If you would like to submit an obituary for In Passing, please limit your submission to 400 words or less and submit it and a photo (if you have one) via email at [email protected] or online at robsonpublishing.com/editorial.
Previous In Passing posts may be found here or by searching by name in the upper right-hand sidebar.
William Alexander Travis Jr.
William Alexander Travis Jr., age 73, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., died at Chandler Regional Medical Center in Chandler, Ariz., on Nov. 23, 2023. He was known by his family as Bill; his friends and coworkers knew him by Travis.
Travis was born in Albany, Ga., at the Fort Benning Hospital on July 20,1950, to William Alexander Travis Sr. and Geraldine Washington Travis.
After attending junior and high school in Europe, he graduated from CMR HS in Great Falls, Mont., in 1968. Travis served in the U.S. Air Force from 1970-73. He graduated in 1976 from Montana State University. He attended Howard University Medical School in Washington, D.C., until joining the U.S. Marine Corps in 1978, later transferring to the Marine Reserves, retiring as a Major in 1995. He began a second career at the USPS in 1986, retiring in 2007.
Travis’s hobbies included flying, SCUBA, bridge, chess, motorcycles, travel, music, and reading. A member of MENSA and ISPE, he qualified for the 1976 Olympic Trials in the 100-yard dash. He was often described as a soft-spoken and gentle man.
He married Jane Schafer in 2010, and she survives.
Surviving are his mother, Geraldine Washington Travis of Glendale, Ariz.; stepdaughter, Emerson Delacroix of Ypsilanti, Mich.; sister Gwen Anthony (Dave) of Glendale, Ariz.; two brothers, Michael Travis of Renton, Wash., and Gerald Travis (Yosawadee) of Glendale, Ariz.; along with one grandson, two nieces, three nephews, one great-niece, and one great-nephew.
He was preceded in death by a spouse, Deborah Jay; stepdaughter, Jennifer Jay; father, William Alexander Travis Sr.; and sister, Anne Washington.
A Celebration of Life is planned at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, Chandler, Ariz., followed by an interment at the VA National Cemetery of Arizona at 13:30 Dec. 8, 2023. Donations can be made to National Kidney Foundation of Arizona or DAV East Valley Chapter 8.
Paul LaRochelle, a resident of Sun Lakes for more than 40 years, passed away on Nov. 17, 2023. Paul was born on Feb. 4, 1931, in Lowell, Mass., the youngest of nine children of Omer and Emma LaRochelle.
Paul joined the Army Air Force at the age of 17 and served his country for eight years. He recently went on the honor flight for Korean War Veterans to Washington, D.C.
He met his wife, Carole, while roller skating in New York. They were married for 67 1/2 years. He loved his family, his friends, golfing, playing dominoes, and visiting the casinos.
He is survived by his daughters, Diane and Donna (David); his son, James (Elizabeth); five granddaughters, Michelle, Melinda, Cathryn, Andy, and Sarah; and two great-grandchildren, Michael and Adriana.
Charlotte Ann Bell
It is with heavy hearts and deep sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved wife and mother, Charlotte Ann (Sabo) Bell, who left this earthly life peacefully in her sleep on Nov. 14, 2023, just shy of her 82nd birthday. She was born on the 26th of December 1941 in Elyria, Ohio, to Ernie and Elly Sabo. She and her three sisters Sandy Zarzycki, Pam Horvath, and Wanda Gerber grew up in Newbury, Ohio. Charlotte moved to San Diego, Calif., in 1966 with her husband, Roger. They lived there until they retired and moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 2006.
Charlotte was a woman of unwavering faith, a pillar of strength and inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to know her. Her commitment to her personal relationship with Jesus Christ was the guiding force in her life, and she exemplified the teachings of love, compassion, and grace in all that she did.
Her love for music blossomed from an early age. She displayed a remarkable talent for playing the organ and piano, and she dedicated this gift to the service of her church community. Throughout her life, she shared her love of bible teaching along with her musical talents, uplifting the spirits of all she ministered too. She taught the Ministry of Music course at Berean Bible College in San Diego along with many lady’s bible studies in San Diego and Arizona.
Charlotte’s devotion extended beyond the church walls; it permeated every aspect of her being. She was a devoted wife to her husband, Roger, for 58 years, and together they built a home filled with love. Her legacy lives on in her four children: Dennis Bell, Charlene Murphy, Michael Bell, and John Bell.
As a grandmother of seven and a great-grandmother of five, Charlotte’s nurturing spirit continued to touch the lives of generations. Her home was a haven for family gatherings, where she shared stories, and created lasting memories. Her love knew no bounds, and her legacy will endure through the generations she leaves behind.
Charlotte’s impact on the lives she touched was immeasurable, and her absence leaves a void that cannot be filled. However, we find solace in the knowledge that she has been called home to rest in the arms of her Savior, whom she loved so dearly.
A celebration of Charlotte’s life will be held at 1 p.m. on Jan. 15, 2024, at Evident Life Church in Gilbert, Ariz. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the church’s music ministry in Charlotte’s memory.
May her soul rest in eternal peace and may the memories of her love and grace comfort us in the days ahead.
Mary Jane (Dottie) Barnard
Dottie passed away on Mother’s Day this year (May 14, 2023) at the age of 94 from a massive heart attack. We feel that it was “Mother’s Day” to be with Our Heavenly Father. She died peacefully with her loving family at her side.
She was born March 19, 1929. She grew up in Superior, Wis., graduated from East High School, and married her best friend and love of her life, Robert James Barnard. They were married more than 72 years before he passed on Nov. 8, 2019. If you knew them, you loved them! They were both very kind, giving, and caring folks with a great zest for life and a fun sense of humor! They were very positive energy to be around!
Dottie and Bob were known for wonderful dinner parties with family and friends, along with a huge abundance of food as well as variety. Family members would often joke about “putting on the funnel” when they went over for dinner so they could stuff more food down!
Fond memories were created at their cabin in Fish Lake in Minnesota as well as their summer months spent in Alaska near the Kenai River with family. Fishing was a fun time with Dottie; she was the “netter” and would land some big fish, and always had a great fish story to tell you.
They raised four girls, Karen, Roberta Jane, Nancy, and Debbie. They have six grandchildren, Scott, David, Ted, Callie, Robert, and Jessica, and three great-grandchildren, Sierra, Tristan, and Trinity. Dottie is preceded in death by her husband, Robert, daughter, Roberta Jane, and grandson, Scott.
Dottie knew how to light up the room with her infectious laugh and great wit along with her fun sense of humor. We always had vast amounts of laughter and fun at the Barnard house, and it was such a fun time at family gatherings to hear all the laughter.
After moving to Sun Lakes in 2020 Dottie became a Colorist and enjoyed her Monday outings with friends. She also enjoyed the monthly Shirley Temple movies with Lily Whitson and friends, as well as her fun pool time with her friend Reggie Wegman and the many gals and guys she met at the pool. She joined the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church and loved her Sunday School sessions as well as church services. She read the Bible daily. She joined the Grief Counseling group at United Methodist Church and benefited greatly from the teachings and sharing with others. If you are struggling with grief, please consider going to their sessions as it was powerful for her.
Her Celebration of Life will be on Dec. 20, 2023 at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, in the Chapel at 1:30 p.m. located at 9248 E. Riggs Rd., Sun Lakes, AZ. Please contact her daughter, Debbie Flinn, if you plan on joining the Celebration of Life at phone number 602-430-7541.
John Kapranopoulos, age 81, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023. John was born in Tsaritsani, Greece, on May 2, 1942, and came over to the United States at the age of 5 through Ellis Island. John graduated from Central High School and received his master’s degree in history from the University of Nebraska.
John was a man of service and enlisted in the Army at the young age of 19, completing two tours in Vietnam. He was a decorated war hero, a proud member of the 82nd Airborne, and highly respected by the men he called his brothers.
John was married to Dawn Amidon in Manchester, N.H., and the loving couple had two daughters, Katy and Christy, and one son, Johnny. After numerous moves around the world, John retired from the military in 1984 and the family settled down in Sierra Vista, Ariz. John was an entrepreneur at heart, always thinking about what to do next and what new venture excited him. His love for becoming a self-made man and his drive to succeed started from a young age, sitting around the dinner table at the Puritan, his family’s restaurant in Manchester with his older Greek relatives, listening to them discuss business. John started The Beverage House in 1986 with his partner Eli and after 18 years they had successfully opened 13 additional stores throughout the state of Arizona.
John’s passions in serving went beyond his country, he was known to many as someone who always put others before himself. He was always willing to help a friend, a neighbor or a relative. John was an active member of the Boys & Girls Club and often gave to those in need.
He was a successful entrepreneur with a generous heart. A humble war hero and a gentle, loving Papou. A proud Greek and an even prouder father. He had a deep love for cars, sports, travel, and good company. He was the best storyteller and the friend you always wanted around. His love for his family was his highest priority and it was always felt. He was known as a husband, a father, a brother, an uncle, a friend, and a coach.
John is survived by daughters Katy Watson (Chris), and Christy Kline (Dan); son John Kapranopoulos (Alyssa); grandchildren Luca Kapranopoulos, Nico Kapranopoulos, Owen Kline, Dax Kline, Maddie Watson, Teague Watson; and sister Fanny Canotas.
Lynn Weith passed away on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, after succumbing to injuries associated with a recent fall. She was just five days shy of her 89th birthday.
Upon graduating from the University of Illinois, Lynn was a first grade elementary school teacher for more than 30 years and positively touched the lives of many children. Lynn and her husband, Art, were some of the first residents of the Oakwood section of Sun Lakes to retire there from Overland Park, Kansas, in 1996. They found a wonderful circle of friends, and Lynn was particularly active with her Sun Lakes Tennis team. Lynn and Art were both active members of Sun Lakes United Church of Christ and supported the church in many ways through the years.
Lynn loved the many cruise vacations with Art and various friends. She had so many fond memories of their travels. Lynn enjoyed meeting up with friends and in particular, her weekly Sun Lakes Mah Jongg group.
Lynn and Art recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in August 2023. Lynn is survived by Art, who is living in a memory care home near their oldest son Brian and his wife, Michele, in Overland Park, Kansas. In addition, Lynn and Art’s children Steve (and MaryBeth) Weith of Plano, Texas, and Carolyn (and Stan) Wiley of Mooresville, N.C., and their four grandchildren will all miss her dearly.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to a charity of your choosing in her honor.
Lewis Langer passed away on Oct. 29, 2023, at home in Sun Lakes, Ariz., at the age of 93. He was born in 1930 to Lester and Evelyn Langer in Klamath Falls, Ore. Lew graduated from Ashland High, Ashland, Ore., lettering in football, basketball, and track. He played football his freshman year and was in track all four years at the University of Oregon in Eugene, graduating in 1952. He married Shirley Weitzel in 1951.
After receiving his B.A. at Oregon, he began his career with JC Penney in Bend, Ore. After working in Woodland, Calif.; Visalia, Calif.; and Phoenix, Ariz.; he became a Treasury Store manager in Lakewood, Calif., followed by JC Penney manager positions in Fullerton, Calif., and Klamath Falls, Ore. When living in the small community of Klamath Falls, he enjoyed being active and served as campaign chairman of United Way, and was on the board of the Salvation Army and Chamber of Commerce.
Upon retirement in 1990, he and Shirley moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., where he was very active in the Sun Lakes Rotary Club, serving as President and Assistant District Governor. He was active in the HCSC Club for retired JC Penney Executives and served as President of the Valley of the Sun Group and served on the National Board for several years. He was a member of Mission del Sol Presbyterian Church in Tempe and an avid golfer. He and his wife enjoyed traveling throughout the world after retiring.
Lew was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley. He is survived by his children: Larry Langer (Caryn) of Gilbert, Ariz.; Denise Schauer (George) of Chandler, Ariz.; and Ron Langer (Susan) of Bend, Ore.; nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. In addition, he is survived by his siblings Gerald Langer (Joan), Steve Langer (Norma), and Enid Delaney (Ron).
Celebration of Life plans are still pending. Memorials in his name may be sent to Mission del Sol Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund, 1565 E. Warner Road, Tempe, AZ 85284 or The Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 13094, Chandler, AZ 85248.
Jennifer Tellor Bozek
Jennifer Tellor Bozek, age 51, died peacefully at Chandler Regional Medical Center in Chandler, Ariz., on Oct. 27, 2023. Over the last several years, her mother Ann Tellor and aunt Nancy Gooding (both of Sun Lakes) were steadfast in advocating for her care and quality of life after she suffered a severe stroke in December 2020 and ensured that Jennifer knew she was loved, up until her last moments.
Jennifer was born in Syracuse, N.Y., and was raised in Grand Rapids, Minn., with her sisters, Amy and Katie Tellor. Growing up, she enjoyed being part of the Grand Rapids High School marching band and working at Globe Drug, and she especially loved spending time with her closest friends Lynn Olson (nee Zeige) and Sara Wagner (nee Drews).
Jennifer leaves behind three beautiful daughters: Jade Hammann (Coleraine, Minn.) and Jordan Hammann (Dallas, Texas) both from her union with her high school sweetheart David Hammann, and Reese Aune (Hibbing, Minn.). In addition to her family mentioned, Jennifer leaves behind her grandmother Betty Aanes, stepfather Gene Tress, and stepsister Kathleen Fort, uncle Robin Tellor and aunt Valerie Tellor, uncle Mike King, and her many cousins who loved her like a sister—Matthew Gooding, Stephanie Atwater, Georgia Niles, and Tracey Tellor. They were a lovely part of her childhood and contributed to all of the wonderful parts of her.
Jennifer is preceded in death by her husband Ron Bozek, father Rian, grandparents Anna Teller, Bjarne Aanes, and Bonnie Clusiau, as well as uncles Paul Gooding and Terrance Tellor, aunt Ann “Snookie” King, and cousin Michael Gooding.
While Jennifer’s life had many challenges, her family fondly remembers her big, infectious smile, her funny childhood quirks, and her natural ability to connect with everyone around her. Her faith and belief in a loving God never wavered, and her family rejoices in the fact that she is at peace and with the people she loved the most in her earthly life. She will be laid to rest with her father and paternal grandmother in a private service on a later date at Maple Hill Cemetery in Hibbing, Minn.
Robert Paul Rouleau
Robert Paul Rouleau, born Sept. 28, 1939, in Buffalo, N.Y.; passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Oct. 18, 2023, in Chandler, Ariz. Robert (Bob) was raised in Lackawanna, N.Y., where he worked as a young boy and teenager at the local movie theater and his dad’s service station.
At the age of 17, and with his mother’s consent, Bob joined the United States Air Force in 1956 and served honorably until 1960. During his military service, Bob specialized in radar systems and found time to earn his GED since he left high school early to join the military.
Bob met his wife-to-be, Doris, in 1959 at a weekend church choral festival in Chicago, Ill. Their meeting was no coincidence, however. Doris’ mother first met and talked with Bob at the event and was so impressed with him, she played matchmaker. One introduction is all it took, as Bob and Doris married in Chicago, shortly before the end of his military service in 1960.
Bob started his civilian career with Stewart Warner Electronics, leading the young couple to post-war Germany during the escalating Cold War. Bob was instrumental with instructing U.S. pilots in low-level precision flying using guided radar during the Berlin Airlift. On numerous occasions, while walking the Berlin Wall, he witnessed firsthand the tragedies of the Cold War, which he never forgot. Despite these tensions, Bob and Doris enjoyed weekend travel throughout Western Europe in their new Volkswagen Beetle.
Upon returning to the States, Bob continued his education at the University of Illinois Chicago (at Navy Pier), finishing the last two years at the Urbana-Champaign campus, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1967.
After graduating, Bob had many employment opportunities. He ultimately chose a career with IBM where he dedicated the next 34 years selling large mainframe computer systems to multinational companies. Late in his IBM career, Bob traveled extensively around the globe as a competitive marketing manager. These opportunities promoted a passion for people, cultures, and food, particularly in South America.
Bob was a dedicated husband and father of two sons, John (1969) and Mark (1971), who were his pride and joy. His boys always saw him in the stands, behind the bench; being their biggest fan at every game, no matter the hour, inclement weather, or distance. Bob and his sons enjoyed many special moments, memories, trips, and visits together. He was blessed as his family grew, welcoming daughter-in-law Cathy, twin grandsons Michael and Jack, and granddaughter Addison.
Bob and Doris relocated to the Valley in 1993 where he finished his IBM career before retiring in 2001. They moved to Sun Lakes in 2003, where Bob became an integral member of the community. For 18 years, Bob was the “Golden Voice” of the infamous Sun Lakes Monday Night Horse Races, bringing joy to regulars and visiting families and friends. He was also a talented thespian, appearing in eight plays. Bob was a member of the Tempe Diablos, volunteering for the Anaheim Angels during spring training for five years. He was an avid golfer who achieved the remarkable feat of six holes-in-one. Bob was a dedicated member of the PVMGA, serving as president and board member for many years. As a proud member of the Dirty Dozen, he earned the affectionate nickname of “Roll Over.” Bob also volunteered with the Sun Lakes Fire Department CAP program for 10 years and served on the fire department’s board. Bob was an early and long-time board member of the Greater Sun Lakes Community Foundation, and was a cornerstone for the foundation’s work. He served for nine years and resigned only a month before his passing due to his deteriorating health. Bob’s dedication and passion for the community and people earned him the prestigious Crystal Award in 2018.
Bob is survived by his wife Doris; sons John (Catherine) and Mark; grandchildren Michael, Jack, and Addison; brothers, sister, niece, and nephews.
Bob was sincere to his core, with an infectious laugh, genuine smile, and personality that would light up a room and touch all who were around him. To know him was to love him. He was a devoted, passionate, and loving husband to Doris, greatest Jedo to his grandchildren, and the best dad that his two sons, John and Mark, could ever dream to have. He was the definition of unconditional love. His spirit, his lasting effect on his loved ones and friends, and his legacy will forever endure inside us all. “We love you husband, dad, Jedo, and will see you again, someday.”
Janice Ruth Main
Janice Ruth Main, a devoted mother, homemaker, teacher, and worshiper of Christ, passed away peacefully on Oct. 17, 2023. She was born on Dec. 16, 1936, in Dassel, Minn., to Clarence and Goldie Nordstrom, who instilled in her a strong faith and a love for family. She was the middle of five siblings who grew up working and playing on the farm. Janice graduated from Dassel High School and North Park College in Chicago, Ill., where she earned her Associate of Arts Degree. She later completed her B.A. in Home Economics from Illinois State University while raising her three daughters (Annette, Sarah, and Shari) with her beloved husband Delwyn, whom she met in California in 1955 and married in 1958. Janice loved homemaking and served her family with joy and grace. She also taught first grade at Hawthorne Christian School for three years, served as a substitute teacher later, and was a regular Sunday school teacher, touching the lives of many children. She also enjoyed singing in the church choir, crocheting blankets for her loved ones, gardening, cooking and baking, and spending time with her family and friends. She was a faithful member of Sun Lakes Community Church. She leaves behind a family legacy of Christ-followers who will miss her dearly but rejoice in her eternal home.
Janice is survived by her husband of 65 years, Delwyn; children Annette Walker (Douglas) of New Brighton, Minn.; Sarah Hickman (Daniel) of Midland, Mich.; and Sharon Yasseri (Sacha) of Otsego, Minn. Janice is also survived by eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents Clarence and Goldie Nordstrom and brother Ralph Nordstrom.
A Celebration of Life service was held at Sun Lakes Community Church, 9240 E Sun Lakes Blvd. N, at 10 a.m. on Oct. 23. A reception followed.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Casa de Amor (https://azresourcecenters.com/donate).
Gill Ho Bai
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, Gill Ho (Kirho) Bai, loving husband, father, and Republic of Korea (ROK) veteran of the Korean War, passed away at the age of 88. Gill was born Oct. 9, 1935, in Seoul, Korea.
His family lived in Beijing, China, during his childhood where his father was in business. In first grade, Gill spoke Korean at home, Japanese at school (due to the occupation), and Chinese when playing with children after school. He claimed it was “just natural” to switch languages based on his surroundings.
During Chiang Kai-shek’s revolution, the Bai family traveled by U.S. transport as refugees back to Korea. The following years were full of war, fear, and heartbreak. At age 16, Gill lied about his age and joined the ROK Army. He returned home and graduated from Seoul High School after serving his country for about 18 months.
In 1955, he moved to Wilkes-Barre, Penn., to attend Wilkes College where he studied English and mathematics. He later earned his master’s degree in applied statistics from Villanova. Gill worked for Boeing, Emerson Electric, and Anheuser-Busch where he retired as a computer systems analyst. At A-B he participated in Junior Achievement and spent 15 years working with high school students helping them with their business plans and presentations.
He moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 1994, where he enjoyed playing golf, working out, shopping, and cooking. He loved dancing and was an original founder of the Sun Lakes Dance Party.
Gill was preceded in death by his parents Sundo Bai and Bong Choon Park. He is survived by his wife Joyce Patrick-Bai, sister Yong Sook Hong, ex-wife Bernet S. Bai, his sons Ari M. Bai (Jennifer Bai) of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Shawn E. Bai (Michelle Dunlop) of Seattle, Wash., and grandchildren Jordan, Madison, Samuel, Oliver, and Evelyn.
Eleanor Sellers, 86, was called home to Heaven, on Oct. 9, 2023, at Robson Reserve Assisted Living with her beloved husband, Michael, by her side.
Eleanor was born June 26, 1937, in St. Paul, Minn. She grew up in Clinton, Minn., and moved to California in her late teens. It was there she met and married the love of her life, with their marriage lasting 66 years. In 1991 they made Sun Lakes their home, enjoyed their golden years, and continued to live a happy fun-filled life.
Although Eleanor spent most of her life with low vision, she did not let it define her. Over the years, she loved to play cards, run (including 5k races), swim long distance, water ski, follow the Arizona Diamondbacks, visit with her nieces and nephews, and she always loved a good party.
Eleanor is preceded in Heaven by her three sons, Kenneth, Kevin, and Keith; her sister Bea Whitney of Sun Lakes, and brother, Roger Devor of Minnesota. In addition to her loving husband, Michael, she is survived by stepchildren, Pamela Perry and Sheila Sellers of Sun Lakes, and Michael Sellers, Tucson.
Services were held on Oct. 20 at Valley of the Sun Mortuary and Cemetery. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy for the Sellers family may be shared at valleyofthesunfuneralhome.com or sent to 8916 E Copper Valley Lane, Sun Lakes, 85248.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Praise & Worship Center or Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
She walked into many lives along the way and found a group called the Sun Lakes Women’s Association. Her personality lit up the room wherever she was. The women in our association invited her into our club and knew she was a great asset. Over the last few years Vickie proved how dedicated she became to her responsibility to our group with her personality, education and knowledge in finance, composition, and interest in any job she approached. The women in our association could not let her go and voted her to become the president of the Sun Lakes Women’s Association.
For over two years she managed to bring interest to others from our communities. It was never a dull moment when Vickie was around. She shared many ideas in our meetings. She was kind and listened to every member who had an idea about our club and how we could increase membership. Vickie was short, tiny, and caring, and she impressed all who came in contact with her. Besides being wrapped up most of the time with our club she was also a warm and delightful woman. Outside of the frame of our club meetings, Vickie was there for anyone who needed help. I speak for others who knew her—when in need she was there by your side. When my husband and I had health issues, she came to our home to help. She delivered meals to us when we could not go out. She drove me to the emergency room when my husband was in the hospital, and Vickie sat in a room with me for five hours to make certain all was okay. Vickie was a wonderful and devoted mother to her son Michael, and she visited him often in Washington, D.C. She was very proud of him.
Vickie loved to travel and experience other countries, and she helped along the way to those who were not able to have the benefits and care others do. I am certain Vickie had many friends, and has helped others in her path of life. I believe I have spoken for the ladies in our association and asked to write a tribute to an outstanding lady. The Sun Lakes Women’s Association will miss her, her personality, her kindness, and her interests in everything she looked forward to accomplishing.
Vickie left us on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. May she rest in peace.
Jacqueline M. Ruffino-Platt, Sun Lakes Women’s Association
Raymond G. McCoy Jr.
Raymond G. McCoy Jr., 76, recently passed away after a long illness. He grew up in Levittown, Penn., graduated from Neshaminy High School, and earned a B.S. in marketing from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn.
As was the trend in New Jersey, young people would rent houses at the Jersey shore for the summer. It was here that Ray met Margaret (Margie) Pratt. They were married in February 1974 and lived in Delran, N.J.
Ray was always passionate about the automotive industry, and his first job was with Ford Motor Co. He then accepted a position with AMC Jeep and was transferred to Portland, Ore., where their two sons were born. They had lived there eight years when Ray accepted a position with Mercedes-Benz of North America.
Ray and his family moved several times while working for Mercedes with stops in Jacksonville, Fla.; Mission Viejo, Calif.; Houston, Texas; and Agoura, Calif. He retired to Palm Desert, Calif., and lived there almost 20 years before moving to Sun Lakes, Ariz., to be closer to family.
Ray is survived by his wife of 49 years, Margie, his son Raymond McCoy III and his wife Heidi of Chandler, Ariz., his son Kevin McCoy of Fort Worth, Texas, his two grandchildren, Colin McCoy and Caitlin McCoy of Chandler, Ariz., and his sister Rosemary Metzen of Galloway, N.J.
He will be missed by his family and all all who knew him.
Maynard and Mitzi Iverson
Longtime Sun Lakes residents, Maynard and Mitzi Iverson, passed away a month apart this last August and September, under very different circumstances.
Maynard was an accomplished educator. After receiving a Master of Education degree from Colorado State University, he taught for several years in North Dakota. In 1971, he received a Doctorate in Philosophy from Ohio State University. Professorships followed at major SEC universities—Kentucky, Auburn, North Carolina, and Georgia.
Mitzi was a member of Daughters of the American Revolution and volunteered with Neighbors Who Care, an organization that assists the homebound, disabled, and/or frail elderly. In retirement, Mitzi also became interested in genealogy. In researching her family line, she discovered new relatives along the way. Ever creative, she knitted scarves and shawls and made greeting cards, which she sold at local craft fairs.
Last November the cascade began. In the middle of the night, Maynard fell and broke his femur, leaving him bedridden in a care facility. Mitzi found herself living alone for the first time in her life. In a car with friends she was involved in an automobile accident that left her with broken ribs and neck brace she was forced to wear for the next seven months. After finally having the brace removed she was free to drive again.
A second auto accident occurred not long after, one which Mitzi did not survive.
Maynard remained in the care facility, undergoing physical therapy in hope he would be walking again soon. Except now his wife of 59 years was gone.
After gradually regaining strength in his legs, Maynard began to weaken. Only it turned out to be much more than that. Tests at Chandler Regional revealed a collapsed lung, and most shockingly, undiagnosed stage 4 cancer that had already spread to his bones. Maynard passed a week later, just a month on from Mitzi.
The Iversons loved their time in Sun Lakes … two decades surrounded by family, and so many newfound friends.
Life can take unexpected turns. It seems death can as well.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Maynard’s honor on Nov. 6, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at St. Steven’s Catholic Church, 24827 S. Dobson Rd. in Sun Lakes.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his name to the Knights of Columbus, kofc.org.
Nancy T. Bunce
Nancy T. Bunce passed away on Sept. 25, 2023, at the age of 87. Nancy was born on Oct. 27, 1935, in Mansfield, Ohio, to the late Walter Harley Teeters and Marie Vivian Teeters.
Nancy was raised in Pittsburgh, Penn., until her marriage to Charles W. Bunce, Jr. in 1957 when she moved to Butler, Penn., until 1966. The two then moved to Pueblo, Colo., and lived there from 1966-1992. Nancy also resided in Kingsport, Tenn., Fairfax, Va., Columbia, Md., and Jacksonville, Fla., before finally settling in Sun Lakes, Ariz., for her later years in life.
Nancy obtained her BA double major in History and Art from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Penn., launching her into a lifelong extraordinary career in Advertising and Marketing, among many other equally successful endeavors.
From small beginnings as a freelance artist to a Consultant/Seminar Leader for Professional Concepts Marketing/Health Care Corporations throughout the United States, Nancy’s accomplishments were too numerous to mention. Among them, she became well-known for evolving Ad/Art into The Nancy Bunce Agency, a full-service advertising company. She was truly a trailblazer in the community, infiltrating her advertising talents into the vast majority of businesses in Pueblo, Colo., from 1980-1992. Her logos were everywhere emanating her special brand of brilliance and style; some are still in existence today, including the city of Pueblo logo.
Nancy was a past member of the Pueblo Advertising and Marketing Association, Southern Colorado Press Club (SCPC), Pueblo Chamber of Commerce, Junior League, Dream Weavers, Union Avenue Historic District, PEO, and numerous other groups and boards. More recently, she was a member of the Cabin Quilters Friendship Group and Book Club, Agave Quilters, Sun Lakes Cloggers, Iron Oaks Image Committee Chair and logo designer, Unit 36C Inaugural Unit Captain, and founder/co-founder of the Annual Lake Diamond Luminaria Walk, monthly unit luncheons, and happy hours, which continue today. She and Charlie built the first house on Lake Diamond therefore Nancy participated in all unit functions and helped with planning, decorating, and welcoming all with her distinct talents.
Among her countless awards and accolades, she was a recipient of the Who’s Who Outstanding American Women, SCPC Person of the Year (1980), Kimberly Clark National Award for Excellence in Graphic Design, McEachern National Award for Hospital Public Relations Campaigns, quilt block design awards, and art show/publication cover page awards for her paintings. Nancy even illustrated the Hi-Fashion Sewing and Tailoring Book and Pueblo Junior League Cookbook.
Nancy lectured at regional and national dental conventions and numerous advertising seminars and workshops. She was a highly respected Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern Colorado (now CSU-P) Mass Communications Department; Skilled Account Executive, and creative savant infamous for her brilliance, talents, intense attention to detail and loving touches. Her talents led to designing hundreds of logos for local and national companies including the IronOaks neighborhood of Sun Lakes and left an amazing legacy of her creative genius in the communities where she lived, worked, and volunteered. Thankfully we have the archives of her talents as her style and passion live within them.Read More
Nancy enthusiastically created elaborate gourmet gift basket concepts and illustrated catalogs for the uber-unique Seabel’s Gourmet Gift Shop, executing thousands of extraordinary one-of-a kind baskets for clients, corporate accounts, and celebrated people around the world with her distinct style and flair.
She elevated Mr. Bulky Candy Store franchise offerings with her creative basket design skills (Kingsport, Tenn.; Fairfax, Va.; Columbia, Md.) to top of the company awards garnering the attention of owner/former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith.
Nancy transferred her coveted skills to American Online (AOL), where she excelled in customer service during the night shift and soon became owner Steve Case’s assistant at the Jacksonville, Fla., location. Her leadership, creative skills, and tireless hard work were honored with many awards and honors.
She was a voracious reader (especially loved historical fiction), expert proofreader, Thomas Jefferson admirer, Civil War buff, the keeper of family history, art aficionado, calligraphy artist, humble, kind, generous, selfless, dedicated, friend to all, fabulous cook, lover of cheesecake, chardonnay, cherry turnovers, salmon, avocado toast, coffee, animals, and someone whom it seemed could do anything. She was known for her extensive book club presentations, keeping up with the ducks and birds in her backyard on Lake Diamond, Wordle and other crossword/word game skills, and love of jigsaw puzzles. She was commonly referred to by friends and family as the most amazing, creative, brilliant person they knew. She never sought recognition but could not avoid it as it seemed everything she touched was a success. Late in life, she jokingly learned to keep quiet if she did not want to get involved and end up leading a project.
She had fond memories of her time at Chatham College (now University), especially being chosen as part of an elite group to have lunch with poet Robert Frost and earning the honor to reside in Andrew Mellon’s former study that was converted into a dorm room in his historic home on Chatham’s beautiful campus, designed by Frank Law Olmstead. Her roommate often regaled her with stories of babysitting for the Oppenheimers in Princeton, N.J.
She and Charlie loved to travel by car, and over the years visited most states and even traversed into Baja, Mexico, to visit their daughter.
Even after all these beloved endeavors, experiences, and rewards, quilting was her true passion and she finally enjoyed in her retirement years getting to create a bounty of beautifully hand-quilted treasures for her family to covet in her memory. Mumsey also looked forward to monthly family zoom get-togethers and the daily google photos shared of her great grandsons. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her as she left an indelible mark on our lives. We take comfort in knowing she is at peace and was surrounded by love when she passed.
Nancy is survived by her husband of 66 remarkable years, Charles W. Bunce, Jr.; daughters, Martha (Greg) Thomas, Mary Oldham, Cheryl Gonzales, Karen (David) Sheff; son, Charles W. Bunce, III (Shanynn); grandchildren, Luke (Christine) Thomas, Thad Thomas, Taylor Oldham, Brady Oldham, Buddy (McKinley) Gonzales, Elizabeth Bunce, Jonathan Bunce, Stephen Bunce; great-grandchildren, Matthew Thomas, Caleb Thomas; and her sister, Patricia T. Marine. She is preceded in death by her parents, and her infant sister, Mary Ellen Teeters.
The family would like to give special thanks to: THEMA Hospice, Chandler Regional Medical Center, and friends and neighbors in Sun Lakes.
At Nancy’s request, no services will be held at this time. A private family Celebration of Life to be held at later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Nancy’s memory to Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Va.; Neighbors Who Care, Sun Lakes, Ariz.; Aimee’s Farm Animal Sanctuary, San Tan Valley, Ariz., or to Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Penn.
On Sept. 22, 2023, the last day of summer, the bright light and spirit/soul of June Wagner, 84, departed from Arizona on a stairway to heaven. She is survived by her daughter Danielle, son Steve (Ashley), two grandchildren, two siblings/two nephews/and a niece in Quebec, Canada, where she was born. June was named after the brightness of summer and the beauty of summer roses in the garden by her mother, Cecile. June lived an exemplary life. In her younger years, she left Quebec for California as she was a registered nurse, nurse educator, and gerontology entrepreneur, having received a master’s degree from California State University. She married John Wagner, an aerospace engineer, whose significant accomplishment was that he did complex mathematics to help Neil Armstrong land on the moon. They had raised their two children in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., and enjoyed countless cruises all over the world until John’s passing in 2011. This past August, June and her daughter enjoyed a cruise from Florida to Quebec to visit family, but also visited Niagara Falls. This photo was shot on that cruise. Danielle is grateful to have had that time with her precious mom.
June was beautiful on the inside and out. She was the former president of a Sun Lakes Table Tennis Club and was a member of the Sun Lakes Lady Putters group. She even participated in the Arizona Senior Olympics in table tennis. We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from her including how to look good in leggings at 84 and look years younger than on her driver’s license. She was an avid gardener, tending to her bougainvillea, and enjoyed the Arizona sunrises and sunsets on her patio swing when it was a reasonable temperature outside.
Thank you to the volunteers at Neighbors Who Care and other friends and family who improved the quality of her life. In lieu of flowers, take a moment and do an unexpected act of kindness to help a random stranger in need in June’s name. Play ping pong, go on a cruise, water a plant, swing in a swing, or get a glaucoma test and say, “This is for you, June.” These are just some ways to honor her. It also reminds us to remember to carpe diem and live each day fully, as one day can quickly and unexpectedly turn into the last.
Carol Jeanne McIntyre
Carol Jeanne McIntyre, 86, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away on Sept. 18, 2023, after hospitalization for medical care.
Carol was born on Nov. 28, 1936, near Mohall, N.D., to loving parents Marvin and Alice Iverson. She is survived by her loving husband of 44 years, Leonard “Jay” McIntyre, their daughter, Heather (Bill) Woodward, and three grandchildren: Lynden, Myla, and Kellan; their son Trevor (Holly) McIntyre; brothers Maynard Iverson (Mitzi, deceased), Gary Iverson and Kathleen (Mike) Woodard, four nephews and nieces: Mike and Melissa Iverson; Thomas (Julia) and Alyssa Woodard; two great-nephews, Levi and Maverick Woodard. She will be missed by her loving extended family and numerous friends.
After high school in Mohall, Carol went on to graduate with a degree as a Registered Nurse in 1957 from St. Joseph’s Hospital, Minot, N.D.; a B.S. in Nursing at St. Louis University, ’60; School Nurse Certification at SDSU, CA ’70; School Nurse Practitioner at UCSD ’72; MA in Human Behavior USIU, CA ’74; MSN in Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing at UNMC, NE ’94. Her clinical nursing experience included 15 years of hospital nursing in Minot, St Louis, and Hollywood, Calif., before joining the United States Air Force (USAF) Nurse Corps in 1966. Her Air Force tours included Wright-Patterson/AFB (OH), Norton/Travis/March AFBs (CA), Andrews AFB (D.C.), Flight Nursing Course, Brooks AFB (TX), AF Chief Nurse Conferences—Sheppard AFB (TX), Offutt AFB (NE), and Maxwell AFB (AL). Carol achieved numerous lifelong certifications and awards along her nursing career spanning 43 years. Carol entered Active Duty as a Captain and ultimately served 20+ years in the USAF Reserve, NC—10 years as a Chief Nurse, and retired as a full Colonel.
In 2000, Carol fully retired and spent her time with Jay while supporting numerous Parish activities, including St. Stephen Ministries and Church & Society Committee leader, eagerly participated in Catechesis, Bible Studies, and Ladies Guild where she managed the St. Steven’s Prayer Line, and many others.
Services will be held at St. Steven’s Catholic Church, 24827 S. Dobson Road, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248 on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023. A Rosary will begin at 9:30 a.m. followed by a traditional Funeral Mass at 10 a.m., Military Honors in the Courtyard after mass, and a luncheon in the Great Room.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to your favorite charity.
Condolences may be expressed at www.buelermortuary.com.
Pamela Crowder Petersen
Pamela Crowder Petersen, born Aug. 20, 1945, in Asheville, N.C., and departed this life for the next on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, at home in Sun Lakes, Ariz.
Pamela Joyce Crowder Petersen, daughter of William and Mildred Crowder, oldest of four children, spent her formative years in Hendersonville, N.C., attending Hendersonville public schools from 1st-9th grade. Job-related family moves forced her to change schools several times in her high school years; subsequently, she graduated in 1963 from Chattanooga High School, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Pam attended Memphis State University, Memphis, Tenn., graduating in August 1967 cum laude earning a B.A. degree with a double major in literature and journalism. Following graduation, Pam taught at Sacred Heart School in Memphis for several years, then at Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Ky., and Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein, Ill., before starting a 27-year stint at Rolling Meadows High School (RMHS) during which time she also earned her M.A. from DePaul University. A certain fellow teacher and soccer coach at RMHS caught her eye and she and Charles “Chuck” Petersen were married Dec. 21, 1974, at St. Hillary Episcopal Mission Church, Wheeling, Ill.
At RMHS, Pam introduced hundreds of students to the wonderful works of Chaucer, Dickens, and Shakespeare as well as modern writers Thomas Wolfe and James Dickey; was staff member for the school paper; and taught Humanities for college bound students. Pam and Chuck retired from teaching at RMHS and moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 2003.
In 1992, Pam and Chuck adopted their first retired racing greyhound. Over the years, they adopted eight dogs and usually had at least two racing retirees sharing their lives for the past 30 years. Pam just loved these regal dogs that she found first in ancient literature (Greek and Roman mythology as well as the Bible).
In Sun Lakes, Pam found an outlet for her creative side in watercolor, pottery, and ceramics. Pam joined Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in 2006 and served as chaplain for the Sun Lakes Chapter for four years. She was active in the American Association of University Women, United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Sun Lakes Democrat Club.
Pam is survived by her husband, Chuck, and siblings Craig Crowder, Kiefer, Okla.; Bill Crowder, Dallas, Texas; and Lynn Glover, Troy, Tenn.
A memorial service will be held in Sun Lakes, Ariz., on Dec. 5, 2023, 1 p.m., Bueler Mortuary.
In loving memory of Gary Neffenger, who passed away on Sept. 3, 2023. He was born on Feb. 21, 1939, in Detroit, Mich., and his journey through life was marked by love, service, patriotism, and dedication.
After graduating from Ohio’s Elyria High School, he enlisted in the Navy, proudly serving his country for five years. Afterward, fate brought him together with the love of his life, Kathie, in 1964. Their love story endured for an incredible 59 years.
They raised their family in Amherst, Ohio: Gary Jr. (Chris), Christine (Michael), Amy (Jim), Dave (Velvet), and preceded in death their beloved son, Michael. This family grew with 16 grandchildren. Gary worked for B.F. Goodrich for 35 years, retiring in 2001.
For many years, Gary and Kathie were members of Amherst’s St. Joseph Parish and contributed to the faith community through sharing their talents such as playing guitar at mass. They believed the core of a strong family is one that is rooted in both marriage and faith. They actively helped couples and families via various programs such as Pre-CANA, Baptism preparation, Marriage Encounter, and Retrouvaille. Gary also served as a Cub Scout leader and volunteer Red Coat at Cleveland Playhouse Theater.
Upon retiring, they moved to Englewood, Fla., to care for his stepfather, Pete. In 2005, they moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., and soon became intertwined in the community. Gary was involved with the Desert Arts Group and Oakwood Art League and was one of the founding organizers of the annual Art at the Lakes show. Gary enjoyed many trips together with Kathie, especially to lighthouses and National Parks.
Family was always first for Gary, as evident from the love he never hesitated to express, and music that he brought into the home. Gary was a warm, caring, and humble man. He was never the one to seek the spotlight, but his presence made everyone feel comfortable and welcomed. His smiles, laughs, and hugs were long-lasting.
In addition to Gary’s wife and children, also surviving are his siblings: Heidi, Gretchen, Peter, Todd, Carel, and John and preceded in death by his brother, Brian, and his parents, Carel and Janet.
A memorial service to remember and celebrate Gary will be Friday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. at St. Steven’s Catholic Church, Sun Lakes. Navy Honors will immediately follow the service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank.
John (Jack) Voight
John (Jack) Voight born May 28, 1936, in Binghamton, N.Y., died of lung cancer on Sept. 2, 2023, at home in Carmichael, Calif., at the age of 87.
Jack is survived by his children Debbie Richardson (Mike), Sherri Holmes (Keith), Julie Ahern (Patrick), and John, Jr. (Joelle); his five grandchildren Garrett, Adam, Logan, Devon, and Ava; his great-grandson, Hayden; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents (Clifford and Eleanor), his sister Jane, his brother Delbert, and his wife, Joy.
Jack was a successful high school wrestler and baseball player at Kingston HS in Pennsylvania. Shortly after graduating high school, he was married and had his first two daughters, with whom he sadly lost touch for decades. He remarried in 1963 and later had Julie and John Jr. and was married to Joy for nearly 52 years before her passing in 2015.
After graduation, he entered the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Texas, where he served for four years. After his discharge and a short stint back in Pennsylvania, he moved his family to California where he worked for Carnation Milk Company and later went on to own a wholesale distributorship for the company. In 1974 he entered the apprenticeship program and later became a journeyman for UA Local 342 as a pipefitter, where he ultimately rose to foreman.
In 1976, after he helped a friend move to Tahoe, the family moved to Incline Village, Nev., where he and Joy made many friends and enjoyed raising their family in a slower paced environment until he decided he needed to get back to his occupation as a pipefitter and moved back to Concord, Calif., until the time came to retire.
Jack and Joy retired to Sun Lakes, Ariz., where they lived their happiest lives, enjoying an active adult community, where they had dozens of friends. Jack picked up golf quickly and got as low as an 11 handicap. He enjoyed working in his garage and making golf clubs for himself as well as friends and family.
Believing he would never see his eldest daughters again, he was overjoyed when Debbie showed up at his home in Arizona in 2018 and he was reunited with her and Sherri, which was truly a blessing. All four of his children were together with him in July and spent time telling stories, looking at photos, reminiscing, and enjoying a friendly game of cornhole (where he still had the competitive spirit).
Jack did not wish to have any services after his passing. His ashes (along with Joy’s) will be inurned at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, in Dixon, Calif.
Eugene and Janice Savage
Eugene Bernard Savage and Janice Jane (Chase) Savage, both of Sun Lakes and married for 60 years, have been joyfully reunited after a two-year physical separation. They are together again after Gene invited Jan to join him in “moving one more time,” into a big white house he had presented to her in her recent dreams.
Born in 1935 in Schuyler, Neb., Eugene left the physical world on June 24, 2021, after a heroic battle with cancer. He kept his battle mostly private, wanting to care for and be by the side of Jan, his beloved wife of 60 years throughout his treatment. He succeeded admirably as he did with all things in life, but as the battle became too great for even the strongest hero, he passed away peacefully. He spent his career with the Burlington Northern Railroad, retiring to Sun Lakes and enjoying three decades of golf beside competitive friends.
Boin in 1943 in Sutherland, Neb., Janice was a mother, a homemaker, an amazing salesperson for Sears Roebuck for more than a decade, an incredible cook, and a loving grandmother. Jan grieved deeply for Gene, and never wanted to be without her hero. She entered hospice care in July as she began to dream of Gene and the white house he promised. Finally, she accepted his invitation and passed peacefully on Sept. 2, 2023.
Preceded in passing by Gene’s parents Alois and Celia, Jan’s parents Wayne and Lillie, and their infant son Patrick, Gene and Jan leave behind loving family. They are survived by daughter Annette and her beloved husband Mike, son Timothy, and granddaughter Maple. Beloved nephews David Savage and his wife Dina, and Mike Savage and his wife Kim answered the call to be nearby when distant family could not, and we are grateful for the presence and love they shared with their Uncle Gene and Aunt Jan. Numerous nieces, nephews, and their children remember Gene and Jan fondly.
We are grieving their losses, but we are joyful in knowing they have been reunited at last. We hope they’re sipping iced tea together in that big white house, undoubtedly overlooking the third fairway, and holding hands once again.
Mom and Dad, we love you. We are joyful that you are together once again. And we will miss you so very much.
Constance Elizabeth Rome
Constance Elizabeth (née Wold) Rome of Stillwater, Minn., (formerly of Anchorage, Alaska, and Sun Lakes, Ariz.) passed away peacefully into the arms of Jesus on Aug. 25, 2023, at the age of 87, surrounded by her family.
Connie was born in St. Paul, Minn., on Oct. 19, 1935, to Reverend Norman P. and Marguerite Wold. Connie was a 1953 Stillwater High School graduate. She attended Gustavus Adolphus College, graduating in 1957 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a secondary education licensure.
While at Gustavus, a fellow sorority sister set her up on a blind date with Dick Rome. Soon after, he proposed to Connie and their adventure began! Dick moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where he worked at Evergreen Memorial Chapel as a funeral director, and later, as a partner. Connie followed him to Anchorage the summer of 1959. She taught English at Central Junior High School.
Connie married the love of her life, Richard Rome, on Dec. 26, 1959, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minn. Children Stuart, Kelly, and Amy followed the next six years.
After Dick’s retirement in 1994 and 35 years in Anchorage, Connie and Dick moved to enjoy winters in Sun Lakes, Ariz., and summers in Woodbury, Minn. While in Sun Lakes, she immersed herself in all social aspects of their Oakwood Country Club community—MN/AK picnics, Lady Putters, Wine Club, New Year’s Eve galas, Sun Lakes Ladies’ Luncheons, and Sons of Norway. They were active members of Holy Trinity Lutheran in Chandler, Ariz., and Trinity Lutheran in Stillwater, Minn.
In 2018, Connie and Dick moved to Stillwater, Minn., to be closer to family. Connie had a strong and steadfast faith. We will miss her beautiful smile. She is forever in our hearts.
Connie is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Richard (Dick) Rome; son Stuart (Lori) Rome; daughter Kelly (John) Johnson; daughter Amy Rome; grandchildren Ethan, Alexander, Emily, and Anders, Katelyn, Lauren (Cole), Megan, and Ashley; great-grandchildren Landon, Brady and Lincoln; brothers Norman (Norma) Wold and J. Stephen (Mary) Wold; and Mary Beth Wold.
Memorials preferred to Trinity Lutheran Church, Central Lutheran Church (Anchorage, Alaska), or Gustavus Adolphus College.
A celebration of Connie’s life will be held at 11 a.m., on Sept. 7, 2023, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minn. Family and friends may visit one hour prior. Luncheon to follow service. Interment at Union Cemetery in Maplewood.
Cherie Marie Esperance Dankas
It is with heavy hearts that we remember Cherie Marie Esperance Dankas, who passed away on Aug. 24, 2023, at the age of 77. Despite her long and difficult battle with lung cancer, Cherie remained strong, resilient, and full of humor throughout her journey. She was blessed to have an incredible team of doctors, nurses, and close friends who provided her with unwavering support every step of the way.
Cherie’s experience as a hospice nurse made her an exceptional patient. She offered guidance, wisdom, and empathy to her family and friends as they cared for her and prepared for her eventual passing.
Cherie had an unmatched sense of humor, and she could always make any room she walked into brighter with joy and laughter. She had a fondness for playing games, particularly mah jongg, Mexican train, and ponytail canasta, where she enjoyed the excitement of friendly competition and camaraderie. Her passion for greyhounds was evident in her beloved companions. Cherie took great pride in her San Francisco roots, and she was always eager to share stories of her hometown.
Above all, Cherie’s love for her family brought her the greatest joy and fulfillment. Her legacy lives on in the hearts of her children, Betty and Sally, and their families, including Dan, Carter, Caitlyn, and Ezra.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider supporting one of the organizations that held a special place in Cherie’s heart: Neighbors Who Care, AZ and Arizona Adopt A Greyhound.
LeRoy Gordon Hurler
On Aug. 24, 2023, LeRoy Gordon Hurler passed away with his devoted wife Druscilla at his side.
LeRoy, the eldest son of Raymond and Dorothy Hurler, was born on Dec. 10, 1934, in Nogales, Ariz. He attended high school in Phoenix, Ariz., and graduated from Arizona State University in Tempe. It was there he met his first wife, Judith Gail Jones. They married as Leroy joined the U.S. Air Force and promptly went to Germany for his post.
It was there that he found two lifelong passions: aviation and skiing. He was trained to fly numerous jets, helicopters, and planes in the Air Force. He would continue his passion for aviation throughout his life by continuing to fly small aircraft and attending air shows and museums.
He took to the snow as often as possible, and enjoyed plying his skill on slopes not only in Europe while in the Air Force, but also in the U.S. upon his return. He especially loved to ski in California (Tahoe, Big Bear, and Mammoth), and also in Utah and Colorado.
LeRoy always loved art, music, and enjoyed dancing. He was a gifted cartoonist in college, working for the college newspaper. He was an accomplished woodworker and built furniture, a wooden rocking horse for his daughter, and replicated a patio cover for his home in Valencia, Calif., from one he had admired in Hawaii. He enjoyed watching the NFL and Arizona Sun Devils football. He also enjoyed playing racquetball and had a love/hate relationship with his golf clubs.
Upon his medical discharge from the Air Force, LeRoy and Judy relocated to southern California where LeRoy worked briefly for Lockheed and then for General Motors in Van Nuys from where he would eventually retire.
Judy and LeRoy were married for 15 years and were parents to three daughters: Shelley, Felicia, and Shannon. After they divorced, he spent a few years single in Reseda, Calif. There he met Druscilla Desuyo through mutual friends and they married, ending his bachelor days and adding stepdaughter Mari Donna to the family. They have been married now for over 40 years.
LeRoy also had a lifelong interest in photography. He built a black and white darkroom in the garage of his home in Saugus, Calif. His travels and his daughters were the subject of his many photographic experiments. He took scores of 35mm print and slide film throughout the years, and after retiring to Sun Lakes, Ariz., he volunteered as a video cameraman for local TV Channel 49.
Druz and LeRoy shared a love for travel and spent many summers in their RV traversing the country and venturing into both Canada and Mexico. They also enjoyed many trips overseas to Europe as well as to Druscilla’s home country of the Philippines.
He was predeceased by father Raymond Leroy Hurler, mother Dorothy Finn Hurler, brother Dale Hurler, and sister-n-law Carolyn Hurler.
He is survived by his wife Druscilla Hurler; daughters Shelley Dahme, Felicia Bender, Shannon Ravis, and Mari Donna Nathanson; sons-in-law Scott Nathanson and Bill Dahme; nephews Dwight and Scott Hurler and their families; niece Melissa; and granddaughters Miranda Bender, Phoebe Bender, and Rachel Nathanson.
Lillian “Lil” Abild
Lillian “Lil” Evelyn Abild (nee Kronaizl, Vernon), of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away peacefully at Emerald Groves Assisted Living on Aug. 22, 2023, at the age of 88. Lil was born on a farm outside of Utica, S.D., on April 1, 1935, to Joseph and Sophie (Kortan) Kronaizl; she was the youngest of 10 children.
Lil married former husband William “Bill” Vernon on Sept. 8, 1956, in Vermillion, S.D. Together they had five children and lived in various places across the Midwest with International Harvester Corporation for which Bill worked. They eventually settled in Naperville, Ill., in 1976.
Rudolph “Rudy” Inman Abild and Lil were married on Jan. 4, 1996, and lived in Naperville, then moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., for their retirement. Together they enjoyed tennis, bridge, traveling, and participation in Saint Steven’s Catholic Church. To Lil’s great sadness, Rudy passed away in 2010.
Ever active and social, Lil continued to live a full life in Sun Lakes through many social activities. She enjoyed her summer visits to Juniper Ridge, playing tennis and pickleball, and following her favorite sports teams, the Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bears. She loved living in Arizona and the Sun Lakes Community.
In addition to her parents, Lil was preceded in death by her daughter Kathyrn Jean Vernon, all of her siblings, her former husband Bill Vernon, and beloved husband Rudy Abild.
Lil is survived by her children: Deborah Vernon, Bill (Brenda) Vernon, Mark (Karee) Vernon, and Linda Vernon; six grandchildren: Ryan (Beth) Buxbaum, Grant Buxbaum, Taylor Vernon, Haley Vernon, Flint Vernon, and Sophie Vernon; two great-grandchildren: Kohen Buxbaum and Crew Buxbaum; as well as numerous extended family members. She is also survived by Rudy’s children: Debra (Ed) Schaubeger, Kathleen (David) Winter, Brian (Pat) Abild, Mark (Catherine) Abild, and Lisa (Garth) Carter. Additionally, Lil will be missed by friends in the many places she lived and worked during her lifetime. A special thank you to all the Sun Lakes friends who kept Lil company during her time at Emerald Groves; it meant a great deal to her and her family and brought a tremendous amount of comfort.
A graveside service will be held at Saints’ Peter and Paul Catholic Church Cemetery in Naperville, Ill., on Sept. 30, 2023, at 11 a.m. Memorials may be directed to St. Steven’s Catholic Church, 24827 South Dobson Road, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248.
William James Brudvik
William James Brudvik (Bill) passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023, in his Chandler, Ariz., home, leaving a huge gap in the lives of all those who loved him. He was a force to be reckoned with. His passion for practicing law, helping people, and the goodness that was at his core were truly remarkable. His life will be forever cherished, his love will be forever remembered, and his talent in practicing law will be forever respected. We miss you, Dad!
He was born on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 1946, in Minot, N.D., to Oscar and Irene Brudvik. Bill was raised on the family farm in Mohall, N.D., where his Grandpa Ole Brudvik homesteaded in the early 1900s. The land remains with the family to this day. He was very proud of his Mohall heritage; he loved to tell people the only thing that got him off the tractor was playing baseball, or to watch Days of Our Lives.
Bill graduated Mohall High in 1964 and attended school at UND, where he was a member of the Theta Chi fraternity. To this day he kept in touch with his amazing friends at UND. He transferred to the University of Minnesota in 1966, where he graduated in International Relations. He enlisted in the Army and successfully completed military intelligence school. He served in the Army from 1969 to 1971. In that time, he was stationed in South Korea, as a “spy.” We all wondered how a 6’4” Norwegian from Mohall, North Dakota, accomplished this in South Korea, but he did many amazing things, so we didn’t ask too many questions.
Bill met the love of his life in 1968 while hitchhiking through Europe. Sandra Anderson was an au pair and also traveling through Europe. They met on a train from Paris, France, to Madrid, Spain. She says he “hustled her,” but he was clearly right; they enjoyed 54 years of marriage together, raised three children, and were fortunate to enjoy seven beautiful grandchildren ranging in age from 2 to 14 years old.
His mobility became a limiting factor over the last few years, but he didn’t let it slow him down. He attended virtually every sporting event for his grandkids. He was here to congratulate his granddaughter Halle with a heartfelt text message expressing how proud he was when she made her school volleyball team. He was truly proud of his entire family.
In retirement Bill’s great joy was his lake cabin and sharing it with the people he loved. Having his grandchildren from Michigan, Owen and Oscar, from Fargo, Emma and June, and from Chandler, Halle, Ben, and Edson as much as possible was a source of great pride and enjoyment for him.
Bill’s grandson Edson (10) sent a text message to his phone the day after he passed, it read “I love you Grandpa, and I hope you are seeing everyone in Heaven.” Edson summed it up best— we love you, Grandpa!
Bill is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sandra; his son Brett (Laura) Brudvik, Chandler, Ariz., and grandkids Halle, Ben and Edson; daughter Andrea (Robert Biedenharn) Brudvik, of Royal Oak, Mich., and grandkids Oscar and Owen; son Brady (Casey) Brudvik, of Fargo, N.D., and grandkids Emma and June; along with his sister Marlys (Fred Felber); brother Jerry (Celine) Brudvik; brother Dick (Susan) Brudvik; brother-in-law Bryan Waller; uncle Rollie Cooper; cousins Jim (Arlene) Higgs, Owen (Nancy Johnson), and so many other cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, his friends in the legal community, and his friends at The Village at Ocotillo, truly too many to list.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Irene Brudvik, special uncle Arthur and aunt Cleone, and sister-in-law Shirley (Bryan) Waller, and aunt Edie Cooper. Blessed be the memory of Grandpa Bill.
A memorial service was held at The Village at Ocotillo on Aug. 31, 2023, and funeral services with burial will take place at Cormorant Lutheran Church in Lake Park, Minn., on Sept. 22, 2023.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Bill’s name to the Lakes Crisis and Resource Center of Detroit Lakes: lakescrisis.com.
Linda Phyllis (Williams) Begich
Linda Phyllis (Williams) Begich died peacefully with her husband William “Tony” Begich at her side on Aug. 20, 2023, at Cedar Care in Chandler, Ariz.
Linda was born June 28, 1939, in Virginia, Minn., to Laury and Aily (Rant). She graduated from Virginia High School in 1957 and the Minnesota School of Business in 1958. On July 23, 1960, Linda married Tony and they recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary. She retired in 1991 from LTV Steel (formerly Jones & Laughlin Steel Company).
During their retirement years, Linda and Tony split their time between a cabin on Lake 14 and a home in Sun Lakes, Ariz. Linda was an avid reader along with enjoying both sewing and baking. She also especially enjoyed helping plan the many Virginia class reunions.
Linda is survived by her brother Jay (Rosemary) of Minnesota and Florida; nephew Jeff (Diane) Williams and children Justin, Matthew, and Shelby of Maple Grove, Minn., and niece Janelle (Mark) Frantzen and children Joey and Juliana, of Sykesville, Md.
The family would like to thank the staff at Cedar Care in Chandler for their heartfelt care that was given to Linda.
A graveside memorial service will be held on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, at 1 p.m. at the Calvary Cemetery in Virginia, Minn.
Richard Carissimo (Dick) passed away peacefully on Aug. 17, 2023. He was born Sept. 15, 1935, to Frank and Antoinette Carissimo in Havre, Mont. He attended Northern Montana State University where he lettered in basketball and track. He graduated from University of Montana School of Pharmacy and married Frances Ferrlan.
They took up residence in Lakewood, Wash., where they raised their family of four and worked as pharmacists until retirement. He was co-founder of Alpine Drug Company, active in Pierce County Pharmacy Association, participated on the Tacoma Art Museum Activities Council, and was a Sigma Alpha Epsilon alumnus. He retired in Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 2001 where he enjoyed travel, pottery, and crafts until his death.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, his four children (Taunia Penrose, Karna Leinbach, Troy Carissimo, Marra Carissimo), his son-in-law Owen Leinbach, five grandchildren (Allie, Natalie, Nolan, Wesley, Maxx), and his sister-in-law Helen Robinson. No services by his request.
Patricia Sue Johnson
Patricia Sue Johnson, 75, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., was called home to heaven on Aug. 4, 2023. Patricia was born on Dec. 5, 1947, in Lansing, Mich., to her parents, Herman Theodore Johnson and Helen Irene Johnson (Koch). Patricia was an energetic and vibrant individual, known for her love of travel and dedication to her family. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, always ready to organize memorable parties and gatherings.
Patricia is survived by her daughter Susan and son-in-law Charles Martinez, her cherished grandchildren Alicia Martinez and Jonathan Martinez, daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Rob Firestone. She is also survived by her brother Gary Johnson and his wife Patricia, nephew Tim Johnson and his wife Suzy, nephew Chris Johnson and his wife Jamie and their children. She was preceded in death by her mother and father.
Patricia found her church home of 45 years at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, shortly after moving to Arizona. She worshiped there with her daughters, where they also attended school and were confirmed.
Patricia earned her degree from the University of Wisconsin and later retired as a Planning Analyst from Salt River Project after 21 years of service. She was respected and admired by her colleagues for her dedication and professional accomplishments. A member and leader in Toastmasters, Patricia inspired countless colleagues and friends.
An active member of her community, Patricia had a zest for life that was evident in her involvement in clubs, including the Island’s Women Club, Cheers, Red Hats, and more, where her enthusiasm and go-getter attitude were deeply appreciated. Many of these activities included Patricia’s much-loved games, including Bunco, Texas Hold ‘Em and other card games, Uno, and Farkle.
A life-long traveler, Patricia delighted in planning and going on trips, her adventurous spirit taking her to places like Italy, Japan, China, Morocco, Spain, Russia, and beyond. She found joy in every journey and cherished the memories made along the way.
Patricia had a special fondness for animals, from holding a baby panda in China to a lifetime of cats and dogs, including her most recent cat, Max, who has since found a loving home with her daughter Jennifer.
Please see everloved.com/life-of/patricia-sue-johnson/ for memorial service and reception information.
Melvin Weiser, 99, passed away at his home in Sun Lakes, Ariz., on Friday, Aug. 4, 2023.
He was born in Manhattan, NYC, on May 9, 1924, son of Samuel and Rose (Cohen) Weiser. Raised in the Bronx, Mel graduated from Evander Childs High School and then, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the start of World War II. He served on the baby aircraft carrier Croatan (CVE 25) in the Atlantic. The mission was to destroy German submarines that were attacking allied ships. He always said his Naval service was a positive turning point in his life, and it was then that he decided to become a writer.
After the war, Mel studied and received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in English and Theater from Brooklyn College. He became a teacher and wrote plays and stories in his free time. He taught at Midwood High School and Thomas Jefferson Vocational School.
Mel married Isabel Ehrlich in 1948, and they had two sons, Brenn and Darin. In 1958 the family moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where Mel taught English and Drama at North Phoenix High School. After several years, he transferred to Alhambra High School, and then spent 17 years teaching English at Glendale Community College. During that period, he also wrote the books and lyrics for nine “Hollywood Hits,” musicals performed all over the country by high schools and community theaters.
Mel directed several productions at Phoenix Little Theatre. He started the original Phoenix Jewish Theatre (1962), Circle 16 Playhouse and Actors Inner Circle (1969). Mel directed Brightower on Broadway (NYC, 1971) and produced and directed Best of Broadway Productions, a dinner theater circuit for numerous Valley of the Sun resorts. Mel’s influence in local theater was enormous.
In the 1970s, Mel published his first novels: The Trespasser (Avon Books) and Within the Web (Dell Books). Years later, he wrote and published Nick Nolte: Caught in the Act (Momentum Books, 1999), On 174th Street: The World of Willie Mittleman (2014), Viva Puccini (2021) and The Crown of Sammuramat (2022). The production of his play Cry, Tiger! (2008) was a big success with local audiences.
After sharing 45 loving years with Mel, Isabelle passed away in 1993. She had myotonic muscular dystrophy, as did their sons. Darin passed away in 1998, and Brenn in 2017.
Mel is survived by his second wife, playwright Joni Browne-Walders (married in 2006) for another loving marriage of 17 years. Together they wrote and produced the play A Tiny Piece of Land.
Mel was a remarkable man; gifted, caring, generous, and full of energy, wit, and optimism. He was a dedicated husband and father who was loved and admired by family, friends, co-workers, and his students. He will not be forgotten.
In lieu of flowers, feel free to make donations in memory of Melvin Weiser to Hospice of the Valley, a truly worthwhile organization: 1510 East Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014.
Virginia N. Axenfield
Virginia N. Axenfield passed away on Aug. 3 at Logan Hospital in Whitefish, Mont. Virginia wintered in Sun Lakes since 1993 and lived in Palo Verde. She is survived by her two sons, Stephen and Richard. A viewing of the body took place in Columbia Falls, Mont., and a funeral is planned at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito, Calif., for mid-August 2023.
Barbara Kay Barish
Barbara Kay Barish passed away on Aug. 2, 2023, at the age of 79, in Chandler, Ariz. She was born on June 3, 1944 in Sioux, Iowa. She was happily married to the love of her life, Ted, for 61 years.
Barbara is the loved daughter of the late Stanley and Edna Seaton; brother of Doug Seaton; mother of Paul (Andrea) Barish and the late Ted Barish Jr.; and grandmother of Lauren and Grant Barish. Barbara is also survived by many cousins and friends.
Barbara’s family moved to Wilmont, Minn., and eventually settled in Worthington, Minn. After marriage, Ted and Barbara moved to St. Charles, Mo., where they resided for approximately 30 years. Barbara attended design drafting school and worked for several engineering firms in the St. Louis, Mo., area. After retirement, Ted and Barbara split their time between Sun Lakes, Ariz., and Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.
Barbara loved spending time at her lake house in the Ozarks, boating and floating with friends and family. While in Arizona, Barbara enjoyed golfing and socializing with the many friends she had met in their community. In 2020, Barbara was blessed with Katie, her loving dog that she adored immensely.
The family would like to invite you to join them for a memorial service at the Valley Of The Sun Mortuary & Cemetery on Oct. 14, 2023, at 1 p.m. Following the memorial service, family and friends are invited to honor Barbara’s wonderful life at a Celebration of Life gathering, which will be held at the Oakwood Country Club (Bradford Room), located at 24218 South Oakwood Blvd, Sun Lakes, AZ at 3 p.m.
Dan Bottiglieri passed away unexpectedly at his home in Palo Verde on Monday, Aug. 1, 2023. He is survived by his devoted wife, Vicki.
He was born in South Philadelphia on Jan. 22, 1943, the son of Daniel and Minnie Bottler who preceded him in death. He is also survived by his daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters, and a sister and a brother. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War in the ’60s. After serving in the Air Force, he worked for the Department of Labor in the U.S. Government, Denver, Colo., in the Computer Department as the Chief.
Dan was an avid golfer in the Men’s “Dirty Dozen” group. He also loved socializing with the cigar guys. Dan was a gifted man, had a beautiful singing voice, and loved to dance. He will be truly missed and not forgotten as a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, and son-in-law.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity in Dan’s name.
Robert Bybee Jr.
Robert Allen Bybee Jr. (Bob), age 73, a devoted husband, loving father, doting grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away peacefully on July 30, 2023, surrounded by his family. He was born on June 15, 1950, in Peoria, Ill., to his parents, Robert Allen Bybee Sr. and Helen Jean Bybee (Chittum).
Robert’s strong sense of family and compassion for others were evident from a young age. He grew up in a close-knit home with his four brothers, forming bonds that would endure the test of time. His father, Robert Allen Bybee Sr., predeceased him on Aug. 18, 2002, and his mother, Helen Jean Bybee, on Aug. 9, 2008. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his four younger brothers, Gary Lee Bybee Sr. (D: May 23, 2020), David Wayne Bybee (D: Dec. 3, 2018), Jeffery H. Bybee Sr. (D: April 5, 2014), and John J. Bybee (D: April 28, 2019). Their passing left a void in his heart, but their memories remained a cherished part of his life.
Robert leaves behind his devoted wife, Vickie Lynn Bybee (Sutter), who was born on Feb. 14, 1952, in Peoria, Ill., and currently resides in Sun Lakes, Ariz. They shared a special bond, having known each other since childhood years where they grew up in the same neighborhood and remained inseparable throughout their entire lives.
Robert’s legacy lives on through his four beloved children: Robert Allen Bybee III (Jodi), Danny Lee Bybee, Steven Michael Bybee (Jo), and Matthew Edward Bybee. His devotion as a father was unparalleled, and he took immense pride in being a grandfather. As a grandfather, Robert’s heart swelled with love and happiness. He was blessed with 12 cherished grandchildren, each one filling his life with joy and laughter. Peyton, Regan, Dani, Jacob, Ryan, Brody, Brianna, Tyler, Blake, Darien, Baron, and Gretchen were the apple of his eye, and he relished every moment spent with them. The family continued to grow, welcoming two great-grandchildren, Baron Bybee Jr. and Elliot Gray, who were loved dearly by their great-grandfather.
Robert was known for his unwavering willingness to help others, earning him the reputation of someone who would never say no. He had an insatiable drive to stay busy, always working on various projects. Robert’s love for golf was a passion he pursued until a week before his passing. He cherished his time golfing with his beloved brother-in-law, Michael Wittenburg. Beyond his love for golf, Robert was a man of action. He was always eager to lend a helping hand to friends, neighbors, the community or anyone in need. His generosity and willingness to assist others were a testament to the kindness and compassion that defined his character.
As a young adult Robert joined his father at LR Nelsons, where he worked with dedication and passion. He attended college while working full time. He became the union president at 21 years of age and contributed greatly to the improvement of working pay and retirement benefits for all of the employees. Within 18 months he became a general manager of the plant.
In time he moved to Pontiac, Ill., to embrace new opportunities, and became a highly respected Screw Machine Line Supervisor at Caterpillar, where his dedication and leadership shone brightly. In addition to his professional achievements, Robert’s legacy extended to the wrestling community in Pontiac. As a wrestling coach, he instilled the values of discipline, sportsmanship, and perseverance in his athletes. Under his guidance, Pontiac’s wrestling achieved tremendous success, and his influence on the lives of the young athletes he mentored will be cherished for generations to come.
Then, in 1996, Vickie’s career advancement took them, now empty nesters, to Holiday Island, Ark., where Robert began working for Komet of America. He spent a lot of time traveling for the company selling manufacturing equipment parts and helping companies troubleshoot line issues. As a continued testament to his love and devotion for his wife, Robert again followed Vickie’s career to Ballwin, Mo., where he continued to work for Komet. Finally, in 2010, Robert formally retired and he and Vickie relocated to Chandler, Ariz., near two of their sons and grandchildren. By early 2022, all four of their children would join them in the Phoenix metro area for the first time in nearly 30 years where they all cherished their remaining time together.
Robert will be remembered as a devoted husband, a loving father, and a cherished friend to many. His warmth, kindness, and unwavering support touched the lives of all who knew him. His memory will forever be etched in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to have him in their lives. The memories of his warm smile, selfless nature, and enduring love will be cherished in the hearts of his family and friends for generations to come.
May his soul rest in peace and may the memories of the love and joy he shared be a source of comfort during this difficult time.
A celebration of life for Robert Allen Bybee Jr.’s life is planned in October 2023.
Jennifer L. Strickland
Jennifer L. Strickland, 54, departed this life from her Sun Lakes home on Thursday, July 27, 2023, for one last adventure, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Her travel arrangements had been made in advance, and she had no need to pack; all would be provided. She didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye.
Jennifer was born Aug. 17, 1968, in Fairfield, Calif. She lived much of her early life in Colorado, a state she loved. She graduated from Lamar High School in 1986 and resided there until 2001. She and her former husband, Gary Phillips, moved to Arizona about five months before the birth of their daughter. She and Gary divorced in 2011 but remained good friends. Jennifer married the love of her life, Bryan Strickland, in 2014, with whom she built a beautiful blended family.
Jennifer loved visiting animal shelters. If she had the room, she would have taken all of the animals home with her. She leaves behind her support dog, Buddy; her one-eyed kitty, Phoenix; and her guinea pig, Tank; for Bryan and Kass to love and care for in her absence. Jennifer found humor in the absurd, and often shared memes, videos, and pictures with her family, making each other laugh.
Jennifer is survived by her husband, Bryan Strickland, and daughter, Kass Phillips. She is also survived by stepson, Devin Strickland, and his wife, Annika, their children Ava, Laura, and a third on the way; stepdaughter Kayla Strickland; Jennifer’s father, Ed Norris; and her mother, Georgie Norris. We wish to acknowledge Jennifer’s many friends and acquaintances, unfortunately too many to list here, but we appreciate you, and know you grieve with us.
The family wishes to thank Hospice of the Valley for all the time and effort they devoted to Jennifer’s care during her final days. They made her comfortable and allowed her to pass in peace and dignity at home surrounded by her loved ones. We thank them for all that they do and continue to do for patients like Jennifer every day.
Jennifer’s memorial will take place at 11 a.m. on Sept. 16, 2023, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 800 W. Chandler Heights Rd, Chandler, AZ 85248. In lieu of flowers or gifts we instead ask for donations to be made to either Hospice of the Valley or the American Cancer Society.
Judith Ann Conaway
Judith Ann Conaway was born July 25, 1936, and passed away July 24, 2023. Judy had a wonderful career as an elementary school teacher in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She was considered by all to be an excellent educator. She loved playing tennis, golf, and board games. She is predeceased by her beloved husband, George. The couple loved to travel during their 62-year marriage and happy retirement in Arizona. They spent one year traveling the world attending every Grand Slam tennis tournament.
Judy is survived by her daughter Tamera and partner Vincent, of Philadelphia; her son Todd and his wife Michael of Apache Junction, Ariz.; four grandchildren: Andrew and his wife Kimberly; Alex and his wife Kim; Lexi, and Chase; three great grandchildren; and three great-great grandchildren.
Judy will be missed and fondly remembered.
Ruth Elaine Small
In loving memory of Ruth Elaine Small who passed away on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, in Sun Lakes, Ariz. She was 83 years old.
She was born on Feb. 8, in Franklin, Ariz., to her parents Jason C. Whittenburg and Eleanor Ruth (Cranford) Whittenburg.
Elaine married John L. King in 1956 and was blessed with four children: Scott, Debbie, Donna, and Greg. Elaine and John were divorced in 1977.
Later she met and married Robert C. Small from Laveen, Ariz. Bob passed in March of 2020.
Elaine was very talented and had many hobbies: horses, cooking, baking, quilting, wood crafting, and making things with yarn and plastic canvas.
She loved sharing her baked goods and crafts with others. She was happiest spending time with her family and friends.
She appreciated all of the support from her family, friends, and neighbors.
Elaine had a strong Christian faith. She attended church regularly and read her scriptures.
She was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. She leaves behind many wonderful memories and will be missed by everyone that knew her. Elaine is survived by two of her four children: Donna (Jeff) Bohlman and Greg King; grandson Brandon King; two sisters; and nieces and nephews.
The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to St. Jude’s Hospital (www.stjude.org) in Elaine’s name.
To send condolences and view the obituary, please visit www.bunkerfuneral.com/obituaries/elaine-small.
She was beautiful for the way she thought.
She was beautiful for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved.
She was beautiful for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad.
No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks.
She was beautiful, deep down to her soul.
She was beautiful.
Susan Jane Carew
Susan Jane Carew passed away in the hospital in Chandler, Ariz., on July 19, 2023. She was born on Christmas Day, 1946, in San Francisco, Calif., to Thomas Carew Sr. and Alice Carew. She was preceded in death by both parents and her sister Kathleen. Susan attended Star of the Sea Grammar School and Star of the Sea Academy, graduating in 1964. She started her 35-year career at the Bank of America in 1968 and retired in 2003, achieving the position of Vice President.
Sue started her career when banking was in transition due to computer technology. She was involved in implementing new programs and services, including Interstate Banking and ATMs. During her career she was assigned to many projects that required travel throughout the United States and Hong Kong, an opportunity that she thoroughly enjoyed.
Sue retired and moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., remaining very active, doing contract work for Wells Fargo for 8 years. Susan also became active in her community, serving as the HOA Treasurer and recently on the Election Committee. Sue made many friends there among neighbors and participants of many social activities. She loved meeting friends for pool exercise and lunch. Her biggest passion was Monday Night Trivia with her fellow teammates, The Hot Dogs. To honor their friend Susan, The Hot Dogs gathered at the Sun Lakes Community Center and held the Susan Carew Trivia Tribute, wherein Sue was the subject of the trivia questions. When asked what Sue’s finest personal quality was, the answers included: her kindness and calmness, her intelligence and wit, her independence and endurance, all correct answers. And they all commented on simply enjoying conversations with her.
Sue’s family would like to acknowledge the professional and loving care Sue received from the staff at Fresenius Medical Center during her years of dialysis treatment. A very special debt of gratitude is owed to Ali Trevino, who volunteered to stay with Sue while she was rehabilitating at home from recent bone fractures. They quickly developed a close and affectionate bond.
Susan is survived by her beloved brothers: Tom (Michele) of Granbury, Texas; Paul (Meg) of Seattle, Wash.; Jerry (Lupe) of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Jim (Laurie) of Queen Creek, Ariz. She is also survived by her beloved nephews and nieces: James Jr. (Lacey) of Marysville, Wash.; Chelsea Baldwin (Zac) of Queen Creek, Ariz.; David of Seattle, Wash., and Anni of Bellingham, Wash.. Sue would also want everyone to know how much she loved Jack, son of Zac and Chelsea, and Madeline, daughter of James and Lacey. Sue was a loving sister and aunt, and her family will miss her greatly.
A Memorial was attended by family and Susan’s dear friends at her Sun Lakes Community Center.
Donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital preferred.
Condolences may be expressed at www.buelermortuary.com.
Norman Lefton of Sun Lakes passed away on July 19, 2023, at the age of 95. He is survived by his two devoted daughters Randi and Daryl, son Michael, grandsons Jeremy and Alex, and great-granddaughter Julie.
Born to Samuel and Beatrice, Norman was a first-generation American whose parents had emigrated from Eastern Europe. Although he was raised primarily in Chicago, he graduated from Tucson Senior High School.
Prior to that, he spent his Freshman-Sophomore years at the Roosevelt Military Academy in Aledo, Ill., where he acquired his marksmanship, equestrian, and bugle skills. He was in the Bugle and Military bands, performing at various events, and he cared for and rode his horse “Boots” and practiced firing his rifle as part of the cavalry training.
After high school, Norman attended Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago for two years studying Business while working at his father’s fur salon in Roseland. He met Beverly through his best friend and they were married for 67 years. They lived in Hyde Park until Norman left for Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri for basic training. Shortly after, he was deployed to Beale Air Force Base in California where he served in the Army’s special branch attached to the Air Force (SCARWAF) during the Korean war. After his two-year assignment, they bought a home in Chicago’s Calumet Heights and lived there for 16 years.
In 1954, Norman opened a Firestone tire store. He later sold it to Major Motors Supply, a full service auto parts and supply co., and stayed on as manager. In the 1970s/80s, he worked there part-time while pursuing other opportunities: fleet manager at David Berg, treasurer at a company that he co-owned King Salmon, Inc., and inventory and credit manager at Candle Corp of America. He eventually returned to Major Motors full-time and retired with them in 1994 when he and Beverly moved to Arizona.
Even in retirement Norman sold auto parts and was a financial and bank courier. He later served as an Airport Navigator at the Phoenix airport, which came as no surprise since he had an incredible sense of direction and was once himself a pilot of single engine planes. He was also an active and founding member of the Jewish War Veterans Copper State Post 619.
Norman earned the nickname “Golden Hands” because he could fix almost anything. He enjoyed keeping the house and cars in good working order, talking to people all over the world on the ham radio he built—his call sign was K9YIM, and taking photos with his many cameras and developing them in his darkroom. He loved spending time with Beverly and friends. They had many parties, traveled together, bowled in a league, performed in plays with their Tay-Sachs group, played guitars, and sang with their band Old Faithful (Beverly) and the Four Guysers. They loved the music of The Beatles and enjoyed watching the Cubs, Sox, and Bears games on TV and in person. In Arizona, they rooted for the Diamondbacks and Cardinals.
Norman was a nice guy with a playful sense of humor. He was loyal to his wife and family and he had good ethics and street smarts that he passed on to his children. He lived a long, fulfilled life, though with dementia his last eight years. Norman will be greatly missed by his family, and by all who had come to know and love him. Donations in his memory may be made to a charity of your choice or to: alz.org, sljc.org, or jwvsw.org/post-619.
Nancy L. Matus
We are sad to announce the sudden passing of Nancy L. Matus, who died on July 11, 2023, at her home.
Nancy was born in Wichita, Kan., on January 22, 1955, to Joseph and Josephine Matus. From an early age Nancy showed an artistic talent, which was encouraged by her older sister Karen. Nancy loved to draw and paint, and was selected for a summer art workshop for young people at Arizona State University.
When her dad gave her his old set of drafting pens and tools, this sparked an interest in Nancy for architectural drafting. One of her first jobs out of high school was at Paramount Drafting, where she was the only woman drafting technician at the time. She thrived in her drafting classes at Phoenix College, where she graduated in 1980. A further development of her interests led her to be accepted to the University of Arizona college of architecture, where she excelled in her studies. Unfortunately she was unable to complete the course and returned to Phoenix, where she was hired with the City of Phoenix. Throughout her 30-year career with the city, Nancy held a variety of drafting and supervisory roles in the Water, Engineering, and Streets Departments, eventually retiring in 2007.
Even during her full time working career, Nancy continued to explore her artistic talents with painting, drawing, and jewelry making. She was proud to be a member of several professional art groups, including National Acrylic Painters Association and the International Society of Acrylic Painters. Her works have been published in two art books by Rockport Publishers, and she has shown her paintings at the Coos Bay Art Museum, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and the Phoenix City Hall, and many of her works are in private and public collections.
Nancy was predeceased by her beloved husband Kenneth Walker, who passed away in 2018 after 28 years of marriage. She is also predeceased by brothers Kenneth and Daniel Matus, and sister Karen Matus Boswell. Surviving are sister Patricia Matus; sisters-in-law Denise Matus, Misa Matus, and Judy Walker; stepson Ivan Nicholas Walker; niece Laura Boswell Bucci; nephews Mark, Matthew, Christopher, and Patrick Boswell; and aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Nancy was a beautiful, vibrant, and creative force, who will be missed by many. She will be laid to rest with her husband at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. No immediate services are planned.
William T. (Bill) Skrei
It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of William T. (Bill) Skrei. Bill left us July 9, 2023, at his home in Sun Lakes surrounded by his beloved family.
He was born May 23, 1934, in Moorhead, Minn., to his proud parents T.J. and Dorothy Skrei. Bill was a gifted athlete as he lettered in football, basketball, and track at Moorhead High School. He then graduated from North Dakota State on a football scholarship. During college he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. After graduation, Bill was recruited by the Chicago Bears. Another passion was fast pitch softball where he played on the championship 1966 World Softball Fast Pitch Tournament team.
Bill married Kathy Schlutz on Dec. 5, 1970, at the First Presbyterian Church in Muscatine, Iowa. Bill was in the agribusiness for 39 years, which took his family to Iowa, Wisconsin, Tennessee, then back to Iowa. Bill served as president of the Midwest Agri-Business Council during his years with Terra Industries and retired in 1998.
Bill and Kathy left Sioux City, Iowa, and moved to Sun Lakes in June of 2000 where golf became his sport of choice. He was a long-time member of the Palo Verde Men’s Golf Association and served as president for one year. Bill always looked forward to playing Sunday mornings with his “DD” golf buddies where he was fondly known as “Sweetheart.” We would be remiss not to mention how proud Bill was of his five holes-in-one on both the Palo Verde and Cottonwood Golf Courses.
Bill is survived by his wife of nearly 53 years Kathy Skrei, daughters Wendy Lahr, Julie Skrei, and son Bill Skrei Jr.
We all want to thank the many friends who showed unconditional love and support during this time. A special thank you to Hospice of the Valley whose care and compassion were immensely appreciated.
Donations in Bill’s memory can be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower Street, Phoenix, Arizona 84014 or to the Greater Sun Lakes Community Foundation.
Per Bill’s wishes, no services will take place. A private celebration of his life will be held in October.
Roger Otto Bonngard
Roger Otto Bonngard, age 86, of Sun Lakes passed away peacefully at home on July 7, 2023, with his family by his side. Roger was born Feb. 3, 1937, in Kenosha, Wis. While in college he met and married his sweetheart Nancy Hanson. They were married for 62 years and have four children. In 1976 they moved from Union Grove, Wis., to Chandler, Ariz., to be in a warmer, drier climate in the southwest and be close to both parents.
Roger had a heart for education and serving others. He served his community as a mentor, teacher, principal, school board member, church board member, and on numerous local nonprofit organizations. In addition to owning/operating Sir Speedy Printing for many years, he was also a devoted Rotarian for more than 45 years serving as club president (three different clubs), district governor, and on many Rotary committees. After turning the reins of Sir Speedy over to his children, he focused much of his time on Rotary leadership and projects as well as the nonprofits that were near and dear to his heart, all while being involved in his family’s lives.
Roger was a faithful Christian and knew Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He leaned on his faith during challenging times throughout his life and knew God was always with him, right until his last breath.
He’s survived by his wife Nancy Bonngard, his children Patti Bonngard, Betsy Powell (Carl), Doug Bonngard (Christine), Lori Pierce (Travis); 10 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren, as well as his two sisters Shirley Wennerstrand and Phyllis Hester and brother-in-law Jim Hanson. He’s preceded in death by his parents Evelyn and Otto Bonngard, in-laws Irving and Myrtle Hanson, and brothers-in-law Wally Wennerstrand and Eddie Hester.
His Celebration of Life will be held Monday, July 31 at 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church located at 739 W. Erie St., Chandler, AZ 85225. Lunch will follow after the service in the Community Life Center on the church campus.
If you’re unable to attend the service, please join us via livestream or watch the service at your convenience via this YouTube link: https://bit.ly/3OhVVqt.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to “Chandler Horizon Rotary Foundation” c/o The Roger Bonngard Memorial Scholarship, which will support individuals looking to invest in themselves through further education. Your donation is tax-deductible as a charitable contribution.
The Chandler Horizon Rotary Foundation
The Roger Bonngard Memorial Scholarship
P.O. Box 6173
Chandler, AZ 85246
Online donations can be made here: https://bit.ly/43qc2GD
Nancy Widener, who entered this world July 2, 1937, peacefully passed away July 2, 2023, on her birthday. Today we gather to celebrate her life and bid farewell.
The only child of Clyde and Geneva Oglesby, she grew up in Dayton, Ohio. She graduated from Fairview High School in 1955. Nancy then further pursued her education at Miami Jacobs Business College.
On June 25, 2023, Nancy celebrated her 40th wedding anniversary with her husband, Lee Widener. They were married in Peaceful Valley Colorado.
Nancy’s legacy lives on through her children: Doug Hale of Loveland, Colo.; Brad Hale and his wife Karla of Longmont, Colo.; Jeff Hale and his wife Julie of Boulder, Colo., five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
She and Lee were members of Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, where Nancy was a member of the church choir. She also served on the finance committee, membership committee, and various other committees.
She was also a member of PEO, a women’s organization providing educational support for young women where she served as president for one year.
Nancy enjoyed playing golf with Lee and their friends for many years, as well as enjoying their weekly bridge games. They were avid travelers who visited many countries throughout their marriage, which included several cruises.
Though Nancy’s physical presence is no longer with us, we know her soul has found eternal peace and rest. Nancy, you will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.
A Memorial Service to honor Nancy’s remarkable life will be held on July 20, 2023, at 10 a.m. at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, 9248 E. Riggs Rd., Sun Lakes, AZ. All who knew Nancy are invited to pay their final respects and join in celebrating the legacy she leaves behind.
If you would like to pay tribute in Nancy’s memory, you may make a memorial contribution to either the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church or the Hospice of the Valley. These two organizations were very important to Nancy, and any donations made in her honor will help support causes that she deeply cared about.
Condolences may be expressed at www.buelermortuary.com.
Michael L. Mlynarczyk died Sunday, June 25, 2023, in New Richmond, Wis., surrounded by his family. Mike was born to George and Frances (Black) on Aug. 3, 1947, in St. Paul, Minn., where he grew up and graduated from Hill High School in 1965. On Oct. 3, 1987, Mike and Kathy were united in marriage in Stillwater, Minn., blending their beautiful families.
Mike received his associate degree and built a career in accounting and collections in the trucking industry. In 2005, Mike retired from Transportation Funding Group, a company which he and three friends started. Kathy also retired that summer, allowing them to spend their retirement years together.
Mike was a strong, yet gentle man who adored his family and absolutely loved being a husband and dad. He had such a soft demeanor, and he always treated others with kindness and respect, never saying an ill word about anyone. He loved the outdoors and spent his free time golfing, fishing, and deer hunting. From pheasant hunting in South Dakota, to traveling the country by RV with Kathy, to playing softball with the Jaycees, Mike truly lived his life to the fullest. Mike treasured the time spent on Migizi Island they owned with Barb and Renn on Rainy Lake, where they made so many amazing memories with family, friends, and especially the grandchildren. Mike and Kathy loved traveling, putting hundreds of miles on their snowmobiles and scuba diving in the Caribbean. But shortly after retirement, they decided it was time to trade the Midwest snow for saguaros, mountains, and golf greens of Arizona.
Mike will be deeply missed by all who knew him, especially his labradoodle, Bella, whom he cherished and spoiled daily. Mike will forever be missed by his wife of 35 years, Kathy; children, Scott (Sue) Mlynarczyk, Deanna (Gary) Kaufman, Tina Mlynarczyk, and Derek (Lisa) Lindoo; grandchildren, Shania, Emma, and Caleb; great-grandchildren, Olivia, Audrianna, and Kyler; siblings, Sta’s and Jackie Mlynarczyk, Steve and Jan Mlynarczyk; sister-in-law, Barb and Renn Karl; niece, Polly (Rick) Wisdom; great-nephew, Parker; and great-nieces, Sophie and Paige. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Fran; and mother-in-law, Jerri Warling.
A Celebration of Life visitation was held on July 11, 2023, at Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services (728 S Knowles Ave) in New Richmond, Wis. Military honors recognized Mike’s service to his country in the United States Navy. Memorials preferred to Lakeview Hospice or St. Croix County Health & Rehab Center.
David LeRoy “Dave” Thomas
David LeRoy “Dave” Thomas, 85, of Sun Lakes, formerly of Peoria, Ill., passed away on Friday, June 23, 2023, at the Eternal Spring Assisted Living in Gilbert, Ariz. He and his twin brother Richard Lynn Thomas were born Jan. 5, 1938, at KSB Dixon Hospital, sons of Omer LeRoy Thomas and Fae Pauline (Wiles) Thomas. He married Helen Sue Speiser, a Parkland Community College Biology Instructor, in 1972, and they recently celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on June 17.
Dave is survived by his wife; his son, Michael Scott (Katrisha) Thomas of Plainfield, Ill.; three grandsons, Ben, Sam, and Max Thomas, all of Plainfield; and his son-in-law, Martyn vander Noordaa of Madison, Wis.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, Laura Kristine vander Noordaa.
At Dixon High School Dave played football and baseball, he was first chair trumpet in the band, and played in the Dixon Municipal Band. Dave attended the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign (UIUC) as a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, and with an ROTC scholarship, he received a General Engineering Degree. After college, he became an Ensign in the Navy for three years active-duty on the Charles R. Ware DD and 17 years in the Reserves. He retired as a Commander.
He attended Law School at UIUC. Having graduated from law school and while serving in the City of Peoria Legal Department, he became the Corporation Counsel. Dave and his judiciary staff represented the city with legal issues during the construction of the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria, the renovation of Southtown Residential Project, and the building of the Civic Center. Dave was Director of Finance at the First United Methodist Church in Peoria, Ill., and active with the Heart of Illinois Harvest Food Service for the homeless and poor.
In 2003, Dave and Sue moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz. Dave was a Director on the Board of Pastor Richard Thomson’s Hope in Christ Church in Phoenix. They joined Compass Christian Church in Chandler, Ariz., were active at the Bridge Ministry for junior high and high school students, and were members of small fellowship groups.
Dave is remembered as a compassionate and helpful man, eager to donate his time and resources to help those in need within the community. He was a loving husband and father who put the needs of his family before his own.
Dave was a follower of Jesus Christ and knew Him personally as his Lord and Savior. He was confident that the perfect life Jesus lived qualified Him for the death He died to provide Salvation for all humanity so that the death Jesus died qualified us for the perfect life He lived.
Dave’s Celebration of Life will be held Oct. 7, 2023, at 10 a.m. at Compass Christian Church, West Bldg., (former sanctuary), 1825 S. Alma School Rd., in Chandler.
In honor of Dave’s memory, memorial contributions may be made to Tunnel to Towers Foundation at 2torg/donate/ or the Loaves and Fish Ministry care of First United Methodist Church Peoria at fumcpeoria.org/give. Online condolences may be shared with Dave’s family at www.Davison-Fulton.com.
Joan Cannon Reinke
Joan Cannon Reinke passed away on June 17, 2023, in Chandler, Ariz. She was born Nov. 14, 1933, in East Orange, N.J., to John and Elinor (Allin) Cannon. She graduated from Baldwin and Wallace College in Cleveland, Ohio, with a bachelor’s degree in education in June 1956. She married her husband, Dale Reinke, on Aug. 18, 1956. The family moved to Arizona in March 1965. Joan and Dale moved to Sun Lakes in 1986.
She taught for one year before taking off time to raise her daughter and son. She returned to teaching in 1975 and retired in 1995. She taught in Phoenix, Tucson, and Chandler.
After retirement, Joan became active in the Sun Lakes Women’s Association for many years. She was treasurer for two years. She was a member of the local Beta Sigma Phi chapter. She enjoyed sewing on plastic canvas, card making, and cruising. The 15 cruises took her to Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, along the Mississippi River, Snake River, and through the Great Lakes. She was joined on the different cruises by family members.
She is survived by her daughter Pam Reinke, son Keith (Gail) Reinke, granddaughters Yvette (Aaron) Kofford and Katherine (Russ) Deason, and seven great-grandchildren: Eliana, Beth, Clara, Ammon, Elise, April, and William. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband Dale.
A memorial service will be held at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, 9248 E. Riggs Road, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248, on Tuesday July 25, at 10 a.m. with a reception immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Sunshine Acres Children’s Home, 3405 N. Higley Road, Mesa, AZ 85215. Be sure to include “in memory of Joan Reinke” on the check memo line and send your name and return address for receipt.
Thomas Franklin Rich
Thomas Franklin Rich was born Dec. 7, 1931, to Jesse and Iva in Laveen, Ariz. He passed away on June 14, 2023, at Joyville Assisted Living Home II after a long illness.
Tom joined the United States Marines in 1949 and served until 1952. Part of his time he served in Korea.
He joined the Phoenix Police Department in November 1959 and served until February 1981. He worked patrol, auto theft, and front desk. After retiring from the police department, he went to work at the St. Joseph Hospital security department for 10 years.
Tom moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 1983 with his wife, Audrey Rich. He enjoyed golfing, volunteering, and hanging with friends, and he was a member of the Sun Lakes board of directors for several years.
Tom is survived by his wife of 30 years, Audrey; two children, Tommy (Tammy) and Linda (Charles); and stepson, Aaron (Jolene) Campbell. He is preceded in death by his parents, daughter Tammy, brothers Jesse and Hossier, and sister Tille.
There will be a Celebration of Life on Saturday, July 29 from noon to 2 p.m. at
Mulligans, 25425 S. Sun Lakes Blvd., Sun Lakes, 85248.
Jeanne Capeloto left us on June 11, 2023, after her third noble battle with cancer. Her son Glenn and daughter-in-law Donna were at her side in Chandler, Ariz.
Jeanne was born and raised in Seattle, Wash. She was born May 28, 1934, to Joseph and Margaret Benveniste. She was one of five siblings—with two brothers, Bob and Ron, and two sisters, Raye and Josephine. Jeanne was the second youngest. Jeanne was the last survivor.
She went to Garfield High School in Seattle and then attended the University of Washington. She then met the love of her life, Bill Capeloto, and got married in 1953. They spent a glorious 60 years together before Bill’s passing in 2013.
Jeanne and Bill had two children, David and Glenn, and raised them in west Seattle, where Jeanne spent the majority of her professional career in the real estate industry. Along the way, starting in 1990, Jeanne and Bill welcomed their three grandchildren, Chad, Amy, and Ryan.
Her passions always included traveling the world, particularly to Maui, where she and Bill lived for four years. She enjoyed sunshine, the ocean, oil painting, dancing, swimming, and helping others. She was a long-time volunteer at the Hartford Elementary School in Chandler, where she was known as “Mrs. C.”
Jeanne was an active person in the SunBird community where she spent the last 30 years of her life. This included teaching Spanish classes. Most remember her as the smiling ice cream lady with the red lipstick who lived life to the fullest. Her pleasant and social personality was contagious to everyone she met.
She loved her life at SunBird and all her many very endearing and generous friends that gave her support and love.
Jeanne was laid to rest at Valley of the Sun Cemetery in Chandler, Ariz. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American Cancer Society.
Carol Mitchell Gear
Carol, my wife, passed away quietly in her sleep on June 8. We were married for 58 years. She was born in Santa Monica and went to high school there. After graduating, she immediately joined Ice Follies, then after a few years went to Europe and joined Holiday on Ice. That’s where we met. It was a blind date. Shortly after, we got engaged in London, where I’m from. We got married in Santa Monica, where we spent most of our married life.
Her working life was varied—she modeled for Royal Crown Cola, Motherhood Maternity clothing, and Gilda Marx athletic wear. She was very psychic, and she did readings at large parties, nightclubs, Pritikin Longevity Center, even over the radio airwaves. She also learned a great deal about the printing industry, and we owned a printing business, which was my trade. We also got into residential and commercial real estate.
Her interests were photography and playing tennis, and she was also a member of the Laguna Woods equestrian drill team in California.
Carol is survived by her two sisters, Elain and Paula; her daughter, Beverley; and two grandsons, Adam and Donovan. She was a great inspiration to me. She’ll be greatly missed.
My mom comfortably passed away while in hospice care in Chandler, Ariz., on May 21, 2023. Mom’s surviving family members are two brothers, one son and daughter, and two loving grandchildren who were her favorite pastime.
She was born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif. She moved to Oakwood Country Club in Sun Lakes 22 years ago.
Mom loved sewing bedding for animals, making and repairing doll clothing, and making stuffed animals for children in need. She was a member of various clubs including making stained glass, playing board games, and volunteering at a local dairy farm as a tour guide for children. She loved playing PAN with her friends on Mondays, being involved in her Jewish community for many years, singing in the choir, and raising and enjoying her pets.
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, 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, Wis. He was also a land developer, landlord, and long-time member of 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, Wis.; his brother-in-law Steve Anderson of Madison, Wis.; 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 will be held Monday, May 15, 2023 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Valley of the Sun Mortuary & Cemetery, 10940 East Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler, AZ 85248, followed by a celebration of life at 11 a.m.
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 valleyofthesunfuneralhome.com for the Sinykin family.
Doris Mae Smits
Doris Mae Smits of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at the age of 82. She will be laid to rest in Lower Salem Cemetery in Lower Salem, Ohio.
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 at her side.
Cloie was born on Nov. 11, 1924, in Lothair, Ky. She moved to Marion, Ind., with her family when she was 3 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 WWII 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 Diamondback 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.
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 5 and had 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 two-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; 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.
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, Wis., 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, Wis., 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, Wis., 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! She 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 the St. Stevens Catholic Church in Sun Lakes for 37 years where she attended regularly. She was involved in the church choir and 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. Stevens Catholic Church, 24827 S. Dobson Rd., Sun Lakes 85248 (480-895-9266). Afterwards, she will be laid to rest alongside her husband Bert at Valley of the Sun Mortuary & Cemetery, 10940 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler 85249 (480-895-9232).
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-granddogs. 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 Iron Oaks 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 (arthritis.org) and/or Hospice of the Valley (hov.org/donate).
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, and 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 Rd., Chandler, AZ 85248 on Thursday, June 1, 2023, at 11 a.m. with a reception immediately following the service.
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. After retiring, 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 the Baptist church in Sun Lakes for many years and loved the people there. She greeted members at the door as they arrived for service and liked going to Bible school.
She loved being around people—her down time was when she wasn’t around people. Jean and Don went on about seven cruises. She lost her husband Don to lung cancer. Mother started a very slight memory loss, but only I could see it because we were so close. I was 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!
Edward R. Castellanos
Edward R. Castellanos passed away on March 15, 2023. Edward was born in Globe, Ariz., on March 27, 1935, to Feliciano and Maria Louisa Redondo Castellanos. He grew up in Globe, and played varsity football as a 127 lb. freshman starting at middle linebacker. He continued his academic and athletic career at Palo Verde Junior College in Blythe, Calif., where he played both football and baseball. To finance his college endeavors, he worked summers in both the Superior and San Manuel copper mines.
He married the love of his life Esperanza (Hope) Benzor in 1958 who remained by his side for 65+ years. Edward began his teaching career in Aguila, Ariz., a small farming community near Wickenburg for one year. He eventually moved back to Globe where he taught for 30 years, finally retiring in 1993. He primarily taught Spanish, but also taught history and enjoyed coaching multiple sports at the junior high and high school levels. He later became a long-serving, 30-year basketball and multisport referee and umpire. He loved to ref basketball because it helped keep him slim and trim. He traveled all over the state blowing that whistle with gusto.
He was an avid ASU fan for decades. He was privileged to attend both Rose Bowl games that ASU participated in and attended the College Baseball World Series twice. He was also a season ticket holder for ASU and the Arizona Cardinals for multiple years. You will find his and Hope’s picture at the Phoenix Muni Stadium commemorating the final ASU baseball game at Packard Stadium where they attended baseball games for 40 years. Edward was a member of the Knights of Columbus and was a referee with the AIA for over 30 years.
During retirement, Edward and Hope toured the country visiting every single state in the USA, including a trip to Europe.
Edward is preceded in death by his parents, brother Feliciano, sister Dora, sister Emma, brother Lorenzo, and grandson Tristan.
Edward is survived by his loving wife Hope, sons Mark (Lisa) and Andrew (ex-daughter-in-law Robin), brother Ernest (Nancy), sister Rosemary (family), grandchildren Jordan (Matt), Torrin, Miranda, Cayden, Addison, and great-granddaughter Tatum. Edward will be missed by his family and friends as a loving, genuine person who lived a full 87 years. He passed peacefully surrounded by family.
Rosemarie Jack, age 81, passed away on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, in Sun Lakes.
She is survived by her two daughters, Donna and Lisa, and her partner in life Freddie.
Family and friends are invited to the Valley of the Sun Mortuary, located at 10940 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler, Ariz., on April 1, 2023, at 11 a.m. for services, immediately followed by a reception at Sun Lakes Country Club.
Dr. L. Wayne Krula (Commander USN, Retired)
L. Wayne Krula passed away on March 15, 2023. Wayne was born on Feb. 12, 1931, in Beatrice, Neb., to the late Otto Krula and Etha (Moore) Krula, both who were educators. Wayne, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, worked for many years in education, including serving as a school teacher, principal, and superintendent and later as a church administrator.
In his school days, Wayne made friends quickly. He acted in a school play and was even elected Junior Vice President of the student council. He lettered in track, played basketball, and joined the Future Farmers of America. Wayne was a grateful man whose faith led him to take an active role in spiritual endeavors during his time in college, witnessing the Wheaton College Revival, and assisting with Sunday school for children in Chicago. While at Wheaton College (Illinois), Wayne pursued majors in physical and Christian education.
After receiving his B.A. from Wheaton College, Wayne was sworn in as an Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He was sent to the fleet sonar school in San Diego, Calif., where he trained to be the ship’s Anti-Submarine Warfare officer. During his two-year tour of duty on the USS Shelton, Wayne felt privileged to have visited the Philippines, Japan, Formosa, Thailand, Korea, and various ports in the U.S.
After discharge from active duty, Wayne made the decision to re-enroll at Wheaton College and took courses that enabled him to obtain an Illinois Teaching Certificate. It was because of this decision that he met his wife. Wayne married Marie Krvavica of Chicago in June 1957. Together they welcomed their first child David, then their daughter Lisa, and later their son Daniel.
Wayne and Marie began their lives together in Illinois and much later in life made their permanent residence in Arizona.
In addition to his B.A. degree, Wayne obtained M.S. and Ed.D. degrees from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and was elected to Phi Delta Kappa. He received numerous service medals, awards, and accolades for his time honorably serving our county in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He was active in the Naval Reserve for 27 years, rising to the rank of full Commander. He was a member, and past commander, of the Korean War Veterans Association of Sun Lakes, Ariz., and served on the Governor’s Arizona Veterans’ Service Advisory Commission. He also served as a Deacon at the First Baptist Church of Chandler.
Wayne is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 65 years, Marie; his children David Krula of Sun Lakes, Ariz., Lisa Krula of Sun Lakes, Ariz., and Dan (Rhonda) Krula of San Tan Valley, Ariz.; grandchildren, Jessica (Omar) Cifuentes of Gilbert, Ariz., Melissa (Nathaniel) Hoekstra of Bentonville, Ark., and Kristin (Bradley) Churchman of Littleton, Colo., Jordan (Corrie) Krula of Prospect Heights, Ill., and Brittney (Michael) Baumgartner of Marengo, Ill.; and great-grandchildren, Janae, Evalyn, and Irene Cifuentes, Jude, Grady, and Lanah Hoekstra, Micah, Caden, and Tyler Churchman, Lydia and Adeline Krula, and Michael, Daniel, and Hayden Baumgartner.
Wayne also is survived by his sister Frances Krula-Felice of Temple, Texas; nieces Deborah (David) Omori of Mather, Calif. and Sheryl (Douglas) Taylor of Nolanville, Texas; nephew James Sullivan of Fremont, Calif.; and many grandnieces and grandnephews.
Wayne was laid to rest at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix. Condolences may be expressed at www.valleyofthesunfuneralhome.com.
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 cotton fields. 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. For 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, siblings, Earl, Emmitt, and Clara Culver. He is survived by sister Christena Hauser, Amarillo; children, Michael (Simone) Culver, Michelle (Ernest) DeAnda, Christina Culver, 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.
Brenda Ann Phillips
Brenda Ann Phillips, 79, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., and Curtis, Mich., entered her Heavenly home on March 14, 2023, with her family by her side.
Brenda was born and raised in Flint, Mich. She attended St. John Vianney High School and Mott Community College. Brenda married Jim Phillips the summer of 1966. Shortly thereafter, their family expanded to include a daughter and son. Brenda cherished her many years working at Hank Graff Chevrolet in several roles where her gift in connecting with people shone through.
Upon Jim’s retirement in 2009, they divided their time between their home in Sun Lakes, Ariz., and their cottage in Curtis, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Brenda’s spunky personality kept her active in many social groups and activities. She enjoyed traveling, hosting parties, quilting, visiting casinos, and being an integral part of her grandchildren’s lives.
Her love was lavishly given as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Brenda never met a stranger. Her vivacious and friendly nature instantly welcomed those in her presence and brought joy to all those around her. She always sparkled like the tinsel in her hair.
She cherished family time spent at their summer cottage playing games, crafting, sitting by the campfire, and fishing on the lake with her granddaughter. Brenda found joy engaging with all the people she met while working at the Spruce It Up gift shop in Curtis.
Brenda’s faith was an ongoing presence throughout her life. She served as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist in both Michigan and Arizona and attended St. Timothy in Curtis and St. Stevens in Sun Lakes.
Brenda leaves behind her beloved family: James “Jim,” her husband of 56.5 years; daughter Laura (Frank) Manella; son James “Jamie”; grandson Matthew Manella; and granddaughter Danielle Manella. She is preceded in death by her parents Jack and Anna Mae Keyes.
A funeral Mass will be held on Monday, April 17, 2023, at St. Steven’s Catholic Church in Sun Lakes, Ariz., at 10 a.m. A Celebration of Life will follow Mass in the Parish Hall.
During her devoted and loving care of her husband, Brenda became actively involved with The Perfect Place and Memory Café organizations in Arizona. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation, on behalf of Brenda, to The Perfect Place by Oakwood Creative Care, 23914 S. Alma School Rd., Sun Lakes, AZ 85248 or www.oakwoodcreativecare.org/donate.
Joan “Joanie” Kilmartin
Joan “Joanie” Kilmartin, 76, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away with family by her side on March 10, 2023, after a long and valiant battle with cancer. Born on May 5, 1946, to Frank and Ann Marie Esposito in Far Rockaway, N.Y., she graduated from Uniondale High School then earned her PN degree at the Suffolk School of Nursing in Southampton, N.Y. Joan continued her education earning a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marymount College, Tarrytown, N.Y., and an MBA in corporate finance and investment at Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y.
During Joan’s 15-year marriage to Richard Coffey, they were blessed with two girls: Dawn and Maureen. She later met and married Jim Kilmartin in June of 1985 and the two spent 32 wonderful years together, moving to Arizona after his retirement. The union gave Joan six stepchildren. Jim passed away in 2016.
Through Joan’s love of music and dancing, she met her beloved Glenn McMaster of Sun Lakes later that year. Their common love of music and traveling kept them both very active until the pandemic. Their relationship brought her great joy and happiness.
Joan had many passions including theatre, music, traveling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. She volunteered for Neighbors Who Care in Sun Lakes and for Hospice of the Valley (she was a hospice nurse for 20 years and it was her favorite). She also participated in many local clubs in her beloved community. Joan loved helping people and found Hamilton High School a place where she could make a difference for those in need. Joan adopted and greatly loved her rescue cats and frequently donated to local cat rescues.
A native New Yorker, Joan grew up on Long Island and loved to visit there, especially New York City.
She was a physician recruiter for many of the Valley’s large health systems and eventually started her own company. While Joan recruited many amazing physicians for hospitals and practices throughout her career, many became lifelong friends. Throughout her career, she worked with Hospice of the Valley and helped numerous people start and grow their own businesses.
Joan is survived by her eldest daughter Dawn and her husband Al Cassiano, their two sons Gregory and Joseph Cassiano, her youngest daughter Maureen Coffey, and her stepchildren James, Maureen, Thomas, Juliann, Kerry, and Kelly.
Joan was a kind and thoughtful soul who will be missed and remembered by the many whose lives she touched, both professionally and personally. We take comfort in knowing she is now being celebrated in Heaven by the hundreds, if not thousands, of souls she cared for during her lifetime. A Celebration of Life will be planned for December for family and friends.
Donations in Joan’s memory can be made to Hamilton High School (contact Rajani Rastogi, LCSW-HHS Social Worker, at [email protected]) or to Lost Our Home Pet Rescue, Tempe, Ariz., 602-445-7387, in memory of Joan Kilmartin.
Leo Horn passed away peacefully on March 8, 2023, in Chandler, Ariz. Born Dec. 27, 1923, on a family farm west of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, he was the eleventh of 12 children. His parents, George and Anna Marie (Kähm) Horn, had immigrated to Canada from an ethnic German village on the Volga in Russia in 1899. Leo did office work in Winnipeg before being drafted into the Canadian Armed Forces during World War II. His talent for baseball kept him doing office work in the army, as a bureaucratic company wanted him on their team.
He met his wife of 63 years, Emily Isabel Harrison, in 1947; they married in 1950. After Leo graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1951, he began a career in exploration geophysics, and he and Emily spent the next six years traveling western North America on seismic crews for Western Geophysical and later Chevron. The birth of daughter Lorna in 1957 brought Leo back to the office, first in Calgary, Alberta, then in Anchorage, Alaska. After the 1964 Good Friday earthquake, Chevron relocated the Horns to Seattle, Wash., where they adopted daughter Heather in 1965. Leo worked in California from 1966-69, when he was appointed vice-president of Chevron Geophysical in Houston, Texas. Leo finished his career as the manager of Chevron Petroleum in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 1981-83.
Leo and Emily lived in Canyon Lake, Texas, from 1983-94, when they moved to Sun Lakes. In Arizona, Leo and Emily became hikers and explorers of the desert, and they welcomed frequent visits by far-flung family and friends. To stay at “Club Leo” was always a treat for guests, whether they lounged by the pool or indulged in Leo’s famous breakfasts.
While his physical body declined during his nineties, Leo’s mind stayed sharp almost to the end, and he endured pain and discomfort with few complaints and much ingenuity. Heather and Lorna would like to thank Heather and Dwight Anderson for their love, care, and support of Leo, the staff of Friendship Village Healthcare Center, and Hospice of the Valley and the staff of Dobson Home.
We will celebrate Leo’s 99 years at 10 a.m., April 15, 2023, at Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Chandler. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Hospice of the Valley or to Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church for its Memory Garden.
Leona May Diviki, age 75, went to be with Our Lord on Sunday, March 5, 2023.
She loved her family and friends deeply, always showed kindness, was a lover of animals, and spoke from her heart.
Survived by her loving husband of 56 years Frank Diviki Jr., her son Frank Diviki III, her daughter Lisa Wright (Karl), her sister Amy Maas, five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Maishe Levitan, 85, died March 5. He lived in the Sun Lakes community in Arizona. 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, N.Y., 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 the 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. Mr. Levitan retired in 1991.
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 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 A 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 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 unit 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, 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.
Larry Currier, 77, passed away peacefully March 3, 2023, at his home in Sun Lakes, Ariz., previously of Hopkins, Minn., surrounded by his loving family.
Larry was born on Nov. 10, 1945, in Fairmont, Minn. He graduated from Welcome High School in 1963 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was stationed in Long Beach, Calif., and served aboard the USS Brinkley Bass where he spent time in the Philippines and Vietnamese waters. He received a National Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal for his service.
After his honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy, he moved back to Minnesota, married Cheryl (Dvorak) Currier on July 30, 1967 settling in the Twin Cities area. Larry had a successful career in the water conditioning business that began in 1969. He owned and operated Servisoft, Ecowater, and Currier’s Water Conditioning of Hopkins, with his wife, from 1974 until retiring in 2012.
Larry was active in the Hopkins Lions Club, was a friend of Bill W’s for 41 years, and was in the New Voice Club. After he lost his voice to cancer, he helped and encouraged others who were facing the same surgery by visiting them in hospitals, using his humor to lighten a scary and challenging time and providing an example of a productive life after surgery. He also helped the U of MN speech department with electrolarynx training for future speech pathologists.
Larry faced many health challenges over the years, but always remained positive, was grateful for each day, and NEVER lost his wit, sarcasm, and sense of humor. One of his favorite activities after retirement was watching the Hallmark channel for the positivity and optimism their movies offered. Larry continued to cheer on his Minnesota sports teams, especially the Vikings, from Arizona.
Larry is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Cheryl Currier, daughters, Jamie Emmert and Heather Currier, grandchildren, Scott, Amy, and Heidi Emmert, sister Shirlaree (Ronald) Nelson, sister-in-law, Barb (Neil) Iverson, along with nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Melvin and Bernice Currier, brothers Richard, Duane, Carol, and Darrell.
A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. on June 29 at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Fairmont, Minn.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the West Suburban Alano in Minnetonka, Minn., or Justa Center in Phoenix, Ariz., in honor of Larry.
Barbara (Love) St. Peter
Barbara (Love) St. Peter was born on June 30, 1939, in Milnor, N.D., to Stuart and Helen (Hauge) Love. As a child, her family spent time living in North Dakota, Canada, and Minnesota, before moving back to North Dakota after her father’s death in 1950. Barb graduated from Enderlin High School, where she was crowned homecoming queen her senior year. She attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with a degree in Education. Barbara was an enthusiastic teacher and taught children for over 40 years. She began her career teaching on air force bases during the Vietnam War. She taught in Germany, the Philippines, and Okinawa Islands, allowing her the ability to travel to many countries throughout the world. She met her first husband, Fred Doyle, while teaching in the Philippines and they married in 1966. The couple lived in North Carolina and Lake Tahoe before divorcing. She moved back to Minnesota and continued teaching in Columbia Heights. Soon after, she met her soulmate, Neil St. Peter, and they married in 1977. Barb and Neil spent their time playing golf, downhill skiing, and camping. They loved to travel and adventure together. They spent their summers in Wisconsin at Voyager Village and they enjoyed the winter months in Sun Lakes, Ariz. Barb loved playing mah jongg with her friends, cooking, knitting, and painting. Some of her fondest memories included adventures with her college friends, canoeing in the Boundary Waters. Barb was a jet-setter, had impeccable taste for fashion and lifestyle, and an avid reader.
She is survived by her husband, Neil St. Peter; his children Roxanne (Thomas) Reese of Minneapolis, Denise (Joseph) McAlpin of Chanhassen, James (Chris) St. Peter of Madison, Wis.; her brother Everett Love of Plymouth; many nieces and nephews who served as her children during her life: Cynthia Green of Northfield, Robert (Susan) Stangler of Northfield, Nancy (Jim) Pappas of Chandler, Ariz., Lawrence (Marnie) Stangler of Scottsdale, Ariz., Wendy Whiting of Plymouth, Jeff (Melissa) Love of Crossville, Tenn., Treva (Bill) Gaffney of Huntington Beach, Calif., Serena Love and partner Neil Shackel of Brisbane, Australia, and her beloved puppy Charlie. She was preceded in death by her parents Stuart and Helen Love; sister Lois Stangler; brother Stuart Love; sisters-in-law Gayle Love and Bonnie Love; brother-in-law Chuck Stangler, and her beloved West Highland Terriers, Bilbo Baggins, Reggie, and Maximillian.
Funeral services will be at Faith-Lilac Way Lutheran Church, 5530 N 42nd Ave, Robbinsdale, Minn., on Friday, March 24, 2023, beginning at 11 a.m. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service in the church. Burial will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Bierman Funeral Home and Crematory, Northfield, Minn., biermanfuneralhome.com.
Stacy Lynn Erickson
Stacy Lynn Erickson, 53, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away peacefully on Feb. 27, surrounded by her immediate family, lifetime friends, and four of her beloved pets. Stacy grew up in Aberdeen, S.D., and served in the U.S. military, then worked professionally as an engineer and Realtor for decades before whole-heartedly embracing her hobby and becoming a talented artist in her 40s. Stacy will be dearly missed and remembered for her positivity and overflowing love and respect for all living things. Stacy found immense joy and freedom in learning about and creating beautiful art, while enjoying the Arizona sunshine and taking care of her garden!
Stacy is survived by her parents James and Loma Erickson and her two sisters Suzan Blanton (Tony) and Stephanie Motter (John), nephews Maxwell Erickson, Jacob Motter, Benjamin Motter, and Aaron Motter, and her pets— Jack, Diane, Teddy, and Cathy. Stacy requested those that knew her to celebrate her life in lieu of traditional services. Stacy’s wish for her friends and family is to find what you love, and to honor and do more of it.
Dorothy Joan Porter
“Dort” was born in Wilmot, S.D., on Feb. 4, 1933, the youngest daughter of Russell and Agnes Jorgensen. She experienced the hardships of the dust bowl at a young age and at 6 years old moved with her mother and older brother Bill and sister Norma to Davenport, Iowa, to join her father, aunts, and uncles in search of a better life. She graduated from Davenport High School and was an active member of the debate team and drama club. She attended Monmouth College before her father tragically died of a heart attack and she returned home to care for her mother. Six years later, Dort moved to San Francisco in search of adventure and saved enough money to take the QE2 with girlfriends to Europe.
Dort returned to Davenport a month later and was set up on a blind date with Robert Porter—‘the most handsome man I ever met.’ In 1958, Dort married Robert “Bob” Porter after a whirlwind 6-week courtship and started their adventurous 60-year life together.
Dort worked as a secretary in numerous industries and nonprofits and excelled at organizational development. She moved her family to Sierra Vista, Ariz.; Okinawa, Japan; and back to Iowa as the wife and life partner of a Government Civil Servant. Before retiring to Sun Lakes, Ariz., she and Bob completed a 6-year tour of Germany, stationed at Grafenwoehr, where they traveled extensively and made many lifelong friends.
Her love of animals was well known and she had many pets throughout her life. Dort was an artist and was always picking up a new expression, be it ceramics, sewing her children’s clothes, creating slip covers for the furniture, gardening and flower arrangement, painting, and intricate needlework. Well into their 70s, she and Bob took to the road, displaying and selling their unique gourd creations.
Dort loved her family and nothing made her happier than spending time with a loved one. She traveled well into her 80s visiting both friends and family.
She is predeceased by her husband, her youngest daughter Amy, great-granddaughter Carlie, brother Bill, and sister Marjory. Surviving members of her family include her beloved sister Norma; daughters Beth and Lynn, son Terry, and their partners William, Mike, and Reeda; grandchildren, Lorien, Lindsay, Lydia, Taylor, Rachael, Cali, Elizabeth Zach and Aiden; and great-grandchildren Ian, Hayden, Zelda, Nehemiah, and Khloe. She was proud to be an auntie and cousin to numerous people, as well as a good friend to all who were fortunate enough to meet her.
Dort died peacefully on Feb. 26, 2023. Her beautiful and feisty spirit lives on in all who knew her. Memorials can be made in her name to the National ASPCA or the Ramsay Canyon Preserve Stewardship Endowment (www.nature.org/arizona).
Joseph “Jack” Norman Holder
Joseph “Jack” Norman Holder of Chandler, Ariz., a WWII Pearl Harbor Survivor, passed away peacefully at the age of 101 after a brief illness on Feb. 23, 2023, with his dear friend, Darlene Tryon, at his side.
The son of WWI Veteran John and Margaret Holder, he was born in Gunter, Texas, in 1921 and raised on a farm in Proffitt, Texas, with his parents in a small 4-room house built by his father during the Great Depression. Jack had no other siblings.
He completed the 8th grade and continued to help his family out on the farm. Hoping to rise about it, Jack set his sights on flying. The inspiration came from his maternal uncle who was a pilot on a crop-dusting plane. In April 1940, at age 18 Jack enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Following Boot Camp and Aviation Machinist School he was transferred to Pearl Harbor Hawaii as a member of the PBY (Patrol Bomber Y) Squadron. Roughly one year to the day later that Hawaiian paradise turned into pandemonium for all.
Jack was on duty at Ford Island on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked on Pearl Harbor. “I can still see images of the 2,403 Americans who were killed, and 19 U.S. Navy ships destroyed or damaged that day” are words Jack often spoke during his presentation as he traveled around the United States to ensure that we never have to relive such a catastrophic event again. A day that will live in infamy…
Following the attack, Jack flew in well over 100 U.S. Navy missions in WWII including: The infamous 1942 Battle of Midway; Guadalcanal and all the Salomon Islands; The English Channel and Bay of Biscay on the west coast of France.
In 1948 Jack received an honorable discharge and took with him the following military distinctions: Distinguished Flying Cross, with 1 bronze stars; Air Medal, with 9 Strike/Flights; Combat Action Ribbon; Navy Good Conduct Medal, 1 bronze clusters; American Defense Ribbons; Europe-African-Middle-East Ribbons, with 2 bronze clusters; Asiatic-Pacific Ribbons with 3 bronze clusters; Navy and Marine Presidential Unit Commemorative Ribbon; Navy Battle Efficiency Award Commemorative Ribbon; WWII D-Day Commemorative Ribbon; WWII Victory Commemorative Ribbon; Airborne and Air Assault Commemorative Ribbon; Overseas Services Commemorative Ribbon; Sea Service Commemorative Ribbon; Navy Commemorative Ribbon; Honorable Discharge Commemorative Ribbon. He is also known for helping to form VB-103 and the new B24 Squadrons.
Post military, Jack spent over 25 years on corporate and commercial aircraft from mechanic to becoming a pilot. During his days of flying, he took time out to become a Pro-Golfer for two years. Jack is also known for forming Texco Oil Company, which he was the Board Chairman and President. He really was a “Jack” of all trades.
Jack also authored his own book “Fear, Adrenaline, and Excitement,” which is still available through his friend Darlene Tryon. It tells of his life as he saw it in vivid detail.
Mentoring youth and military personnel was always a passion of his, which he continued with through involvement with veterans’ groups and causes. He was active in charitable and political organizations, as well as had a private pilot’s license. His last flight was on Dec. 13, 2022, his 101st birthday when he took to the skies over the Superstition Mountains with Mike Doyle, Tony Anger, and Ben York.
Jack was preceded in death by both of his parents and his wife, Carleta Holder. He leaves to cherish his memories, his loving friends. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to a tribute fund set up on his obituary page at www.redmountainfuneralhome.com to carry out his final wishes.
Memorial services will be held on April 14, 2023, at 1 p.m., Cornerstone Church, 1595 S. Alma School Rd., Chandler, Ariz., with a celebration of life to follow onsite. Arrangements are being planned by Darlene Tryon, [email protected].
You may visit www.redmountainfuneralhome.com to express your condolences and final memories. Also please share this memorial page to your own social media page in order that the world will never forget the hero Jack Holder lived to become at 101 years old.
MSgt (Ret) Darlene Tryon will transfer Jack’s final remains to Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, where he will be entombed with full Military Honors at a later date.
Jerald Curtis Esget
Jerald C. Esget died on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, from kidney failure in Sun Lakes, Ariz.
He was born Oct. 22, 1933, in Webster, S.D. Jerald “Jerry” graduated from South Dakota State University—Brookings with a major in English Education. In 1954, he married Elizabeth “Betty” Pekron. He was in the military a short-time before starting his first teaching position in Hendricks, Minn. During this time, he coached and umpired baseball while living in Hendricks.
In 1962, the family moved to Owatonna, Minn., where he taught English at Owatonna High School until his retirement in 1993. During his tenure at OHS, he taught and coached 9th and 10th grade basketball and baseball. In 1973, Jerry won Owatonna Teacher of the Year.
In 1977, Jerry married Mary Lu Peck. They were married until his death. For many years, Jerry and Mary Lu spent summers at their lake home on Crane Lake, Minn., and winters in Sun Lakes, Ariz. Jerry loved fishing and golfing.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Lu, daughters Julie (Keith) Kiel, Jill (Chris) Prohaski, stepdaughter Robin (Lian) Tan, and son Christopher (Pam) Bakken. He is also survived by his six grandchildren and brothers Keith (Darleen) Esget and Craig Esget, as well as many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents Jerome and Hazel (Anderson) Esget, a sister Mary Davis, and a nephew Randy Esget.
The family will be having a private memorial at Fort Snelling, Minn., this spring.
Valerie Marie Nigro
Valerie Marie Nigro, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, family member, and friend to many, passed away peacefully at the age of 79 on Feb. 12, 2023. She was under the care of Hospice of the Valley at Robson Reserve in Sun Lakes, Ariz.
Valerie was born on Sept. 23, 1943, in Buffalo, N.Y., to Virginia and Guido Crapsi. She was the oldest of their six children and had a large extended family. Valerie learned Spanish as an exchange student in Ecuador and later in Madrid, Spain, when she majored in Spanish at Rosary Hill College (now Daemen College).
After college, Valerie served as a Vista volunteer in El Paso, Texas, and taught at Nardin Academy in Buffalo, N.Y. In 1968, she married Bart, who she had met in a Catholic youth group, and they had four children, Bart Jr., Linnea, Brian, and Kimberly. Staying home to raise her children was important to Valerie, so she opened her own Montessori school in their home.
After moving to Tempe, Ariz., in 1980, Valerie was a dedicated volunteer at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish for many years, including teaching Spanish and serving twice as prefect of the Women’s Sodality. She also received the Catholic Woman of the Year award from the Diocese of Phoenix. After Bart retired, Valerie and Bart traveled to Israel in 2000 and volunteered for 10 years with St. Vincent de Paul.
Her faith, family, and friends were the things that mattered the most to Valerie, and she loved being a grandmother (“Nonni”) to her seven grandchildren. Throughout her life, she kept in touch with countless relatives, neighbors, and friends from all aspects of her life, writing sweet cards and notes with prayers or newspaper clippings. All who knew Valerie were touched by her thoughtfulness and kindness.
Valerie was preceded in death by her husband Bart Sr., her son Bart Jr., her parents Virginia and Guido Crapsi, and her brother the Honorable Paul V. Crapsi. She is survived by three children: Linnea Nigro, Brian Nigro, and Kimberly Douglas (Walter); seven grandchildren (Madeline, Isabella, Nathaniel, Christopher, Sheamus, Bart John-Paul, and Virginia); sisters Vanessa Harris (John) and Venita Fay (Robert); brothers Daniel Crapsi (Ginny Temple) and Vincent Crapsi (Sheri Ruark Kennedy); and various in-laws, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Donations may be made in Valerie’s memory to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Arizona, Maggie’s Place, or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Myron “Mike” Jennings Strand
We are very sad to announce that Myron “Mike” Jennings Strand of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away on Feb. 5, 2023, in Chandler, Ariz., at the age of 82.
Mike was born in Pillsbury, N.D., on May 16, 1940. He grew up in North Dakota and graduated from high school in Cooperstown, where he excelled in all sports. Mike was a four-year letterman in football and baseball at Mayville State College, Mayville, N.D. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004 and captained the ’61 undefeated football team. Mike was all-conference on offense and defense at Mayville State and also captained Mayville State’s NAIA baseball team that played in the NAIA College World Series. In 1967, he married Suzzette Muus of McVille, N.D. They moved to Burns, Ore., and both taught school and coached before moving back to the Fargo, N.D., area in 1975, where they had two children. In 1977, Mike transitioned from education to the financial services industry. He continued to enjoy and compete in golf, bowling, and fast pitch softball for many years. In 2009, Suzzette passed away and Mike retired. He met Rachel Rainville of Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 2012. They enjoyed winters in Arizona and summers in Minnesota, and they had many adventures over the years. They were married Sept. 15, 2022.
He was a great father, a friend to many, a great athlete, and most of all a kind and caring soul.
Surviving Mike are his wife Rachel Rainville, Sun Lakes, Ariz.; daughter Michelle (Chris) Feland, Oxbow, N.D., and son Michael Strand, Scottsdale, Ariz.; his brother, Rodney Strand (JoAnn High) of LaBelle, Fla.; and his sister Penny Bednar (Kevin) of Staples, Minn. He was preceded in death by his brother, Johnny Dean Strand, mother, Inger M. Strand, father, Harland C. Strand, and his wife Suzzette A. Strand.
There will be a prayer service held at The Valley of the Sun Mortuary on March 7, 2023, Chandler, Ariz., at 1 p.m. A Celebration of Life/Memorial Golf Tournament will be planned for the summer of 2023 in Minnesota.
Lee Robert Bergelin
Lee Bergelin passed away peacefully on Feb. 4, 2023, in Chandler, Ariz., and entered Heaven. He proudly served his country by enlisting in the Marine Corps. His favorite memories come from when he served on a 6 month Detachment aboard a Navy cruise ship from Japan to Australia and back to Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, Calif. He was a successful real estate agent for 40 years and enjoyed every minute of it. He was married to the love of his life, Diane, for 62 years, to the exact day! Throughout his entire life, Lee held an unwavering faith in God. He was a passionate member of Our Redeemer in Wauwatosa, Wis., and Risen Savior Lutheran in Chandler, Ariz. He was instrumental in organizing retreats for both churches’ men’s groups. Lee loved to sing and was a choir member for both churches as well.
He is survived by his wife Diane, son Steve (Joyce) of Pewaukee, Wis., daughter Beth Zych of Chandler, Ariz., granddaughter Rachel of Milwaukee, Wis., siblings Nancy of Lincoln, Calif., Vern (Mary Ellen) of Brooklyn, N.Y., Ralph (Judy) of Saginaw, Mich., and brother-in-law Frank Kohlbeck of New Berlin, Wis. Lee joins his parents Milford and Norma, his brother Dan, and sister-in-law Nancy Kohlbeck in Heaven. He will be greatly missed.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. with reception immediately following at Risen Savior Lutheran Church, 23914 S. Alma School Road, Chandler, AZ 85284.
Patricia M. Kruse
“Pat” Kruse passed away on Feb. 4, 2023, in Gilbert, Ariz., with her family by her side. Pat was born in Leetonia, Minn., on January 11, 1932, to hard working immigrant Croatian parents. She fully wove her Croatian culture, strong work ethic, uncanny sense of humor and deep faith into her 91 years of life.
Pat entered nursing school at age 17. She graduated as a Registered Nurse from the St. Cloud School of Nursing in Minnesota. Becoming a nurse was one of the greatest loves of Pat’s career life. She married in 1955 and moved to Anchorage, Alaska, in 1960 with her husband, Richard Kruse, and their children.
Pat worked at Providence Hospital in Anchorage during the Good Friday 1964 earthquake. Becoming the Assistant Administrator of Nursing Services at Providence Hospital was incredibly fulfilling and the culmination of her professional nursing days. Pat retired from Providence in 1977 and launched a successful second career in real estate.
Pat and Dick enjoyed traveling. They made multiple trips to Croatia visiting Pat’s relatives and the Tomlanovich and Krmpotich homes where her parents were born. She also enjoyed her pilgrimage to Medjugorje.
Pat loved a good time, especially gatherings with friends and family. An invite to her Christmas Day strawberry waffle breakfast, a lamb roast for special occasions, or the chance to dance to live polka music were always exciting events.
In addition to working full time and raising her family, she was an avid volunteer. She frequently donated her time and energy in Anchorage to various shelters, health fairs, and breast cancer survivor support groups. She was a member of P.E.O., Chapter J, Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Pioneers of Alaska, the Anchorage Women’s Club, and the Providence Hospital Auxiliary. In Arizona she supported St. Vincent DePaul (AZ) and the Legion of Mary at St. Stevens Church, Sun Lakes, Ariz.
Pat’s religious faith gave her great strength and joy. She loved her grandkids, family, friends, and helping her community. Pat will be remembered for fully embracing life with love, humor, and humility.
She is survived by her children Kim Kruse (Mark Smedley) Anchorage, Rick Kruse (Mary Reker) Gilbert, Ariz., and Carol O’Leary (Terry O’Leary) Cusick, Wash.; grandchildren McKenzie Kruse Smedley, Casey O’Leary, Hanna O’Leary, Patrick O’Leary, Haley Kruse, and Nicolas Kruse; and her sisters Vicki Majewski (Larry Majewski) Goodland, Minn., and Lois Mehle in Minnesota, and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Richard Kruse; brother, John Tomlan, sister, Georgene Tomlanovich; and parents Sylvia (Tomlanovich) Latick and John Tomlanovich.
A memorial mass will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe, 3900 Wisconsin Street, Anchorage, AK 99517 on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at 11 a.m. A reception at the church will follow. Pat will be interred at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, Ariz., beside her husband at a later date.
Paul William Budrick Sr.
Paul William Budrick Sr., passed away peacefully at the age of 87. Paul was born in Chicago, Ill., on Aug. 5, 1935, to the late Paul William Budrick and Florence Grace Budrick.
Paul is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Joanne Budrick; his daughter, Doreen M. Price; sons, Paul W. Budrick Jr. and Robert K. Budrick; grandchildren, Tommy, Krystal, Michael, Katelyn, Stephen, Brenlie, and Baylie; his great-grandchildren, Alena, Hannah, Tayler, Braydon, Payson, Heather, Karston, Korbin, Jameson, and Rylan; and his sister, Bonita Hunter.
Paul retired from his career as a Mechanical Design Engineer at Motorola Incorporated. Paul was a parishioner of St. Steven’s Roman Catholic Church in Sun Lakes, Ariz. Paul loved playing cards with his friends, especially bridge. Paul was an avid sports fan who enjoyed staying active, working out, and keeping up with his health. He enjoyed reading, watching Fox News, and loved to talk about politics and world affairs with his family and friends. Paul truly was everyone’s best friend and will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all those who were lucky to have known him.
In lieu of flowers, Masses are preferred.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Memorial Mass to be celebrated at St. Steven’s Roman Catholic Church, 24827 S. Dobson Rd., Sun Lakes, AZ 85248 on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 10 a.m.
Beverly Ann Abrutz
Beverly Abrutz, 92, passed away peacefully on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. She was born in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She is survived by Joe, her loving husband for 71 years; son Joe Jr. (Debbie) of Cameron, Mo.; daughter Kimberly (Ben) Brooke of Ferndale, Wash.; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
She and her husband met at Kent State University in 1949 and they married in 1951, thereby enjoying 71 years together. While being a wife and mother, Beverly was employed for 20 years in the Washington School District in Phoenix. Upon retirement, she and her husband moved to Sun Lakes. Beverly was one of the founders of Sun Lakes United Methodist Church where she very much enjoyed her friends and time in the choir. She is also a member of DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). She was an ardent and excellent golfer at Cottonwood and Palo Verde Country Clubs, plus a “hole-in-one.”
In the summer, she and her husband would spend quality time in San Diego, Calif.; Washington; and Missouri. Beverly lived a happy, wonderful life, was loved, and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Services are being held privately by the family.
Arlo Longbrake, longtime resident of Sun Lakes, passed away on Jan. 23, 2023, at the age of 99 in Mesa, Ariz. Arlo was born on Oct. 30, 1923, the seventh child of Daisey Bennett and Clyde Longbrake. Arlo attended Espy School where he was crowned Freckle King at age 12. Attending Kenton High School he participated in track, basketball, and football while also working at the Kenton Dunkirk Creamy. He always said he ate lots of ice cream to make up for only making 10 cents an hour. Following graduation from high school, in 1942, Arlo worked for his brother in Detroit as a machinist until he enlisted in the Army in December of that year. He was a member of the Army Air Corp piloting B-25 bombers.
Following discharge from the Army in 1945, he married his high school sweetheart, Caroline (Cookie) Botchlett. They had two children, Sue and Dale. Arlo was employed at Longbrake Die and Mold owned by his oldest brother Gerald. In 1961 Arlo and Edgar Rush established their own business, Kenton Tool and Die, manufacturing plastic products.
Arlo and Caroline retired to Sun Lakes, Ariz. in 1979, where Arlo enjoyed fishing, golfing, traveling, silversmithing, carpentry, artistry, pickleball, and many hours volunteering for his church. Unfortunately Caroline died in March 1993 following a battle with cancer. In May 1995, Arlo married Mabel Grissom, who now lives in Goodyear, Ariz., near her son.
Arlo had previously lost his parents, three brothers, three sisters, wife Caroline, and son Dale. Surviving is his daughter, Sue; grandchildren, Heather, Jon, and David; and three great-grandchildren, two nephews, and one niece.
Memorial donations can be made to Sun Lakes Community Church in Sun Lakes, Ariz.
Harold Emil Ulmer
Harold Emil Ulmer was born Dec. 18, 1936, in Chicago, Ill., to Emil and Dorothy Ulmer. He passed away after a long illness on Jan. 13, 2023, in Sun Lakes, Ariz.
He was born and raised on the south side of Chicago (Garfield Park area). He moved with his parents to Glenview, Ill., just before entering his senior year of high school. He graduated from Niles West High School with the class of 1954. On May 10, 1958, he was united in marriage to Carol Genevieve Evans at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Chicago, Ill.
For most of his career life Harold worked with finances. He worked his way from a teller to president of Niles Savings & Loan in Niles, Ill.
In 1987, he moved his family to Ahwatukee, Ariz. Harold was an active member of the Ahwatukee Rotary Club (founder and past president), Lions Club, and member of Bethany Community Church in Tempe, Ariz.
He and Carol moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 1998. He became active in the community by joining many committees, some being the architectural committee, election committee and working for the Sun Lakes Country Club Patrol (aka community services). He helped wherever and whenever he was needed. In November of 1999 both he and Carol became active members of Sun Lakes Community Church. Harold had a zealous heart for the church and served in many capacities.
Harold will be remembered most for his extraordinary capacity for helping others, and was always quick to jump in and help his family, friends, and co-workers. He enjoyed supporting his friends any way he could. His family cherished his gentle spirit, the ever-present twinkle in his eye, and his loving guidance. He was an exceptional man, charming, warm, caring, and always smiling. His love of family, people, and sports will never be forgotten.
He will be deeply missed. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Carol, and three children: Deborah Rios of Sun Lakes, Ariz., Denise Williamsen (Bill) of Mesa, Ariz., and Douglas (Jennifer) Ulmer of Phoenix, Ariz. He is also survived by an older sister, Louise Bultman of Chicago, Ill.; two grandchildren, Bryana Williamsen (Bryan Skiles) and Jareth Ulmer; and two great-granddaughters, Kaylen Rose and Chloe Rae Skiles.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a son, David Michael Ulmer, son-in-law, George Rios, and brother-in-law, George Bultman.
John Wayne Hoogendoorn
John Wayne Hoogendoorn passed away Jan. 12, 2023, at the Phoenix VA Hospital, where he had received the best, most loving care throughout his illness.
He was born in LeMars, Iowa, on July 28, 1942, to Gilbert and Winnie (Spyksma) Hoogendoorn. His family, including three older sisters, Glenda, Doris, and Margie, farmed there until John was 10, when they moved to California. There another sister, Audrey, and brother Warren were born. John grew up on the campus of Mount San Antonio Junior College where he learned to love sports of all kinds, basketball in particular.
John was drafted in 1964 and spent two years in the Army in Germany. He was so lucky to be appointed Post Athletic Director, where he played and organized sports to his heart’s content.
After coming home, he married and had four children: Andrea, Michelle, John, and Travis. He worked at a variety of jobs, including police officer and bowling alley owner, in California, Michigan, and Idaho, always helping at relatives’ dairy farms in between. Eventually he settled into the dairy industry himself in Idaho. He ended his career in dairy feed sales there.
John retired with his second wife, Peggy, and they lived in Mackey, Idaho, and Wellton, Ariz., for 8 years until she passed away. During that time he bowled competitively in senior bowling leagues and earned two 299 rings and two 300 rings. He was an avid college football and basketball fan and followed the NFL and NBA his whole life.
He met Joy, also widowed, when she came to Wellton from Alberta to visit friends. They chose Sun Lakes as home because it was “close to the airport.” They were married at Sun Lakes Dec. 12, 2012, and were blessed with 10 beautiful years together. Traveling, golfing, fishing, dancing, cooking, and eating good food made those years fly by too fast. John has lost his battle with cancer but gained a home in heaven.
He leaves behind his loving wife Joy, his four children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren as well as Joy’s three sons, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He will be remembered as a fun-loving, adventurous soul with a kind, generous, and loving heart.
A Celebration of Life was held at Sun Lakes Community Church on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, and he was laid to rest Feb. 3 at the National Veterans’ Cemetery in Phoenix, Ariz.
Loved beyond words, missed beyond measure.
Valentina Edgington was born in a small village in Romania to Austrian parents. Forced to move back to their homeland by WWII, it brought her from Romania to Linz, Austria. While in her early teens, she spoke four languages: Russian, Romanian, German, and English. As the oldest daughter of a family of 10, she found herself occupied with raising many of her younger siblings. In 1950, “Val” met her future husband and she married Sgt. Roger Edgington in 1951. Finding difficulty with her immigration, her husband sought help from his Iowa Congressman, Henry O. Talle, and a bill was passed in Congress that resolved the problem that many soldiers faced regarding immigration of their wives.
In early June 1951 the couple moved to Paris and then to Vienna the following year when Edgington was called to active duty as a Second Lieutenant. Movement in the military was not uncommon, and Val moved 27 times in the years Colonel Edgington was in service. Approximately 10 of those years the couple was stationed in Europe. Their last Army assignment was at West Point, N.Y., and Edgington was the Comptroller of the U.S. Army Military Academy. During their years in the military they adopted two wonderful children, Steven and Lisa—both are graduates of the University of Oregon and now enjoy successful careers in San Francisco and Portland, Ore.
Val and Roger lived many places: Germany, Austria, France, Hawaii, Kansas, Indiana, New York, and Washington, D.C. Although Val had been trained as a seamstress, she began new opportunities, painting with oils, teaching other Army wives the skills of cooking, and even making hats. She made her daughter’s wedding dress, which was totally unmatched to anything available. Colonel Edgington retired from West Point and the family moved to Portland, Ore., in 1976. A two-vehicle convoy motored across the USA with their children and two pets. A new academic environment emerged for Val. Her skills were expanded. At Portland State University, she taught wives of the faculty, to include the Deans, how to cook European food; Wiener schnitzel was her favorite specialty. She also hosted numerous dinners as the president’s wife. They continued to travel, and June of 1989 found them in Beijing, China, with other members of their faculty. This was a reciprocal visit to four of the University presidents in China. Significantly two of the presidents were in “house arrest” due to the student activity in Tiananmen Square. Unfortunately the visitors from the United States were unaware of this mission by the students. Ironically, later, Val and her husband were in Bonn, Germany, watching the large TV in the city square showing the wall in Berlin collapsing.
Valentina was an extremely talented and traveled person, whether sitting in a box seat next to the Governor of New York, at a football game in West Point, giving a small child candy on a street in Mexico, or dancing with a U.S. Senator at the Thayer Hotel at West Point. She always knew what to do and set the example for others. Although never in uniform, she served this country as a military wife and experienced many separations where she could not go, such as Korea, Vietnam, etc.
In January 1997 the Edgingtons moved to Sun Lakes and lived on East Nacoma for 25 years. During that period they traveled on cruises and visited Val’s family in Austria. Recently she developed dementia and struggled with it for two and a half years. Doctors recommended a memory care facility. Shortly after her arrival there she contracted the COVID-19 virus. She was one of eight, and one did not survive. After four months there, her husband relocated her to a Villa facility here in Sun Lakes. They enjoyed the period for about 20 months, then slowly she started to be unable to express herself and passed away on Jan. 10, 2023. She will be remembered fondly by many. There will be no event at this time (January), but sometime in April, the month of their wedding anniversary, there will be an event and everyone will be notified of it in advance.
Fritz Elmer Derheim
Fritz Elmer Derheim, 79, died peacefully with his loving wife by his side in his Sun Lakes, Ariz., home on Jan. 7, 2023.
Fritz was predeceased by daughter Amy Derheim and is survived by his wife Beth, of 54 amazing years; his daughter Roxanne Derheim (John Beard); nephew Chad Derheim, who was like a son; his two grandchildren McKinley and Tanner Beard and honorary grandsons Austin and Wesley Derheim; his siblings Darvin, Bud (Derheim) and Fran (Saunders); and extended family.
Fritz graduated Minot High School in 1961, and served in the Navy from 1961-1964 as a radioman. After graduating North Seattle Community College, with a 2-year electronics degree, he joined The Boeing Company in 1974 and retired after 30 years to Sun Lakes. His hobbies included fishing of any kind and playing pool, softball, and golf. He never got enough of studying science, science, science! In addition to his wife and fishing, his greatest passion was cooking for himself and other people. He never met a recipe he didn’t like!
A special thank you to his many doctors, and the people at Hospice of the Valley in Sun Lakes, Ariz., for their loving care and support throughout his journey the last few months, and during his final days. The family would like to extend their sincerest gratitude to the many friends who have supported Fritz and Beth during a difficult past year. Your love and care has meant the world to them during a difficult time.
No funeral or memorial service is immediately planned. The family will notify loved ones of any planned celebration of Fritz’s life, in the future.
Phyllis R. Hall
Phyllis passed away the morning of Jan. 5 at Friendship Village Hospice of the Valley. She was 101. A longtime resident of Sun Lakes, she and her husband, Herb, retired and moved to Sun Lakes in December of 1984. Hoping to spend many years together in retirement, Herb became ill and passed away in October of 1986. Phyllis went on to make many friends and kept busy with the many activities Sun Lakes has to offer.
She was laid to rest at a private service on Jan. 18, and a Celebration of Life memorial was held on Feb. 18 at the Sun Lakes Community Church. She is predeceased by her husband, Herb and son, Randy Hall. She is survived by her four children, Gary, Brian, Maureen, and Gail; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Sandra Lynn Geraghty
Sandra Lynn Geraghty, 81, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away Jan. 4, 2023. She was born on April 11, 1941, in McCook, Neb., to Merrill and Edna (Trotter) Geraghty. She came to Mesa, Ariz., in 1954 with her family.
Sandy graduated from Mesa High before attending Arizona State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She taught at New Way School in Scottsdale for over 25 years, and the Sandra Geraghty Reading Award was presented to a deserving New Way student yearly. She was proud of starting her own business, Geraghty Education, and continuing to help countless children throughout the Valley. She also co-authored the children’s book Woodsey School Kids Thanksgiving Feast.
Sandy loved her family. She also enjoyed gardening (especially her roses), reading, working with ceramics, traveling, spending time with her friends, her cats, and laughing and enjoying life.
Sandra is survived by her beloved son, Christopher Sosa; granddaughters, Alisha and Katarina, who called her “Gigi”; great-grandson, Toby; brothers, Mike (Susan), Dan (Jackie), and Dennis; niece, Trisha; as well as her cats, Nora and Kitty. Gigi’s parents and brothers, Jim and Tom, preceded Sandra in death.
Funeral Mass will be on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, at 10 a.m. at Christ the King Catholic Church, 1551 E Dana Avenue, Mesa, AZ 85204. Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery, 7900 E Main Street, Mesa, AZ 85207.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to the New Way Academy, 5048 East Oak Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008 in Sandy’s name.
Ray Reagan, a Sun Lakes resident, was a loving man with a big heart. He was born Oct. 16, 1938, in St. Petersburg, Fla. He lost his year-long heart battle, and sadly passed away in 2022.
Growing up in Westchester, N.Y., his family owned the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery where they resided, and Ray often spoke about the best Halloween parties.
He had a very interesting and multi-faceted life. He graduated early from Bryant College in Rhode Island, and returned to the family business, where he and his first wife, Susan, eventually had three daughters and a son. Tragically, their son, Peter, was killed in an auto accident at the age of 17.
Ray moved to California for business, which expanded and led him to Florida. While at a Community Development Seminar in Florida, he met and later married his second wife, Judith. They ran a successful business together and eventually retired to Colorado. After her death, Ray moved back to Florida where met his present wife, Betty. They settled in Sun Lakes and had 16 wonderful years together.
Although Ray was a professional tennis player, sang for a brief time with Kenny Rogers, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the New Christy Minstrels, Ray’s real love was golf, which he enjoyed playing here in Sun Lakes.
Ray will be greatly missed by his wife, Betty; his three daughters Debbie Ringrose, Holly Torrey, and Barbie Miller; his stepchildren Stephen Pelosi, Lisa Bustamante, and Jennifer Hanley; and his 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Ray’s Life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, from 3 to 7 p.m. in the Navajo Room at the Sun Lakes Country Club, located at 25601 E. Sun Lakes Blvd N., Chandler, AZ 85248.
Karen Wollam, age 81, died on Dec. 28, 2022, after a short battle with lung cancer. Karen was born in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 15, 1941, to Miriam (Cross) Wollam and Emerson Wollam. She attended grade school in Upper Arlington, Ohio, but graduated from The Meeting School in Ridge, N.H., in 1959. After graduation, Karen completed an eight month program at The International School of America; then joined her sisters who were in school in France for the year. Karen attended Wilmington College before transferring to Michigan State where she earned a degree in sociology. She worked briefly as a social worker before marrying Leigh Sewell and raising three children with patience, love, and understanding.
Karen lived a life of reinvention. She lived all over the world with stints in San Francisco, Calif.; Puerto Rico; Bogota, Columbia; Houston, Texas; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Upper Arlington, Ohio; Jeffersonton, Va.; Groton, Mass.; and finally Sun Lakes, Ariz. After her divorce in 1996, Karen pursued employment outside the home: first as a real estate agent, then as a worker on her brother’s flower farm in Virginia, then starting her own baking business, and finally as a concierge at facilities for the aged.
In 2020, she fulfilled her dream of moving to Arizona to savor the desert warmth and mountain views and enjoy the company of her uncle and cousin in Sun Lakes. Wherever she was and whatever she was doing, she found ways to knit herself into the community in a way that was meaningful and memorable.
Karen was quiet, easy going, modest, patient, kind, warm, open, organized, content, and independent. She is remembered for her oatmeal bread, her love of birds, her green thumb, her wool clogs, and her fierce love for her children. She is survived by her children Jennifer (James) Cowan, Holly Sewell (Dan Homer), and Patrick Sewell (Gina Varrichio); her siblings: Robert Wollam (Anne Montgomery), Gretchen (Johnny) O’Connor, and Kristin Goodwillie; her grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who miss her dearly. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
John Raymond Morrissey, 84, passed away peacefully at Hospice of the Valley in Chandler, Ariz., on Dec. 21, 2022, with his loving wife, Maureen (Moe) of 30 years by his side. John had bravely endured failing health with courage and determination.
Born in San Francisco to John (Jack) and Frances (Roberts) Morrissey, John lived most of his early years in the Bay Area that he loved.
After graduating from Carlmont High School in Belmont, Calif., in 1956, John served on the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker, USCGC Northwind, in both the Arctic and Antarctic. He returned to the Bay Area and completed his college degree at San Francisco State with a degree in education, and with minors in history and music, and went on to teach woodworking, his lifelong passion. Soon after that, John was introduced to commercial real estate and decided to combine his love of teaching with his love of real estate. For the next 20+ years, he taught real estate courses at colleges in the Bay Area while continuing his real estate career. He moved with Moe to Seattle in 1994 and accepted a position with King County in the Real Estate Division, Real Property Acquisition. He retired in 2007.
Having vacationed in Arizona several times, they decided to make Sun Lakes their permanent home in 2011. Bored with retirement, John decided to pursue creative writing in the form of novels and went back to college as a student where he received an Academic Certificate in Writing at the age of 81. Along with writing, he was a talented water color artist, enjoyed building classic small-scale cars of wood, patiently put together 1,000 piece puzzles, and loved his time gardening.
John is survived by his wife, Moe and his pride and joy, his family: daughter Denise and son-in-law, Vince Nannini; granddaughter Gianna, grandson-in-law Fred and great-granddaughter Ava Degenhardt; grandson Anthony, granddaughter-in-law Jazz and great-grandson Luca Nannini and step daughter, Deanna Judson. He was predeceased by his parents, Jack and Fran Morrissey, and sister, Murial (Mikie). He will be remembered as a gentle, kind, and loving soul.
There will be no formal services (at John’s request) and a family remembrance will be held in April in Los Altos, Calif. Contributions to Hospice of the Valley in Arizona in John’s name will be sincerely appreciated.
Molly Mattes Gott
Molly Mattes Gott, 83, passed away at her home in Sun Lakes, Ariz., on Dec. 19 after a 4½-year struggle following emergency stomach surgery and subsequent issues that left her in a semi-convalescent state. She was born Molly Margaret Robinson on Dec. 18, 1939, in St. Louis, Mo., to Kathryn M. and Lloyd D. Robinson.
In 1944 the family moved to Tracy, Calif., where she attended grade school until moving to Palo Alto attending high school at Menlo Atherton High School, from which she graduated. She attended Stanford University on a music scholarship, which led to classical piano training used in performing in a municipal orchestra.
She worked for Education Consultants Ltd. and Pacific Architects & Engineers in Vietnam. She was constantly near Viet Cong motor grounds both at her job at the air base as well as her apartment. During the Tet offensive in 1968, she was stranded in her apartment for six days with the Viet Cong on one side and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) on the other.
She worked at Channel 5 television station after her return to the United States, moving to a territorial sales position, selling container space for the Puerto Rican steamship company, Navieras.
In 1982 she took an outside sales position for Van Gott and Associates becoming Office Manager in 1989 and occupied this position until the company was sold in 2006.
Molly maintained an interest in playing classical and semi-classical music at home until her arthritic hands prohibited her from playing. Molly also enjoyed golf and was a member of the Cottonwood Niners before her illness. She also enjoyed oversees travel nearly every year of her marriage to Van Gott. Most years the couple traveled to Europe with the Napoleonic Alliance, furthering their interest in world history. Molly and Van traveled to the Madison River in South Central Montana for many years, enjoying fishing, the scenery, and spending time together in the outdoors.
She is survived by her husband of 38 years, Van Delano Gott; her son William “Bill” Mattes (Aaron) of Dallas, Texas; and three stepchildren, Eric Albert Gott (Cherry) of Denver, Colo., James William Gott (Cathy) of Altadena, Calif., and Allison Leyn (Don) of Parker, Colo.
Delvin Dewitte Schutes
Delvin Dewitte Schutes was born Sept. 25, 1941, in Wichita, Kan., and passed away Dec. 19, 2022, in Chandler, Ariz. The son of D.D. (Skeeter) and Ugie Schutes, Delvin and his family moved to Weatherford, Okla., in 1946 where he played football, basketball, and baseball. He graduated from Weatherford High School in 1959. He also worked on his father’s farm and in Skeeter’s Body Shop, painting cars.
A graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in education, he first taught and coached in Clovis, N.M., under his high school coach, Steve Graham.
In 1981, Delvin moved to Chandler, Ariz., and became the head football coach at Chandler High School and led the team to its first playoff appearance since 1949. Later, he taught Safety Ed and coached golf at Hamilton High School, where he led the team to its first state title in 2005. Delvin retired from Hamilton in 2006, but returned to coach 9th grade football with his son, Deke. His exemplary career was honored in 2021 when he was inducted into Hamilton’s Hall of Fame.
Coach Schutes was inspirational, treating everyone as if they were his own family. A loving husband, father, grandfather, and uncle, he always put family and his team above himself. Delvin is survived by his wife, Paulette; son, Deke (Patti); daughter Dhea (Todd) Hudson; sister, Tricia Ray; and grandchildren, Trevor Schutes, Troy Hudson, and Chandler (Jay) Kuruvilla, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Rhea Schutes; parents, Skeeter and Ugie; sisters, Lavonne Schutes and Jan Cantrell; and brother-in-law, Tim Ray.
Graveside services will be Friday, March 24, 2023, in Weatherford, Okla.
William “Bill” Harvey Stearns, 89, passed away on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022.
Bill was born on Oct. 11, 1933, in Duluth, Minn. He was a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a degree in business administration. Upon graduation, he served in the U.S. Army with the 337th Field Artillery Battalion, Fort Rucker, Ala. Upon an honorable discharge, he worked for the Cities Service Oil Co. and the Chevrolet Motor Division of GM. In 1966, he purchased the GM dealership in Ladysmith. He retired after nearly 30 years as a GM dealer.
Bill enjoyed being an active member of the Ladysmith community. He served on the boards of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, Security State Bank, Pioneer National Bank, Rusk County Memorial Hospital, WI Auto-Truck Dealers Association, State and Regional Chevrolet Dealer Council, and American Legion. He was a past member and President of the Ladysmith Kiwanis Club.
Bill’s second half of life found him enjoying downhill skiing, traveling internationally, spending the winter months in Arizona, and at 70 taking up motorcycling. He loved his Harley and the mini-road trips he would take with his son David, grandson Tyler, and all of David’s buddies. He was a member of the Motorcycle Club of Sun Lakes for many years and enjoyed socializing at Mulligan’s bar in Sun Lakes Country Club and the Cottonwood Bar & Grill; he enjoyed conversation and had a talent for remembering everyone’s name, always a welcome guest at parties. Bill’s membership in the Sun Lakes Cotillion Dance Club introduced him to residents across Sun Lakes; he never met a person he didn’t enjoy talking with.
Bill is survived by two children, Chip Stearns of Missoula, Mont., and Sally (Paul) Gallenberger of Eden Prairie, Minn.; seven grandchildren; two sisters; and a brother.
He was preceded in death by his sons, Mark Stearns of Truckee, Calif., and David Stearns of Algonquin, Ill.
He was proud to be a veteran, treasured his friendships, and loved his family. He will be dearly missed.
Barbara Ann Kilcher
Barbara Ann Kilcher passed away peacefully on Dec. 16, 2022, in Chandler, Ariz., at the age of 84. Barbara was born in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., on Dec. 11, 1938, to the late Peter Adam Kilcher and Juanita Madeline Ann Elizabeth Sackett Kilcher.
Barbara was the eldest of seven children. She is survived by her sisters, Joan Walmsley of Clinton Township, Mich., Susan Reiter (the late, Richard Jr and Edward) of Dawsonville, Ga., and Mary Jo Grabowski (Mark) of Cumming, Ga.; her brothers, James Kilcher of Roseville, Mich., and John Kilcher (Deborah) of Clinton Township, Mich.; 29 nieces and nephews; 42 great-nieces and nephews; and 16 great-great-nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Richard Kilcher (survived by Judi) of Clinton Township, Mich.; and her lifelong friend, Lois Kopitzke.
Barbara graduated from Guardian Angels in 1953 and then from Dominican High School in 1957. She established her career working for Michigan Bell (now AT&T), rising to management in her later years. Towards the end of her life, she lived with her niece and eldest godchild, Theresa “Terri” Kimble and her husband, George, in Chandler, Ariz. Barbara was a member of the Telecom Pioneers and a volunteer at the Chandler Chamber of Commerce and Ostrich Festival. She held steadfast to her catholic faith and was a devout parishioner of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
Barbara enjoyed music, quilting, a good book, and playing board games. She loved to travel and go camping as well. Affectionately known to so many as “Aunt Barb,” her friendliness, love for dogs, and her effortless ability to talk to anyone was paramount—she was truly everyone’s aunt!
Marguerite Mullin Valdo
Marguerite Mullin Valdo passed away on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, at the age of 99 1/2. Marguerite was preceded in death by Alex Randolph Valdo, her husband of 64 years. She is survived by her son, Thomas R. Valdo of Holland, Mich., her daughter, Ann V. Howard of Chandler, Ariz., her five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Grat M. Mullin of Tazewell, Va.
Marguerite earned a degree in English and History at Salem College, Winston-Salem, N.C. She taught high school English and History, worked in the cataloging department of a college library, and proofread for an agricultural magazine.
She was a long-time member of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. Marguerite was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) for 71 years.
Inurnment will be in the Mullin Family plot in the Maplewood Cemetery in Tazewell, Va.
Marguerite loved animals, and memorial gifts may be sent to any animal welfare or rescue group(s) of your choice.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.valleyofthesunfuneralhome.com for the Valdo and Howard family.
Ray Knott, 83, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away Dec. 12, 2022. He was born in Milton, Wis., on Sept. 26, 1939. Ray graduated from Milton High School and received an accounting degree from Milton College. Following graduation, Ray served in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Annapolis during the Vietnam War. Following his tour around the world, Ray worked as a financial controller within the publishing industry.
Ray married Joy Knott (nee Kersheske) in 1967, and they were married for 36 years until she passed away in 2004. Ray had a passion for sailing, golfing, and the Green Bay Packers. In 2006, he married Nancy Knott (nee Kilgras). Ray will be most remembered for his quick wit, dry sense of humor, love of numbers, care, and devotion to family. Ray was also preceded in death by his brother Robert “Bob” Knott and sister Darlene “Dar” Sullivan. He is survived by his wife Nancy Knott (nee Kilgras), Noelle Archambeau (daughter), Bruce Archambeau (son-in-law), Annabelle Archambeau (granddaughter), Dan Kilgras (stepson), Matt Kilgras (stepson), Scott Kilgras (stepson), Mary Massart (niece), Jeff Knott (nephew), Robin Greene (niece), and Mike Burt (nephew).
A celebration of life graveside service for Ray will be held on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, at noon at Valley of the Sun Mortuary & Cemetery, 10940 E Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler, AZ 85248.
Mary Ann Snellback Padula
Mary Padula, 82, a resident of Sun Lakes since 2007, died at her home surrounded by her loving family on Dec. 12, 2022. She was born on June 10, 1940, along with her twin sister Ellen in New York City, to Margaret and Daniel Snellback. The family moved to West Hempstead, Long Island, N.Y., when she was 3 years old. She attended the local schools and graduated from West Hempstead High School.
Mary attended Hunter College in New York City. She worked as an immigration paralegal, which she loved, for many years in New York City.
Mary was preceded in death by her partner of many years Robert Gehl, her parents, her brothers Daniel and Chet, and sister Patricia. She is survived by her twin sister, Ellen Snellback Engel, who also lives in Sun Lakes, and many nieces and nephews.
Mary had several friends who she enjoyed meeting for dinner. She enjoyed reading books on history and that sparked many good discussions. She loved animals and worked with a rescue group to find homes for many dogs and cats.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date.
Celeste E. Strom
Celeste E. Strom (née Lapen) died peacefully at home on Dec. 11, 2022, at age 88.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, N.Y., her father was a lieutenant in the New York City Fire Department and her mother a homemaker. Celeste was the younger of two daughters, and she shared a special closeness with her sister, Joan Westrack, for her entire life.
Celeste showed a talent for painting as a child and painted with both oil and watercolors throughout her life. She was an excellent student and an avid reader. Celeste married Robert (Bob) Strom in 1954, who was also a NYC fireman for 20 years. They were married until Bob’s death earlier this year.
Celeste spent most of her life in New York before she and Bob retired to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 1994.
At Sun Lakes Celeste was able to explore and grow her artistic talents. She was president of a watercolor art club and showed her work in a variety of galleries and art festivals. Her paintings can be found in homes and business throughout the Phoenix area.
Celeste made everything beautiful—her art, home, and garden. Bob and Celeste shared a keen interest in home improvement and embarked on numerous projects throughout their lifetime together. Celeste enjoyed traveling both internationally and domestically. She also loved spending time with her family and friends.
In addition to her sister, Celeste is survived by her children Lori Davila, Jeff Strom and spouse Terry, Steven Strom and spouse Denise; her granddaughter Kristen Rodriguez and spouse Johnny; her great-grandchildren Logan and Riley Rodriguez; and her step-grandchildren Shelly McGehee, JR Page, and Troy Derrick Page.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Hospice of the Valley for their compassionate care of Celeste in her final months.
The family will hold a Celebration of Life for Celeste in 2023. Celeste is forever in our hearts.
Nancy Joyes passed away peacefully at 88 years young at home in Sun Lakes, Ariz., with her loving husband, Cliff, at her side. She was born Jan. 28, 1934, to Helen and Joseph Szabo in Buffalo, N.Y. Nancy graduated from Holy Angels Academy in Buffalo in 1951. They bought a summer home in Lime Lake, N.Y., in 1987 and in 1991 built it into their retirement home then moved from Lime Lake, N.Y., to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 2011 to be closer to family and sunshine.
Nancy was a professional model for 16 years and later worked for the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority for 23 years where she retired. Nancy always had such a beautiful smile and a bubbly personality to match. She would light up the room when she walked in.
Nancy was proud of her Hungarian heritage—loving the customs, food, dancing, and all the festivities involved. She was a great organizer—planning many Christmas, retirement, birthday, and anniversary parties along with many other social events over the years. She volunteered on many committees. Nancy also loved to travel with her husband especially to the Caribbean every year for over 30 years.
Nancy was an absolute wonderful wife, mother, nana, and person.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Mary; her brothers Stephen and Joseph; and her son-in-law William Hampshire.
Nancy is survived by her loving husband of 42 years, Clifford; her two daughters, Linda Schmidt (Alphonse) and Laura Hampshire; two grandchildren, Aaron and Juliana; and two great-grandchildren, Corbin and Michael. Nancy will be missed by all.
A private Celebration of Life and internment will be held at a later date.
Robert D. Wynne
Robert D. Wynne, 77, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away Dec. 7, 2022. Bob fought a hard battle with Alzheimer’s for over eight years, but to our sorrow he lost his battle. Bob is survived by his wife, Irma; sons, David (Wendi) Wynne and Jason (Lindsey) Wynne and their mother, Nancy Jones Wynne; grandchildren Kalin Wynne, Adalynn Wynne, and Jackson Wynne; one nephew and three nieces.
Bob was born in Elmira, N.Y. He attended State University of New York at Brockport where he received a B.S. in Economics and Sociology. He enjoyed a career as a Regional Service Manager in the Customer Equipment Services Division of Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, N.Y. He also served in the U.S. Army National Guard Reserves. He enjoyed playing tennis and golf with family and friends. We remember him for his love, character, and zest for life.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Jan. 20, 2023.
Dolores Ann (Dee) Shelby of Sun Lakes, Ariz., formerly from Champaign, Ill., died on Nov. 30, 2022 in Gilbert, Ariz. She was born in Ivesdale, Ill., to George and Ethel Green and spent her elementary school years at one room Neagle School. She attended Tolono and Monticello high schools and the University of Illinois. While in school, she performed in numerous plays and danced in operettas and revues. She met her husband, Robert Shelby, at the University and they were married in 1950. He was in the automobile business, Shelby Motors, and they resided in Champaign most of their married life until moving to Sun Lakes in 1978.
She enjoyed doing volunteer work and held offices in many organizations. She belonged to the Jaycettes, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Guild, was a charter member of the Exchangettes, Junior Women’s Club, was a Girl Scout leader, and sang with the Sweet Adelines. She and her husband loved to dance and enjoyed traveling all over the world, dancing to big bands in many foreign countries.
She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Bette Shipley, sister Donna Anderson, brother George Jr., husband Robert, sons Michael and Edward, and daughter Sherry. Surviving are daughter Lori, son Sean, brother Jim Green, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Services will be private.
Karen Lee Sowney
Karen Lee Sowney, age 79, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Karen was born in Seattle, Wash., to Michael and Elvera Shontz.
Karen graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Elementary Education. Karen also served five years on active duty, in an administrative capacity. Her assignments took her to Italy, where she met her future husband. Karen also served briefly in Germany, in a similar capacity. Upon graduation from recruiting school, she served as a recruiter in Oakland/Alameida, Calif. She resigned her commission as a Captain in the Army to marry her future husband. In later years, she worked as a Technical Editorial Writer with Datapro Research Corporation for 26 years, before retiring in 2003. Karen enjoyed genealogy; reading; bowling; arts and crafts such as sewing, knitting, and quilting; jigsaw puzzles; and watching her grandson’s sports games.
Karen is survived by her loving husband, Edward J. Sowney of 52 years; her daughter Robin A. Lynn (Robert); her grandsons Robert E. Lynn and Matthew W. Lynn; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and brother, Michael Shontz.
The family would like to give special thanks to Better Living Home, for their care and love of Karen, during her battle with ALS.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the ALS Foundation in Karen’s memory.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.valleyofthesunfuneralhome.com for the Sowney Family.
DePaul R. Zimmerman
DePaul R. Zimmerman, age 86, of DeForest, Wis., passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. He was born on June 1, 1936, in Canby, Minn., the son of Thomas and Rita (Willette) Zimmerman. His family moved to Blue Earth, Minn., in 1939. He graduated from Blue Earth High School in 1954. He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy from 1955-1959, where he served as a Sonarman 3rd Class before being honorably discharged. He then attended Mankato State College until accepting a position with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in 1962.
He found his passion in sales and quickly advanced his career during his 37-year tenure at the company. He started out as a Retail Sales Manager, transferred to District Sales Manager and then on to a District Sales & Marketing Manager before he moved into the corporate Akron office in 1995 to help set up their new customer sales and service. In 1989, he received an award for being the Top District Sales Manager in the country. He was very dedicated to his career and was proud of his accomplishments. He retired at the end of 1999 and relocated to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 2001 before later moving to Wisconsin in 2017.
He married Barbara Ballinger in 1963. They had their first daughter, Lori, in 1964, and then Tracey, in 1966. Throughout his life he enjoyed traveling, hunting, and fishing, as well as having an avid interest in the theatre and arts.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Rita Zimmerman; brother, Darrel Zimmerman and wife, Jan; sister, Vivian Pfaffinger and husband, Otto; son-in-law, Thomas Furan; and nephew, Jim Zimmerman. He is survived by his daughters, Lori Zimmerman, Tracey Furan; and his grandson, Jacob Furan.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Legacy of DeForest and Agrace HospiceCare for their care and compassion.
A private family burial will be held at Calvary Cemetery in Blue Earth. Memorials can be sent directly to your local hospice or Alzheimer’s Society. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
Barbra (Bobbie) Munter
Our mother Barbra (Bobbie) Munter passed away peacefully on Nov. 24, 2022, in Sun Lakes, Ariz., surrounded by her family.
Mom grew up in Philadelphia, Pa., where during her high school years she was a standout basketball player. Her athleticism included a love for bowling, a passion she shared with our father Bernie. She was talented enough to be a semi-professional bowler with her career getting derailed by having four children. Mom always put us children first.
In the late 1970s Mom and Dad made a bold decision to leave the East Coast and begin on a new adventure in perpetually sunny and warm Arizona. It was here that Mom rediscovered the outdoors and a new passion; namely golf. She told us she was a $#*%%^ golfer (her words) but she loved the game and she loved the competition. Mom was always fiercely competitive whether it was golf, poker, mah jongg, or Scrabble. As her fellow card playing “girls” will tell you, winning was important to our mother.
Mom could be stubborn and direct at times but she was always loving when it came to her four kids, Rob (Sharon), Andy (Julie), Susan (Darrell), and Joel (Sandy), her 11 grandkids, and her eight great-grandchildren.
Mom was always a rock in our family and supported and loved each and every one of us throughout her 90 years. She touched many people in her lifetime and was caring and thoughtful when it came to others. Her desire was to have a very small family get-together following her cremation. There will not be a service and Mom’s wish, in lieu of flowers, if you were so moved, was to make a donation to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in her name. Thank you.
Mom, we love you, we will miss you, and we will continue to hold you in our hearts every day.—Rob & Sharon, Andy & Julie, Susan & Darrell, and Joel & Sandy
Alice Solch Brown
Alice Solch Brown passed away peacefully at Aegis Vesta House in Chandler on Nov. 22 after a long illness. The daughter of Joseph and Ella (Vodicka) Solch, she was born at home on Aug. 26, 1926, in Cicero, Ill.
Raised during the Great Depression, Alice was frugal but also generous, giving presents to family and friends throughout her life. Before retiring to Sun Lakes in the 1980s with her husband, Stan Brown, Alice worked as an inspector in the food and electronics industries. She loved to shop, especially at thrift stores and during sales, and collected plates and ceramics. Alice was a fantastic cook; in keeping with her Czech ancestry, chicken paprikash with bread dumplings was her specialty. Blessed with a flawless memory, a sharp wit, and a great sense of humor, Alice shared reminiscences and a lot of laughs with family and friends, even in her final weeks.
Alice always knew how she wanted things done and did it her way to the end. Until the last couple months, she was able to stay in her home with the support of her primary caregiver, her niece Gail, as well as her son, friends, and neighbors. The family is also grateful for all of the care that Alice received in her last months from the staff of Savior Hospice, Aegis Vesta House, Willow Springs, and Griswold Home Care.
Alice was loved by many and will be greatly missed by them. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Lloyd and Elizabeth Karger, grandsons Christopher and Michael (Courteney) Karger, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and close friends. She was predeceased by her parents, her brothers Joe and Jerry, her sisters Lyn, Val, Vera, and Helen, her husband Stan, and special friend Ralph Schip.
Family and friends will be notified of arrangements for a Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Savior Hospice or charity of choice.
Peggy LaVonn Kuntz
Peggy LaVonn Kuntz, 91, of Boise, Idaho, passed away the morning of Friday, Nov. 18. She was surrounded by her husband Richard (Dick) Kuntz, her five children, and her sister LaDonna Hehn.
Peggy was born in Dickinson, N.D., on Sept. 29, 1931, to Sylvia and Frank Burda. She was the youngest of seven children.
She was a homemaker and a school librarian at Franklin and Valley View Elementary Schools in Boise. She was an avid golfer and bridge player. She was also well-known in the Bingo room at Morning Star Senior Living.
Peggy and Dick traveled far and wide, including Egypt and Greece and throughout the United States, but her favorite spot was Maui, Hawaii. After retirement, she and Dick split their time between McCall, Idaho, and Sun Lakes, Ariz., where many lifetime friends were made. She loved her time playing golf with the ladies from McCall and Sun Lakes. She was especially proud of her hole-in-one in 1997.
She is survived by her loving husband of 71 years, Richard (Dick) Kuntz, daughter Nancy Elliott, son Tom Kuntz and wife Sharon, daughter Cindy Obermeyer and husband Gordon, daughter Patti Beavers and her husband Rob, and son Mike and his wife Kelly Ann. She also leaves behind 12 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren, with two more on the way.
A celebration of Peggy’s life will be held in the spring of 2023.
A thank you goes out to Brandi from Horizon Hospice for her gentle care and kindness to Peggy and her family, as well as a special thank you to Dr. Mike Maier for the many years of compassionate care given to Peggy.
Contributions can be made to Diocese of Boise STVRC—In memory of Peggy Kuntz, 1501 S. Federal Way, Suite #400, Boise, Idaho 83705 (Retired Priest Center).
Frank Lester Kienow
Frank Lester Kienow, 84 years old, of Chandler, Ariz., passed away on Nov. 9, 2022. Frank was born in Knox County (Winnetoon), Neb., on April 26, 1938, to Lester and Mildred Watson Kienow. Frank’s working career, after graduation from college in 1961, began at Standard Oil Co. before he began teaching and coaching in 1965. In 1969, Frank moved with his wife, Leila, and three daughters to Guam to begin teaching at George Washington Junior High before moving on to John F. Kennedy High School the following year to teach and coach football. Frank loved everything about Guam; the people, the food, but mostly his football team (the Green Machine) and the players. One of his proudest achievements was winning three championships; he is known to those players as “Coach” and they have remained close throughout the years. After leaving Guam at the end of 1975, he took principalships in Nebraska before moving to Arizona. After remarrying in 1987, he and Becky moved to Senegal, Africa, where he was the Head Master of the International School of Dakar. He also spent time working in a family business in Nebraska. After retiring, Frank spent the rest of his life in Arizona near his family and traveling to far-reaching corners of the world.
Frank is survived by his wife of 35 years, Becky; daughters Leslie Armstrong, Carmen Kienow, and Jill Kienow; and five grandchildren, Cecily Dominguez, Quinton Dominguez, John “Sam” Armstrong V, Frank “Connor” Armstrong, and Will Armstrong.
Frank was a member of Sun Lakes United Methodist Church and an active member of several church committees. A memorial service will be held at the church on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 1 p.m. A Celebration of Life will follow directly after the service in Lindsay Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the endowment fund of Sun Lakes UMC.
Antoinette “Toni” Muro
Antoinette “Toni” Muro (née Oliveros) born March 4, 1940, passed away on Nov. 6, 2022. Toni, as she was known by friends and family, graduated from Fontana High School in 1957. She was only a junior at the time but had gotten ahead in her credits due to a bad car accident that forced her to spend a year at home in bed. One of the books that she read that year had pictures of lighthouses on faraway islands off the coast of New England, and this sparked an interest that would never fade.
After high school Toni worked as a telephone operator for the Pacific Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company in downtown Los Angeles. It was around this time that Toni met a young man named Daniel Muro at party. She stood him up on their first date. But Dan was not dissuaded and eventually the two were married on Feb. 27, 1965. Five years later Toni would give birth to a son, Daniel Christian Muro.
Shortly after their marriage Toni learned that her husband had kidney disease when he suffered a heart attack and nearly died from renal failure. For the rest of his life Toni was Dan’s chief medical advocate. As his ability to work became less and less she took on the role of bread winner for her family. Working first as a real estate agent, and later as a secretary, Toni rose quickly through the ranks of the secretarial pool and soon was working for an assistant superintendent to the San Bernardino Unified School District.
But, the most amazing thing of all is that Toni’s life really began at age 60 when she followed her dream and moved to live on Peaks Island, off the coast of Portland, Maine. Sadly her husband was unable to join her as he passed away from cancer in 2001, but her 14 years on Peaks Island was, without a doubt, a high point.
Due to progressing lung disease Toni moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., where, with the help of her niece Virginia Jenkins, Virginia’s husband Bill, her great niece Trisha Alder, Trisha’s husband John, and all of their children she led a full life surrounded by family.
Toni is survived by her son Daniel Christian Muro, his wife Joane, and their daughter Sofia, whom she absolutely adored. Toni also is survived by a sister Kathi Mills in Florida.
Velma Ruth Raithel
Velma Ruth Raithel of Chandler, Ariz., passed away on Nov. 6, 2022, at the age of 95. She was born on Jan. 10, 1927, in Brunswick, Mo. She graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1973. She worked as a Registered Nurse.
She is preceded in death by her husband Henry Raithel. She is survived by her daughter Karla Slovitsky (Steve); three grandchildren, Kelly Rangel (George), Scott, and Samantha; and six great-grandchildren.
To leave condolences for the family, please visit www.phoenixmemorialmortuary.com.
Clem Clement, a proud veteran of the United States Army, passed away Nov. 5, 2022, after a lengthy illness. He was 87 years old.
The son of L.W. and Hazel Clement, Clem was born in 1935 and raised in the great state of Arkansas, home of the Razorbacks. He received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arkansas and his master’s degree in engineering from the University of Alabama. He was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at the University of Arkansas.
At the age of 21, Clem was commissioned in the U.S. Army and attained the rank of Colonel following 26 years of dedicated service to his country. He served in the Vietnam conflict and all over the world, including Germany, the Kwajalein Missile Range in the South Pacific, and multiple U.S. installations throughout the United States. Some of his medals included the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal.
A member of Sun Valley Community Church, Clem was a devout Christian and dedicated his life to serving his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Judi; his three sons and daughter-in-law, Larry (Rhonda), John, and Steve; five wonderful grandchildren, Stephen, Katy, Joshua, Johnny, and Caroline (he was known as Doodah to them); beloved family members Joe and Stephanie Hancock, Paul Good, and Catherine Clement; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Margaret.
His loved ones will remember his courage, his love, his boundless sense of humor, his generosity, and his limitless wisdom. He touched the life of many young people as a baseball coach, football coach, and scoutmaster. He was awarded the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver award for his dedication and sacrifice to the Boy Scouts. He loved his retired life in Sun Lakes, Ariz., and will be missed by the hundreds of friends he met over his 30 years of living there.
Jeanette Marie Peter
Jeanette Marie Peter, age 79, passed away peacefully on Nov. 4, 2022, in Chandler, Ariz., attended by her husband of nearly 57 years. She was born Jan. 23, 1943, in Midland, Mich., and lived there until she moved to Ann Arbor for work and college and met her future husband. She married Mike in 1965 and they moved around the Midwest pursuing further education until they settled in Binghamton, N.Y., where they lived for the next 40+ years. Jan was a research project administrator at the State University of New York, but had other jobs as well—managing the deli at a local gourmet food store, teaching adult ed classes, serving in several capacities at Broome County Cooperative Extension, and being her husband’s office manager for several years.
She had a son, Stephen, in 1974 who she and Mike raised until Steve left home to attend college. After retiring, Jan and Mike moved to Sun Lakes in 2018 to be closer to their son and granddaughter, Zuri. Sadly, Jan’s golden years were cut short by the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease, which she battled with courage and dignity until she finally succumbed after months of declining health.
She was one of five sisters and one brother and was a good friend to many other people during her life. She had a wonderful laugh and was surrounded by special friends who shared her zest for life. A wonderful cook and avid bridge player for many years, she was a member of many social groups and developed close relationships with several people with whom she remained best friends over several decades.
After moving to Arizona, she treasured the time she spent with Zuri and greatly enjoyed the role of Grandma. She was a wonderful companion and friend, and she will be greatly missed by all of us who knew and loved her. She left the world a kinder and better place. She was the center of my life. I will love her always and forever.
Jan donated her body for use in scientific research and for organ transplant use. In her typical way, she gave to others, even in death. In lieu of a ceremony to mark her passing, her loved ones are asked to remember and memorialize her with a donation to Planned Parenthood, the American Cancer Society, or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Gladys B. Galvanoni passed peacefully at 99 years young in Chandler, Ariz. She independently walked stairs and lived on her own until her final month of life. Gladys’s love and life purpose was dedicated to her family and church.
Together with her beloved predeceased spouse of 67 years, Aldo Galvanoni, Gladys lived in New Jersey, New York, Kentucky, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, and Arizona. They moved to Sun Lakes in 1994.
Their legacy remains with cherished family in Arizona: daughters Anne Galvi, MD (Charles “Charlie” Gauntt, MD, deceased) and Grace Galvanoni, PT (Doug Ashby, DC); grandchildren Angela (Colby) Christensen and Matthew Gauntt (Colorado); and great-grandchildren Zachary, Tessa, and Callie Christensen.
Born in West Hoboken, New Jersey, Gladys is predeceased by her sisters Mercedes Franco and Dorothy Cuono. She is survived by her dear brother Guy C. Bosetti of Midlothian, Va., as well as fondly remembered nieces and nephews and their spouses and children in various states.
Upon completion of her education at Ladycliff College (BA) in New York, and Columbia University (MA) in New York, Gladys taught high school art, history, and English. She declined opportunities to teach at a university level in order to stay home full-time as a wife and mother.
Throughout her adult years, Gladys served extensively in the Roman Catholic Church in multiple parishes. She instructed all ages, ministered inquiries, held leadership discussions, organized and led community affairs committees, was a Eucharistic minister, provided service to unwed mothers, and more.
Gladys’ additional interests were AAUW, Red Hat, book clubs, cooking, sewing, music, ballroom dance with her husband, and supporting Aldo throughout his career. Aldo is remembered for organizing Aero Clubs in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Sun Lakes, Ariz. She is fondly remembered by many as “a sweet lady.”
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Gladys’ memory to Saint Vincent de Paul Society, any location, any method.
Both Gladys’ funeral mass at Saint Stevens and a Celebration of Life at Robson Reserve took place in Sun Lakes in early November 2022.
Gary Lee Burns
Gary Lee Burns was born on Dec. 22, 1939, in Omaha, Neb., to Charles and Helen (Wallick) Burns. He passed away after a short illness on Oct. 19, 2022, in Chandler, Ariz.
He moved with his family to Red Oak, Iowa, in 1945 and graduated from high school with the class of 1957. On Dec. 28, 1958, he was united in marriage to Kathryn Marie Freed at Fremont Lutheran Church, Nyman, Iowa.
He graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree and was a member of the Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity. He and Kathy moved to Pocahontas, Iowa, after graduation where he was a coach and teacher for four years. In 1965 he left the teaching profession and formed a partnership with Jim Fitzgerald that became Burns Fitzgerald Realtors. He was on the Pocahontas Community Hospital board that built the present hospital in 1967 and was instrumental in forming a group of investors to build the present day Pocahontas Manor Care Center in 1970. Later he became the sole owner of that facility until he sold it in 2012.
In 1985 they moved to Mesa, Ariz. He was a past member of Mesa Country Club, Iron Oaks of Sun Lakes, and current member of King of Glory Lutheran Church in Tempe, Ariz. He and Kathy moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 2010 where he enjoyed golf until his health declined. For the last nine months they had lived at Robson Reserve where he established many new friendships and his love of playing bridge.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Kathy, and four children: Debra (Ted) Shimon of Peoria, Ariz., Jeffrey (Lisa) Burns of Chandler, Ariz., Denise (Mike) Ziegler of Sedalia, Colo., and Barry (Kate) Burns of Chandler, Ariz. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren: Christine (Weston) Bingham, Nick (Tate) Shimon, and Tim Shimon; Kelsey, Jack, and Marley Burns; Sullivan Ziegler, Eli (Aubri) Ziegler, and Macy Ziegler; and Elliot and Zane Burns; as well as great-grandchildren Myla, Brant, Emery, and Mabel Bingham; Lane Jones; and Ollie Joy Shimon.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Roger Burns, and his sister-in-law Charlene.
His love of people, college football, Iowa State University, Kansas City Chiefs, and family will never be forgotten. His greatest legacy was having never known a stranger.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to American Heart Association or your favorite charity.
Memorial services will be held on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. at Valley of the Sun Mortuary, 10940 East Chandler Heights Road, Chandler, AZ 85248.
Judith Ann Horn
Judith Ann Horn, 83, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022.
Judith was born Jan. 27, 1939, to Joe Ross and Cynthia Walker in Malden, a small town in southeast Missouri. She had an idyllic childhood and was involved in everything, from singing in the school choir, playing piano, writing for the school newspaper, and cheering on the Malden Green Wave with three of her best girlfriends.
After graduating from high school, she attended Lindenwood College for Women for one year and then transferred to the University of Missouri. She became a member of the Tri-Delts (Delta Delta Delta) sorority and met Richard Horn, a Phi Delta Theta who stole her heart. After graduation, they married and spent the next 61 years together.
Judith taught elementary school for the majority of her working years. In retirement, she was seldom without a book in hand and loved bridge, tennis, and spending time with family. The pride of her life was her two sons, Ted and Joe, as well as their wonderful families.
She was preceded in death by Richard Horn, her loving husband, and leaves behind her sons Ted (Jodie) and Joe (Andrea) and six grandsons, Colton, Brayden, Palmer, Walker, Brecken, and Graysen.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to Happy Tails No Kill Animal Shelter, www.happytailsnokillanimalshelter.com/donate.
Gloria Josephine Fanning Petriello
Gloria Josephine Fanning Petriello passed away peacefully on Oct. 16, at the age of 99 in Chandler, Ariz. The daughter of John and Helen Fanning (Riccio) of Bridgeport, Conn., she was raised by her grandmother, Agnes Altieri, and aunt and uncle, Ann and John Hodgins from age 4, following the death of her mother. She graduated Harding High School class of 1941, and worked in the aviation industry for Sikorsky Aircraft during the war and later medical offices and libraries in Connecticut. She met her future husband, Anthony “Tony” Petriello, in high school. They later reconnected after WWII, fell in love, and married in 1948. They celebrated their 74th anniversary in April 2022.
Gloria and Tony enjoyed traveling, exploring the United States and Europe. They drove cross-country to Arizona for several years as snowbirds before moving to Sun Lakes in 1994, where they enjoyed wonderful friends and dancing at the Sunday Night and Cotillion Dance clubs. She was a longtime member of Beta Sigma Phi, loved to play cards and Mexican Train, and enjoyed golf with the Oakwood Lady Niners and Ironwood Lady Niners.
Gloria was always bright and full of life, a great cook and hostess, and will be missed by her many friends and family. Sadly, Tony died in April this year and their treasured son, Robert, predeceased his parents in 2010. She is survived by her cherished granddaughters, Laurel and Deanna (Dan), adored great-grandsons, Dominic and Luca, and by brothers-in-law, Michael (Sheila) of Sun Lakes and Bart of Trumbull, Conn., her sister Eileen, cousin Joanne, and many nieces and nephews.
Services were held at St. Stevens Catholic Church on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022.
Jim Thorburn, at 91 years of age, who resided with his wife, Carolyn (“Kayo”), in Palo Verde for over 20 years, passed away Oct. 6, 2022, at home in Chandler, Ariz. He was surrounded by family: daughter Carrie, son Matthew, grandson Michael, and most importantly, the love of his life and wife of 65 years, Kayo. With support from Hospice of the Valley and care from his family, Jim passed very peacefully in his own bedroom.
Jim and Kayo moved to Sun Lakes in 1997 and lived in Palo Verde for 20 years enjoying all the community has to offer and their many friends. Jim especially loved the trivia nights and was very active in the Sun Lakes Community Theater. He had roles in many productions and was also a member of the improv players. Six years ago, Jim and Kayo were ready for a downsize and had an estate sale, sold their Palo Verde home, and have lived in Chandler since.
The Thorburn family want to encourage SLCT members and other Sun Lakes friends to attend a celebration of Jim’s joyful and wonderful life at 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, at the Sun Lakes Chapel, 9240 S. Sun Lakes Boulevard, followed by coffee, cookies, and other treats in the chapel next door. Donations to the Robson Library should be made in lieu of flowers because Dad loved books and flowers made him sneeze. Friends, please bring photos, stories, or anecdotes to share with the group. If you are unable to attend but would like to share a story, you may email Jim’s daughter Carrie Thorburn at [email protected] and your story will be shared for you. You may also call or text Carrie at 208-230-7162.
Irma S. Rahr
Irma S. Rahr, born Feb. 28, 1925, passed away on Oct. 3, 2022, with her daughter by her side. One of nine children, she was born on the family farm in the town of Colchester, in the Catskill mountains of Delaware County, N.Y., to Ward and Mattie (Cable) Suttle. She was predeceased by her husbands: Joseph A. Donaloio, James Sweeney, and Frederick Rahr; her older brothers: George, James, Floyd, Stanley, and Francis Suttle as well as her older sister Eleanor Jones, and two younger sisters Inez Pillsbury and Marjorie MacDonald. She is survived by her daughter, Brenda (Donaloio) Lee and several nieces and nephews.
Irma walked a steep, one lane dirt road to a one room school house wedged into the mountainside, where she and her siblings began their education. Irma was interested in music and learned to play the melodeon, mandolin, violin, clarinet, baritone sax, bassoon, viola, cello, string bass, and piano. At a little over five feet tall, Irma was the high school band drum majorette with all the regalia—boots, baton, tall hat, short skirt, and high steps.
Although a one room school house graduate, she went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in music from Hartwick College and a Masters in Music Education from Ithaca College. Irma taught elementary and middle school music appreciation, choir, and led many holiday concerts.
A lover of Morgan horses, Irma had several that she rode and drove with a little two wheel buggy through the hills of upstate New York.
On retirement she worked in her family’s restaurants, until her husband, Joseph Donaloio retired. Regrettably he passed away shortly after retirement. She remarried, to James Sweeney, and moved to Quincy, Mass. When Jim passed away, Irma moved fulltime to Bradenton, Fla.
Mutual friends introduced her to Frederick Rahr; she again married and moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz. While in Sun Lakes, she was active in the Red Hat Society, sang alto in the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church choir, became a proficient organist, and traveled to places she never dreamed of as a kid. Over the years she volunteered, tutoring children from Boston, Florida, and Arizona Native American communities.
Irma moved to Galveston, Texas, living with her daughter Brenda. She maintained a healthy “fan club” correspondence with former students—often thanking her for the opportunity to learn music appreciation—and her former teaching colleagues. She attended Libbie’s Senior Day Program and read voraciously.
A graveside service will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022, at Prospect Hill Cemetery, Sidney, New York.
The family asks that donations in Irma’s memory be made to Sun Lakes United Methodist Church or the charity of your choice. Please share your memories on her memorial webpage: www.malloyandson.com/obituaries/Irma-Ruth-Rahr?obId=26055827#/celebrationWall.
Nadine Danielson-Cusack, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., and previously of Scott County, Iowa, passed away on Sept. 27, 2022, at the age of 84.
She was born in Nebraska to Harold and Lillian Knople on Sept. 3, 1938, the youngest of six children. In 1956, she graduated from Peru State Teacher’s College with her high school diploma and in 1959 was awarded her Bachelor of Science in Education from Nebraska State Teachers College. She initially taught in Nebraska and after moving to Iowa, taught for the Davenport Community School District until her retirement in 1994, after which she continued her passion for teaching by often substituting. When not teaching, she managed her own catering business and enjoyed cooking throughout her lifetime.
She was previously married to Marlin Danielson. In 1979 she married William Cusack and they were long-term residents of Scott County, Iowa, until they relocated to Arizona to enjoy retirement and involved themselves in a myriad of activities; working the Milwaukee Brewers spring training games, NASCAR races, hockey games, renaissance festivals, and many others. Nadine was also a member of the Sun Lakes Coloring Club, leaving us many pretty colorings to enjoy.
Nadine is survived by her husband, William Cusack, her children; Randall (Teri) Danielson, Jeffrey (Diana) Danielson, David (Mary) Danielson, and her stepchildren: Robert (Georgann) Cusack, Kathy (Mark) Lohrding, Scott Cusack, and Debbie Fifer. Nadine was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings, and a granddaughter.
A Celebration of Life gathering will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at the Unitarian Universalist of the Quad Cities, 3707 Eastern Avenue, Davenport, Iowa. Drop in between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. to enjoy this time of reflection on the life of Nadine Danielson-Cusack. In honor of her love of cooking and providing good food for others, memorials can be made to the River Bend Food Bank or bring a food item for donation.
Basil Serge Bocynesky
Basil Serge Bocynesky, 78, passed peacefully in his sleep on Sept. 23, 2022. He leaves behind his wife of 56 years, Sandra, a daughter, Christine (Bocynesky) Monaco of Texas, and son-in-law, Michael Monaco. Additionally, he leaves behind a son-in-law, Michael Belair, of Sun Lakes. Basil was preceded in death by his daughter Kimberly (Bocynesky) Belair of Sun Lakes. He also leaves behind five grandchildren, Julianna Huettt, Lauryn Tetreault, Ryan Belair, Kaitlyn Belair, and Devin Cwynar.
Basil served in the U.S. Air Force and retired as a Master Sergeant from the 74th Med. Evac. Unit. He owned his own industrial hygiene consulting business just prior to retiring. Over the years he worked for the federal government and state of Connecticut as an industrial hygienist in Connecticut as well as the Center for Occupational Health in Exeter, N.H.
Basil was born and resided in Connecticut until 2003, at which time he and his wife moved from Hebron, Conn., to Ahwatukee, Ariz., and finally to Sun Lakes where he served for many years on the Building and Grounds Committee in IronOaks. He enjoyed the climate, the friendliness of the Sun Lakes community, and the many activities.
He was smart, witty, well versed, well loved, and will be missed dearly by his family and friends. He is resting in the arms of the Lord.
Joan Bonardel Golding
Joan B. Golding, 83, was born June 9, 1939, and passed away on Sept. 18, 2022. Joan is survived by her husband Dick of 63 years, daughters Nancy Dennehy and Connie Quarnstrom (John), son Tex Golding, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Joan was preceded in death by her parents, sister Nancy Paul, son Ken Golding, and son-in-law Dan Dennehy.
Joan was born in Orange, N.J., in 1939, and raised in Summit, N.J., where she met her future husband, Dick, in the 4th grade. In 1959, Dick and Joan married and started a family of four children. The family moved to Minnesota in 1974. Joan and Dick later moved to Long Beach, Ind., Webster, Wis., and Sun Lakes, Ariz., where they enjoyed their retirement. In 2021, they moved to Stillwater, Minn.
Joan loved raising her family, entertaining, cruising, ballroom dancing, and animals. She was a truly compassionate person who always put others before herself. Words cannot express how much she will be missed.
A private memorial service for the family will be held at a future date. No need for gifts, but should you wish to honor Joan, please direct donations to Best Friend’s Animal Society in Kanab, Utah, or Lakeview Homecare & Hospice, Oak Park Heights, Minn.
Bob (Lou Bob) Miller
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend, Bob (Lou Bob) Miller. He was born in Huntington, W.Va., on Oct. 16, 1929, to Eunice and Louie T. Miller and left this world on Sept. 18, 2022. He was preceded in death by the love of his life and wife of 66 years, Barbara J. Miller. Bob and Barb resided in Sun Lakes, Ariz., since 1987 after moving from the Chicago area.
Bob played a mean game of tennis to which his friends and teammates can attest. He was an avid Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Suns fan. When he no longer had his season tickets, you could find him in front of the TV voicing his advice loudly. He was a dedicated and loving family man who enjoyed family and friends around the table with lively conversation. He took care of Barbara when she battled Parkinson’s disease and was always attentive to her. He lived life to the fullest and was always grateful for friends and family. Friends and family gathered from around the U.S. to celebrate his 90th birthday in 2019. He was surprised, amazed, and felt blessed by all who attended.
His warmth and kindness will be sorely missed by everyone. He leaves behind to carry on his legacy his children Larry (Shirley) Miller, Nancy (Jim) Carrell, Robin (Brian) Blaylock, and Tom (Luigina) Miller, and grandchildren Laurel, Lee (Lynsey), Shaun (Nadia), Samantha (Manny), Andy (Sara), Katelyn (Keith) and Amy, Kelly and Brandon, Michael (April), and Anthony. Also, his great-grandchildren Lilia and Violet, Langdon and Cadence, Ava and Atlas, DrewAn, Charlotte and Hank, Paxton and Pearl, Lily and Luna, Mia, Massimo, Matteo, and Milo, Milana, Camilla, and Giovanni. He touched many lives, and recently he had a loving relationship with Joan Sisley.
We are very grateful to the care he received from hospice and would appreciate donations to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014 in lieu of flowers. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during his recent hospital visits, rehab, and skilled nursing care; they were greatly appreciated.
Bob’s memorial service will be Oct. 18, 2022, 11 a.m. at Risen Savior Lutheran Church, 23914 S. Alma School Road, Chandler, AZ 85248.
Roger Eugene Arrand
Roger Eugene Arrand, age 97, passed away on Sept. 17, 2022. Roger was born in Flint, Mich., to the late Russell and Christine Arrand.
He is survived by his daughter, Patrice Annette Diamond; sons, Roger Randall Arrand (Setsuko) and Russell Gene Arrand (Brenda); grandchildren, Michelle Lannette Mendoza (Johnny), Erin Maureen Walley (Lamar), Sarah Mae Webster (Corky), Randall Kim Arrand (Charo), and Savanna Gene Loafman (Darrin); great-grandchildren, Amanda, Jessica, John, and Christine Mendoza; Brandon, Zach, Christopher, and Samantha Webster and Luca Loafman; and great-great-grandchildren, Madeleine, Roselyn, and Caeden.
Roger is preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Nina Mae Arrand; grandchild, Andrea Arrand; and his sister, June Bandy.
Roger graduated from Flint Central High School and went on to become the successful business owner of Arrand Auto Service. He served his country in the Army Air Corp. and was a member of the Jim Beam Club. Roger loved to travel, particularly in his RV, and enjoyed crossword puzzles and playing the lottery.
The family would like to give special thanks to all of his neighbors for the outpouring of love and support they have shared and to Hospice at Home for all the dedicated care given to Roger.
Services will be held privately with arrangements entrusted to Valley of the Sun Mortuary and Cemetery.
Jack Neal Cook
Jack “Pop-Pop” Cook passed away on Saturday, Sept. 17, at the age of 79 in Phoenix, Ariz., at the Dobson House hospice facility due to brain cancer.
Jack grew up in Suffield, Ohio, and was an active child and young adult participating in a variety of sports. He attended the University of Akron, graduating with a degree in accounting. Shortly after graduating college, he was drafted into the Army and was headed to Vietnam but not until after completing his training from the prestigious Army Ranger School. He completed two tours in Vietnam and was awarded a Bronze Star.
Once back in the U.S., he met the love of his life, his wife Donna. They were married in 1981 and welcomed their first child, Nathan, later that year. In 1984, they welcomed their second child, Julia. In 2016, Jack welcomed his first grandchild (Anderson) with a second one coming in 2020 (Iris), he became affectionately known as “Pop-Pop” to both.
Jack was an avid skier and fervent supporter of all the activities that his kids were involved in. He was a 25+ year member of the volunteer ski patrol at Squaw Valley and when he wasn’t driving his family to kids’ activities, he loved being in the mountains and skiing. He was also a volunteer referee and soccer coach for Ballistic United Soccer Club in Pleasanton, Calif.
Jack had a long, successful business career spread across accounting, finance, and IT. He was known as a hard and competent worker who did everything well. He retired around 2008 after relocating from California to Arizona and, given the lack of snow, he took up the game of golf. Jack’s golf swing was something to behold, but he fell in love with the game and was a past president of the Oakwood 9-hole golf league, which are affectionately called the “niners.”
Jack is survived by his loving wife, Donna Cook; brother, Dale Cook; daughter, Julia Cook; his son and daughter in-law, Nathan and Cara Cook; his two grandchildren, Anderson and Iris Cook; and several cousins, nieces, and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org).
Interment will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona on Friday, Nov. 4 at 1:30 p.m. with a Celebration of Life on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Sisk Park in Sun Lakes, Ariz.
Harold “Bud” Lee Ewy
Harold “Bud” Lee Ewy passed away peacefully at his home in Mesa, Ariz., on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, at the age of 87. Bud was surrounded by loved ones throughout his life and at the time of his passing.
Bud is survived by his daughter, Julee Ewy Bruno of Phoenix, Ariz.; son, Mark Ewy and son-in-law Rusty Granger of Mesa, Ariz.; granddaughters Katherine Bruno of Tempe, Ariz., Karen Malick Trousdale (Ben) of Pasadena, Calif., and Kristen Malick (Charley) of Phoenix, Ariz.; and great-granddaughter Kennedy Grace Trousdale.
Bud is preceded in death by his loving wife, Carole Ann Ewy; parents, Carl and Helen Ewy of Kansas; brother Stanley Ewy; father and mother-in-law, Wendell and Mildred Hall of Arizona; and great-granddaughter, Ann Marie.
Bud was born on Nov. 8, 1934, in Newton, Kan. He graduated from Hutchinson High School in 1952 and went on to attend Hutchinson Junior College prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army serving in Korea and Hawaii from 1953 to 1956. He then enrolled in Kansas State University where he graduated in 1960 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Bud was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
He married Carole in 1959 and upon graduation they moved to Port Neches, Texas, where he worked for Gulf Oil Chemical Company. They moved to Boulder, Colo., and then lived in Kansas City; Orange, Texas; Joplin, Mo.; and returned to Orange where he eventually retired in 1993 and moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz.
Bud was an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Orange, Texas, serving on the vestry, as Senior Warden, a lay reader, and leading the Bethel Bible Series. He also served St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Chandler, Ariz., as an usher and helping with their food bank.
A Celebration of Life is scheduled for 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church located at 901 W. Erie St., Chandler, Ariz., with a reception to follow. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Bud’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 1401 W. Park Avenue, Orange, TX 77630, Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank in Chandler, Ariz., or to Disabled American Veterans. Condolences can be sent to www.horizonfuneralcare.com/obituaries. The family would like to thank the staff at Banner Baywood Heart Hospital and Hospice of the Valley who listened to his needs and provided care, kindness, and compassion during his final days.
Charles David Bakeman
Charles David Bakeman lost his battle with a lengthy illness Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. He was born on March 18, 1934, in Taft, Calif. His was born to Andrew and Francis Bakeman.
After graduating from Paso Robles High School, he attended Stanford University majoring in Mechanical Engineering and playing center on their football team. He transferred to Cal Poly and graduated with a Mechanical Engineering Degree. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering at Purdue University.
Charles joined the Army where he and his family lived in Virginia, Georgia, Indiana, France, Germany, Kansas, and California. He also served his country in Greenland and in Vietnam and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel serving 20 years. He was too humble to boast about his medals. After retiring he started a custom home business in California where he built their dream home. They later settled in Sun Lakes, Ariz., following several family members and lived there happily for over 35 years. He designed and built a second custom home on the golf course in the White Mountains.
He was always working on a project, which included building decks for family members, custom bookcases, a pool table, a playhouse for his grandchildren, picture frames showcasing his family, a dark room, and countless others. He loved to travel the world with his wife and spend summers golfing and fly fishing in the White Mountains.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Joan; sons, Brent (Christie) and Mark (Cindy); daughter, Julie (Lara); grandchildren, Lee, Melissa, Wendy, Amber, Laren, Cole, and Taylor; and great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his father Andrew Bakeman, mothers June and Francis Bakeman, and brother Andy Bakeman.
Even though he had an accomplished and rewarding career, Charles would say his greatest accomplishment was being a husband, dad, and devoted grandfather. He had a witty sense of humor and was always ready for a celebration. He spent his last years golfing with great friends at Cottonwood and Ocotillo Golf Club.
Marcia Godfrey Cook
Marcia Godfrey Cook, 86, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away on Sept. 14, 2022, after a brief illness.
Marcia was born on March 5, 1936, to Grant and Mildred Barclay Godfrey in Lincoln, Neb. Marcia graduated from Beatrice High School in 1954 and attended Hastings College before moving to Hays, Kan., where she met and married her husband of 42 years, Kenneth W. Cook, Jr. Ken’s career in hospital administration took them from Iowa to St. Paul, Minn., to Guymon, Okla., to Elko, Nev., where they raised their three children. They moved to Arizona in 1987 and settled in Sun Lakes in 1989.
Marcia was a loving mother to her three children Kelly Cook Cole (Lakewood, Colo.), Randall Cook (Paris, France), and Dana Cook (Pleasant Hill, Calif.). She had various careers with her favorite being the writer of radio commercials for KELK Radio in Elko, Nev. She also worked for Southwestern Bell in Guymon, Okla., and Newmont Exploration and Nevada First Thrift bank also in Elko.
Marcia was predeceased by her parents, her husband Ken (2001), and her brother Alan “Skip” Godfrey (2014).
Marcia is survived by her granddaughter Madison Cole (Phoenix, Ariz.), her niece Chris Godfrey Fulton (Tucson, Ariz.), and other cousins and great-nieces.
Marcia was active in Beta Sigma Phi and PEO in Nevada and Arizona and volunteered for several charities throughout her life including the American Red Cross, American Heart Society, and Elko General Hospital Auxiliary. She was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Elko and the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church.
She loved traveling, camping, reading, and was always learning. She loved to sing and was in the church choir in Elko and in college. She treasured time spent with her family.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Donations in Marcia’s memory can be made to St. Mary’s Food Bank, 2831 N. 31st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85009.
Sharon Louise Kitchin
Sharon Louise Kitchin, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, teacher, and friend to all passed away peacefully Sept. 10, 2022.
Sharon is survived by her husband David Kitchin III, her daughters Lynn Cline, Faith Herbert and Lisa Leach, her other children David Kitchin IV, Kyle Kitchin, Craig Kitchin, Michael Amuso, Lauri Amuso and Andrew Amuso, and her 27 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by her brother Bill Race and her parents Bill and Anna Race.
Sharon was born in Belleville, Ill., on Nov. 4, 1942. Her greatest joys in life were her family, music, traveling, and teaching. No one was a stranger, and everyone was welcome in her home and considered family. She was raised in the Baptist church, and as a music lover, was a well-accomplished pianist and organist, accompanying the choir on their multi-level pipe organ. She taught on and off for a span of nearly 40 years, with 20 years spent in middle-school teaching 8th grade science. After retiring, she traveled as much as she could with David, and visited the far-away places she always taught and read about, yet always looked forward to being home for holidays and family get-togethers.
She was a daughter, sister, aunt, a first lieutenant, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, great-grandmother, a true friend, good neighbor, and a gentle loving soul. She will be missed dearly by all who knew her.
Her celebration of life was held in September. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the PBS Foundation.
Arlene C. Krysiak
Born Oct. 13, 1937, to Charles and Gertrude Lavoie in Lewiston, Maine, Arlene’s life was taken by Parkinson’s. She married Edwin Krysiak on Valentine’s Day 1962. Mother of Lisa Krysiak Rast, John Jones, and Nila Fix. Grandchildren Brandon and Gavin Rast, and Austin and Jaclyn Fix. Nothing was more heartfelt than a hug or kiss from Arlene. May you always remember that she treasured your love and friendship. To celebrate her love for you she wanted you to have just a few more hugs and kisses!
Arlene has many accolades and traveled throughout a great portion of the world. She was the first president of Sun Lakes Neighbors Who Care, loved to play Bridge, Fairy Tale Canasta, and played tennis at Phase II. She loved to host parties for all her many friends.
Fred M. Saah
Fred M. Saah, Jr. was born on March 10, 1945, in Washington, D.C., to Jasmine and Fred M. Saah, Sr. Fred’s parents emigrated from Ramallah, Palestine, as children. Fred is survived by his wife Lee and daughter Ashley and son-in-law Anthony Adelizi and three brothers, Richard (Pat), Edward (Kathy), and David (Carol) Saah and one sister, Irene (Mike) Shannon, nine nieces and nephews and many cousins, too numerous to count.
Fred attended parochial school and St. John’s Military High School and graduated from the University of Dayton in Ohio with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and a minor in economics in 1967. He then received a bachelor’s degree in foreign trade from the Graduate School of International Management in Phoenix, Ariz. He worked in New York for nine years and then relocated to San Diego, working in commercial real estate for 12 years and then came to Phoenix to open a branch office. Later he took a marketing position in Orange County, Calif., and then received his certification in financial and estate planning.
In 1983 Fred and Lee met playing in a singles mixed doubles tennis league in Phoenix and after marrying lived in Yorba Linda, Calif., where they had their one and only Ashley in 1987. He loved racquet sports, tennis, racquetball with his group Racquet Pals, and upon retiring and arriving in Sun Lakes, his new passion became pickleball. He loved playing 3+ times a week with this wonderful group, whom he loved and enjoyed. He also enjoyed the tribute concerts and jukebox bingo.
Memorial services will be held in California and Arizona at a later date. Donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in Fred’s memory.
Nancy Lee Erickson Smith
Nancy Lee Erickson Smith was born March 15, 1936, in Hibbing, Minn., to Ralph Leif Erickson and Louise Hadley Erickson. The Erickson family then moved to Magna, Utah, where Leif went to work for the Kennecott Copper Company. Nancy attended the University of Hawaii for a year, and then returned to the mainland and enrolled at the University of Utah.
At the U, she met Bob Smith. They were married June 27, 1959, in Salt Lake City. David was born in 1961 and they moved to the new city of Northglenn, Colo., in 1965. Michael was born in 1969.
She held various part-time jobs to be home when the boys got home from school. Along the way she was the choir director at Valley Heights Christian Church, then Northglenn Christian Church, Ghost Town Club of Colorado president and resident artist. At the age of 62 she went back to college and graduated from Metropolitan State College in Denver with a double major, in music and art, graduating with honors.
They moved to Chandler in 1997, where she joined the choir, then led the choir and organized the library. She has more than 35 originally licensed songs with the Office of Copyright in Washington, D.C. She learned to play the harp at 82.
As Bob’s Alzheimer’s progressed, they moved to the Gardens at Ocotillo. Bob passed on April 16, 2022, and she handled it like everything else … with dignity and grace. With Bob in a better place, her health began to decline rapidly, and 4½ months later, on Sept. 2, 2022, she quietly walked into the arms of Jesus.
The family would like to express its thanks to everyone who loved on Bob and Nancy—to their Sun Bird friends, to the Sun Lakes Community Church, the choirs, to pastor Mitch, to Lois, Lyn and Larry, and especially to Aegis Hospice, who helped us through the loss of Bob and Nancy within 4½ months.
They are survived by David and Coleen (Mathew, Katie), great-grandson Levi; Michael and Nicole (Tyler, Michaela), great-granddaughter Lily; step-grands Meghan Stewart (Kevin), McKinley; Morgan Heinzroth (Sylar), Hallie; sister Barbara Bowman (Phil); and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Nancy’s life will be held at Sun Lakes Community Church at 10:30 a.m. on April 15, 2023. Her sons, David and Michael, invite any friends and acquaintances from SunBird and Sun Lakes to attend.
Memorials may be made to Aegis Hospice, a library of your choice, or Wasatch Academy.
Patsy Sue Redmond
Patsy Sue Redmond, lover of books, travel, bridge, and a feisty Corgi named Murphy, passed away in Chandler, Ariz., on Aug. 31.
Patsy was born in Lawrenceville, Kan., and raised in Grand Junction, Colo., where she attended primary schools and the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 1954 Patsy married Robert Redmond and together they travelled throughout the Southwest where Patsy acquired her love of Native American culture and art. They also developed a love of German Shorthair Pointers and raised several award-winning GSPs. They moved to Reno, Nev., in 1961 where Patsy became an active community volunteer and an accomplished businesswoman.
In 1979 she was appointed Nevada’s deputy insurance commissioner and in 1981 was appointed Nevada State Insurance Commissioner by then Governor Robert List. In 1985 she was appointed Executive Vice President of the Nevada Association of Realtors and led the association until her retirement.
During her career, Patsy chaired the Nevada State Development Corporation, was appointed to the board of United Way of Northern Nevada, and served on the advisory committee for the University of Nevada/Reno College of Business and the real estate advisory committee at the University of Nevada/ Las Vegas. Other service included the Women in the Services defense advisory committee and the Nevada Women’s Fund’s board of directors. In 1989 Patsy was named Woman of the Year by the Reno Business and Professional Women’s Club.
Patsy moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 2008 and was quickly welcomed into a rich circle of friends who enjoyed book clubs, Red Hat activities, bridge, and the many musical and theatrical performances offered throughout the area. Committed to leading an active life, she joined a bowling team and practiced tai chi.
Always ready for a new adventure, Patsy travelled extensively, enjoying places such as Petra, the Galapagos, and the Great Wall of China.
While living in Reno, Patsy hosted the family events and her home was filled with laughter, great food, one talkative parrot, and a few German Shorthairs. She was preceded in death by Bob, her husband of 52 years, sister Edna Ruth, and most recently, her beloved Corgi, Murphy.
She is remembered by her family: Eric (Joal), Kurt (Allison, children Cole, Carly, and great grandchildren Cash, Dallas) and daughter Julie Rosser (Jesse and children Kyle, Evan).
A private celebration of Patsy’s life will take place in Winchester Bay, Ore., on Oct. 30 in honor of her 90th birthday.
Frederick “Fritz” Ernest Kellermann
The light has gone out on our beloved husband, father, brother, and friend, Fritz. Frederick (Fritz) Ernest Kellermann, age 82, passed peacefully on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, in hospice care surrounded by his loving family. Born on St. Patrick’s Day, 1940, Fritz always considered himself to be lucky all his life. Although he lived with Parkinson’s disease the last 17 years, he lived his life to the fullest.
Sports would play a major role in Fritz’s life. He spent most of his childhood in the western United States. He moved to Lansing, Mich., to complete his high school years at JW Sexton High School where he earned varsity letters in football, wrestling, and track as well as winning a statewide wrestling championship his senior year. This led to receiving a full athletic scholarship to the University of Michigan. He was unable to compete for the wrestling team his first year due to mandatory redshirting of freshmen; however, that did not deter him and he won three Big Ten Wrestling Championships during his collegiate career for the Wolverines. As a student athlete, Fritz graduated from U of M in 1962 with a B.A. in business administration.
After graduation, Fritz’s career began with a stint in the U.S. Army, followed by his time with the purchasing and accounting department for General Motors. He went on to work for Ernst and Ernst (Whinney), earning his CPA certification. In 1971, he spent the next seven years working as an Assistant Superintendent for Finance at Waverly School District. Then in 1978 until he retired in 2002, he worked as the Executive Vice President/COO for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association Service Corporation. Always one to take a personal interest in employee growth, he genuinely enjoyed working with people and making sure everyone felt equally important.
He loved to serve his community. He was involved with the American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, and Rotary Club. Fritz also was an active board member with various groups including the Eaton Rapids Medical Center Board of Directors, Graduate “M” Club Board, Waverly Community Schools Board of Education, Camp Highfields Board, and Tri-County Office on Aging Advisory Council. He was elected to the Eaton County Board of Commissioners in 2004.
Fritz felt very honored when he was inducted into both the Lansing Sexton High School Athletic Hall of Fame and the Greater Lansing Area Sports Hall of Fame.
Fritz is survived by his wife of 29 years, Jackie, daughters Leslie (Jason Twedt), Elizabeth and Stephanie Adado, son George Adado (Kelly Gray), grandson Wilson Desimini (Elaina Clougherty), sister Shary Carr, brother Lawrence “Lanny” Young (Joan), sisters-in-law Kay Nakfoor, Rosalie Tropp, Mary Ann Gamel, Susan Gamel, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Harriett and Ernest Kellermann, brother Theodore “Ted” Kellermann, and sister Sara Follett.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in memory of Fritz Kellermann to the American Red Cross or Memory Café, Sun Lakes, Ariz., (www.slcep.org). Online condolences may be sent to www.LakeshoreMort.com. Fritz always loved a good party so a celebration in his honor will take place with family and friends in the fall of 2022. He loved life, meeting new people, and laughing with his family and friends. His outgoing personality and charisma will be sadly missed.
James H. Turner
James H. Turner passed away on Aug. 28, 2022, at the age of 89. He was born May 15, 1933, in Indianapolis, Ind., to the late Bruce and Mary Turner.
Jim served his country in the U.S. Navy and then went to work for Western Electric in Indianapolis. Upon retirement he moved to Arizona where he enjoyed the Southwest lifestyle for more than 28 years in Sun Lakes, Ariz.
Jim was a kind man with a gentle soul and a witty sense of humor. He was known to friends and family as Mr. Handyman since he was willing to take on any kind of project and would always excel at it.
Jim was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and fine Christian example to all who knew him. He is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Judy, children Roxanne Mead (Mike), Deanne Meyers (Mark), Randy Turner (Anne), Jeff Turner (Kim), Joyce Bruce (Ken), Jay Bansbach (Debbie), Joette White, Beth Davis (Mark), 20 grandchildren, and 17 great grandchildren.
While he lives on in our hearts, his presence will be missed forever.
Robert (Bob) Eric Strom
With his family by his side, Bob left us on Aug. 27, 2022, at age 90.
Born on April 11, 1932, in Jamaica, N.Y., to Scandinavian immigrants, Bob spent most of his life in New York before retiring to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 1994.
Bob served in the U.S. Army as a corporal during the Korean War. After his discharge he returned to New York and reacquainted himself with Celeste Lapen, whom he remembered from school. Bob and Celeste married in 1954 and their marriage lasted 68 years until his death.
Bob joined the NYC Fire Department in 1957 and dedicated 20 years of his life to FDNY until his retirement in 1977. He loved the profession.
Bob was also an electrician, a small business owner, and a skilled home craftsman. He could do just about any home design project himself, and he enjoyed helping his children with their home improvement projects.
Bob and Celeste enjoyed traveling together, both throughout the U.S. and internationally.
Bob is survived by his sister Thelma Gourdier; his wife Celeste Strom; his children Lori Davila, Jeff Strom and spouse Terry, Steven Strom and spouse Denise; his granddaughter Kristen Rodriguez and spouse Johnny; his great-grandchildren Logan and Riley Rodriguez; and his step-grandchildren Shelly McGehee, JR Page, and Troy Derrick Page.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Hospice of the Valley for their compassionate care of Bob in his final months.
The family recently held a celebration of life for Bob at the Sun Lakes Oakwood Country Club.
Bob is forever in our hearts.
Donald F. Thene
Donald F. Thene, age 93, passed away on Aug. 27, 2022. He was superseded in death by his beloved wife, Joan. They were married for 52 years before she passed in 2008. Donald was the dear father to Mark, Kevin (Diane), Dawn (Dave) Lindsay, Robin (Bob) Wilczynski, Teri Woodbury, and grandfather to Kyle, Ryan, Nick, Kate, Anders, Lars, Brian, Jacob, Anna, as well as great-grandfather to Jace, Luke, and Elle. Donald was a veteran and served in the Navy. He is a graduate of Saint John’s University and earned his degree in meteorology. Donald worked for U.S. Gypsum. He was a founding parishioner to St. Stevens Catholic Church and was a member of the building committee for the church.
Don served as a Eucharistic minister and alter server both at St. Norbert’s Catholic Church (Orange, Calif.) and St. Stevens Catholic Church (Sun Lakes, Ariz.).
A memorial mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Sept. 12, 2022, at St. Stevens Catholic Church, 24827 South Dobson Rd., Sun Lakes. His final resting place will be in Minnesota at Saint John’s University in a columbarium, overlooking the apple orchard.
Clifferd “Cliff” Wagner
Clifferd “Cliff” Wagner, 84, of Alexandria, Minn., transitioned on Aug. 25, 2022, into the arms of his soulmate, Jean (Becker) Wagner, along with a grand welcoming committee of family, friends, and grand-pups. Funeral services were held Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, at 11 a.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Minn., with the Rev. Hans Dahl officiating with Military Honors after. The service was recorded and can be viewed through the Anderson Funeral Home website at www.andersonfuneral.net. Interment was at Ebenfeld Reformed Cemetery in Streeter, N.D.
Kirk Boyd Evans
Kirk Boyd Evans, 78, of Chandler, Ariz., passed away on Aug. 24, 2022. He was born Nov. 6, 1943, to the late William C.L. Evans and Anna Louise Ware Evans.
Kirk went to Chandler High School and began his career as a brick layer. He went on to own his own masonry company before becoming a barber. After attending John Cunningham Barber School, he began to work alongside his wife Ann at Dick’s Barber Shop. The city relocated them to Arizona Clipper Cuts in North Park Plaza in Chandler. It was then when their son, Wayne Evans, and Shawn Cervantes began working with them. After 23 years, Kirk and Ann decided to close their shop to work part time at Tracy’s Barber Shop in Chandler. Once Kirk fell ill, his wife decided to devote her time to care for him.
Kirk leaves behind his devoted wife of 51 years, Ann Evans; sons, Tim Evans (Bobbie Jo) and Wayne Evans; grandchildren, Luke, Amanda, Justin (Kati), Demi (Thomas), and Shelby (Danny); and great-grandchildren, Kennedy, Oliver, Sawyer, Evelyn, Zane, and Jackson.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date. The family invites you to express your fond thoughts and condolences online at valleyofthesunfuneralhome.com.
Alfred John Unger
Alfred John Unger passed away peacefully on Aug. 22, 2022. He was born Sept. 12, 1934, in Flushing, N.Y., to Catherine and Alfred Unger. The family moved to Baldwin, N.Y., where he spent most of his youth. On Nov. 3, 1956, Alfred married Priscilla Kern and they lived in New York state until finally settling in Sun Lakes, Ariz., in 1992.
Alfred was a wonderful husband and father to three children. He spent more than 30 years working in the advertising industry and was a Senior Vice President of Production & Traffic with LINTAS Campbell-Ewald before retiring in 1995. While living in New York state, Alfred spent many years as a volunteer EMT with the North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps. When he retired to Arizona he continued his volunteer activities with the Sun Lakes Sheriff’s Posse. In addition, he volunteered his services at St. Peter Indian Mission Catholic School in Bapchule, Ariz., providing woodworking and maintenance services. He and Priscilla also found time to travel throughout the country as well as overseas.
Alfred had been active in the liturgical life at Saint Stevens Catholic Church in Sun Lakes. He ushered for many years and was a member of the choir. He loved to sing and really enjoyed being involved with the choir activities.
Alfred is predeceased by his wife Priscilla; his parents Catherine and Alfred Unger; his brother Gary Unger; his in-laws Ethel and Karl Kern; and his brother-in-law Steven Kern. He is survived by his sister Cathy Frisbe of Lakeland, Fla.; his children Gregory Unger and Carmel Quinn of Burlington, Vt., Kimberly and Ed Montini of Gilbert, Ariz., and Mark Unger of Loxahatchee, Fla.; and his five grandchildren Alexander, Mattison, Leena, Virginia, and Cole.
The family would like to thank The Village at Ocotillo for their support and care of Alfred over the last 18 months. The family would also like to express their gratitude to Hospice of the Valley for their compassionate care of Alfred and the support and kindness provided to his family during his final weeks.
The family plans a private service and celebration of Alfred’s life. In memory of Alfred, donations can be made by check to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014 or via their website at www.hov.org.
Ralph Mitchell, my loving husband, passed away on Aug. 21, 2022, at the age of 93. He was born in 1928 in Portland, Ore. He had a long career as a high school instructor teaching chemistry, physics, and general science. He also was a coach of soccer and basketball. After his retirement, he retired to the Oregon coast and later to Sun Lakes and then permanently to Payson.
He is survived by his wife Florence of 39 years and five children from his first marriage and four stepchildren plus many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also has a living sister, Grace, in California. He outlived his parents and two brothers.
He lived a very full life with many adventures as a child and as an adult. He loved the outdoors—hiking, mountain climbing, sailing in the San Juan Islands and Canadian waters, growing flowers, and following his avid Oregon Duck football team and attending many games. He was a big sports fan!
He was a veteran. He enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 1949, then the U.S. Marine Reserves. While attending college he was called into the Korean War and was trained as an officer. He was honorably discharged in 1951.
He was a very generous man and religious, giving to many charities to help children and to Catholic organizations.
There will be a memorial service at St. Phillip the Apostle Catholic Church in Payson on Sept. 7 at 11:30 a.m. His final resting place will be held on Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. at Valley of the Sun Mortuary and Cemetery at 10940 E. Chandler Heights Blvd Rd., Chandler, AZ 85248.
Donald Robert Prestin
Donald Robert Prestin “Don” passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, at age 81.
Survived by his devoted and loving wife Jan of 57 years, twin daughters Karen Lynn and Kimberly Ann who cherished their father, brother to Sharon (deceased), and survived by his sister Carol and brother Jim.
Don was born in Marshfield, Wis., on Feb. 8, 1941, to parents Robert and Helen Prestin. The family moved to Southern California in 1955.
He entered Arroyo High School as a sophomore and participated in many sports—an undefeated football team in league play for three seasons, track and field, and basketball.
Don pursued a flying career, and at 22 was hired by United Air Lines in November 1964 and began flying out of Pittsburgh. That same year he married Janet Walker.
During his 37-year career, he flew DC-6s, Convairs, Boeing 727s, DC-8s, DC-10s, moving up to Captain on the 737s, 757s, 767s, 747s, and his favorite, the 747-400.
In 1965 his twin daughters were born, and he was transferred to Los Angeles.
In 1972, Don transferred to San Francisco for the rest of his career, flying international routes on the 747-400 his last 12 years. He also worked as an LCA check pilot for several years.
Living in Santa Rosa, Calif., he served as chairman of several airport commissions and president and treasurer of the local EAA and was a designee for the FAA on the building of homebuilts and their licensing. He and a friend both built Variezes (experimental homebuilt) and won the Designers Award for Best Rutan Aircraft at an Oshkosh, Wis., air show.
The family thoroughly enjoyed living in Santa Rosa, a pilot-friendly neighborhood, where families vacationed together with many waterskiing trips. Jan’s family also lived in the area for constant family get-togethers.
Don and Jan flew many trips traveling with good friends across the States in their Piper Aztec, from Alaska to Florida. Don enjoyed sailing his Macgregor, RVing, fishing, reading, crosswords, and traveling internationally.
After retiring, Don, Jan, and daughters re-located to Sun Lakes, Ariz., where he was a very active member of Sun Lakes Rotary and enjoyed driving members of the community to doctor appointments through the local Neighbors Who Care organization. Don was deeply devoted to his family and had a passion for community service.
Marvin “Marv” Wayne Coleman
Marvin “Marv” Wayne Coleman, age 84, slipped peacefully from this life into the presence of Jesus on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in San Tan Valley, Ariz. He was born Jan. 5, 1938, in Chicago, Ill., the second of two sons, to Thomas Chester and Ruth Coleman.
Growing up in Cassopolis, Mich., Marv played basketball and baseball for the Sam Adams Rangers and exhibited talent well beyond his stature. He later took up golf and it became one of the great loves of his life. In 1994, he became a certified PGA pro. He played in many senior tournaments and worked as a teaching pro, passing on his love of the game to those fortunate enough to encounter such a passionate and knowledgeable instructor.
Marv’s original career was with “Ma Bell,” rising from lineman to regional manager, and he was highly regarded within the company. He received the Pinnacle Award from Indiana Bell Telephone after managing communications for the 1987 Pan Am Games held in Indianapolis, Ind. In retirement, he went on to found Grateful Family Enterprises, a successful data wiring business that he ran with his wife, Pam. They employed his son, Dave, and eventually, Dave’s son Anthony. It was a family business in the truest sense of the word.
Marv loved spending time in Michigan, at the Allison cottage on Donnell Lake and his mother’s home on Big Fish Lake. Summers meant fishing, swimming, boating, and water skiing. The pride on his face when each of his kids got up on skis for the first time was priceless. He remained an avid fisherman his entire life and loved nothing more than catching and cooking up “a mess of bluegills” anytime the fish were biting. Marv was also an excellent pool player. He won more than one Arizona state senior championship title.
Marv and Pam loved to travel. They enjoyed taking trips in their camper, often returning to Michigan for weeks at a time in the summer for more family fun at the lake. A recent houseboat trip on Lake Powell with Wendy and Steve’s family was the realization of a long-held dream. His truly was a life well-lived. And yet it wasn’t his earthly accomplishments that brought Marv peace and joy, but rather his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Gospel and those they share it with became a major focus in their marriage. In 2007-2008 Marv and Pam served a Mission in St. Martin and Trinidad-Tobago supporting the Elders in the West Indies Mission.
Marvin will be greatly missed by family and friends. He is survived by his wife, Pamela and his daughters, Sherry Hyatte, Wendy (Steve) Grace, and Kathy Coleman (Lisa Brown); eight grandchildren; and eight great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Thomas L. Coleman, ex-wife Karen Coleman, and their son, David Wayne Coleman.
Cathleen Cecile Kinnick
Cathleen Cecile Kinnick, 71, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away peacefully at her home on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. She was born in Milwaukee, Wis., on Oct. 19, 1950, to the late Carl and Ceil Mack.
Cathy graduated from Pulaski High School and attended the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Her career expanded over 45 years at Aurora Health Care, retiring as an Executive Administrative Assistant. She enjoyed crafting, playing card games, and golf.
Cathy is survived by her devoted husband, R. Daniel Kinnick; her children, Robb (Maribeth), Tyler (Kendra), and Amanda (Sebastian); her grandchildren, Eva Marie and Izzy Lane Kinnick; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by both of her siblings, Robert Mack and Cynthia Mack.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Cathy’s memory to either Hospice of the Valley in Arizona: www.hov.org or the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation in Wisconsin: www.lombardifoundation.org.
The family invites you to express your condolences online at valleyofthesunfuneralhome.com.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Lynn Dunlap from IronOaks in Sun Lakes, Ariz. Lynn passed away Aug. 3 at her home with her loving husband, Earl, by her side.
She was born on Sept. 14, 1939, to Norman Wise and Evelyn Hunsberger in Sellersville, Penn. She was a graduate of Pennridge High School class of 1957, and later that year married dear Earl. Lynn worked in insurance for many years, then started her own business selling promotional products under marketing imprint. Part time she became a private investigator, a job she loved very much. She was also an extra in the 1993 Cybill Shepherd movie Telling Secrets.
After retirement in 2000, Lynn and Earl moved to IronOaks, where she became very active in various committees and clubs. She was an early contributor on the camera crew for the local Western Broadband Channel 49 TV station in Sun Lakes. That was step one in her effort to make Sun Lakes “home” to everyone who lived here. She became actively involved in many committees to achieve this goal—the Unit Captains, Welcome Committee, Election Committee, Food & Beverage Committee, and Activities Committee. Lynn also became well-known to all in Sun Lakes working as a volunteer, along with Earl, taking tickets and welcoming guests to our Billboard Series entertainment events.
To honor her wonderful contribution to the Sun Lakes community, Lynn was granted a Crystal Award in March of 2017.
Lynn was the beloved wife of Earl for 65 years. She is survived by Earl, daughter Deb Curtis of Phoenix, and four grandchildren: Nathan Curtis, Holly Curtis, Hunter Standen, and Tyler Standen. She was predeceased by her daughter Donna.
Lynn was a terrific wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She will be missed and loved forever. In her honor, in lieu of flowers, consider donating to a charity of your choice that supports those friends and family who you cherish.
Sherill Lea Brouhard
Sherill Lea Brouhard, the daughter of William and Carolyn Brouhard, was born Nov. 1, 1936, in Marshalltown, Iowa. She graduated from Marshalltown High School class of 1954, and went on to earn her Associate of Arts degree from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. After completing her education she flew as a stewardess for Northwest Airlines, a career she loved.
Sherill enjoyed travel and visited countries around the world. She was an avid reader and loved meeting people and learning about other cultures. She was also an artist who worked with pastels. The walls of many who were close to her display her beautiful character portraits and pet pictures. Sherill was quietly generous and regularly donated to the Zearing, Iowa, library; Arizona Humane Society; and Red Cross. She excelled in her putting group and enjoyed daily walks with her sister and devoted dog, Bo. She had a fabulous sense of humor, could easily laugh at herself, and made friends readily, the best of whom was her identical twin sister, Sharon.
Death came to Sherill at the age of 85, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at the Chandler Regional Medical Center in Arizona. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Carolyn Brouhard; her ex-husband, Ted Lieber; and her nephew, Hugh Gouthro.
Those left to honor the memory of Sherill include her sister Sharon of Sun Lakes, Ariz.; her daughters Carolyn Stoebe of Shoreline, Wash., and Lesley Eastman of Phoenix, Ariz.; and her four grandchildren Michael Eastman, Tyler Eastman, Matthew Stoebe, and Anna Stoebe.
Jill Evans Talbot
Jill Evans Talbot, 67, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away at her family home in Falmouth, Mass., on July 31, 2022.
She was born in Wellesley, Mass., as the youngest daughter of Mary and Harold Talbot. Jill lived her early life in Wellesley before attending college at the University of Boulder in Colorado. Her move out west allowed her to follow her lifelong passion for a love of animals and the outdoors. She remained in Boulder for 40 years. While living in Colorado Jill maintained a stable of goats and horses and was an avid competitor, organizer, and officiant of competitive trail riding as well as a frequent world traveler.
She loved teaching others to ride and care for horses and often went on horse trips with her friends to ride the trails in various places across the United States. In 2014 she moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., with her horses and cats. Jill battled breast and stomach cancer for the last 10 years of her life with courage and grace.
She is survived by her four nieces and nephews and their eight children. She was preceded in death by her mother Mary and two sisters Nancy and Elizabeth. We all miss you, Jill!
This poem is in her honor.
What Cancer Cannot Be
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hopes.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot destroy peace.
It cannot kill friendships.
It cannot suppress memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot steal eternal life.
It cannot conquer the spirit.
James N. Foldenaur
James Nicholas Foldenaur, 86, of Maple Lake, Minn., passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family, on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
Jim was born Dec. 24, 1935, the son of Aloysius and Florence Foldenaur in Fargo, N.D. He married Janice Hogan on June 27, 1958, recently celebrating their 64th wedding anniversary.
After graduating from Moorhead State Teachers College High School in 1954, Jim served in the U.S. Air Force National Guard and the U.S. Army. After his military service, he attended Moorhead State Teachers College. Jim then worked throughout his business career at Twin City Hardwood Lumber Company and Weiser Lock as a Territory Manager. He retired at 62 and spent winters in Sun Lakes, Ariz., and summers at their beautiful lake home on Sugar Lake in Maple Lake, Minn.
Jim absolutely loved playing golf, watching and rooting for the Minnesota Twins and Vikings, and spending time with his wife and family. He is survived by his loving wife Janice; his daughter, Jami (Mike) Wallar of Champlin; two sons, John (Vivian) Foldenaur of Andover and Jeff (Holly) Foldenaur of Shoreview; six grandchildren: Carly, Jake, Noah, Annie, Jackson, and Willie; step-grandsons Andy Wallar and Jon (Kim) Wallar; great-grandchildren Laney, Will, and Alex; and many loving friends. He was predeceased by his sister Dorothy and his parents, Aloysius and Florence Foldenaur, and his mother and father in-law, Sigurd and Mildred Hogan.
Memorial services will be held on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at 11 a.m. with visitation at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 331 Harrison St. W., Annandale, Minn., and interment in Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Arrangements by Dingmann Funeral Care, Annandale, Minn.
Ethel JoAnne Tallman
Ethel (JoAnn) Tallman passed away quietly on July 26, 2022, at the age of 86. Wow, what a life she lived. She was a strong, hardworking, no-nonsense woman. JoAnne was born in Quincy, Ill., to Elsie and Otis Brewer on March 20, 1936.
During her life, she loved participating in 10K runs, playing tennis, biking, hiking the mountain trails throughout Arizona, and square dancing with her husband Dick of 34 years. She had a wonderful life filled with her family and friends. JoAnne was so dearly loved and will be sorely missed.
She is survived by her sister, Mary Ellis; her son, Bill Cramer Jr.; daughters Anna Harbour (Mike), Christina Ingo (Anthony), and Lisa Mansfield (David); stepchildren Wade, Wanda, Marv, and Mark; 20 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren; and her dear friends Brian and Paula Robb, who with their generosity of time and love helped JoAnn and her very grateful family at this most difficult time.
She is preceded in death by her beloved husband (Dick), mother and father (Elsie, Otis), her sisters (Patricia, Vanessa), her brother (Daniel), and her first husband William Cramer.
Norma Joy (Nelson) Marsh
Norma Joy (Nelson) Marsh, age 77, passed away on July 25, 2022, at home in Sun Lakes, Ariz.
Norma was born Sept. 12, 1944, to Walter and Grace Nelson of Comstock, Neb. She graduated from Comstock High School in 1962 and received her bachelor’s and master’s in elementary education from the University of Nebraska. Norma enjoyed a career of teaching in the Lincoln Public Schools for 32 years, 30 of those were at Meadow Lane Elementary School, where she cherished lifelong friendships.
Norma married John Marsh on June 10, 1967, and they were fortunate to share 55 years of marriage together. They lived in Lincoln, Neb., until they both retired in June of 1998. After retirement they moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., where they made many new friends and enjoyed wonderful activities available in the retirement community.
Throughout her retirement years Norma loved being involved with many groups in Sun Lakes, some of which were the Lady Putters, Sun Lakes Garden Club, Women’s Connection, the Methodist Church, Neighbors Who Care, the Sun Lakes Nebraska Cornhuskers, and the Ironwood and Oakwood Lady Niners leagues. She loved tea parties and attending the tea tasting classes. Norma and John participated many years in the Sun Lakes Ballroom Dance Club. They also belonged to several Corvette clubs and enjoyed many activities and trips with their Corvette friends. A favorite activity was her monthly Corvette Chicks’ luncheon.
Norma was preceded in death by her parents. Survivors are her husband John of Sun Lakes, Ariz.; brother, Alvin Nelson of Comstock, Neb.; sister and brother-in-law, Joe and Neva Mattox of Broken Bow, Neb.; several nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews; and many wonderful friends.
There will be a private graveside service at a later date at the Douglas Grove Cemetery near Comstock, Neb.
Betty Ball went to be with her Lord on July 23, 2022, at the age of 102 at her daughter’s home in Sun Lakes, Ariz. She was born in Detroit, Mich., on April 17, 1920. She was preceded in death by her brother, George, who died at the age of 5. Also preceding was her husband of 48 years, Eldredge Ball. She is survived by her daughter, Carol A. McKay; two grandchildren, Randall Bos of Clarksville, Ind., and Philip Bos of Mesa, Ariz.; eight great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. Also surviving is a nephew, Gene (Judy) Ball of Surprise, Ariz., and a niece, June Hell of Sun City West, Ariz.
Although she spent 20 years in banking, both in Michigan and Arizona, her greatest love was the piano starting at the age of 5. Through the years she dedicated her talent to various churches as choir director, accompanist, and worship leader. She wrote her life story for her family and authored several books.
Services were held at the First Baptist Church of Sun Lakes, Ariz.
Barbara R. Gillin
Barbara R. Gillin of Cottonwood passed away on July 21, 2022, at the age of 100 years. She was the loving mother of Dick Gillin and Judy Moskal.
Dorothy Mary Patrick
Dorothy Mary Patrick, age 97, loving mother, wife, and grandmother passed away in the early hours of July 19, 2022. She was 19 days shy of her 98th birthday. Grammer, as she was known to her grandchildren, was born on Aug. 8, 1924, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Irving and Lillian Schmidt. She was the second born in a family of eight children—four girls and four boys. She married Kenneth L. Patrick, of Dayton, Ohio, on March 8, 1944, and they were blessed with daughters Beverly and Susan. She and her husband were married for 66 years, before his passing in 2011.
Being a military family, Dorothy had to adjust to the words, “We’re transferred … start to pack.” Dorothy always made their new homes happy ones and believed that we make our own happiness. You jump in with both feet and get involved. And she did. She was a Grey Lady in a military base hospital and a Girl Scout leader. While stationed in Colorado Springs, Colo., she worked at Fountain Valley Boys School. Her husband traveled a lot and she picked up the slack of raising her two girls while he was gone. When they married, she had no way of knowing how many moves that they would make. One of their favorite places that they enjoyed was Lake Oswego, Ore. She and Ken were members of the Portland Yacht club. A highlight of that time was time spent on the boat with their grandchildren traveling through the San Juan Islands and fishing for salmon and digging for clams. Dorothy made a mean clam chowder. Dorothy was a devoted wife, the best mom ever, a loved sister, and a good friend to many. She was very excited when her youngest sister, Judy, moved to Lake Oswego with her family. Dorothy became very close to her sister Judy and brother Fred. At 97 years of age, Dorothy was part of five generations in two of her grandchildren’s families. Something that doesn’t often happen.
Preceding her in her death were her parents; husband, Lt. Col. Kenneth Patrick; daughter, Susan DeMann; grandson, Scott DeMann; sisters, Betty McCarthy and Pat Wampler; brothers, Bud Schmidt and Donny Schmidt; and nephew, Buddy.
Dorothy is survived by her daughter Beverly Weatherill (Jim) of Cortez, Colo.; son-in-law Lenny DeMann of Minnesota; grandchildren: Trey Weatherill (Tracy) of Redlands, Calif., Todd Weatherill of Kemah, Texas, Brooke Elder (Scot) of Dolores, Colo., Tim Sullinger (Beverly) of Beatrice, Neb., and Brandy Kingsbury (David) of New York Mills, Minn.; 14 great-grandchildren: Brittany, Bradley, Taylor (Evan), Cam, Kai, Nalu, Jordan, Kala, Sydney, Keegan, Jeff, Cole, Tanner, and James; three great-great-grandchildren, Liam, Harper, and Lincoln; sister Judy King (Russel) of Newburg, Ore.; brothers, Fred Schmidt (Ronnie) of Folsom, Calif., and Jerry Schmidt (Joann) of Glendora, Calif. She was greatly loved by all of her family.
She had a wonderful life, living throughout the world when her husband was in the military and traveling throughout their retirement in Sun Lakes, Ariz. They loved playing golf, tennis, and bridge. She lived in Sun Lakes for 32 years.
A celebration of her life will occur in the early summer of 2023 in Colorado.
Contributions, in her name, can be made to Hospice of the Valley.
Ethel Ernestine Heywood passed away on July 13, 2022, at Friendship Village Hospice of the Valley in Tempe, Ariz. She was 98 years old.
Ernestine was born on Oct. 2, 1923, in Butterfield, Mo., to Ethel and Ernest DeFord. Her father was a bit of a renaissance man. His variety of business interests kept them traveling. The life of a “rolling stone” appealed to our mother. She was very close to her parents, likely due to their itinerant lifestyle. The three of them were a unit. She received her assertiveness, positive attitude, and confidence from her father and from her mother compassion, understanding, and sewing! Her love of music came from both parents. She played flute and sang in the choir. Our mother had a beautiful voice.
She graduated from Galt High School in Galt, Calif., and earned her bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University. Upon graduating, she became a stewardess for United Airlines. She flew “the friendly skies” in DC3s during a time when flying was very adventuresome and glamorous.
She met Stan Heywood at United Airlines. Three months after meeting, they married. Her father, a Methodist minister at the time, married them on Jan. 4, 1948. They were married 72 years.
She raised four girls, traveled the world, was involved in all her children’s school and extra-curricular activities, served as PTA president, and sang in semi-professional shows. In later years, she was a member of Clipped Wings, an organization for retired flight attendants. She was very active in the Phoenix chapter, which was involved in Special Olympics as well as raising funds for Valley Life, a local home for children with special needs. In her early 90s, as a volunteer for Neighbors Who Care, she drove people to and from doctor’s appointments and took in-home visitations to offer relief to caregivers.
She was a major influence in our family and taught all of us to take risks; to be positive, kind, honest, and true; not worry about what other people think; and to water ski. She and our father learned to water ski in their 40s after they purchased a mobile home on Lake Berryessa in Napa, Calif., where for over 30 years our family would congregate every summer.
Ernestine is survived by her four daughters, Sydney Engle, Jacklyn Stanton, Standra Harmon, and Leslie Arampatzis; her seven grandchildren; and her 10 great-grandchildren.
She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and friend. We will miss her.
Robert (Bob) Harper
Robert Edwin Harper was born May 23, 1946, in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, the first son of Edwin W. Harper of Piedmont, Calif., and Mabel Whitehead of Dean Bridge, Hepworth, Yorkshire, England. In being named Robert, he continued the Irish Harper family tradition of naming the first son Robert, which had been the tradition in each generation going back to Robert Harper born in Co. Monaghan, Ireland, in 1767.
At just under 6 months old, Robert and his mother were seen off by family at Southampton, England aboard the Queen Elizabeth, sister ship to the Queen Mary, bound for New York at 8:15 a.m. on Nov. 6, 1946. The passenger list shows Mrs. M. Harper and Master R.E. Harper arriving New York City on Nov. 11, 1946. They then embarked on the Pennsylvania Railroad on Nov. 13, 1946, for a journey on several railroad lines across the entire country in route to their destination of Oakland, Calif.
Robert Harper, who worked in the fleet leasing industry since 1971, passed away at his home in Chandler, Ariz., on June 16, 2022, following a three-year battle with multiple myeloma. He was 76. Harper retired in 2017 after working as the commercial fleet sales manager at Courtesy Chevrolet and Isuzu Truck Fleet Sales Group in Phoenix.
Prior to relocating to Arizona, Harper worked in Memphis, Tenn., as the senior vice president and general manager of Dobbs Fleet Leasing, Inc., responsible for the company’s overall growth and profitability. He worked at Dobbs Fleet Leasing from 2003 to 2008.
Earlier, Harper worked for LeasePlan USA, where he served as vice president and general manager of LeasePlan ADVANTAGE, an outsourcing program focused on serving smaller fleets providing ancillary services such as maintenance management, fuel programs, license and title, accident management, and driver record management. He worked at LeasePlan USA from 1996 to 2003.
Harper started his fleet management career in 1981 at US Fleet Leasing, holding a variety of positions in sales and marketing. In 1991, Harper relocated to Boston following his promotion to regional sales manager for US Fleet Leasing, where he had sales responsibility for the New England states.
He was a 1966 graduate of California State University, Hayward. Following graduation, Harper worked as a broker for Merrill Lynch and as a sales representative for Pfizer.
An avid tennis player and a passionate pickleball player, Harper was an advocate for pickleball in his community of Sun Lakes. He also enjoyed golf and had a reputation for his distinctive form of body English while putting.
He is survived by his wife Connie and his brother David.
Richard Lee Horn
Rick was born April 26, 1936, in Kansas City, Mo., to Ted and Helen Horn.
As a young boy growing up in Independence, he had many adventures with his faithful dog, Buffer. Buffer was always at his side. He truly lived a Tom Sawyer lifestyle. His family resided one block from President Harry Truman’s home.
Growing up Rick was an altar boy, Eagle Scout, and lifeguard. At Boy Scout camp Osceola, he was inducted into the honorary tribe of Mic-o-say.
He was a graduate of St. Mary’s High School in 1954 and then attended the University of Missouri where he was a thriving member of Phi Delta Theta. While there he met the love of his life, Judith Anne Walker, a Delta Delta Delta member from Malden, Mo. They married in August of 1960.
Rick had a 40-year career in the polyurethane chemical business with assignments in Kansas City, Omaha, Denver, and Houston. He retired in 1987 from Dow Chemical Company. While in Denver he served as an officer in the Mizzou Alumni Association of Colorado and continued as a lifetime member of the alumni association.
He leaves behind two sons, Richard Theodore (Ted) and wife Jodie, and Joseph Michael and wife Andrea both from Chandler, Ariz., and six grandsons, Colton, Brayden, Palmer, Walker, Brecken, and Graysen.
He was a terrific husband, father, and grandfather and a true son of Ole Mizzou!
Robert Beryl Becker
Robert Beryl Becker, was born April 2, 1939, in Park Rapids, Minn. He passed away at the age of 83 in Sun Lakes, Ariz., on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.
He married Arlyce Avenson of Nevis, Minn., on Dec. 1, 1957, in Dorset, Minn. During their 56 years of marriage, they had six children Gerry, Linda, Bonnie, Jon, Kevin, and Karen. Robert worked as a fulltime Cable TV engineer/manager until his retirement. Robert lived in several states including Minnesota, Utah, Colorado, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania before “retiring” in Sun Lakes. In addition, he has traveled throughout the world visiting all seven continents and the seven wonders of the world. When he wasn’t traveling, he was remodeling homes or modifying a project. He has missed his wife over the past nine years. Their marriage was a true partnership as they shared so much together. Robert was a great husband, father, brother, grandfather, and friend. He leaves his six children, daughter-in-law (Donna), his grandchildren Alec, McKayla, Nicholas, Kristopher, Jonathon, and his brother Charles. He joins his wife Arlyce and parents, Mildred and Ollie Becker in heaven.
Memorial Service will be Saturday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m. at Risen Savior Lutheran Church in Sun Lakes, Ariz. The service will also be live streamed at www.youtube.com/risensaviorchandler.
Deborah “Debbie” Neltner
Deborah “Debbie” Neltner, 75, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., (formerly of Munster, Ind.) passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family 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, www.mysisterscharities.org, or the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, mssociety.donordrive.com/campaign/Debbie-Neltner-Memorial-Fund.
Jay Morton Hocker
Jay Morton Hocker, age 83, of Sun Lakes, 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 lead 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 later in the year.
Jerry James McKay
Jerry James McKay passed away on May 25, 2022, near Sun Lakes, Ariz. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, one sister, and Linda McKay, his wife for 50 years. He is survived by his current wife, Carol A. McKay, his son, Brad (Karla), six stepbrothers and sisters, his stepmother Rose Sills, five grandchildren, Mackenzie McKay, Brayden McKay, and Justin McKay. Also surviving are four stepchildren, Emma Allen, Casey Allen, Randall Bos, and Philip Bos.
Jerry graduated from Sweet Grass County High School in Montana. After graduation, he enlisted in the Navy Submarine Service as a machinist. Upon completing his tour of duty, he spent many years as a manager in a Libby, Mont., lumber mill. He also worked for the U.S. Forest Service and later went on to be a successful salesman. Word has it that he could sell ice to Eskimos. There aren’t many things that Jerry couldn’t fix or tell you how to fix it.
His hobbies were hunting, fishing, drag racing with his own racing car, boating, and swimming in the Oasis Pool every afternoon at 4 p.m.
A private service will be held on Sept. 10 with military honors.
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 (Crested Butte, Colo.), Candace Cox (Sun Lakes, Ariz.); two grandchildren, Andy Cox (Krystin), Brooklyn, N.Y., and baby girl Kylo; and Sara Cox Torkos (Evan), 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 WWII 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 WWII.
Married in 1946, in Mount Ayr, 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 Dr., Sun Lakes, AZ 85248. Please designate “Local Scholarship” to fund needy young women pursuing 2-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, to be announced. Burial will be in the Leon, Iowa, cemetery.
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, Deanna Ferguson and 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 be held in her honor. Her family asks that you hold her memory in your heart.
Dorothy Mae (MacNeal) Young
Dotty was born on Aug. 17, 1935, in Parkesburg, Penn., 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 8 grades). She graduated from Upper Leacock High School in Leola, Penn., 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. 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., their son Dale of Rosamond, Calif., 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 will host a Celebration of Dotty’s beautiful life at Sun Lakes UMC on June 25, 2022, at 11 a.m.
God Bless You all. A devoted husband, Ron Young
Robert F. Cooper
Bob Cooper of Sun Lakes, Ariz., and formerly of Pittsford, N.Y., passed away at age 86 on May 16, 2022, in the care of his loving family. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Ann; his daughter, Karin Cooper (David) Rompalo; his son, Todd Cooper (and Gina Moussa); and step-grandson, John Rompalo all of Arizona; extended family; and many dear friends. He was born in Rochester, N.Y., and was predeceased by his parents, Melvin and Mary Cooper and his brother, Dr. M. Thomas Cooper.
Bob graduated from East High School, Rochester, N.Y., class of 1954, and Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, North Carolina. He also served in the U.S. Army National Guard Reserves. His career was in marketing communications, and he retired in 1999 after 34 years with Kodak. He was a member of the Sun Lakes IronOaks Patrol from 1999 until 2005.
His life centered around family and friends. He was always there with a smile, a twinkle in his eye, and ready for a new adventure. The storytelling, laughter, and friendship he shared so freely with others will always be cherished in memories of him. He was truly one of a kind and someone who will forever hold a place in our hearts. In recent years, he faced his battle with Parkinson’s disease and other health issues with dignity, courage, and positive energy to “just keep moving.” The family would like to give special thanks to the entire staff at Kindred-At-Home and to caregivers from Doves for their quality and compassionate assistance—and for all the laughs along the way.
Services were held on July 27 in Rochester, N.Y. Private interment.
Sharon Crosby, 89, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away peacefully 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.
Lillian R. Mathisen
Lillian R. Mathisen of Cottonwood passed away on May 13, 2022. She was 99 years old. She was the loving mother of Sue Sargis and a good friend to Pat Ebrom.
Sergeant Major Volley H. (Bob) Cole
A USA Luge pioneer racer and coach, and founding member of the International Luge Federation (FIL), passed away peacefully on May 12, 2022.
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.Read More
“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 addition of the Blink Podcast in December 2021. Luge fans will find the podcast at: www.teamusa.org/USA-Luge/NEWS/2020/December/01/Blink-Podcast.
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 work force 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.”
Volley H. (Bob) Cole—USA Luge founding father—May he rest in peace.
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 that 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 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, plus three great-granddaughters.
Charlie was a sweet, kind, humble man who loved his family, served his country, and ran the race of life well!
Richard Sporleder of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away peacefully with his devoted wife, Terry, by his side on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. He is survived by his three children, Barb (Tony) Antonoff, Lake Zurich, Ill.; Patti (Mark) Burandt, Dresser, Wis.; Brian (Carol) Sporleder, Oak Creek, Wis.; and seven grandchildren, Eric and Kayli Antonoff, Paige and Austin Burandt, and Justin, Quintin, and Nolan Sporleder.
Rich was born on March 27, 1937, to George and Mary Sporleder in Chicago, Ill. He was the big brother to Robert (Sandy) Sporleder, New Buffalo, Mich.; Don (Peggy) Sporleder, Nashville, Tenn.; and Sharon (Dennis) Carey, Phoenix, Ariz. He is survived by many brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Bob; mother- and father-in-law; and cousins.
Rich graduated from Maine East High School, Park Ridge, Ill., in 1955 and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Upper Iowa University in 1985. He always regarded education as a valuable asset in life and shared that love of learning by teaching English as a second language to students and tutoring adult drivers. He was a man who taught his children to be caring, responsible, and dedicated to family and to friends. Rich worked at GTE in Des Plaines, Ill., for 35 years in the pre-press department as a lithographer and had a printing press dedicated to him in the Dallas, Texas, facility. Rich was an active member of many community organizations, including Des Plaines Elks Club and Lake Summerset Community Relations Board Chairman 2002-2005 in Davis, Ill.
The family would like to thank Hospice of the Valley, Perfect Place, and Memory Cafe for their support and help to Rich and Terry. In lieu of flowers any donations can be sent to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 E. Siena Heights Dr., Adrian, MI 49221.
A funeral mass will be held Saturday, June 18, 2022, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Durand, Ill.
Judith Mae Kilgus
Judith Mae Kilgus, age 80, passed away on May 3, 2022, in Phoenix, with her family by her side. Judi was born on March 17, 1942, in Farmington, Maine, and her family moved to Phoenix in 1951.
She attended North High School and graduated from ASU with a Bachelor of Science and became a CPA. She went on to become a successful Administrator with the Arizona Department of Corrections for more than 20 years. Her passion in life was spending time with her family, golfing, dancing, and traveling the world. Judi is survived by her two sons, their wives, five grandchildren, and her seven siblings.
A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2022, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Sun Lakes Country Club, 25601 S. Sun Lakes Blvd., Sun Lakes, AZ 85248.
Diane Pearce Shirley
Diane Pearce Shirley, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away peacefully after a lengthy illness, on April 30, 2022, at the age of 87. She was the beloved wife of Harold Shirley. Born in Middletown, Conn., to Malcom B. Pearce, Sr. and Louise Bowyer Pearce. She was raised in Durham, Conn., and spent many years in the Pittsburgh area before moving to Arizona. She worked as a substitute teacher in Pittsburgh and locally at the Cottonwood Golf Course. A lifelong equestrian rider, she owned horses from the 1940s to 1980s. During this time she won many awards for showmanship. She loved animals of all kinds, but especially her dogs. She traveled the country with her husband Harold on their Goldwing motorcycle and later in their RV. She also enjoyed painting with both watercolors and oils. She was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Sun Lakes.
Diane is survived by her husband, Harold Shirley of Sun Lakes, Ariz.; sons James (Cyndi) Farrington of Huntington Beach, Calif., Robert Farrington of Rhoadesville, Va., Harold J. Shirley (Darlene) of Saltsburg, Penn.; daughters Kimberly Martinez of Destin, Fla., and Jacqueline R. (Peter) Bolic of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; grandchildren Rachel, Michelle, Nathan, Sarah, Jennifer, Brittney, Tyler, and Brian; numerous great-grandchildren; and sister Susan (William) Rundle of Venice, Fla.
Diane was preceded in death by her parents Malcom and Louise Pearce, Sr., her brother Malcom Pearce, Jr., her daughter Kathryn Cochran, and her granddaughter Stephanie Johnson.
There is no visitation at this time, but a Celebration of Life ceremony will be held at a later date. Flowers are gratefully declined. For those who wish, memorial donations may be made to Always Present Hospice, 1400 N. Gilbert Road, Suite P, Gilbert, AZ 85234 or the First Baptist Church of Sun Lakes, 9535 East Riggs Road, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.valleyofthesunfuneralhome.com for the Shirley family.
Anthony R. (Tony) Petriello passed peacefully on April 21, 2022, at the age of 98. The son of Bartholomew and Antonetta (Infante) Petriello of Bridgeport, Connecticut, he graduated Harding High School class of 1941. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and his last station was serving aboard the battleship USS New Jersey as a Radioman on the Admiral’s staff in the Pacific.
After his honorable discharge he attended the University of Bridgeport. He met Gloria Fanning at high school, and when they met again after the war they fell in love and married. They celebrated their 74th anniversary in April. Soon they moved from Bridgeport to Stratford, Conn. Tony went to work as an office manager for Hartley and Parker, liquor wholesalers in Stratford, Conn., and retired as controller after 30 years with the company.
Tony and Gloria enjoyed traveling, going to Europe several times and exploring the United States. They drove cross-country to Arizona for several years as snowbirds then moved to Sun Lakes in 1994, where they enjoyed wonderful friends and dancing at the Sunday Night and Cotillion Dance clubs.
Tony loved golf and early on he won two championships at his club in Connecticut and had three holes-in-one. He continued to play golf in Arizona, at Cottonwood then Ironwood until he was 95. A few years ago Tony enjoyed Honor Flight Arizona, a three-day journey of honor and remembrance for veterans to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C.
Tony is predeceased by his son Robert, sister Teena, and his brother Salvatore, who died 13 days before Tony. He is survived by the love of his life, Gloria, two granddaughters, Laurel and Deanna (Dan), two great-grandsons, Domenic (Nico) and Luca, and two brothers, Michael (Sheila) of Sun Lakes and Bart of Trumbull, Conn., and many nieces and nephews.
Services were held at St. Stevens Catholic Church May 10. Gloria is very grateful for the outpouring of sympathy and love from all her friends and neighbors in Sun Lakes and at the Gardens at Ocotillo.
Mary Elizabeth Koenes
Mary Elizabeth Marchand was born Oct. 13, 1943, in Seattle, Wash., to Charles and DeAnna Marchand. She passed away April 17, 2022, due to complications from Alzheimer’s.
Mary’s father owned a drug store where at 16 she worked or as she preferred to say, “forced to work for free to learn a good work ethic.” She graduated from West Seattle High School in 1961. During these school years Mary played the violin well enough to be asked to guest play with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra while in junior high.
Mary worked as a ship’s agent for a British steam ship company and later as a tax secretary for a public accounting firm. It was at the accounting firm that she met her second husband, John Koenes. Mary and John grew up two blocks apart in West Seattle, but did not know each other. Mary and the children moved to Bellevue, Wash. Both cats and dogs have always been a big part of their household including having three of each for a while.
They later built a home on Lake Sawyer near Black Diamond, Wash., where they enjoyed boating, canoeing, paddle boating, and just living. While living there Mary became very involved in volunteering for D.A.W.N. (Domestic Abuse Women’s Network).
John’s work allowed them to travel because of his annual Partners’ meetings and his continuing education requirements. Mary and John were in Manhattan during the Sept. 11 attack on the twin towers.
Mary had been glider, small plane, and helicopter flying, but was not willing to try parachuting. Mary always enjoyed ‘50s, ‘60s, and classical music along with antiquing, card playing, and dice games.
When it came time to start planning for retirement they chose Arizona. They first tried Scottsdale, but at that time Scottsdale it did not have any retirement communities so they chose Sun Lakes. Mary joined a local Red Hat group, but she remained actively involved in the McCormick Ranch Women’s Association and its activities in Scottsdale.
Mary is survived by her husband John of Sun Lakes; her daughter Carolyn Ann Cagle of Seattle; her son and his wife James R. Cagle and Kristen Folland of Clearwater, Fla.; her sister and her husband Catherine and Darryl David of Normandy Park, Wash.; sister-in-law Jane Stein of Fairfield, Calif.; along with cousins, nieces, a nephew, and friends.
Bruce Waller Watkins
Bruce Waller Watkins was born May 29, 1937, in Portland, Ore., and passed here in Sun Lakes on April 11, 2022.
Bruce was an exceptional athlete, excelling in baseball, football, and golf while attending Grant High School in Portland. After graduation, he attending the University of Oregon, then opted to join the Marine Corps in March of 1957, where he served 4 years.
Bruce returned to Portland to start his career as an insurance claims adjuster. He later joined Johnson and Higgins, an international insurance brokerage, as an executive account manager.
In 1975, Bruce and his wife Jane moved to Huntington Beach, Calif., to start a new business, Venus de Milo ladies health salons. After a number of years with this business, Bruce and Jane retired to Sun Lakes in 1995.
Bruce continued to follow his passion for sports, golfing, and playing senior softball. He formed an elite senior softball team and went on to win several national and world championships.
Bruce is survived by his wife Jane, sister Hannah Howes, children Lance and Leslie, and grandchildren Hanna Hamling, Jacob Hamling, and Rebecca Watkins.
Mary Annette Holmquist
Mary Annette Holmquist was born on July 3, 1930, at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco, Calif. Her proud parents were Wells Fargo Kruse and Esther Bridget (Carroll) Kruse.
Mary was the eldest of four daughters and was raised in San Francisco where she attended Holy Name Grammar School. She completed two years of high school in San Francisco at Presentation High School. The family moved to San Carlos, Calif. Mary completed high school at Sequoia High School in Redwood City and graduated in 1948. She attended San Mateo Junior College for two years.
In 1952, while attending a party, she met her future husband, Jack Joseph Holmquist. They were married in 1953. They spent their early married years living in Paso Robles and Ceres, Calif., however, they eventually settled in Redwood City, Calif., and then retired in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Mary’s greatest joy in life was her five children. She was active at St. Pius Parish while raising her children. Mary enjoyed knitting and reading. She was also active in her Singing Brook Circle Homeowners’ Association in Santa Rosa, Calif.
In 2005, Mary and Jack resettled in Redmond, Ore., to be closer to her daughter and son-in-law. In 2007, Jack, her husband of 54 years, passed away. So in 2014, Mary relocated to Sun Lakes, Ariz., with her daughter. There she was affiliated with St. Stephen’s Parish in Sun Lakes. Mary passed away at home, peacefully on April 10, 2022, Palm Sunday, with family by her side.
Mary’s greatest love was her family. She is survived by Theresa, John, Cindy Sackman (Tony), Carrie Kaufmann-Drucker (Bryan), and Mark. She idolized and loved her nine grandchildren: Tony Sackman Jr., Kyle Sackman, Rebecca Angelo (Danny), Nicole Venard (Josh), Alyssa Thoen (J.C.), Jackson Holmquist, Stephanie Kaufmann, Jeffrey Kaufmann, and Taylor Holmquist. She is also survived by her sister, Barbara McConaughy, and three nieces and one nephew.
In her later years she was gifted seven great-grandchildren: Clyde and Charlie Thoen, Sierra and Makenna Angelo, Jade and Ava Venard, and Jack Sackman. The great-grandchildren completed her life.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Maureen and Susan; her beloved husband Jack; his parents Harry and Emma Holmquist; son-in-laws Rick Kaufmann and Alan Winchester; and her beloved dog, Buttons.
Placement was held at Valley of the Sun Mortuary on May 5, 2022.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Mary’s Honor at St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 219 Bean Ave Los Gatos, CA 95030 on Saturday, July 9, 2022 at 11 a.m., which will be followed by a luncheon at St. Mary’s Hoffman Hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to: The Pan Foundation, PO Box 716408, Philadelphia, PA 19171, 1-866-316-7263, or The National Scleroderma Foundation Northwest Section, 300 Rosewood Dr., Suite 105, Danvers, MA 01923, 1-800-722-4673.
Roberta (Robbie) Ferrazza
Robbie was born Roberta DeSousa. She was born Feb. 1, 1951, in Fall River, Mass. Robbie passed on April 4, 2022. Her husband and two stepchildren were at her bedside. Robbie was a longtime resident of Sun Lakes, moving there in 1998. Robbie was very outgoing—she could walk up to anyone and strike up a conversation, and many led to long friendships. She loved shopping, making friends with many store workers. They were happy to see her, and many times she had a cup of coffee for them. She was just so easy to talk to.
Robbie, from an early age with the teaching from her me’me, learned and loved knitting and crochet. This started her on a path of doing all types of crafts. She made thousands of blankets, hats, shawls, and baby clothes (if it could be knitted, she made it). She would make shawls for the “Little Pink Houses of Hope” breast cancer patients and loved it.
Robbie loved music and dance. She belonged to dance clubs in Sun Lakes, and could do a mean East coast swing. She was an avid reader her entire life. She loved to cook, and even on vacation she would find a way to make a meal or two. Robbie spent a lot of time with Karaoke friends at clubs and hosting house parties, but with all her talents she did not sing. Oh except, “These boots are made for walking”—she would have an older friend who she would perform it with, and he loved it. She enjoyed all the singers, especially her husband.
Robbie had no biological children, but had a great relationship with her stepchildren and one very special person she called her niece child, Tammy. Tammy in turn would always call her auntie mom. They had a wonderful relationship just like mother and daughter, on the phone for hours every day.
Robbie is survived by her husband Joseph Ferrazza; stepchildren Michael, David, and Alan; grandson Cuyler; sisters Joanne, Lynn, Dawn, and Ginger Lee; and niece child Tammy.
Barbara Joan Lucas
Barbara Joan Lucas passed away on April 3, 2022, at the age of 90. Barbara was born on July 25, 1931, in Highland Park, Mich., to Reta Jean (Young) Fultz and Lee Wright Fultz. She was proceeded in death by her parents and younger brother, Donald Ross Fultz. She is survived by her beloved twin sister Beverly Jean Lucas and her four children, Aaron (Catherine) Lucas, Brian (Marcela) Lucas, Christine (Nathan) Applewhite, Delpha (Dave) Dunning, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Barbara was the epitome of a social butterfly. She made friends wherever she went and belonged to many social and civic organizations throughout her life, beginning as a Girl Scout. She went on to join the Rainbow Girls, Beta Sigma Phi, United Methodist Women’s group, the Red Hat Society, Single Ladies group, Mah Jongg group, and PTA, and she was a Girl Scout leader. She touched many lives and will be remembered in love by all who knew her.
George Eugene Conaway
George Eugene Conaway was born July 22, 1933, and passed away April 2, 2022. He served in the military in the Korean War. He enjoyed playing tennis and golf. He loved to travel.
He is survived by his wife Judy of 62 years; his daughter Tamera of Philadelphia; his son Todd and daughter-in-law Michael of Apache Junction; four grandchildren, Andrew and Alex, Lexi and Chase; and two great-grandchildren.
The following verse by Edgar A. Guest describes George’s philosophy by which he lived:
I hold no dream of fortune vast.
Nor seek undying fame.
I do not ask when life is past
That many know my name.
I may not own the skill to rise
To glory’s topmost height,
Nor win a place among the wise,
But I can keep the right.
And I can live my life on earth
Contented to the end,
If but a few shall know my worth
And proudly call me friend.
He will be sorely missed.
Dennis L. Larson
Dennis Larson, 80, passed away at Chandler Regional Medical Center on April 2, 2022. Dennis was born on April 1, 1942, in Cooperstown, N.D., to Olga and Melvin Larson. He graduated from Cooperstown High School in 1960 and married Diane Howden, his high school sweetheart, on July 17, 1960. Dennis attended Dickinson State College for two years on an athletic scholarship, competing on the football, basketball, and track teams. He went on to graduate from North Dakota State University with a Degree in Pharmacy in 1966. Dennis worked for 14 years at Larson Drug in Mayville, N.D. He and Diane purchased Hillsboro Drug and Gift in 1982 and worked there until his retirement in 2004. After selling their long-time family home in Mayville, N.D., Dennis and his wife Diane split their time between Big Cormorant Lake in Detroit Lakes, Minn., and Sun Lakes, Ariz., until residing in Sun Lakes full time. Dennis was an avid sports fan and especially loved watching the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, and NDSU Bison Football. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, going to breakfast with his buddies several days a week, and playing Pinochle.
Dennis is survived by his wife, Diane (Howden); three children, Lori Grommesh (John), Casselton, N.D., Greg Larson (Shelby Felton), Castle Rock, Colo., and Sue Selle (Eric), Lone Tree, Colo.; six grandchildren, Michael Grommesh (Kelsey), Casselton, N.D., Julie Grommesh, Fargo, N.D., Brayden Selle, Tucson, Ariz., Collin Selle, Seattle, Wash., Mikayla and Madelyn Larson, Castle Rock, Colo.; and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Olga and Melvin Larson; brother, James Larson; infant children, Julie and Danny Larson; and granddaughter, Christyn Grommesh.
In lieu of flowers or memorials, please consider donating to the American Stroke Association (www.stroke.org).
The family is planning to host a Celebration of Life service in Sun Lakes, Ariz., on April 30, 2022.
Paul Lonero, age 86, of Sun Lakes, passed away on March 26, 2022. Paul passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife Barbara and family, after his courageous battle with cancer.
Paul was born in Pittsburgh, Penn., on June 17, 1935, to the late Samuel and Teresa (Crisafio) Lonero. Paul loved golfing, playing cards, remodeling homes, and traveling, and he delighted in his warm and loving Italian heritage. Paul never met a stranger and was always willing to offer a helping hand whenever needed.
Paul was proud to have served in the United States Coast Guard. While serving, he had tours of duty on icebreakers going to the North Pole and was involved in the installation of the Distant Early Warning line during the Cold War. After his tour of duty, he returned to Pittsburgh, where he became a tool and die maker and business owner. Paul moved to Phoenix, Ariz., in 1983. He founded and operated Lone Arrow Enterprises. The company sold and serviced CNC machinery and sandblasting parts and equipment to the Valley’s aviation industry, including Honeywell.
Although Barbara and Paul had both lived in Dobson Ranch, in Mesa, Ariz., and both owned businesses located within a short distance of each other in the 1980s, their paths did not cross until 1992, when they both attended a pinochle club to play one of their favorite games. As the saying goes, it was “love at first sight.” The next 30 years was an amazing adventure they shared. Paul’s quality of life was good to the very end, and he lived every day of his life to the fullest.
Paul is survived by his wife Barbara, of Sun Lakes, and daughter Terri Aglietti (Eric), sons Michael (Sally), Sam (Darlene), Paul (aka PJ), and Rick, and his sister, Josephene Risoleo, all reside in the Pittsburgh, Penn., area, his two stepsons Tony (Melissa) and Derek (Allie) Herndon of Mesa, Ariz., eight grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, nephews, and many cousins.
In addition to his parents, Paul was preceded in death by his ex-wife, the beloved mother of his six children, Joan (Ecoff) Lonero, his son Kurt Paul, his grandchildren Laura and Alex, brother Anthony, and brother-in-law James Risoleo. Paul will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
We want to acknowledge the wonderful and caring treatment Paul received from Dr. Dharia and staff at Ironwood Cancer and Research Centers in Mesa, Ariz., and the unbelievable loving help and assistance the Hospice of the Valley provided Paul and our family. Also, we send our heartfelt thanks to our friends and neighbors who have reached out with their prayers and loving words and acts of kindness.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Paul, and the time and location will be announced at a later date.
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.
Edward “Ed” John Gielow III
Edward “Ed” John Gielow III, 68, of Sun Lakes, passed away on March 22, 2022, after a six-month-long battle with West Nile encephalitis. He was born at Camp Pendleton, Calif., to Edward John Gielow Jr. and Evelyn (Reik) Gielow, both of whom preceded him in death. He married Marlene Mennenga on July 7, 1979, in Gifford, Ill.
Ed is survived by his wife, Marlene, who never stopped advocating for him during his illness, and two sons, John (Emily) of Gilbert, Ariz., and Justin (Debbie) of Chandler, Ariz. Ed was a loving Papa to one grandson, Christian Gielow of San Tan Valley, Ariz., and four granddaughters, Lexus (Connor) Boucher and Taryn, Torri, and Taylor Foster, all of Chandler, Ariz.
Ed grew up and attended schools in Westville, Ill., where he was active in Lions Club and Elks as a young adult. Ed and Marlene lived in St. Joseph, Ill., before moving to Gilbert, Ariz., in 1994. After retirement they moved to Sun Lakes, where he enjoyed various activities in the community.
Ed loved the outdoors, especially fishing and spending time with his family. He will be greatly missed by his family and all those who knew him.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11 a.m. on April 23, 2022, at Risen Savior Lutheran Church, 23914 S. Alma School Rd., Sun Lakes, AZ 85248.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Risen Savior; CaringBridge.org; Hospice of the Valley (hov.org), 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014; or Friends for Life Animal Rescue (azfriends.org), 952 W. Melody Ave., Gilbert, AZ 85233.
Leonard Earl Meyer
Leonard Earl Meyer of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away March 16, 2022, from sudden acute myeloid leukemia at Chandler Regional Hospital, surrounded by his loving family. Len was born March 15, 1945, in Columbia, S.C., first son to Clinton and Audree Meyer. In 1971, he married the love of his life, Paula Meyer (Pianka), wife of 51 years, and together they raised Krista Kidd (Meyer-Mirra), who also survives with her spouse Jason, grandchildren Dylan and Madelyn Mirra, and step-grandchildren Ava and Aiden Kidd, all of Chandler.
Len was a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and received his MBA from Southern Illinois University. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam conflict as a Green Beret, 101st Infantry. Following his time in the military, Len worked for more than 30 years as an executive with several prominent insurance companies in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Illinois until he chose to focus on a successful career in real estate sales, and he relocated to Arizona to escape the winters and to watch over his aging parents. Len enjoyed the beauty of Arizona and spending time with his family, but most of all, nice dinners with Paula and their close friends, which always included a glass (sometimes two) of his favorite red wine.
Len is also survived by his brother Larry Meyer, sister-in-law Faith, nieces Katie Olesky and Carley Schweinberg, and nephew David Meyer. He was preceded in death by his parents and parents-in-law, Paul and Grace Pianka.
A Celebration of Life will be held May 15, 2022, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Iron Oaks Country Club, Sun Lakes, Ariz.
David W. Hunter
David W. Hunter, 77, passed away on March 13, 2022, in Chandler, Ariz. The sadness is overwhelming for his family.
David was born in Saginaw, Mich., on Jan. 3, 1945, to William Hunter and Harriet Woycheese. David’s father was with Standard Oil and moved his family many times as David was growing up. One constant and favorite memory was spending summers with his Aunt Vi and cousins at Long Lake, Ind., as a child. The childhood moves allowed David to explore the states of Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and back to Escanaba, Mich., where David graduated from Escanaba High School in 1963.
In high school, David excelled and won honors in both academics and sports. Football, basketball, track, and golf were his favorites. David remained a sports enthusiast throughout his life, both as a participant and an observer. In fact, on David’s bucket list was to play the top 100 golf courses in the world. He fell short, but not by much.
Books of all kinds were devoured by David, giving him a wealth of knowledge on many topics. He always had a story to tell or information to share with family and friends.
David attended the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where he attained undergraduate degrees in marketing, accounting, and information systems in 1967. He graduated with a master’s degree in business administration in 1968. He joined the SAE fraternity and was very active in student government. He also worked for United Airlines as a university liaison in event planning.
It was at the university that David met his college sweetheart, Jackie Peterson on Friday, March 13, 1964! He called Jackie the “love of his life.” They were married in 1966, just before senior year. Together David and Jackie built a beautiful family of four successful children: Andrew W. Hunter (Amy); Allison R. Burke (Keith); Braden D. Hunter (Laura), and Lynne M. Bell (Rod—deceased). These four children and their wonderful spouses gifted David and Jackie with 10 amazing grandchildren: Zachariah and Nathaniel Hunter; Kaylin, Kyeler, and Karsen Burke; Kelsey, William, and Trenton Hunter; and Reese and Rachel Bell. Sadly, through a tragic accident, David was preceded in death by his beloved sister, Judith Hunter Patton, brother-in-law George Patton, and niece Susan Patton. Judy left behind our Lynne; and David and Jackie’s special nephew and niece, Greg Patton and Cheryl Serrano (Sammy). David remained intently devoted to his entire family, and they to him until the end of his life.Read More
David served in the Army Air Defense Command in both Wisconsin and Illinois from 1968-1974. Like his father before him, David moved his growing family numerous times to places around the country: Madison, Wis., Chicago, Ill., White Plains, N.Y., Springfield, Ill., Kansas City, Mo., and Scottsdale, Ariz. After the children were grown, David’s business pursuits continued to relocate him to San Francisco, Calif., Seattle, Wash., College Station, Texas, and back to Chicago.
David’s career as a Management Consultant began at Touche Ross (Deloitte Touche) where he became a Partner. Other business endeavors throughout his career included: Integrated Resources Investments; KPMG, Partner; Vertical Systems Consulting; Insurance Information Exchange, President; CNA Information Technology Sr. VP; Career Education Corp., Financial Operations Sr. VP; HUB International Insurance Brokerage, Financial Analysis, Sr. VP; and JOAT Independent Consulting, Principal, until and after his retirement in 2009 when he moved to Sun Lakes, where he resided until his death.
David had a dry sense of humor and a gift for writing especially beautiful letters. He enjoyed a unique and varied set of interests, which he enthusiastically shared with his family and friends. Some of his favorites were: tinkering with oil painting, winter ski trips, Blue Bell ice cream, a 1979 white Corvette, biking, baking pies, aviation, classical music, rollerblading, Boyd’s Resort in Wisconsin with the grandkids, boating and waterskiing in Lake of the Ozarks as a family, gourmet cooking, traveling, Garrett Popcorn—Go Badgers, Go Packers! He loved his companion Cocker Spaniels, Molly and Marnie.
We will miss Our David, Our Dad, Our Grandpa, Our Uncle, and Our Mentor immensely. He will live in our hearts forever.
The family members are planning a private Celebration of Life. David will come home to stay with Jackie until her passing. At that time, they will be interred in the Hunter Family Crypt at the Valley of the Sun Cemetery in Chandler, Ariz. No memorial service is being planned at this time. The family requests that if you wish to express sympathy, please choose your favorite charity and donate in David’s honor. A gift given by you is gifted back to you in David’s name.
Bill Chambers took his first breath in Gadsden, Ala., on Feb. 14, 1942, and his final breath in Sun Lakes, Ariz., on March 11, 2022, in the company of his wife, their three daughters, and his brother. True to his Valentine status, his sweetness lives on in the memories of all who experienced his quiet acts of kindness. In his 29-year career with Kennametal, Bill was considered a “Class Act.” He and his metalworking expertise were sought after and respected from Raleigh, N.C., to Tucson, Ariz. A man of many interests, with a passion for high-flying thrills, hot rods, classic cars, motorcycles, and music, Bill exemplified a genuine southern gentleman with charming manners and an unexpected humor who always remained an everyday hero—loving life, people, and a good conversation. We are all the better for knowing and being loved by the inimitable Mr. Bill.
Georgette “Georgie” Kahn
Georgette “Georgie” Kahn, 95, left this earth on March 10, 2022. Her loving family was at her bedside. Georgie was a longtime resident of Sun Lakes, where she was known for her love of dancing, sense of humor, and loving personality.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, she moved to Arizona in 1978 to join her husband, Jerry. She had retired in New York from a decade as a school bus driver, a job she loved. In Arizona she had another job she loved, working weekends at the Phoenix Swap Meet, where she sold girls’ clothing.
During the week, Georgie kept busy playing cards, going to dances, bargain shopping, and spending time with her family and many friends. Everyone who met her was immediately drawn to her love of life.
She was preceded in death by Jerry Kahn, her husband of 51 years. She is survived by her children Elizabeth Kannberg, Elliott Kahn, Nancy Schaub, sons-in-law Dennis Kannberg and James Schaub, grandsons Derek Lynch, Matthew Kannberg, and Stuart Lynch, great-granddaughters Bailey and Aurora Kannberg, and her brother David Friedland. The family wishes to express their gratitude to Ana Liza Sebaoui, owner of Ana’s Haven in Chandler, whose love and care of Georgette formed a special bond to the end.
Sandra (Sandy) Judith Miller
Sandra (Sandy) Judith Miller, born Sept. 12, 1934, in Brooklyn, N.Y., died March 11, 2022, at Whatcom Hospice House. She was the loving mother of Scott Miller, Brenda Miller, and Gary Miller; loving mother-in-law to Donna Miller and Denise Miller; and doting grandmother to Brittany Miller, Matthew Miller, Alexandra Milligan, and Elizabeth Miller.
She was married to the love of her life, Arthur Jay Miller, for 61 years. They courted by going to Broadway shows, and she kept every one of the playbills. In 1959 they moved to Northridge, Calif., for Art’s work, where they raised their children. In retirement, they moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., where they enjoyed many friends and family for over 25 years.
In 2016 they moved to The Willows in Bellingham, Wash., with their beloved dog, Maggie Sue. Sandy made friends wherever she went, and she enjoyed her Willows family immensely. She loved puttering about her patio garden, creating beauty for passersby, and she loved to bake cookies for anyone’s birthday (one of her recipes even made it into The Willows dining room rotation!). She participated in the creative writing group and started a Mah Jongg club.
You can honor Sandy’s memory by emulating her way of being kind, attentive, and generous with anyone you meet. Donations can be made in her memory to Whatcom Hospice House or the Whatcom Humane Society. A Celebration of Life will be held at The Willows on April 8.
Eleanor M. Patton
Eleanor Miller Patton, 104, died Feb. 28, 2022, at the Healthcare Resort of Olathe in Olathe, Kan. Eleanor was born Oct. 25, 1917, in Utica, N.Y., to Horace and Emilie (Perry) Miller. During her primary and middle schools years she attended the Utica Country Day School and graduated from High School at the Utica Free Academy in Utica, N.Y. After a year of theatre training in New York City, she continued her education at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., graduating in 1940 with an undergraduate degree in speech pathology. Twenty-five years later she would earn a master’s degree in speech pathology from Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.
She was preceded in death by her father, Dr. Horace Murray Miler (d.1978); her mother Emilie Perry Miller (d.1983); her brother Dr. Donald Miller (d.2000); her husband of 62 years, Dale Patton (d.2003); and her eldest son, David Patton (d.2017). She is survived by her sister, Susan Cowles (Harold) of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Barbara Patton (widow of David Patton) of Sun Lakes, Ariz.; son Roger Patton (Martha) of Sun Lakes, Ariz.; son Donald Patton (Cecilia) of Bemidji, Minn.; son Thomas Patton (Kristine) of Olathe, Kan.; eight grandchildren: Jodi Slotar (Bruce), Dale Patton (Amy), Steven Patton (Jerri), Sarah Swenson (Nate), Leslie Lytle (Jarod), Ann Patton, Kelly Anderson (Charles), and Ashley Guevarra (Kevin), 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.
Eleanor and Dale were married on Aug. 3, 1940, in Evanston, Ill., and raised four sons. Dale worked in higher education his entire career, and Eleanor began her career in 1958 when she started the Speech Therapy Department at the Mesa Public Schools in Mesa, Ariz. The family moved to St. Cloud, Minn., in 1963 where Eleanor continued working in the public schools as a Speech Therapist before becoming an Instructor in Speech & Hearing at St. Cloud State University in 1965.
In 1978, retirement led them to Sun Lakes, Ariz., where she was a charter member of the Sun Lakes Community Church and a charter member of the Sun Lakes UCC Church. She was a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta women’s fraternity since 1938, and very active with the P.E.O., a philanthropic women’s organization. Eleanor enjoyed music and theatre and loved to play golf and bridge. She relocated to Olathe, Kan., in 2018.
A Celebration of Life will be on May 15, 2022, at the Sun Lakes Chapel at 2 p.m. Interment at the Valley of the Sun Mortuary in Chandler, Ariz. In lieu of flowers, please direct any donations to the P.E.O. Scholarship Funds.
Richard “Dick” W. Kruse
Long time Alaskan, Richard “Dick” W. Kruse passed away on Dec. 13, 2021, in Sun Lakes, Ariz., after a brief illness with cancer at the age of 89.
He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and a trusted friend. Dick was born to Marion (Forbish) and Clarence Kruse on Nov. 10, 1932, in Brownton, Minn. He was proud to have lettered in football, basketball, and baseball before graduating from Brownton High School in 1950. He joined the Marines at 19 and returned home to run the family farm after his father died. Later, he attended business college and began a lifetime career in accounting.
He married a young nurse, Patricia M. Tomlanovich, in Hibbing, Minn., on June 25, 1955. A new job with the Internal Revenue Service brought them to Alaska in 1960 where they raised their three children Kim, Rick, and Carol. Dick continued working professionally in the accounting field and owned and operated several retail stores. He also fished commercially in Cook Inlet, Alaska, each summer. After many years in private business, he returned to work for the IRS.
Dick especially liked spending time with family and friends at their cabin near Summit Lake on the Kenai Peninsula and also at Lake Louise Lodge. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed providing the family with moose, caribou, salmon, and burbot.
He was also an exceptionally enthusiastic sports fan. Dick loved sports and was a season pass holder at local hockey, basketball, and baseball games. He frequently traveled to Seattle for the Seahawks and the UW/WSU Apple Cup football games.
After retiring, Dick and Pat enjoyed long distance road trips, traveling and sharing many wonderful times with family and friends in Alaska, Washington, Minnesota, and Arizona.
Spending time with his grandkids brought Dick immense joy. He also loved telling them about his adventures while living and traveling throughout Alaska: from riding out the 1964 earthquake, surviving a plane crash, to returning home from Kodiak with boxes filled with live king crab. The grandkids say they will admire and cherish their grandpa for all the steadfast love and support he gave them over the years.
Dick is survived by his wife, Patricia Kruse of 66 years, children Kim Kruse (Mark Smedley), Richard Kruse (Mary Reker), Carol O’Leary (Terry O’Leary), and six wonderful grandchildren: McKenzie Kruse Smedley; Casey, Patrick, and Hanna O’Leary; and Haley and Nicholas Kruse. He is also survived by his nephews John and Tom Crosby.
He was preceded in death by his father Clarence W. Kruse, mother Marion M. Kruse, brother Donald Kruse, and sister Lois Crosby. A celebration of life will be held at a later date with internment at the Veterans National Cemetery in Phoenix, Ariz.
Beverly Joan Zierman
Beverly Joan Zierman was born March 10, 1939, and passed away Sept. 29, 2021. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Richard. Beverly was raised in Tacoma, Washington. She graduated from Stadium High School and attended Western Washington University. Beverly loved to sing and dance. Bev sang with the Clefdwellers, a popular touring choir, and she was one of the soloists. She was awarded a scholarship to Juilliard in New York, but did not attend due to lack of funds. Beverly shared her time between Tacoma and Sun Lakes for 17 years. She is singing with the angels.