In Passing

LeRoy Andersen

LeRoy Andersen was born on June 2, 1935, in Racine, Wisconsin, where he developed his love of sports, especially football and tennis, playing both at Washington Park High School in Racine. He was a fierce competitor, earning him the nickname of “Beat Up” in high school.

After graduation, Lee enlisted in the Air Force, and his calm demeanor and bass voice made him eligible for training as an Air Traffic Control Operator at several bases in the U.S., eventually controlling aircraft on the Dew line in Newfoundland.

Lee was an outdoorsman and loved travelling, sports, beer and the Green Bay Packers.

Following his discharge from the service in 1959, he attended college at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse, WI, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1963. He became a management consultant and continued his interest in aircraft by becoming a private pilot. Not long after that, he met his wife of 48 years, Patricia, and they bought a country home in Franklin, WI, and resided there for 25 years. They enjoyed camping and the outdoors in the beautiful Wisconsin north.

After enduring the cold Wisconsin winters, Lee’s health was ready for a warmer climate, and in 1999, the Andersens moved to sunny Sun Lakes, AZ.

Lee enjoyed playing tennis with the Cottonwood Tennis Club for many years, and when his health failed, he turned to golf.

Lee and Pat loved to travel, and for years they travelled throughout Arizona, hiking and enjoying the unique scenery here.

Lee is survived by his wife Patricia; son Robert (Sue) of Hales Corners, Wisconsin; son Stephen of Fountain Hills, AZ; daughter Erin of Phoenix, AZ; three grandchildren, Sara, Jennifer and Jessica; and nephews and nieces.

A service of celebration was held at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, and inurment was held in the gardens at the church.

Bill Kursinsky

Bill Kursinsky passed away peacefully on Monday, January 7, after a tragic fall from a ladder at his Phoenix home. He was born in 1940, the third of five sons, to Clifford and Dorothy (Moy) Kursinsky, on a farm in Palms, Michigan. Bill attended Hunt Rural Country School for his first three years and then attended St. Peter and Paul School in Ruth, Michigan, where he graduated in 1958. He was very proud of his farm roots in Michigan.

In 1966, he entered the Army Security Agency and served for four years, often referring to those years as the best four years of his life, particularly the three years he spent in West Berlin. While serving in West Berlin, Bill met and married his wife Gerri Segulia who was from Butte, Montana. They would have celebrated 50 years of marriage in June. He loved to travel, and he and Gerri took many wonderful trips over the years. After the Army, he began a successful career in the commercial insurance industry that started in the Detroit area and during that same period, he earned his BA, attending night school at the University of Detroit. He and Gerri migrated to Phoenix in 1976, where he continued his career in the commercial insurance industry.

Over the years, Bill was a member of the Elks and the Knights of Columbus. Prior to his retirement in 2006, he began volunteering as a “Navigator” at the Phoenix International Airport which he enjoyed for 10 years. Bill joined Rotary International and continued to be very involved until his death. He was a very caring and devoted volunteer for Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix.

Bill was proud to have been a Big Brother to four young boys in the Big Brother Organization. He continued a friendship with his first “little brother” all of his life.

Bill is survived by his wife Gerri of Sun Lakes, Arizona.

Funeral Mass and burial will be held in Butte, Montana, this summer.

Joyce Orent

Joyce Orent went peacefully in her sleep on January 10, 2019. She was a retired RN. The last 15 years of her life were spent in Sun Lakes having fun with all of her friends and her dog Boomer. She is survived by her sister Joan.

Norman Owens

Norman Owens, 88, of Sun Lakes, Arizona, and formerly of Indianapolis, Indiana, passed away on December 15.

A 38-year employee of the United States Postal Service in Indianapolis, he moved to Sun Lakes 32 years ago, working at the Ken McDonald golf course in Tempe and then at the Oakwood Pro Shop in Sun Lakes for over 10 years.

Known to his golf buddies as “Stormin’ Norman,” Owens is survived by his wife Yvette, his two sons Norman and his wife Aleta of Sun Lakes and Dwayne and his wife Nancy of Terre Haute, Indiana, as well as a stepson Brian Beaver and his wife Rachelle of Sun Lakes. He is also survived by two granddaughters and a sister, Patty Day of Chandler.

His wife and sister were by his bedside when he passed away. A memorial service was held in January at the Victory Tabernacle in Gilbert.

Gerald (Jerry) Stegora

Gerald (Jerry) Stegora passed away at his home in Merrifield, Minnesota, on August 3, 2018. He was a devoted family man. He had six children with his first wife Betty who passed away at an early age of 47. Two years later, he met the second love of his life, Marlene. They were married for 30 years and enjoyed a larger-than-life family with the two families becoming one (Jerry said he didn’t have step children; they were just all his children). And that is how it was, as together they enjoyed a larger-than-life family of nine children, 25 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. Jerry had one sister and one brother who survive him.

After retirement from UPS, he and Marlene split their time between the lake in Minnesota and Sun Lakes, Arizona, also managing to enjoy many travels. In Minnesota, he had a garden and several acres on the lake he kept manicured. In Arizona, he tended to several fruit trees and his love, roses. In Minnesota, as soon as they were ripe, he picked many, many strawberries that became his topping on ice cream throughout the year.

Jerry graduated from Dunwoody in Minneapolis and was an accomplished mechanic. If Jerry couldn’t fix it, it probably couldn’t be fixed! In Arizona, he became interested in looking for gold and loved to go to the desert with friends. Did he find any? Well, he thought spending quiet time enjoying God’s country was golden.

A Celebration of Life was held in Brainerd, Minnesota, where tears, laughs and many loving stories were shared. Jerry was a kind, sweet man who will always be remembered with love.

Kenneth Lee Walker

Kenneth Lee Walker, 75, of Sun Lakes, AZ, passed peacefully into eternal rest on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018, after a 4-1/2-month battle with dementia. Ken worked for a time, several years ago, as a security guard at the Palo Verde San Tan Gate.

Ken was born in 1943 in Long Beach, CA, and is survived by his wife of 28 years, Nancy Matus-Walker; sister Judy Walker (of CO), son Nick Walker and wife Kendall and grandson Jake (of MA).

He graduated from Montana State University at Missoula with a Music Ed degree, majoring in voice and keyboard.

Ken served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam Conflict and received an honorable discharge. Following military service, he taught music at junior high schools in California and Arizona for several years.

Ken left teaching, becoming a professional bus operator for Phoenix Transit, operating City of Phoenix buses until retiring. His friendly and outgoing nature and love of people were a perfect fit with this job, earning him numerous kudos and notes of appreciation from riders, safety awards and commendations from his employer.

He was also active with his church, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix, as a choir member and interim choir director. Ken loved to sing and would do so for bus passengers and anyone at any time. After retiring from driving, he presented vocal entertainment at several Chandler area nursing homes.

He also enjoyed photography and the ocean and everything about it. He especially loved fishing – whether on the Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry in AZ, from a boat or pier on the Pacific Ocean, salmon fishing in Alaska or even the urban lakes at Sun Lakes and city parks – it was a favorite hobby. He enjoyed ocean cruises, especially to Alaska and along the Pacific Coast. Even though his daily job involved driving, Ken thoroughly relished road trips, especially enjoyed driving Highway 1/101 completely up our Pacific Coast from border to border. He laughingly called these his “busman’s holidays.”

Ken was a very open, friendly man with the “gift of gab,” ready to make a friend wherever he went. His greatest joy in life was to make someone’s day brighter through frequent laughter and a bit of wit. Ken will be missed by all who knew him.

Per Ken’s wishes, there will be no service. A celebration of life will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a gift to your favorite charity.