Carl “Leo” Stetson

By February 13, 2011

Dec. 16, 1918 — Feb. 8 2011

Carl “Leo” Stetson passed away in his sleep on Feb. 8, 2011 at home.  A long time resident of Davis, he was born in Delevan on Dec. 16, 1918.

He grew up in Sacramento and graduated from Sacramento High School in 1936, Sacramento City College in 1938 and UC Berkeley in 1940 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.  He was employed by the State of California from 1946 to 1981, primarily with the California Department of Water Resources.

In 1941 he married Marguerite Elizabeth Coupe from Nicolaus, Ca and lived in Sacramento until moving to Davis in 1951, where they were active in the Mr. and Mrs. Club of St. James Catholic Church. In 1963, he became the first DWR District Chief of San Joaquin Office and moved to Fresno to establish the Central District Office, where he was responsible for the state’s interest in all water development in the San Joaquin Valley counties, plus San Benito and Monterey counties.

After retiring from DWR in 1981, Marguerite and Carl traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Panama.  In 1986, after Marguerite’s passing, he attended college to broaden his knowledge and traveled throughout Europe, Greece and the Middle East. He volunteered at Fresno State’s Madden Library.  In the 1990s, he met Rusty Odland, formerly of  Davis, and spent many happy years with her, enjoying friends, her children, parties, late night dinners, symphonies, lectures and cultural events in Fresno.

Carl was preceded in death by his parents Carl Leo Stetson Sr. and Loretta (Martinelli) Stetson, long-time Davis residents and brothers Benjamin, Edward (Bud), and Frank.

He is survived by his sister Elizabeth Barbara Campbell (Jim) of Davis and Dixon; brother Tom Stetson of San Juan Capistrano; his loving partner Rusty Odland; children Daniel Leo of Fresno, Thomas Edward of Susanville, and Luree Jeanne of Sacramento, all of whom grew up in Davis; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Whitehurst, Sullivan, Burns & Blair Funeral Home in Fresno, followed by Recitation of the Holy Rosary at 4 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Fresno. Interment to follow at St. Peter’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Friends of the Madden Library, 5200 N. Barton Ave, N/S ML34, Fresno, CA 93740.

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