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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.

October 2020
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Patricia Dee Hernandez

Patricia Dee Hernandez, age 56, of Avondale, Arizona passed away on October 21, 2020 in Goodyear, Arizona. She was born October 22, 1963 to John Steele and Anna Jarrard in Drayton Plains, Michigan.

Patty Hernandez was a caring and loving mother to two sons. She was incredibly thoughtful and would always put others before herself. She would never think of herself first, and she was the most unselfish person that you could meet.

She is survived by her sons, Christopher Bidar and Andre Bidar; her sisters, Sharon Robbins and Terri Brown; and her brothers, Chuck Steele and Bob Steele. Patty is preceded in death by her parents, John Steele and Anna Jarrard.

Services are private at this time.

Leonardo Hurtado

Leonardo Hurtado, of Avondale, Arizona passed away on October 18, 2020 in Goodyear, Arizona. He was born on September 9, 1927 to Guillermo Perez and Maria de Jesus Salas in Turner, Kansas.

Leonardo worked as a machinist at the Wigwam Golf Course and resort for 23 years.

He is survived by his daughters, Belia Cruz (Lorenzo), and Mary Loper (Max); his sons, Antonio Hurtado, Manuel Hurtado, Roy Hurtado, Frank Hurtado and Bernardo Hurtado (Blanca). He is also survived by his fourteen grandchildren, twenty-four great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Leonardo is preceded in death by his wife, Manuela Roman Hurtado.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at St. John Vianney Church, 539 E La Pasada Blvd, Goodyear, AZ. Burial services were held at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 9925 W Thomas Rd, Avondale, AZ, following the funeral.

Jerry Ruth Lueck

Jerry Ruth Lueck, 80, passed away October 24, 2020.
Jerry Ruth was born October 15, 1940 in Crescent, Oklahoma to Doyle and Pauline Wilson.
A true angel on earth, Jerry Ruth dedicated her life to her family as a loving wife, the best Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother. She truly showed what it means to love unconditionally.
Jerry is survived by her 4 children: Ann (Mark) Knister, Nanci (Paul) Budge, Carl (Salena) Lueck, and Alan (Helen) Lueck; her siblings: Phyllis, Betty, Layton, and Rita, 12 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Albert, her parents, Doyle and Pauline, her brother and sister Doylene and Bo, and her grandson, AJ.
A private memorial will be held at Louis B. Hazelton Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Phoenix Children’s Hospital or Saint Mary’s Food Bank in her memory.

Wayne Michael Winners

Mr. Wayne Michael Winners of Buckeye, Arizona passed away on October 16, 2020 in Buckeye, Arizona. He was born on August 11, 1953 to Harry Wojtalewicz Winners and Janice Marie Norris in Berea, Ohio.

Wayne was a retired cement finisher. After he retired, he went on to participate in the Ribfest Competition with Porky & Beans in West Palm Beach, Florida. Wayne received several athletic awards for track, in hurdles, long jump, high jump, basketball, football.  He broke a school record in cross country. He loved NASCAR, baseball hats, Ohio professional sports and his many years of visiting the Cleveland Indians spring training camp in Goodyear, Arizona.

Wayne is survived by his sisters, Lorrie Warholic (Nee Winners,) her husband David (Tony), and Shellee Coant; and his brother, Gary W. Norris. Wayne is preceded in death by his parents, Harry Wojtalewicz Winners and Janice Marie Norris; and his grandparents, Harold R. and Margaret M. Jones. He is also survived by his nieces April Marie Norris, Lori Firenze, Ashley Warholic Grasinger husband Troy, nephew to David Warholic II, great uncle to Sierra Norris, Reid and Ryker Warholic, Gianna Firenze;  Wayne is also survived by his unforgettable classmates and his loving close friends that continued to stay in touch.

Services are private at this time.

Lucretia Lou Nalan Gourley

Lucretia Lou Nalan Gourley passed away on October 15th, 2020 in hospice care in the comfort of her own home in Goodyear, Arizona. Born January 18, 1933 in Mason City, Iowa she was the youngest of eight children born to John Patrick Nalan and Marguerite Lucretia Helm.

Lucretia was known by most people as Cretia. She graduated from Mason City High School in May of 1951 and married Philip Leon Gourley in December of that year. Together they had three sons: Chris Leon Gourley born in 1953, Gregg Elry Gourley born in 1956, and Brett John Gourley born in 1959.

Cretia’s husband, Phil, was in the Air Force, so the family moved every few years to a new home and formed new friendships. They lived in Anchorage, Alaska; St. Paul, Minnesota; Boone, Iowa; Topeka, Kansas; Omaha, Nebraska; and enjoyed a six-year stint on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. After retiring from the Air Force, the family returned to Iowa, settling in Ames in 1973. In 1979, Phil and Cretia moved to Yuma, Arizona. During their years in Yuma, Cretia coordinated recreational athletics for Department of Defense personnel at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. From 1995 to 2003, Cretia and Phil spent several months of the year on the road, traveling across the US in their RV. They moved to Goodyear, Arizona in 2004.

Cretia loved playing cards and bingo, working puzzles, traveling across North America, and teasing you. One of the things she enjoyed most was beating you in cribbage. She won the Gourley Cribbage Tournament in 1993 and 2000. In Hawaii she took up ceramics and while in Yuma, she took up the hobby of stamping and card-making. Later, in Goodyear, she transferred her stamping and card-making skills into making scrapbooks. From 2004 to 2020, she lived in the Pebblecreek Resort Community in Goodyear where she was active in many of the social and recreational opportunities offered there.

Cretia was preceded in death by her husband, Phil, in 2004, and her son, Gregg, in 2018; her parents and her seven siblings and their spouses. Her siblings included Ruth (John Dorsey, Thomas Webb), Merilayne (Milton Ferrier, Melvin Muth), John “Bud” Nalan, Clayton “Squirt” (Pauline) Nalan, Valoyce (Walt Cooper), Jerry Nalan, and Norvard “Snip” Nalan.

Cretia is survived by sons Chris and Brett; Chris’s wife Kathy and Gregg’s widow Mary Ann Lang; Kimberly Hanley; grandchildren Jonathan and Ryan Gourley and Brooke Hanley. She is also survived by two of her sisters-in-law: Barbara Nalan and Verna Gourley as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

The time of services has yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers Cretia desired to have donations made to:

Cancer Research Institute, Inc. 29 Broadway Floor 4 New York, NY 10006-3111

Diego J. Gettig

Diego J. Gettig, age 79 of Avondale, Arizona passed away on October 11, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona. He was born on January 15, 1941 in Toledo, Ohio.

He served in the United States Navy from August of 1959 to August of 1965. Diego was a man who lived by his faith with a strong compassion for others. He was dedicated to his faith, family and country. All those who crossed his path became extended friends and family. Diego was an amazing friend to have in your corner. He was supportive and available whenever you needed him. He is best remembered for his wit and ability to make people laugh. Diego’s sense of humor was unparalleled; he was a man who loved to laugh. No one was exempt from his wit and sarcasm.

When the joking was done, he was a loyal friend and partner. He loved his “kids” starting with Negrita (black lab), Tequila, Limon, Sal, and Rusty (cockatiels) and his Grey Goose. He was full of life and touched more people than he will ever know. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Diego is survived by his spouse, Debbie; and his sisters, Sally Gunner (Jerry), Jeanne McLaughlin(Robert), and many nieces and nephews as well as his Godson, William Montoya.

A visitation will be held at 1:00PM on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 South Litchfield Road in Goodyear, Arizona. Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, November 6th at 10:30am at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 13720 West Thomas Road in Avondale, Arizona. Burial services will be held at a later date at St. John/St. Joseph Cemetery in Hammond, Indiana.

The family suggests that donations be made to Sage Hospice of Scottsdale, Arizona, Southwest Lending Closet of Avondale, Arizona or the American Cancer Society.

Anne Sweeney

Iris Jean Anne Sweeney

Anne Sweeney of Goodyear, Arizona went to her eternal rest on Friday, October 16th, while surrounded by her husband and children.

On May 28th, 1937, Anne was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas to Walker Curtner and Ruby Burrow. In 1954, she met and married the love of her life, William “Bill” Sweeney. Together they filled their home with the love of many children.

Anne had a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. One would never know what sort of thing she would do next. This spontaneity led her to greatness. She and Bill were Awarded the Great American Family Award, presented by Nancy Reagan in 1984. Anne was further honored at the America’s Awards in 1993.

As a wife of a US Marine, Anne enjoyed living and traveling across the globe. Her favorite place was the Philippines, where she served the children of Olongapo by starting a soup dinner for them. This eventually led to her founding The International Children’s Advocate and the Niños Pagasa School in Olangapo for children with disabilities. There she met her dearest friend Ariceli “Celi” Menor, who continues the work that Anne began.

Anne was preceded in death by her infant son, William Sweeney, and her brother, Thomas Hinchcliff. She is survived by her husband William and grandchildren Octavia and Quincy Jackson, of the home; her children, Timothy, Stephen, Kathleen, Bridget, Daniel, Andrew, Manon, Ian, Michael, and Saretta; twenty-six grandchildren; and great-grandchildren “. . . as innumerable as the stars”.

Services will be held at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield RD, Goodyear, AZ at 2:00PM.

Memorials can be sent to International Children’s Advocate, Inc. c/o Ariceli Menor, Zone 13, Mulawin Lane, Old Cabalan, Olongapo City, Philippines, 2200.

Robert R. Benkowsky Jr.

Former Illinois resident Robert R. Benkowsky Jr., 63, passed away on October 15, 2020, in Phoenix, AZ. Robert or ‘Bob’ was born on December 24, 1956 in Chicago, IL to Robert and Valerie (Surak) Benkowsky. Robert married Kathleen A. Noruk in 1976. They raised three sons, Robert G., Andrew, and Daniel. Bob moved to Arizona in 2010 with his sons, after Kathleen passed away.

Bob was an honest, loyal and selfless man who was a mentor to many throughout his life. He coached youth sports, including all three of his sons’ baseball and basketball teams from 1984-2000 at Portage Park, in Chicago, IL. Bob was also an entrepreneur and founded multiple businesses including Trudoor, LLC, in Phoenix, AZ, with his three sons. He was known for his strong work ethic, perseverance, and integrity as a businessman.

Bob had a passion for sports including golf and baseball and the Chicago Cubs. He and his three sons took a trip of a lifetime back to their hometown in 2016 to watch the Cubs win their first World Series championship in over a century. He was also an avid music lover and played the electric guitar. Bob was a dog lover and proud owner of several Border Collies. He was known for his kind and compassionate spirit.

Bob was preceded in death by his father, Robert, his mother, Valerie, and his beloved wife, Kathleen. He is survived by his three children, Bobby (Kristen), Andy, and Dan (Gigi), his sister Gail Sullivan, his brother Mark, his grandchildren Mina and Eli, and several nieces, and nephews.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Rd. in Goodyear, AZ at 6:00PM. Funeral services will be held at 9:30AM on Friday, October 30, 2020 at the same location.

Dean Francis Kennedy

Dean Francis Kennedy, age 55, of Chandler, Arizona passed away on October 12, 2020.

Dean was born on October 15, 1964 in Yuma, Arizona. He graduated from Maryvale High school and NAU, and had a long career as a C.P.A.

Dean loved his Arizona Cardinals and had been a season ticket holder since they came to Arizona. He also enjoyed tailgating, hiking, golfing and gambling. Dean loved animals and generously donated to animal shelters and rescue organizations.

He is survived by his mother, Janet Haning of Peoria, his father Ron Sr. (Peggy) of Avondale, his sister Maureen Miller (Boyd) of Colorado Springs, and his brother Ron Jr. (Melinda) of Litchfield Park and his beloved cat Garrett. He is also survived by his niece Savannah, nephews Kegan, Brandon, Jaron and several cousins.

Dean will be missed by his loving family and his many friends.

Rest in eternal peace Dean. We love you.

No services pending. Possible memorial celebration at a later date.

Donna Lee (King) Walter

Donna Lee (King) Walter was called to be with her Lord and Savior on October 8, 2020.

She was born to John B. King and Marie B “Mabelle” (Amen) King on January 9, 1934 in Hastings, Nebraska. She was the youngest of four daughters.

On June 17, 1956 she married the love of her life, The Rev. Norman E Walter, and soon there after they traveled to Taipei, Taiwan to be missionaries with the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. They were blessed with three children, Craig, Sandra, and Mark, all born in Taiwan. Norman’s ministry moved them quite often as he served various Synodical and parish pastoral positions on the East coast, West coast, Midwest, and Taiwan. Donna often said to her husband, “Honey, when you and God decide where you are to serve next, just let me know so I can start packing.”

Donna graduated from Benson High School, Omaha, NE in 1952 and then from Colorado Women’s College, Denver CO in 1954 where she studied Music, Drama and Dance. In both High School and College she was very active in choirs, ensembles, and as a soloist. One of her favorite solos was “Let All My Life Be Music.” Much of her adult life was involved in directing both adult and children’s choirs and programs. Her greatest joy was working with children teaching them to sing praises and love to Jesus while also having fun.

Donna was a member of Delta Psi Omega National Dramatic Fraternity. She was also an avid equestrian for many years, and a member of the National Bit and Spur Club. Her love of horses (and dogs) was unwavering throughout her life. After her Lord and her family, Donna’s greatest loves were music and God’s wonderful animal kingdom.

Donna is survived by her children, Craig (Ellen), Sandy (Steve), Mark (Marcia), eight grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, and her sister, Patricia Conrad.

The Donna Lee Walter “Celebration of God’s Child” memorial service will take place at the Fountain of Life Lutheran Church, Sun City, AZ on October 24, 2020 at 11:00am.

Donations in Donna Lee Walter’s memory can be made payable to the Concordia Seminary or The Lutheran Hour. If mailing, please send checks to 17694 W Cottonwood Ln, Goodyear AZ, in care of Mark Walter.

James A. Kennemore

James A. Kennemore, age 77, of Goodyear, Arizona passed away in Mendocino County, California on October 8, 2020. He was born on March 10, 1943 to Robert S and Mary Jo Kennemore in Birmingham, Alabama.

For service information please contact the family.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, face-coverings will be required and social distancing will be enforced per local government guidelines.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in James’ name to Martin C Kauffman 100 Club of Alameda County https://www.100clubalamedacounty.org/page-18110

Sherry Kay Hoel

Sherry Kay (Lackey) Hoel, age 58, of Buckeye, Arizona. She passed away on October 6th, 2020. Sherry was born May 19th, 1962 at the Buckeye Maternity Home in Buckeye, Arizona. Sherry had a twin brother, Terry, who passed at age 3.

She had her Master’s degree in special education. She was a teacher in the Buckeye/Phoenix area for many years. Her compassion for the students she taught was amazing. She stayed in contact with many of her students from years past, they all loved her. Sherry became disabled a few years ago, but found a new passion in her crafting projects.

She is survived by her sister, Marcia Rightnour; 2 nieces, Megan Rodriguez and Alicia Cutrona; 6 great-nieces and nephews; Makena Cutrona, Ariah Rodriguez, Adrian Rodriguez, Joseph Rodriguez, Alivia Cutrona and Isabella Rodriguez. Sherry was never blessed with children. Her nieces and nephews were her world.

A graveside service will be held October 16th, 2020 at Louis B. Hazelton Cemetery at 10:00AM.

Rose Brown

Rose Brown was born October 20, 1924 and passed into glory on October 11, 2020. She was born in Phoenix, Arizona and was one of seven siblings raised on the family farm in Goodyear.

During her years growing up she was successful in school and sports. She married Carl Brown and raised their five children, Collis, Phil, Danny, Penny and Greg, on the same family farm she was raised. Rose was a special part of the Agua Fria High School administrative team from 1967 – 1988. She served Mr. Porter and Mr. Fulton and all the student body that came into the office each day. She was greatly loved, respected, and remembered even to this day. Rose also was highly active in her faith. She sang in the choir at the Avondale Methodist Church and served as a home bible study host and friend for the past thirty-five years at Skyway Church in Goodyear.

She is survived by her sister June McNeil, son, Dan Brown and wife Marie, daughter Penny Shultz and husband Erik, and son Greg Brown and wife Dawn. In all, her family consisted of five children, seven grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren and three great, great grandchildren. She lived an active life of faith in her Lord Jesus Christ and now rests in his merciful hands.

A visitation will be held on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at Skyway Church of the West Valley, 14900 W Van Buren St, Goodyear, AZ 85338 at 10:00AM with funeral services to follow at 10:30AM. Burial services will be held at West Resthaven Park Cemetery, 6450 West Northern Ave. Glendale, Arizona 85301 following the funeral services at 1:30PM.

Wallace Nuanez

Wallace Nuanez, age 73, of Litchfield Park, Arizona passed away on October 9, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. He was born on October 27, 1946 to John and Angelina Nuanez in Phoenix, Arizona.

One of Wallace’s favorite hobbies was golf. If he wasn’t playing in a tournament he was hitting balls at the driving range or at home watching the golf channel. He also loved to travel and was able to do so with friends and family. Oftentimes he’d pack his clubs so he could play on the different courses around the country. 

He is survived by his wife, Gloria Nuanez; his daughters, Venessa Nuanez, Celeste Herrera, and daughter-in-law Leonor Nuanez; his son Wallace R. Nuanez and son-in-law, Manuel Herrera; his sister, Gloria Magner; his brother, John Nuanez as well as his eight grandchildren. Wallace is preceded in death by his parents, John and Angelina Nuanez.

A visitation will be held on Friday, October 16, 2020 from 1:00PM to 4:00PM at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road in Goodyear, Arizona 85338. Burial services will be held at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery at a later date. 

Condolences for the family can be left at

Laura Elda Solis

Laura Elda Solis, age 71, of Avondale, Arizona passed away on September 30, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. She was born on November 3, 1948 to Rafael Sierras and Dolores Rodriguez in Hermosillo, Sonora.

Laura loved to travel, cook, and give good advice. She designed her own home in Rocky Point and Caborca, Sonora, Mexico. Laura was a member of St. John Vianney Church, and was a great, independent handy-woman and loved to design her own clothes.

She is survived by her spouse, Honorio M. Solis; her daughters, Elda G. Solis and Adriana A. Solis; her sons, Ricardo H. Solis and Miguel A. Solis; her sister, Maria Esperanza Fimbres; her brothers, Rafael Sierras, Hector Sierras, and Francisco Fimbres, as well as her thirteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Laura is preceded in death by her parents, Dolores Rodriguez and Rafael Sierras; and her brothers, Marcos Sergio Sierras, Jesus Fimbres, and Manuel Fimbres.

A visitation will be held from 6:00PM to 9:00PM on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 South Litchfield Road in Goodyear, Arizona 85338. A funeral service will be held at 10:00AM on Thursday, October 8, 2020 at St. John Vianney Church, 539 East La Pasada Blvd. in Goodyear, Arizona 85338. Burial services are to be held at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 9925 W. Thomas Rd. in Avondale, Arizona 85392.

Paul Franklin Mack

Mr. Paul Franklin Mack, 86 of Goodyear, Arizona died September 28, 2020 in Goodyear, Arizona. He was born August 18, 1934, to Franklin Mack and Lorraine Vigeant Mack in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Paul was an avid lover of golf and cruises.

He is survived by his spouse Mary Mack; his daughters Carla Melnyk and Paula Mack; his sister Michelle La Perle; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service to be determined at a future date.

Amelita Marcelino

Amelita Marcelino, age 82, of Goodyear, Arizona passed away on September 29, 2020 in Goodyear, Arizona. She was born on June 2, 1938 to Jose Tiangco and Rosario Reyes in Bataan, Phillipines.

A visitation will be held on Sunday, October 4, 2020 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 South Litchfield Rd. in Goodyear, Arizona at 1:00PM.

Terry Bruno

Mrs. Terry Bruno, age 76, of Colorado Springs, Colorado passed away on September 25, 2020 in Goodyear, Arizona. She was born on December 23, 1943 to Drexel Sheahan and Elizabeth Pfister in Chicago, Illinois.

Terry was the owner of Bruno’s Party Time Rentals for over 30 years. She was an artist of different medias, she loved to paint and dance, she enjoyed square dancing, round and ballroom dancing, and she was also fond of traveling.

She is survived by her daughters, Karen Miller, and Tracy Cologne; her brother, Tim Sheahan and her two grandchildren, Max and Garrett Cologne. Terry is preceded in death by her husband, Richard N. Bruno; her son, Erik Bruno; and her parents, Drexel and Elizabeth Sheahan.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that a donation be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in Terry’s name.

Services are private at this time.

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