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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:11 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:42 pm
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Eli Setencich, WWII pilot, iconic writer, Granville grad has died

By Dick Sheppard
Sanger Herald
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014 7:17 AM PDT

Sanger's iconic journalist, WWII hero and Granville Elementary School salutatorian, Eli Setencich, 90, died July 12.

He will be missed by all who knew him personally and those who knew of him through his weekly Fresno Bee column, "Through a Glass Lightly."

Eli graduated from Sanger High School in 1941. But, during his visits to the Sanger Herald, with his friend and Granville buddy, Ed Rose, he spent more time talking about the little school on Kings Canyon than he did about high school or his accomplishments as a fighter pilot in WWII or his long career as a Bee columnist.

He thought being named Granville's salutatorian in a class of 15 students was more of a funny accident than an academic achievement and he and Ed chuckled while reminiscing about those days. Then they got back to putting pressure on the Herald to do a feature story on the old school building that turned 100 in 2012.

Eli talked about Granville's famous grads, Billy Vukovich and Tom Flores.

He didn't include himself.

Eli was a quiet, humble man of many, many accomplishments that he would never mention.

He declined many invitations to speak to the Sanger Rotary club and shrugged off a suggestion that his name should be submitted to the city council for recognition as one of Sanger's outstanding citizens and didn't want to talk to a correspondent the Herald assigned to do a story about him.

That was just Eli being Eli.

He was a member of the greatest generation, not the selfie generation.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his WWII accomplishment of flying 142 combat missions, bombing and strafing German targets in his P-47 Thunderbolt.

After the war, Eli flew with the Air National Guard in Fresno. He attended College of the Sequoias and the University of California at Berkeley.

After a very brief radio/television experience - "That just wasn't me" - Eli had a 41-year career at The Bee writing a weekly column and then becoming The Bee's regular local news columnist, writing three times a week from 1980 until his last column on June 28, 2002 when he retired.

He is survived by his wife, Yvonne, daughter, Amy and two grandchildren.

A memorial service is pending.

The reporter can be contacted by email at sangerherald@gmail .com or by phone at the Sanger Herald at (559) 875-2511.

http://thesangerherald.com/articles/201 ... 942217.txt

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