Ralph Hubert “Sonny” Barger, Jr., who has written several books and has appeared in “Sons of Anarchy,” was best known as a founding member of the famous Hells Angels motorcycle club.

The 83-year-old Modesto resident died in June in Livermore.

On Saturday morning the rumble of motorcycles filled the air as hundreds of bikers and other mourners crossed the Midway Road to Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon for Barger’s funeral.

As the brisk wind swirled, the roar of motorbikes from all over California and beyond overshadowed all other sounds. A short private ceremony of approximately 20 minutes was held in relative silence.

The funeral of Sonny Barger, founder of Hells Angels, was held Saturday in Dixon in a private, quiet event. His Celebration of Life is scheduled for later that day in Stockton. (Photo, Kimberly K. Fu, Reporter)

While some public safety officials expressed concern about the incident, it proceeded without incident.

After the ceremony, the riders headed to Stockton for the afternoon’s Feast of Life.

At the time of the press, only minor incidents were reported at the Stockton convention.

Barger, who served about 14 months in the army, reportedly took over the Hells Angels branch in Oakland in 1957 and turned it into one of the largest and dangerous clubs at the time.

In its heyday, the club was known for dr*gs, firearms and violence, including beatings and killing stabs at the 1969 concert at the Altamont Speedway in Alameda County.

Although arrests have been made on the case, Barger’s actions have been attributed to self-defense.

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