Louie Kaelin, age 77, passed away August 2, 2017 at the family ranch in Arbuckle, CA after fighting a long and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
Louie is survived by his daughter Camie Kaelin (Blaine Martin) of Colusa; son Richard Kaelin (Natasha Chen) of Walnut Creek, CA; sister Barbara Bailey of Colusa and her family. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 52 years, Cathy Kaelin; parents Louis and Anna Kaelin; and sister Anna Lou Kaelin.
Louie was born in Arbuckle, CA, on October 31, 1939. Raised on the Browning Ranch outside of Grimes, CA, Louie attended Grand Island Elementary School and then went on to graduate from Pierce Joint Union High School in 1957. At Pierce High School he played football, basketball, and baseball. His senior year he was elected Student Body President. Following high school graduation, Louie attended U.C. Davis majoring in agriculture. He transferred to CSU, Chico in 1960 where he was a member of the first Chico State livestock judging team. Upon graduation from college in 1962, Louie was drafted in to the U.S. Army where he proudly served his country until April of 1964. On November 14, 1964 he married his college sweetheart, Catherine C. Cavanagh, of Quincy, CA and together they began their life in Colusa County where he was a self-employed farmer. They enjoyed over 52 years of marriage.
As a small boy, Louie began working alongside his father as a farmer and rancher. By the time he was 7, Louie was driving vehicles and operating various pieces of machinery independently and raising livestock. In February of 1948 he embarked on the road to a successful beef breeding business with Registered Hereford cattle. As a member of the Arbuckle 4-H, he began showing his Registered Herford cattle throughout the greater Northern California region each summer with his sister, Anna Lou. He won many championship and showman awards with his cattle, several times winning championship awards at the California State Fair in the 1950s.
Following his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, Louie returned to Colusa County where he resumed farming and raising cattle with his father. He also embarked upon his own farming ventures which grew to fulfill his lifelong dreams. Throughout his life, Louie raised a number of different crops including rice, wheat, barley, safflower, sugar beets, tomatoes, beans, alfalfa, and almonds. His diversified farming operation transformed over the years to focus on raising almonds. Farming was truly a lifelong pursuit and love for Louie. He was actively involved in his family farming operation with his daughter until his death.
An active member of the community, Louie was a member of the Colusa County Farm Bureau for nearly 50 years and served on its board for several years in the early 1970’s holding the office of Board President 1974-1975. He was a volunteer rural firefighter with the Sacramento River Fire Department. Additionally, he was a member of various agricultural groups including the Beet Growers Association, RGA, and the Almond Growers Association.
An avid outdoorsman all of his life, Louie thoroughly enjoyed hunting and fishing. Some of his fondest memories were hunting and fishing trips shared with family and friends both home and abroad. However, his greatest joy was ducking hunting at the Colusa Shooting Club where he was a shooting member for over 20 years and proudly served on its board.
Louie and Cathy enjoyed traveling as a couple with family and friends. Whether on a cruise to exotic locals, a relaxing trip to the Mendocino Coast, gambling in Reno, or an RV trip to Lake Havasu to watch fireworks, Louie was always ready to have a good time and enjoy good food. He genuinely enjoyed life and all that it had to offer. He and his bright smile will truly be missed.
Funeral services will be held at the College City Cemetery at 11:ooAM on Saturday, August 19, 2017. A celebration of life luncheon will follow at the family ranch, 217 Grevie Road, Arbuckle, CA 95912.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made in Louie’s name to the Omega Nu Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 747 Colusa, CA 95932, the College City Cemetery Support Group, P.O. Box 311 , Arbuckle, CA 95912, or the charity of your choice.