Former police chief dies

Bill Mintline also served as Gold Run CHP Commander
By: Gloria Beverage
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Longtime Colfax resident Bill Mintline died April 10 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He would have celebrated his 77th birthday on May 8. “He was kind, compassionate and gentle,” said his wife of 21 years, Mary Kaye. The love of her life was well known and respected both for his career as a law enforcement officer and as an active volunteer. Upon returning from a walk through town with his grandfather, Mintline’s grandson expressed surprise at the number of people who called to them. “I can’t believe how many times Grandpa waved at people,” he told Mary Kaye. “His arm must be sore!” Mintline joined the California Highway Patrol in 1957, retiring as Lt. Commander of the Gold Run office in 1983. Two years later, Mintline became the chief of police for Colfax’s police department, serving until 1994. In those early years, Mintline often joined Chester Gibbs, owner of Colfax’s Telephone Company, for coffee at the Iron Doors, a Main Street restaurant that later became Madonna’s. One day Gibbs introduced Mintline to Colfax’s recently arrived physician, Dr, Kurtis Fox. “I had gone downtown for a cup of coffee and he introduced me to Bill,” Dr. Fox recalled. “It was like an instant friendship. I had coffee with him (Mintline) two to four times a week for the next 30 years.” And Mintline became his closest friend and confidant. “When one of us would be going through those ups and downs of life, we’d have someone to chat with who was understanding,” Fox said. “He was certainly without prejudice. He would often say, ‘well, you know, I might have done that a little differently.’” After Gene Albaugh was named city manager in 1984, he made an instant connection with Mintline and Fox. The three would meet for coffee and scones “to share our wisdom of the town, life and the pursuit of happiness,” Albaugh said. Over the years, Mintline “would make sure I would get things done,” Fox said. “He’d offer me support and advice – if I asked for it.” Albaugh and Mintline connected on another level – through the Catholic church. “We attended many events as members of St. Dominic’s Church and were asked to join the Knights of Columbus.” The two went through the degree work, eventually attaining Fourth Degree, the highest level in the Order. “We took hikes together with our wives,” Albaugh said. “Hardly a month went by when the four of us didn’t get together.” Watching Colfax’s Fourth of July fireworks display on the rooftop of Mintline’s home on South Auburn Street was a long-standing tradition, he continued. “He was a devoted father to his children and a devoted husband to Mary Kaye. To my knowledge, he never spoke an unkind word about anyone,” he said. “He was my best friend.” Fox will also miss his best friend. “He was just someone who was extra special,” Fox said. “I’m very sad, but I know he suffered a lot in the past year.” Continuously involved in the community he so loved, Mintline and his wife were active with the Auburn Elks Lodge, CHP Gold Run Squad Club, 10-10 Travel Club and many other community organizations. After he finally retired from the Placer County Risk Management Department, Mintline and Mary Kaye spent 12 years traveling throughout the U.S. and Mexico in their recreational vehicle. “We had some really great times,” she said. In addition to Mary Kaye, Mintline is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law, Michael and Diane Mintline of Cottonwood, David and Karsten Mintline of Dutch Flat and his daughter and son-in-law Diane and Jack Kraker of Colfax. He is also survived by his stepsons and daughters-in-law Rob and Stephanie Veneski and Brian and Corinne Veneski, all residents of Fresno, as well as five grandchildren and a sister, Mary Ann Williams of Palm Springs. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in Colfax. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the CHP Widows and Orphans Fund, 2030 V Street, Sacramento, CA 95818 or to Saint Dominic’s Catholic Church, P.O. Box 752, Colfax, CA 95713.