In Passing

Jean S. Ahnmark

Jean S. Ahnmark, age 93, passed away peacefully Nov. 29, 2019, surrounded by her loving family. Raised in Minneapolis, she was married to Henry G. Ahnmark for 30 years when he passed in 1978.

A medical technologist by trade, Jean retired in 1986 and transplanted from Lima, OH, to Sun Lakes. She was a competitive golfer, bowler, Garage Sale Queen, and a card shark. She eagerly followed both the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Arizona Cardinals, keeping weekly statistics. Jean was admittedly addicted to Sudoku puzzles, and she kept in daily touch with others by text, email, and Facetime.

Voted the Friendliest Person in her senior class, Jean’s quick wit, ready smile, and upbeat disposition gave her a welcoming presence wherever she went. Jean loved to bake sweets. She would create dozens of cakes and delectables as donation to a fundraiser and then hand-deliver a warm Bundt cake for a neighbor’s birthday. She was proudly Everyone’s Mom.

Jean had an adventurous spirit. She traveled much of the world and was a lifelong Lead Foot, driving cross country each summer to visit family and friends. She was a roller coaster enthusiast, rode hot air balloons, and in her late 70s, she gleefully slid down the 76-foot Der Stuka body slide at a water park in Las Vegas. At age 86, Jean joined the Chordaires Show Chorus where she and her daughter Nancy sang bass together.

She was a member of Alpha Delta Theta sorority, the Minnehaha #37 Order of the Eastern Star, the Sun Lakes Women’s Association, and the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church. Jean is survived by three children: David (Christy) of Worthington, OH; Steven (Kellie) of Chandler, AZ; and Nancy Roberts (Spencer) of Sun Lakes, AZ; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life was held in early December. Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, the Heart Fund, Shriners Hospitals for Children, or Hospice of the Valley, Phoenix, Arizona.

Ralph Buchanan

Ralph Buchanan, 73, passed away on Jan. 1, 2020, after a short illness. Ralph was born in Englewood, NJ, on July 3, 1946, and spent his formative years in Wilmington, DE. He left Delaware at 19 and hitchhiked to Arizona, where he fell in love with the state and lived in the Phoenix area the rest of his life.

Ralph was preceded in death by his wife Jana Baubie Buchanan in 2001. He is survived by his wife of 11 years Bette Lu Buchanan; brothers Robert (Buck) and Richard Buchanan of Ft. Worth, TX; son Mark Buchanan and wife Sarah; Lindsey (Buchanan) Kendall and husband Matt; and 14 grandchildren.

Ralph was proud to achieve the level of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America. He graduated from ASU in 1969 and was in the ROTC program. He served his active duty as a lieutenant in the Air Force, spending time in South Carolina and Bitburg, Germany, as a supply officer. He was President Emeritus of the United Farmers Agents Association and was a board member for the Scottsdale Little League.

Ralph was a devoted family man, sports enthusiast, and political junky. He lived his life with honor and integrity. Those who knew him will always remember his quick wit, his sense of humor, and his big smile. A graveside service was held at the Rose Garden at the Mesa Cemetery on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Dorothy Mae Haanes

Dorothy M. Haanes passed away into God’s grace on Dec. 22, 2019, after a brief sojourn in hospice care at Wellsprings Therapy Center of Gilbert. She was a loving wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and great-grandmother, born in Lewistown, MT (Fergus County) on Sept. 27, 1928, to her father William Ferdinand Edward Thielman and Mother Julia Ellen (Sarjeant) Thielman. She grew up on the family farm outside of Lewistown and graduated from Fergus County High School in the class of 1946. After graduating, Dorothy attended beauty school and later married Harold Lloyd Haanes on March 17, 1951, in the Presbyterian Church of Lewistown. Her husband Harold passed away on June 26, 2013, after 62 years of marriage and is the father of their two sons. Dorothy is survived by both her sons: Tod Hunter Haanes (the elder) and wife Connie of Thornton, CO, and the younger Hal Warren Haanes of Sun Lakes. Dorothy has two grandsons: Kristopher Haanes of Wheatridge, CO, and the younger Erik Haanes and wife Sunie who have three children (great-grandchildren) Kade, Kasen, and Kamden, all of Rio Rancho, NM. We are greatly saddened by her swift passing and will miss her dearly, but are comforted knowing that it is God’s will that she be received into Heaven’s Gate at her appointed time.

In addition to raising her two boys, Dorothy’s work outside the home was primarily administrative and secretarial with various school districts in Washington State and Texas. She also worked for the 3M Corporation in Minnesota. Dorothy and husband Harold lived in several states in the mid and western United States, including Minnesota, Washington, Texas, and most recently Arizona, besides her home state of Montana. Harold’s employment with the Burlington Northern Railroad required that the family relocate periodically. Dorothy and Harold enjoyed traveling throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Africa. As a couple, they enjoyed dancing, entertaining, playing cards, golfing, and involvement with the Shrine Club of Sun Lakes and affiliations with the Nile Temple of Seattle. In her spare time, Dorothy enjoyed other activities such as following politics, reading, crosswords and puzzles, sewing, gardening, crafts, entertaining, cooking, and home decorating. Dorothy was previously a member of the local Red Hats, Putters Club, Sew N Sews, bible study groups, and card groups.

The family will honor Dorothy with a Celebration of Life in her memory later in the spring in Denver when they can arrange for the family to come together. Dorothy is also survived by her older brother William Thielman, wife Lillian, and their extended family in the Colorado area. In the last few years, Dorothy attended Risen Savior Lutheran Church on Alma School near Sun Lakes. The family would ask that donations made in her memory be made to Risen Savior Lutheran Church (23914 S. Alma School Road, Chandler, AZ 85248) or Shriners Hospitals for Children at

Laura Lou Sahlin

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Laura Lou Sahlin at her home in Sun Lakes, AZ, on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019.

She was born in Fort Knox, KY, on Aug. 25, 1947. As a young child, Laura grew up moving frequently, due to her father being in the Army. Laura was an incredible big sister, great student, graduating at the top of her class, and was quite talented at twirling baton. She was accepted into Colorado State University, where she studied to be an occupational therapist, graduating with a degree. She enjoyed her work tremendously and even published a book. Laura loved her daughter Terra deeply, and they had many wonderful adventures together in life. When Terra was six years old, she met an untimely death. After several years, Laura began to move forward and focus on adoption. She adopted a four-month-old little girl and named her Nicole. Shortly after, her sister adopted a baby boy and named him David. Laura’s family was close to her, enjoying Sunday dinners, special events, holidays, and vacations together. The family created many treasured memories. As time went on, Laura made a big decision to move to Sun Lakes. She met wonderful, caring people in the community. She joined in many activities such as bowling, cards, mahjongg, putting, bocce ball, and volunteering with her dog through Gabriel’s Angels.

She is lovingly remembered by her daughter Nicole (Ramsey); son-in-law Jason Ramsey; grandchildren McKenzie (5 years old), McKayla (3.5 years old), and Madilyn (4 months old); her sister Sandra (Hill); and nephew David Hill. She was preceded in death by her father Bruce Sahlin, mother Mary Lou Sahlin, daughter Terra, and brother-in-law Clayton Hill.

She leaves behind many family and friends in Alaska, Texas, and Arizona. She will forever be in our hearts. We love and deeply miss you, Laura!

At her request, there was a private service with immediate family. In her memory, please consider a donation to Gabriel’s Angels Pets Helping Kids.

Kyle Alan Durst

Kyle Alan Durst, 48, died unexpectedly Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at his home in Sun Lakes, Arizona.

Kyle was born on May 25, 1971 in Jackson, Michigan to Ronald and Joyce (Appel) Durst. He graduated from Vandercook Lake High School and Jackson Area Career Center, and had a B.S. in Physiology from Michigan State University. He had a successful career as a Radiologic Technologist and Radiology Instructor. He had been employed by W. A. Foote Memorial Hospital (Michigan), Kaiser Permanente (California), UCLA Medical Center (California), The Bryman School of Phoenix (Arizona), and most recently the Sonoran Desert Surgery Center. In his spare time, he enjoyed weight lifting, fishing with his Mom and Dad, watching Michigan State Basketball and Football games with his Dad, and spending time with his family and friends. He looked forward to his trips to Michigan to visit his daughter and to stay with his Aunt Toots (Dorothy Moss).

Kyle is survived by Kaylee Aleah Durst (Daughter), Ronald & Joyce Durst (Father/Mother), Craig and Mary (Maybee) Durst (Brother/Sister-in-law), Terri Durst (Sister), Nicole Durst (Niece), and Zachary Durst (Great-nephew).

Funeral service and the Celebration of Life will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 23 at The Valley of the Sun Mortuary and Cemetery, 10940 E. Chandler Heights Road, Chandler, Arizona 85248.

The family is setting up a college fund for Kyle’s daughter, Kaylee. If you wish to contribute in lieu of flowers, please send a check addressed to Mr. Ronald Durst (Grandpa) at 10113 E. Lambert Dr., Sun Lakes, Arizona 85248.

Patrick “Pat” Trempe

Patrick “Pat” Trempe of Sun Lakes, Arizona was born in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin on November 14, 1930 and died peacefully in Chandler, Arizona on January 10, 2020.

He was a man of faith and will be remembered for his love of his family. He was a great friend to many. Pat was also an avid Green Bay Packers fan.

Pat is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, two daughters, six grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren.He is preceded in death by his youngest daughter and infant son.

Herschel (Hersch) Johnson

Herschel (Hersch) Johnson, 87, of Sun Lakes, passed away on Dec. 23, 2019. Herschel was born in Birmingham, AL, on July 19, 1932, to Henry and Edna Johnson. Herschel served in the Air Force from 1951 to 1955. He was a Korean War veteran.

In 1955, he married his wife Jean, and they were married for 58 years. He was a retired electrical contractor from Riverside, CA. Herschel and his wife Jean moved to Sun Lakes in 1996. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed working in his garden.

He is survived by two sisters, daughter Sandy Fox of AZ, grandson Daniel Fox of CA, and three great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life was held on Jan. 18, 2020, at 11 a.m. at Sun Lakes Community Church, 9240 Sun Lakes Blvd. A reception followed at the Fellowship Hall.