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December 2016
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Frank Griffin, Jr.

When you think of your best friend, confident, leader, and all-around person, who comes to mind? Frank Griffin.

On November 30, 2016, our best friend Frank Griffin transitioned to be with the Lord.  Frank is survived by his wonderful wife, Almetta C. Griffin, his children Gina and Frank II; his brothers Johnny, Rodney, and Kevin; his sisters Brenda, Joyce, Tanya (Toni), and Lisa; his brothers-in-laws Shermanm M. Sammye, and Lemuel; his sisters-in-law Zenobia (DocZ), Althea, Gwynelle and Gloria; his grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.

On January 9, 1947 in Pine Buff, Arkansas, Bernice and Frank Griffin welcomed their eldest son, Frank, Jr. Because Frank was his parent’s first child, during his early years he enjoyed that attention you get from his grandmother and aunts. When Frank moved to Chicago, it was a challenge for him. It was the first time in his life he had to share. The lesson of sharing helped mold Frank to become the man he is today.

When Frank turned 17, he decided that he wanted to serve his country by joining the US Army. Frank used the Army to grow and develop along with welcoming every opportunity to experience what the Army had to offer. One of these opportunities offered to Frank was becoming a paratrooper; during a time when African Americans were limited to what they could do. Frank’s personality and willingness to learn continued to open doors for him. At the age of 22, Frank was honorably discharged.

Coming back to Chicago, Frank became a correctional officer. Through the years he moved up the ranks and upon retiring he had served as Captain for several years.

Frank, being single and carefree, met his life-long partner in a parking garage in Chicago. When he saw her, he knew that Almetta was the one. The years have been wonderful for Frank and Almetta. They understood what it would take to lay the foundation for a positive and good marriage. They are the best of friends, confidents, companions for each other and sometimes, girlfriend and boyfriend.

As a retiree, Frank was not a stay-at-home person. He needed to do something with his time, so he worked part-time as a security officer at one of the local colleges. While working his part-time job, he went to see his grandchildren in Arizona and got the Arizona bug. Then it was time to move.

Arizona offered Frank what he wanted in life, a beautiful home, sunny days, time with his family and his wife. Frank enjoyed sports, his grandchildren, travel, and working on his computer.   He loved doing puzzles to keep his mind sharp, reading, but most of all, his passion was music.

Frank did not ask for much, but was a simple man who gave much. When there was a need he was there. Frank touched all of our lives and even in his final days, he was still the rock.

Frank you are loved by your family and friends. You will be missed and not forgotten.

A viewing will be held at 10:00 am with a funeral at 11:00, Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 1401 E Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85034. Interment will follow at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona at 1:30 pm.

Lila F. Seidel

Lila F. Seidel, of Litchfield Park, passed away on November 22, 2016. She was born in Tucson to Orel F. and Faye Hopper on March 5, 1929. Lila was a 1946 graduate of Tucson High School, and graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Home Economics in 1950. While there, she met her future husband Verne D. Seidel, Jr., whom she married in 1949. After graduating, they moved to Flagstaff, where they raised three children. In 1960, she went back to school and obtained a degree in elementary education at Northern Arizona University. She went on to teach in the Flagstaff public school system until her retirement in 1987. In the early 90’s, Verne and Lila moved to Litchfield Park.

Lila was active in many organizations, including P.E.O., Assistance League, the Litchfield Park library, the Federated Church in Flagstaff, and the Church at Litchfield Park. She was a dedicated educator, and fondly remembered by the hundreds of students she taught over the years. She was particularly proud that she had helped train over 40 student teachers during her career. Her commitment to education included that of her children, in whom she instilled a lifetime love of reading and learning. Lila had several hobbies and interests, including travel, reading, gardening (especially roses), scrapbooking, and genealogy.

Lila was preceded in death by her husband of over 64 years, Verne, and her brother Stanley Hopper. She is survived by her brother Stephen Hopper and his wife Diana, of Camp Verde; son David and wife Toni, of Albuquerque, NM; daughter Janis Schutte and husband Mike, of Phoenix; and son Kenny and wife Connie, of Phoenix. She is survived by eight grandchildren: Paul Seidel, Jessica Seidel, Christopher Schutte, Sarah Whisler, Rachel Crampton, Nicholas Seidel, Heather Seidel, and Michael Seidel, and twelve great-grandchildren: Owen, Anna, and Claire Schutte; Noah and Jonah Whisler; Cailyn, Emily, and Elliot Crampton; and Aimee, Chloe, Elora, and Oliver Seidel.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00AM on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at The Church at Litchfield Park, 300 N. Old Litchfield Road in Litchfield Park. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Hospice of the Valley ( or to The Church at Litchfield Park.

Connie Handlowich

Connie Handlowich of Danridge, TN died December 1, 2016 in Goodyear, AZ. She was born February 20, 1939 in Denbo, PA to Victor and Helen Pivovar. Everyone who met Connie loved her. She was the most beautiful woman, inside and out and lived life to the fullest. She is survived by her husband, Peter; daughter, Tryce Urban and partner, Chris Geurden; sons, Terry and Steve Urban; sister Carolyn (Kay) Stepp; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents, Victor and Helen Pivovar.

Troy F Bruce

Troy F Bruce, Jr., 67 of Buckeye, AZ died November 30, 2016. He was born March 25, 1949 in Pleasant Hill, LA to Troy F. Bruce and Aline N Bruce. Troy completed his machinist apprenticeship at Morenci Phelps Dodge Mine and was AZ apprentice of the year in 1974. He retired from Con Edison Utility Co of New York after 25 years of outstanding service. He was a member of the Elks Club. His passions were golf, playing with his grandchildren and home projects. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing and bike riding.

Troy is survived by his spouse Vicki; daughters, Candace Morin, Melissa Davis; son, Billy Bruce; sisters, Melanie, Brenda, Carla; brothers Walden, James “Brady”, Clark; eleven grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Troy and Aline Bruce.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ. The family suggests that donations be made to The Cancer Treatment Center or Hospice of the Valley.

James Earl Lott

James Earl Lott, 79, passed away November 23, 2016. He was born February 18, 1937 in Ryan, OK to James and Etta Lott.

A visitation will be held at 1:00 pm with a funeral at 2:00 pm at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ.

Andre Edmond Champagne

Andre Edmond Champagne, 76 of Yuma, AZ died November 24, 2016 in Avondale, AZ. He was born January 2, 1940 in Manchester, NH to Albert and Rita Champagne.

Andy served his country in the United States Air Force. He loved spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a loving and caring person, devoted father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, always thinking of others first.

He is survived by his daughter, Debbie (Vance) Cook; son, Andre (Pam) Champagne, Jr.; four grandchildren, Tammy (James) Pennington, Christopher (Heather) Hand, Brittani Champagne, Brandon Champagne; and four great-grandchildren, Brady Pennington, Halie, Alexis and Cheyenne Hand.

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