In Passing

Ann Dunbar LaBarge

On January 19, 2019, surrounded by her loving family at her home in Sun Lakes, Arizona, Ann Dunbar LaBarge went home to God. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, her joy in life was her family. Her husband of 32 years, James O. LaBarge, survives. She is also survived by her children and their families: Brian (Karen) Dunbar of Fort Collins, Colorado; Bruce (Julie) Dunbar of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Paul Dunbar (partner Dr. Kathleen Phelps) of Traverse City, Michigan; Katherine J. (Daniel) Jarchow of Chandler, Arizona; and step-daughter Jami C. (Kevin) Ferguson of Cheshire, Connecticut. Grandchildren Donald L. Dunbar, Mark L. (Stella) Dunbar, Gabriel R. (Caitlin) Dunbar, Caroline J. (Luke) Andrews, Kyle D. Dunbar (partner Meghan Hammitt), Courtney A. Conradi, Harrison R. Dunbar, Charles J. Conradi, Owen P. Ferguson, Mary Catherine Ferguson, Kimberly Jarchow and Veronica Jarchow. Great-grandchildren (Mark and Stella Dunbar), Charlton J. Dunbar, Bennett S. Dunbar and Eloise M. Dunbar. She is also survived by her brother Paul (Diane) Meyers and their family.

Ann Marie Meyers was born October 20, 1934, in Monroe, Michigan, to Catharine (nee Mohrhoff) and Francis. She attended Zion Lutheran Elementary School through 8th grade, where her maternal grandfather was principal. She graduated from Monroe High School in 1952 with a degree in secretarial studies.

She began her career at Monroe Auto Equipment as a secretary. On a blind date, she was introduced to an Army veteran and aspiring architect, Donald Hill Dunbar. Arriving home after their first date, she announced to her mother that she had met the man she was going to marry.

On May 22, 1954, Ann and Donald Dunbar were married at Zion Lutheran Church in Monroe. They moved to Lansing, Michigan, where Don pursued his architecture career and Ann worked as a legal secretary. She became secretary to gubernatorial candidate Dr. Paul Bagwell.

Although Ann enjoyed her secretarial work, her true ambition was to raise a family and create a home. The Dunbars settled in their hometown, Monroe, and had four children. Tragically, Don’s life was cut short at age 49 by melanoma. At the time of his death, their two oldest children were in college, the younger two in grade school. At age 42, Ann was thrust into the role of single parent and sole provider.

Relocating to Adrian, Ann continued her career in real estate sales. She was a consummate hostess, entertaining family, friends and dignitaries in her lovely home. Notably, she hosted a dinner for the entertainer Art Linkletter when he was in town to speak and, most proudly, a tea for Barbara Bush during the presidential bid of George H. W. Bush.

On April 12, 1986, she married James O. LaBarge. Their union was happy, and Ann often said Jim made her laugh every day. After Jim’s retirement, they relocated to Sun Lakes, Arizona. Summers were spent in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at The Hiawatha Club on Lake Millecoquins near the town of Engadine. Avid golfers, Ann and Jim enjoyed many happy hours on the links in Arizona and Michigan.

A cornerstone of her legacy is the many family meals and events where Ann always had the family favorites (ham with cheese grits for Sunday dinner) along with a plethora of new recipes she tried. Her family was always rewarded with a delicious meal beautifully presented but, best of all, a shared experience of warm and loving family time.

Ann was devout in her belief in Jesus. Her strong faith helped her through her trials and was the source of her grateful heart. During her last illness, she told her grandchildren Courtney and Charles to trust God in all things and to look to Him for strength in difficult times. Even at the end of her own earthly struggles, her concern was the welfare of her family.

We love you and will miss you always. Rest in peace in God’s loving embrace.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center ( A memorial service with be held on March 12, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, 9245 E. Riggs Road, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248.

Betty Jorgensen

Betty Jorgensen, 85, passed away on Sunday, January 6, 2019. Betty was born and raised in Wray, Colorado, to Frederic and Elizabeth Adcock on September 30, 1933. She was proud of her small-town upbringing and after all these years, still maintained beautiful friendships with several childhood friends.

Betty attended the University of Colorado to follow her passion of becoming a teacher and enjoyed teaching for 15 years at the Montessori School in Mesa, AZ. For many years, she was a dedicated homemaker, raising her children Bill, Christy and Sheri in La Mirada and Whittier, CA, and had fond memories of those she’s kept friendships with after moving to AZ in 1978.

She was happily married to Glen Jorgensen, deceased, for 38 years and was thrilled to add Glen’s children Karen, Keene, Kathleen and Kurt to her family. She and Glen enjoyed playing table games, golf, cooking and entertaining family and friends.

Betty enjoyed playing bridge, mah-jongg, crossword puzzles, Sudoku and Words with friends. She was an avid artist and painter, sharing this passion with her twin sister Patty. Betty loved helping others and was a member of P.E.O. Chapter AF in Chandler, AZ, for many years and was a member of the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church.

Betty’s survived by her twin sister Patty Newcomer (Bob), son William Blackwill (Justina), daughter Sheri Harder (Duane), step-children Karen Rossi (Ron), Kathleen Sauder and Kurt Jorgensen (Mary). She had 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren and found such joy in spending time with them. She was preceded in death by her husband Glen Jorgensen, daughter Christy Blackwill, step-son Keene Jorgensen and grandson Forrest Touchstone.

Betty had a tender heart, giving spirit and always saw the good in everyone and every situation. She will truly be missed.

Carolyn “Lynn” Alice Vraspir

Lynn Vraspir (nee Smith), age 78, passed away peacefully on January 28, 2019, in the home she shared with her husband of 34 years. Lynn grew up in Anoka, Minnesota, and she raised her family in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

In 2000, after 26 years of service as a dedicated employee at the Star Tribune, Lynn and her husband retired to Sun Lakes, AZ. Lynn enjoyed working with crafts, such as making jewelry, dichroic glass and gourds. She also served as president of the Rock and Gem Club of Sun Lakes.

Lynn is preceded in death by her parents Irene and Lester Smith, son Jeffrey Crute and her father-in-law Louis Vraspir. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband Rudolph Vraspir; her brothers Robert Smith (Jan) and Dennis Smith (Toni); her children Kevin Crute, Sean Crute (Lola), Lisa Boone (Bob), Monica Kuhl (Brian) and Krissy Gentry (Eric); grandchildren Ty Spah, Corey Spah, Kelly Crute, Max Crute, Victoria Crute, Nathan Kuhl (Michelle), Noah Gentry and Sophia Gentry; great-grandchild Lucy Kuhl; her 102-year-old mother-in-law Evelyn Vraspir; sister-in-law Joan and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Diana K. Clarke

It is with great sadness to announce our beloved Diana K. Clarke passed away in the loving presence of her daughters on January 17, 2019. Diana was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother.

Diana is best remembered as an enthusiast of crosswords and picture puzzles with impeccable organization skills and a thoughtful heart. Her love of flowers lead Diana to be an avid gardener, and her creativity made her a stylish seamstress.

She is survived by her husband James, four daughters and sons-in-law: Jana and Matt, Heather and Cory, Darla and Greg and Dawn and Kris, and eight grandchildren: Zachary, Tyler, Nicholas, Jack, Amanda, Sydney, Gavin and Ryan.

The family is comforted in believing she is in the care of angels and has reunited with her parents Walter and Evelyn, sister Nerita and brothers Ed and Walt. The family asks, in lieu of flowers, for donations to Alzheimer’s research and treatment in her memory.

James R. McWhirter (Jim)

James R. McWhirter (Jim), passed away peacefully on January 6, 2019, in Sun Lakes, AZ, with his loving family by his side. Jim and his wife Lois enjoyed their life together, spending their summers in Detroit, Oregon and winters in Sun Lakes, AZ.

Jim was born in Ft. Benton, Montana, and grew up outside of Cascade, Montana, near Tunnel 1, on the Great Northern Railroad line between Great Falls and Butte, Montana. Jim graduated from Cascade High School, earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Montana State University and an MBA from University of Washington. Jim worked as a chemical engineer for Hercules, E-Systems and Plasti-Fab until 1989 when he started his own water and wastewater treatment engineering company, Columbia Pacific Associates.

Jim volunteered for the Tualatin Valley Little League Football organization and the Lion’s Club for many years. He was a member of the Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers, the Great Northern Railroad Historical Society and the Sun Lakes Angler’s Club. Jim enjoyed writing and started writing his first novel at age 79, an historical fiction based on the life story of a relative who lived during the Revolutionary War. Jim loved spending time with his children and grandchildren, and he enjoyed golfing, gardening and learning to play the harmonica at age 80.

Jim is survived by his wife of 37 years, Lois McWhirter, sons Jim McWhirter and Kevin McWhirter, daughter-in-law Kim McWhirter, daughter Candace McWhirter, son-in-law Dana White, Lois’s son Erik Yingling, daughter-in-law Jennie Yingling, Lois’s daughter Elena Yingling, grandsons Kevin James McWhirter, Stephen McWhirter, Michael McWhirter and Daniel McWhirter, granddaughter Madilyn Yingling, great-grandson Matthew McWhirter, his brother Robert McWhirter, sister-in-law Barbara McWhirter and many nieces and nephews.

Celebration of Life will be held March 9 at Southwest Bible Church in Beaverton, Oregon, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.