Jean B.J. Vautour, 85, of Ottawa, Ont., died Friday, Sep. 14, 2018. He was awarded the Carnegie Medal in 1964 for helping save two workmen from drowning in a hydroelectric channel. He submerged 4 feet and freed the first man’s feet from the grating of a generator station and then re-submerged 16 feet below the surface and forced his body between the second man and the grating to overcome the immense water pressure. Vautour worked as a civil engineer and was a scout and venture leader for many years. He was a longstanding member of the Rotary International and was involved in fundraising for families in need. He was named Citizen of the Year for 1987. Vautour is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ann Marie; three children; a grandson; and multiple siblings.
Vernon R. Hughes, 83, of Yreka, Calif., died Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. Vernon joined the Air Force in 1954 and served in Guam until 1957. He married in 1960 and made a home in Happy Camp, Calif. There, he co-owned and operated H&H Logging. He was awarded the Carnegie Medal in 1964 for rescuing a truck driver whose air brakes failed, resulting in a runaway in Blue Lake, Calif. Hughes increased the speed of his truck and moved ahead of the runaway. Using his mirrors to monitor the runaway, he then decreased his speed and allowed the vehicle to strike his own. Hughes carefully steered the vehicles to the guide rail. In 1975, Vernon moved his family to Yreka. He enjoyed watching his children’s and grandchildren’s baseball and football games. In addition, he was an avid fisherman and hunter and a friend to all who knew him. He is survived by his wife, Mary; five children; numerous grandchildren; great grandchildren; and siblings.
Marion J. Wheeler, Jr., 67, of Gasden, Ala., died Friday, March 1, 2019. After rescuing a woman from assault in 1996, he was awarded the Carnegie Medal in 1997. Seated in his car in a church parking lot, Wheeler heard screaming and a gunshot followed by a woman fleeing her home and falling into the street. He ran to the woman and placed her between two cars then attempted to distract the assailant. Wheeler lunged at him and struggled while others joined to disarm and subdue the assailant. Wheeler retired from AT&T after 42 years of service. He was a member of Southside Baptist Church where he taught Sunday school. He is survived by his wife, Karen; four children; four grandchildren; and two brothers.