In Passing

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Marjorie “Marge” Allen-Ashley, 96, ended her amazing life peacefully on October 7, 2017, at Dignity Health, Chandler Regional Medical Center, with her daughter Marcia Sayles and grandson Bradley Allen Eldridge by her side. Until her last day, Marge lived her life fully and independently, enjoying her family, friends and home in Sun Lakes, Arizona. Her last activity was playing bridge (Life Master since 1971) surrounded by friends she admired and with whom she loved to spend time. A fact that Marge would take much delight in (and one that brings her loved ones great comfort) is she had just completed multiple Grand Slams in her final games; she literally went out with a Grand Slam. How many can say that ever – let alone at 96! She was a source of love and inspiration to all who knew her. Marge will be profoundly missed and forever remembered. She lives on in the hearts of the many she touched with her gentle soul.

Marge was born on May 19, 1921, to J.D. and Blanche Crum. She grew up with her brothers (Connie and Jay) and sisters (Edna Mae and Betty) in Onega, Kansas. Their sister Mary Jane passed when she was a child. They were quite a group – that Crum clan.

In college, Marge met her first true love, Robert “Bob” Newton Allen (December 4, 1913 – September 4, 1979) whom she married on August 31, 1942. They had two children: Steven P. Allen (Englewood, CO) and Marcia Ann Sayles (Broken Arrow, OK and Bella Vista, AR). Marge and Bob shared an adventurous and full marriage and life together in Chanute, Kansas, and all of the places across the globe that they travelled together. Those two knew how to have fun and how to support one another. They were a beautiful combination.

Many moons after Bob’s passing, Richard “Dick” Ashley (February 22, 1925 – July 12, 2001) quietly and resolutely captured Marge’s heart. The two were married on May 13, 1989, and shared a joyous partnership in their chosen home of Sun Lakes, Arizona. Many recall how Dick brought Marge a rose every week of their courtship as a testament of his love and devotion. Theirs was a steadfast love.

Marge loved both of her husbands absolutely and demonstrated such grace in how she cared for and cherished them both until each of them said their final goodbye.

Marge had a knack for loving people well and for providing comfort – whether it be in the form of a gentle rub on the back, a heartfelt and knowing smile, a long, meaningful talk or one of her delicious, homemade meals. She always knew just the right way to be there.

Marge personified being alive and engaged. She LOVED sports and followed her teams and favorite athletes with great enthusiasm (she passed this love of sports on to many generations of her family tree). She also loved to gamble and play cards (and, yes, she passed this tradition on to many generations of her family tree as well). She read the paper front to back daily and always kept up with what was happening locally and globally. She genuinely cared about the world and the people in it. Anyone who ever saw Marge also knows that she was beautiful and had an elegance and sparkle that was uniquely hers. Her dancing eyes, easy smile and stunning style lit up every room.

Marge is survived by her son Steven Allen and her daughter and son-in-law Marcia and Bob Sayles; her grandchildren Laura A. Izon, Bradley and Heather Eldridge and Robert England; her great-grandchildren Parker Powell, Dylan Eldridge, MaxAllen Eldridge and Camden Powell; her brother Jay Crum; and many dear family members (through blood and marriage) and friends. She was preceded in death by her husbands Robert Newton Allen and Richard Ashley, as well as by her parents J.D. and Blanche Crum, her siblings Mary Jane, Connie, Edna Mae (Kolterman) and Betty (Weinberg Huckabee) and many beloved friends.

Memorials may be sent to Grace Episcopal Church, 209 S. Lincoln, Chanute, KS 66720, and Clarehouse, 7617 S. Mingo Road, Tulsa, OK 74133.

Marge led an exemplary life. She took care of her mind, her spirit, her body, her family, her friends and her community. She never stopped aiming to improve each part of her being … she never stopped learning … she never stopped growing. She was, in every sense of the word, remarkable. We love you, Marge … Mom … Gran … Great Gran!

Carol Bowers

Carol Bowers, Neighbors Who Care’s Volunteer Manager since 2011, passed away on Friday, October 27. She had been on medical leave since early August. She was a driving force and one of the public faces of NWC. She recruited and trained hundreds of neighborhood volunteers, planned our annual community fair and volunteer recognition celebrations, edited our quarterly newsletter and represented NWC at countless meetings and events. She was, in large part, responsible for the success of Neighbors Who Care and our growth as an organization.

More importantly, Carol was one of the nicest and most caring people you will ever meet. She was consistently cheerful and optimistic, even in the midst of chaos. You would never come away from a meeting with her without feeling better about the situation and about yourself.

The last project she worked on was our 2017 Community Fair which was held on October 28. Despite our sadness at her passing, it was a resounding success with over 70 information tables, the Sun Lakes Classic Car Show, model trains, music by the Dry Heat Pickers, food and hundreds of participants. If you weren’t there, you missed a great time. We hope to see you next year.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Neighbors Who Care and they, deservedly, get the public credit for the 19,000 hours of community service they perform every year. It’s due to Carol’s tireless recruiting efforts that we have enough volunteers available to meet the ever-increasing need for our services. Thanks to her, we are one of the few service organizations that does not have a wait list of people needing help, and we almost never have to turn down someone’s request due to lack of a volunteer. But we have a constant need to replace retiring volunteers and to increase our capacity. We always need more helpers and the funds to give them support so we don’t have to limit the aid we can give to people in need. We never want the heartbreaking task of having to tell someone we can’t give them that needed ride to the doctor.

Please help us honor Carol’s memory and carry on her legacy. Show your holiday spirit by volunteering with Neighbors Who Care. Donate so we can have the support and supplies necessary to meet the growing needs of our community. The comfort we give can be as simple as a ride to the grocery store, delivering a hot meal or changing a lightbulb, but it changes people’s lives. We do it 20,000 times a year, and we can’t do it without your help.

Carol was a special person. She will be missed.

You can contact Neighbors Who Care at www.NeighborsWhoCare.com or 480-895-7133. 

Norma Gehrig

Norma Gehrig came into this world on July 9,1942, and the Lord called her home on November 7 at 6:07 a.m. Norma fought a brilliant battle for over two years with liver cancer. During this time, Norma rarely complained, keeping a smile on her face the majority of the time and trying to be more concerned about her family first and her beloved friends.

Norma was married to Lee Gehrig for the past 25 years. Norma came from a large family, born to Peter and Margaret Gross, and was the oldest of six children. Norma has four children: Susan (Steve), Greg (Teresa), Leanne (Larry) and Kristen, plus her grandchildren: Caitlin; Matthew (Lisa) and their two children; Declan, Teagan, and Maren; Danielle and Sabrina; and Grace. Norma’s brothers include Bill, Dick and Kenny and their wives and family, along with her sisters: Lorraine and her sons, John and Jimmy; and Kathy. All told, there are over 50+ members of the family in addition to aunts, uncles and relatives who are all related to Norma.

Norma was an avid Life Master Bridge player and loved making cards for all her family and friends. Plans are in the process for a Celebration of Life Service for Norma, both locally and in Erie with her family. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the American Cancer Society.

Raymonde Marthe Benham

Raymonde Marthe Benham passed away on October 11, 2017, from complications due to dementia. She was born on May 14, 1926, in Malakoff, France, to Paul and Germaine Belfont. She married Frank Benham during World War II on June 22, 1946. They were married 65 years until Frank’s passing in 2012. She will always be Franks’ bijoux (jewel). Frank and Raymonde liked music, world travel, fine wine and fantastic food. Raymonde’s signature was black and white clothes, hats, bright red hair, wonderful cook, creative hostess and fantastic dancer. Raymonde loved living in Sun Lakes over 25 years. She was active in golf, tennis and swimming, but her best was clothes shopping. She moved to Texas in 2015 to be near her daughter.

She is survived by daughters Simone Benham and Michelle Kuklenski; son Douglas Benham; grandchildren Sherece Baughman, Desiree Kuklenski, Shannon Watson and Nicole Lee; great-grandchildren Garah Al-Thani, Cole Baughman, Skylar Kuklenski, Peyton and Samuel Watson and Berlin and Karris Lee; and great-great-grandchildren Qatar Jassim and Tamim and Mariam Al-Thani.

Raymonde will be buried at a later date with Frank at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Cave Creek, Arizona. The lights in Paris are a little bit dim at Raymonde’s passing.

Arthur John Gercken

Arthur (Art) John Gercken passed away on Monday, September 4, 2017, in Chandler. He was born June 3, 1934, in Brooklyn, New York, to Otto and Elizabeth (Berg) Gercken.

When Art was three, the family moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, where he later graduated from Demarest High School. He attended Pace University in New York and later graduated from Regis University in Denver with a double degree in business and computer science.

Art joined the Navy, serving his country from 1951 to 1955. He was employed as a computer engineer at IBM in New Jersey; Storage Technology in New York, Illinois and Colorado; and Sun Microsystems in Broomfield, Colorado.

On March 2, 1957, Art married Helene Haugg in Bronx, New York. They were married 20 years and had five children. In 1977, the family moved from Colonia, New Jersey, to Longmont, Colorado.

In January 1, 1981, he married Linda Kay Doughty of Broomfield, Colorado, where they resided until they moved to Sun Lakes in July, 2016.

Art coached little league baseball and softball. He liked to play bridge, tennis and pickleball and travel by RV. He was a member of the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church.

Art was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Warren. He is survived by his wife Linda Kay; children in Colorado: Linda Ann, Arthur Jr., Robert and his wife Liu Lin, Susan and Kevin; grandchildren: Kristopher Goggin, Jennafer (Charles) Sherman, Kathryn Goggin and Kaiden Gercken; great-granddaughter April Sherman; step-children: Shawn Doughty, Jamie (Amy) and son Andrew Doughty and Laura Doughty; brother Otto Gercken of Gainesville, Virginia; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held September 21, 2017, at Lutheran Church of Hope in Broomfield, Colorado, with inurnment at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

John D. Holden

John D. Holden, 74, of Sun Lakes passed away Wednesday, October 25, surrounded by his wife, mother and three daughters. John was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Ohio State University in 1968 in commerce and administration and started his career with General Motors. He later moved to Delphi Division, which took him all over the world on business. He and his wife lived in Padre Island, Texas, and after retirement, moved to Sun Lakes to be near his mother.

He was a member of the Lapidary Club and enjoyed making beautiful jewelry for family and friends. He is survived by his wife Judy Holden; his mother Kelly Holden; his daughters Michelle Vogl of TX, Amy Holden of MI and Amanda Rucinski of MI; five grandchildren, Alexis and Mason of TX and Matthew, Ryan and Susan of MI; his sister Sandra Brown of OH; nephews Nick Brown of CO and David Brown of MI and David’s son Cooper.

“An angel’s arm can’t snatch me from the grave, legions of angels can’t confine me here.”

Robert Hymer

Sun Lakes resident since 1997, Robert Hymer, passed away. Bob was born November 23, 1931, in Berea, KY, and moved to Tucson in 1944 at age 12 where he attended eighth grade through college at the University of Arizona, graduating with distinction in electrical engineering in 1958.

Bob’s career was highlighted by his design work on the Apollo Moon Landing program, where the communications equipment he engineered went to the moon and successfully transmitted the astronaut’s voices and data back to earth.

He was proud to achieve an 8-handicapper in golf in his 70s.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife Patricia; three beloved biological children, Rick, Nancy and Maureen; five step-children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

His cremains will be buried with his dear and devoted wife Patricia and alongside his parents in Berea, KY.

Kathryn D. Jenssen

Kathryn (Kathi) Jenssen, 81, of Sun Lakes, AZ, passed away on Thursday, October 12, 2017, at Mi Casa Nursing Home, Mesa, AZ.

Kathi was born on July 30, 1936, and grew up on a farm near Inwood, IA. After high school, she graduated from a business college in Sioux Falls, SD, where she worked as a bank secretary for several years. She was hired by Western Airlines and opened their City Ticket Office in Sioux Falls and later became secretary for the station manager. She transferred to Los Angeles, CA, and worked for the senior vice president in the legal department as an executive secretary.

In 1975, she married Bud Jenssen who also worked for Western Airlines. She then retired from Western Airlines and opened Custom Travel Agency. Bud was transferred to Phoenix, AZ, with Western, and Kathi then became an executive secretary for Callahan Mining Company. Bud was transferred to Los Angeles, and Kathi then worked as a secretary for the City of Manhattan, CA. With the merger of Western and Delta Air Lines, Bud was transferred to Atlanta, GA, where Kathi worked for Hilton Hotels in the HR department. Bud was then transferred to Fresno, CA, where Kathi work as an executive secretary for Saint Agnes Hospital. Bud retired from Delta Air Lines, and they moved to Sun Lakes in 1996.

Kathi worked for the Sun Lakes Homeowners Association #2 for several years before retiring. She was very involved in many of the Sun Lakes clubs and events and helped start the Monday Night Horse Races in the Cottonwood Bar and Grill.

She is survived by her husband Roger(Bud) Jenssen; sister Margaret Parks of Sioux Falls, SD; three stepchildren: Paula Burns of Denver, CO; Roger (Kristine) Jenssen II of Louisville, KY; and Terry (Danielle) Jenssen of Seattle, WA; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Joyce and Gilbert Hotchkiss; along with many nieces, nephews and very close friends.

Edna S. Joss

Edna S. Joss, 83, a Sun Lakes resident, passed away on October 21, 2017. She was born on July 29, 1934.

Edna was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, Reuben S. Joss. She is survived by daughters Linda Heup, Gail Fisher and Cyndi Olin; son Michael Joss; sisters Ella Remmick and Esther Kleven; sister-in-law Mildred Joss; nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at Risen Savior Lutheran Church, 23914 S. Alma School Road, Chandler, AZ 85249.

Memorials may be directed to Risen Savior Lutheran Church, Chandler, or Hospice of the Valley, Dobson Home, 1188 N. Dobson Road, Chandler, AZ 85224.

Donald Martin

Donald Martin, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, passed peacefully on October 6, 2017, after a short illness.

Donald was a proud 45-year Boeing employee. He moved to Sun Lakes from Seattle upon retirement. He was a longtime Palo Verde resident and Neighbors Who Care volunteer. He will always be in our hearts.

Barbara Miguel

Barbara Miguel, beloved wife of John Miguel, died peacefully on Sunday, November 5, after a long struggle with Lewy Body Dementia.

Born on October 6, 1937, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, she moved to Tiverton in 1965 to raise her family and join the public school system as a first and later, third grade teacher. A dedicated, compassionate and inventive, yet traditional teacher for over 30 years, Barbara was committed to her students’ development, both in and out of the classroom. When she was not teaching at Fort Barton or Pocasset School, she could be found on the family room couch, correcting papers and making lesson plans for hours each evening.

She retired to Sun Lakes, Arizona, in 1992 and became a vibrant part of that community, finding herself needing to keep a calendar for the first time. She was a communicant of St. Steven’s Church, volunteering at many church events, enjoyed golf and tennis and pursued a passion for bridge and scrapbooking – especially chronicling legendary family vacations.

Barbara’s defining role was her life as a grandmother. Affectionately known as “Bop,” Barbara was a nurturing and involved grandparent who had a profound effect on the development of her grandchildren. Always ready with a listening ear, big hug, sound advice or plans for activities that become the memories of a lifetime, she never missed a school play; even when they were almost 3,000 miles away and enjoyed being everyone’s Bop during Christmas visits to Rhode Island when she was the featured guest teacher at school. Her wonderful sense of humor and infectious laugh captivated her grandchildren and friends alike.

Daughter of the late Leo and Mary Mello, Barbara is survived by her husband John; their daughter Susan and her husband Gregory Klinker of Tiverton, RI; son David and his wife Yvonne of Olathe, KS; her sisters Jane Perry of Dartmouth, MA, and Leona Braley of East Freetown MA; and the grandchildren of whom she was most proud, John Miguel, Jonathan Klinker and Sarah Miguel.

Her funeral will be celebrated at St. Barnabas Church in Portsmouth, RI, on Saturday, December 30, at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will immediately follow in the parish hall. Memorial donations may be made to GiftsToGive, giftstogive.org, or the Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org.

Pat M. Stout

Pat M. Stout, age 90, of Philip, South Dakota, formerly of Sun Lakes, Arizona, died Friday, October 20, 2017, at the Philip Nursing Home.

Pat M. Stout was born August 20, 1927, in Philip, South Dakota, the son of Gordon and Hazel (Hutton) Stout. Pat was raised in his early years on the ranch west of Kadoka. During the “Dirty Thirties,” the family moved to Pierre where Pat attended fourth through sixth grades, later moving to Sioux Falls, where he graduated from Washington High School in 1946. While there, he excelled and lettered in basketball, baseball and track.

After high school, he joined the U.S. Army, serving for two years. Upon returning, he bought the Alfred Boock place (near the old family ranch) for $10 per acre. Pat married Elizabeth Marie Drury on April 23, 1949, in Chamberlain, South Dakota, making their home on the ranch. In the early years, Roy, Bun and Pat had S&S Construction, constructing dams, roads and terraces. Pat was a hard worker, but enjoyed the rural life, raising horses and Charolais cattle and farming. He was involved for many years with the National Grassland Association and a former president of the White River Grazing Assn. Board.

In 1975, after the children were grown, they went south for the winter months to Sun Lakes, Arizona, near Phoenix, returning to the ranch in the summer months. Pat enjoyed playing cards, golfing and spending time with friends and family. He was a member of the Kadoka Presbyterian Church and the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church.

Pat was united in marriage to Carol Jamison on September 5, 2009, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They made their home in Sioux Falls until moving into the Philip Nursing Home, where they have since resided.

Survivors include his four children, Sandi Bauman Stephenson (Bob) of Torrington, Wyoming; Patsy Ferguson (Irwin) of Kadoka; Jerry Stout (Annie) of Kadoka; and Joe Stout (Denise) of Pierre; 16 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; a sister Lynn Blumberg of Missoula, Montana; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Pat was preceded in death by his first wife Elizabeth “Liz” Stout, his parents, two brothers Roy Stout (Mary) and Bernard “Bun” Stout and a son-in-law Dave Bauman.

Visitation was held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24, at the Presbyterian Church in Kadoka, with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m.

Funeral services were held 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 25, at the Presbyterian Church in Kadoka, with Pastor Gary McCubbin officiating.

Interment with military honors by the Sturgis Honor Guard, was Wednesday, October 25, at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

A memorial has been established.

Arrangements were with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip. His online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com.