In Passing

Bob Anderson

Bobby Gene Anderson was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on September 19, 1925 to John Dennis and Katherine (Barnes) Anderson. He enlisted in the Navy in 1942, and served in the Pacific as a gunner, Seaman First Class, on the battleship USS South Dakota until WWII ended in 1945.

In October 1945 he met Doris Abrahamson at a USO dance in Berkeley, California, and they married on May 26, 1946. They lived briefly in Berkeley, then Tacoma, Washington, Bartlesville, then returned to California, settling for several years in Oakland with their two children, Katherine and James. In 1958 the family moved to San Leandro. Bob worked many jobs early in his life, and in 1967 in Oakland he established his own business, Anderson Restaurant Supply, with Doris by his side as secretary and bookkeeper. Later his adult son, Jim, joined the business and became owner when Bob retired in 1982.

Bob and Doris relocated to Alameda in 1970 and as members of the Ballena Bay Yacht Club enjoyed sailing on the San Francisco Bay. In 1982 retirement took them first to Palm Desert, Californa, then in 1991 to Sun Lakes, Arizona, where they lived over 20 years. Bob was an avid car collector all of his life, proudly owning one of the first VW Beetles in the early 1950s, several models of Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and a Rolls-Royce. He enjoyed golf and won several tournaments; another hobby was raising amazing tomatoes and sharing them with family and friends every year.

When Doris suffered a devastating stroke in 1992 Bob became her devoted caretaker for the rest of her life until her death in 2014. Heartbroken after she died, Bob missed her every day. Bob always had strong opinions, staunch convictions and was a man who was in control all his life. In late 2015 many medical issues sent him in and out of hospitals until February 2016, when at age 90 he decided to discontinue hospital care and requested a transfer to hospice. He was calm and firm in his decision and the family respected this. He died on March 8, 2016 at Hospice of the Valley in Tempe, Arizona.

Bob was preceded in death by his loving wife Doris, his parents, and his sister Charlotte Eberhart. He is survived by his sisters Pat Withers and Norma Gross; his children Jim Anderson and Kathy Fell (husband Chuck); his grandchildren Christopher Fell, Noah Fell (wife Jenae) and Peyton Navarette (husband Jesse); and great grandchildren Lily Alves-Fell, Noemi, Lino and Virginia Navarette; numerous nieces, nephews and friends. He is buried next to his wife at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix. He was dearly loved and will be greatly missed.

Roland Alfred Aplin (Dick)

Roland Alfred Aplin (Dick), 86, of Colorado Springs, CO and Sun Lakes, AZ went home to be with the Lord on April 15, 2016. “Mr. Congeniality” as his friends and family called him never met a stranger in his life. He was born to Gertrude and Howard Aplin on August 28, 1929 in Milwaukee, WI. Dick met the love of his life, Jean Tills, in the registration line at Carroll College in Waukesha, WI and the rest as they say is history. Dick enlisted in the Navel Reserves in 1947, and married his dear Jeanie on January 17, 1951. Dick and Jean discovered Colorado on a vacation out West and decided to move to Colorado Springs, CO and continued their careers in education. Dick’s career ranged from schoolteacher to administrator, then business owner and, eventually, computer consultant. They have four wonderful children, Bonnie Pring (Brian), Dave Aplin (Kathy), Laurie Aplin and Bill Aplin (Teri), nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Family was always a top priority for Dick and he was very involved in his children’s, grandchildren’s and, most recently, great-grandchildren’s lives. Over the years, he attended many soccer games, tennis matches, Ride the Rockies bike tours (sag wagon driver), football games, cheer events, swim meets and track and field events – anything his children or grandchildren were involved in. Dick loved everyone, and, consequently, he met people everywhere he went. He also enjoyed traveling the world, playing golf, tennis and racquetball, bike riding, playing bridge and dancing with his sweet Jeanie.

In retirement, Dick and Jean bought a winter home in Sun Lakes, AZ, where they enjoyed almost 30 years as snowbirds from Colorado who flew down to the warm Arizona sun when the snow started to fall in Colorado. The Sun Lakes community was an important part of their life and they shared many stories about their dear Sun Lakes friends with their family back home. Wherever he lived, Dick was active in his church and community, delivering meals and providing transportation for seniors through Neighbors Who Care in Sun Lakes, providing volunteer transportation for seniors through Silver Key in Colorado Springs. Dick also volunteered as a mentor for at-risk Native American high school students in Chandler, AZ. Most days, Dick could be found puttering around in the yard, pruning trees, planting flowers and beautifying his yard. Jean believes he probably spent more time grooming his yard than anyone in all of Sun Lakes. This last point may be debatable, but no one would deny that Dick’s yard was always pristine, just the way he liked it.

On Wednesday, April 13, a tragic accident cut Dick’s life short. His family and friends all believed he had many years still ahead of him, with energy, good health, love and happiness abounding in his life. A strong faith in Christ was always the cornerstone of Dick’s life and his legacy of faith, family and friends will live on through the many people and lives he touched. We know we will be reunited with him one day in Heaven, and for now we draw our peace from the thought that he is happily chatting with Jesus in Heaven. We could not imagine a better husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend than Roland (Dick) Aplin, or a better life served here on earth! We can almost hear the Lord say, “Well done, “Mr. Congeniality,” my good and faithful servant.”

A memorial service was held Tuesday, April 19 at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church. A later memorial service in planned to be held at Broadmoor Community Church, Colorado Springs, CO in May 2016.

Memorials may be sent to Neighbors Who Care, 10450 E. Riggs Road, Ste. 113, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248 or Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, 9248 E. Riggs Road, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248.

Robert William Evans Bell (Bob)

Bob passed away at age 91 on April 12, 2016 after a short bout with lung cancer. Bob was born in El Dorado, Kansas on March 17, 1925. He grew up in Wichita, Kansas and joined the US Army during his senior year of high school to fight in World War II. After returning from active duty, he joined the Army Reserves, retiring after 28 years as a Command Sergeant Major. He was also employed for 34 years at the United States Post Office, and retired as Postmaster of El Dorado, Kansas.

Bob met the love of his life, Beverly, when he returned from active duty to complete his senior year of high school at Wichita East High School. They graduated together and were married four days after graduation. They would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in May of this year. They were blessed with three children: Ronald, who predeceased his dad, Randall of Huntsville, Texas and Debra Black of Bluffton, South Carolina. He was also blessed with many grandchildren.

Cecelia T. Gove

Cecelia T. Gove, a longtime resident of Sun Lakes, passed away at the Renaissance on February 18, 2016 after a lengthy illness.

A native of rural North Dakota, Cec moved with her family to Port Orchard, WA in her mid-teens. After graduation, she moved to Seattle where she spent a decade working in public relations at Providence Catholic Hospital and later for the Blue Cross Network. Cec met and married the love of her life, Capt. Tom Gove, US Coast Guard. They enjoyed 18 exciting years in Panama where Tom served as a Ship Captain for the Panama Canal. During their time in Panama, Cec joined Tom in learning to fly, sail and became Ham Radio operators. Cec also devoted her efforts to work with the Red Cross, the Women’s Club and taught a Panama high school Girls’ Chorus.

Upon Tom’s medical retirement, the Gove’s moved to Sarasota, FL for 12 years. When Cec’s health required it, they moved on to Sun Lakes, AZ in 1988. They were founding members of St. Steven’s Catholic Church and very actively involved in several ministries: Tom (Eucharistic Minister, Knights of Columbus); Cec (co-ordinated many Mission trips; Lecturer, Ladies’ Guild). They enjoyed annual visits to see extended family, and were world-wide travelers. Cec also devoted her time and talents to co-founding the Performing Arts League (PAL) which has provided Sun Lakes members immense enjoyment and transportation to operas, ballets and theatre performances across the Valley.

God gifted Cec with an amazing musical talent which she manifested in her 50 plus years of dedication to the Sweet Adeline’s Organization. She became a well-known Chorus Director and was often selected to serve as a Judge for many Sweet Adeline Competitions across the nation. Cec sang in several quartets (Seattle, Canal Zone, Sarasota), founded (Panama) and directed two Sweet Adeline’s Choruses (Panama, Sarasota), sang with and ultimately directed the Scottsdale Sweet Adeline’s Chorus which has won International Competitions.

Cec was the beloved, reigning matriarch of a large extended family many of whom live in the Valley. Her home was the center of all family celebrations. She is treasured by friends too numerous to count. She leaves three sons and daughters-in-law, five grandchildren, seven great- grandchildren, two brothers and sisters-in-law, and 37 nieces and nephews to celebrate her life. She rests in peace now with her beloved, Tom, at Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in Mesa.

Donations in Cec’s name may be sent to Americare Hospice, 1212 N. Spencer Street, Suite Two, Mesa, AZ 85203.

Mary Sue Miller

Mary Sue Miller, 83, of Chandler, Arizona, passed away May 2, 2016 in Chandler, Arizona. She was born on November 3, 1932 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Royal L. Prince and Irene B. Hobbs.

She loved music, dancing, playing the piano and traveling. She loved to laugh and she never met a stranger. She was a member of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, the Cotton Wives Association, the First United Methodist Church of Eloy, Sun Lakes First United Methodist Church, and the United Church of Christ of Sun Lakes, Arizona.

Mary Sue is survived by William Gregory Miller (son) of Flagstaff, Arizona, DeAnne Watkins (daughter) of Flagstaff, Arizona, Mary Kay Miller (daughter) of Gilbert, Arizona, Elizabeth A. Rogers (sister) of Forsyth, Missouri, Allen L. Prince (brother0 of Leesville, South Carolina, 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, James W. Miller, and great-grandson Nicolas C. Aleman.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, 9248 East Riggs Road, Sun Lakes, Arizona at 10:00 a.m. with burial to follow at Valley of the Sun Cemetery in Chandler, Arizona.

Ann Richards

Ann Richards passed peacefully into God’s hands on April 30, 2016.

Ann was from Columbus, Nebraska, moved to Lincoln, Nebraska where she worked for Wells Fargo for 20 years. She then came to Arizona seven years ago and lived in Sun Lakes with her mother, Jean Luchtel. She was very active in her community as Secretary in the Ambassador Welcoming Committee and on the Board of the Election Committee. Ann was always a wonderful and cheery addition to the Ladies Single Group and will be greatly missed.

Warren Matthew Robins

Warren Matthew Robins was born November 16, 1920 in Gueydon, Louisiana. His father was a rice farmer. Warren was the only son in a family of four children.

In high school Warren attained the rank of Eagle Scout; he then attended college at the University of Southwest Louisiana, and then earned a master’s degree in engineering at Louisiana State University. He joined the Army Air Corps and transitioned to the newly formed United States Air Force in 1945; he served active duty and reserve duty for more than 20 years, attaining the rank of Major. Warren married O.C. Coates from Monroe, Louisiana in 1950 and they had one son, Ned Robbins, born March of 1951.

After leaving active duty military service Warren returned to Louisiana to work for Kaiser Aluminum. He changed jobs several times, each time advancing in pay and position. His family moved with him from Louisiana to Orchard Park, NY, then to Chester, VA, and finally to Mt. Lakes, NJ. Warren retired in New Jersey from American Cyanimid Company. Warren and O.C. moved to Sun Lakes, Arizona in 1997 to join Ned and his wife Gina who lived nearby in Chandler, Arizona.

Warren and O.C. loved to travel and took many trips together, including destinations such as Europe, Greece, Antarctica and the Panama Canal among many others. O.C. passed away in 2004 and Warren continued an active life in Sun Lakes, visiting with friends at the Sun Lakes club often.

Maynard Anthony White

After battling a month long illness, Maynard White passed away on April 30, one week shy of his 109th birthday.

Maynard was born on May 8, 1907 in Modesto, California. He was the middle child of three. Maynard grew up on a farm, while his father took on many trades from farming, logging, carpentry, to managing a dairy farm. At the age of 14, the family moved to Oakland, California where he found his first job as a delivery boy at a grocery store that paid $25 per week. After 10 years in the grocery business, learning the trade of how to purchase produce during the Depression in the early 1930s, he went to work as a salesman for Heinz Company. He traveled his San Francisco territory by foot, carrying samples of products to potential customers to try.

Maynard was active in his church, serving as Treasurer and then as a deacon. He met his wife, Leila Royer, at a church function at an Oakland roller rink, and courted her for two years. In 1935, they married and were together for 61 years. He established White’s Food Products for 32 years. He came up with the idea of selling nuts, glazed fruit, and candles in cellophane bags, so that customers could see the product and also purchase them in smaller quantities. He sold the business at age 70.

He leaves behind a daughter, Diane, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. At age 90, he began a 10-year marriage to Wilma, who passed away in 2007. At that time, he moved into his daughter’s Sun Lakes, Arizona home until his death.

During the last several years, Maynard regularly attended the Chandler Senior Center where he enjoyed exercising and sharing stories with his friends. He loved the birthday party given for him each year and was very proud of his age. He also exercised at the Silver Sneakers Program at the Iron Oaks Fitness Center in Sun Lakes until his most recent fall in January 2015. He also liked to walk in the neighborhood and chat with his neighbors.

When reminiscing, Maynard spoke of the time he witnessed the takeoff of Amelia Earhart’s unsuccessful flight across the South Pacific, as well as the crash of the first single winged airplane. He also liked to talk about the times that he and his brother would swim in the canals, play sports, and take care of various pets. Perhaps his favorite story was of “Dennis” the pig that was a big hit to everyone.

Maynard was always in good spirits, loved to tell jokes, and was quite the prankster. He enjoyed helping family and friends where he could, and was well respected by everyone who knew him. He was very proud to have lived such a long and full life.