Charlie Copin, 89 years old, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away on May 11, 2022. He is survived by his loving wife Jayne, married for 67 years. They were high school sweethearts, both growing up in Murphysboro, Ill.
After one year at Northwestern University on a football scholarship, the Korean War led him to a 26-year career in the USAF where he served as a jet fighter pilot. First Flight School and then marrying Jayne in their hometown in Southern Illinois, they started their Air Force journey in California with the F-100 as part of the newly formed Air Force. He and his family were subsequently stationed at AF bases in the U.S. and overseas. During his nine years in the Vietnam Conflict, he flew the F-105, F-4, and A-7D. Charlie was awarded many medals and ribbons, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal, AF Outstanding Unit Award, Meritorious Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, Air Medal with 4-6 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, and more.
Charlie was a huge fan of the Peanuts comic strip, which was created in 1950, the year he graduated from high school. In 1965 the comic strip introduced Snoopy as a Flying Ace against the Red Baron. This provided many chuckles while reading the morning newspaper.
After retiring from the USAF in 1976 while living in Las Vegas, Nev., Charlie became a tax consultant for H&R Block. In 2003 he and Jayne moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., to be near family.
Immediately upon arriving in Sun Lakes, Charlie found his community with the Oakwood Men’s golf groups. For many years, he played in leagues in Sun Lakes. He was an athlete, playing many sports throughout his life, and remained an avid sports fan who enjoyed following his favorite teams.
He is survived by his wife Jayne (Roberts) and his three children: Janet (John), Patty (Mike), and Chuck (Cherie). He is also survived by his grandchildren: John (Holly), Brian (Anne Curtis), Lindsey (Christian), Curtis, and Kristen, and three great-granddaughters.
Charlie was a sweet, kind, humble man who loved his family, served his country, and ran the Race of Life well!
Sharon Crosby, 89, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away peacefully on May 15, 2022. Sharon was a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. Originally from Minneapolis, Minn., she and her family moved to Arizona in 1959 and resided in Scottsdale. Sharon and her late husband Bob raised six children: Greg, Susan, Peggy, Gary, Cheryl, and Mark.
Before retiring, she worked for Scottsdale Memorial Hospital as an outpatient administrator for many years. She spent much of her retirement volunteering for many charity organizations, including “Neighbors Who Care.” Sharon enjoyed traveling, playing games with her family, and shopping. Sharon never knew a stranger and was known for her friendly conversation and boisterous laughter.
She was preceded in death by her mother Florence, her brother Russ, her sister Kath, and her husband Robert. Private services will be held at Green Acres Mortuary in Scottsdale, Ariz.
On March 23, 2022, we lost our mom, Granny, sister, cousin, and friend. Margaret Delap was born Margaret Ann Person on Nov. 7, 1937, in Roundup, Mont. Her happy childhood was spent in Roundup (where she’d force any bullies to say “uncle” first) and Auburn, Wash. (where she played basketball and was a beauty queen) before graduating high school in 1955. She married Darwin Kellogg in November 1956, and they immediately headed north to Fairbanks, Alaska, to shape their future. It was in Fairbanks where all their children were born, who were the greatest joy of her life. After 10 years, the family migrated from Fairbanks to Salt Lake City and then to Graham, Wash., to follow Darwin’s career as an airline pilot.
Margaret and Darwin raised their five children on a small farm in Graham, teaching them to work hard and have fun. She loved gardening and had a gift for home decorating and cooking. All were welcomed in her home and made to feel like special guests. Margaret and her mom-friends laughingly referred to themselves as the “Graham Crackers.” She also spent many good years in New Hampshire and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, constantly opening her heart to new friends. Known as “Granny” to the grandchildren, Margaret had a lot of fun with all of them, teaching each one to play poker and how to lose to her in Squeal or leg wrestling.
One of her pleasures was experiencing cultures of the world, and she usually traveled with a large group of complicit funsters. She eventually brought her sparkly personality to Sun Lakes, Ariz., where for 20 years she loved to dance and stay involved in all the fun stuff she could fit into her busy schedule. For the past two years, our mom battled cancer—valiantly, courageously, and with humor. Through all the challenges of her illness, her beautiful smile remained steadfast, and her laughter blessed us all. Her smile could have won awards.
She is survived by her children and their spouses, 13 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren (and another on the way), her sister and brothers and extended family, as well as many, many dear friends. When it’s time to see her again, you might first hear her heartfelt laugh, and then you will see her beautiful smile, welcoming you to dance or sing or play a hand of Squeal. Service arrangements are posted on Mom’s Facebook page.
Jay Morton Hocker
Jay Morton Hocker, age 83, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away May 27, 2022, from congestive heart failure after a long illness.
Jay was born Feb. 21, 1939, in San Francisco. After high school, he joined the Air Force and later attended Santa Clara University in California. He was married to his wife Lonni for more than 50 years. Jay worked for 40 years for the railroads, pretending that it was his own personal Lionel Train set! He retired to Sun Lakes, Ariz., from California in 2001 to pursue his passion for golf and his 1965 red Mustang convertible. These interests led him to join IMGA, OMGA, and Sun Lakes Vintage Car Club. In retirement, he continued his interest in SPREC (Southern Pacific Retired Executive Club) of California. He and Lonni liked to travel extensively … especially to Kauai and Antigua.
Jay was preceded in death by his parents, sister, and his oldest son Jay Jr. Jay is survived by his wife Lonni, his sons Louis and Bill from Wyoming, his daughter LeeAnn from Colorado, his daughter-in-law Dinah from Nevada, 10 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Jay will be missed by many friends around the world.
A Celebration of Life will be held later in the year.
Margaret Jean (Daughton) Horn
Margaret Horn of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at age 99. She is survived by her two children: Rick Horn of Crested Butte, Colo., and Candace Cox of Sun Lakes, Ariz.; two grandchildren: Andy Cox (Krystin) of Brooklyn, N.Y., and baby girl Kylo; and Sara Cox Torkos (Evan) of New York City, N.Y.
Margaret was born on Jan. 21, 1923, to Fred and Ethel Daughton in Grand River, Iowa. She is preceded in death by her husband John Kenneth Horn (1999) and two sisters: Betty Irvine and Frances Dickerson. She is survived by her brother Donald and 11 nieces and nephews.
Margaret graduated from Mount Ayr, Iowa, High School in 1940 and received her Bachelor of Commerce degree during World War II from her beloved University of Iowa in 1945. Both children and grandchildren received their bachelor’s degrees at Iowa. Go Hawks!
After college, she was recruited as a management trainee at the Goodyear facility in Akron, Ohio. It was there that Ken proposed to her after returning from the Pacific in World War II.
Married in 1946 in Mount Ayr, Iowa, they moved to Indianola, Iowa, for Ken to earn his bachelor’s degree at Simpson College as Margaret worked as the president’s secretary. Margaret and Ken then moved to Oxnard, Calif., for Ken to begin an MBA at Stanford University on scholarship. She worked in the district attorney’s office as a secretary until they moved to Des Moines, Iowa. Raising two children, she worked as a reference librarian, state association office manager, and then as a legal secretary. She was active at the local and state level of American Association of University Women (AAUW), advocating for women and girls, carrying on her parents’ strong belief in education for women.
Margaret and Ken retired to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 1986 where she was the founding president of the Southeast Branch of AAUW in 1989.
In lieu of flowers, any donations can be sent to American Association of University Women, Southeast Valley Branch, c/o Candace (Horn) Cox, 25854 S. New Town Drive, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248. Please designate “Local Scholarship” to fund needy young women pursuing two-year STEM degrees at the Chandler/Gilbert Community College.
The family thanks Hospice of the Valley for their support and the caregivers who helped her through her final days.
A memorial service will be held in Sun Lakes, Ariz., to be announced. Burial will be in the Leon, Iowa, cemetery.
Deborah “Debbie” Neltner
Deborah “Debbie” Neltner, 75, of Sun Lakes, Ariz. (formerly of Munster, Ind.) passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Tuesday morning, May, 31, 2022.
Debbie was born on Feb. 24, 1947, in Northeast Indiana to her loving parents Florence “Flo” and Warren “Mick” Mickey. Brother Gary welcomed his kid sister into the family. In 1968 she married the love of her life and partner of more than 53 years, Irvin “Irv” Neltner.
In life, Debbie was one of a kind. She was an enthusiastic conversationalist who never met a stranger. She was open, honest, and curious. She had an uncanny ability to discover who someone truly was in a matter of a single conversation. Debbie always went out of her way to make others feel special, valued, and complimented. Debbie was always “put together” and known for her extensive jewelry collection. Her style was bold and expressive. Debbie was famously generous in spirit and commanded whatever room she entered with her gregarious personality. Debbie was a movie lover, artist, avid crafter, and great lover of jewelry and sparkle. Debbie was a lifelong advocate for women’s rights and the rights of the disabled. Her roles as a devoted wife, mother, aunt, and friend were her greatest contribution to this world. Love and care of family was the paramount value in Debbie’s life. This is how she left the world a better place.
Debbie is survived by her husband Irv, sons Matthew (Jill) and Andrew (Heidi), granddaughter Emery, brother Gary (Georgia), and nieces Laura (Dean), Kristen (Peter), and Joanna (James). Cremation has been performed by Wyman Cremation & Burial Chapel. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to My Sisters’ Charities at www.mysisterscharities.org or the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at mssociety.donordrive.com/campaign/Debbie-Neltner-Memorial-Fund.
Sergeant Major Volley H. (Bob) Cole, First Coach in USA Luge History, Passes
A USA luge pioneer racer and coach, and founding member of the International Luge Federation (FIL), passed away peacefully on May 12.
Retired Sergeant Major Volley H. (Bob) Cole was a team member and coach with the United States national and Olympic teams and an FIL official from 1957-72, including stints at three Olympic Games. He represented the U.S. at the 1957 World Championships, the first such event under the banner of the FIL.
Sergeant Major Cole was instrumental in the sport’s break from the International Bobsleigh and Toboggan Federation (FIBT) and helped establish the FIL in 1957. At the first luge world championships that year, Bob was on the first American team to ever compete in that prestigious event. He continued to compete in Europe at the top luge events of that era.
Cole’s interest in sliding sports actually started in bobsledding as a youth. In 1960, Sergeant Major Cole was asked by the U.S. military to organize an American luge program abroad, as there were no U.S. facilities at the time. He spent many years in Germany putting the U.S. team together and recruited athletes who were stationed in Germany and had experience in winter sports. Those early teams trained with Poland, Germany, and Austria in the years leading up to the 1964 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria, when luge made its Olympic debut.
Bob continued as the team’s Olympic advisor in 1968 and was an FIL official in 1972. After those Games in Sapporo, Japan, Cole remained as a coach and Olympic officer traveling the world for international meetings each year. Volley was an FIL Vice President for two terms, and in 1990, became an Honorary Member of the organization.
After completely retiring, Cole and his wife Mary spent 30 years in the Phoenix area where he enjoyed rounds of golf with his many friends.
“Volley was a legend in USA Luge circles,” said Gordy Sheer, USA Luge Director of Marketing and Sponsorships, and a 1998 Olympic silver medalist. “I was lucky enough to talk with him over the years. Always great to hear his stories of the early days of sliding domestically and internationally. He really was the main organizer of all things USA Luge through 1972. He was a pioneer and will be missed.”
Bob appeared in an edition of the Blink Podcast in December 2021. Luge fans will find the podcast at tinyurl.com/nv628j7p.
Volley was born in Richland, Ark. He joined the U.S. Army when he was 14 years old and was 90 years of age at the time of his death in Arizona.
Cole served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, retiring after 30 years as a highly decorated Sergeant Major. Upon leaving the military, he joined the civilian workforce as a contractor for McDonnell Douglas Aerospace Corporation in Saudi Arabia, where he worked for 10 years.
Volley is survived by Mary, to whom he was married for 48 years. He also leaves behind his sister, a lengthy list of loving children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and step-children.
Full military funeral services will be announced for Mt. Vernon Veteran and Mortuary Funeral Home in Fair Oaks, Calif. Flowers are welcome, or donations can be made in Volley’s name to the American Cancer Society.
In the November 2011 issue of the FIL Magazine, Cole remarked, “Luge made me a better person and a better father. It helped me to mature and to grow. Sports are important to build character and develop self-esteem. I think it is essential for young parents to involve their children in sports. It keeps them out of trouble, and if they start young, they will continue until they are adults and will excel in life.”
Dorothy Mae (MacNeal) Young
Dotty Mae Young was born on Aug. 17, 1935, in Parkesburg, Pa., to R. Roy and Mabel MacNeal. She passed from this world to Heaven on May 18, 2022.
Everyone will remember her for her quick wit and beautiful smile. She was one of the bravest people I’ve ever known. She persevered with arthritis in most of her joints and feet. She never complained about her handicap. Dotty was the sweetest wife a man could have ever wished for and will be sorely missed by me and all her many friends.
As I, her husband, worked for GM, we moved several times, and we had friends in Arizona, El Paso, Texas, and Denver, Colo.
Dotty’s chosen profession was teaching. Oh, how she loved it and her students. She started her early education in a one-room schoolhouse (first eight grades). She graduated from Upper Leacock High School in Leola, Pa., where she was a cheerleader.
She began her college studies at UTEP in El Paso and completed her education degree at ASU. She began teaching at Shea Middle School and spent seven years there. We were then transferred to the Denver, Colo., area. She spent 10 years teaching at Euclid Middle School in Littleton. Dotty ended her teaching career at Well Middle School in Dublin, Calif. Actually, after we both retired and traveled extensively, she began to substitute in various schools in the Sun Lakes area.
Dotty was predeceased by her four sisters: Janet Suplee, Alice Garrison, Naomi Hoopes, and Ann MacVeagh.
Dotty is survived by her husband Ron. They would have been married 67 years on June 25, 2022. She is also survived by their daughter Cheryl Hart of Lamar, Colo., and their son Dale of Rosamond, Calif. She is also survived by three wonderful grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and a large extended family of cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Dotty was very active in choirs in every place we lived. The one closest to her heart was our last choir at Sun Lakes UMC, where she also served as a Stephen Minister. Dotty loved Jesus and practiced her faith always.
Throughout her life, we celebrated our faith with music. She also loved singing with several Sweet Adelines choruses. Her chorus in Colorado earned her an International Gold Medal in Atlanta in 1980.
Dotty was a true disciple of Christ. She found him at an early age and praised him until her last breath.
We hosted a celebration of Dotty’s beautiful life at Sun Lakes UMC on June 25 at 11 a.m.
God Bless you all.
A devoted husband, Ron Young
Joyce Jean Switzky, “JoCe
Joyce Jean Switzky, “JoCe,” was born to Ruth and Herbert Heine on May 20, 1944, in Dalton, Neb. She passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on May 24, 2022. She touched many lives and was loved by all who met her.
She was a graduate of Dalton High School in 1962. On Oct. 23, 1965, she married her sweetheart Dale Allen Switzky. They settled in Denver, Colo., and were loyally married for 57 wonderful years. She worked for Mountain Bell, AT&T, and retired with Lucent Technology in 2000. Following retirement, she and her husband moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz.
Joyce was an avid golfer with friends and family throughout the years. She enjoyed the outdoors at their ranch in Wyoming. She was an amazing host to all and a marvelous cook. Her family was always her first priority.
Left behind to cherish her sweet memories are her husband Dale Switzky; daughters: Danette Tafoya and Deanna Ferguson; son Derek Switzky; sister and brother: Carol Brown and Lyle Heine; grandchildren: Shawn Tafoya, Patrick Tafoya, and Alena Switzky; great-grandchildren: Simran Tafoya, Argan Tafoya, and Lily Tafoya; and many other relatives and friends. She was gracefully greeted by her parents and her sister Sonja Vallier, who all preceded her in death.
Per Joyce’s wishes, there will be no services held in her honor. Her family asks that you hold her memory in your heart.