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.

January 2020
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Mario Rochin

Mario Rochin of Avondale, AZ died January 16, 2020, in Phoenix, AZ. He was born January 4, 1925, in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico to Hector Clemente Rochin and Librada Loreto. He graduated from Douglas High School where his athletic ability earned him a role on the All-State High School football roster as well as a scholarship to Texas Western University. He served as a Technical Specialist in the US Army from 1943 – 1946 achieving the rank of Sergeant TEC 4 and was a veteran of the Asiatic Pacific military campaign during WWII.

There is nothing that Mario couldn’t do. He graduated from the University of Texas-El Paso. He was an accomplished Civil Engineer and worked for Phelps Dodge for over 45 years. Blessed with athletic ability he was a boxer and played basketball, baseball, and football. He was an avid fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He loved to travel and take pictures of the many places he visited. He liked to read and preferred westerns. He was a great dancer – cumbias was his favorite. He took pleasure in the simple things of life and appreciated good soup, chocolate cake with canned milk on it and canned peaches. He enjoyed tending to his lemon and orange trees.  He especially loved spending time with his family. He was a devoted Christian man who cherished his wife, his children, and all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Mario is survived by his wife, Mary; daughters, Rosa Moreno (Rocky) , Olga Rodriguez (Albert), Libby Helm (Randy), and Carmen Dunn; sons, Mario Rochin (Yolanda), Michael Rochin, Carlos Rochin (Lisa), Louis Matamoros (Edna), David Matamoros (Beverly), Joseph Matamoros, and Javier Matamoros; sister, Rosita Rochin; brother, Hector Rochin; 41 grandchildren; and 34 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Librada and Hector Rochin; and his brother, Carlos.

A visitation will be held from 5:00 – 8:00 pm with a rosary at 7:00 pm, Wednesday, January 22, 2020, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. A funeral mass will be at 10:00 am on Thursday, January 23, 2020, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 539 E La Pasada Blvd, Goodyear, AZ 85338. Burial will take place at 12:30 pm, Thursday, January 23, 2020, at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85024.  Condolences for the family may be left below.

Jesus Needed an Engineer

I believe heaven is perfect. We might ask ourselves if it is perfect and we enjoy earthly careers and skills would god allow us to continue them in heaven if that is what his souls wanted?

All miners have mining in their blood. Could miners who have passed away, ask God for a mine to continue their passion? I believe so. I have imagined this fictional story, or can we say it is possible?

Miners in heaven get to do what they are passionate about, mine. They started a special project and needed an Engineer. Not just any Engineer, but the best.

They went to our Lord and asked him for help. They said Lord we need the best engineer. The Lord turned to Peter who is the pearly gates keeper and asked him, “Peter, where is our Engineer?” The Lord said, “You know, the one we have been saving for an important project. The one who is the Godly man, he is good, loves all people unconditionally, he keeps my commands, he is a leader that shows the rest of us how to be a gentleman, always bringing joy to others. You know the one who preaches my name all day and does so without saying a word.”

Peter responded, “Lord we have not called him home yet.” Jesus said, “Bring my beloved Mario Rochin home. Heaven needs an Engineer.”

 

Harvey Eugene Quackenbush, Jr.

Harvey Eugene Quackenbush, Jr., age 88, died January 10, 2020, in Glendale, AZ. He was born August 16, 1931, in Chagrin Falls, OH to Mildred Harriet (Bailey) and Harvey Eugene Quackenbush, Sr. He served in the US Air Force as a F-104 Starfighter pilot achieving the rank of Major. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Harvey flew 105 missions. He was the head of the Fighter Weapons School at Luke Air Force Base and was presented German flight wings for his help in training German Air Force pilots. Harvey is survived by his daughter, Kelly Weltzin; sons, Harvey, Mike, and Robert Quackenbush, and Mike Stinson; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be held at 9:00 am followed by a funeral service at 10:00 am, Tuesday, January 21, 2020, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. Burial will follow at West Resthaven Park Cemetery. A reception will be held from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn, 11460 W. Hilton Way, Avondale, AZ 85323. Condolences for the family may be left below.

William Joseph McCormac

William J. McCormac, age 75 of Phoenix, AZ died January 11, 2020 in Phoenix, AZ. He was born January 22, 1944 in Philadelphia, PA to William and Catherine (McGuigah) McCormac. Bill graduated from North Catholic High School. He worked in the steel industry as a salesman for over forty years. He loved coaching youth soccer and basketball teams. He was an unwavering fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies. He enjoyed listening to Irish and country music. He liked to read about military history and visit war memorials. He was an amazing husband and grandfather.

Bill is survived by his wife, Marina J. McCormac; step-sons, Thomas Calpin and his wife Tiffany, and Scott Calpin; grandchildren, Maryn, and Tessa; nephews, Dan Grisan and his wife, Sandy, Jeff Grisan, wife Nichole, and children, Nicholas, Amanda, and Shane, Richard Grisan, wife Maureen, and children, Richard, Jack, and Sean; nieces, Jen Chandler, husband Jason, and children Cassidy and Kendall, Kim Lynch, husband Michael, and children Olivia and Michael John; and brothers-in-law; Dan Sickles and his son, Ned. He was preceded in death by his father, William; mother, Catherine; sister; and first wife, Marie. The family suggests that donations be made to Hospice of the West ValleyCondolences for the family may be left below.

Sofia Herrera Garza

Sofia Herrera Garza, age 93 of Avondale, AZ died January 8, 2020, in Phoenix, AZ. She was born September 29, 1926, in Yoakum, TX to Margarito Herrera and Andrea Solis. On May 11, 1947, Sofia married the love of her life, military man, Benito G. Garza. The couple moved to Avondale, AZ in 1959. Sofia thrived in Avondale where she made many lifelong friends and helped to build a strong community. Her hobbies included sewing, gardening, and shopping. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother.

Sofia is survived by her daughters, Vickie Vizzerra (Carlos), Juanita Cruz (Santiago), Norma Castillo (Charlie), and Nilda Villa (Fernando); son, Ray Garza (Delia); 16 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Margarito and Andrea Herrera; and her husband, Benito Garza.

A visitation will be held at 9:30 am followed by a rosary at 10:00 am and a funeral mass at 10:30 am, Thursday, January 16, 2020, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 539 E. La Pasada Blvd., Goodyear, AZ 85338. The funeral cortege will follow in procession to Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 10045 W. Thomas Road, Avondale, AZ 85392.  Condolences for the family may be left below.

Roger Wayne Nelson

Roger Wayne Nelson, age 88 of Goodyear, AZ died January 11, 2020, in Goodyear, AZ. He was born April 7, 1931, in Morris, IL to Willard and Esther (Moe) Nelson. He graduated from Newark High School in 1949. Roger served in the US Air Force Reserve from 1949-1951 before becoming active duty on March 10, 1951 – June 7, 1952. He was a veteran of the Korean War and worked as a mechanic on B36 Airplanes, achieving the rank of Airman Second Class. He married his high school sweetheart, Mildred Taylor in November 1952.

Roger worked as an engineer for Caterpillar for 37 years, often traveling to Japan, Canada, and various US states to discover the specific needs of the different areas so that production processes could be streamlined.   He was a member of the Plano First Lutheran Church in Plano, IL and the Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church in Aurora, IL.

Upon his retirement in 1995, Roger and Mildred moved to the PebbleCreek Community in Goodyear, AZ. They soon became fast friends with their neighbors, forming a group that they titled, “Da Hoods”, complete with their own flag and logo. Roger enjoyed playing golf and attending various community events, including 24 years of performances of his wife’s chorus, The PebbleCreek Singers. He attended the Church of Joy in Glendale, AZ.

Roger loved to travel to see his children and grandchildren no matter where they lived in the world. He traveled to Guam, Hawaii, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, France, and Belgium. He was always eager to visit military historical sites wherever he visited. He was honored to have taken two Tiger Cruises while his son was on active duty in the US Navy. He especially cherished his trip to Stavanger, Norway, his ancestral homeland.   Along the way, Roger collected military hats. He loved to display them as reminders of his adventures.

Roger was extremely proud of his children, grandchildren, and their careers. He was a wonderful and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who will be deeply missed. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mildred (Taylor) Nelson; daughter, Vicky (Nelson) Moore and her husband, Mark; son, Roger Wayne Nelson II and his wife, Karen; four grandchildren, Kelly (Moore) Schubert and her husband, Jens, Brandon Moore and his wife, Abby, Ashley Nelson, and Christopher Nelson; and four great-grandchildren, Eric Schubert, Mallory Moore, Carson Moore, and Silas Moore. He was preceded in death by his parents, Willard and Esther Nelson; brothers, Lloyd Nelson, Stanley Nelson, and Willard (Bill) Nelson, Jr.

A visitation will be held from 10:00 am followed by a funeral service at 12:00 pm, Saturday, January 25, 2020, at Gabel-Dunn Funeral Home, 102 S. Johnson Street, Newark, IL 60541. Burial will follow at Millington Cemetery in Millington, IL.  Condolences for the family may be left  Condolences for the family may be left below.

Milagros Agbulos

Milagros Agbulos, age 88 of Avondale, AZ died January 13, 2020, in Phoenix, AZ. She was born May 28, 1931, in Manila, Philippines to Erasmo Maño and Juana Legaspi. As a young woman, Milagros led an adventurous life as a spy against the Japanese who had invaded the Philippines. She met her husband, a Lieutenant in the US Navy at a party during the war and he refused to leave her. They lived in Manila after the war.

Milagros came to the United States in 1985 and became a US Citizen in 1991. She lived in Jersey City, NJ until the death of her husband in 2008, then moved to Arizona to be with her daughter. Independent and strong-willed, Milagros took over the household. She was an excellent homemaker and cook and loved to be around her family, especially her grandchildren. She was very religious and always attended church at St. Thomas Aquinas every Sunday.

Milagros is survived by her daughter, Priscilla Chesler; sons, Manuel, Rolando, Wilbert, and Enrico Agbulos; 17 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. A funeral mass will be held at 10:30 am, Thursday, January 16, 2020, at St. Thomas Aquinas, 13720 W. Thomas Rd, Avondale, AZ 85392. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society, https://donate3.cancer.org. Condolences for the family may be left below.

Maya Helen Caya

Maya Helen Caya, age 28 of Goodyear, AZ died January 9, 2020, in Phoenix, AZ. She was born February 13, 1991, in Phoenix, AZ. A visitation and funeral service will be held at 1:00 pm, Thursday, January 16, 2020, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. Condolences for the family may be left below.

Betty Fear

Betty Fear, lived a long and happy life always following her passions and her heart. She went to be with the lord on November 20, 2019, in Goodyear, AZ. She was born October 8, 1940, in Muskegon, MI to Howard and Pearl Kevern. Betty grew up around horses and loved assisting her father as he trained them for shows and various competitions. She also enjoyed competing and showing herself in the local horse shows and rodeos. She was also a member of the local 4H club and enjoyed the many projects that she was involved in.   Independent and determined, she enjoyed her career as an accountant for many years and really had a head for numbers; she especially loved the challenge of forensic accounting.

Betty had a cheerful, energetic personality, loved to laugh, and loved the sun, that is why she chose to make Arizona her home. She was always up for an adventure, especially if it was with one of her life-long friends, Jackie, Marianne, Caroline, or Margie. She had a passion for southwestern art and loved to attend the art shows all around Arizona.

Betty is survived by her daughter, Deanna Merkatz; son, Joe Fear; brothers, Rick and Ron Kevern; and seven grandchildren, Kendall, Kenzie, Noah, Emma, Amanda, Anabelle, and Shelby. She was preceded in death by her parents, Howard and Pearl Kevern, and brother Jim Kevern. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that you donate to your local horse rescue or to www.alz.org. Condolences for the family may be left below.

Patricia L. Modderman

Patricia L. Modderman, “Patti”, was born November 10, 1940, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada to Casey and Patricia Bonn. She was joined by the birth of her brothers, Terry and Richard, when she was six years old and they moved to Vancouver, BC where she started first grade. A few years later the family moved to Portland, Oregon and became naturalized citizens. She was later joined by her sisters, JoAnn and Janice. Patti attended elementary school in the Portland area and graduated from Saint Mary’s Academy in 1958. After the birth of her daughters, Margie and Teena, she started with Safeway Stores in Portland in the purchasing department, typing purchase orders. After the birth of her son, Richard, she continued her career in the advertising department. In 1972 she met Dave Modderman. They were married in 1973 and moved to Fremont, California where she continued her career while raising a blended family of five children which included John and Stacey, all teenagers. She retired in 1999 as the Director of Inventory Management of the San Francisco Safeway Division.

Patti and Dave retired to Rancho Mirage, California and lived in Rancho Las Palmas Country Club where they were both involved with playing golf and Patti became the President of the Lady’s Golf Association. After five years there they decided to move closer to their children and moved to PebbleCreek Golf Resort. Patti passed away on January 2, 2020, from complications of surgery.
Patti is survived by her husband, Dave Modderman; daughters, Margie Brito, Teena Hildebrand, and Stacey Munsell; sons, John Modderman, and Richard Modderman; eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; brother, Terry Bonn; and sisters, JoAnn Taylor, and Janice Fisher.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Casey and Patricia Bonn; brothers, Richard Bonn, and Steve Bonn.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm, Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at the PebbleCreek Eagles Nest Ballroom, 3645 Clubhouse Dr, Goodyear, 85395. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the Agua Fria Foodbank by mail at Association of Arizona Food Banks, 340 E Coronado Road, Ste 400, Phoenix, AZ, 85004-1524 or online at http://www.azfoodbanks.org/index.php/donations/. Condolences for the family may be left below.

William John Johnsen

William John Johnsen, age 66 died December 27, 2019, in Goodyear, AZ. He was born October 1, 1953, in Rockville Center, NY, to Harold Johnsen and Anne Olsen. William was an all-around good guy. Will enjoyed a long career in the automotive industry, as a technician, most recently working for Honda. He loved to spend time relaxing outdoors. He enjoyed hanging out by the pool, spending time in Sedona, and traveling to Hawaii. He treasured his family including his five dogs and two guinea pigs.

William is survived by his wife, Jodi Johnsen of 30 years; brothers, Donald Johnsen, and Thomas Johnsen; sisters-in-law, Eddie Johnsen, Jennifer Green, DJ Johnsen; and brother-in-law, Steven Green. He was preceded in death by his brother, Gary Johnsen. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 25, 2020, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. Condolences for the family may be left at www.ThompsonFuneralChapel.com.Condolences for the family may be left below.

Jack Ray Porter

Jack Ray Porter, age 74 of Avondale, AZ died December 31, 2019, in Avondale, AZ. He was born August 30, 1945, in Sullivan, IN to Hubert and Betty (Jordan) Porter. Jack grew up in Oaktown, IN. He served in the U.S. Army achieving the rank of Sergeant. A wounded veteran of the Vietnam War, Jack was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for his valiant service.

Jack worked for the US Post Office for 31 years. He served as a deacon at The Church at Litchfield Park. An outdoorsman and gun enthusiast, he enjoyed hunting, camping with his friends, and weekend adventures with his neighbors. He was a wonderful husband and a great dad.

Jack is survived by his wife of 52 years, Sheila Porter; daughter, Kindra Porter; two sisters, Elizabeth Waggoner, and Janelle Waldroup; and brother Tom Porter. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, January 18, 2020, at The Church at Litchfield Park, 300 N Old Litchfield Rd, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340. Burial will be 10:30 am, Tuesday, January 21, 2020, at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85024. Condolences for the family may be left below.

Helen Rita Jimenez

Helen Rita Jimenez, age 72 of Buckeye, AZ died January 5, 2020, in Buckeye, AZ. She was born June 5, 1947, in Denver, CO to Richard Bargas and Virginia Chavez. She moved to Los Angeles at a young age and grew up working alongside her family in the fields as they followed the fruit harvest across California. Family was everything to Helen. She was never happier than when she was surrounded by her large family. She was the glue that kept everyone together. She loved going out to eat and shopping with her children and grandchildren. She especially liked being spoiled on her birthday. She delighted in being a jokester that kept everyone laughing.

Helen enjoyed handcrafts, beading, and sewing. She liked puzzles and enjoyed watching TV, especially Ghost Hunters, Ancient Aliens, and the cartoon network. She took great pleasure in lottery scratchers, even if she didn’t win. She enjoyed watching eagles soar in the sky and adored her dog, Blue.

Helen is survived by six daughters, three sons, 29 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. A visitation will be held at 9:00 am with a funeral to follow at 10:00 am, Friday, January 10, 2020, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. Burial will follow at Louis B. Hazelton Cemetery, 23100 W. Broadway Rd., Buckeye, AZ 85326. Condolences for the family may be left below.

Rickey “Rick” Lee Frendle

Rickey “Rick” Lee Frendle, 73, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on January 2, 2020, in Goodyear, AZ, after a long and courageous battle with Multiple Myeloma.

Rick was born in Wichita, KS, on August 31, 1946, to Daryl and Marguerite (Denner) Frendle. Rick grew up in Wichita with two brothers, Fred and Steve. He was a star athlete who attended Wichita North High School and went on to Friends University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. He later moved to Albuquerque, NM, where he lived the majority of his life and raised his two children with his loving and adored wife, Julie. He had a 35-year career with Medline Industries, providing hospitals and other health care facilities with medical and surgical products. Rick loved life and lived it to the fullest. He loved his family; being a husband, dad, and grandfather gave him great joy. He was an avid golfer, loved fine wine, and enjoyed traveling the world with Julie. He was best known for his consistently positive attitude, his quick wit, and his ability to make any situation fun. Rick never met a stranger, and everyone who knew Rick loved him. Rick and Julie recently moved from Albuquerque to Goodyear, AZ.

The latter 16 years of his life Rick became known as the ‘miracle man’ because of the determination and success with which he and Julie together battled Multiple Myeloma. Throughout his fight with cancer, he continued to put smiles on the faces around him and always amazed everyone with his continued positivity.

Rick is survived by his wife Julie Wesley Frendle, of Albuquerque, NM, and Goodyear, AZ; daughter Whitney Frendle of Dallas, TX; son Cody Frendle (Monica Unger) and grandchildren Attison and Claira of Denver, CO; brother Steve Frendle of Tampa, FL; and best friend of 50 years, Phil Parker. Rick was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Fred Frendle.

A memorial service will be held in Albuquerque, NM; date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made instead to Myeloma Crowd, a Crowdcare Foundation, PO Box 1286, Draper, UT 84020. Unfortunately, the software is designed for fundraising instead of memorials. Comments for the family may also be left here https://give.crowdcare.org/fightforrick.

Condolences for the family may be left below.

Rebecca June Miller

Rebecca June Miller, age 76 of Goodyear, AZ died January 2, 2020, in Sun City West. She was born June 23, 1943, in Milwaukee, WI to Ralph and Clara (Rosemeyer) Mitchell. Rebecca was generous and always willing to help others. She was a Red Cross volunteer. She loved quilting, sewing, and cooking. She was a wonderful mother and grandmother and the best wife.

Rebecca is survived by her loving husband, Roberto Longhi-Miller; daughters Denise Miller and Gina Miller-Hallman (Glenn); sons, Troy David Miller (Renee) and Roberto Miller, Jr. (Simona); sister, Louise Curler (Lance); brothers, Larry Mitchell (Rosemary), Richard Mitchell, Marvin Mitchell (Lori), John Mitchell (Nancy), Mike Mitchell (Brenda), and Tom Mitchell (Selma); five grandchildren, Rachele Morbiato, Giada Longhi Miller (Matteo), Riccardo Morbiato, Johnathan Longhi Miller, and Davide Morbiato; and sisters-in-law, Jan Mitchell and Doreen Mitchell. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Roger, Paul, and Bill Mitchell; sister, Nadine; and sister-in-law, Judy.

A visitation will be held at 1:00 pm followed by a funeral service at 2:00 pm, Thursday, January 9, 2020, at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338. Condolences for the family may be left below.

Sophie “Penny” Curran

Sophie “Penny” Curran, age 85 of Toms River, NJ died December 31, 2019 in Goodyear, AZ.  She was born October 18, 1934 in Jersey City, NJ to Simeon and Hariclia (Giolou) Rafalides.  Penny was a proud Greek Orthodox Christian.  Over the years she was involved in various organizations at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Jersey City, NJ including serving on the board, as a member of the Daughters of Penelope, The Philoptochos Society, and the Pontus Society where she was recently honored as one of five surviving founding members.  Penny spent her working career holding various positions and retired from Western Electric, in Kearny, NJ.  She enjoyed watching T.V., occasionally going to the casino with her beloved husband and spending time with family and friends.

Penny is survived by her husband, Frank Miller, daughter, Hariclia “Lea” Colatrella and son-in-law Michael Colatrella, and two grandchildren, Alixandra Paul Colatrella and Zachary Michael Colatrella.  She was preceded in death by her parents Simeon and Hariclia Rafalides; sister, Helen Rafalides; and brother, Paul Rafalides.

A visitation will be held from 2:00 – 6:00 pm on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at Greenville Memorial Home, 374 Danforth Avenue, Jersey City, NJ  07305.  A funeral service will be held at 10:30 am on Monday, January 13, 2020 at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 524 Summit Avenue, Jersey City, NJ  07306.  Burial will be at Arlington Cemetery, 748 Schuyler Avenue, Kearny, NJ  07032.  Condolences for the family may be left at http://www.thompsonfuneralchapel.com/obituary/sophie-penny-curran/.

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