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.

Alberta L. Rodriguez

Alberta L. Rodriguez, age 91 of Cashion, AZ died April 19, 2019 in Cashion, AZ. She was born June 6, 1927 in Lawrence, KS to Manuel and Gregoria Lopez. A funeral service will be held at 10:00 am, Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. The funeral cortege will follow in procession to West Resthaven Cemetery, 6450 W Northern Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301.

Russel Lohrman

Russel Lohrman, age 94 of Avondale, AZ died April 18, 2019 in Avondale, AZ. He was born July 27, 1924 in Buck Creek, IN to Alfred and Margaret Lohrman. A visitation will be held at 8:30 am followed by a funeral service at 9:30 am, Friday, April 26, 2019 at Christ Community United Methodist Church, 104 W. Western Avenue, Avondale, AZ 85323. The funeral cortege will follow in procession to West Resthaven Cemetery, 6450 W Northern Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301.

Juan R. “JR” Torres

Juan R. “JR” Torres, age 39 of Buckeye, AZ died April 13, 2019, in Buckeye, AZ. He was born August 20, 1979, in Buckeye, AZ, the oldest of six children born to Ricardo and Hilda Torres.

JR is survived by his parents, Ricardo G and Hilda H Torres; grandmother, Clara Hernandez; sisters, Irma and Vanessa Torres; brother Ricardo, Jr. and Daniel Torres; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Benjamin Torres.

A visitation will be held at 10:00 am with a funeral service at 11:00 am, Thursday, April 25, 2019, at Skyway Church, 14900 W Van Buren St, Goodyear, AZ 85338.

Christopher James Gorczyca

Christopher James Gorczyca, 16 of Avondale, AZ died April 13, 2019, in Phoenix, AZ. He was born October 14, 2002, in Phoenix, AZ to Stacy and James Gorczyca. Happy and always smiling, his energy and warmth brought happiness to everyone around him. He always had a new joke anytime that you saw him. He was self-confident and could talk with anyone about anything. His faith was an important aspect of his life. He attended church regularly and had accepted Jesus Christ to be his Lord and Savior.

Christopher had a passion for video games. He had a very tight-knit group of online friends that he would play with every day. He was a sophomore at Desert Edge High School, but like many young men his age, he preferred gaming to school. An only child, he was loved and cherished by his parents, grandparents, and family.

Christopher is survived by his parents, James and Stacy Gorczyca; grandparents, Dorothy Gorczyca, and Ken and Joy Dietrich; aunt, Donna Brownell; uncles, Michael Brownell, Patrick Dietrich, and Scott Gorczyca; and many loving cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandfather Leon Gorczyca.

A visitation will be held at 2:00 pm, followed by a funeral at 3:00 pm, Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338.

Bettie June Green

Bettie June Green, age 96 of Litchfield Park, AZ died April 2, 2019, in Litchfield Park. She was born February 4, 1923, in Nebraska. Bettie was the wife of one man for 66 years and the mother of four children. Her life was a witness of the faith she had in Jesus Christ and had a positive impact on others to the end.

Bettie is survived by two sons, six grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by all three of her sisters and her only brother who passed away just a month before her.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00 pm, Saturday, April 20, 2019, in the Atrium Cafè, LaLoma Village, 14154 S. Denny Blvd., Litchfield Park, AZ 85340.

Lenox Elwin Word

Lenox Elwin Word, age 84, a long time resident of Rockford, IL, passed peacefully April 9, 2019, in Peoria, AZ. He was born May 5, 1934, in Detroit, MI, the youngest of three children born to William and Zell Word. Lenny, a.k.a “Skinny Lenny from Detroit”, was proud to be a Detroit native. He was a mischievous but brave young boy who would often go into his basement with his cap guns to shoot the monsters that lived there. He served in the US Navy from 1951 – 1955 during the Korean war, a “Tin Can Sailor” aboard the USS Robert K. Huntington (DD-781) destroyer. His tour of duty also took him to France, Italy, Spain, and Greece and remained one his most precious memories. Upon returning home Lenny became a truck driver. He worked for Robert Hansen Trucking for many years as well as other firms. His work took him to every state in the US.

Personable and a little quirky, Lenny had a good sense of humor. He was a crooner, loved to dance, and often was the life of the party. He enjoyed off-track betting and stopping in Mesquite, NV to gamble.

Lenny was chivalrous and respectful of others, especially his mother and his wife, Jacquelynne. He was steadfast in keeping his word and taught his children to do the same. He loved being “Papa Lenny” and was so proud of his son Quinn for his service in the US Navy.

Lenny is survived by his sons, Quinn Coats (Kim), Lance Coats, and Robert Alar; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother, Zell Adams; step-father, James Adams; wife, Jacquelynne Word; and sisters, Mildred and Norma.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am, Friday, April 19, 2019, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. The family suggests that donations be made to GarySiniseFoundation.org.

Maureen Ann McCreedy

Maureen Ann McCreedy, age 79 of Buckeye, AZ died April 7, 2019, in Goodyear, AZ. She was born August 29, 1939, in Lynbrook, NY, the second of three children born to Myron and Dorothy Pearsall. Maureen’s family had deep roots in the town, originally named Pearsall’s Corner. Her father owned a dairy and delivered milk throughout the town. Maureen met her husband, James who had a horse at her sister’s stable. Lynbrook offered everything the young couple wanted, it was close to family and the beach. In 1970, Maureen and James surprised the family when they announced that they were moving to Arizona.   Despite her family’s insistence that they wouldn’t stay, Maureen and James made Buckeye, AZ their home. Maureen worked in Purchasing for Univar for 32 years.

Maureen was a loving, caring person. She raised three children and then raised her grandson, Joey after his mother passed away at a young age. She also cared for her cousin Dorothy. In her free time, she loved to read, especially mysteries. She enjoyed road trips and going to dinner with friends. She loved being a grandmother and was a wonderful friend and mother to her daughter, Dawn.

Maureen is survived by her daughter, Dawn McCreedy, brother, Donald Pearsall, and two grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, James McCreedy; son, Billy McCreedy; daughter, Patty McCreedy, and grandson, Joey McCreedy.

A visitation will be held at 9:30 am, followed by a funeral service at 10:30 am, Thursday, April 18, 2019 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1002 E. Eason Avenue, Buckeye, AZ 85326. Burial will follow at Louis B. Hazelton Cemetery, 28090 W Broadway, Buckeye, AZ 85326.

Marilynn Louise Smith

Marilynn Louise Smith, age 89 of Goodyear, AZ died April 9, 2019 surrounded by her family and friends. She was born April 13, 1929 in Topeka, KS the oldest of two daughters born to Owen and Alma (Tillmans) Smith. Marilynn grew up in Wichita, KS with a love of baseball and a dream of becoming a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. At the age of ten, after pitching a particularly hard loss, Marilynn’s mother asked her how her game had gone. Frustrated, Marilynn threw her glove against the wall and let out a four-letter word.   That evening her father decided that his daughter needed to play a more lady-like sport and she was introduced to golf.

Marilynn was a natural at golf. Encouraged by her father and well taught by Mike Mura, the head golf pro at Wichita Country Club, Marilynn was well prepared when she was accepted at the University of Kansas and began competing. Denied any funding from the school because she wasn’t a boy, her father helped her travel to tournaments. She captured the Kansas State Amateur title from 1946-48 and won the 1949 Women’s National Intercollegiate Golf Tournament. That win was a catalyst and she immediately turned pro.  She signed a one year contract with Spalding for $5000 to play in tournaments, promote golf and give up to 100 clinics a year. It would be the first of 27 one year contracts that she would sign with Spalding.

Marilynn founded the LPGA with 12 others in 1950. She was president of the LPGA from 1958 to 1960. She won the first of her 21 championship victories at the 1954 Fort Wayne Open. Her last victory was at the 1972 Pabst Ladies Classic. She collected two major championships, the 1963 Titleholders, where she beat the great Mickey Wright by one stroke in an 18-hole playoff, and successfully defended that title in 1964. In 1973 she became the first woman to work a PGA event as a television broadcaster. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006.

As much as Marilynn prized golf, she loved and appreciated those that she encountered through the sport even more. She was gracious and kind to the fans and sports writers. She was inspiring and encouraging to the players. She traveled throughout the world promoting golf, inspiring generations of golfers and fans alike, and making friends wherever she went.  Her celebrity allowed her to meet five sitting presidents and play golf with her idols, Stan Musial and Ben Hogan.  She used her celebrity to ensure that women had the opportunity and the funding that they needed to pursue their athletic dreams. She created the Marilynn Smith LPGA Charity Pro-Am, which for the last 10 years has raised scholarship money to help female golfers with college expenses.

Marilynn’s family swells with pride at her accomplishments. To her nieces and nephews, she is affectionately known as “Auntie M”. They loved spending time with her as she would take them with her to various tournaments.   Their greatest desire is to continue to grow the scholarship that Marilynn created.

Marilynn is survived by her sister, Gay Pappas and her husband Clifford; niece, Michele Pappas Alexander (Keith), and her family, Dustin Alexander, Ryan Alexander, and Caitlin Alexander; and nephew, Pete Leahy, and his family, Michael Leahy, and Zachary Leahy. She was preceded in death by her parents, Owen and Alma Smith, and Marilynn Pappas Leahy.

A funeral service will be held at 4:30 pm, Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. Burial will be in the Topeka Cemetery in Topeka, KS. The family suggests that donations be made to The Marilynn Smith Scholarship Fund, https://www.girlsgolf.org/donate-foundation.

Geraldine Faye Fries

Geraldine Fay Fries, age 77 of Goodyear, AZ died April 8, 2019, in Goodyear, AZ. She was born May 8, 1941, in New Kensington, PA to Howard and Mary (Bisel) Wagner. She grew up in a house that was built by her father on the banks of the Allegheny River. Gerry attended secretarial school in Minnesota, then moved to New York City to begin a career. She got a job with the airlines and while at work met a young man named Ernest. He was the love of her life and soon they were married.

Gerry always knew exactly what she wanted in life and was determined to live her life the way that she chose. When children entered her life she knew two things, she wanted to continue working and she didn’t want to raise her children in New York. She and Ernest moved to Woodland Hills, CA where they commuted to Los Angeles to work for National Airlines, and eventually Pan Am. Ernest and Gerry retired in 2006 and began a long road trip that took them to almost every state in the union. When they stopped to visit their daughter Kathi, Gerry knew that this was where she wanted to stay, so they moved to Goodyear, AZ.

Gerry’s life was centered on her husband Ernest. When he passed away, Gerry again called on her determination and strength and found a life. She formed a group of really good friends that met at her house daily to laugh, talk, and drink coffee. She would drive her friends on errands, to movies, appointments, and lunch dates. Their everyday lives became woven together through their friendship.

Gerry enjoyed learning and trying new things, even if she didn’t achieve the expertise that she had hoped for. She enjoyed watching cooking shows and trying to imitate what she learned. She liked crafting, sewing, scrapbooking, and going to the movies. When her illness put limits on what she could do physically, she focused on her love for her dachshund, Ernie and her love of her grandchildren. Her strength and battle to live life on her own terms was with her until the end.

Gerry is survived by her daughter, Kathi Jo Johnson (Thomas); sons, Kevin and Kerry Fries; sister, Darlene Hartman (Richard); and grandchildren, Thomas, Ty, Tiffini, and Tamara Johnson, and Carley Fries. A visitation will be held at 4:00 pm, a rosary at 5:00 pm, followed by a funeral service at 5:30 pm, Friday, April 12, 2019, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. Burial will be at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.

Alberto Echeveste

Alberto Echeveste, age 45 of Goodyear, AZ died April 5, 2019, in Phoenix, AZ. He was born August 8, 1973, in Fresno, CA, one of five children born to Vicente and Rosalinda Echeveste. Alberto grew up in Fresno and graduated from high school there. He came to Arizona with his brother to attend school. He graduated from UTI and went to work as an auto tech and a truck driver. He worked for Litchfield Auto, a company that showed great compassion when he became sick.

While in school Alberto met a new group of friends at the State Fair. Included in that group was Lilia Gomez. Their friendship grew and eventually, they became roommates along with a larger group of friends. In due course, they went their separate ways. Ten years later Alberto met one of Lilia’s friends and asked about her. He contacted Lilia and they began to date. This time Alberto didn’t let Lilia go and they married. Alberto and Lilia were best friends and loved each other very much. They loved to travel together, especially to Rocky Point – their home away from home.

Alberto was a loving, hard-working family man. He had a warm presence that was comfortable to be around. People knew that he would be a good friend from the moment they met him. He was a man of very few words, but he was an excellent listener. When he did speak, he was direct and often very funny. He loved to tease and had nicknames for everyone. He loved to travel, go to the beach, barbeque, and especially play pool. He was a member of the “Breaking Bad” pool league.

As a father he was always there. He made it to every event his children participated in. He was incredibly patient and drove his children and wife wherever they needed to be without ever complaining. He adored his two grandsons and was anxious to meet the third who was born on April 3rd.

Alberto is survived by his wife, Lilia Gomez; daughters, Gabrielle and Rosalinda Gomez; son, Preston Echeveste; mother, Rosalinda Echeveste; sister Maggie Echeveste; brothers, Ernie and Vicente Echeveste; and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father, Vincente H. Echeveste, and his brother, Manuel Echeveste.

A visitation will be held at 4:00 pm, Tuesday, April 9, 2019, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338.

Donald Joseph Jacks

Donald Jacks (DJ) 86, passed away peacefully Monday, March 18, 2019, in Litchfield Park, AZ. He was born, February 14, 1933, to Joseph and Anna Jacks in Cook County, IL. The family was raised in West Point, VA. Donald moved to and fell in love with AZ in 1955. He served in the Air Force for 22 years and was a Vietnam Veteran. He enjoyed traveling the world with his beloved wife Betty and sons Bruce and Bryan.

Donald was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Betty; his son, Bryan Jacks; granddaughter, Jessica Jacks; parents, Joseph and Anna Jacks; and brother, Melvin Jacks. He is survived by son and daughter-in-law, Bruce and Diane Jacks, Flagstaff, AZ; granddaughters, Casey Pouquette (Dave Pouquette Jr), Austyn Mauldin (Mike Mauldin), Flagstaff, AZ and Reanna Jones, KY; and great-granddaughters, Dallie Rose &Tyler Marie Pouquette Flagstaff, AZ, Elana Jones; brothers, Norman, Jerome, Raymond; sister, Joann Miles; and extended family. Donald had a life well lived, He was a patriot and a father, a mechanic and a veteran, a husband and a friend, he will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2011, at 10:00 am at Thompsons Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Wounded Warriors or Humane Society.

Eleasar Gutierrez

Eleasar Gutierrez, age 69 of Buckeye, AZ passed at home peacefully April 3, 2019, in Buckeye, AZ. He was born November 15, 1949, in Brownsville, TX, one of eight children born to Rafaela Gutierrez. A kind and gentle man, Eleasar never said a bad word about anyone. He was a man of peace, gentle and caring. As a result, he was loved by everyone. He was a hardworking man and worked in maintenance at Mt. St. Francis. He was very good with his hands and could fix anything. He was also an ordained minister and was affiliated with Gethsemane Temple Church of God in Albion, MI.

Eleasar took his family responsibilities seriously. When he asked his wife Carmen’s father for permission to marry her he was told that he needed to have a job, $100, and a place to live. Eleasar had all of those items the next day, so they got married. They were married for 43 years.

He liked to sing, especially Motown oldies and Elvis. He was fond of westerns and John Wayne. He loved the Dallas Cowboys! He enjoyed starting the day with coffee and sweet bread, talking to his brothers and sisters, and hanging out with his grandchildren. He would often try to be funny, but had a hard time joking without bursting out laughing. His family meant the world to him!

Eleasar is survived by his wife, Carmen M. Gutierrez; daughters, Christina M. Clarke, Alicia A. Gutierrez, and Diamond R. Edwards; sons, Joshua E., Ricardo E., and Michael D. Gutierrez; sisters, Maria Scroggins, Flora Gutierrez; brothers Fidel Gutierrez, David Garza, Juan Garza, and Rafael Garza; six grandchildren Margo, Carmen, Valencia, Allera, Nijah, and Mariah; and one great-grandchild, Kailani. He was preceded in death by his mother, Rafaela Gutierrez and his brother, Ismial Gutierrez.

Karen S. Yoast

Karen S. Yoast, age 66 of Goodyear, AZ died April 3, 2019, in Goodyear, AZ, after a 3-year struggle with ALS. She was born December 19, 1952, in Rock Springs, Wyoming, the youngest of four children born to Aaron and Ione Deneley. Outgoing and friendly, it was impossible to be around Karen without becoming her friend. She had a wicked sense of humor and she loved to keep everyone in stitches. She grew up in Rock Springs, Wyoming, and later moved to Orem, UT where she lived for 35 years. A hard-working woman, she worked for the Utah Department of Transportation for 30 years, starting out driving a snow plow and working on paint crews, and later as office manager and contract administrator on large construction projects. Her excellent work habit earned her the honor of the Utah Department of Transportation Employee of the Year in 2017. She left many good friends in the department when she moved to AZ to be with her sister.

Karen could do anything! From baking to fixing plumbing problems, there were no limits to her expertise. She loved to cross stitch, do needlework, write poetry, work crossword and sudoku puzzles, and read. She adored her parrot, Graham and beagle, Gillette and watching animals in the wild.

Karen is survived by her son, Justin Yoast and daughter-in-law Jacquelyn of North Myrtle Beach, SC; sister, Diane Burns and brother-in-law, retired Brig. Gen. Pat Burns; and three grandchildren, Dallas, Garrison, and Savannah. She was preceded in death by her parents, Aaron and Ione Deneley.

William Roy Coryell

William Roy Coryell, age 72 of Buckeye, AZ died March 30, 2019, in Goodyear, AZ. He was born March 15, 1947, in Mt. Clemens, MI, the oldest of four children born to Earl and Grace Ruehle Coryell. He grew up in Northern California. He was a good athlete in high school and lettered in Track and Field and Cross Country.

William was a proud member of the US Marine Corps and was honored to serve two tours of duty in Vietnam. Both tours were cut short because of wounds that he received, the second wound initiating an honorable discharge. As a result of his service, William earned the National Defense Medal, the Armed Forces Expedition Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Purple Heart. He was a member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and VFW.

William was the lead custodian for the Cartwright Elementary School District. Though his behavior was sometimes rough, he was always aware of the wants of the children and would often quietly purchase needed items for them. He never let his injured knee stand in the way of serving others, and helped install flooring for many people, despite having a leg that would not bend.

William was a great husband, father, and grandfather. He met his wife, Sandra at the Orange Show in San Bernadino, CA. They were married for 50 years and were the best of friends. They did everything together, including babysitting their granddaughter, Lilly from the time that she was born. He worked hard to ensure that his children had what they needed as well as what they wanted. He loved them no matter what and took time to be with them and teach them valuable lessons, like car repair and fishing.

William’s granddaughter Lilly was the love of his life. He felt blessed to have the ability to spend so much time with her. He taught her how to fish, played Barbie’s, had tea parties, took her to Disney on Ice, the Grand Canyon, Bearizona, Disney Land, and horseback riding every other week. He even allowed her to practice her budding makeup skills on him. His family loved him dearly, and his oft-repeated reply still rings true, “Love you more!”

William is survived by his wife, Sandra June Coryell; daughters, June Coryell, and Melissa Garsha; son, Roy Coryell; sisters, Kathy Sweetland, and Lynda Bonacci; brother, Robert Coryell; grandson, Tyler Coryell; and granddaughter, Lillian Garsha. He was preceded in death by his father, Earl Coryell. Condolences for the family may be left at www.ThompsonFuneralChapel.com.

Richard Edsel Cofield, Jr.

Richard Edsel Cofield, Jr., age 57 of Avondale, AZ died March 29, 2019 in Phoenix, AZ. He was born December 10, 1961 in Dayton, OH to Dorthell Talton and Richard Edsel Cofield, Sr., the only son in a family of four children. As a child he was always full of life and spirit, committed to his school work, and would always give more than was required. He was on the track and field team while at John Muir High School in Pasadena, CA running the 400 and 800 meter dash. This outstanding ability earned him a track scholarship to UC Irvine. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Richard went into banking where he worked in various executive positions including human resources and risk management. While working at Security Pacific National he met the love of his life, his wife Doreen. They were married for 30 years, were best friends and lived in a way that others aspired to follow, as they appreciated the beauty of each moment, never taking it or each other for granted.

Compassionate and full of life, Richard went out of his way to help others. Whether you were a worker in a grocery store, or someone on the street, he took the time to notice and celebrate the uniqueness of those around him. He was genuinely interested in people and had a wealth of friends. He cared for their hearts, always remembering the burdens and aspirations that they shared with him.   He looked for ways to uplift others from their trials and would find just the right words to comfort and bring peace to them in their time of need.

Richard gave many hours to his community as a coach. He influenced hundreds of youth of various ages as he coached track & field, football, basketball and Little League.   They would often recognize him in the community and stop him to express their gratitude for the many ways he helped them grow. In his free time, Richard liked to read, collect books, rocks, antiques, Afro-American and Native American artifacts, and visit estate sales.

Richard was a wonderful family man. His sons were his life and he was their rock. He set high standards for his sons and supported them in achieving those standards. As they were growing into strong young men he helped them walk them through the joys and challenges of life. Their lives and numerous achievements are a testament to his love and devotion.

Richard is survived by his wife, Doreen Cofield; sons, Rickey (Daughter in law Zari), Christopher, and David Cofield; and sister, Anita Cofield and many loving family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dorthell and Richard Cofield Sr.; and sisters, Juanita and Saundria Cofield.

Richard’s favorite scripture:

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

A visitation will be held at 12:00 pm, followed by a funeral service at 1:00 pm, Friday, April 5, 2019 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338.

Rudy P. Moreno

Rudy P. Moreno, age 84 of Avondale, AZ died March 31, 2019 in Sun City, AZ. He was born August 30, 1934 to Ramon and Josefina Moreno in Camp 52, a section of Goodyear Farms located in Litchfield Park, AZ. Rudy was the youngest of eight children. His father died when he was five years old, so it was necessary for everyone in the family to help with support. When he was in high school, Rudy knew it was time to pitch in, so he got his first job at the Wigwam resort. Rudy later worked in maintenance for a number of companies such as Goodyear Aerospace, Unidynamics and Avondale Elementary School.

In his free time, Rudy enjoyed coaching baseball. He had a passion for sports and was a fan of the AZ Diamondbacks and Cardinal teams. He liked watching tv and loved a good western. He enjoyed going for a drive, especially if he were traveling to the casinos in Laughlin. Cheerful and kind, he had a smile for everyone. He loved to sing and shared his songs with his family as well as the church in the St. John Vianney Choir. His voice was captivating and all eyes would turn to him when he sang.

Rudy was a man of great faith who loved his family. He met his wife, Belen when they were in school at the age of seven years old. In June, they would have been married for 60 years. Loving and supportive, Rudy was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His understanding heart made him comforting and approachable, especially when his guidance was most needed. He set high standards for his own conduct to become a man his children could look up to. His love and guidance naturally extended to his nieces and nephews, and he worked hard to ensure that their family traditions continued. He loved having the entire family visit on Sunday afternoons, and as they left he would solemnly remind them, “Don’t go over 90!”

Rudy is survived by his wife, Belen S. Moreno; daughters, Rosi Greer (Todd), Patty Moreno (Rick), and Teresa Nino (Daniel); son, Manuel Moreno (Chris); seven grandchildren, David, Alyssa, Stephanie, Amanda, Gabby, Annalys, and Jeremy; and five great-grandchildren, Emma, Ryan, Noah, Dawson, and Ivy. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ramon and Josefina Moreno; five sisters and two brothers.

A visitation will be held at 9:00 am, followed by a rosary at 10:30 am and a mass at 11:00 am, Friday, April 5, 2019 at St John Vianney Catholic Church, 539 La Pasada Blvd. , Goodyear AZ 85338. The funeral cortege will follow in procession to Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 9925 W. Thomas Road, Avondale, AZ 85392.

Enrique Reyes

Enrique Reyes, age 22 of Tolleson, AZ died March 24, 2019 in Claremont, CA.  He was born May 29, 1996 in Laredo, TX to Ivonne Magnuson.  Enrique is survived by his fiancé, Diana Salcido; parents, Ivonne and Kevin Magnuson; sister, Isabella, Magnuson; brothers, Victor and Manuel Aripre; and grandmother, Beatriz Flotte.

A visitation will be held at 3:00 pm, with a rosary at 5:00 pm and funeral service at 5:30 pm, Saturday, April 6, 2019 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ  85338.

Jean Wootton Stewart

On March 28, 2019, Jean Stewart passed away in her home in Goodyear, AZ, at age 93. Jean was born October 7th, 1925, in Phoenix, to Burnice McDonald and Edgar A. Wootton. She attended Liberty Elementary, Buckeye High, Glendale Community College, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. Predeceased were her brothers Arden, Alfred, William, and Thomas Wootton, and her sisters Bonnie Ketcham and Charlotte Tamillo, and her husband Arthur J. Stewart. She is survived by sister Beverly Francis and brother Ted Wootton, sons Arthur Stewart, Ray Stewart and James Stewart, daughters Mary Boyd and Bonnie Lewis, and ex-husband Tom Ruth. She had ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Jean and her first husband, Arthur Stewart, moved to Northern Indiana where most of her children were born, returning to Goodyear to finish her schooling. She taught at the San Carlos Apache Reservation and at Dateland, AZ, before joining the Peace Corps (Philippines). She then retired to Goodyear, where she was an active volunteer, serving on the Board and as President for Buckeye Valley Literacy, which later expanded to the West Valley Literacy Association. Jean also co-founded Southwest Volunteer Services, attended and held offices in Estrella Toastmasters Club, was a committee member of the Maricopa County United Way, the Southwest Community Network, the Southwest Chamber of Commerce’s START program, and Leadership West. She also was a formative member and first President of Three Rivers Historical Society and was honored as a Grand Marshall of the 1999 Billy Moore Parade in Goodyear.

Jean studied art at Buckeye High School and Arizona State University, taught art in retirement, and created many art murals as a service for local civic groups, specializing in portraits. She married Tom Ruth and they traveled to many parts of the USA before moving to Prescott. She eventually returned to Goodyear, where she wrote her autobiography, “Jean’s Tapestry” in 2014. In 2015, she was honored by being selected as Southwest Community Network’s tenth annual “Humanitarian of the Year.” In 2019, Jean finished her final book, “Peace Corps @ 62.” Memorial services will be held at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Rd., Goodyear, on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Southwest Valley Literacy Association (swvalleyliteracy.org).

Leonard John Kolodziej

Leonard John Kolodziej, age 68 of Goodyear, AZ died March 22, 2019, in Goodyear, AZ. He was born February 21, 1951, in St. Paul, MN to Leo and Lorraine Kolodziej. Lenny graduated from White Bear Lake High School in White Bear Lake, MN. His first job was at McDonalds. He would work his shift inside and then join his friends outside in the parking lot where they would gather and hang out. It was in that parking lot that he first met his wife, Joyce. They were married for 45 years – an easy feat, according to Joyce, when you are married to your best friend. Joyce and Lenny moved to Arizona in 1975. He worked as the locksmith for the Phoenix Elementary School District until retirement.

In his free time, Lenny coached Little League Baseball. He was involved in Little League for so many years that his baseball connections are far-reaching and he is known as “Coach” to many young men. He was the kind of man that would go out of his way to help others. He would do anything for anyone and he continued his habit of assisting others until his body would no longer cooperate. As kind-hearted as Lenny was, he also liked to pull off practical jokes.  He had a train air-horn in his diesel truck and he got great pleasure out of surprising people with it! He loved to be out and about. Dutch Brothers became a favorite place to hang out with the music playing and all the people to watch. He would always see someone he knew and would strike up a conversation until it was time to “blow this popsicle stand”.

Lenny is survived by his wife, Joyce Johnson Kolodziej; daughter, Jennifer Kolodziej; sister, Lynn (Gerry) Strenke; brothers, Larry (Lynda) and Lyle Kolodziej; and his favorite dog, Zoe. He was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Lorraine Kolodziej.

A memorial service will be held from 1:00-4:00 pm, Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338.

“Say bye!”

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