Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 5, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page A:5


Mountain View News Saturday, July 5, 2014 


Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Blotter


Gloria Mary

Long time resident of 
Sierra Madre, Gloria 
“Dolly” Oldham, age 88, 
died at her home at the 
Palm Desert Country 
Club, in Palm Desert on 
Monday, June 30, 2014.
Born Gloria Mary Fyfe 
on September 29, 1925 
in Detroit, Michigan to 
Florence and John Fyfe; 
she was the youngest of 
4 children. 

As a young lady she met and married Jimmie Oldham and together 
they raised their three children in Sierra Madre, California: Susan 
Merritt (Rick), Kathleen Driscoll (John), and John Oldham (Jackie). 
She also leaves behind eight grandchildren: Jessica Maggio (Val), 
Kristen Giordani (Justin), Joseph Cowell, Colleen Bischoff (Rob), 
Matthew Cowell (Tara), Patrick Driscoll, Jack Driscoll and Samantha 
Oldham; and six great grandchildren: Savannah, Isla, Aven, Curtis, 
Nolan, and Brayden; and her beloved Cocker Spaniel “Sporty”.

Gloria was preceded in death by her three brothers: Claude, Charlie, 
and Gordon, and her loving husband Jimmie. 

She was a model for aging with grace and dignity, and an inspiration 
for all who knew her. She will forever be remembered for her 
determination, independence, love of animals, and dedication to 
family and friends.

A private family service will be held Saturday, July 26, 2014. In lieu 
of flowers, donations can be made to La Salle High School Athletic 
Fund, in memory of Gloria Oldham.

La Salle High School Athletic Fund
3880 East Sierra Madre Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91107-1996
(626) 351-8951 

As we move into the summer the Sierra Madre Search and 
Rescue (SMSR) Team is experiencing a high volume of calls 
with 21 in May and June to date. Three incidents are described 
in more detail below.

Missing Hiker, Mt. Whitney, Inyo County: On June 16th, 
SMSR was requested to provide mutual aid support in the 
search for John Likely, a 60-year old hiker from Dumont, NJ. 
Mr. Likely was part of a three-person group that summited Mt. 
Whitney on June 14th. The group had hiked together regularly 
throughout the years and during the descent Mr. Likely was 
hiking at a slower pace than the other members of the group. 
This was not unusual based on prior hikes and the group used 
binoculars to verify that Mr. Likely was just below the “cable” 
area on the 99-switchback portion of the main trail. Mr. Likely 
never made it to Outpost Camp. The two friends searched 
for their colleague before contacting Inyo County Search and 
Rescue. SMSR Team members were inserted via helicopter at 
various locations on Mt. Whitney including on the summit to 
search off-trail areas where a hiker could slip and fall or become 

Early in the evening of June 19th, search crews located a body in 
an extremely steep chute above Mirror Lake. Our thoughts go 
out to Mr. Likely’s family and friends during this very difficult 

Missing Hiker, Sespe Wilderness, Ventura County: As part of 
a mutual aid request received on June 18th, members of SMSR 
joined the search for missing Arcadia firefighter Mike Herdman. 
Mr. Herdman, an experienced outdoorsman, was camping 
with a friend in the Tar Flats area of the Sespe Wilderness near 
Fillmore. The friends were two days into a four-day backpacking 
trip when Herdman left camp late in the night to chase after his 
dog, Duke. When Herdman didn’t return, his friend looked for 
him before eventually deciding to go for help. Given the distance 
and difficult terrain, it took two days to reach the trailhead 
and summon help. Ventura County search and rescue units 
immediately responded and, given the remote location and size 
of the search area, requested help from surrounding counties. 
SMSR Team members were inserted by helicopter on various 
search assignments near the location where Herdman was last 
seen. Similar to the Likely search on Mt. Whitney, this search 
brought together SAR teams from across the region. Additional 
resources included, dog teams, divers to check the deep pools 
along Sespe Creek, and two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) 
providing photo and infrared (IR) imaging. Due to the remote 
location, AT&T and Verizon provided mobile cell towers, and 
the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) provided aircraft as flying radio 
relays. Sierra Madre members put in over 475 hours over 4 days 
working on the search. Mr. Herdman’s body was found late in 
the afternoon on Friday, June 27th.

SMSR extends our thoughts and prayers to the Herdman family 
and his friends and colleagues at the Arcadia Fire Department 
during this difficult time. The Team would also like to extend 
best wishes for a full recovery to the SAR personnel injured 
during this difficult operation. 

Dog Rescue, Big Santa Anita Canyon/Chantry Flat: SMSR was 
preparing for a scheduled training on Saturday, June 14th, when 
a page was received at 7:15 a.m. to respond for the rescue of a 
dog who had fallen 110 feet over the side of the Upper Winter 
Creek Trail. Rescuers arrived on scene and found a 60 lb. dog 
along with two good Samaritans over the side near the bottom 
of the canyon. It was quickly determined that the 2 hikers were 
unhurt, but the dog, Buster, was suffering from a leg injury. 
After rappelling into the canyon, rescuers set-up a low angle 
rope rescue. Buster was safely secured in a Stokes litter and 
brought up to the trail where he was wheeled out to the parking 
lot and transported by his owner to the veterinarian. The hikers 
who had gone to Buster’s aid were assisted back to the trail 
using a stranded hiker rescue technique and continued on their 
hike. Good Samaritans are often the very first people to render 
assistance in an emergency and can be instrumental in keeping 
a situation from getting worse. This would not be the only dog 
rescue during this period with the Team responding to another 
successful dog rescue off the Chantry Road on the 18th. 


For over 60 years the all-volunteer Sierra Madre Search and 
Rescue team has been responding to calls for help in the local 
mountains and beyond. Funded entirely by private donations, 
SMSR provides a range of public programs on wilderness safety 
in addition to its search and rescue activities. The Team never 
charges for any of its services. 

For more information, including how to arrange a wilderness 
safety demonstration for your school or group, visit www.smsr.


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Sierra Madre

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