In Passing

Richard Lawrence Bither

Richard Lawrence Bither

Richard Lawrence Bither

Richard Lawrence Bither, 78, of Sun Lakes, AZ, went to join his Lord on July 3, 2015.

Dick was born in Hinsdale, Illinois on July 4, 1936 to Earl and Paula Bither. His parents and his twin brother, Bob, preceded him in death.

Dick was an avid golfer. He and his twin brother led their high school team, the Hinsdale Red Devils, to the 1954 Illinois State Championship. He went on to play varsity golf for the University of Michigan In 1976, he and his son, Jeff, won the Oregon Golf Association Father-Son Tournament. If you’d like to have a chance at playing some golf in Oregon and maybe even put some of the same holes Dick did, resorts like would be an ideal first look.

Dick graduated from the University of Michigan in 1958. It was there that he met his wife of 56 years, Suzanne.

He spent three years in the Army at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska where he was involved in purchasing at the Officer’s Club. Upon completion of service to his country, he took Suzanne and their son, Jeff, to Arizona where he began a long career in the food service industry. His impressive resume includes purchasing for Arizona Foods and United Grocers in Milwaukie, OR. In 1985, he became the General Manager of Papercraft Inc.’s San Diego branch. He later moved on to Southland Master Distributors in Hayward, CA before meeting his future partner and opening their food service brokerage company, M&D Sales. Dick successfully supplied non-food items to the northern California food service industry until his retirement in 1996.

Upon retirement, he and Suzanne moved to Sun Lakes, Arizona where he enjoyed playing golf. He organized Wednesday Golf, a group of low handicappers and developed many great friends through that fellowship.

He was very involved in church activities and he had a heart for missions. He went on a short term mission trip to Argentina and spent nine months in Indonesia teaching English. He participated in an evangelism camp for two weeks in the Philippines with Student Movement for Christ International (SMCI). His mission work in Arizona was at ASU working with Life Among the Nations (LATN) ministering to international students, helping them to adapt to American culture and introducing them to Christianity.

He found great joy in fostering dogs for the Arizona Humane Society.

Dick is survived by his wife, Suzanne; his children, Jeff Bither (Susan, Rachael and Ryan); Andy Bither (Kelly, Courtney and Megan); Laura Littrell (Greg Littrell, Jason and Justin Mellm); and sisters Mary Davis (Jon) and Bonnie Westfall (Chuck).

In lieu of flowers, his family suggests donating to International Baptist College and Seminary (make check payable to IBCS) and note for Dick Bither memorial, 2211 West Germann Road, Chandler, AZ 85286 or Life Among the Nations, a ministry for international students at Arizona State University; go to to donate.

Lt. Colonel John Brodie Carmichael

Lt. Colonel John Brodie Carmichael, Jr., a former resident of Sun Lakes, passed away unexpectedly May 11, 2015 in Tempe, Arizona.

He had distinguished military and civilian careers which spanned over forty years of service.

Upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, he entered the United States Air Force, ultimately becoming a career officer and veteran. This was followed by 14 years as a civilian federal government employee.

His special qualifications included a master’s degree in nuclear engineering, a juris doctorate, a licensed realtor and licensed registered nurse specializing in psychiatric care. Above and beyond these accomplishments, however, John was a devoted father and family man. He will be sadly missed by his children, Ellen Carmichael and John Carmichael, III and close family associates.

John is also survived by his wife, Alice Carmichael, brother, Peter Carmichael and pre-deceased by two other brothers Colonel Donald Carmichael and Gerard Carmichael, plus one sister, Jacqueline Cummings.

Two memorial masses were celebrated in his honor on June 29, first in Greenville, Delaware and second in Woodbury, New Jersey. Interment was private.

Lester H. Chesebro

Lester H. Chesebro, 88, of Sun Lakes, Arizona, died peacefully on Sunday, June 7, 2015.

He loved fishing, pool, his guitar, target shooting, Suduko, crosswords, and living in Sun Lakes. Lester was an Army veteran.

He was stationed in Munich, Germany as part of the 508 military police battalion at the end of WWII. Later, Lester graduated from Colorado University with a degree in engineering, which he used when working on several Apollo launch pads among other projects.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Patricia, but survived by his five children and many close friends, especially Carol Wunderlich, also of Sun Lakes.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you simply make a donation to your favorite charity in his name.

Don Rae Freyer

Don Rae Freyer

Don Rae Freyer

Don Rae Freyer of Sun Lakes, Arizona died peacefully in Dobson Home of Hospice of the Valley on Friday, June 12, 2015. He was 90 years old.

Don is survived by his wife, Alene (Norton) Freyer; children, Anne (Rich Mendribil) McCluskey of Arizona, Thom ( Andrea Swanson) Freyer of Illinois, David Freyer of California and Kelley (Christopher) Reis of Georgia; and sibling Joan (Robert) Miller in Iowa. His legacy of perseverance and courage continues within nine grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and amazingly one great-great-grandchild.

Don was born on March 6, 1925 in Galva, Iowa to Carl and Bertha Freyer. He grew up in a loving home built by hardworking parents with three siblings, Douglas, Chuck and Joan. He served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946, stationed on the USS Lizardfish as a Second Class Electrician’s Mate, earning a Submarine Combat Pin with two stars for his service in the Asiatic Pacific American area during World War II. Taking full advantage of the GI Bill, Don graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Business before marrying the love of his life, Alene Norton, a Registered Dietician, in 1948. Starting as a telegraph operator, he worked for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, as did his father. He and Alene decided to move to Chicago to be where the opportunities were. Don was with the railroad for 43 years and earned a long standing role on the executive team until his well-earned retirement. Don and Alene raised four children, teaching them to be industrious, responsible and compassionate citizens. His children remember him as a generous provider who encouraged them to pursue their goals with passion.

Don was an active community member everywhere his family resided and a dedicated member of the Methodist Church, holding various leadership positions during his lifetime. He was passionate about supporting the education of women and disadvantaged children. Don helped establish a scholarship fund at Cottey College owned by the P.E.O. Sisterhood and supported the postsecondary education of several children through faithful donations to World’s Children. In his retirement, Don enjoyed countless rounds of golf making friends on greens around the country.

Don was a devoted husband, father and friend who exceeded expectations throughout his life, while motivating others to do the same. The evangelist John Wesley sums up Don’s approach to life nicely: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

A memorial was conducted Friday, July 17, 2015 at Sun Lakes Methodist Church, with a reception following. Dr. Julian Pickens officiated the ceremony, with all welcomed to attend in celebration of Don’s life. Don’s family buried him at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Cottey College ( referencing specifically the Don and Alene Freyer Scholarship. Condolences can be sent to [email protected] Don’s family would like to thank the caregiving staff at both The Renaissance and Dobson Home|Hospice of the Valley for their compassionate care and dedication.

Cecelia Matilda Iantorno (née) Tirella

Mrs. Cecelia Matilda Iantorno (née) Tirella of Frederick, MD, passed away on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at the age of 88.

Cecelia, born in 1927 in New Rochelle, NY, was the eldest child of parents John and Anna Tirella. She grew up with her three siblings in Harrison, NY, attending Harrison High School. In 1948 she obtained her B.S. in elementary education from New York University.

Upon graduating, Cecelia accepted a teaching position at the progressive Burgundy Farm Country Day School in Alexandria, VA; she enjoyed recounting to family and friends her memorable experiences there, including the fact she once taught the sons of renowned war correspondent Eric Sevareid.

Cecelia subsequently returned to Westchester County, NY to teach at Roosevelt School and Olivia Street School in the town of Port Chester. Her dedication and boundless energy left an indelible impression on her students, many of whom remained in close touch with her to the present day.

In 1951, at a cousin’s engagement party, Cecelia was reintroduced to James Iantorno who, remarkably, lived in the house next door at the time of her birth. James has poignant memories of those early childhood days. They were married in 1955, and after residing briefly in Harrison, moved to Mamaroneck, NY, where they raised their four children. This Memorial Day weekend, James and Cecelia celebrated their 60th anniversary with family and friends.

Cecelia will be remembered by all who knew her for her joie de vivre, inexhaustible energy, warmth, and generosity. Known for her impressive culinary repertoire, people often asked her where the best restaurants could be found, and she inevitably replied “Ristorante Cecelia!”

Although formally trained as an elementary school teacher, Cecelia worked in a colorful variety of fields, including interpreter and guide at historic Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton, NY, and a Quantity Surveyor and flag person for construction companies in Westchester County, NY. In addition, for almost 10 years, she continued to teach as a substitute in the Mamaroneck School system.

Always on a quest to contribute to the greater good, Cecelia was involved in many endeavors and organizations, including the Red Cross Gray Ladies, the Girl Scouts, and the Campfire Girls. As a parishioner at St. Vito’s Church in Mamaroneck, Cecelia’s many contributions included her role as President of the St. Ann’s Women’s Guild, Parish Council member, choir member, annual Bazaar worker, chairperson of the annual Boutique, and member of the committee to raise funds for the 1981 Calitri, Italy earthquake victims. In addition, Cecelia was involved with the Performing Arts League and the Agave Quilters Guild in Chandler, AZ, where she and James resided during their retirement.

Recently relocated to Frederick, MD in order to be closer to family, Cecelia once again enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to explore new creative outlets and to spread her infectious exuberance to young and old alike.

Cecelia is survived by her husband, James Iantorno; her sons, James Iantorno (Debbie) and Frank Iantorno (Marleni); her daughters, Susan Gal (Yechiam) and Stephanie Graham (Mark); three grandchildren, Itamar Gal, Adalei Gal Broers, and Nicole Iantorno; her sister, Lynda Scott; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents John and Anna Tirella; her brother, John Tirella; and her sister, Stephena Scalfari.

The family attended a private service at Stauffer Funeral Home in Frederick, MD; they plan a memorial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, date to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations be made to American Red Cross; Galveston Elementary School, 661 E Galveston Street, Chandler, AZ 85225; or The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research.

Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at

Lloyd Maxwell Langlie

Lloyd Maxwell Langlie

Lloyd Maxwell Langlie

Lloyd Langlie, of Sun Lakes, Arizona, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 21, 2015. He was 83 years old.

Lloyd was born on January 6, 1932 in Santa Barbara, California, and was the only child of Paul and Marie Langlie. He spent his formative years in Southern California before his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. While visiting the USO in Chicago, Illinois he met Carole Jean Chlad. Lloyd and Carole were married on November 24, 1954 in Los Angeles, the day after appearing on the television show Truth or Consequences where the show arranged a touching and humorous reunion with Lloyd’s parents who had not seen him during his military service.

After marriage, Lloyd completed his Civil Engineering degree at the University of California, Berkeley. Lloyd and Carole settled in El Cerrito, California, where they raised three children, Robert, Sandra, and Paul.

Lloyd worked as a Civil Engineer his whole professional life, working with three other Cal Engineering graduates, eventually forming their own successful firm operating out of Richmond and Santa Clara, California. Upon retiring in 1997 Lloyd and Carole spent much of their time traveling in their 1940 Ford street rod, attending car events all over the United States. Eventually they relocated to Sun Lakes, purchasing a home in 2005.

Lloyd was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Carole Langlie, and is survived by two sons, Robert Langlie of Copperopolis, CA and Paul Langlie of Piedmont, CA, a daughter, Sandra Letcher, of Sun Lakes, AZ, and three grandchildren, Joel Letcher, Amy Letcher and Elizabeth Langlie.

Donations may be made to Hospice of the Valley – Dobson House. Hospice of the Valley Fund Development, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014-5656.

LaVerne John Schepker

LaVerne John Schepker

LaVerne John Schepker

LaVerne John Schepker, 95, of Sun Lakes, passed away on June 19. He was born January 5, 1920 in Gladstone, Nebraska. He served in World War II, enlisting in the Navy SeaBees. He worked for International Harvester for over 20 years alongside his own father before moving to Mesa, Arizona in 1974. He was a faithful member of First Lutheran in Mesa before moving to Sun Lakes in 1986 and joining Sun Lakes Lutheran Church.

He loved to play golf and watch lots of baseball. He was a lifetime member of the VFW, member of the American Legion as well as a volunteer fireman in Nebraska.

He is survived by Maxine, his wife of 73 years, son Gary Schepker (Wanda), daughter Candace Gatti (John), grandson Scott Schepker (Veronica), great-grandchildren Josh and Alyssa, granddaughters Jennifer Shaw (Geoff), great-granddaughter Ella, Dana Snyder (Rocky), and great-grandchildren Madison and Jack.

A memorial service was held on June 28 at Sun Lakes Lutheran Church officiated by Pastor Dale Hallberg.

The family would like to thank everyone for all the prayers and well wishes.

Robert G. Shelby

Robert G. Shelby

Robert G. Shelby

Robert G. Shelby died on July 8, 2015 in Chandler, AZ. He was born in Champaign, IL where he was president of Shelby Motors and a civic leader. He graduated from Champaign High School and the University of Illinois with a degree in business. He was an accomplished musician and played keyboards in dance bands during high school and college. He was a Naval Air Force veteran.

He believed in helping others and held offices in numerous charitable organizations. He belonged to the University of Illinois Foundation to which he generously contributed.

He met his wife of 64 years at the University and they resided in Champaign until retiring to Sun Lakes. They traveled extensively both in the States and overseas and enjoyed many cruises to foreign countries.

He is survived by his wife, Dolores (Dee), daughters, Sherry and Lori, son Sean, and two brothers, Richard and Larry Shelby. Preceding him in death were his parents, Mervin and Alice Shelby, and sons Michael and Edward. He has seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Blanche L. Williams

Blanche L. Williams, age 88, passed away in California on June 1, 2015.

She lived in Ironwood for 20 plus years and as an avid golfer was active in the Oakwood Ladies golf group and then as she aged, she became active in the Ladies Billiard group and Silver Sneakers.

In April 2014 she made a big move to California to be closer to her daughter and while this was a big change for her, she never complained leaving her home, her friends and her comfort.

She has many friends in Sun Lakes and will be missed by all. Her husband, Bob, passed away also at age 88 in March 2010. Blanche is survived by her daughter, Jody (Kent) Briggs and son, Miles (Jane) Williams and her grandchildren Mike and Julia. A small memorial will be held in October.