In Passing

Bernice E. Kantrowitz

Bernice E. Kantrowitz died peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by family, on June 6, 2019, in Scottsdale, Arizona. She was 95 years old.

Bernice was born June 17, 1923, in the small town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. Her parents Max and Elizabeth (Miller) Lipsic raised her there while operating their clothing store.

A city girl at heart, Bernice ventured out on her own after high school and a semester at the University of Pittsburgh, traveling by train on a solo journey to Washington, D.C. She soon met and, in 1947, married the love of her life, Seymour Kantrowitz, in D.C., where he was stationed during WWII. They raised three daughters in Rockville, MD, and spent their free time exploring the treasures of the nation’s capital together as a young family, from museums, parks and art galleries, to concerts, festivals and ballets. She and Seymour enjoyed ballroom dancing together and were admired by family and friends for their graceful moves.

Bernice worked 30 years for the U.S. Government – first at the Old Executive Office Building in D.C. and later at Health, Education and Welfare in Rockville. After retiring, Bernice and Seymour moved to Southern California to be closer to their children in Arizona and California. In California, she worked at the Jewish Community Center of Long Beach.

When she was in her 60s, Bernice fulfilled a lifelong dream, earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of California at Long Beach. Her family couldn’t have been prouder.

In 1989, Bernice and Seymour relocated to Sun Lakes, AZ. For the next 25 years, writing was Bernice’s passion. She wrote a story a week. Some of her stories were published in the Arizona Republic and the Sun Lakes Splash newspaper. Hundreds of her stories – many autobiographical – were compiled into 10 volumes, titled The Joy of Words. The books are a priceless gift to her family, a legacy they will always cherish.

In Sun Lakes, Bernice delighted in her daily walks around the neighborhood, meeting friends to stroll with along the way. She enjoyed line dancing and educational classes. She happily volunteered as secretary, publicist and photographer for the Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation and looked forward to attending Sabbath and holiday services. Bernice relished playing mahjong and pan with her friends and Rummikub with her family, who hailed her the Rummikub Queen.

Bernice was especially fond of her writing friends in the Sun Lakes Writers Group, where she held the coveted gavel as chair for many years. She was grateful for her fellow writers’ encouragement, support and laughter during their weekly meetings.

A proponent of healthy living, Bernice was an early practitioner of yoga, meditation, eating and walking for health and studying for self-improvement.

She always aspired to fulfill her potential and become a better person. In her home, she displayed a sculpture of a man with his fist under his chin as if in deep thought, a replica of The Thinker by Auguste Rodin. Every time she passed The Thinker, she said he reminded her to think more carefully, to ponder more deeply, to stay focused and to make better decisions.

Being creative brought Bernice much joy. While raising her children, she used her hands to knit, crochet, sew, create recipes, cook and do fun arts and crafts activities with her children. Later, Bernice discovered a creative outlet through her words.

In 2017, Bernice moved into an assisted living home in Scottsdale, where the caregivers and fellow residents treated her with the utmost kindness and respect. Her family is deeply grateful to them.

Bernice touched the hearts of everyone who knew her. To her friends, she was loyal, honest, considerate and fun. To her daughters, she was a loving, caring, encouraging and supportive mother. To her late husband Seymour, she was a beloved, beautiful and devoted wife and the only woman he ever had eyes for.

Bernice will be remembered by many for her smile, her style, her sweetness and her collection of adorable hats. Her sensitivity, her humility, her grace and her understanding heart will never be forgotten.

Bernice was preceded in death by her husband Seymour in 2011 and by her daughter Susan in 2016. She is survived by her daughters Judy (Michael) Lefton and Mindy (Bill) Burns, both of Arizona, who will miss her dearly.

As Bernice aged, she grew wiser, more content and more resilient. In April, she told her daughters, “I feel good, and I have no worries. I guess I’m pretty lucky. I’ve had an amazing life.”

Bernard Metteer Nicholaisen

Bernard Metteer Nicholaisen was born on November 29, 1931, and died peacefully at his Sun Lakes home on May 7, 2019.

Bernard was born to Carllye and Merle Metteer Nicholaisen in Norfolk, NE. To this union, four children were born: Carol, Nan, Bernard “Buss” and John “Jack.” Buss graduated from Grand Ledge High School and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1950. Buss met his bride while they both were serving in Pensacola, FL. He married Patricia Laggan in 1953. Upon discharge, they settled in Denver, CO, for 53 years. To this union, four children were born: Debra, Leslie, Susan and Joan. He retired from United Airlines in 1993 after 33 years at DENCG. Shortly thereafter, he worked for the House of Representatives in Denver for five years before moving to Sun Lakes in 2000. He enjoyed his retirement playing music on the organ, church choir, golfing, carpentry, painting and gardening. Buss volunteered his time helping many organizations. He was a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus and served as a member of Honor Guard as well as American Legion Post #55.

He is survived by his wife Patricia of 65 years; daughters Debra Woller (Ron) of Sun Lakes, AZ; Leslie Revell (Bryce) of Wray, CO; Susan Inman (Jay) of Sun Lakes, AZ; and Joan Byrd of Castle Rock, CO; niece Tammy Laggan of Sun Lakes, AZ; sister-in-law Judith Epping Nicholaisen; eight grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; seven step-grandchildren; and four step-great-grandchildren, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Services were held at St Steven’s Church on May 29, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. followed by Military Honors in the courtyard. Lunch was served in the Great Hall immediately following.

Family requests no flowers. In lieu of flowers, memorial can be sent to or charity of your choice.

John Miguel

John Miguel, also known to the many who loved him as “HoHo,” died on Tuesday, April 9, from complications arising from a long bout with Valley Fever.

Born on December 20, 1937, in New Bedford, MA, John was the son of Jose and Mary Miguel. Always a brilliant student, he was Valedictorian of New Bedford High School’s Class of 1956. The first in his family to attend college, John graduated from Brown University with a degree in mechanical engineering. Committed to intellectual excellence, he continued his studies at the University of Rhode Island, earning both a Masters and Ph.D., also in Mechanical Engineering.

John moved to Tiverton in 1965 to raise his family and continue his career at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island. During his 30-year career, he was most proud of his contributions to the development of the Mark 48 ADCAP torpedo system and bringing the Navy into the age of modern computing. He served on Presidential Advisory Panels, traveled the world as a member of the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils and developed the High-Performance Computing and Communications Conference, which was the industry’s premier event for more than 28 years. In 1990, he was selected as a Federal Computer Week Top 100 for which President George H. W. Bush personally praised his “invaluable contributions to the U.S. Government.”

He retired to Sun Lakes, AZ, in 1992 and became a vibrant part of that community. Dedicated to life-long learning, he developed many interests and pursued them with a passion for excellence. He joined the Sun Lakes Genealogy Club, eventually publishing a comprehensive history of the Miguel family. He became an excellent golfer and award-winning photographer. In Sun Lakes, John was a communicant of St. Steven’s Church, coordinating many legendary social events, including the Western Fling and Murder Mystery Dinners.

John was predeceased by his beloved wife Barbara, for whom he was the dedicated caretaker in the last years of her life. He is survived by his daughter Susan and her husband Gregory Klinker of Tiverton, RI; son David and his wife Yvonne of Olathe, KS; and the grandchildren of whom he was most proud: Jonathan Klinker, John Austin and Sarah Miguel.

Memorial donations may be made to GiftsToGive,, One Titleist Drive, Acushnet, MA 02743. Condolences may be shared in care of Susan Miguel, 38 April Lane, Tiverton, RI.

Donald L. Brown

Donald L. Brown, known and held in high regard as a realtor, a popular participant at Cottonwood’s karaoke, as well as active in Sun Lakes Community Church, went home to be with the Lord he loved and served on June 2, 2019, in Henderson, Nevada.

Born March 4, 1943, in Independence, MO, to Otis and Maxine Brown, Don was the oldest of three children. The family, including his sister Gayle and brother Steve, moved to Walnut Creek, CA, when he was just six years old. At age 12, the family moved on to Arcadia, CA, where he graduated from Arcadia High School.

In 1961, he moved to Arizona to attend ASU. He graduated with a BA in Business in 1965. Don served in the Army Reserves 1965 to 1973.

Don met Kathleen on a blind date at ASU in 1962. They married on September 4, 1964. They were married for 54 years and were blessed with two daughters: Jeanie and Karen. Then along came eight grandchildren: Jennifer, Michael, Jessica, Courtney, Kathleen, Janie, Christy and Giovanni, plus two great-grandsons: Preston and Ryder.

Don moved to Las Cruces, NM, in 1980 and lived there for seven years. Don and his brother-in-law Dave Coyle jointly owned a Century 21 real estate company, launching a career in residential real estate that lasted for 40 years. He and Kathleen worked for Sun Lakes Realty and Cactus Mountain Properties before retiring.

Don was a long-distance runner. He ran in the Fiesta Marathon in Phoenix twice and the Whiskey Row Marathon in Prescott, AZ, once. He loved to play racquetball with his friends at the Palo Verde Country Club. Don loved to sing. He enjoyed singing karaoke in Sun Lakes whenever he could, as well as in the choir, and as a soloist at Sun Lakes Community Church.

Don and Kathleen have been members of Sun Lakes Community Church for approximately 15 years. He served as the chairman of the church’s Governing Board for two years.

Don had a strong faith in the Lord and loved his family. He loved people and was a sincere, faithful and strong person. He had a good sense of humor and a quick wit at times. He is now at peace and with the Lord, following a long illness.

Don’s Celebration of Life will be on Saturday, July 13, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. at The Sun Lakes Chapel, located across from the Sun Lakes Country Club. The memorial service will be conducted by his friend and former neighbor Rev. Doug Ross, Associate Pastor at Sun Lakes Community Church. For more information, call the church office at 480-895-9147.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests you might want to make a contribution to the Church’s Code Red Fund – to help meet their goal of supplying at least three pallets of water to the Phoenix Rescue Mission this summer. Checks can be made to Sun Lakes Community Church – 100% of all monies received will go to this project.

John “Tubby” Stewart

John “Tubby” Stewart, age 68, of Chandler, Arizona, passed away on Sunday, April 7, 2019. John was born April 4, 1951, in New Jersey. He was an altar boy, an Eagle Scout, a rugby player, a faithful employee of State Farm Insurance for 40 years, a member of the Chandler Lion’s Club, a big brother, a Santa for the holidays, a Steelers fan, a loving husband and father and a so-so hunter.

A memorial service for John was held Saturday, June 8, 2019, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Valley of the Sun Mortuary & Cemetery, 10940 East Chandler Heights Road, Chandler, AZ 85248, followed by a reception from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wearing Hawaiian shirts and bright attire to Tubby’s Celebration of Life was highly encouraged!

In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family requests that donations in John’s name be made out to Lions Camp Tatiyee (for children with special needs), 5283 West White Mountain Blvd., Lakeside, AZ 85929. Also, fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Stewart family.

Sherrill Lucille Spencer (Sherry)

Sherrill Lucille Spencer (Sherry), age 82, of Sun Lakes, AZ, passed away on May 24, 2019, of respiratory failure. Sherry was born to Pauline and Lawrence Stoehr on November 10, 1936, in El Reno, Oklahoma. She graduated from Crescent High School where she enjoyed cheerleading. She then attended Oklahoma State University. Sherry married Max Spencer on April 10, 1955. She is survived by her devoted husband of 64 years, Dr. Max Spencer, her brother Larry Stoehr, her daughter Paula Lomax, sons Jeff Spencer and Michael Spencer, grandchildren Crystal Connors, Michael Lomax, Stefany Spencer, David Spencer and Richard Spencer and six great-grandchildren.

Sherry was a friend of all and a wonderful mother and grandmother. She had an infectious laugh and many stories to tell. She enjoyed her bridge groups, trivia at the club and, in earlier years, golf. She was a huge football and sports fan and loved to watch OSU and the Cardinals play. She loved to travel, and she and Max were able to see much of the world. She recently went on a cruise with the family and was delighted in spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Services were held at Valley of the Sun in Sun Lakes on Sunday, June 2, at 2:00 p.m. and a reception followed.

Prudence Cady (Pete) Kneeland Serl Henderson

Prudence Cady (Pete) Kneeland Serl Henderson left this earth peacefully on Friday, May 24, 2019, after battling cancer for several months. She is now in the hands of the Lord. She was born in Yuma, AZ, on November 24, 1940, to parents Mary Wilson Kneeland and William Gilbert Kneeland. She is preceded in death by her parents, step-father Lawrence Shell and brother Wilson Gilbert Kneeland. She is survived by her husband James (Jim) Henderson and sons Scott Serl (and friend Lorena Dunham) of El Dorado Hills, CA, and Blake (and wife Kelley) Serl of Gridley, CA; sister Mary Jane Williams of Sun Lakes, AZ; step-daughter Dawn Lara; grandsons James (Jimmy) and Elias Lara; and numerous cousins.

She graduated from high school in Miami, AZ, and attended Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Later, she graduated from Chico State College. She owned and taught at four dance schools near Chico, CA, and worked for the City of Chico. After retiring, she and husband Jim RV’d across the country and back, eventually selling their home in Chico and moving to Sun Lakes. She and Jim were members of Sun Lakes United Methodist Church.