Longtime local historian and activist dies in Turlock
Jul 02, 2012 | 3244 views | 1 1 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Longtime Patterson resident, local historian and community activist Claude Delphia, 74, died Monday, July 2, at a medical facility in Turlock. He had been institutionalized and in declining health for a number of weeks.

An interior designer by trade, Delphia returned to Patterson in the mid-1960s. He operated a retail lamp business in Modesto for a time before working six years at the Patterson Irrigator as a photographer and printing technician. He custom-designed fireplace tiles and operated his own kiln. More recently he was employed by Stuart's Fine Furniture in Ceres and resided there for several years before returning to Patterson a few years ago.

Mr. Delphia was long involved in Patterson’s civic life. He served as chairman of the Planning Commission before running for mayor in 1986. He was general chairman of Patterson’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1984, marking the city's 75th anniversary, and chaired the community’s Labor Day celebration at its centennial in 2009. He also served as vice president of West Side-Patterson Affiliates for Community and Environment the past five years. That group has taken issue with PCCP West Park, an inland industrial hub for the Port of Oakland that has been proposed for the Crows Landing Air Facility and surrounding acreage. He was also a member of Patterson's Federated Methodist-Presbyterian Church.

However, his passion was Patterson’s history. He was on the founding committee of the Patterson Township Historical Society, later serving as both its president and later museum curator. He enjoyed researching topics related to local history and writing for The Gateway, the society’s publication.

Survivors include his brother Benjamin in Michigan and step-mother Virginia Delphia Usadel of Patterson. He was preceded in death by his father, John Delphia, and mother, Gladys Carr Delphia.

His remains will be cremated and buried in Patterson District Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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August 01, 2012
This is a great loss to our community and he will be greatly missed.

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