Obituaries

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August 2019
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Michael Angel Mejia

Michael Angel Mejia, age 20 of Buckeye, AZ passed away August 7, 2019, in Goodyear, AZ. He was born July 17, 1999, in Alhambra, CA, the oldest of four children born to Angel Gilbert and Nycolle Michelle Mejia. He graduated from Buckeye Union High School where he participated in the performing dance club. Michael was born with a beautiful, contagious smile that he shared with everyone around him. Kind and gentle, he was a wonderful friend. He had a great sense of humor and loved to joke around and act silly. He was always surrounded by friends, whether in person or online.   He loved to play Xbox and especially Fortnight, where he was known to carry everyone. As a friend, he was loyal and encouraging, bringing not only laughter and joy to his friendships but support and a listening ear as well.

Michael was an amazing brother and son. His loving kindness and support of his family revealed his great love for them daily. His younger brother and sisters enjoyed learning from him and his parents counted him as one of their best friends. His love will remain in their hearts forever.

Michael is survived by his parents, Nycolle and Angel Mejia; sisters, Angelina and Sophia Mejia; brother, Jaycob Mejia; and grandparents Debie and Mike Abrams.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, August 24, 2019, at Desert Hills Baptist Church, 20909 W. Yuma Rd., Buckeye, AZ 85326.

Alex Peter Garcia

Alex Peter Garcia, age 17 of Buckeye, AZ died August 9, 2019. He was born December 27, 2001, in Pawtucket, RI to Fernando and Delia Garcia. Alex attended Desert Edge High School and was employed by Demers Glass. He was a hard worker and respectful of those around him. Strong-willed and resilient, he kept fighting through the difficult times in his life. He was very smart and enjoyed rebuilding and repairing his truck.

Alex loved the rush of adrenaline. He was a risk-taker who had a passion for being outdoors. He loved dirt biking, riding quads, hunting, fishing, shooting in the desert, and even hanging around a firepit talking with his friends.  He enjoyed music and joking around. Loving and selfless, there was nothing he wouldn’t do for the people he cared about.

Alex is survived by his parents, Delia and Fernando Garcia; sister, Vanessa Garcia; brothers, Derek and Bruce Garcia; and grandmother, Teresa Fraga. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Izaias Coelho Fraga, grandfather Luis Rodrigues Garcia, grandmother, Maria Fatima Garcia, and uncle, Jose M. Garcia.

A rosary will be held at 1:00 pm, followed by a brief visitation at 1:30 pm and a funeral service from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, Saturday, August 17, 2019, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338.

Iva Dell Albo

Mrs. Iva Dell Albo, 91, of Avondale, AZ passed away August 12, 2019.  She was born September 24, 1927 in Carryville, AR.

Iva Dell was a fierce and loving friend to so many. She would actually give you the shirt off her back and make sure you had a good meal to eat while wearing it!  She is remembered as a bit of a Skip Bo Card shark and a dedicated host to anyone needing a place to rest their head.  She was fearless and a survivor of many tough times.  She is Grandma Ike to many and loved them all as her own.  She will be remembered in many stories and in many hearts forever.

She is survived by her granddaughters Jill Darnell & Holly Thorne and her great grandchildren Sydney & Brendon as well as an entire community of friends that she treated like family.  She is preceded in death by her daughter Jeannie Darnell and son Randy Thorne.

A remembrance service will be held on August 24th at 9:00am at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338.

Bura Purvis “Buck” Tolleson

Bura Purvis “Buck” Tolleson, 89, of Avondale, Arizona died August 6, 2019, at the Hospice of the Valley Thunderbird Unit in Glendale. He was born September 11, 1929, in Barnes, Mississippi to Enoch and Mary Jane Tolleson. He was the youngest of six siblings. He was a compassionate Southern gentleman. On September 22, 1951, he married Helen Ferguson while on leave from the US Navy. They had three children.

While in the Navy, he served on the USS Bataan. He was awarded the Korean, UN and National Defense Service Medals and a Good Conduct Medal. After discharge, he worked for 25 years as a firefighter on the tarmac at the Litchfield Park Naval Air Facility and Luke Air Force Base. He worked at Cannon Funeral Home in Goodyear until it became Thompson Funeral Chapel.

In his leisure time he enjoyed hunting, fishing, coaching baseball, RV traveling, and playing the mandolin and violin. He was an avid reader and fan of bluegrass and country music. He attended the Avondale Baptist Church for 65 years and became known for his coconut cake.

He is survived by his son Carl Tolleson (Annlouise) of Phoenix, daughter Cynthia Harvey and grandson Stephen Harvey of Goodyear and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, infant son Anthony, grandson Robert Harvey, cousin Aaron “Mud” Tolleson, five siblings and his parents.

Services will be held on Saturday, August 17, 2019, at Avondale Baptist Church, 1001 N Central Ave, Avondale, AZ 85323. Visit with the family at 9 am before the funeral service at 10 am and reception at 1:00 pm. Graveside service with the Navy Honor Guard will immediately follow the funeral at West Resthaven Park Cemetery, 6450 W Northern Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301. Senior Pastor Jack Marslender will officiate.

Iris (Nelson) Lange

Iris (Nelson) Lange passed away at the age of 89 on August 7, 2019, in Goodyear, AZ.

Iris was born on a farm in Grant County, SD on December 31, 1929, to Florence (Aronson) Nelson and Nuel Wallace Nelson. She was an only child but felt that she gained sisters when her cousins Ardis and Bonnie Lundberg came to live with her family.

When she graduated high school, members of the local school board offered her a teaching job if she would take a summer teacher training class. She loved teaching and spent many subsequent summers taking classes to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Education. While teaching in Troy, SD, she met and married Hank Lange, the older brother of one of her students. Shortly after their marriage, Hank shipped out to join Army forces in the Korean Conflict.

When Hank returned from his service they moved to Watertown, SD and raised three children there. They were longtime members of Grace Lutheran Church. Iris taught the elementary grades at Lakeview School, and then in the Watertown Public Schools until her retirement. She took great pride in teaching the first computerized classroom in South Dakota, which earned her the SD Teacher of the Year Award.

After retirement Iris and Hank spent many happy years traveling. They loved seeing the United States in their RV and also took several trips to Europe. They eventually moved permanently to Phoenix, AZ.

Iris was preceded in death by her husband, Hank; her parents; Bonnie (Lundberg) Barnes; and beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Iris is survived by her children, Linda (Gary) Nelson, (Phoenix, AZ), Larry (Vikki) Lange, (Griffin, GA), and Laurel (Jeff) VanDenBerg, (Sioux Falls, SD); grandchildren, Colin (Sara) Nelson, (Phoenix, AZ), Kirstin (Seth) Yates, (Phoenix, AZ), and Trevor Nelson, (Detroit, MI); great-granddaughter, Eva Nelson; Ardis (Lundberg) Barber; and treasured sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm, Saturday, August 24, 2019, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. A celebration of life and interment of ashes will be held at a later date in South Dakota.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Tabor Lutheran Church Cemetery Fund, PO Box 37, Strandburg, SD 57265.

Karl G. Bergstrom

Karl G. Bergstrom, of Goodyear, AZ, died August 5, 2019. He was born March 23, 1934, in Boise, ID.  Karl served in the US Navy from 1952 to 1954 on submarines and continued to serve in the US Naval Reserve until 1985, achieving the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

Tall, confident, and courageous, Karl was quite a presence.  He worked for 23 years as a detective in the Seattle Police Department and in the King County Sheriff’s Office for an additional 11 years.  He met his wife Susan in 1985.

Karl loved the ocean, boating, and sailing.  After retirement, Karl took a job as the first American security officer hired by Holland America Cruise Lines. Though he traveled to exotic ports of call, being the patriotic guy he was, he most enjoyed coming home to the United States.

Karl loved to read while sitting on the deck in the sun and the fresh ocean air.  He was an avid reader,  who enjoyed playing cards, working out, and a good game of golf.

Karl is survived by his wife, Susan Bergstrom; daughter, Lisa Bergstrom; sons, Michael Bergstrom, and Timothy Bergstrom; brothers, Paul Bergstrom, John (Karen) Bergstrom; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, all of WA State ; brothers and sisters-in-law: Tom and Sheila Snyder, Goodyear, AZ; Tim and Danette Rector, Tom and Jeanine Moore, Burt and Peggy Geiger all of Montana, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Charlotte Louise Holcomb

Charlotte Louise Holcomb, age 64 of Goodyear, AZ died August 7, 2019, in Phoenix, AZ. She was born July 16, 1955 in Whitesville, WV to Grover McKinney and Della Smith. Charlotte was a strong woman who fought hard to overcome the trials in her life. She worked as a corrections officer, badge A3079, for the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office for 23 years, from 1986 to 2010. She married her husband Billy on November 19 and was married for 34 years before he passed away. She was a devoted mother and best friend to her children. She loved her grandchildren very much and made sure to see them often.

Charlotte is survived by her daughter, Lisa Williams; son, Bobby Holcomb; sisters, Mary Haynes and Ruth Pomery; brothers, Burnard, Charles, Kenneth, Howard, Keith, and Ronnie McKinney; and five grandchildren, Elizabeth Williams, Matthew Williams, Cameron Williams, Connor Williams, and Bobby Holcomb, Jr. She was preceded in death by her husband, Billy Holcomb; parents, Della Smith and Grover McKinney; and sister, Brenda K.

A gathering will be held at 1:00 pm, with a funeral service at 2:00 pm, Monday, August 12, 2019, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. Burial will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona at a later date.

Pattie M. McDonald Urrabazo Johnson

Pattie M. McDonald Urrabazo Johnson, age 75 of Buckeye, AZ died July 30, 2019, in Buckeye. She was born April 10, 1944, in St. Ignatius, MT to Alex and Carmelita McDonald. A strong woman, Pattie had powerful faith. She believed in taking care of business and found a way to do anything that she needed to do. She was a realist and a philosopher and accepted everyone with unconditional love. She would speak with anyone and always left them with wisdom that would help them to feel good about themselves.

Vivacious and fun-loving, she possessed a contagious joy that she shared with those around her. She loved music, especially Elvis, and broke into dance whenever she heard music. She enjoyed building, collecting antiques, and drinking Pepsi! Her children and family meant the world to her.

Pattie is survived by her former husband, John P. H. Urrabazo; daughters, Janice M. McDonald, Pauline L. Urrabazo, and Yesenia I. Chavez; sons, Johnny A. Urrabazo, and Michael Marrisette; sisters, Eula Jean Bluff, and Iena Marrisette; and brothers, Dennis (Sonny Boy) McDonald, Robert (Bob) McDonald, and Terry L. McDonald. She was preceded in death by her brother, Tommy McDonald; and sisters, Marliss Santos, and Sharon Montague.

A visitation will be held at 1:00 pm, with a rosary at 2:00 pm and a funeral service at 2:30 pm, Friday, August 9, 2019, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. Pattie will be traveling home to her birthplace on the Flathead Reservation for Native American honors and burial.  Walk In Peace.

Charles Leland Coe

Charles Leland Coe, age 85, of Goodyear, AZ died August 1, 2019, in Goodyear. He was born December 7, 1933, in Mandan, ND to Harold and Lydia Dorr Coe. He worked for 37 years in aviation operations management, beginning his career at the bottom and climbing through the ranks until he reached top management. Because of acquisitions, he worked for many different airlines: Empire Airline, West Coast Airlines, Air West, Republic Airlines, and North West Air.

Charles served in the US Army and liked to share stories about boot camp, hikes, and the adventures he had while on leave. Personable and outgoing, he would talk with everyone he met. He was active in the Elks, Moose International, and the American Legion. He had many friends and retained his friendships throughout his life.

Charles was a natural planner, especially when it came to his family. The family frequently moved to accommodate his job until his children began high school, then he made sure that they had the stability of one school. Family activities were also planned to perfection. He meticulously researched before purchasing, the best travel trailers and ski boats, then planned the family activities and trips with precision. He provided his family with numerous travel experiences, especially along the northwest coastline.

Charles loved to watch old western movies and read western books.  John Wayne movies were his favorite.  His favorite author was Louis L’Amour and he also enjoyed Zane Gray. Coin collecting was a life-time hobby. He began as a child and fondly recalled Sunday afternoons eating popcorn and sorting pennies. He shared his collections with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Charles always greeted each family member with a smile and a great big hug. He is survived by his wife, Beverly Coe; daughter, Linda Coe Baker; son, Monty Coe; brother, Kenneth Coe; three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother, Raymond Coe, and sister, Frances Hall.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. The family suggests that donations be made to PebbleCreek Kare Bears in Goodyear, AZ, https://karebears.org/donate-to-kb or Banner Health Hospice Care in Sun City, AZ, https://www.bannerhealthfoundation.org/areas-to-support/hospice-care.

Georgia Faye Jones

Georgia Faye Jones was born August 27, 1958, to the late Edgar and Sammie Flowers in Clarksdale, Mississippi. She was the eighth of thirteen children. Georgia accepted Christ at an early age. She graduated from Chicago Vocational High School (C. V. S.) and later worked various jobs before beginning what would become a 34-year career with the Continental Bank (later renamed Bank of America.)

She was the mother to two children, Terrence Flowers, from a previous union. In May 28, 1988, she married Lon Jones and to this union, Aerial Jones was conceived. During her tenure at Bank of America, she was able to work with her daughter and pass on some of life’s lesson while at the workplace.

Georgia had a wonderful personality and giving spirit. She opened her home to care for multiple foster children, ages ranging from 2 to 17 and coming from diverse backgrounds. Her favorite activities included drinking coffee, (at any time of day), gossiping with various family members, (usually one of her sisters), and an occasional night out at the casino (although the time of day really didn’t matter.)

After being stricken with illness in July 2013, Georgia decided to move to Arizona to be with her children and grandchildren. She remained there until she was called home on July 29, 2019.

Georgia leaves to cherish her loving memories; one son, Terrence (Angela); one daughter, Aerial; eight sisters, Louise, Marcella (Lafayette), Josephine (Deceased), Shirley, Maxcine (Jack), Debra (Deceased), Queenie (Richard), Shelia, and sister at heart, Lolita; four brothers, Edgar, Jr. (Deceased), Melvin (Deceased), Robert and Curtis; three grandchildren, Laniyah, Amaya and Teyá; as well as an abundance of loving aunties, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and loving friends.

A special thank you to Curtis Marshall for his unwavering support during our time of bereavement.

Mary Celine Boyle Gimon

Mary Celine Boyle Gimon, age 84 of Goodyear, AZ, died July 30, 2019 in Goodyear. She was born November 7, 1934 in Maas, Glenties, Co, Donegal, Ireland to Neil and Ethna (Sweeney) Boyle. Mary trained as a nurse and a nurse midwife in London, England and worked in the Dock area of London. She moved to the US and lived in Cincinnati, OH and then in San Francisco, CA. In July, 1961 she moved to Alaska where she was hired by the Alaska Native Health Services in Bethel, AK. She married her husband, John in Bethel, AK on March 3, 1962. She also lived in Anchorage, AK; Bethesda and Rockville, MD; Pittsburgh, PA; Cherry Hill, NJ; and twice in Phoenix, AZ (1966-1971 & 1990-2019).

Mary is survived by her husband, John Gimon; children, Neil, Sally, and John Liam; and grandchildren, Gregory (Savannah), Samantha, Kaela, Aidan,  Fiona, John “Jack”, and Ella.

A visitation with a rosary will be held from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Sunday, August 4, 2019 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. A mass will be held at 10:30 am, Thursday, August 8, 2019 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 13720 W. Thomas Rd, Avondale, AZ 85392. Burial will be at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery.

Curtis Merle Malaise

Curtis Merle Malaise, age 70, of Litchfield Park, AZ died July 27, 2019, in Litchfield Park. He was born December 5, 1948, in Ottawa, IL to Merle and Mellisa Malaise. He served as a mechanic in the US Army from 1968 to 1971 and was a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Curtis was a city of Phoenix employee for 30 years, before retiring in 2010. He served as a shop steward for the LIUNA Union and was later elected as business manager. He also served as the Commander for VFW Post 8015 from 1999 to 2001.

Curtis was an active member in the Chandler Foothills Hog Chapter #76. Being an avid motorcyclist he traveled with his wife to all 48 states and across Canada. He also enjoyed radio controlled car racing and billiards.

Curtis is survived by his wife of 50 years, Helen (Sue) Malaise; son, Curtis Malaise; sisters, Lorene Weber (Bob), and Merleen Long (Dave); one grandchild; two great-grandchildren; and one step-great-grandchild. He was also survived by brothers-in-law, John Schroder (Janet), Charles Clark (Betty), Howard Schroeder (Mary), and George Schroeder; sisters-in-law, Clara Griffey (George), Esther Schroeder (Ron), Jane Raines (Dick), and Maria Schroeder (Ercil); and many nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. The family suggests that donations be made to the American Heart Association at www2.heart.org.

William C. Goodman

William C. Goodman, age 84, of Litchfield Park, AZ died July 28, 2019, in Litchfield Park, AZ. He was born June 17, 1935, in Boyd, WI to William J. Goodman and Florine R. Yeager. Bill attended McDonald High School in Chippewa Falls, WI and Stanley High School in Stanley, WI. He served in the Air National Guard from 1952-1953, then joined the US Air Force in 1953 where he served until 1973, achieving the rank of Master Sargent.

Bill moved his family to Litchfield Park in 1972. He was a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church where he taught Catechism Education and participated in the St. Vincent De Paul Society and the Knights of Columbus. In 1983, when his children were older, he returned to college, receiving an Associates Degree of Applied Science in Electronic Technology.

Bill is survived by his wife, Jeri-Ann (Weber) Goodman; daughters, Karen Cartwright, Kathy Goodman, and Jodiann Cates (Jack); sons, Randy Goodman (Wendy), Dan Goodman (Nancy), Dave Goodman (Kristi); brother, Jerome R. Goodman; five grandchildren, Isaiah Cartwright, Neil Goodman, Dillon Cates, Nathan Cates, and Digi Goodman; three great-grandchildren, Brijenna Cartwright, Tyajah Cartwright, Ellianna Cartwright; and many stepbrothers and sisters. He was preceded in death by his father, William Joseph Goodman; mother, Florine R. (Yeager) Goodman; and stepmother, Maragret (Gilles) Goodman.

Military honors will be held at 5:00 pm with a rosary at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. A mass will be at 10:30 am, Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 13720 W. Thomas Rd, Avondale, AZ 85392. Interment will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Vincent DePaul Society, c/o St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 13720 W. Thomas Rd, Avondale, AZ 85392, or Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E Flower St, Phoenix, AZ 85014.

Domingo Gutierrez

Domingo Gutierrez, 98, passed away on Sunday, July 28, 2019, surrounded by his family at his home in Avondale. He was the eldest of nine children born in Brady, TX on January 2, 1921. He parents, Juan and Teresa moved the family to Arizona at the beginning of the Great Depression, arriving first in Higley, AZ, and eventually settling in Waddell where the family worked as farmworkers for Boswell Farms.

Domingo enlisted in the US Army at the beginning of World War II and served in Japan. After the war, Domingo returned to Waddell, married, and continued working as a farmworker throughout the west valley (Waddell, Litchfield Park, Marionette – now known as Sun City and Sun City West, and Youngtown.) With Del Webb establishing Sun City, Domingo pursued another form of work and established his own mechanic shop/gas station in Avondale. In 1961 he moved his family to Avondale as well.

After a few years of struggling to keep up with the nation’s oil issues and self-service gas stations, Domingo went to work for the Litchfield Elementary School District until he retired in 1998. After retirement, being the hard-working person that he was, he continued seeking part-time opportunities until his hearing loss made it difficult to work.

Domingo found it important to keep up with current events and news and was an avid reader of The Arizona Republic (morning paper) and The Phoenix Gazette which was an evening edition of major news in Phoenix.

Domingo also enjoyed listening to baseball games on the radio as that’s what he was accustomed to before television. Even with his hearing loss, and with Closed Caption technology, he rarely missed a Diamondback’s game on TV.

Domingo is survived by his wife of almost 71 years, Mary Moya Gutierrez; four daughters and one son, Esther Carnero (John) of Tolleson, AZ, Lillian Kessel (David) of Cornville, AZ, Patricia Lorenz-Ray of Avondale, AZ, Debra Pamplin (Peter) of Atlanta, GA, and Domingo (Jay) Gutierrez (Joan) of Glendale, AZ; ten grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Celeya, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his oldest daughter, Josephine Bejarano; first grandson, Francisco Bejarano, Jr.; his parents; four brothers; and two sisters.

A visitation will be held at 10:00 am, with a rosary at 10:30 am, military honors and a funeral service at 11:00 am, Monday, August 5, 2019, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. Interment will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.

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