenneth Wayne Meadows, 68, died Oct. 20, 2005
Meadows founded a residential complex for recovering substance abusing women, to help them turn their lives around.
He provided an alcohol-free and drug-free environment for women and their children. The women learned how to cook, clean, shop and become better parents.
Meadows and his wife adopted more than 200 foster children over a 30-year period.
He gave them a sense of pride and approval that they longed for, and listened to them with a smile.
John Moran, 61, died Oct. 27, 2005
Moran was active on the Public Safety Committee, both in his role with the Red Cross and in helping develop the city's disaster preparedness plan.
He worked with the Sacramento Chapter of the Red Cross, to get about a dozen volunteers from Galt trained to provide emergency care in the event of a disaster in that city.
In addition, he was a board member of the Galt District Chamber of Commerce and participated in numerous Galt organizations, including Crime Stoppers, Boys and Girls Club, Rotary, Lions, Galt High Principal Advisory Committee, Galt Chiefs Pop Warner Football Program and the Galt Warriors Booster Club.
When it came to public service, he never said he couldn't help.
Jim Kissler, 79, died Oct. 28, 2005
Kissler was the master vineyardist who convinced Lodi's Tokay flame growers that premium winegrapes could be grown in the area's fertile soil.
He is credited with educating local farmers with the knowledge to grow better grapes along with the economics of growing.
He also helped local growers uncover utipa, a disease that had been causing vines to wither in the 1970s.
He was always available as a farmer adviser.
Kissler studied mechanical harvesting and made arrangements to have two mechanical harvesters, the first in the state, shipped to the Lodi area in 1967.
He was a member of the San Joaquin County Agricultural Hall of Fame and was honored with the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission's Award of Merit in 1999.
Eddie Aguirre, 44, died Nov. 20, 2005
Aguirre was the chairman of the Lodi Planning Commission, one of the founding stewards of the Lodi Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Lodi program, a board member of the Lodi Police Foundation, and both president and secretary of the Mexican-American Lions Club.
His other charitable endeavors are too numerous to mention.
His selfless spirit of giving and volunteerism is a thing of legend in and around Lodi.
Rev. Canon Roger Lee Wilkowski, 68, died Dec. 18, 2005
Wilkowski entered the ministry in 1988 after working 17 years for Texaco, and 12 years with various national restaurant chains. He became pastor at St. Luke's in July 2004.
He was a man of deep and abiding faith; that faith was a core of his life. Before coming to Galt, Wilkowski was interim rector at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Carmichael and St. Peter Episcopal Church in Red Bluff.
For about 10 years, beginning in 1992, he was "Canon to the Ordinary," commonly known as the bishop's executive assistant.
Wilkowski was an extraordinarily gifted person who always saw the bright side of things. He was best known for his expression, "Not to worry; God will work it out."