In Passing

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Martha Johnson was born in Marion, Ohio, in 1927, but lived most of her 90 years in San Diego and Sun Lakes. Before retiring, Martha worked as an Oncology R.N. at Scripps Hospital in San Diego, and husband Earl retired from P.S.A Airlines. Both Martha and Earl were devoted volunteers and gave many years of service to Sun Lakes Women’s Association. Martha was chairperson for the association’s annual sale for 15 years.

She also found time to work at the Pro Shop and worked several years for Phase 1 Security back when Security actually carried guns. After moving back to San Diego, she always made an annual trip back to Arizona to visit many friends and neighbors and get her “Sun Lakes fix”!

Martha received her invitation on May 7 to join her devoted husband Earl, who preceded her in death in 2016. They are survived by son Earl Jr., his wife Becky and their only grandchild Megan who was a joy to their hearts.

Martha was a people person and called everyone “friend.”

Thank you, Martha, for blessing so many lives. Because of you, Sun Lakes and the world were a better place.

Joseph William “Joe” Rubattino

Joseph William “Joe” Rubattino, a 20-year resident of Sun Lakes, Arizona, passed away suddenly on June 26, 2017, at the age of 81 doing what he loved most – golfing. His wife Diane was at his side. He was a man of great passion, cherishing his Italian heritage. He loved spending time with his family and friends dining on fine Italian food and toasting life with a glass of champagne. He could be found cheering his Diamondbacks, making special crafts for everyone he cared for, enjoying retirement with his beloved wife Diane or browsing and sharing on Facebook.

Joe was born in Santa Rosa, California, on July 2, 1935. He attended St. Rose Catholic School and Santa Rosa High School. He was a contractor by trade. After retirement, he moved to Sun Lakes.

He is preceded in death by his loving parents Emilio Rubattino and Josephine Rubattino-Capurro and his brother Tom Rubattino. He is survived by his adored sister Rita Okerstrom (Steve). Joe was the dearly beloved husband of Diane Rubattino of 13 years and late wife of 44 years La Rue Rubattino; loving father of Tracy Oland (Greg) and Richard Rubattino (Karen), all of Santa Rosa, California; stepfather of Mark Bertolini (Christine) of Santa Rosa and Charlene Kamm (Mark) of McMinnville, Oregon; adored grandfather of Patrick Oland, Kyle, Alexis, Rachel and Connor Rubattino and Valerie Bertolini; and great-grandfather to Madison Oland. He leaves behind many wonderful friends in Sun Lakes and in Santa Rosa.

Per Joe’s request, no services will be held. A celebration of life will take place at a later date in California. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to your favorite charity if desired.

Kathleen A. Taylor

Kathleen A. Taylor, 87, passed away June 14, 2017, in Portland, Oregon. Born August 22, 1929, in Teutopolis, Illinois, she was the daughter of the late Bernard and Agnes Althoff. She married the late Lee W. Taylor (d. 1982) in 1957. She is survived by their five children, Anne Taylor Yoo (Jung), Nancy Taylor Byers (Steven), Michael Taylor (Kathie Nurena), Barbara Taylor Biddle (Kent) and Theresa Taylor Norbu (Lhundrup); her brother Bernard Althoff (Sandra); eight grandchildren; one great-grandson; and many nieces and nephews.

Mom was a devout St. Steven’s Parish member and an avid Cottonwood and Palo Verde bridge player whose friends shared her love of games, laughter and socializing. She worked for many years as a nurse, a profession that she was as proud to be a part of as she was being a mother. Even after her retirement to Sun Lakes, Arizona, where she spent 31 happy years, friends and family regularly called on her expertise, even giving valuable and accurate obstetric information and advice to her granddaughter until a few weeks before her death. Mom had a wonderful life; diabetic kidney disease necessitated the move in her last months to be near family in Oregon.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Catholic Charities, the American Diabetes Association, the National Kidney Foundation or a nursing scholarship program of your choice. We are incredibly grateful to the Providence Hospice Team and Caring Hands Senior Home for helping Mom pass as comfortably as possible to the ultimate bridge marathon with Dad, who we hope has finally learned to bid to his partner’s hand. Her funeral Mass was held at 10:00 a.m. on July 7, 2017, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. Interment was in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at Catholic Cemetery.

Rose E. Walker

Rose E. Walker, 97, of Sun Lakes, Arizona, passed away on May 24, 2017. She was born on August 30, 1919, in Gladstone, Michigan, to Anthony and Henrietta Bonkowski. She married Earl Walker on August 28, 1937, who preceded her in death in 1988. Surviving are two children Sherry (Wayne) Manier of Sun Lakes, Arizona, and Dan (Julia) Walker of Holly, Michigan; five grandchildren Debbie Walker Redman of Atlanta, Michigan; Steve (Beth) Walker of Port Richey, Florida; Rick (Theresa) Manier of Salem, Oregon; Jeff (Tricia) Manier of Manson, Washington; and Scott (Rosie) Manier of Vancouver, Washington; 11 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

Rose owned and operated Walker’s Inn in Atlanta, Michigan, with her husband Earl for many years.

Upon selling their business in 1970, they began spending winters in Arizona and in 1978, they found and fell in love with Sun Lakes which they made their permanent residence. They quickly became involved in many of the groups and activities in which Rose remained active until her stroke in 2014. Rose was a member of St. Steven’s parish in Sun Lakes.

She will be interred in The Valley of The Sun Cemetery in Chandler, Arizona, next to her husband Earl, as was her wish.

Richard “Dick” E. Christensen

Richard “Dick” E. Christensen, 76, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend to all, went to be with his Lord on June 30, 2017, following a 12-month battle with cancer. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 23, 1940, to Verner E. and Donnetta Robertson Christensen.

Dick was married to his wife of 56 years, Joanne Wilkins, on February 11, 1961. After his service in the U.S. Army, Dick began a law enforcement career with the City of Tempe in 1963 and retired as Assistant Chief after 22 years of service. He started a second career as Security Director with the Hyatt Regency for 20 years.

He was a graduate of ASU and big football fan for many years. Throughout his life, maintaining a manicured yard and leading the neighborhood in Christmas light displays were at the top of his list. His favorite hobby was pen making and woodworking. He had impeccable character, strong faith and a wonderful sense of humor.

Dick is survived by his loving wife Joanne; sons Matthew (Melissa) and Mark (Beth); grandchildren Mason, Matthew, Faith and Grace; brother David (Kathy); sister Jean Sampson; several nieces and nephews and an abundance of dear friends. He was preceded in death by parents Verner and Donnetta and sister Elinor Jack.

A visitation and funeral service were held on Friday, July 7, 2017, at Green Acres Mortuary & Cemetery in Scottsdale. A private interment was held at Valley of the Sun Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, the family would like to honor the extraordinary care of Hospice of the Valley – Lund Home, 1982 E. Woodside Ct., Gilbert, AZ 85297. Memorial contributions can be made in Dick’s memory.

Frank A. Hartwig

Frank A. Hartwig went home to be with his Heavenly Father on June 5, 2017, in Omaha, NE. Frank was born on September 25, 1935, in Firth, Nebraska, the fourth child of Fred and Mary (Fuhrman) Hartwig. He had been employed by Archer-Daniels-Midland, in Lincoln, Nebraska, for 41 years as the Elevator Superintendent.

Frank was married to Nelda (Hall) Hartwig on April 7, 1963. Frank and Nelda retired to Sun Lakes, AZ, in 1997, where they were active members of Risen Savior Lutheran Church. Frank enjoyed playing golf and bowling in his retirement. He had battled cancer for 14 years, and they moved back to Nebraska in November, 2016, to be near family.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Fred, Oliver and Robert. He is survived by his wife Nelda of 54 years; daughters Debra Barmore (David) and Julia Kightlinger (Timothy) of West Des Moines, IA; seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

His body was donated to Science Care, and a Celebration of Life service will be held in August in Omaha, Nebraska. It was his wish that donations be made to Risen Savior Lutheran Church.

Edward John Hopton

Edward John Hopton, 75, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, died on Sunday, June 11, 2017, at St Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac. His final hours were spent surrounded in love, by the love of his life, Sally, and his sons Jeffrey and Paul.

He is survived by the love of his life, Sally, of Fond du Lac and sons Paul (Theresa Castor) Hopton and Jeffrey (Holly) Hopton and grandchildren Ruby, Henry and Edward, all of Milwaukee. He is also survived by his brother Raymond (Carol) Hopton of Sun Lakes, Arizona; his brother Thomas (Linda) Hopton of Sun Lakes, Arizona; his sister Patty (Cliff) Pemberton of Chandler, Arizona; and his sister Peggy (Robert) Hughes of Glendale, Arizona. He was preceded in death by his father Stanley, mother Helen and brother Randolph.

A memorial gathering was held at the Pump House, Lakeside Park, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, on July 23, 2017.