A sharing of memories will be held at 6 p.m. on March 23 at St. Canice Catholic Church, 317 Washington St., Nevada City for Frank Viera Amaral. Friends and family are encouraged to come and share their experiences and memories of Mr. Amaral. A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. the following day, March 24, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 235 Chapel St., Grass Valley. A reception will follow. Mr. Amaral passed away on March 5 at his home in Nevada City. He was 88.
Mr. Amaral was born on June 19, 1918 to Manuel Viera Cardoza Amaral and Rosa Julia Bettencourt Amaral, in Orland. Hi mother came from the Azores Islands via Ellis Island. Mr. Amaral was the youngest of four children and he lost his father when he was 6.
Mr. Amaral graduated from Stockton High School with a focus in accounting when he was 17. He then worked for a local hardware store for a short time before joining his brother George in operating a gas station for Tidewater Associated Oil. After a couple of years, he sold his interest in the station and became the bookkeeper/manager of Calaveras Forest Products in Toyon.
While in Toyon, Mr. Amaral met LaVonne Kruger, whom he married in Stockton on Thanksgiving Day, 1942.
In 1944, he became the managing partner in Oregon Creek Lumber Co. prompting him to move his family to Camptonville so he could run the mill. At the time, Camptonville had no electricity. Mr. Amaral was instrumental in getting PG&E to electrify the mill, his home and the town.
In 1950, Mr. Amaral moved his wife and two children, Julia and Laurence, to Nevada City so that his children could attend St. Mary’s Academy. He commuted to Camptonville and bought out his partners in 1958.
Over the next eight years, Mr. Amaral purchased several mills and tracks of timber land throughout Northern California. He purchased and operated a planing mill in Oswald, a large sawmill operation in Caldwell, Idaho, and finally, Brunswick Timber Products in Grass Valley, which he operated until 1966.
During these years, he also bought timber land in Jackson Meadows, Milton Reservoir, the town site of Scales, Murchie Mine (subsequently developed into Deer Creek Park and Stonebridge), Clarke Ranch near Laytonville, the North Star Mine property in Grass Valley, Skyline Boulevard land in San Mateo County and Winchuck River land in Oregon.
In 1966, Mr. Amaral retired from the lumber business and began developing properties and selling lots and parcels. He also diversified into farm land in Los Banos, commercial properties in Southern California and gas and oil projects in California and Louisiana. He even bought the last of United Airlines DC6 fleet, which he parked at Lincoln airfield and eventually sold at a great loss.
For years, Mr. Amaral and his wife were anonymously philanthropic. During this time, the couple donated the land for the first Juvenile Hall and the Madelyn Helling Library. In the 1990s, they were convinced to go public with their philanthropy and made major donations to Music in the Mountains, the Diagnostic Center at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, the Hospice Home project, Foothill Theatre Co., and Mt. St. Mary’s Academy to name a few.
Mr. Amaral and his wife loved to travel and visited many places including: Thailand, Indonesia, China, Taipei, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Caribbean, Greece, Turkey, Central Europe, England, Wales, Ireland, Iceland, the North Pole, Russia, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Canada and much of the USA.
Mr. Amaral was a member of St. Canice Catholic Church, BPOE #518, CABPRO and the American Forest Products Association. He also golfed at every opportunity and was a member of the Alta Sierra and Auburn country clubs.
Mr. Amaral is survived by his wife of 64 years, LaVonne Amaral of Nevada City; daughter and son-in-law, Julia Amaral and Mark Strate of Grass Valley; son and daughter-in-law, Laurence (Lance) and Gloria Amaral of Nevada City; adopted grandson and his wife, Brad Angrove and Lisa Amaral of Rocklin; step grandchildren, Stephanie Spencer Clark and her husband Jeff of El Dorado Hills, William (Spence) Spencer of Nevada City; step great-grandsons, Collin and Evan Clark; sister-in-law, Edna Amaral Marchese of Canby, Ore.; and several nieces and nephews. Mr. Amaral was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Foothill Theatre Co., Hospice of the Foothills or Music in the Mountains.
Arrangements are under the direction of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary.
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