Obituaries

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January 2017
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Donald “Big Don” West

Donald Richard West, born September 13, 1947, passed away peacefully with his family by his side, Wednesday January 11, 2017. Donnie is survived by his best friend and loving wife of 20 years, Barbara, his sons Tim and Rob, his daughters Sue, Cathy and Nancy, 11 grandchildren, 1 great-grandson and his two feline friends, Lucy and Lucky.

“Big Don,” as he was fondly known by friends, will be sadly missed by many in the Goodyear community.  Donnie truly had the biggest heart and would give the shirt off his back, never leaving a friend in need.  He often volunteered at the American Legion Hall, and prayers always included the brave men and women in the Armed Forces.  Donnie was very proud of his Native American heritage and loved adding to his collection of totems and pottery whenever he could.  He loved football and, as a California transplant in 2000, was slowly converting to a Cardinal fan (as long as they were winning), but he remained a hard-core, faithful San Francisco Forty-Niner fan.  He also loved NASCAR, NHRA drag racing, cooking, and arts and crafts.

Celebration of life and memorial service to be held 2pm Friday, January 20, 2017 at The Church at Litchfield Park, 300 North Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340.

Jack Erhardt

Jack Erhardt passed from this life on January 12, 2017. He was born April 29, 1933 near Center, North Dakota. He was one of twelve children born to Kasper and Lucretia Messer Erhardt.

He attended schools in the Center area. He married Marcella Barnhardt October 12, 1953. She passed away on April 27, 1998.

He worked as a butcher at Circle Foods in Mandan for 5 years. He entered the military service in 1958 and was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington for two years.

Jack and Marcella returned to Mandan and farmed a few years. He then went into the construction business. He later was employed with Miller Insulation until he started working for the power plants as a Pipe Insulator. He married Esther Barth Hilfer in Bismarck, ND, November 30, 2001. He retired in 2010. They moved to Goodyear, Arizona after his retirement.

Jack loved to play baseball and was an avid member of several men’s teams until age 65. He also loved to throw horseshoes. He was also a lifelong avid hunter and fisherman. Camping was a favorite.

He was a member of St Joseph Catholic Church and served many years as an usher until moving to Arizona. He was a member and usher at St. John Vianney Catholic Church of Goodyear, AZ. He was an active member of the Moose, Elks, and Eagles Lodges.

Jack is survived by his wife, Esther; four sons, Rocky (Patty), Rodney (Pam), Russell (Betty), Roger (Karla); daughter, Mona Engelhard; sister, Lou (Chris) Silvernagel, brothers, Matt (Jo), Center, ND, Kasper (Linda), Grand Forks, ND; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two stepsons, Brent (Becky) Hilfer Mandan, Stuart (Shelli) Hilfer, Goodyear, AZ; three stepdaughters, Mary (Bruce) Nelson, Avondale, AZ, Tracy (Darrell) Hilfer, Little Rock, AR; Laura (Corey) Beckler, Shoreview, MN; stepbrother, Joe (Betty) Pfeiler; step-sister-in-laws, Bev Kokkler, Rose Schlosser, and Urban and Irene Gratz ; nine step-grandchildren; and six step-greatgrandchildren;. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Marcella; parents, Kasper and Lucretia Erhardt; sister, Veronica (Wally) Schulte, Frances (Delmar) Schulte, Rose (Matt) Barth, Margaret (George) Wetsch, Otillia; brothers, Ray (Shirley), Mike (Eva), Connie (Vivian); infant, Kasper; stepbrothers, Bill, Ted, John, Ray, and Clem Kokkler, Adam, Joe (Catherine) Helfrich Barnhardt; and two step-grandchildren, Travis Hilfer and Jenifer Dahl. A memorial service will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Mandan, ND at a future date.

Kenneth Charles Britt

Kenneth Charles Britt of Goodyear, AZ died January 10, 2017. He was born January 3, 1934, in Centerville, IA to Glenn and Reva Britt. He served in the US Navy on the USS Randolph from 1956 to 1962. Kenneth was an active member of the community of Moulton, IA where he owned both a grocery store and the Britt Café, served on the city council and was a volunteer fireman. He was also a proud Shriner. However, he always considered marrying Rachel Leona Britt as his greatest accomplishment.

Kenneth is survived by his wife, Rachel; sons, Charles Curtis Britt, Dennis Alan (Julie), Kevin Scott (Cynthia), and Craig Eugene (Erica); seven grandchildren, William Jacob, Zachary Adam, Nathan Alexander, Molly Rae, Kayla Grace, Cassidy Faith, Chloe Joy; Kenneth’s brother Roger Dean (Karen) Britt, Rogers daughters Tammy and Trisha. In addition he had numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at 2:00pm followed by a funeral service at 5:00 pm, Sunday, January 15, 2017 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ. Interment will take place at 10:00 am, Monday, January 16, 2017, at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85024. Condolences for the family may be left at www.thompsonfuneralchapel.com.

Peter Ignatius Galante

Peter Ignatius Galante, 74 of Buckeye, AZ died January 8, 2017 in Sun City, AZ. He was born June 13, 1942 in Detroit, MI to Ignatius and Vera Galante. Peter served in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1967 where he achieved the rank of Senior Airman and was able to travel all around the world. He was an accomplished wood sculptor and artist. He built hot rod cars and prototype wooden cars and parts at General Motors. He belonged to Southern Thumb Country Cruisers Car Club in Michigan. He built houses and remodeled an old farmhouse. He loved to take photos in the desert. He created many “things of rare and exquisite beauty.”

Peter is survived by his wife, Verna (Kitty) Galante; daughters Leslie (Rod) Humbarger, Diana (Bruce) Oliver; sons Peter (Ynez), and Nicholas (Kimberly) Galante, and Butch (Suzie) Dodson; sisters, Ann (David) Daggett; Sharon (Dan) Pyron; brother, Andrew (Judy)Galante; sister-in-law, Sheri Kaechele; fourteen grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ignatius and Vera Galante; first wife, Bernadine M. Galante; and niece, Vera Zimmer.

A visitation will take place at 4:00pm with a funeral service to follow at 6:00 pm, Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ. The family suggests that donations be made to Hospice of The Valley.

Darryl H. Crossman

Darryl H. Crossman age 64 of Litchfield Park, Arizona, entered into rest with the Lord on Friday, January 6, 2017.  Darryl, formerly of Wickliffe, Ohio, moved to Litchfield Park, Arizona in 2004.  A gathering will be held in Ohio on January 19 from 2-4pm and 6-8pm, and a memorial service will be held on January 20 at 10am with both events being held at New Promise Church located at 8671 Euclid Chardon Rd. Kirtland, OH 44094.  A procession will take place through Wickliffe then a final burial at Kirtland South Cemetery will take place after the memorial service on January 20.  The burial will be followed by a lunch at New Promise Church.  Additionally, there will be a memorial service for his many friends in Arizona at Skyway Church located at 14900 W Van Buren St, Goodyear, AZ 85338 on January 27 at 10am.

Darryl was born on October 18, 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio to Howard and Mary Crossman.  He grew up and graduated high school in Wickliffe, Ohio.  Darryl went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, and a Law Degree all from Cleveland State University.  He served as the Director of Public Services for Wickliffe for 28 years.  Darryl then served as City Manager for Litchfield Park for more than 12 years.  Darryl was a faithful follower of Christ, a loving husband, a selfless father, a gracious grandfather, and a loyal friend.  He loved to laugh, enjoyed sports, and truly put himself before others.  Darryl’s legacy and impact on people’s lives both personally and professionally will continue on for eternity.

He is survived by his wife, Jacque; sons, Rich (Missy) and Matthew; daughter, Mary Arnold (David); Grandchildren, Bentley, Olivia, Audrey, and Ella.  Floral arrangements by Wickliffe Floral Barn at www.wickliffeflorist.com and in Arizona, Thompson’s Flower Shop www.thompsonsflowershop.com.

Charles “Chuck” Emmett Eubanks, III

Charles “Chuck” Emmett Eubanks, III, age 40 of Buckeye, AZ died January 8, 2017 in Phoenix AZ. He was born June 28, 1976 in San Diego, CA to Donna Reheis and Charles Eubanks II. Chuck was a loving and devoted father to his twin boys. He was a hard worker that always challenged his personal limits while encouraging and inspiring others along the way. He loved the outdoors, college basketball and new tennis shoes. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him.

Chuck is survived by his wife, Andrea Eubanks; sons Easton and Reed Eubanks; parents, Steve and Donna Reheis and Charles and Tracy Eubanks; and brother Spencer Reheis.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am, Saturday, January 14, 2017 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ.

Bobbie Sue Ray

Bobbie Sue Ray, 79 of Goodyear, AZ passed away on December 20, 2016. Bobbie was a beloved mother, wife, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend. She was preceded in death by her husband, Whitey. She is survived by her two sons, Ron (Nina), Scott, (Lisa); daughter Leslye (Ross) Shanberg; seven grandchildren, Ashley, Rachel, Rikki, Kialye, Hannah, Rhyan, Sydney; six great-grandchildren, Lily, Amelia, Hudson, Everlee, Lola, and Lyla; sisters, Margie, Kathi; and brothers, Dennis, Rod and Chuck.

The family wishes to thank Sanctuary Hospice of the Valley and Atlantis II for their wonderful care. A Celebration of Life will be held on February 18, 2017 from 11:00am to 1:00 pm at Scott’s home.

Ila Marie Denny

Ila Marie Denny of Litchfield Park, AZ, passed away at LaLoma Care Center on Dec. 20, 2016 following a short illness. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, January 20, 2017 at The Church at Litchfield Park. Arrangements are with Thompson Funeral Chapel, Goodyear, AZ. She is survived by her husband, Robert M. Denny and various other relatives. Ila was born Oct. 21, 1923 at Moorhead, IA, the daughter of Martin and Hannah Sorensen Johnson. She graduated in 1941 and then moved to San Francisco and worked at an Air Base where she met Robert M. Denny. Ila and Bob married on July 5, 1947 and were stationed at many bases around the world before retiring to Litchfield Park. She was preceded in death by her parents and step-mother, Hilma Norem Johnson; brothers Wilmer, Walt, Darrell and Raymond; sister Ano and step-sister Irene Hansen. Ila was a member of The Church at Litchfield Park and supported the activities of various groups in the Litchfield Park area. She loved her home, her friends and relatives, and the community of Litchfield Park. She also had a special place in her heart for the LaLoma Care Center. Memorials may be directed to The Church at Litchfield Park

Maxine Kathryn Griffin

Maxine Kathryn Griffin of Avondale, Arizona passed away December 29, 2016 at the age of 95. Maxine was born in Wisconsin to parents, Merrill and Mabel Fish. As a child, she moved with her parents and two siblings, Allen Fish and Vivian (Fish) Garrett to Rainbow Valley, Arizona. Maxine married ‘Eddie’ Edward Louis Griffin and settled in Avondale, Arizona. She worked in various department stores one of which was “Korricks.” Maxine and Eddie were active in the Moose Lodge.  She enjoyed hunting and fishing with Eddie in Northern Arizona.  Eventually, the couple built a cabin for themselves in Flagstaff where they enjoyed many happy times.  Maxine was an avid gardener who enjoyed growing her own fruit and vegetables in her yard.  She often shared the bounty with her neighbors and friends.  She also enjoyed tending to her roses and flowers in her spare time.  Maxine was a talented seamstress who made many of her own clothes.  She lost her husband in 1986, and remained in her home until she was 94. She resided at Avondale Assisted Living until her passing. Maxine is survived by her son Robert Louis Griffin and wife Ghia Griffin, grandson Jamie Louis Griffin and wife Andrea (Ferguson) Griffin, and two great-grandchildren.  In addition, she is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Lillian Griffin of Lamont, California and Bobbie Griffin of Madison, Alabama and many nieces and nephews.

A visitation will be held at 2:30pm followed by a funeral service at 3:00pm, Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ. A private burial will take place at Louis B. Hazelton Cemetery in Buckeye, AZ.

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