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November 2015
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Theresa G Sawyer

Theresa G Sawyer, 93, of Litchfield Park, AZ died in Goodyear, AZ on September 24, 2015.  She was born on Oct 31, 1921 in Brooklyn, NY to Salvatore and Assunta Guarascio. She worked as an administrative assistant.  Theresa is survived by a nephew, Philip Guarascio.

A Memorial Service will be held 11:00 am, Thursday, December 3, 2015 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ. Theresa will also be remembered at the eleventh annual Remembrance Service 7:00pm that evening at Thompson Funeral Chapel.

Maria Ines Gonzalez Rivera

Maria Ines Gonzalez Rivera, 77, of Avondale, AZ died November 24, 2015.  Maria was born in Durango, Mexico to Jose Rivera and Remedios Barraza.  She is survived by sons, Francisco, Rueben, Porfirio and Manuel; daughters Aidaa and Blanca.  She was preceded in death by her son Victorio.

A viewing will be 5:00 pm November 27, 2015 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ with a Rosary at  6:00pm.   Interment will be in Durango, Mexico.

Maria de Jesus Estrella Gallardo

Maria de Jesus Estrella Gallardo, 90, passed away on November 19, 2015 surrounded by her family.  She was born August 31, 1925 in El Gato, Sinaloa, Mexico to Jesus M Gallardo and Constancia Higuera de Gallardo.  Maria was a wonderful mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and  great-great-grandmother.

She is survived by her daughters Luz Blanca (Clemente) Vega, Noemi (Keith) Hamilton, Velia Estrella, Ruth Estrella; sons Samuel (Belen) Estrella, Joel Estrella; eighteen grandchildren, twenty-one great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.  She was preceded in death by her sons Juan and Ezekiel Estrella, and daughters Elisama and Sara Estrella.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at Primera Iglesia Apostolica, 749 E. Baseline Road, Phoenix, AZ with a viewing one hour prior.  Burial to follow at Greenwood Memory Lawn in Phoenix, AZ.

Margaret Irene Starek

Margaret Starek, 87 of Avondale, Arizona died November 19, 2015 at Banner Estella Hospital following a month long illness.

She was born in Ravenna, Ohio on November 5, 1928. She was the daughter of Carl and Mildred Blank. She was a member of the Grace Episcopal church in Ravenna.

Margaret was a devoted wife to her late husband Richard a mother to surviving children Kenneth, Kristina, and David. She is also survived by three grandchildren Jessica, Noah, and Grace and two great grandchildren Shyann and Arron.

Services for Margaret will be private. Richard and Margaret’s remains will rest in Aurora, Ohio.

Donald F Maiers

Donald F. Maiers passed away November 19, 2015. Donald was born March 24, 1937 in Mayville, MI. He and his wife Sandy retired in Goodyear, AZ in 2001.

Don is survived by his wife Sandy; daughters Susan Maiers of White Lake, MI, Shari Lipka (Michael) of Saginaw, TX, Tammi Rivera (Gilberto), Traci Niles of Surprise, AZ; sisters Terry Maiers (Fran), Karen Laviolette (Dan), and Lynne Lackowski. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Shanna Stevenson (James), Brienne Lawson (Donny), Ryan Arb, Adam Arb, Ellie Rivera, Daniel Rivera and by four great-grandchildren, Dominic, Ivy, James and Reagan.

A Memorial Service will be held 10:00 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at Christ Presbyterian Church, 925 Sarival Avenue, Goodyear, AZ.  A second Memorial Service will be held 1:00 pm December 2, 2015 at the Clarkston United Methodist Church, 6600 Waldon Road, Clarkston, MI.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggest donations be made to your favorite Cancer Charity or the American Cancer Society.

Salvador Solano

Salvador Solano, 81, of Goodyear, AZ passed away November 18, 2015.  Salvador was born on April 14, 1934 in Guadalajara, Mexico to Rodolfo and Teresa Solano.  The second of two sons, Salvador also had five sisters whom he lovingly watched over and protected.  This desire to care for and support family members stayed with him throughout his life.  He was very generous with all that he had and his family members and friends knew that they could always count on him to provide assistance whenever it was needed.

As a young man Salvador moved to Los Angeles where he worked in a furniture factory.  In his pastime he coached a soccer team.  Among the players on his team were the brothers of Celia Barroso.  Salvador met and fell in love with Celia and they were married.

Salvador loved the outdoors, especially the ocean.  He enjoyed playing cards with friends and family.  But his greatest love was gathering his family together for holidays and reunions and cooking for them.  It was in his home, surrounded by family, that Salvador was a truly happy man.

Salvador is survived by his children, Salvador (Julie), Sandra (Javier), Rosana , Gabriela (Antonio), 10 grandchildren: Ashley, Hannah, Adrian, Diego, Anna, Benny, Antonio, Mellany, Paulina and Alanis and many other beloved relatives.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Celia Barroso.

A visitation will be held 6:00 pm with a Rosary at 6:30 pm Friday, November 20, 2015 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S Litchfield Rd, Goodyear, AZ.  A Funeral Mass will be 11:30 am, Saturday, November 21, 2015 at St John Vianney, 539 La Pasada Blvd., Goodyear, AZ.  Interment will be in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Miguel Angel Adame, II

Miguel Angel Adame, II, of Glendale, AZ passed away November 14, 2015.  He was born April 8, 1988 in Pasedena, CA to Miguel Adame and Madelin Gonzalez.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am Thursday, November 19, 2015 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S Litchfield Rd, Goodyear, AZ.

Lynda Diane Martin

On the morning of November 15, 2015, Lynda Diane Martin, 52, of Goodyear, AZ left this life and was welcomed into the arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Born February 22, 1963 in Phoenix, Lynda was a precious gift to her mother and father Shirley and Rodney Kirkander.  Lynda grew up in a loving and supportive family and although she was a typical annoying big sister to her younger brother Mark, they had a good relationship.  Lynda began baking at a very early age and at the age of thirteen made her first birthday cake for Mark, meticulously decorating it until it was perfect.  She enjoyed music and played the flute throughout grade school and high school.  Always active in her church, she was a member of the children’s choir.

Lynda graduated from Moon Valley High School in 1981.  Her first job was at the neighborhood Dairy Queen, and though it was just a few blocks from home, Mark would ride his bicycle there every night so that Lynda would be safe coming home.   After high school Lynda graduated from cosmetology school.  She spent several years working as an Area Manager for Supercuts.  During this time, Lynda began attending Phoenix Community College to become an interpreter for the deaf.  Upon completion of that program she attended college in Idaho where she received a degree in American Sign Language.  With this degree, Lynda began working at Peoria High School as an ASL interpreter.  She continued her education by attending Ottawa University in Phoenix and received her Master’s Degree in counseling for behavioral health.

After receiving her Master’s Degree, Lynda worked for Maricopa Community College in Glendale, Friendly House, Magellan Health Services and most recently Southwest Network.  As a counselor, Lynda’s gift to see an individual’s true worth without judgment gave her a unique ability to assess circumstances and provide insightful guidance. She had the skill to help her clients see their own capabilities and succeed in becoming responsible and independent.

Lynda’s passion for helping the deaf community and her strong Christian values led her to become an original member of the deaf church, Deaf Alive Christian Church. In 2002, Lynda met Malcolm Martin at the deaf church, DACC.  They became friends and started dating in February 2006 when their relationship became serious.  They were married in September 2006.

Lynda enjoyed hiking.  She loved to travel and traveled all over the United States.  She had a wonderful sense of humor that made her a joy to be around.  One of Lynda’s greatest talents was scheduling and coordinating family gatherings.  The holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter were especially important to Lynda.  She loved to bake, and would gather her family around her to enjoy time-honored traditions.

Lynda looked out for those in need.  She would budget her money so that she could contribute to organizations that were important to her:  Family Life Radio and the American Cancer Society.

Lynda is survived by her husband Malcolm; mother, Shirley Kirkander; brother Mark Kirkander (Laurie); Step-sons, Phillip Martin (Jessica) and Jordan; mother-in-law, Pearl Martin; sister-in-law Galinda Cardona; grandchild, Scarlet; nieces Crystal and Alicia;  and nephews, Mark, Jr, Alexander and Dimitri; great nieces Bailyn and Kayleigh, great nephew Trevor; godchildren Regina, Megan and Randy, and also many cousins.

A memorial service will be held 4:00 pm Dec. 19, 2015 at First Southern Baptist Church at Sahuaro Ranch, 10250 N. 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ  85302. Arrangements are through the Thompson Funeral Chapel.  In lieu of flowers the family asks that you donate to the American Cancer Society, 4550 E Bell Rd #126, Phoenix, AZ 85032.

John Thie Henderson

John Thie Henderson, 67, of Goodyear, AZ died November 15, 2015.  John was born March 12, 1948 in Burlington, IA to John L. and Hulda Henderson. As an only child raised by a single mother John eagerly embraced the Boy Scouts, rising to the rank of Eagle Scout and Order of the Arrow. Upon graduation from Burlington High School in 1966, John along with seven of his friends enlisted into the United States Marine Corps.  He trained as an avionics electronics technician, in which he achieved rank of LCpl until his honorable discharge.

After returning home to Iowa, John took a chance on a blind date and met Mary Fuhrmeister. Their love blossomed and they were married on June 7, 1969. John was a dedicated employee to several companies in Eastern Iowa. In 1983, John and family moved to Goodyear, AZ where John worked a variety of jobs before becoming a civilian contractor for the US Air Force.  He was employed first at the Gila Bend Bombing Range and then at Luke Air Force Base as a taxi driver for the pilots.

John had a variety of interests in life. He loved music, and was a member of two bands in the Burlington Iowa area in the 1960’s; “The Dave Shane Combo” and “The Sidewinders”. He even showed Brittany Spaniels for five years at dog shows, in Iowa. In Arizona, John was a referee for soccer and he was a member of several bowling leagues at Avondale Lanes. After retirement, John delved into woodworking, in which he excelled in scroll work.

However, it was John’s activity in the community that brought him his greatest joy.  He was a member of Jaycees in Iowa and Arizona, holding a variety of local offices. The local Jaycees Haunted Houses was his favorite activity. His experience with scouting as a youth led him to become a Scoutmaster both in Iowa and in AZ with Troop 91 of the Grand Canyon Council.  His diligent work with the Scouts in Troop 91 resulted in six troop members achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. His love of scouting was passed to his son Matthew, with whom he is a fellow member of Marines, The Order of the Arrow and Eagle Scout, and to his grandsons who are also very active in scouting.

John is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Patricia (Jerry), son Matthew (Angela), and five grandchildren, Kelsey, Natalie, Declan, Maddox and Atticus.  A memorial service will be held 11:00 am on Friday, November 27, 2015 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ  85338.  Interment will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.

In lieu of flowers the family would suggest a contribution to either Fort Jackson Troop 89, C/O: Matt Ewers Scout Master, 5810-A Burt Rd, Columbia, SC 29207 (Declan Cleveland); or Pack 543, Memorial Tribute, Orange County Council, BSA 1211 East Dyer Road Santa Ana, CA 92705 (Maddox Henderson).

Severiano “Chacho” Perez

Severiano Perez, 52, of Ajo, Arizona, died November 11, 2015 in Goodyear, AZ.  He was born November 2, 1948 to Severiano and Bertha Perez in Ajo, AZ.  The fourth of eight children, he was known as “Chacho” to his family and friends.

As a young child, his family moved to Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico.  Severiano loved living in the desert.  He enjoyed riding horses and learned to capture wild horses and break them.  When he was eighteen, he wanted to return to live in Ajo, AZ.  To prevent him from leaving Mexico his father hid his birth certificate, so exerting his characteristic free spirit, Severiano took his horse and traveled through the desert until he arrived back in Arizona.  He then sold his horse to acquire the money to stay in the US.

Severiano worked for a time in the fields of Paloma Ranch.  He was also employed as a trash collector in Ajo.  However, for most of his life he worked as a landscaper.  He had a talent for growing and caring for plants and grew a large garden of vegetables for his family to enjoy.

Severiano loved music and animals, especially dogs.  He leaves behind two faithful companions, Chichi and Baby.   Although he could be ornery one minute he was cheerful and full of tease the next.  This playful attitude earned him friends everywhere he went, especially among women.  Severiano loved life and planned to stay as long as he could.  When told by a doctor that he only had months to live, he boldly declared he wasn’t done with life yet and went on to live another fifteen years.

Severiano is survived by his sisters Maria D. Rios and Bertha “Coni” Flores; brothers, Gregorio “Gollo” Perez, Felix Perez, and Cruz; best friend, Lupe Rivera; and many nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews.  He was preceded in death by sisters Tranquilino Perez and Gloria Contreras.

A Memorial Mass will be held 10:00 AM, December 5, 2015 at Ajo Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 141 W Morondo Ave, Ajo, Arizona.

Christopher Ian Weiler

Christopher Ian Weiler, 40, of Goodyear, AZ died November 6, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ.  Christopher was born on May 23, 1975 to John Weiler and Carol Kennedy in Reading, PA.

He is survived by his wife, Heather Weiler; daughters, Kayla and Audrey Weiler; son, Matthew Weiler; parents, Dave and Carol Kennedy and John and Pat Weiler; and brother, Evan Weiler.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm, Thursday, November 19, 2015 at the Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ.

Johanna Theodora Schmucker

Johanna Theodora Schmucker 83, of Goodyear, AZ died November 11, 2015. Johanna was born November 20, 1931 in Brunsom, Holland.  She was the youngest child of a large family.

Johanna left Holland for Toronto, Canada where she met her husband of 61 years, Albert Schmucker. She was a loving wife and mother to her four children.   She was an excellent cook and specialized in preparing German and Dutch dishes for Albert and other guests to enjoy.  Albert especially loved to eat her schnitzel.

Johanna and Albert enjoyed travel. They traveled back to Holland to visit children and grandchildren and to Australia to visit with her daughter and grandchildren living there.

Johanna appreciated music. She loved to sing and dance and learned to play the organ.  After moving to PebbleCreek, Johanna taught line dancing.

Johanna is survived by her husband Albert, who lovingly cared for her when she became bedridden; daughters Sissy and Clara, sons Jose and Jan, and seven grandchildren.

Arthur Ray Atkinson

On November 8, 2015, Arthur Ray “Art” Atkinson, 88, left this life and moved on to a better one. Art was born February 20, 1927, in West Terre Haute, IN to Aaron Angus and Mary Hazel Shoaf Atkinson. Art was the second of five Atkinson children who included older brother Kenneth Allen and younger sisters Virginia “Francis” Wilson, Leanna “Faye” Snow, and Carolee Norris.

Raised on a dairy farm that also produced crops of soybeans and popcorn, Art’s mechanical abilities became apparent at a very early age. By the age of eight he was the repairman of the entire farm’s equipment and soon became the repairman for the surrounding farms as well.  Life on a farm was hardly exciting for a sixteen year old, so with WWII raging, Art left the farm and joined the US Navy.

Art’s original plan was to become a pilot, but problems with his health prevented that possibility, so Art was assigned to the engine room of a troop transport ship, the USS General H. W. Butner. The USS Butner, sailed the world taking Art to exotic ports-of-call and war zones in Africa, Australia, China, the Phillipines and many other nations and islands.  Her prime mission was to ferry troops from the US mainland throughout the Pacific.  When the allies proclaimed victory in the European front, they sailed through the Panama Canal to Le Havre, France where they picked up troops to bring them home.  Returning to the European theatre, they picked up troops in Marseilles to redeploy them in the Pacific.  As the USS Butner reached Okinawa, the crew and 5000 soldiers were held off-shore for 87 days.  During that time the ship ran out of food leaving only bread infested by weevils and maggots.   That experience caused Art to avoid eating raisin bread for the rest of his life.

Like other service men, Art often had to battle the elements in his line of duty. In the midst of a massive typhoon, as Art shuttled troops to the shore, he was thrown from the boat into the ice cold water.  He quickly grabbed onto the side of the boat, only finding a hold right on top of the engines and propellers.   Art’s tenacity kept him alive but years later he discovered that his heart had been damaged during this harrowing time.

When Art returned home he worked in the garage of the Chevrolet dealership. Soon he was hired by Visqueen to work in the maintenance department.  In 1955 he moved to Arizona and began working at the Naval Air Facility, Litchfield Park dismantling airplanes.  Several years later he worked for Motorola where he set up the manufacturing line.  While working nights for APS in Deer Valley, from 1962-65 he owned and operated Art’s Signal Service Station on the corner of 43rd and McDowell.  He finished his career after working 47 years for APS.

Art has been described as the smartest man you will ever meet. He was a mechanical genius who could fix anything – even repairing a commercial dishwasher with just a knife and a spoon when it broke during a fund-raising event.  He was always willing to repair anything that was needed and only asked for the cost of the parts and cold beer as payment.  Art loved old-time country music, square dancing and bowling.  He was active in the American Legion and the Moose Lodge.  He was a tough man when he needed to be, but was always the first to reach out to help others in need.  And the softest spot of his heart he saved for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Art is survived by his daughter, Mara Lissa Atkinson; his sons, Gary Ray, David Arthur, Dale Robert, and Donald Wayne; his partner Raye Marie Johnson and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.   He was preceded in death by his wives, Margaret Jane Fleener, Trini Beltran, Darlene Dawn Lokken; son Dennis Lee and daughter Dana Gayle Atkinson Vaughn Lane.

A viewing will be from 6:00 – 8:00 pm Thursday, November 12, 2015 at the Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ. A Funeral Service will be 11:00 am, Friday, November 13, 2015 at the Thompson Funeral Chapel.  Interment will be at Sunwest Cemetery 12525 NW Grand Ave, El Mirage, AZ 85335.

Robert “Bobby” Durkin

Mr. Robert “Bobby” Durkin, 61 of Avondale, AZ died from natural causes November 6, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ. Bobby was born to Francis and June Durkin on June 14, 1954 in Brooklyn, NY.  Bobby’s engaging personality served him well in his career in the sales industry.  He was equally comfortable with animals and was very active with the Jack Russell Rescue.  An avid sports fan, Bobby stayed true to his hometown teams, cheering on the NY Yankees in baseball and the NY Giants in football.

Bobby is survived by his wife, Christine Durkin; a stepson, Anton de Bruyn; mother, June Durkin; two sisters, Katherine Overkamp and Patricia Clist and four nieces and nephews, Joshua Overkamp, Stephanie Overkamp Aleksis, Matthew Clist, and Brendan Clist. He was preceded in death by his father, Francis Durkin.

A private visitation will be held at Thompson Funeral Chapel on November 10, 2015. A Celebration of Life will be held at his home in Avondale, AZ at 6:00 pm, Tuesday, November 10, 2015. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that a donation be made to Sun Valley Animal Shelter, 7150 N 110th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85307.

Vivian Elaine Gaskin

Mrs. Vivian Elaine Gaskin, 59 of Laveen, Arizona died on October 27, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. Vivian was born on February 21, 1956 to Bobbi Lois Austin in Troup, Texas.  She spent several years in the workforce before becoming a full-time homemaker, a job that she performed unfailingly until her untimely death.  Her devotion to home and family earned her recognition from the United States Army for her faithful support to her husband Lucious in his military career.

Vivian is survived by her husband, Lucious Gaskin, Jr.; daughters, LaQuisha McCartey and Joyce Cleveland; son, Curtis Cleveland, Jr; three sisters, Kimberly Blakeney, Pam Lydia and Ann Michelle Lydia; brother, Myron Austin; mother, Lee D Curry; six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her mother, Bobbi Lois Austin; father, John H. Curry and brother, Roy Austin.

A visitation will be held at 10:00 am on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S Litchfield Road, Goodyear, Arizona. A funeral service will follow at 11:00 am.  Burial services will be private.

Pauline Dennison

Pauline Dennison, 89, of Litchfield Park, Arizona passed away peacefully on October 31, 2015 at her home surrounded by her family.

She was born on May 17, 1926 in Barbour County, West Virginia to Will and Daisy Stout.  Pauline was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

She is survived by her husband William Dennison; daughters Pamela Hubbell and her husband, Thomas; Patty Dusard and her husband Christopher; Darlene Babcock; son Gary Dennison and his wife, Leslie; brothers Benwood Stout, Woodbridge Stout; 11 grandchildren: Stephanie Beirne, Kristopher Lasswell, Courtney Miller, Jason Dennison, Josh Dennison, Madison Rendon, Matthew Dusard, Lindsay Dusard, Hailee Dennison, Elizabeth Babcock and 9 great-grandchildren.

Pauline was preceded in death by her mother and father, brothers Mwood Stout, Woodrow Stout, Elwood Stout, sisters Thelma Atkins, and Virginia Stout, and her grandson, Mitchell Babcock.  All services and interment will be at Mt. Vernon Cemetery in Philippe, West Virginia. In honor of Pauline Dennison, donation memorials can be made to Hospice of the Valley.

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