George Voyiatzes: He saw Auburn, Placer County history up close

96-year-old living link with city's past dies
By: Gus Thomson, Auburn Journal
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George Voyiatzes, one of Auburn’s living links with its own history, died late Wednesday. His death was confirmed Thursday by his son, Jim Voyiatzes, who said his father died at Foothill Oaks Care Home of congestive heart failure. Voyiatzes was 96 and had lived since 1918 on the same property he had grown up on just outside of Auburn city limits. Wearing his trademark black Stetson and suspenders, driving an ancient yellow pickup truck and ready with a story of old Auburn or an opinion on current events, he continued to make his mark up until the last few months of his life in a city he seemed to know every inch of. Voyiatzes was a member of the Veterans Memorial Hall board, a cook at the annual Placer Sportsmen’s buck stew dinner and a local resident whose personal history included helping construct Ophir Road and working on the Mountain Quarries Railroad Bridge tracks. Voyiatzes described himself near the end as “an ancient man in a modern world,” his son said. A service is planned for Wednesday, followed by a reception. Details were still being worked out Thursday. A more detailed story on George Voyiatzes’ life is planned for a future edition of the Journal. If you have a reminiscence to share with readers, contact Gus Thomson at or call 530-852-0232. – Gus Thomson