Obituaries

Although your loved one or friend is no longer here in person, they will forever be in our hearts. Find their name, and sign the guest book with a fond memory or note for their family.

Robert Fred Cleland

Robert Fred Cleland, 68, of Goodyear, AZ passed away July 28, 2016. He was born June 25, 1948 in St Clair Shores MI.  Bob served in the US Army in Vietnam from 1968 – 1970.  He was an automotive engineer for over 43 years.

Bob was the precious husband of RoseAnn (Palazzolo) to whom he was married for 19 cherished years. He was a true gentleman, a man’s man and an all-around great guy.  A kind man, he touched the lives of many people.  He loved gathering with his friends and was very active in PebbleCreek in the Italian Club, where he was a past treasurer, the Irish Club, the Michigan Club and Wii Bowling.  He was also an avid bike rider and rode every day.  Bob is survived by his loving wife, RoseAnn and a large extended family that will miss him very much.

Gathering will begin at 1:oo pm with a memorial service at 2:00 pm, Thursday, August 4, 2016 at the Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ. The family suggests that donations be made to Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Detroit, MI;  http://www.cskdetroit.org/ways_to_give/monetary_gifts/.

William M. Challinor

Our father, William M. Challinor, passed into the loving arms of the Lord during his sleep on Sunday, July 17, 2016.  He was born on August 20, 1933 in Chicago, Ill to Samuel and Rose Challinor.  Dad grew up in Chicago and attended Stienmetz High School where he was an award winning swimmer on the swim team. He was also a hunky lifeguard at Lake Michigan and local pools in the area. Dad took his responsibility of Lifeguarding seriously and received many honors for his heroism in saving the lives of drowning victims.

He met and married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Marie Azzato, in 1954. Together they had three daughters, and settled in Phoenix, AZ where they lived happily together for 62 years.

The United States Air Force was fortunate enough to have Dad serving for 8 years as a Staff Sergeant during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed all over the world repairing fighter jets and making conditions safe for U.S. pilots. From Dad’s life experiences, Dad taught us the meaning of diligence, commitment, and the sweet rewards of working hard.

Later, he and Mom owned their own custom printing company where their dedication and strong work ethic provided for their family.  They were a team to be reckoned with.

Dad was the happiest when he was with his family. He had a great sense of humor and lived life to the fullest.  He always lit up when his children and grandchildren entered the room.  His adventurousness and zest for life kept him young at heart.  Meshing his passion for teaching his children and grandchildren to swim, boating, traveling with Mom, snow skiing, his love for tennis, and taking care of his family; dad lived a rich and varied life.  His adventurous spirit and fatherly love drove him to do anything for his children. We knew we were loved.

If you knew Dad, you learned a lot from him, but the one thing we will always remember was that Dad loved to sing and almost always had a twinkle in his eye.

There are very few people who come into our lives who make such a positive impact.  His spirit was generous, his heart was kind and he was truly an exceptional person.  We who had Dad in our lives are grateful and blessed. He was taken from us too soon and his gentle spirit will be greatly missed.

The family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers of Hospice of the Valley in Surprise.  They made Dad’s last days comfortable and safe.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years; Marie Challinor, three daughters; Deborah Surabian, Denice Marston, and Kelli Maxson; three son-in-laws, Albert Surabian, Paul Marston, and John Maxson, four grandchildren; Garrett, Ryan, Michael, Samantha; two step grandchildren Michael, and Matthew;  one great-grandchild, Trysten, and two step-great-grandchildren, Sarah, and Caroline.

A memorial Service will be held at St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church in Goodyear, AZ on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 10:00am followed by a reception at The Club House at CantaMia in Goodyear, AZ.

Remembrances may be made to the St. John Vianney School fund, 539 La Posada Blvd. Goodyear, AZ.

Francisco X. “Sonny” Vizzerra

Francisco left us on Monday, July 11th, 2016 and finally returned to Rita, his wife of 50 years.

He is survived by his four sons, Frank Jr, Joseph and Richard and their wives, who reside in Mesa and Christopher, living in Austin, TX. He also leaves behind one sister, Susie Galindo of Glendale. Dad leaves behind 16 wonderful grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

We are thankful to have had such a wonderful father. Dad will be missed by all of us, as well as his golfing buddies.  We love you and miss you.  A visitation and rosary will be held on Thursday, July 21st, 2016 from 5:30-8pm, rosary at 7pm, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Rd in Goodyear.   Condolences can be sent to www.thompsonfuneralchapel.com.  Arrangements are under the direction of Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear, AZ.

Roger Frank Reiswitz

Roger Frank Reiswitz, 91, of Buckeye, AZ died July 8, 2016 in Buckeye. He was born July 24, 1924 in Marinette, WI to Oscar and Clara Reiswitz.  Roger served in the US Army from 1943 to 1946.  In 1946 he married Bernice Anderson. Upon leaving the military, Roger began working at Kimberly Clark (Scott Paper Co.) and remained with the company until 1984. He loved to ride motorcycles and built his own 3 wheeler.   His hobbies were camping, snowmobiling and anything that he could do outdoors.  He lived in Marinette, WI all his life and moved to Buckeye, AZ to live with his daughter Cindy Gribowski  and her husband Deacon Mark who are members of St. Henrys Church in Buckeye.

Roger is survived by his daughters, Cindy Gribowski (Deacon Mark), Julie (Rickey) Jones, Mary Lu (Larry) Sequoin, Delores (Jack) Raube; sons, Steven and Thomas Reiswitz; eight grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. He was preceded in death by his wife Bernice who passed away in 2001.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00pm, Saturday July 16, 2016 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338.  Burial will be in Marinette, WI.

Dr. Joseph Vincent Missett IV, (J.V.)

Dr. Joseph Vincent Missett IV, (J.V.), 50, of New York died on July 8th, 2016, in Santa Monica, California. He was born on October 13, 1965, New York, NY. He was the son of Joseph Missett III and Barbara Thatcher. Joseph is survived by his wife, Carol Missett and their third and second boys.  Joseph was proceeded in death by first boy Anthony. He is also survived by his brother Stephen Missett.

Joseph’s mother, Barbara, recently passed away earlier this year at the age of 77.
Joseph graduated from Emory University in 1987 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. After graduating, he worked for the next few years in the oil and gas trading desk at Bear Sterns in New York. Joseph always knew he wanted to be a doctor at a very young age. Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, he courageously set out for his true calling at the age of 31 in the field of medicine.  He attended the Spartan Health Sciences University School of Medicine and received his MD in 2004. Joseph specialized in Family Practice, however embarked in Emergency Medicine following the completion of residency. He started in Mesa, Arizona and most recently worked as an Emergency Medical physician in Fort Mohave, Arizona.
In addition to being an “Amazing and Devoted” father, husband and dedicated physician, he also volunteered in the community in Los Angeles and the Phoenix area. Most recently he and his family spent many hours with LA on Cloud 9 (www.laoncloud9.org) providing assistance to the homeless.

JV was larger than life in so many ways – his physical presence was only then preceded by his amazing charm and disarming personality which would light up any room. He was an amazing man, full of compassion and loved helping people. His professional life indeed was the perfect fit for this “Angelic” human being. No one was immune from his wit and sense of humor. His energy was infectious to all those who had the opportunity to know him, even if it was for the briefest of time.  He loved tennis, golf, hockey, visiting with friends but most of all spending time with his boys, his family – there was absolutely no prouder dad.

He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and the community that he served.

Viewing: will be held at 10:00 am on July 18th, 2016

The Family Worship Center
9156 W. Van Buren Street
Tolleson, AZ 85353
Reception: 12:00pm on July 18th, 2016
Hilton Garden Inn
11460 W. Hilton Way
Avondale, AZ 85323
**In Lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of Dr. Joseph Missett IV to www.LAonCloud9.org.**
POEM:
-Joseph V. Missett IV
I wish you could hear me speak these words. Hear the sincerity and sorrow in the cracks of my voice and understand instantaneously what you meant to me. I’m in the city and even though I’ve been here plenty times before, this time is different. Almost as if it’s the first time my sneakers have hit these gum infested pavements or inhaled the sewers toxins. Everything seems to be more beautiful. It seems to be more peaceful. Even through the constant taxi horns, police sirens, and echoing murmurs of the foreign crowds. I feel at peace here in New York City and you’re the reason.
I walk through Washington Park observing the leaves shiver on the tress until I turn onto University, then Waverly, then Broadway. And each time I keep expecting to see you there around the corner in the same red shorts you left me in. And each time I’m disappointed. But not fully, because although you’re not physically there I know deep down in my heart that maybe, just maybe, if God bestowed before me his unique gifts that just for a single second; I’ll see you. So for that small maybe, I’m scavenging the city. I’ll rummage through any construction site. I’ll explore every alleyway. I’ll track every hot dog vendor. I’ll call every taxi. I’ll skate every subway track. I’ll climb every fire escape in this city so long as there’s a chance to see you. I miss you Joseph, and this city reminds me of you.
My origami bones are crinkling and growing weak because this misery is crushing me in its rough hands and molding them into a ball, leaving me in this curled up paralysis. So here I am, wallowing in the memories of you, staring out my sealed dorm room window mapping out my route for the days to come so that I may find you faster. But all I see is drunk clubbers and sun bleached awnings. The words on my phone are beginning to evolve into blurry symbols but I can’t sleep. The nights are the worst. The mornings are the same. My imaginative psych is creating its own apocalyptic state that no Hollywood hero can save me from. It feels like I’m drowning without you, as if I’m lost at sea. But nope, there’s no water. I’m just a newly self proclaimed insomniac and I’m lost in the city. I’m lost without you.
I love you so much Joe and I miss you dearly. Everything I’m doing here is in hopes to make you proud. No matter how heavy this heart may feel, it won’t amount to the work you put in to get me here. Thank you for the love and opportunity.
-your son.

Eleanor Dorthy Balthazor Patterson

Eleanor Dorthy Balthazor Patterson, 91, of Glendale, Arizona died July 10, 2016 in Glendale. She was born December 17, 1924 in St. James, MN to Luis Hoffman and Bertha Dallinger.   Eleanor is survived by her daughters, Linda Balthazor, Lisa Brick and LaRae Balthazor; sons, Leo, Dennis, Mike and Kevin Balthazor; 16 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her father and mother and eight brothers and sisters.

A visitation will be held at 1:00 pm followed by a funeral service at 2:00 pm, Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ. Burial will be at 2:00 pm, Saturday, July 23, 2016 at the Mount Hope Cemetery in St. James, MN.

Josepha “Josie” Ewongwo Burnley

Dr. Josepha (Josie) Etoki Ewongwo Burnley, 44, passed away on June 30th, 2016 in Goodyear, Arizona. She was born on December 20th, 1971 in Muea, Southwest Province, Cameroon the eldest daughter of Late Mr. Emmanuel Jude Ewongwo and Mrs. Martina Mayo Ewongwo. Josie worked as a diabetes prevention coordination for the Indian Health Services under Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). She was preceded in death by her husband Joseph Efesoa Burnley and her father Mr. Emmanuel Jude Ewongwo. Josie is survived by her mother, Martina; siblings, Patrick, Esther, Bona, Adeline, Marie, Oliver, Stergie, Emmanuel, and Agnes; niece and nephews, Sherou, Aidan Jude, Simon, Emmanuel, Joshua, and Kaziah; in-laws, Joseph, Sona, Emmanuel, Yves, and Simon; step-children, Robert and Devon; other relatives; her OPSAN family; and many friends.

The visitation will be held from 4pm-8pm on Friday, July 22nd, 2016 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S Litchfield Rd, Goodyear, AZ 85338. A memorial service will follow from 8pm-2am at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 918 S Litchfield Rd, Goodyear, AZ 85338. There will be a funeral service from 10am-12pm on Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 at Christ Presbyterian Church, 925 N Sarival Ave, Goodyear, AZ 85338. Burial will follow service at Resthaven Cemetery, 6450 W. Northern Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301.

Josie lived her life without reservation; she was passionate about serving her community, her faith, her family & friends. Josie was a fun-loving lady who touched the lives of many, and always strived to improve the lives of others. She enjoyed reading, socializing with friends, watching TV (especially crime based shows and hallmark movies), working out, and politics. She will be greatly missed by all.

Douglas Shaun Hardesty

Douglas Shaun Hardesty, of Buckeye, Arizona died unexpectedly in an automobile accident on July 3rd, 2016. He was 38 years old.

Shaun is survived by his wife, Allison Mantell Hardesty; daughters, Brooke (16), Lauren (4) and Hannah (11mo) and son, Andrew (14). He is also survived by his mother and step-father Dovie and Vince Imbordino; sisters, Dawne Hardesty Franklin and Chastain Pohl Chamberlain; brother, Chase Hardesty; nieces, Ella and Lily Franklin; grandmothers, Mary Hardesty and Ann Malone as well as countless Aunts, Uncles and cousins. Shaun is preceded in death by his father; Doug Hardesty and grandfathers; Frank Hardesty, Jr. and Gordon M. LeBlanc, Sr.

Shaun was born on September 12th, 1977 in Shreveport, Louisiana to Doug Hardesty and Dovie Imbordino. He attended Loyola College Prep in Shreveport and continued his education at the University of Alabama, much to the dismay of his entire family who are all LSU fans. Shaun began his career in law enforcement as a Sheriff’s Deputy with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department before transferring to the Glendale Police department where he served honorably for over 15 years until the time of his death.

Shaun was an avid hunter, but a terrible shot. He was color-blind, but covered in multi-colored tattoos. He loved Jesus, but worshiped Nick Saban. He was a giant man, with the tender heart of a little boy.

If you knew Shaun, you loved him and you knew he loved you right back with a full heart and open arms. He never missed an opportunity to make you laugh, even without saying a word, often at incredibly inappropriate moments. When he spoke, it was with an unforgettable baritone voice that somehow made his jokes and goofy noises even funnier. His habit of dishing out big bear hugs to everyone, especially to those who hated to be hugged, will be sorely missed. He gave of himself freely, never one to overlook a friend in need. No matter what. No matter when.

Shaun will be remembered most for his love of family, especially his love for his wife and children. He loved his family more than anything. Shaun talked endlessly about how proud he was of his children and worked tirelessly to support them with all of his being. Of all the gifts Shaun gave to the world, the indomitable spirit he passed on to his children is the greatest.

A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, July 15th, 2016, at Palm Valley Church, 431 N Litchfield Rd, Goodyear, AZ 85338, AZ. Visitation begins at 9:00 a.m. with services to follow at 10:00 a.m. All are welcome to attend in celebration of Shaun’s life. Donations to benefit the Hardesty family can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/2cutxwk. 

“If you want to walk the heavenly streets of gold, you gotta know the password, “Roll, Tide, Roll.” – Bear Bryant

Jerlyn Lee Thompson

Jerlyn Lee Thompson, 79, of Litchfield Park, AZ passed away on July 5, 2016. She was born October 26, 1936 in Kimball, NE to Gerald Wentz and Verna Miller.   Jerlyn graduated HS in 1954 from Kimball County High and went to Hastings College for a year before marrying her husband Harland in 1956. They moved to Laramie, WY and from there moved to Seattle, WA in 1957.  In April of 1964 they made the move to AZ.  Jerlyn was a wife and stay at home mom until she started working in the Alhambra School District at the Alhambra Traditional School where she retired after 27 years.  She loved working at the school and loved being around all the students.  She always had lots of stories to tell about the kids.  Education was important to Jerlyn and every gift that was sent always included books and something educational.  Jerlyn wanted her grandkids and nieces/nephews to have a love for books and reading as much as she did.

Her own children were always her biggest priority and she never missed a baseball or soccer game, gymnastics meet or dance recital. She volunteered in their classrooms, chaperoned field trips and was the “homeroom mom.”   She had many “adopted” children that called her mom and granny.  She loved them all like they were her own.  Her biggest joy was her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Jerlyn enjoyed every second she could spend with them and loved to brag about their accomplishments.   She had a love for baseball just like her dad.  The Chicago Cubs was her favorite team and Jerlyn enjoyed bantering with her grandson on who was the better team:  The AZ Diamondbacks or the Chicago Cubs.  She has left a lasting impression on everyone she has ever met.

Jerlyn leaves behind her family, extended family, friends and her community that all loved her very much and will miss her. We all share in the grief of losing her, but know that she will always be looking over us and will forever be in our hearts.

Jerlyn is survived by her husband, Clyde Harland Thompson; daughter, Laurie Thompson; sons, Michael (Barb) Thompson and Geoffrey (Pam) Thompson; sister, Charlotte (Al) Zak; four grandchildren, Joseph Ahlin, Mikayla Ahlin, Lee (Victoria) Acosta, and Shelby (Justin) Shepherd; and four great-grandchildren, Wyatt Shepherd, Ace Acosta, Maddie Shepherd, and Sterling Shepherd.  She was preceded in death her parents, Gerald and Verna Wentz.

A visitation will be held at 4:00 pm, Saturday, July 9, 2016 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Park, AZ 85338. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am, Sunday, July 24, 2016 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Park, AZ 85338.  The family suggests that donations be made to their favorite charity.

Barbara Jean Porter

Barbara Jean Porter, 86, of Litchfield Park, AZ passed away July 5, 2016. She was born in Fort Wayne Indiana on April 10, 1930 to Herbert and Lola Miller.  Barbara is a graduate of North High School and Arizona State University.  She met Harold W. Porter at Arizona State University and they were married on March 28th of their senior year.  At ASU Barbara earned her degree in Elementary Education and was selected as a member of the 52 Club.  She was also active in the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority.  Barbara’s first teaching experience was in Biloxi, Mississippi Schools while Harold was in the Air Force at Kessler Air Force Base.  She later taught at Peoria Elementary, Benson Elementary and at Flowing Wells Elementary in Tucson, Arizona.  Her last 22 years were at Litchfield Elementary where she taught third grade.

In her early years of teaching third grade, Barbara had an excellent student teacher who requested to do her student teaching with Barbara. Denise Espil graduated from Northern Arizona University, married and moved to South America.  However, when she heard that Barbara was planning to retire; she came back to Litchfield Park to attend her retirement dinner.

Following Barbara’s distinguished 35 year career as an Elementary teacher which included being a finalist for Arizona Teacher of the Year, she taught at Grand Canyon University under Dr. Patty Horn.

Barbara and Harold and often members of the family spent many happy days at their second home in the White Mountain Summer Homes area in Pinetop, Arizona. The home is filled with Barbara’s creative touch.

In addition to being a superb and caring teacher, Barbara was invited to join PEO, (a Philanthropic Education Organization) in 1989. As with any challenge she gave this organization her heart and soul, however, her family meant more to her than all other obligations.

Harold and Barbara had two sons, Darryl and Curtis (Kerri), three grandchildren, Dominique (Justin) Unverzagt, Samantha Porter, and Curtis Grant Porter and one great-grandchild, Anastasia Unverzagt. She was preceded in death by her father, Herbert Miller and her mother, Lola Miller.

Mom you will be missed every day of our lives for as long as we shall live.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 am, Saturday July 16, 2016 at The Church at Litchfield Park, 300 N Old Litchfield Rd, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340.

Joan Adams Gray

Joan Adams Gray, 87 of Litchfield Park, AZ passed away June 26, 2016 of natural causes. She was born in Pasadena, California on December 2, 1928, the youngest of three daughters to Russell Thurber Adams and Duease Eileen Keeling.

Jody is survived by her husband Clarence A. “Lou” Gray, daughter, Alison G. Murphy; son, Jeffrey L. Gray; sister, Duease D. Johnson; two grandchildren; Kevin R. Murphy and Kaitlin D. Miller; and great-grandchildren, Reece R Murphy, Beau G Murphy, Maverick Miller and Kahlia Ling.

A funeral service will be held at 10:00 am, Saturday, July 2, 2016 at St Peters Episcopal Church, 400 S. Old Litchfield Rd, Litchfield Park, AZ.  Burial will follow in the church grounds.  The family suggests that donations be made to Seasons Hospice.

Fae Elizabeth Miller

Fae Elizabeth Miller, 94 of Avondale, AZ died peacefully at home of natural causes on June 25, 2016.  She was born October 20, 1921 to John Foster and Mabel Early Foster at the family home in Tuscola, IL. First nicknamed Bette Faye, she was the youngest sister of 4 girls. Ruth Smith, Leah Revell, and Jean Beier.

She was a cheerleader in high school and graduated class of 1939.  She then went on to Burnham City Hospital Nursing School and graduated in 1942.

In 1943 Fae married Lieutenant Chuck Miller in St Louis.  They returned to Denver, CO where Chuck was stationed. Some of the places she traveled while a military wife included Japan, Philippines, and much of the United States.   In 1954, while stationed at Luke Air Force Base, a baby girl was born named Sandra Jean Miller.

She was a member of the Christ Community United Methodist Church and part of the Dorcas Circle in Avondale, AZ. She was an avid bowler and a volunteer at Agua Fria clothing bank. You could also find her out to lunch with the “Lunch Bunch” from CCUMC. She worked as an OB/GYN nurse at Luke Air Force Base and retired in 1983.  She caught babies for 23 years.  One of her greatest joys was spending time and traveling with her best friends and fellow nurses Robbie Zirkel, Alice Daggett, Jean Kennedy, Norma Brigg and Sally Seamen.

Fae is survived by her daughter, Sandy Williams; three grandchildren, Valerie Plancon, Jessica Hetz and Grant Hetz; and two great-grandchildren, Samuel Plancon and Avery Hetz.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, July 9, 2016 at Christ Community United Methodist Church, 104 West Western Avenue, Avondale, AZ  85323.

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