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John Robert Flynn
John Robert Flynn, age 80, passed away on Dec. 12, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Carmel; sons Sean (Tricia) of Phoenix and K.C. (Lisa) of Henderson, Nev.; grandchildren Kellen, Riley, Aidan, and Cooper; and siblings Jean Mitchell of Portland and Kathleen Cunningham of Sacramento. He is predeceased by his brother, Jim. John also has 39 nieces and nephews. He lived in Portland and Milwaukie, Ore., until 2004, then moved to PebbleCreek in Goodyear, Ariz.
John was born March 26, 1942, to Ruth (Green) and Jim Flynn in Portland, Ore. He grew up in the Irvington district of Portland and attended Madeleine grade school, Central Catholic High School, and the University of Portland. He received an MAT degree from Portland State U in 1965 and a School Administration degree in 1983. He also attended Northwestern Law School for a year.
In 1970 John married Carmel Lanigan, his beautiful bride from Ireland. They enjoyed time with their children and grandchildren, traveling, visiting with friends, literature, films, and music. John played in a folk group at St. Ignatius Church, where they were married, and later at St. John the Baptist Church in Milwaukie where they lived for 30 years. He enjoyed playing Kingston Trio songs since his high school days and still performed at times at their PebbleCreek home until recently. Carmel and John traveled to Ireland many times to visit relatives and also toured Europe and Australia.
John taught and coached for 32 years at Hood River, Medford, Rex Putnam, and Milwaukie high schools and coached tennis at Clackamas, LaSalle, and Agua Fria high schools. In 1981 he became a USTA umpire, which he continued for 40 years. He officiated many tennis events in the Northwest, including sectional tournaments in Sunriver for 20 years, and also umpired at the U.S. Open in the 1990s. After retiring from teaching he supervised student teachers for U of Portland, PSU, and Concordia U. He played tennis for over 65 years.
John was known for his sense of humor, respect for others, music, and tennis. He was most proud of his wife, children, and grandchildren. He loved them dearly.
His positive impact on the lives of so many will be celebrated with song and drink at a traditional Irish wake to be scheduled after the holidays, then John will be laid to rest in Ireland.
In his honor, think of a teacher you had that made a difference in your life, then reach out to them and thank them—he always loved it when a former student would do this.
Virginia Robinson (Ginnie), age 86 of Goodyear, Ariz., passed peacefully at home with family on Nov. 24, 2022. Ginnie was born on Sept. 15, 1936, in Seattle, Wash., the fourth child of Dr. Clarence and Virginia Shannon. She grew up in the Capital Hill area of Seattle, playing tennis at the Seattle Tennis Club and attending Forest Ridge.
Ginnie went on to attend the UW (Delta Gamma Sorority) where she met the love of her life, Kenneth Robinson. Ken and Ginnie were married in 1960 and had three children. They enjoyed living all over the world as a result of Ken’s military career. After Ken’s retirement from the U.S. Navy, they settled back in the Seattle area and Ginnie coached girls tennis at Eastside Catholic High School. Ginnie and Ken moved to Goodyear, Ariz., in 1998, and enjoyed their time playing pickleball and golf.
Ginnie was preceded in death by her husband Ken, and siblings Bill, Dick, and Sally. She is survived by her children, Tighe, Teri Owens (Buc), and David (Kathy); five grandchildren, Shannon, Josh, Sarah, Jake, and Jessica; and two great-grandchildren, Theo and Oliver.
Ginnie will be interned with Ken at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Wash. Services are pending.
Barbara Joan Hendrickson
Barbara Joan (Bastiani) Hendrickson, our cherished Mother, passed away peacefully on Nov. 22, 2022, at the age of 83. She passed at home where she was cared for and surrounded by her children, James Hendrickson, Terry Hendrickson, and Karen Hendrickson. She follows her beloved husband, Chuck, who passed away Oct. 26, 2021.
Barbara was born in Albany, New York, on July 23, 1939. She was always a spirited child in search of new experiences. She got that, and more than she could have imagined, after marrying Chuck as a young military officer just beginning his career. She quickly and admirably learned what was needed of a military wife. She raised three children at various postings across the country. There was never a time when we arrived at our new “quarters” when she did not have the beds made up with fresh sheets for a peaceful introduction to our new lives.
She created a happy and warm home and was an excellent and supportive mother. Her keen sense of humor made things fun and there are many fond memories of coming home after school to have warm cookies before running outside to play in the neighborhood.
Barbara re-entered the outside workforce as her children moved forward with their schooling. She quickly rose to the role of the Executive Assistant to the head of the Veterans Administration Offices in both Lawton, Okla., and Phoenix, Ariz.
She was an avid singer around the house and in later years mastered classic country songs while participating in community plays and karaoke with her good friends at PebbleCreek, where she was known affectionately as “Country Barb.”
Barbara and Chuck shared a love of travelling and cruising—domestically and internationally—visiting Europe, Asia, and South America.
She will be missed immensely by her children Jim (Elizabeth and Jackson) Hendrickson of Atlanta, Ga., Terry Hendrickson of Goodyear, and Karen Hendrickson of Goodyear.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Chuck, sister Norma, brother Amos Jr., and parents Amos and Theresa.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the ASPCA or your local animal shelter.
Joann Helen Taylor
With deep sadness we announce the peaceful passing of Joann Helen Taylor, age 89, on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. Joann was born on Sept. 22, 1933, in Pontiac, Mich., to Helen and William Schmiel. After raising their family in Woodland Hills, Calif., Joann and her husband Ralph Taylor moved to the PebbleCreek, where they lived happily for six years before Ralph passed away in 2005. Joann remained in PebbleCreek after Ralph passed away. She joined the Singles Club and was surrounded by close friends and the wonderful and caring PebbleCreek community.
Joann’s work career was raising her family and working for a California travel agency where she was fortunate to see so much of the world. Joann will be remembered for her vivacious personality, love of travel, throwing parties, and social nature. She especially loved the holidays with family, where her creative talent and love of assembling beautiful table settings and holiday decorations brought a smile to everyone’s face. Flowers always fed Joann’s soul, and she looked forward to receiving them and planting her spring crop every year in her yard.
While described as sweet and gracious, Joann surprised everyone as she was a fiercely competitive card and bocce ball player in the PebbleCreek community. Joann loved her University of Michigan football games dressed in football gear while eating a bucket of chicken for her home tailgate parties. Even as she was declining in health, she never wanted to miss a single game.
Most of all she loved her family and instilled in her children the importance of staying connected. She will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.
Joann is survived by her two sons, Mike and Mark Taylor; daughters, Pamela and Julie Taylor; grandchildren, Matthew Taylor, Pamela Bonas, and Brandon Barngrover; and three great-grandchildren, Taylor and Robbie Bonas and Callum Barngrover.
The family will be holding a memorial service in Riverside, Calif., where Joann will be buried next to her husband Ralph and they will both be close to family. A Celebration of Life was held at Joann’s home for close friends and family on Dec. 10, 2022.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association and messages of condolence can be sent to 3504 150th Dr., Goodyear, AZ 85395.
Arthur E. Chouinard
Arthur E. Chouinard of Goodyear, Ariz., passed away Oct. 25, 2022, at the age of 80. He was born August 22, 1942, in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada to Paul and Rosanna (née Ladouceur) Chouinard, both who predeceased him.
Arthur is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Rena (née Toupin) Chouinard; son, Steven (Kristi) Chouinard; daughter, Julia (Mike) Mellinger; brother, Paul (Marcelle—deceased) Chouinard; sister-in-law, Brenda Walker (née Toupin); brother-in-law, Michael Toupin; grandchildren, Kaitlin (Dylan) Lane, Morgan Chouinard, Scarlett Mellinger, and Sierra Mellinger; and great-grandchildren Aubrey Lane, Skylar Lane, and Nolan Lane.
In 1980, Arthur and Rena moved from Canada to Arizona where Arthur spent his entire career in the wholesale flooring distribution industry. Arthur loved sports. He used to play tennis leisurely with his friends, but also enjoyed hockey and football. Arthur enjoyed reading, music, and history. He also traveled whenever he could. But his greatest love was his family. Though his passing brings great sadness, the memory of him and his love will live forever in their hearts.
The family appreciates your care during this difficult time.
Richard Martin Fox
Longtime PebbleCreek resident Richard Fox left this earth to be with his heavenly Father on Oct. 18, 2022, at the age of 87. He was surrounded by his wife of 64 years, Rosemarie, and their five children, Donna, Rick, Kurt, Patty, and Terri.
Richard was born on Sept. 9, 1935, in New York City to Minnie and Harry Fox. He grew up in Times Square, New York where he met the love of his life, Rosemarie Keenan. Richard went to Holy Cross Grade School and Cardinal Hayes High School. He graduated from Iona College in 1957, joined the Marine Corps, and married Rosemarie in December of that same year.
After leaving the Marine Corps, Richard joined the FBI and had a fulfilling career as a special agent.
Rich devoted his retirement years pursuing his true passion, which was spending quality time with his large family.
Richard is survived by his wife Rosemarie, five children, 17 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren who lovingly knew him as Papa.
Funeral services for Richard Fox will be on Nov. 10, 2022, 9:30 a.m., at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 23225 Lyons Ave., Santa Clarita, CA 91321, followed by interment services at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, 23287 North Sierra Hwy., Newhall, CA 91321.
Jane Marie Schaffer
Jane Marie Schaffer, age 78, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, in Prairie Village, Kan., after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Jane was born to her parents, Ann and Jack Anderson, on Feb. 15, 1944, in Boston, Mass., and was raised in Ogden, Utah.
Jane was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, who loved her husband and family deeply. She was easy to laugh, quick to dance, and took pleasure in entertaining, often hosting tea parties and brunch. She delighted in dressing up as well as acting in community theater with her husband. Often referred to as “Lady Jane” her beautiful smile and sharp wit left an indelible impression. In her life, she was proud to have managed her husband’s medical practice and later loved being a military wife, living abroad and serving as co-president of the German/American Women’s Club.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and her loving husband, Dr. Sylven Schaffer. Jane is survived by her children, Michelle, Lynette, Jack, Mindy, stepchildren Mark and Ellen; her sisters Lou and Penny; her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, at Porter Loring Mortuary.
Graveside service will be Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, at 1 p.m. at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, 1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd., San Antonio, TX 78209.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
You are invited to sign the Guestbook at www.porterloring.com. Arrangements with Porter Loring Mortuary, 1101 McCullough Ave., San Antonio, TX 78212, 210-227-8221.
Helen J. Francis
Helen J. Francis, 88, of Goodyear, Ariz., passed away peacefully on Oct. 7, 2022, surrounded by loved ones. Helen was born on Sept. 24, 1934, to Ona and Cass Johnson in Maxie, Va.
Helen married her high school sweetheart, Billy E. Francis, in 1953 and had three children, Eddie, David, and Lisa. Helen and Bill were married for 56 years until Bill’s death in 2009.
Seeking opportunities outside of their hometown in southwest Virginia, Helen and Bill moved to Hampton, Va., where they raised their children. Always dedicated to the needs of her family, Helen created a loving home and stayed at home until her youngest started school. Once she decided to work outside the home, Helen spent many years in the loan department of Central Fidelity Bank. In 1982, following a move to Williamsburg, Va., Helen left the bank and started a new career as a teacher’s assistant for special education students, providing them with the warmth and patience she was known for.
In 2019, Helen moved to PebbleCreek (Unit 19) to remain with her daughter and son-in-law upon their retirement. The move also gave her the opportunity to spend time with her son and daughter-in-law who also have a home in PebbleCreek. Helen loved the warm weather and blue skies of Arizona, spending time outside on her patio. She also enjoyed the occasional game of bocce, bingo, and cards, golf cart rides, concerts, and traveling the western United States in a RV. Helen forged new friendships in the years she lived in PebbleCreek and was well loved in the community. She frequently said she “had the most wonderful life.”
Left to honor and cherish her memory are her three children, Eddie (Shanna), David (JoAnn), and Lisa (Tom), grandchildren Maria, Olivia, Thomas, Kaden, Mackenzie, Rileigh, Zach, Matt, Will, Robby, Michael, Jessica, Robby, Tommy, Tahnee, and Kory.
Nanny, as she was affectionately known, was loved for her perpetual kindness, warmth, and loving heart. The family is grateful that they recently gathered in Goodyear to celebrate her 88th birthday, two weeks before her passing.
A Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday, Nov. 1, from 1 to 2 p.m. at the PebbleCreek home of daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Tom Kellis. Helen will return home to Virginia in the spring of 2023 to join her loving husband at Peninsula Memorial Park.
Ronald Eugene Roat
Ronald Eugene Roat was born on July 24, 1947, in Canton, Ill., to Charles and Thelma Roat of Havana, Ill., (deceased) and passed away Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, at 8 p.m. at home surrounded by his wife and children. He has two surviving brothers—Keith (Donna) and Eldon (Kari) both of Havana, Ill., as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, and nieces. Ron grew up on the family farm until he left to attend college. He attended a one-room schoolhouse until high school and then attended Havana Community High School where he graduated with the class of 1965.
Ron went on to Olivet Nazarene University to study biology/botany. After his junior year in 1968, he made the decision to enlist in the United States Air Force in anticipation of being drafted. Ron served at the Phu Cat, VietNam Air Base 1969-1970.
Ron married Cheryl O’Bryant, his high school sweetheart, in May of 1971. They were married for over 51 years. He finished his tour of duty in Grand Forks, N.D., in 1972 and moved back to Illinois. He farmed for four years before buying farmland in Winigan, Mo., in 1977. Their three children were born in nearby Kirksville, Mo.—Benjamin (Kathy) of Phoenix who have three children (Brandon, Atticus, and Jette); Dana (Mark) of Goodyear who have three children (Henry, Charlie, and Ruby), and David (Jaclyn) of Spring Grove, Ill., who have four living children (Gavin—deceased 2012), Emma, Noah, Isla, and Sara).
In 1987 Ron made the decision that farming was not providing a good income, so they moved to Phoenix, Ariz., and later moved to PebbleCreek in November of 2005. Ron got a job with Service Master at John C Lincoln Hospital and then with the City of Peoria, where he was a Water Utility Technician for 13 years. After moving to Phoenix, he joined the Air National Guard and served in the Air Force for over 20 years, retiring in 2006. Ron participated in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ron was honored by his squadron by being selected Airman of the Quarter for the third quarter of 2002. He received the Meritorious Service Medal by distinguishing himself as an Aircraft Propulsion Specialist for the 161st Maintenance Squadron, 161st Air Refueling Wing, Phoenix, Ariz.
Ron served as a member of the choir, building committee, moving crew, and also supported Cheryl in her health care ministry at Turning Leaf Church of the Nazarene. In November 2020, Ron fell and broke his hip. After that his Alzheimer’s disease led to a decline in his health. He had a great smile to the very end and will be remembered for his servant’s heart and faithful commitment to God, his family, community, and country.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. at the Turning Leaf Church of the Nazarene, 5800 N. Litchfield Road.
Mr. Gino Ranalli, 90, died Sept. 29, 2022. He was born July 14, 1932, in Columbus, Ohio, to Croce Ranalli and Carmela Pisegna. He is survived by his wife, Frances Ranalli; daughters, Diane Windisch and Tina Ranalli; and son, Danny Ranalli.
Gino was raised in Columbus, Ohio, flytown, until leaving for the Navy in 1955. He met and married Frances. Together they had four children and raised them in Long Beach, Calif. Gino was an avid sports fan, especially the Lakers and Rams. He played all sports, including basketball, golf, bowling, dancing, and shooting pool with his buddies.
He will be missed by all.
Lloyd Pottratz, age 85, passed away peacefully on Sept. 27, 2022, after a long battle with cancer and a series of health issues.
Lloyd and his wife Judy have been long time residents of the PebbleCreek community for over 25 years. They moved here from Davenport, Iowa, in 1996. Lloyd began his work in the financial world back in Davenport. In 1973 he branched out and founded Lloyd’s Plan Inc., which allowed him the opportunity to serve many people in the community with personal and business loans. Lloyd was involved with woodcarving, line dancing, church ministry, and as a volunteer at Perryville Prison, Andre House, and New Life Center. He and Judy also hosted the first Iowa party, and many more after that…Go Hawks! Lloyd was best known for his smiling eyes, practical jokes (especially getting his ear pierced at 84!), contagious laugh, generous spirit, hard work, strong faith, and immense compassion.
Lloyd is survived by his wife Judy, seven children and their spouses, 10 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, three sisters, and two brothers. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Tom, and grandson Joseph.
Lloyd’s funeral mass and celebration of life was held on Oct. 3 at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Davenport, Iowa. Many of his PebbleCreek friends attended as well as friends and family from around the country. May he rest in peace and know that he is missed and loved by many!
Jo Ann Yealey
Jo Ann (Hall) Yealey passed away Monday, Sept. 5, 2022, after a brief illness. Jo Ann was born in Beech Grove, Ind., on Jan. 26, 1929, and lived 93 years to the fullest. She was a joy up to the end of her beautiful life. She is survived by her only child, a daughter Chanca Morrell, two grandsons Cory Crafton and Craig Crafton, granddaughter-in-law Angela (Fichtner) Crafton, soon-to-be granddaughter-in-law Becky Bobb and three great-grandchildren, Darian Crafton, Chance Crafton, and Lucas Crafton.
Jo Ann spent several years working as a cabinet inspector for Admiral Corporation in Shelbyville, Ind., from which she retired. She later went to work in the sporting goods department at Target in Shelbyville, Ind., from which she later retired. Jo Ann also assisted her husband “Snag” (that was his nickname) in the cleaning business at O’Neil Steel in Shelbyville, Ind., which later she and her daughter took over after her husband’s death. A few years later she married her high school sweetheart Talva “Mac” Yealey and they shared a beautiful life together until Mac passed away in 2000.
Jo Ann moved to PebbleCreek in 2010. She lived with her daughter and son-in-law Clark Morrell. Clark preceded her in death in 2018. She was very active in the PebbleCreek community and is best known for her appearance as Minnie Pearl in Showtime Productions. “Howdy” is how she would greet you followed by “See ya round like a donut” as she said goodbye to people.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Oct. 1, 2022, at 10 a.m. at the Church at Litchfield Park, 300 N. Old Litchfield Road. On Oct. 29, a graveside service will be held at Van Pelt cemetery in Waldron, Ind. A luncheon and Celebration of Life will be held immediately following the graveside service at the St. Paul Christian Church in St. Paul, Ind.
Many thanks to all of you for your cards, visits, and attending my mom’s Celebration of Life.
Corrie Copple (Tiegs)
Corrie Lyn Copple passed away peacefully in Sacramento in the early morning hours of Sept. 4, 2022, due to complications from cancer.
She was born May 28, 1958, in Alameda, Calif., and grew up in nearby Pleasant Hill. In her youth, she was a champion-level barrel racer. She also played tennis where she was a rare four-year women’s varsity tennis player in high school and went on to become highly ranked regionally and nationally as an adult. She then took up the game of golf and was an avid and accomplished player.
Corrie began her career in 1979 as a paralegal in real estate law and litigation, which she did for 13 years both in California and Idaho. In the mid-1990s, she founded and operated her own successful espresso coffee business at the airport in Boise, Idaho. In 2004, Corrie moved to the community of PebbleCreek in Goodyear, Ariz. She accepted a position as flight attendant with America West Airlines (now American Airlines) and rapidly rose to supervisory and management positions, ultimately serving as Manager of the Aviation Safety Action Program for Flight Attendants. In 2014 when the airline consolidated its corporate offices in Dallas, Texas, Corrie chose to remain in Goodyear. She obtained her Real Estate license and worked in new home sales for Robson Communities at PebbleCreek, then for The Realty One Group also in PebbleCreek. She moved back to California in July 2021 to live the remainder of her life with her loving partner, John Raeside.
Corrie is predeceased by her parents, Ronald Tiegs and Nelda Tiegs Stoops. She leaves behind her daughter Teri Lyn Fisher-Morris (Aaron), grandson Jude, sister Dana, boyfriend John Raeside, and her beloved dog, Sugar, along with dear relatives and loving friends.
Corrie’s beautiful smile, extraordinary sense of humor, and thoughtful kindness brought joy to those fortunate enough to be part of her life. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Corrie’s ashes will be scattered in Monterey Bay near the Pebble Beach Golf Course in a private ceremony. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Tuscany Falls Clubhouse in the PebbleCreek community in Goodyear on Monday, Nov. 21, at noon. Donations in Corrie’s memory may be made to the Cameron Champ Foundation to benefit youth in underserved and underprivileged communities (cameronchampfoundation.org).
James Richard Wolfe—affectionately known to everyone as Jim or Jimmy—unexpectedly passed away at his home on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022.
Jim was born in Queens, N.Y., on Feb. 7, 1947, to Robert and Helen Wolfe. After Jim graduated from Garden City High School in 1964, he served as a volunteer firefighter before enrolling in the U.S. Air Force, where he went on to proudly serve in Vietnam. Jim was honored to serve for his country.
After the U.S. Air Force, Jim started a long career in the Consumer Discretionary Products industry at American Greetings in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jim led several sales divisions at the company both in Indiana and Northern California before retiring and moving to Arizona in 2004.
Jim and his wife of 40 years, Vicki, had two children, Mark and Heather. Jim was also a proud grandfather to three wonderful grandchildren, Layla Rose Wolfe (17), Scarlett Victoria Clarke (7), and Graham James Clarke (5).
Outside of his career and his devoted time as a father and grandfather, you would inevitably find Jim telling stories and jokes with family and friends as he made his way around the golf course. Having spent many years golfing his way around California and Indiana, Jim settled in PebbleCreek as an avid member of the “Bushwhacker” golfing group.
Jim’s other great passion in life was baseball. When Jim wasn’t on the golf course, he loved nothing more than watching either of his two favorite teams in action—the Oakland A’s and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jim fulfilled a life-long dream last year when he attended the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., with his son, Mark, and his son-in-law, Jason.
In addition to golf and baseball, Jim loved to travel, listen to ‘60s music—the Rolling Stones being his favorite—and sit around the kitchen table telling stories with family and friends while sipping on a nice glass of Josh cabernet with his dog, Riley, laying by his side.
Jim is survived by his former wife, Vicki Wolfe, their children, Mark Wolfe and Heather (Jason) Clarke, his older brother, Tim (Betsy) Wolfe, his sister, Jane (Sam) Cowan, and his younger brother, Roger (Mary) Wolfe. He will be missed every day.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Vietnam Veterans of America, organizations Jim felt strongly about.
Eric Lee passed away peacefully on Sept. 2, 2022, near his home in Goodyear, Ariz., following a short battle with Alzheimer’s.
He was born in Denver, Colo., to Robert and Elizabeth Lee. He attended South High School, where he excelled in football, basketball, and track. Eric then attended the University of Colorado in Boulder on a basketball and track scholarship where he majored in history. He was a member of the university’s Big 8 Conference championship basketball teams in 1962 and 1963. Post-graduation, he played on the 1964 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) USA Basketball team sponsored by the U.S. State Department.
Following graduation, he moved to Alaska where he was a high school teacher and coached athletics from 1965 to 1973. He was chairman of the Republican Party in Anchorage from 1970 to 1973 and served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention. From 1974 to 1979, he worked for the State of Alaska as Director of Community and Rural Economic Development. He moved to California in 1982 and, until 1986, owned and operated a small construction firm specializing in alternative energy systems. From 1986 until early 1992, Eric was the Regional Administrator for Region 8 of the U.S. General Services Administration appointed by President Reagan. He concluded his working years as a real estate investor and a self-employed contract investigator.
Eric was a loving father to his children and grandchildren. Eric had many diverse talents and interests. In addition to being an avid golfer and artist, he loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and flying his plane in Alaska.
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Monica; children Kendall Lee Edwards of Scottsdale, Ariz., and her children Cade, Carson, and Crew; Jason Lee of Buena Vista, Colo.; Kelly (Dave) Edwards of Hillsboro, Ore., and their children Robbie, Katie (Andrew) Petersen, and Tommy Edwards. He is also survived by his brother Dennis Lee of Crossville, Tenn., niece Sherry (Joel) Lunstrum, and nephew Justin Falsetto. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Delisa Lee Falsetto Ore.
A very special thank you to all his family and friends who helped in his final days. Donations may be made to the Arizona Humane Society in memory of Eric Lee and all of his beloved pets to include Charlie, Juneau, Kenai, Muffin, Allie, and Jax. A Celebration of Life will be held in the fall, the date of which has yet to be determined.
George Michael McNeil
George Michael McNeil, age 74, passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2022, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Phoenix, Ariz. He fought courageously but could not win the battle.
George was born in New Haven, Conn., on Nov. 22, 1947. He attended Syracuse University for two years and graduated with high honors from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science degree in management in 1985. He had a long career in project management with Gilbane Building Company, Providence, R.I. His work took him to upstate New York; Framingham, Mass.; Providence, R.I.; New York City; Pittsburgh, Penn.; and finally to run several major projects in New York state and New Jersey. In 1992 he received the Gilbane Building Company Iver Johnson Builder of the Year Award, Northeast Region. He successfully opened a District Office in Albany, N.Y., where an award was created in his honor called “The George McNeil Tough-Minded Award,” which is given yearly to an employee who displays the same qualities that George exemplified—the innate ability to do what is right, even when it isn’t the easy thing to do. He retired from the company as a vice president in January 2012 after a remarkable 46 years of service. Since then, he worked at maintaining many lasting friendships with coworkers.
George met his wife, Kathie, on a blind date in June 1968. They attended Woodstock that year and the rest is history! They were married 45 years on Aug. 27. George loved cooking and completed several diploma courses in cooking techniques. He was an avid Sudoku player and reader. George and Kathie retired to Arizona in January 2015. On June 2, 2016, George underwent a successful double lung transplant and thereafter lived life to the fullest. He and his wife have enjoyed trips to the Grand Canyon, Florida, California, Alaska, and their favorite place, Maui, Hawaii. In Arizona they have wonderful supportive neighbors and made lots of friends through golfing, bocce, and Putters Club.
George is predeceased by his twin brother, Graham, his father, George, and his mother, Virginia. Grateful for sharing his life are his wife Kathie, of Goodyear, Ariz., his nephew Sean (Lisa), great niece Kylie, and great nephew Ian from Jacksonville, Fla.
Always known for his winning smile and kind and gentle demeanor, he was a class act who will truly be missed by all who knew him. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial donations to Donate Life America or the American Lung Association.
Nancy L. Mowen
Nancy L. Mowen, an amazing mother, wife, nana, friend, mentor, counselor, servant, and daughter of William R. Pratt and Charlotte J. (Taylor) Pratt passed away Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was born Aug. 27, 1947, in Belvidere, Ill. She married Marcus J. Mowen on July 28, 1973, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rockford, Ill. A graduate of Northern Illinois University, Nancy held a Bachelor of Science degree in education, a Master of Science degree in education, and a CAS in personnel and guidance. At Northern she was an active member of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority and Delta Psi Kappa Professional Honorary Fraternity. Nancy is survived by her husband of 49 years, Mark, and children Matthew (Ruby) Mowen, Milo and Luna of Longmont, Colo.; Marissa (Eric) Vermeer, Cael, Elliana, and Harper of Jewell, Iowa; and Michael (Jojo) Mowen, and Marley of Longmont, Colo.
She is remembered by her family and friends as kind, compassionate, and selfless, often putting her family first above her needs. Some of her happiest days were spent supporting her three children in accomplishing their own dreams in life. Nancy was an avid reader and lifelong lover of dogs. She enjoyed baking with her grandchildren, helping them learn new skills, and cheering them on in their athletic competitions and musical activities. Her life was a rich testimony of her unwavering passion for her family.
Nancy’s entire teaching and counseling career was spent in the Rockford Public Schools beginning in 1969. She taught and served as a guidance counselor at West, Auburn, and Guilford High Schools. Her care and concern for both her students and colleagues was evident in the way she passionately served.
A special thank you to Dr. David Hansen, Nancy’s primary care physician for many years. The family would also like to thank Dr. Monica Patel, Jenna Wilke, NP, and Lillian Thompson, RN, at University of Wisconsin Cancer Center, and Northern Illinois Hospice. Thank you to our faithful friends and family for the prayers and loving support. Please know how much peace and comfort you brought to a journey that would have been so much more difficult without you.
Condolences may be shared with the family beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Roscoe United Methodist Church with a memorial service starting at 11 a.m. A lunch will be served at the conclusion of the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorials be given in Nancy’s name to Roscoe United Methodist Church Serenity Memorial Garden & Ashuary or the Rockton Remembers Hononegah Statue Fund.
Helen W. Still
Helen (Watt) Still, 91, of Goodyear, Ariz., passed away peacefully on Aug. 31, 2022. She is survived by her daughters Sharon Paulson of Redmond, Wash., and Susan Still of Hoodsport, Wash.; her son Steve (Amy) Still of Austin, Texas; and grandchildren Trevor Paulson of Redmond, Wash.; Taylor Still of Denver, Colo.; Zach Still, Allison Still, and Kennedy Still of Austin, Texas.
Helen Mae was born on June 10, 1931, in Buffalo, Wyo., as the youngest child of Thomas and Mary (Cash) Watt. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Robert “Bobby” Watt, and sister Dorothy Hill. The family moved from Buffalo to Seattle where Helen graduated from historic Queen Anne High School.
Family was of utmost importance to Helen. She adored her children and grandchildren and looked forward to their calls and visits, telling stories, and celebrating their accomplishments. She reveled in staying in contact with friends and family across the West whether it be the beloved cousins from Buffalo and Kaycee, her nephew in Albuquerque, or her former classmates in Seattle.
Helen enjoyed what life had to offer in the Northwest from traveling, gardening, the mountaineering club, Seattle Unity Church, and her neighborhood group. When she chose to move to Arizona, she availed herself of the many opportunities the desert had to offer including the PebbleCreek Singles Club, bocce ball, The Church of Litchfield Park, and her numerous card groups. She was so grateful for the many friends she had made from Seattle to Goodyear.
Heartfelt thanks go to Jill Santy whose unwavering friendship, support, and care for Helen during the past four years was invaluable. Special thanks to Hospice of the Valley and Ryan House for their loving care of Helen during her final days.
A small family celebration will be held in Seattle at a future date.
Ms. Lyda Evers of Goodyear, Ariz., died Aug. 20, 2022, at the age of 88. She was born June 12, 1934, in Hot Springs, Ark., to Raymond Smith and Lytha Phillips.
Lyda spent her early childhood in Mayer, Ariz., and graduated from Glendale High School. She was a veteran of the United States Army serving from October 1950 to September 1952. She married John “Hoot” Evers in September of 1952 and together they would raise three sons. For many years, she was an employee of the State of Arizona.
Lyda was predeceased by her brother, Leon Smith; sisters, Jenna Rae Spitler and Zoan Gentner; and her son, Daniel Phillip Evers.
She leaves behind her husband of nearly 70 years, John “Hoot” Evers; sons, John H. (Diana) Evers and Gary R. (Kathy) Evers; and her sisters, Joyce Gibson and Linda Gomez. She also leaves behind eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of Phoenix at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 31. A Celebration of Life is being planned for a later date.
John Mortimer Wallace
John Mortimer Wallace (CMSGT U.S. Air Force, retired), born April 11, 1932, passed away peacefully Aug. 4, 2022, following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Born in Limerick, Maine, to Loretto and Foster Wallace, John’s greatest joy was his wife and family.
John began his military career in 1952 and married his high school sweetheart, Sheila Ryan, in 1954. Following retirement John worked at Boeing and St. John Bosco Catholic Church. John also became a Master Gardener and devoted many volunteer hours at the Military Base Exchange providing gardening advice. John had a great sense of humor and was always quick with a smile and a joke. An extremely generous man, he would frequently give away his hat, shirt, or sweater to anyone who complimented him on his attire. He loved making bread for family, friends, and neighbors and to quietly buy dinner for some young family in a restaurant.
In the 1970s, John joined the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and became a Prayer Group leader in both Illinois and Washington, a member of the board and later President of the Board after which he became active in the Knights of Columbus. He was elected to Knights’ State Officer, becoming State Deputy in 2009, and received numerous awards for his service. In 2001 John and his family were selected the Knights Family of the Year and chosen Second Runner-Up as International Family of the Year.
During his military career, John was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and Air Medals for service and valor. John is predeceased by his daughter, Deborah Jean (Debbie) Wallace, and great-granddaughter Gretchen Clary. He leaves his wife of nearly 68 years, Sheila (Ryan) Wallace; daughters Cheryl Kunkle (Steve) of Goodyear, Ariz., Bonnie Clark (Glenn) of Puyallup, Wash., and Sharon Webster (Robert) of Puyallup, Wash.; sons John Wallace (Lois) of Liberty, Wash., and Scott Wallace (Ellen) of Puyallup, Wash.; 20 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
Gary Ludwig, 86, passed away July 22, 2022, at home in PebbleCreek after fighting multiple myeloma for eight years. He leaves behind his wife, Karen Ludwig; daughter, Beth Streeter; son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Bryan and Elisabeth Ludwig; and three grandchildren, Simon Streeter, Zachary Ludwig, and Julia Ludwig. He is survived by his sister Shirley Brown and his nieces and nephews-in-law, Cindy and Tom Pugh and Jill and Andrew McIntyre.
Gary was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and spent his early years in Fort Dodge and Des Moines, Iowa. He attended Northwestern University for two years then graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering. He began his career at Procter & Gamble but was called up for service in the Air Force as a Captain. After four years in the Air Force, he decided to stay on as a civilian at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in the research and development department. He went on to get his MBA at Ohio State University and later worked on a master’s in electrical engineering.
It was during his time at Ohio State that he met his wife Karen, who was just beginning college as an adult student. They married after she graduated and lived in Beavercreek, Ohio. They had two children; both also graduates of Ohio State.
Gary retired at the senior executive service level in 1994, and he and Karen traveled the world for the next 20 years seeing six different continents. They were snowbirds in Arizona for many years and have been permanent residents for three years.
Gary was a tennis player and enjoyed the camaraderie of the drop-in men’s tennis group. He was also an avid ham radio operator and member. In his middle years, he enjoyed taking his family camping, boating, and on many family vacations all over the world. He left a wonderful legacy through his family and will be remembered always. We send him on with love and peace.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made in Gary Ludwig’s name to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation at 383 Main Avenue, 5th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851.
Memorial services will be held in Dayton, Ohio.
As in life, Gary was very well-organized in death. His planning was greatly appreciated by his family, but it was needed sooner than anyone expected.
Gary Reese Lord was born in Ellenville, N.Y., on July 22, 1939, to Joe and Thelma Lord. He spent his youth in Potsdam, N.Y., where he was active in sports and student government. Full of entrepreneurial spirit, he met his beloved wife, Ruth, while selling greeting cards to his future mother-in-law, Dorothy Putnam.
From upstate New York he earned an appointment to West Point and company K1, where he made many lifelong friends. He managed the basketball team and was a member of the ski team. As fate would have it, Gary had stashed a car off-post, and on an extended leave weekend in his senior year, he ventured off to South Bend to visit Ruth. They decided to get married, and “sealed the deal” on July 29, 1961.
Army life was good to Gary and Ruth and took them all over the world. He was honored to serve his country. Gary’s first assignment was the 82nd Airborne at Ft. Bragg, N.C., where he and Ruth welcomed their first-born son, Brad. The army awarded Gary with the opportunity to get a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Illinois, where daughter Kristi was born. Following a tour in Vietnam, Gary served as an aide to a 4-star general in Tampa, Fla. Here, the growing Lord family welcomed another daughter, Kelleen. Lastly, son Reese joined the family while Gary was stationed in California and working in the Sacramento Engineer District.
After many years of life all over the map, including a 3-year stay for the family in Germany, Gary retired from the military as the District Engineer of Portland, Ore., in March of 1988. Military retirement led to a fulfilling second career in engineering with Kiewit Construction. Gary and Ruth joined the Arizona community of PebbleCreek toward the end of his career and met many dear friends who share in their love of golf, wine, bridge, and socializing. Gary and Ruth loved to play host, never more evident than during their annual Easter fundraiser.
Travel was a real passion for Gary, both with Ruth and with his family. He traveled to places people dream of including Africa, Costa Rica, Peru, the Balkans, a trek through the Austrian Alps, and a landmark trip back to Southeast Asia to revisit what he built and sacrificed for all those years ago. And, in what would turn out to be his final trip, the extended family was able to gather at a grand villa in the Tuscan Hills of Italy to celebrate Gary and Ruth’s 60th wedding anniversary, despite the logistical hurdles posed by a global pandemic.
Always known for his active and healthy lifestyle, his cancer diagnosis in May of this year came as a complete shock to both family and friends. He fought like the soldier he was, but lost that battle on July 15, 2022, surrounded by his family.
Known for his beautiful smile and vivid spirit, he will be deeply missed by Ruth, his four children and their spouses, nine grandkids, two great-grandkids, and countless dear friends.
Deanna Lynn Engelbert
Deanna Lynn Engelbert transitioned from this earthly life on June 27, 2022, to a heavenly and blessed eternity. God showed He would carry her on through cancer with His deep love.
She graduated from Marian High in Omaha and received her B.S. in business from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Neb.
Deanna had a heart for service and making people smile. She greeted everyone with “Hello Sunshine.”
If she could have put her family, her St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church community in Houston, and employer/coworkers (Raytheon Technologies) all in one place in Nebraska where she was born Feb. 14, 1963, she would have been in Husker heaven.
She is preceded in death by extended family and her four grandparents. She has left behind her mom and dad, Arlene (Pfeifer) Engelbert and Jack Engelbert; brothers Dennis and Tammy (Spencer) Engelbert and Kevin and Becky (Edens-Clayton) Engelbert; nieces and nephews Gavin, Grace, Jaden, Faith, John, Luke, and Rachel Engelbert; and great niece and nephew Charlotte and Elliot.
Deanna moved to PebbleCreek in March of 2020 to be with her parents the last years of her life. She enjoyed many of the amenities of our community and was able to spread her smiles and Hello Sunshine greeting with everyone she met.
Kay Cee Christenson (KayCee)
Kay Cee Christenson (KayCee), age 63 of Goodyear, Ariz., passed away on Friday, June 10, 2022, at Hospice of the Valley in Glendale, Ariz. Services were held June 17 at Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear, Ariz., for immediate family. A celebration of life for friends and family will be held at a later date.
KayCee was born in Pomona, Calif., on Sept. 18, 1958. Her father worked for the U.S. Border Patrol, and the family moved to multiple border cities in the states of Texas, Michigan, Vermont, and North Dakota. However, she spent most of her early life in Portal, N.D., and considered it her hometown. She graduated from Burke Central High School in Lignite, N.D., in 1976, where she excelled in basketball and track. KayCee attended The National College of Business (NCB) in Rapid City, S.D., where she met her future husband, Todd, who was attending South Dakota School of Mines. Following graduation, the young couple moved to Traverse City, Mich., to start their lives together. They were married on July 17, 1982. They moved from Michigan to Texas, where their first son (Matthew) was born. After three years in Texas, the family moved to Anchorage, Alaska where their second son (Daniel) was born. They spent the next 25 years raising their family in the 49th state.
KayCee was a stay-at-home mother to her two boys in their early years, and later worked for the school district as a teacher’s aide and librarian’s assistant. She enjoyed weekends at the cabin, fishing, clamming, berry picking, quilting, and attending her boys’ soccer games.
In her retirement years she spent her summers in Alaska, and winters in Arizona. She enjoyed golfing, whether it be in her couple’s groups or women’s 9-holers. Genealogy was a passion of hers. She was a daughter of the American Revolution, and could trace her roots back to the Mayflower. Traveling internationally and experiencing the world was a passion of KayCee’s. She traveled to Europe, Central America, South America, and Australia. Her favorite experience was her European River cruise.
Grateful for sharing her life are her husband, Todd Christenson of Goodyear, Ariz.; their sons, Matthew Christenson (Lindsay Weingartner) of Anchorage, Alaska; Daniel Christenson of Goodyear, Ariz.; brother, Steve (Barbara) Cudney of Hollis, N.H.; and numerous nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
Kaycee was preceded in death by her parents Loren and Maureen (Muralt) Cudney.
Kathy Koch Scott
Kathy Koch Scott, age 77 of Goodyear, Ariz., passed away unexpectedly and peacefully on June 2, 2022, in Joplin, Mo. Services were held June 9 at St. Peters Catholic Church in Marshall, Mo.
Kathy was born in Marshall, Mo., on July 27, 1944, to John H. Koch and Mary Perkins Koch, the fourth of eight children. She was raised in Marshall and graduated from Mercy Academy in 1962. In 1963 she married John P. Scott, who survives of the home. After moving to Columbia, Mo., for two years where their first son was born and then to Kansas City, Mo., for two years they then moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where they spent the next 35 years and where their second son was born.
Kathy was a stay-at-home mom for most of the boys’ early years and then worked as a bookkeeper and secretary after the boys left home. As the boys were growing up she enjoyed traveling during vacations, visiting relatives, and taking the boys to National Parks and historical sites. She particularly enjoyed automobile trips, and in later years she and John visited all 48 lower states, drove to Alaska twice and visited Hawaii numerous times. After retiring in 2000 they began international travel visiting six continents. She particularly enjoyed her visits to the Holy Land and to Rome.
She always had an artistic aptitude and made many pencil sketches throughout her life starting with her high school and the local hometown newspaper in her teens. After moving to PebbleCreek and joining the Art Club she developed a love of painting and set aside a room in her home as her studio. Pictures she took on her travels were the inspiration for many of her paintings. She also continued drawing with pencil and charcoal creating scenic pictures and portraits of her grandchildren.
Survivors include her husband John; her sons Ron Scott (Julie) of Glendale, Ariz., and Doug Scott (Shelley) of Commerce Township, Mi.; four grandchildren and one great-grandson; and five siblings, Betty Gazverde, Larry Koch (Char), Glenn Koch (Dian), Judy Koch, and Pat Smith (Leroy).
She was preceded in death by her parents, a granddaughter Sarah Joan Scott; and two sisters Norma Gorrell and Darlene Cochran.
Lynne Charlemyne (Molloy) Ackerman
Lynne Ackerman passed away June 1 after a brief but courageous battle with myelodysplastic syndrome, a type of blood cancer.
Lynne was born in Rochester, N.Y., the daughter of Lucille Diedrick Molloy and Donald P. Molloy. She grew up in Denville, N.J., and graduated from Morris Knolls High School in 1966. Lynne had a successful career as a commercial and corporate flight attendant. She started her career with Trans World Airlines and worked there for 9 years. After a brief hiatus with her three young sons, she returned to the workforce as a corporate flight attendant for another 30 years. During that span, she worked for Phillip Morris, the Ambassador of Mozambique, and NetJets.
She retired as a flight attendant in the mid-2010s but continued to stay active, working part-time at Saucon Valley Country Club. This allowed her to be close to her favorite activity, playing golf. Lynne also enjoyed swimming, bowling, and long walks with her beloved dog Monique. She liked watching college basketball and pro football, rooting for her New York Giants no matter where she was. With her occupation, she was able to travel a great deal and would always take the opportunity to explore the city or country she was in. She enjoyed going to the theater, discovering museums and dining at unique restaurants. After living most of her life on the East Coast (raising her family in Sparta, N.J., and initially retiring to Allentown, Pa.), she decided to move to Arizona in 2019 so she could play golf year-round.
Her memory is especially treasured by her three sons: William John Ackerman II (Amanda Springmann) of Falls Church, Va., Richard Edward Ackerman (Kin Wan) of St. Louis, Mo., and Derek Douglas Ackerman (Christina Hickel) of Phoenix, Ariz. Other survivors include sister Dr. Donna Molloy Mogan of Durham, N.C.; niece Tara Mogan Blom of Annapolis, Md.; great-niece Jacqueline Martin; and grandchildren Jack, Henry, Jacob, Evi, Scarlet, Lucas, and Oliver. In addition to her family, Lynne leaves behind many friends who will miss her dearly.
A Celebration of Life will take place at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Mount Arlington, N.J., on Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. (EST).
Carlene (Cris) Joan (Christensen) Capelli
Cris was born July 3, 1939, in Los Angeles, Calif., to mother, Corinne Thelma (Rossum) Christensen, and father, John Andrew Christensen. She was the older sister to two brothers, David and Jerry. She passed away May 16, 2022.
She attended Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, in Santa Ynez, Calif., graduating in 1957 where she was an outstanding student. Some of her accomplishments included:
* Receiving four scholarship awards (one per year)
* Serving as student body secretary her senior year
* Participating in the chorus four years with a solo (Ave Maria) at her senior year spring concert
* Cheerleader sophomore year
* Held a lead role in Cheaper by the Dozen as “mama” in her senior year
* A member of the Girls Quartet her senior year
* Received a regional Home Economics Cooking award her senior year
* Marching band Majorette senior year (played flute)
* Recipient of a financial scholarship from Santa Ynez Valley Lions Club her senior year
* Recipient of Bank of America Award her senior year along with life-long best friend Willa Mahler
After high school she attended Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., to study nursing where she met many meaningful, life-long friends, including the love of her life. She married G. James (Jim) Capelli in Solvang, Calif., on Dec. 28, 1958. Together they settled in Lakewood, Wash., and had four children; Cheryl, Caryn, Suzanne, and Greg.
Cris worked as a dental assistant for Dr. Evans in Parkland, Wash. Later she worked for Office Interiors NW until she retired in 1995. In her retirement years she worked as secretary for Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lakewood and earned her Lay Minister award. She participated in the bell choir and the Clown Ministry. She enjoyed time with children and grandchildren and the close community of friends she and Jim had built over the years.
In 1998, she and Jim moved to Goodyear, Ariz. She continued her active role in the church at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Goodyear where she also held the role of secretary for many years. She hosted Bible studies, facilitated fellowship events such as the Tuesday night dinners, and built a close-knit group of friends known as “the sisters.” She loved to play cards (and sat as a substitute in several card groups), scrapbook, and build relationships. Jim and Cris developed a close extended family through the church in Goodyear, which Cris cherished.
Cris is survived by her husband, Jim, three daughters, Cheryl, Caryn, Suzanne, their husbands, and one son, Greg. She also will be missed by nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, her two brothers and their families, as well as many friends considered close as family. She was preceded in death by one grandson, Justin.
Earl Gene Stair
Earl Gene Stair passed away May 16 in the loving embrace of his family with his precious dog, Rocky, snuggled on his lap. He was beloved by Pat, his wife of 50 years, and his children, Dawn Dahlin (Chris), Jennifer Smith, and Juliana Caviolo (James). He was blessed with three granddaughters, Elizabeth Smith, Emily Caviolo, and Claire Caviolo.
Gene was born Sept. 12, 1939, in Knoxville, Tenn., to Myrtle Clawson Stair and Jerome Neil Stair, Sr., who passed away many years ago. His brother, Jerome Neil Stair, Jr., also passed away previously.
Gene served in the U.S. Army for three years, most of it in Thule, Greenland. He spent many years as a salesman, starting at Breuner’s original store in Sacramento in the early ‘60s. He loved building remote controlled airplanes and boats, and working with his vast collection of tools. Gene was a perfectionist in all that he did, and his family said about him that “anything worth doing was worth overdoing.”
Our dearest Gene was kind, loving, and most generous, and will live in our hearts forever.
Gary Griggs, age 82, of Goodyear, Ariz., left this mortal realm on May 16, 2022. He is survived by his wife of almost 58 years, Bev; their son Michael (Shelly) Griggs; daughter, Kim Guerin; granddaughters, McKenna King and Rooney Jane Guerin; brother, Dan Griggs; brother-in-law, Mark (Sandra) Haner; nephew Matthew and niece Alison Haner; and two step-grandsons, Collin (Laura) Owen and Ryan Owen. Gary was preceded in death by his parents Otto and Kittie Griggs of Las Cruces, N.M.
Gary was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, then grew up in Las Cruces, N.M. He attended Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and UNM prior to enlisting in the United States Marine Corps where he served for eight years and was a Vietnam combat veteran. He met the love of his life while on Christmas leave in 1962; they wed in 1965 and they were married for almost 58 years.
Gary enjoyed everything life had to offer, but family was his first and foremost love. He loved them from the first moment he held them in his arms. It was watching his children grow and learn, set and achieve goals, become adults and have their own families that brought smiles to his face. Then it was the granddaughters who brought a new dimension of love to Gary’s life. How he adored those girls and was truly their proud Papa.
Tremendous and heartfelt thanks go to the exceptional doctors and nurses at St. Joseph Hospital Neuro Intensive Care Unit and also to Encompass Health and Acute Rehab in Glendale who provided a compassionate environment while carrying out their incredible nursing duties. An extra special thank you is extended to Hospice of the Valley during Gary’s transition from rehab to home, then from this life to the next. Their care and support of both Gary and our family was the best anyone could have and much appreciated.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Church at Litchfield Park in June. A date has not been set at this time. Internment will take place at the Phoenix Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made in Gary’s name to The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, The Church of Litchfield Park, or Hospice of the Valley.
John Donald Spooler, age 90, of Goodyear, Ariz., passed away peacefully at home on Friday, May 13, 2022.
John was born Sept. 13, 1931, to William and Mary Spooler in Wiley Ford, W.Va. The second of six children, John grew up surrounded by his grandparents’ love and knowing the value of hard work. He was an avid football player, basketball player, bowler, and golfer who always enjoyed a game with friends.
John enlisted in the Army in 1951 and began a highly decorated, 27-year career, initially as a Combat Engineer. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam and was stationed in Europe on multiple occasions. John retired from the Army in 1977 as a Command Sergeant Major from his last duty station at the Sergeants Major Academy in Fort Bliss, Texas. John met his wife Christine during his last tour of duty in Germany. They were married in 1970, and enjoyed 52 years of marriage together.
After the Army, John enjoyed a 15-year career with Academy Life Insurance, ultimately retiring as SVP of Sales. They moved to Goodyear, Ariz., in 1997 and John was elected twice to the HOA Board of Directors where he served his neighbors for more than 10 years.
John cared deeply about the welfare of military families and children, and he dedicated significant time to non-profit organizations including the Rotary Club, Shriners International, Arizona Homeless Youth Connection, and many others.
John is survived by his wife Christine, daughter Sharon, son-in-law James O’Brien, grandchildren Kevin and Lauren O’Brien, sisters Melba Knotts and Jane Kitzmiller, sister-in-law Virginia Martz, and 10 nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 11, at 11 a.m. at the Tuscany Falls Clubhouse in Goodyear. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Goodyear Rotary Club John Spooler Memorial Fund at www.goodyearrotary.org.
May his memory be a blessing to all who knew and loved him.
Terry Fergus, 75, passed on May 8, 2022, at La Loma Village, in Litchfield Park, Ariz., following complications with Parkinson’s.
He leaves his wife of 55 years, Apryl Fergus; his daughter, Ashley Fergus; brothers-in-law, Randy Sparks and his wife Debbie, and Joey Sparks and his wife Terri; a number of nephews and nieces; and many close friends.
Born in Racine, Wis., he lived his early years in Porterville, where he met his wife. They were high school sweethearts. He cemented his relationship with Apryl, in part by telling her younger brothers that his family had a toy store. He bought them the “coolest” Christmas gifts, even though his father was actually a superintendent of a construction company and his mother worked for a bank. He had a younger brother, Jimmy, who passed a number of years ago.
Terry’s work ethic began early in his life, working as a cowboy with cattle, and working a summer in Nevada, irrigating 200 acres of land, so that he could buy a car. That is probably of no surprise, since he was always a Man’s Man. However, many may be shocked to learn that he served as an altar boy for the Episcopal Church. He did this all prior to his graduation from high school at Porterville Union High. He continued his education, attending Porterville Community College for one year during which time he also was recognized as a cheerleader and on the swim and dive team.
Terry left college and joined the service in 1966 and served as a motion picture photographer in the Air Force. He was stationed at Vandenburg, and had many assignments that required him to travel throughout the world, including South Korea, Germany, and Japan, among other destinations. While still in the service, Terry and Apryl were married on July 8, 1967, in Terra Bella, Calif. After a 10-day honeymoon in San Diego, they moved to a furnished apartment in Santa Maria. The apartment had been selected by Terry, and had an orange couch, turquoise chair, and vaulted ceilings. Apryl was overwhelmed with the high design and Terry’s incredible good taste.
Upon completing his military service, he returned to the California central valley and he and Apryl both attended Fresno State University. They both graduated with Terry earning a B.S. degree and Apryl a B.A. degree. With college degrees completed, they took three months to drive cross country in a Volkswagen Bug, seeing New Orleans, Florida, Wisconsin, Denver, and all points in between. They often were able to stay with family and friends, before returning to Fresno to stay in Terry’s parents’ home for a few months, while Fergie and Sally were living and working in the Bay Area.Read More
Terry’s first job after college was for Purex where he represented the company in chemical sales. He held that position for about a year, before he became a sales representative for Hilti, providing tools and services for construction professionals, and had a territory that spanned the entire west coast, from Oregon to southern California. He was most successful, winning a number of trips from the company in tribute to his sales. It was during this time that Terry and Apryl moved to Sacramento and bought a home on Vancouver Drive. Terry took Apryl to dinner at the Firehouse in Old Town Sacramento, and she was totally sold on the Sacramento area.
Terry and Apryl moved to El Dorado Hills, Calif., in 1974 and promptly made a number of lifetime friends. Terry was a great baseball player and also joined in coaching Apryl as a first baseman for the softball team in which she participated. Terry and Apryl were known as incredible and charming hosts for dinner parties at their home. Many still remember the “mystery dinners,” Halloween parties, and incredible themed parties.
Terry later worked for Barber Greene, a company that manufactured machinery, such as earth movers and asphalt pavers. His territory expanded to include Nevada and Hawaii. It was said that Terry was a consummate sales representative, with a winning personality, and could sell anything to anyone.
In 1982, their family became complete with the adoption of a beautiful little girl, Ashley. She was the light of both of their lives, as she followed in their footsteps, becoming a great athlete, particularly in tennis and soccer. Ashley became an educator and coach, and her dad joined the coaching staff being the first father/daughter coaching duo at Agua Fria High School for boys and girls tennis and girls golf.
Terry and Apryl moved to Goodyear in 2004. They were viewed as pied pipers, as many friends and family joined them, with several couples also building homes in PebbleCreek and family, with Joey and Randy with their families moving to areas close by, and then Ashley also joining the Arizona community. Terry and Apryl loved to travel and took a number of cruises and other adventures with a large number of friends and family with them. Terry also became an avid golfer and was with the Bunker Boys in PebbleCreek for many years. However, his greatest love was his family and friends and the times that they could spend together. He will be missed by all who knew him.
(Mary) Patricia Shields Milich
Mary Patricia (Pat) Shields Milich, 76, of Goodyear, Ariz., (formerly of Hainesport, Medford, and Southampton, N.J.) died on April 13, 2022, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. She grew up in Pemberton Borough, N.J., the daughter of the late Margaret Kemp and Joseph Hager Shields. Widow of Stephen D. Milich, she is survived by her three children, Mary Meehan of Leiden, The Netherlands; Anne Stagliano of Litchfield Park, Ariz.; and Peter Milich of Newport Beach, Calif. She also is survived by her beloved grandchildren, Sophia and Stephen Stagliano and Mira Meehan.
The oldest of seven children, Mrs. Milich leaves behind three sisters and three brothers as well as dear members of her late husband’s family. She is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, and many friends.
Mrs. Milich graduated from Holy Cross High School in Delran, N.J., Class of 1963. She attended Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., taking courses at night while working fulltime as a reporter, columnist, and ultimately editor of The Burlington County Times Advertiser in Pemberton, N.J. During that time, Pat won numerous awards for her writing and editing from both the Burlington County and New Jersey Press Associations.
From 1991 until her retirement in 2007, she served as Director of Public Information for the Mount Laurel and Lenape Regional public school districts in New Jersey. Mrs. Milich was a member of the Hainesport Township Board of Education for 10 years, serving two years as the board president.
She was a member of St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church in Medford, N.J., prior to moving to Arizona in 2012, at which time she joined St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Goodyear.
While in Goodyear, Mrs. Milich served on the board of directors of the PebbleCreek Singles Club and the PebbleCreek Bocce Association. Her primary “job” during those years was that of a fulltime “Grammy.” She often would tell people it was the best job she ever had, and the most rewarding.
Here is her farewell, in her own words:
“I have been shown in so many ways throughout my life the love, kindness and collegiality of my loving family members and dear friends. I am now entering into eternal life with so many wonderful memories of and deep appreciation for all the people in my life who made it so worth living. Take care of one another and please remember, no matter what happens in life, ‘don’t let the flowers die.’”
A celebration of life will be held this summer in New Jersey. Condolences may be offered at 4200 W. Village Parkway, Unit 2129, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340.
Janice “Jan” Hilliker Fowler
With heavy hearts, we are letting Jan’s many loved ones know that Jan passed away on April 8, 2022, at her home in Goodyear, Ariz.
She so dearly loved her family. Her three children, Chuck, Dianne, and John, have all been able to be together with Aubrey in Arizona to share both tears and laughs, which is exactly what she would have wanted.
“Grammy” was an adoring and proud grandma to Aaron, Megan, Keely, Macie, John, and Christen, and a great-grandma to Matthew and Elena. Her incredible generosity and endless creativity were certainly her trademarks. Not a holiday went by without a special arrival and often a quick-witted personalized poem for each of them, which was much anticipated by all!
She was incredibly talented with her needlework and quilting. She learned from many of you and others she has taught, as well. She spent countless hours creating very special and thoughtfully designed quilts, but the best part for her was when the time came to give the finished product to her loved ones.
Jan and Aubrey were married for 62 years. It was seldom they weren’t side by side, and it was inspiring to observe their love for each other. They were best friends through life, and Aubrey was right by the love of his life when she passed peacefully in her sleep.
They lived their dream retirement and truly traveled the world. They experienced almost every continent (don’t count Aubrey out for Antarctica yet), and it’s not easy to win the game of “name a country that Mom and Dad haven’t been to.” They worked very hard to make this well-deserved dream come true.
She was so grateful for the many friends she had made along her path in life from Denver to Omaha, then to her peaceful retirement retreat in Arizona. Thank you all for your gifts of love and friendship, she will stay with us all in spirit forever.
A very small family service will be held in Denver at a future date.
We are saddened to announce the passing of Perry Jackson, 85, on April 1, 2022. Perry is survived by his wife, Margaret Sue; sons, Russell (Kelly), Roger, and Neal (Nicole); and granddaughters Abigail, Jordan, and Olivia. Perry was born and raised in Farmington, N.M., where he lived until he moved his family to Albuquerque to continue his career with the telephone company where he retired after a long career. Later, he and Sue moved to Arizona to be closer to their granddaughters. Perry was an avid wood carver and an active member of the PebbleCreek Woodcarvers Group. In lieu of flowers, please share a favorite memory, photo, or a message of condolence on Legacy.com. No services will be held; memories will be shared at a gathering of immediate family in early June.
Barbara “Barb” Irene Van Trump
On March 31, 2022, Barbara “Barb” Irene Van Trump, beloved wife, mother, and friend, passed away at her home in Goodyear, Ariz. The youngest of three daughters to Roger “Pete” and Mary Hebdon Peterson, Barb was born on Dec. 11, 1954, in Caldwell, Idaho. Pete wanted a boy to take over the farm, but with three girls, he decided Barbara would have to do. As a result, duty and the hard work of running a dairy farm dominated Barb’s childhood. This upbringing may have explained her indomitable spirit and work ethic. Barb could not be deterred once she set her mind to something. A proud member of the “Iron Butt Association,” she had no trouble handling a Harley or trekking all over the country behind the wheel of a 41-foot bus.
Barb had a nomad’s spirit that drove her from her rural environs in Idaho, first to the Air Force and then to the side of her husband, William “Bill” Van Trump. Bill was a railroad man who lived on the rail and traveled wherever the work was needed, which suited Barb, and they made their first home together in a boxcar. Soon enough, Barb gave birth to Angela, whose first crib was a dresser drawer, as Bill and Barb’s travels took them from Grand Island to Omaha to St. Louis to just about every city and town in the Midwest and West.
Tragedy and trial were sometimes companions on Barb’s travels. She lost her first son, Andrew, after five challenging years of life. But Barb’s dauntless countenance carried her through the tough times.
Eventually, Barb settled down for a time in Salt Lake City. There she traded her geographic restlessness for an equally varied set of occupations. From housekeeping to real estate to running a crafts and hobby shop, she did a little bit of everything. Barb resumed her travels in retirement, living at times in Colorado, Nebraska, Washington, and Arizona. Never still for long, Barb was a voracious quilter, a proud member (and board member) of the PebbleCreek Rovin’ Pebbles RV Club, and avid mah jongg and Hand and Foot player.
Finally, at the end of her travels, Barb is survived by her husband, two children, Angela Fontes and Will “Buddy” Van Trump, and one granddaughter, Morgan Fontes. Barb’s Happy Hour was held in Sunrise Park on April 21, where neighbors and friends bid farewell to a great lady. Services will be held in Omaha, Neb., on May 23, 2022.
William Carl Brown (Bill)
William Carl Brown (Bill), 88, son of Wesley Carl and Donie Brown, passed away on March 10, 2022. Bill grew up in Kansas City, Mo., where he participated in the Boy Scouts, earning the rank of Life Scout. He graduated from Southeast High School and moved to Flint, Mich., to attend General Motors Institute, where he earned an industrial engineering degree and met his future wife, Nancy.
Following graduation, Bill and Nancy married and moved to Edgewood, Md., where Bill served in the United States Army Chemical Corps. Later he served in the Army reserve.
After going to work for General Motors, Bill continued his education, earning a master’s in engineering from University of Michigan, and a doctorate in business administration from Indiana Northern University.
His long career with GM both in the United States and in Strasbourg, France, let him work where his passion lay: cars (both new and classic). When he was manager of the Hydramatic plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., he established the first programs to help inner city workers stay on the job, to enable those with addictions to turn their lives around, and to develop women’s managerial skills and advancement potential.
In addition to work, Bill gave to the community by serving as president of the library board in Northville, Mich., as a leader at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Livonia, Mich., as chairperson of United Way campaigns, and as president of the school board (where he worked to make sure girls had equal access to all classes, especially in the sciences).
When his daughters were young, he was an energetic, enthusiastic parent: a nurturer, changer, feeder, bather, and super teller of bedtime stories. When the girls were older, he supported them in their pursuit of engineering at Michigan State University and was even able to say, “Go green” when watching college football.
After retiring from General Motors, Bill pursued one of his other passions, flying. He became a licensed private pilot, and he and Nancy logged many flight miles in their Piper Archer. After they bought their home in PebbleCreek in 1998, Bill joined weekly poker groups, played tennis and golf, and met with friends for breakfast every Tuesday.
Bill is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, his daughters Sheri Allen (Don Boucher) and Caralyn Brown, and grandsons Wesley Cashman (Olivia Mast) and Ian Faulkner.
A Celebration of Life will be held May 21, 2022, in the Chianti Room at 11 a.m.
Elizabeth “Betty” Fetzer
Elizabeth “Betty” Fetzer, 94, of Spearfish, S.D., passed away on March 9, 2022, at Spearfish Canyon Healthcare.
Betty lived a very full 94 years of life. The most treasured things in her life were her family, friends, and the game of golf. She played her last game of golf at the age of 90!
She is survived by her sons Ed and Leslie Sewell, Scott Sewell; granddaughter Ann Sewell; and brother Bob Sinclair and his family.
A Celebration of Life will take place in the spring. A memorial has been established.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Isburg Crematory of Spearfish. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com or sent to 601 Meier Ave., Spearfish, SD 57783.
Richard “Dick” E. Jacka
After being surrounded by family who shared their love with him, our husband, father, and grandfather peacefully passed away on March 9, 2022. Dick was born on Sept. 15, 1932, in San Jose, Calif., to Ellard and Eugenia Jacka and later moved to Crockett, Calif. After graduating high school, Dick joined the Navy and served for two years. He continued his education at Sacramento State College, graduating in 1958 with a degree in Political Science. He initially worked for the state of California as a Property Disposal Officer before transferring to the General Services Administration as an Area Utilization Officer, retiring in 1993.
He married his wife, Georgia Feiling, in 1957 and together they raised two children, Pamela and Bradley. Dick enjoyed traveling and listening to all kinds of music. He was an avid golfer. He was famous for scoring two holes-in-one in a three-day period at the Championship Course at Incline Village, Nev. Dick will be remembered as always having a smile on his face and reminding all that “every day is a beautiful day.” He never met a stranger—only someone he saw as a new friend.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ellard and Eugenia Jacka, and his grandson, Tyler Walsh. He leaves behind his wife of 64 years, Georgia Jacka; daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Kevin Walsh; son and daughter-in-law, Brad and Karen Jacka; and three grandchildren, Coreen Walsh Grey and husband Nigel Grey, Emily Jacka, and Collin Jacka.
The family is grateful for the care Dick received from his caregivers, Debbie Sparks and Sandy Parker, as well as the staff at Rock Creek Memory Care Facility.
A celebration of life will be held this summer at the Jacka home at Lake Tahoe.
Yvette Deleyer Nelson
Yvette Deleyer Nelson died March 7, 2022, after suffering a stroke. Yvette was 92 years old. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald E. Nelson, age 94, 11 months earlier. Yvette was a retired elementary first grade teacher in Mankato, Minn. Yvette had recently celebrated her 67th wedding anniversary.
Mrs. Nelson is survived by three remaining sons, Kraig, K. David, and Scott, all who are living in the Valley, along with a grandson, Rylan, and her younger sister, Thama Knudson, from Omaha, Neb. Yvette was loved by all with her strong Christian faith. Her body was donated to Southwest Institute for Bio-Advancement through whole body organ and tissue donation for medical education and research. Services will be private.
Luis “Lou” J. Escajeda
Luis “Lou” J. Escajeda, beloved husband of Carole Escajeda, passed away on Sunday, March 6, 2022, in Goodyear, Ariz., at the age of 81. He was an original member of the Sandbaggers and 26-year PebbleCreek resident who loved being part of the PebbleCreek community. He is predeceased by his brothers Ruben Jr. and John, and survived by his sister, Rosemary.
Lou was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1940, the son of Ruben and Leonor Escajeda. He loved his family and friends, and was always known to be an outgoing group member. He joined the Air Force in 1958 and loved military service from the start. While stationed in Gander, Newfoundland, he met his first wife, Margaret, with whom he had three children: Annette, age 59; Yvonne, age 57; and Karina, age 46. He graduated from Florida State in 1969 with a B.S. in Meteorology, and completed Officer Training School in Illinois in 1970. Of all his posts, he most loved his time in Germany at Ansbach AFB with the Weather Squadron. His favorite activities were sightseeing with his family and collecting beer steins from biergartens. After his divorce, he retired from the Air Force as a Captain in 1981. His last assignment was at Onizuka AFB in Sunnyvale, Calif. Among his many commendations, he received a small arms expert marksmanship ribbon. As much as he loved the military, retirement allowed him to grow a beard—one that he had for the rest of his life.
After active duty, Lou joined General Electric as a computer programmer. There he met his wife Carole through lunchtime runs together while she trained for the San Francisco Bay to Breakers 10K. This led to nine Bay to Breakers runs together and over 40 years of togetherness. Lou loved sports and activities, going out often with Carole and many friends to GE group events. He loved to cheer on the SF Giants and Oakland A’s after tailgating. Lou was also a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan, and loved his household rivalry with Carole’s beloved Philadelphia Eagles. Before full retirement, he missed the ‘weatherman life,’ and was a meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Service at the San Francisco airport (SFO). He enjoyed work with purpose and with a sense of exactitude.
After moving to PebbleCreek in 1996, Lou became a founding member of the Sandbaggers. He regularly volunteered with the Red Cross in their records department at Luke AFB. He contributed to many charities and philanthropic initiatives, as evidenced by the many requests for donations that arrive on a daily basis. In later years, Lou was often found laughing along with Big Bang Theory and Friends. Lou is survived by three children: Annette Koziol of Brunswick, Maine; Yvonne Fox of San Jose, Calif.; and Karina Escajeda of Kents Hill, Maine; plus two stepchildren: Beverly White of Eagleville, Penn.; and Christopher Walker, of El Dorado Hills, Calif.; in addition to 10 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren.