Phillip Franklin Culver
Phillip (Phil) Franklin Culver passed away at home in Sun Lakes on March 14, 2023. He was 83. Phil was born in Sayre, Okla., on July 6, 1939, to Dwight Wesley and Birdie Josephine (Beavers) Culver.
His family was poor so he spent long days in the cottonfields. He also made money singing over the radio. Phil graduated in Elk City, then joined the Army Reserves. That took him to the Four Corners area where he met and married Ernestine Madrid in 1960. They had three children. Phil went to work for Shell Oil, which took them to places like Texas and Louisiana. They finally settled in Farmington, N.M., where he retired after 27 years with Arizona Public Service.
Phil spent time farming with his wife and kids. A few years they raised a five-acre garden of every vegetable imaginable and sold them to local grocery stores and restaurants. Every day they had a new list of bushels to fill. It was a family affair that took all five of them to run smoothly. Once he tired of gardening, he planted 7,000 evergreen trees. Some he sold as Christmas trees, but most went to nurseries and developers for landscaping new subdivisions.
Phil loved spending time hunting and camping in Colorado until he was introduced to the great State of Alaska. In 1981 he bought property in Sterling, Alaska, and built a cabin. There he spent days fishing and nights playing pinochle with some of his favorite people. He made wonderful memories there every summer until he was no longer physically able to make the trip. He lived with Shirley Pechous in Sun Lakes until his death.
Phil is preceded in death by his parents and siblings: Earl, Emmitt, and Clara Culver. He is survived by sister Christena Hauser of Amarillo; children: Michael (Simone) Culver, Michelle (Ernest) DeAnda, and Christina Culver of Farmington; grandchildren: Adam (Amanda) Henley, A.J. (Gina) Henley, Courtney Nelson, Dani (Ty) Davis, Alicia (John) Zaremba, and Adam Zaremba; great-grandchildren: Angeleena, Brayden, Jace, and Maverick Henley; Jack and Quinn Henley; Lane Davis; Zade, Reu, Isla, and Rio Zaremba; and many nieces and nephews. Phil was truly loved and will be greatly missed.
Phil asked that his ashes be spread in Sterling, Alaska. Friends and family will be notified when plans have been made. Contributions in Phil’s honor can be made to his favorite charity, Tunnel to Towers.
Cloie Caudill Dale
Cloie Caudill Dale, 98, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., went home to be with her Savior on April 25, 2023, in Chandler. She passed peacefully in the early morning with her daughter Sherry Shelton and her granddaughter Heather Driggers.
Cloie was born on Nov. 11, 1924, in Lothair, Ky. She moved to Marion, Ind., with her family when she was three years old. She attended Martin Boots High School in Marion. During World War II, she worked at Farnsworth Radio making parts for the war effort. She married the love of her life, Homer Dale, Jr., a World War II U.S. Army veteran, on April 6, 1946, and moved to Fairmount, Ind. Homer and Cloie moved to Marion, Ind., where they raised their two daughters. They later had homes in Danville, Ill.; Springboro, Ohio; Venice, Fla.; and Sun Lakes, Ariz., over the years.
Cloie enjoyed sewing and was an excellent seamstress. She made pillows, dolls, curtains, and clothing for her daughters and grandchildren. She loved interior decorating and enjoyed decorating her home, especially for Christmas. Cloie earned a diploma from the Chicago School of Interior Decoration. She was also a gifted poet and had several poems published in the National Library of Poetry. When they lived in Marion, Homer and Cloie spent many weekends visiting with Cloie’s sisters and their husbands, which created a close family bond that remains with the cousins even now. Cloie loved working in her flower beds, shopping with her daughters and granddaughters, drinking champagne, and everything Christmas! She and Homer loved to dance, go on cruises, and were avid Arizona Diamondbacks baseball fans.
Cloie is survived by daughter Sherryl Ann (Tom) Shelton and their blended family. Included are granddaughter Heather (Todd) Driggers and great-grandchildren Landon, Chaille, and Micah Driggers; grandson Gannon (Anne) Shelton and great-grandchildren Whitney (Tyler) Hollis and Caroline Shelton; grandson Adam (Stephanie) Shelton and great-grandchildren Joshua and Ryan Shelton. She is also survived by Tom’s two children, Cynthia (Emmett) McClure and her sons Brian and Cody Foust, along with Brian’s daughters Makenzie and Alexis Foust; Jeffrey (Lisa) Shelton and their two children Samantha Weldon and Jackson Shelton, along with Samantha’s children Arya and Erik Weldon.
Cloie is also survived by daughter Teresa Elaine (Thor) Degelmann and granddaughters Alexis (Nick) Fitzpatrick, Erica (fiancé Jason Su) Degelmann, and Ashley (Dan) Krieg.
She was preceded in death by parents Irvin and Anna (Morgan) Caudill; her husband Homer Dale, Jr., after 56 years of marriage; six sisters; and three brothers.
A memorial service will be held in Fairmount, Ind., at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Valley by credit card at www.hov.org or call 602-530-6900, or a check can be sent to Hospice of the Valley, 2020 E. Woodside Court, Gilbert, AZ 85297. Be sure to include “in memory of Cloie Dale” on the check memo, and send your name and return address for receipt.
Lynda Fallenberg passed away on Saturday, April 22, 2023. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 24, 1940. She married Marc Fallenberg in 1982. The two of them loved to golf and travel, especially to their favorite spot in Cancun. Lynda also had a passion for animals, especially horses and dogs. Some of her most beloved dogs throughout the years were Patches, Orbit, Oliver, and all of her grand- and great-grand-dogs. She volunteered with Power Paws to train Orbit to be a service dog, and then trained Oliver to be a therapy dog at Chandler Hospital. She was known by many neighbors in Sun Lakes and Chandler to be the tiny woman with the large white dogs.
Lynda was very social and made friends wherever she went. In Cleveland she belonged to the Hunt Club where she played golf. In Sun Lakes she played golf and joined the Sun Lakes softball team. She loved to go to movies, play cards, and go out to lunch and dinner with her friends. She never said no to an invitation.
Lynda was survived by her son Michael Hauser and his wife Jill Hauser and her daughter Sue Parker. She had five grandchildren and their partners: Rachel (Ryan) Davis, Steven (Kristen) Hauser, Kyle (Lorea Stallard) Parker, Sara (Aaron Foster) Parker, and Alix (Omar) Olivarker. She also had seven great-grandchildren: Madeline, Liam, Aidan, Adalina, Lily, Cook, and Avery.
There will be a Celebration of Life at IronOaks at Sun Lakes, 24218 S. Oakwood Blvd., Ballroom C, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248, on June 3, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Arthritis Association at www.arthritis.org and/or Hospice of the Valley at hov.org/donate.
Rodney (Rod) Marshall Glennen
Rodney (Rod) Marshall Glennen passed away unexpectedly at the age of 77 in Chandler, Ariz., on April 28, 2023, with his family by his side. Rod was born in Thief River Falls, Minn., on March 7, 1946, to the late Knute and Alice Glennen. He moved to Grafton, N.D., when he was five and has many fond memories of growing up there.
Rod loved classic cars. The first car he owned was a 1948 Ford Coupe. He bought his first brand new car, a 1963 Ford Falcon, at the age of 17 and traded that in for a 1964 Ford Falcon 2-door hard top the next year because the body style changed. He would not miss a chance to attend a classic car show in town and could identify people by the car they drove.
Rod met his wife Marie in Grafton. They were married on Dec. 31, 1964, and they moved from Grafton in 1966 and made their home in Arizona where they raised their three kids. They celebrated 40 years of marriage before Marie’s passing in 2005. He was a resident of Sun Lakes for 10 years.
Rod was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He answered to many names: Rodney, Rod, Paka, Grandpa Rod, Pops, and Hot Rod. He was a kind and simple man who loved his family fiercely. He could always be found in the audience or on the sidelines of his kids’ and grandkids’ events and games and made many good friends along the way. He loved to tell “dad” jokes, was a stubborn Norwegian at times, a loyal Republican, and loved watching the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, and Suns.
He is survived by his children: Kelly (Brett) Traube, Kevin (Natalie) Glennen, and Keith (Jennie) Glennen; as well as seven grandchildren: Jeff Glennen-Keyes, Blake Traube, Madison Glennen, Kendyl Traube, Connor Glennen (Gabby), Braden Glennen, and Tatum Glennen; and one great-granddaughter, Saylor. Rod was preceded in death by his parents Knute and Alice Glennen and his wife Marie Glennen.
Per Rod’s wishes, there will be no public memorial service. He will be laid to rest next to Marie at Valley of the Sun Mortuary in Chandler, Ariz.
Rod’s family is immensely grateful for the kind words, special memories, and support we have received during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a memorial that has been established in Rod’s memory for later designation.
Jean A. Herald
My mother and Don Herald moved to Sun Lakes in 1992. She worked as an office manager for Auto Stiegler in Encino, Calif., and lived in North Hollywood. She retired, and now her life was in Arizona. She was always a sun worshiper and loved the area and the people. She went to classes for ceramics, and Don did stained glass. She was a member of Sun Lakes Baptist Church for many years and just loved the people there. She greeted members at the door as they arrived for service and liked going to bible school. She just loved being around people. Her down time was when she wasn’t around people. They went on about seven cruises. She lost her husband Don in 2002, I believe to lung cancer. Mother started a very slight memory loss only I could see, because we were so close. I was still working in Las Vegas, so we would talk and write a lot. She would never miss church, though. Mother’s passing was July 14, 2018. She was 83 years young and is next to Don in Sun Lakes. We all miss her and her laugh!
Maishe Levitan, 85, died March 5. He lived in the Sun Lakes community in Chandler, Ariz. A retired principal and staunch unionist, Mr. Levitan was the long-serving president of the RC’s Southwest Unit.
Mr. Levitan was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Manhattan, not far from the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School and earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from City College of New York. Mr. Levitan met his wife Roberta on a blind date when they attended a fraternity party near Brooklyn College. She recalled that he began his career with the DOE teaching in Manhattan. She said her husband taught science in schools ranging from elementary to high school.
Family members described Mr. Levitan as a “selfless, endlessly curious, and funny man who touched everyone who got to know him. He was also a passionate fighter for justice.”
Starting in 1976, Mr. Levitan spent the last 15 years of his career as principal of IS 391 in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. He was offered a higher paying principalship in the suburbs of Long Island, N.Y., where he and his wife raised their two children in Oceanside, but he stayed in Crown Heights, believing he could make more of a difference there.
While at IS 391, Mr. Levitan confiscated guns that students brought to school. Although he was required by law to file a police report each time, he never did. According to his family, he knew students weren’t planning to use weapons in the school; rather, they carried them as protection on dangerous walks to and from the building. Instead, he called students’ parents and turned the weapons over to a police officer whom he knew and trusted.
Toward the end of his tenure at IS 391, the school district ordered that metal detectors be installed at the school. Mr. Levitan refused the order. Because IS 391 scored the highest academically among all urban middle schools in New York City at the time, he was able to prevent the installation of detectors for three years. According to his family, Mr. Levitan thought metal detectors sent a bad message to students: “We teach you that education will lift you into a better life, but we really believe you’re a bunch of criminals,” was the message he thought the detectors would send. Mr. Levitan believed his school was a success story because of the trust that had been built between teachers and students.
The metal detectors were installed after Mr. Levitan retired in 1991. The school’s test scores fell after that, and the city closed IS 391 in 2006.
Mr. Levitan and his wife relocated to Chandler, Ariz., in 2004, where Mr. Levitan “built a second legacy,” according to his family. He was active in the Sun Lakes Jewish Center, sitting on its board of directors and serving as president of its Israeli committee. He was also active in the CSA’s Southwest Unit, serving as president for almost 12 years.
When he retired as leader of the unit in 2019, CSA’s First Vice President Rosemarie Sinclair spoke at the occasion. Her remarks were printed in CSA News the following month under the headline “A Toast To An Educator And Unionist”:
“First and foremost, thank you on behalf of the children and families of New York City. Your dedication, talent and leadership have changed and saved countless lives in the Brooklyn communities you served as an educator, particularly your 35-plus years as a school leader and CSA member. Your incredible impact will be felt for years to come,” said Ms. Sinclair. She went on to thank him for being a “staunch unionist and for all you have done for our retiree chapter here in Arizona.
“I know I speak for everyone in the room when I say this would not be nearly as active and vibrant as it is today if not for your leadership, and we will miss you greatly,” she concluded.
In addition to his active volunteer involvement, his wife said that her husband “loved music.” “Every Saturday, we watched Lawrence Welk,” she said. “He was just a wonderful soul.”
In addition to his wife of 62 years, Roberta Levitan, Mr. Levitan is survived by the couple’s two children, Corey Levitan and Ilana Roga, and five grandchildren, Leah, Jake, Ethan, and Josh Roga, and Skylar Levitan.
Frances Jean Marolla
Frances Jean Marolla (known to her friends as Fran) passed away at 92 years of age during the early morning hours of April 23, 2023, of natural causes. She lived a wonderful and fulfilling life. She was born as Frances J. Simko on June 4, 1930, in the City of Ironwood, Mich., to the proud parents of Mary (maiden name Jarabko) and Martin Simko, immigrants from the countries of Czechoslovakia and Hungary, respectively. Fran was the 11th born of 11 children, all since deceased, which included brothers Martin Jr, Paul, Steve, Emil, Ben, and Ed Simko, as well as sisters Margaret, Sister Mary Martin, Helen, and Ann Simko.
She graduated from St. Ambrose High School in 1948 at Ironwood and received her diploma. She then married on Sept. 27, 1952, for 58 years to her husband Bert W. Marolla from Iron Belt, Wisc., who passed away prior to Fran in 2010. A devout housewife, together they built a life that brought them to various locations, starting with Iron Belt, Wisc., to Ironwood, Mich., to Hoyt Lakes, Minn., and, lastly, Sun Lakes, Ariz., where they retired together.
Fran had two children, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Son Gary Marolla lives in Kent, Wash., with his wife Fengqin Wang Marolla. Daughter Pat Lacy (maiden name Marolla) lives in Kaukauna, Wisc., with her husband Jim Lacy. Fran’s grandchildren are Robin Marolla, Marco Marolla, and Heather Karisny (maiden name Lacy). And her great-grandchildren are Noah Marolla, Addison Karisny, and Emma Karisny.
Fran was athletic and especially loved the sports of bowling and golf, excelling at both and joining competitive leagues throughout her life. She also did crochet, played card games (especially bridge in a club), was fond of music, and was quite a dancer. She could cook, too! And made many cultural Italian dishes for her family. Traveling was an interest, too, cruising the Panama Canal and Hawaii, plus traveling by car throughout the United States from California to New York to Florida.
She belonged to St. Steven’s Catholic Church in Sun Lakes for 37 years where she attended regularly and was very involved in the church choir where she loved to sing. She had many dear friends there that lasted onward.
Fran will be missed dearly by her family and friends. Our thoughts are with her as she enters the kingdom of heaven. May the Lord bless her soul as she enters eternal life forever.
A funeral and mass in honor of Fran will be held in the distant future to take place at St. Steven’s Catholic Church, 24827 S. Dobson Road, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248 (480-895-9266). Afterwards, she will be laid to rest alongside her husband Bert at Valley of the Sun Mortuary and Cemetery, 10940 E. Chandler Heights Road, Chandler, AZ 85248 (480-895-9232).
Gerard (“Gerry”) Nelem
Gerard (“Gerry”) Nelem died Thursday, April 20, 2023, in Sun Lakes, Ariz. Gerry was born in Detroit, Mich., on Aug. 25, 1947, the youngest of three children from Dudley and Josephine Nelem. After graduating from Wayne State University, Gerry worked as a teacher when he met the love of his life, Christine Zelewski. When he and Christine began a family with their daughter Jolee, he began his 40-year career at State Farm Insurance. He was an agent, manager, and Agency Director in Michigan before being elected as a Vice President of Agency for State Farm in Arizona. He and his family, including daughter Jennifer, transferred to Phoenix, Ariz., in 1993. Gerry cherished time with his family, including many travels and adventures. In recent years, many memories were made with his grandkids Ava and Caleb in California. His smile and kind nature were contagious, and he always showed gratitude to others. Gerry was preceded in death by his parents, brother, and sister. He is survived by his beloved wife Christine, his daughters Jolee Bentley (Brandon Bentley) and Jennifer Nelem, as well as grandchildren Ava and Caleb Bentley. Gerry is remembered as a man who loved his family and was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.
A memorial celebration of his life will take place at Valley of the Sun Mortuary & Cemetery, 10940 East Chandler Heights Road, Chandler, AZ 85248, on Thursday, June 1, 2023, at 11 a.m., with a reception immediately following the service.
Daniel Sinykin, age 79.5 exactly, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. He was born on Nov. 3, 1943, in Garden City, N.Y., to Dorothy Edelstein Sinykin and Gordon Sinykin. He was educated at Madison West High School and University of Wisconsin, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, and the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he graduated with his Juris Doctorate. Daniel served honorably as a Captain in the Army in Korea during the Vietnam conflict.
Daniel worked as an attorney at LaFollette Sinykin in Madison, Wisc. He was also a land developer, landlord, and longtime member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, Madison Board of Realtors, and Temple Beth El in Madison. Daniel enjoyed gardening, especially flowers, ice dancing, drum corps, Broadway shows, reading, traveling, family, and especially summers on the lake in Webster, Mass., until a traumatic brain injury befell him on Oct. 12, 2022.
Daniel is survived by his spouse of nearly 49 years, Sheri Cooper Sinykin; his son Aaron Joel Sinykin (Debbie) of Chandler, Ariz.; his son Rudi Samuel Sinykin (Cristina Cavalheiro) of Chandler, Ariz.; and his son Joshua Paul Sinykin (Julia) of Shrewsbury, Mass.; his brother Philip Roy Sinykin (Joan) of Portage, Wisc.; his brother-in-law Steve Anderson of Madison, Wisc.; and his brother-in-law Loren B. Cooper (Ingrid) of Carmichael, Calif.; grandsons Brayden Raine, Logan Casey, Akiva Gilad, Hillel David, and Elon Max Sinykin, and his granddaughter Irina Mazel Sinykin. Daniel was preceded in death by his mother Dorothy Edelstein Sinykin, his father Gordon Sinykin, and his sister Susan Julie Anderson.
A visitation for Daniel was held Monday, May 15, 2023, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Valley of the Sun Mortuary & Cemetery, 10940 East Chandler Heights Road, Chandler, Arizona 85248, followed by a Celebration of Life at 11 a.m.
Memorial donations can be made to World Central Kitchen (wck.org) and Doctors Without Borders (www.doctorswithoutborders.org).
The family would like to extend their gratitude to Devoted Guardians Home Care, Ancelma Camarena, Dr. Irfan Ahmed, and Dr. Huma Rashid.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.valleyofthesunfuneralhome.com for the Sinykin family.