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Lawrence Edward Dotta died peacefully at the David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, in Fairfield, on March 23, 2019.
Born in Oakdale on December 17, 1947, Larry was the youngest of three children of Antone and Eunice Dotta. He grew up in Oakdale and attended Oakdale Joint Union High School. While working for Standard Oil Inc., Larry was drafted into the Army at the age of 19. He completed a tour of duty in Vietnam with the Fifth Infantry Division. Along with the other hazardous duties of a combat infantryman, Larry was relied upon to perform the calculations necessary to direct the trajectory of mortar fire against the enemy.
At the end of his Army service, Larry was discharged with the rank of Specialist 5. He settled in Modesto, and enrolled in Modesto Junior College. A year later, he moved to Lincoln and attended Sierra College. He later transferred to the University of California, Davis, where he earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics.
Following graduation, Larry went to work as an analyst with Exlog, in Sacramento, where he used his mathematical skills to determine the feasibility of oil and gas drilling in various locations. He married Kate Mahan, of Roseville, whom he had met several years earlier while working in a summer internship program in Placer County.
Not long after the birth of their son, Luke, Larry achieved his longtime goal of being a teacher when he was hired as a professor of mathematics at Sacramento City College. His enthusiasm for his subject, as well as his talent as a teacher, helped thousands of undergraduates – many of whom found mathematics a difficult subject – achieve their academic and career goals. Popular with students and staff, Larry taught for more than 20 years.
A gifted athlete, Larry played baseball in high school and, following his stint in the Army, with a semi-professional league in the Central Valley. While in the service, he boxed for his regiment. While still a student at UC Davis, Larry bought his first Kawasaki motorcycle. The purchase would mark the beginning of a life-long interest in motorcycling. Larry loved taking trips over the high mountain passes in the Sierra, racing at the local drag-strip, and competing with his son in motocross events. A devoted Kawasaki fan, he was fond of telling friends that if cut, he would bleed Kawasaki racing green.
Those who knew him best will remember him as a generous, thoughtful and caring man with a great love of adventure, who was proud of having served his country.
Larry will be missed by his son, Luke Dotta and his wife, Nicole, of Rohnert Park; daughter Darcel Renee West, of Hamilton, Montana; sister Edna Martin of Oakdale; sister Toni Moore and brother-in-law Jerry Moore, of Auburn; nieces Julie Clinton and Karen Adams, of Auburn; niece Andrea Light, of Oakdale; nephews Rod Powell and Michael Powell, of Auburn; nephew John Martin, of Galt; nephew Daniel Martin, of Sonora; grandchildren Larry Ray Dotta, Charles Guy West, Jr., Michael James West, Nicholas Oden West, of Hamilton, Montana; and brother-in-life, Dana Perrigan, of San Francisco. Funeral arrangements are pending.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader

April 10, 2019