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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. All comments are moderated and will be posted after review. Obituaries are updated Monday – Friday, 9am to 4pm.

August 2022
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Sandra Sumners

Ms. Sandra Sumners of Goodyear, Arizona passed away on August 22, 2022 at the age of 72. She was born May 22, 1950 in Detroit, Michigan to Joseph and Leona Busch.
Sandra was an amazing mother and grandmother. She was a caring person who wouldn’t think twice of helping someone.
Sandra is survived by her daughter, Tamara Lee Francis, sons, Todd Sumners, and Scott Sumners, daughter-in-law Michelle Schilling, son-in-law Rohan Francis, sister Lorraine Kozlowski, brother-in-law Joe Kozlowski, and grandchildren, Kenneth Demings and Isaiah Francis. She was preceded in death by her parents, Leona and Joseph Busch and granddaughter Briana Francis.

Karl Hunstiger

Mr. Karl Hunstiger of Phoenix, Arizona died August 20, 2022. He was born September 9, 1942 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Harry and Helen Hunstiger.

Karl moved to Phoenix in 1951. He attended West Phoenix High School. He was also a long time NBRSA Match Director of Sahuaro 1,000 yd Range in Tucson, Arizona.

Mr. Hunstiger is survived by his sister, Mary Bryant, grandchildren Ryan Keithahn and Jeremy Keithahn, and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Helen Hunstiger, brother, Joe E. Hunstiger, and his daughter, Chrys Keithahn.

Donna Stewart

Donna (Moore) Stewart, resident at The Oasis of Fellowship Square in Surprise, Arizona passed away peacefully in her sleep on August 25, 2022 at the age of 82 due to complications from a prolonged illness with Frontal/Temporal Dementia diagnosed in 2012.

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Donald M Stewart, of Surprise, Arizona and two sons, J Timothy Stewart (Lynn) of McCordsville, Indiana and Michael C Stewart (Katie) of Tucson, Arizona. She is also survived by one Grandchild, Kaeden Stewart of McCordsville, Indiana, along with extended family and dear friends.

Donna-Alice Moore was born in Bellows Falls, VT on June 10, 1940 but grew up in North Adams, Massachusetts. She attended college at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where she met her husband, Donald Stewart. They were married in North Adams, MA on June 10, 1962.

Donna was a teacher at heart and for over 40 years and across three states, children were blessed to learn from her contagious spirit and enthusiasm for school and life. She started her teaching career in Oberlin, Ohio where her husband was enrolled in seminary.

While her husband was serving a larger parish church in Merom, IN, their oldest son James Timothy was born in 1966. Her teaching career continued on in Towanda, IL while Donald was serving a church in Normal. Their lives took them to Fairborn, OH in 1969 as Donald became an organizing pastor for a local church and Donna began teaching within the Fairborn school system. Michael Charles, their second son, was born two years later in 1971.

Donna taught in Fairborn from 1969 until her retirement in 1999, teaching mostly First Grade at the former Palmer-South Elementary School. She was honored to have some of her first generation of students request her as a teacher for their own children. Working with children and enriching their lives was her passion and she enjoyed teaching all subjects but bringing Science to life to the classroom was a particular favorite. She routinely sought out vacant birds’ nests, praying mantises and other nature items to bring into her classroom to the delight of children.

She was a dedicated and creative classroom teacher whose legacy was sharing the joy for learning and preparing students to live productive and meaningful lives. Donna enjoyed teaching first grade for so many reasons but especially because she loved seeing the world open up to children as they learned to read. After Donna retired from teaching in OH she continued to volunteer in the Surprise, Arizona school system working with gifted students until unable to do so any longer in 2012.

Donna also assisted her husband by helping develop and maintain the Christian Education programs of the two churches he served the Dayton area of the Miami Presbytery: Cana Presbyterian Church of Fairborn, Ohio and Bath Presbyterian Church of Huber Heights, Ohio.

A people person, Donna enjoyed the company of others and bringing others together making friends wherever she went. She was the type of person one instinctively liked and who always had time for a kind word or a helping hand. Her beautiful smile, her cheerfulness and her helpfulness will be missed by all who knew her. And all who knew her are thankful to have had her in their lives.

She had requested that her brain be donated to the UCLA Brain Bank for FTD research, and that her body by cremated. A Memorial Service is being planned for sometime this fall at Bath Presbyterian Church of Huber Heights, Ohio, where her ashes are to be scattered.

Judith Lynn Glaeseman

Judith Lynn (nee Merz) Glaeseman born July 27, 1946

Climbed her last mountain on August 24, 2022

Aged 76 years

Judy passed away peacefully on August 24, 2022 after living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease for several years. Her three children and husband were by her side and amplified the  strength, love, compassion and grace that her family held at their core and leaned on whenever they needed fortification.

She joined her Mother Ivis and her Father Martin as well as her Aunt Wilma in the next realm where their pure love will be multiplied yet again.

Judy had a long and joyous life. She grew up in Hemlock, a small town in central Michigan where her dad was the single teacher at the one room schoolhouse she attended until she reached high school.  She was baptized and learned catechism at Zion Lutheran Church, which housed the school she attended. Much of her family life revolved around Zion, where her dad also played organ and her mom was deeply involved in community outreach. During the summers, the family would spend time on Lake Michigan with her large family of cousins, aunts, and uncles. A Merz family summer evening wouldn’t be complete without a neighborhood softball game on the field behind their house with her sister Joann and brothers Marty and Chuck.

She graduated from Concordia River Forrest College before moving to Flint, Michigan for her first teaching assignment in a Lutheran school where she met her friend Diane who quickly became her adventure buddy.  She and Diane became room mates and spent a summer exploring Europe. Much later in life, she would reveal to her father that while in Frankfurt, she and Diane had stayed out past curfew and their hostel had locked up for the night, leaving them to sleep on a park bench in a park in the middle of the city.

After rafting the Grand Canyon, she settled down in a teaching job in Denver, Colorado where she met her husband David at a Lutheran teacher’s convention. She and David dated for several years and married in 1975 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Denver, Colorado. The day after her wedding, which happened to be her birthday, she loaded up with family and moved to Worland, Wyoming to start her new life as Mrs. Judy Glaeseman. In 1977 she gave birth to her first and only daughter, Chandra Lynn. Two years later, in 1979, her first son David Mikkel came along and in 1983, she welcomed her youngest son, Kurt Carl into the family.

Shortly after Kurt was old enough, she returned to teaching at Worland Middle School teaching 6th grade. One of her favorite subjects has always been history and she loved teaching a section on Egyptian History that involved a detective like game called Mummy’s Closet.

Judy took good care of her family, friends and fellow parishioners and expressed her love through baking and cooking. The cookie jar was always full of homemade cookies and her pies rivaled those of professionals. Food preparation was often a family affair and everything from canning to decorating Christmas cookies often involved all her kids. Her spirit for adventure and exploration was sated by the many opportunities that the Big Horn Basin as well as greater Wyoming offered. She enjoyed cross-country skiing in the winter and hiking, water skiing and fishing in the summer. She loved Yellowstone and took as many trips as she could to see the constantly changing landscape.

Judy sat on the committees of Community Concerts as well as Young Authors and enjoyed bringing these tidbits of culture to her small Wyoming town.

When given the opportunity to return to a younger grade level, Judy moved to West Side Elementary where she taught 3rd grade until her retirement in 2008. She loved her students and loved teaching. Her kind, generous and warm heart made space for success and recognition as she validated decades of little experiences.

In her retirement, she helped to raise garlic and seeds at an eight acre hobby farm in Miltona, Minnesota while snowbirding to Arizona where her boys live. In Arizona she joined a Rock Hound club and adventured out into the desert and abandoned mines to find treasures.

She was thrilled when both of her boys married strong, independent, supportive and compassionate women, welcoming the opportunity to grow her family with the additions of Whitney and Katherine.

Judy was a kind and loving friend, teacher, wife and mama who taught love, acceptance, grace and humility, a legacy that will live on in her children.

All memorial or remembrances can be donated in Judy’s name to the Worland chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. https://www.facebook.com/SHPWorland/

Gene Leroy Lindquist

July 9th, 1958 – August 13th, 2022

Gene Leroy Lindquist was a loving and dedicated husband. A compassionate and understanding father, and an extremely caring goofball grandfather. Gene passed away in his home on August 13th, at the young age of 64. Born July 9th, 1958 Gene was born in Pendleton, OR to Melvin and Elaine Lindquist. The youngest son of three boys, Gene was raised in Hermiston, Oregon.

After graduating from Hermiston High School in 1978, Gene worked at Lamb Weston as a Production Line Mechanic till 1995 when he was hired at Hermiston Generating Plant as a Power Plant Control Room Operator. In 2010, Gene moved to Goodyear, Arizona where he worked for Salt River Project, Power Plant as a Control Room Operator.

From a very young age Gene’s father, Melvin, introduced him to fast cars and motorcycles. This was a passion that stayed with Gene his entire life and he shared these interests with his wife Barbara and daughter Meranda. They would routinely take motorcycle rides and trips with him all over Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. It was even a source of joy for him that he taught Meranda how to ride a motorcycle and loved going on rides with her. One of his dreams for many years was to own a Shelby Mustang which he ultimately achieved in 2016. Anyone who spoke to him about it would have seen the mischievous, almost childlike, smile he had when he drove it and talked about it. It was hard not to get caught in his excitement when he would rub his hands together and give you his mischievous grin. He loved spending time outdoors shooting rifles and handguns at Pepsi cans and dingers. A true man’s man, Gene was the type of guy who not only knew how to fix just about anything but found enjoyment in it. He was the guy you called if you needed to know how to fix something in the home, if you had car problems, or wanted to know what kind of stocks to invest in. His most endearing trait though was his calm demeanor. No matter how stressful or intense the situation was, Gene always had the ability to not only remain calm but keep those around him calm and bring about a sense of security that he had the situation handled.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, whom he was married 42 years; His mother Elaine, daughter Meranda, his four beautiful grandchildren Korvin, Aubriana, Lillian, and Lucas, and his oldest brother Jerry. He was preceded in death by his father Melvin and brother Randy.

Stephanie Morgan

Stephanie Lorraine Morgan of Tonopah, Arizona died August 4, 2022 at the age of 32. She was born August 17, 1989 in Phoenix, Arizona to David and Karon Morgan.

Stephanie Lorraine Morgan was a wonderful mother and life partner with a beautiful, unique soul. She grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and eventually took over the family business from her parents as a second-generation business owner. Stephanie was an extremely hard-working woman who was dedicated to her work and family. Her work ethic, dedication, as well as her attention to detail was second to none when it came to her work. Stephanie was very loved and respected in her community as well as by her customers, family, and close friends. Stephanie will most definitely be missed by many. A void in our hearts and community that can never be replaced as a daughter, mother, sister, and spouse has been taken from us. She will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Stephanie is survived by her spouse, Vincent C. Santagata, Jr., and her son, Vincent C. Santagata, III.

A funeral memorial will be held from 1 to 4pm at Thompson’s Funeral Chapel on Saturday August 27, 2022.

Gene Lindquist

Gene Lindquist of Goodyear, Arizona died August 13, 2022 at the age of 64. He was born July 9, 1958 in Pendleton, Oregon to Melvin Lindquist and Elaine Aldrich.

Services are private.

Javier Serrano Gonzales

On Monday, August 22, 2022, Javier Serrano Gonzales, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away at the age of 78 in Goodyear, Arizona.

Javier was born on October 6, 1943 in Jerez, Zacatecas Mexico. He was preceded in death by his parents Salvador Serrano and Maria Gonzales and his son, Xavier S. Serrano. Javier is survived by his children, Alicia Granados, Abraham Serrano, and Alexander Serrano.

Javier was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was a jack-of-all-trades, but his real passion was making boots and blown glass figures. Javier loved listening to Spanish music in his boot shop every day. He was known for his big smile and his nickname was “El Rico” since giving a helping hand was never an issue for him. Javier lived life to the fullest.

A visitation will be held from 6 to 9pm on Thursday, September 1 and from 1 to 4pm Friday, September 2 at Thompson Funeral Chapel. A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:30 to 4pm on Friday, September 2 at Thompson Funeral Chapel.

William “Billy” Jones III

William “Billy” Jones, III of Glendale, Arizona died August 21, 2022 at the age of 34. He was born October 21, 1987 in Phoenix, Arizona to William Jones, Jr. and Ernestina Mendez.
A visitation will be held Friday, September 2, from 6 to 9PM.
*A more detailed obituary will be posted when available.

Doris “Dora” Vasqez

Doris “Dora” Vasquez of Tolleson, Arizona died August 16, 2022 at the age of 63. She was born August 16, 2022 in Denver, Colorado to Juvito Hernandez and Loretta Arciga.

Services are private.

Lyda Evers

Ms. Lyda Evers of Goodyear, Arizona died August 20, 2022 at the age of 88. She was born June 12, 1934 in Hot Springs, Arkansas to Raymond Smith and Lytha Phillips.

Lyda spent her early childhood in Mayer, Arizona and graduated from Glendale High School. She was a veteran of the United States Army serving from October 1950 to September 1952. She married John “Hoot” Evers in September of 1952 and together they would raise three sons. For many years, she was an employee of the State of Arizona.

Lyda was predeceased by her brother, Leon Smith, sisters, Jenna Rae Spitler, and Zoan Gentner, and her son, Daniel Phillip Evers.

She leaves behind her husband of nearly 70 years, John “Hoot” Evers, sons, John H. (Diana) Evers and Gary R. (Kathy) Evers, and her sisters, Joyce Gibson and Linda Gomez. She also leaves behind eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of Phoenix at 11AM, Wednesday, August 31. A Celebration of Life is being planned for a later date.

Gregory Griffin

Gregory A. Griffin of Phoenix, Arizona died August 18, 2022 at the age of 71. He was born June 28, 1951 in Los Angeles, California to Rita Walsh.

Services are private.

William Young

William “Bill” Young of Maricopa, Arizona died August 16, 2022 at the age of 50. He was born October 23, 1971 in Whittier, California to William Young and Kimberly Dyson.

Bill had a kind, creative and artistic soul. He used a lot of his creativity in the kitchen making food.  He was a talented painter and had a love of the arts and music. He thirst for knowledge And was a jack of all trades. He loved to laugh and make others laugh with his quirky (odd , unique) sense of humor.  His crooked smile and laugh was infectious to those around him. He was the first to lend a hand or offer the shirt off his back. He was a great source of comfort for many. (I wish he would have let us gave him that in return)

Bill was also very charismatic, lighting up any room he entered.

He made friends easily and was devoted to those he knew and loved.  He had a passion for trying and learning new things. He was never afraid of a new project or cause and always jumped in with both feet.

Bill is survived by his daughter, Tessa Young, parents William and Kimberly Young, extended family and friends,.

Services are private.

Brenda Cooper

Mrs. Brenda Joy Cooper of Litchfield Park, Arizona passed away August 15, 2022 at the age of 67. She was born September 8, 1954 in Prattville, Alabama to Robert Johnson and Ella Queen Johnson.

She was preceded in death by her father, Robert Johnson, father-in-law, Melvin Cooper, Sr., and mother-in-law, Audrey Mae Cooper.

She leaves behind to cherish her memory, her husband of nearly 50 years, Melvin Cooper, Jr., mother, Ella Queen Johnson (age 93), daughters Shalonda Lee Kay (Robert), Yolonda Maria Wyatt (Jerry), and Lowanda Mae Cooper, her siblings Ola Brinkley (Lacy), Robert Johnson, Jr. (Lela), Bennie Johnson (Nancy), Walter Johnson (Rosalyn), Willie Frank Johnson (Essie), and William Johnson, and her grandchildren Rayana Rayshae Guess, Elise Marie Wyatt, and Caleb Jay Wyatt. She also leaves behind special niece  Tilane Jones, along with a host of nephews, nieces, extended family members, and friends.

Brenda was born and raised in Prattville, Alabama, and was always a fan of the Crimson Tide football team. She even chose “Alabama red” for her Toyota Corolla. In Prattville, Alabama she gained a love for pecans from the trees in her yard. She graduated from Autauga high school. She was well loved in her school days, so much so that when she went to her 50th high school reunion everybody wanted a chance to visit with her. In 1973, she married Melvin Cooper Jr. Together, they traveled the globe during his military career. They were stationed in England twice, New Mexico, Louisiana, Virginia, South Carolina, and Colorado where their eldest child was born, and Arizona. Brenda and Melvin decided to stay in Arizona when he retired from the military in 2003. Together, they continued to travel the world. They went to Germany, France, Hawaii, Scotland, and Greece, which was her favorite place. She also visited New York City several times with her sister and friends.

Brenda loved all her family. Every year, she would return to Alabama in April for her mother’s birthday. She always hosted a themed birthday party for her mother. She would dress up to match the theme, decorate, and coordinate the entire event. Brenda was known for her costumes. She had a costume for every occasion. For her first visit to the Mayo Clinic for cancer treatment, she dressed up as Wonder Woman. When she did her breast cancer half marathons, she wore pink tutus and was a ray of sunshine. She wanted to bring joy to everybody she met and every situation she found herself in.

Brenda enjoyed walking every day. She would take her dog Blackie (a chow) on walks and all the neighborhood kids would come running to see them because she kept Blackie’s hair cut like a lion’s mane. She enjoyed reading her Bible and anything by Maya Angelou. Her favorite movie was “Gone with the Wind,” but she also loved “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” and “The Christmas Story.” She even had a shirt that said, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” But most of all, Brenda loved to dance. She would dance to any music that was playing. She especially loved the songs “A House is Not a Home” by Luther Vandross, “Still Standing” by Elton John, and “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Brenda even took line dancing classes at her community center. While stationed in England, she created a dance along with some friends to “Boogie Woodie Bugle Boy” and performed it for the troops at a World War 2 memorial celebration. Brenda was always asking her family to go to the antique store or to Goodwill with her.

One of the ways Brenda showed her love for her family was with food. She was known for her amazing holiday dinners and especially her banana nut bread. But she was most known for being the one everybody would go to for advice. She always knew the right thing to say at the right time. If it was “Don’t give up,” or “You need to try something else,” it was always the right answer.

Brenda took great pride in her family.  Some of Brenda’s proudest moments were volunteering for 5 years with the Red Cross at Langley AFB, helping the spouses of those who were deployed during Desert Storm; and going through her cancer treatments with grace.

Brenda was humble, joyful, kind, and loving. She was the life of the party. She brought laughter and light to everybody she met. She was thankful for every day that she lived. Her sister Ola says, “If you met her, you had known her forever.” Her passing leaves a shadow of sadness in the hearts of all who knew her.

A memorial service honoring Mrs. Cooper will be held at 8am, Saturday, September 10 at Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear, Arizona.

John Fudge, Sr.

Mr. John Allen Fudge, Sr., of Buckeye, Arizona passed away on August 16, 2022 in Goodyear, Arizona at the age of 81. He was born April 20, 1941 to Neutie and Viola Fudge in Newark, New Jersey. He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Lee-Fudge, mother, Ophelia Viola Fudge, father, Neutie Fudge, Sr., brothers Gregory Fudge and Alonzo Fudge, and sisters Brenda Fudge and Barbara Jenkins.

Mr. Fudge was an educator for 35 years in the Newark Public School System. He loved imparting his knowledge into the young students. He shared his love for art by teaching and making it himself. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends.

Mr. Fudge is survived by his daughters, Cassandra Fudge-McClanahan and Adrienne Collier, son John Fudge, Jr., sisters, Gloria Fudge, Phyllis Fudge, Cynthia Fudge, Shirley Fudge-Mueller, and Debra Fudge-Hagan, and brothers Neutie Fudge, Alvin Fudge, and Richard Fudge. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Doris “Dora” Vasquez

Dora Vasquez of Tolleson, Arizona passed away August 16, 2022 at the age of 63. She was born April 6, 1959 in Denver, Colorado to Juvito Hernandez and Loretta Arciga.

A Celebration of Life is being planned for a later date.

Timothy Kenny

Timothy Kenny of Goodyear, Arizona died August 16, 20222 at the age of 76. He was born September 7, 1945 in Anaconda, Montana to Thomas Kenny and Margaret Kelly.

A visitation and funeral will be held Sunday, August 21 from 8am to 11am at Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear, Arizona.

*A more detailed obituary will posted when available.

Guadalupe Bedoya

Guadalupe “Lupe” Bedoya, of Avondale, Arizona, died August 10, 2022 at the age of 94. She was born March 12, 1928 in Del Valle, Texas to Fermin Murillo and Tomasa Rodrigues.

Lupe grew up in Texas before moving to Avondale. She learned to cook at a very young age from her Aunt Lorenza. The family would frequently travel to different states to work in the fields and orchards. Once, they traveled for 5 days by train from Texas to Michigan while Lupe’s mom was seven months pregnant. In 1944 thy moved to Coldwater, Arizona and in 1946 they moved to their home in Avondale, Arizona. As they grew up, Lupe and her sisters would watch movies at the theater located next to Snider’s Drug Store and baseball games at the local elementary school. Lupe met her husband, Raymond Bedoya, while he was working at the drug store. They fell in love and were married in 1952 at Saint Matthew’s Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Together, Lupe and Raymond raised four children. When their children were grown, the couple traveled the world and went on cruises.

Lupe was known for her cooking. She was always in the kitchen baking pies, cakes and breads. Every Christmas, she and Raymond would make tamales and invited everyone over to enjoy them. Lupe even made wedding cakes with fountains in them. Lupe’s garden was always amazing. She had a green thumb and could grow anything. She also enjoyed sewing. When her children were young, she would make her daughters and herself matching dresses. She could also knit and made blankets for the entire family. Another hobby of Lupe’s was breeding poodles. She loved her dogs, most recently Josie and Monique.

Lupe was a loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother and friend. She was always caring and giving and wanted to see others happy. Her passing leaves a shadow of sadness in her loved ones’ hearts; though we know she is in a better place.

Lupe was predeceased by her parents, Fermin and Tomasa Murillo, and brothers Tony, Gilbert, and Isidro Murillo.

She leaves behind her husband of 70 years, Bill Bedoya, children, Richard Bedoya, Diana Pompa, Carol Laborin, and Daniel Bedoya, and sisters Sarah Fierro and Bessie Lopez. She also leaves behind three grandchildren, Phillip Pompa, Marissa Pompa-Gulick, and Nicholas Pompa, and five great-grandchildren, Julian (12), Luke (7), Gavin (6), Isabella Marian (2), and Eliana Violet (2).

 

The services are as follows:

Tuesday, August 30, 2022
St. John Vianney Church
800 W Loma Linda Blvd
Goodyear, AZ 85338

Rosary – 10am to 10:30am
Mass – 10:30am to 11:30am

Celebration of Life
Noon to 3pm
Raul and Teresa’s
516 W Main St
Avondale, AZ 85323

Helen Smith

Helen G Smith was born in the West Texas town of Ozona on June 12, 1945, to Lowell and Minnie McCaleb. The youngest of five children, she graduated from Ozona High School in 1963.
She married David Blythe in 1969 and moved to Arizona to start her family. In 1997, Helen married the love of her life, Grover Smith, and they were married until his death in 2004. Through the years, she held various positions, but her workplace wasn’t as important as the relationships she built along the way. Everywhere she went, Helen made friends…many of them lifelong. Helen retired from Banner Health in 2012.That same year, she sold her home and moved into the “barn” in her son David’s backyard. She described the home to her sisters at the time she moved in, as “a barn that he moved the horses out of and her into,” which became a running joke because it was truly the perfect place, custom built for her to spend her retirement years with grandkids and great grandkids around every corner. She later got caught in her own story when her sisters came to town for a surprise birthday party thrown in her honor.
Helen had a full life filled with many stories. She touched many with her infectious spirit. She was always ready to sit a spell and share stories over coffee…or to sit and read a good book.
She loved her family dearly…those by blood or by choice; she loved them just the same.On Monday, August 15, 2022, Helen went Home to be with the Lord…at the age of 77 years. She was welcomed at the gates by those who had preceded her in death. Her parents, her two brothers, Earl and Donald, her husband Grover, and her loyal pup Carly.She is survived by her sisters Lavern Casbeer, Wanda Knudson; her sisters in-law Patricia McCaleb (Donald), Doris Tillery (Earl); her children Laura Walker (Tim), David Blythe (Evonne), Renee Kelly, Jose Trujillo (Angie), and Sonny Smith (Suzie). She is also survived by her grandchildren Ryan Thornton (Briana), Brandon Thornton (Kelsey), Alyson Grimstad (Erik), Lauren Thornton, Sarah Walker, Abigail Walker and Jacob Trujillo. She also had six great grandchildren (Addison, Payton, Jaxon, Dean, Braeden, and Remi)…along with many others she loved and adored.
Helen was loved and admired by her family and many many friends. She served as the North Star for many that looked to her for guidance and direction…trusting that she would always lead them true! She has shown us The Way through a life well lived.
Helen did not want a funeral, and no formal services will be held. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer society in her name.A celebration of life is planned for mid-October in Litchfield Park, Arizona.

Laenette Murphy

Laenette Menionne Murphy (Redd-Reynolds) was born June 28, 1965, in Detroit, MI. Laenette was a member of Little Rock Baptist church where she was baptized at an early age.

She attended Lincoln Elementary, Spain Elementary-Middle School, Northeastern High School, and Murray Wright High School. Although she earned both a Pharmacy Technician’s Certificate and a Nursing Assistant’s Certificate, becoming a licensed beautician and business owner was where she expressed her life’s purpose. Laenette began doing hair in the 1980’s at Van Tinus where she determined that working for others was not for her. She continued her career at L’Swygert Salon in Detroit, and after moving to AZ in 2001, she worked at Smart Style Hair Salon, Ulta Beauty Salon, and Elysium Salon. Never giving up on her entrepreneurial dream of becoming a business owner, she achieved her goal in 2012 when she opened her own salon, Menionne’s Hair Studio.

Laenette was a beautiful, loving wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. She was an amazing woman with a heart of gold who truly loved her family. Her sweet and loving personality made all who knew and loved her, feel special in their own way. She was a “by hair appointment” therapist and had a way of encouraging all who she encountered. Laenette enjoyed discussing current events and had a way of bringing light and laughter to every situation. When not caring for others, she enjoyed listening to music, watching movies (sometimes at the same time), cooking, and traveling.

Laenette and Lance have been together for 40 years. They met through her neighbor Quitman Slack, Lance’s cousin who lived 4 doors down from her. Lance would always ask his cousin if he could spend the night in hopes of seeing her. She thought Lance was hanging around to try and steal her bike but he was really trying to see her. She initially gave him a hard time but finally gave him a chance. Lance took her to a festival on their first date and they have been together ever since. Lance and Laenette got married on her birthday, June 28, 1988. She prided herself on being a devoted and supportive wife.

Laenette was preceded in death by her mother, Marcellette A. Reynolds ,her father, Percy W. Redd, Jr., her step-father, Theodore Reynolds, and her brother Stephen Reynolds. She leaves to cherish her memories the love of her life and husband of 34 years, Oliver Lancelot Murphy, her mother-in-law Lera E. Murphy, her siblings, Ingrid Reynolds-Braggs (Henry) of Merrillville, IN, Kimberly Redd-Phillips, and Percy Redd, III (Lindsey) of Detroit, MI; along with uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of other relatives and friends.

Special Message:

Here “sister girlfriends” would like to take a moment to thank Laenette for the unique gift that she gave every client. She did not just “do hair,” she created a safe and accepting space for all who knew her. She celebrated our every triumph and cried with us through every tragedy. She encouraged us to always be ourselves, express our thoughts ,and laugh as much as possible. But most importantly, she gave us her unconditional support and love just when we needed it most. You will be so very missed.

A visitation will be held 6pm, Wednesday, August 17 at Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear, Arizona. The funeral service will begin at 7pm.

Vernquiz “Verney” McCollum

Vernquiz, aka Verny as he later renames himself was born January 14, 2006 to Latanya Kendrick & Vernon McCollum in Bakersfield, CA. He was the youngest of all his siblings. He spent in first 14 years in Bakersfield, in 2019, he relocated to Goodyear, AZ. Verny confidents, good looks and charismatic demeanor made him popular among his peers and anyone whom interacted with him. He was energetic, smart, and curious. He was always asking questions, and was always willing to relaying knowledge he gained whether at school, TV or someone else. He could carry on a conversation with anyone. At first meet, Verny would come across shy; but would quickly change once he got comfortable. He started out with an interested in football, but later found more of a passion for basketball; His dream was to become an NBA star with his plan B as sport medicine. If he wasn’t playing video game or talking on the phone you would find him at the nearby park playing ball. He was self-motivated; he started his first job this summer working at a nearby sandwich shop to earn extra money to buy his own school clothes. His next goal was to obtain a car. Verny will be greatly missed by everyone he knew.

He is survived by his parents Latanya Kendrick and Vernon McCollum, his brother/ mentor Damian Hall, alongside many older brother and sister, ample nieces and nephew, best friend/nephew Davion and his Guardian Aunty Linda.

*Services are pending.

Nicholas Thyfault

Mr. Nicholas Thyfault of Goodyear, Arizona died August 11, 2022 in Goodyear, Arizona at the age of 22. He was born February 7, 2000 in Phoenix, Arizona. He is survived by his mother, Sandy Thyfault; sister, Hannah Burcham; and grandmother Louise Coglianese. He was preceded in death by his grandma and Grandpa Thyfault; and Grandfather Ralph Coglianese.

Nicholas graduated from Agua Fria High School in 2018. He played football all four years of high school. Nicholas graduated from RSI in 2019 with a certificate in HVAC Electrical and Solar Panels. He started an Elevator Apprenticeship in 2019. He was a member of the Local IUEC 140 Elevator Union.

When he wasn’t furthering his education or working, Nicholas enjoyed the outdoors. He loved to go camping, hiking, and riding his motorcycle. He was a fanatic Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and football was his lifelong passion.  He also loved to play with Legos and play video games. He was still a kid at heart.

Nicholas was loved by his younger cousins. He loved spending time with them and all children seemed to flock to him. He took time to play with them and teach them what he knew.

He will forever remain in our hearts.

A Funeral Service will be held Thursday, August 18 at 10AM, at King of Kings Church in Goodyear, Arizona. Burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Cynthia Hodge

Cynthia Kaye Ramsdell Hodge of Avondale, Arizona died June 26, 2022 in Goodyear, Arizona at the age of 55. She was born March 30, 1967 in Havre deGrace, Maryland to Charles and Brenda Ramsdell. She is survived by her husband, Thomas Hodge; daughter, Jessica Hodge; sister, Cheryl Haynes; brother Brandon Ramsdell; and her mother, Brenda Ramsdell. She was preceded in death by her father, Charles Ramsdell.

In 1971, Cynthia and her family made the move from Havre deGrace, Maryland to Yuma, Arizona. She graduate from Kofa High School in 1985. Wile living in Yuma, she met her future husband, Thomas Hodge. They were married on July 31, 1996, and were married for 26 years. They moved to the Phoenix area in 1996. A few months later, their family of two grew to three when they welcomed a baby girl into the family. After spending many years in the workforce, she decided she wanted to put all her focus into her daughter and spending time with her.

Cynthia was a devoted and loving mother, daughter ,and wife who instilled in her daughter the value of family, love, and kindness.

The world lost a wonderful and beautiful woman who will always be missed and will forever live in our hearts.

Robert Lovato

Robert Michael Lovato of Phoenix, Arizonan died August 7, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 35. He was born September 7, 1986 to Robert Lovato and Debbie Leggitt in Phoenix, Arizona.
He is survived by his mother Debbie Leggit, and step-father Paul Leggit; grandparents, Jesus and Consuelo Uriel; daughters Sara Lovato, Rachel Lovato, Rebecca Lovato, and Hannah Lovato; sisters Lisa Andrade, Melissa Lovato, Mia Madaleno, and Deanna Leggitt. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Lovato; grandfather Arsenio Duran; and grandmother Ruth Duran.
A visitation will be held at 10:00am on Friday, August 19, 2022 with the Funeral service beginning at 11:30 at La Mision Jubilee Center (11147 W. Buckeye Rd, Avondale, Arizona). Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery (9925 W. Thomas Road, Avondale, Arizona) at approximately 1pm.

Manuel Garcia

Manuel Garcia was born in Santa Elena, Texas December 15, 1951 and

was granted his Eternal Freedom the afternoon of August 11, 2022. Manuel had recently celebrated 50 years of marriage with his beautiful wife, Dora serving as an example of a true love story. Manuel was a U.S. Air Force Veteran proudly serving from 1971-1974. He was widely known as a genuine man full of love, humor and a solution to anything you could throw at him. He never took for granted an opportunity to have someone pull his finger just to bring laughter or to clear a room. He loved to hunt, fish, & pick piñon from the pine trees. He loved to sing & dance especially to his Spanish music. He enjoyed sports & loved to play a good game of billiard pool & he was good at it too. He had a love for baseball and played in High School & went on to coaching Little League for his son, nephews, and many others. In his spare time, he really enjoyed a good ole Western movie He was very proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and he expressed it countless times. Manuel (Meme’) was a very caring soul who expressed his love to all and touched the lives of so many.

Manuel was pre-deceased by his father, Jesus Garcia, mother, Enedina Garcia and brother, David Garcia.

Manuel is survived by his loving wife Dora along with his sisters Mary Frankie and Melissa Diaz (Desi). By his Children: Jennifer (Edward), Javier and Amanda. Grandchildren: Ezekiel, Jada (Gavin), Ella, Jayden (Tamara), Bryson, Vincent, Landon, Jacob (Laila), Zariah. Great Grandchildren: Primrose, Gabriella, Amiyah, Camilla, Ace, Leo and Ava. Also, by many loving nieces, nephews and cousins. He is also survived by his two aunts Elvira Cortez of Corpus Christi, Elena Garza of Pharr, Texas. A special thank you to his nephew Cesar and his wife Shannon for their loving support.

Services will be held September 1, 2022 at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. 23029 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85024 at 10:30AM.

John Robert Westphal, Lt. Col Ret

Honored family patriarch, John “Westy” Westphal made his last take off on July 31st, 2022, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease.  He was born on February 14th, 1931, in Walla Walla, Washington to Raymond and Aileen (Tweed) Westphal.  The family moved back to their farm in Salem, Oregon where he was raised.  The family reorganized during World War II with John’s mother marrying Dr. H.A. Perlmutter and moving to Berkeley, CA.  Graduation from Berkeley High School in 1948 was followed by three years at College of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.  With the Korean War in progress and the Draft Board eminent, Westy decided to join the U.S. Air Force.

Westphal entered the USAF in 1951, graduated from Pilot Flying School in 1953, and was immediately posted to Korea as an F-84 Fighter Pilot.  Perhaps this might account for the fact that the war ended three weeks after his arrival.  While on his first tour of duty at Luke, he was an F-100 Instructor Pilot and managed to meet and marry the lovely Denise Byerly from Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico.  Daughter Tamara arrived in time to accompany her folks to Itazuke, Japan.  While in Japan, another daughter, Dana, joined the family in time to return for another tour at Luke.  Westphal then served in Southeast Asia accumulating the usual gongs and whistles (John’s term for medals) awarded for combat exposure.  He then proceeded to further his education at Armed Forces Staff College (Norfolk, VA), San Diego State University, and a Master’s from University of Oklahoma. An assignment at Fort Carson, Colorado as Air Force Liaison with the Army, added to the adventure. Luke AFB was next for him as Commander of the 311th Fighter Squadron, flying the F-4 Phantom jet. Next it was overseas for the entire family to Okinawa, Japan and then finally back to Luke and retirement after 30 years of military service.

Westphal decided to try the civilian job market and landed a position with the Maricopa County Management Analysis Section and then as a Right-of-Way Agent for the Highway Department.  From there he had a stint with the Arizona Department of Revenue followed by a Governor-appointed position on the State Board of Equalization from 1993-2003.

In addition to fishing with his buddies, Westy loved playing golf at the WigWam Golf and Country Club where he also served as Treasurer.

He had a unique and special relationship with each of his children and grandchildren and was the consummate role model.  His grace and humor will be missed by his survivors:  beloved wife of 65 years Denise, and his two loving children Tamara (Alan) Bowman, and Dana (John) Marsden.  Four Grandchildren:  Sarah, AJ, Oliver and Benjamin and three great grandchildren and all of his many nieces and nephews.

Private services will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.  Visit thompsonfuneralchapel.com for online condolences.  In lieu of flowers please send donations to the USO at P.O. Box 96860 Washington DC 20077-7677.

Patricia Daniel

Patricia Daniel of Avondale, Arizona died July 31, 2022 at the age of 82. She was born January 17, 1940 n Cincinnati, Ohio to Allen Jenkins and Helene Schmitt.

Services are pending.

Mardella Eckstaine

Mardella Kay Eckstaine Schuppan was born on April 26, 1956 to Lloyd and Loyola (Pettit) Eckstaine in Winner, South Dakota. She grew up in a loving home with a huge family. She had two sisters, McKayla and Darnell, and three brothers, Terry, Todd and Trent. As a kid, Marty loved going with her family to her dad’s baseball games, and she loved her grandpa Ray (Eckstaine). As she got older, she was athletic and was the first girl in her family to play sports in school. She loved music, especially the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, dancing and a good time.
Marty and her husband, Butch, have been together for over 40 years, and for 30 of those years, their home was in Buckeye, Arizona. They were married on October 31, 2002 at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. When they weren’t working, they were loving life and filling it with people they loved and good drinks. They spent every minute they could in the mountains and desert around their home. They loved riding their horses, camping, four wheeling and doing anything else they could get their hands on. When Butch talks about their years together, he smiles and laughs, saying, “You know, we had so much fun. We did so many things. Not many other couples got to do all the things we did.”
Marty was stubborn and unapologetic in her beliefs. She was straightforward, and you never had to wonder what she was thinking. She had a great sense of humor and believed that it didn’t matter what was going on in life, you could always have fun. She was a prolific collector. Her home is filled with hurricane lamps, beautiful bowls, artwork and stories from loved ones long gone. She was also a life-long learner. She received her Bachelor of Science in 1989 and from then on never stopped learning. Her office is filled with certificates for different types of accounting, finance, data, quality and process improvement and on and on.
Many of the greatest loves of Mardella’s life were not the human kind. She and Butch lived surrounded by beloved dogs and horses who filled their lives with joy and purpose. Its safe to say that if you don’t know Kate, then you may not have known Marty that well at all.
On Friday, August 5th, 2022, Mardella left this world after over a decade of fighting cancer. She passed well-loved, and she left a colorful, vibrant, brave space behind her that will never be filled. She is survived by: her husband, Darrel “Butch” Schuppan; her sisters McKayla (Steve) Tritle and Darnell (Randy) Novotny; her brothers, Terry (Tara) Eckstaine, Todd (Kaye) Eckstaine, and Trent (Meg) Eckstaine; her nieces, TaNeal (Jeff) Boer; Courtney (Paul) Brozik, Jesyca (Oakley) Haines, Blaire Tritle, Jamy (Kyle) Anderson, Kasey (Jack) Kerner, Mary Kate (Kobbe) Farwick, Kory (Tucker) Ulmer, Abby Jo (Rex) Treeby, and Kirsten Eckstaine; her nephews, Brandon (Laura) Tritle, Jace (Jane) Eckstaine, Tate (Trisha) Novotny, Christopher (Clare) Eckstaine, Jacob Eckstaine, Jack Eckstaine, Gabe Eckstaine, and Caleb Eckstaine. And countless dear friends and family who miss her dearly.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lloyd and Loyola Eckstaine and her dog, Kate.

“I will not forget you. I have you written on the palms of my hands”
Isaiah 49: 15-16

A visitation will be held Friday, August 12 at 6pm at Thompson Funeral Chapel. The scripture service will begin at 7PM.

Angel Corrillo

Angel Armando Carrillo, 21, of Phoenix, Arizona died July 23, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. He was born August 5, 2000 at Maryvale Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona to Armando Carrillo and Sophia Murrieta.

Angel is survived by his daughter, Mariah Carrillo; sister, Sandra Carrillo; brothers Adan Carrillo, Juan Carrillo, Armando Carrillo, Jr., and Jesus Carrillo. He is also survived by his father, Armando Carrillo; mother, Sophia Marrieta; and grandmother Aurelia Acosta.

Angel was preceded in death by his uncle/tio, Rosario Baca; Grandma/Nana, Aurora Baca; and Grandpa/Abuelo Ladislado Carrillo.

A visitation will be held from 8 to 9:30am on Friday, August 12, 2022 at Thompson Funeral Chapel (926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, Arizona). A funeral will be held from10:30 to 11:30 on Friday, August 12th, 2022 at St Henry Roman Catholic Church (24750 W. Lower Buckeye Road, Buckeye, Arizona). Burial will take place at Louis B. Hazelton Cemetery (23100 W. Broadway Rd, Buckeye, Arizona.

Walter Goers

Walter E. Goers, 95 Former New York resident Walter Earl Goers, died August 1, 2022, at his retirement home in Goodyear, Arizona.

Walter was born on March 11,1927, in Berwyn, Illinois, to Walter and Fern Goers. Walter was a very intelligent, resourceful, and determined individual who accomplished much throughout his long life. He was gifted academically, graduated high school at the age of 16, having skipped two grades, and entered college to study pharmacy. While in school, Walter was drafted into the Navy and served as a seaman from 1943-1945. After the war, he enrolled in Illinois Institute of Technology and graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering. Walter furthered his education at Northwestern University where he obtained a MS in Chemical Engineering. Later, he also received his Professional Engineer certification. His 30+ career as a process chemical engineer took him around the globe with significant time spent in England, Iran, Japan and Australia. In addition, Walter worked as an environmental engineer for local governments in New York. He lived in several locations in Illinois, Florida, and multiple areas in New York.

Walter met his lovely and beloved wife, Ruth Eleanor Lindstorm, at LaGrange Evangelical Mission Church, a local church in Illinois; they were married in 1952. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in April 2017, just prior to the sudden and tragic death of Ruth in May 2017.

Walter was a faithful husband and devoted father. He raised his family to love God by taking them to weekly church services and youth group meetings and by leading family devotions. He provided well for his family and instilled a strong work ethic in each of his four children. He was also very involved in several churches throughout his life, including teaching Sunday School, serving as an elder, and was the chairman of the Trustee Board at Faith Lutheran Brethren Church in Briarcliff Manor, New York.

Always a car enthusiast, after retiring as a chemical engineer, Walter owned and operated a Meineke Car Care Center in Mahopac, New York. Walter also loved mechanics; he was always able to repair malfunctioning home appliances and completed several major household plumbing and heating projects. Walter’s hobbies included beekeeping and bowling as a young man. Later in life, his major interest became raising exotic orchids, which he did for many years. He even built a fully functional green house while living in Briarcliff Manor, New York. Walter also enjoyed playing pinochle and loved to read, and throughout his 80’s and 90’s, he remained active in several book clubs.

Walter is preceded in death by his wife Ruth (1932-2017) and his sister Betty Marsalla (2018). He is survived by his four children and their spouses: Kathleen Bartholomew (Fred), Jeffrey Goers (Karen), Steven Goers (Elena), and Jeanine Marcello (Richard); 14 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at Fishkill Rural Cemetery, 801 Route 9, Fishkill, NY, on August 24, 2022, at 9:30 A.M.

Sheri Zuber

Sheri Zuber of Goodyear, Arizona passed away at the age of 52 after a courageous seven-year battle with breast cancer.

With her final breath, she was ushered in the waiting arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus.

She is home. She is healed.

Sheri was born in Phoenix, Arizona on November 12, 1969 to Ronald Battelle and Carol Reese-Bennet (neé Whitehurst). After graduating from Tolleson Union High School in 1987, she went on to Maricopa Beauty College where she studied cosmetology and nail technology. Though she earned her realtor’s license in 2011, she spent the majority of her professional career faithfully serving clients at JJ’s Hair Salon and Shear Reflections. On December 15, 1990, she married Michael Remhof of Phoenix, Arizona with whom she shares two children: Molly and Mason. Later, in 2005, she married Dan Zuber of Toronto, Canada and together had a son, Daniel Zuber. To her great delight, she welcomed her grandchildren, Tyler and Avery, in 2017 and 2019.

A beloved Wife, Mother, and Mimi, Sheri will be remembered as a woman who loved fiercely, laughed loudly, and lived every day with contagious joy.

A memorial service will be held at 2pm on Sunday, August 14, 2022 at Thompson Funeral Chapel with visitation and viewing one hour prior to the service.

Dugan “Doug” Crowell

Dugan “Doug” Crowell, aged 92, of Goodyear, Arizona died August 1, 2022. He was born January 17, 1930 in Tomahawk, Wisconsin to Kelly Crowell and Almeda (Fields) Crowell. Dugan was a veteran of the United States Army.

Services are to be arranged for a later date.

Severo Ortega

Severo Peña Ortega, aged 88, died August 2, 2022. He was born November 6, 1933 in Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico to Jesus Ortega and Celestina Peña.

Severo met the love of his life, Rebecca Granado.  They were married in Presidio Texas in March of 1961. They later moved from Presidio to Arizona.  They purchased a house in Cashion, AZ where they raised their family.  Severo was a loving husband and devoted father.  He and Rebecca had three children Jesse, Sylvia and Lorraine.  He was Tata to seven grandchildren (Ruben II, Jesse Jr., Vanessa, Rachel, Kyle, Brianna & Rebecca) and two great-grandchildren Zaiden & AlexZander.  Severo provided well for his family and instilled a strong work ethic in his children.  He will forever be missed but we take comfort that he has been reunited with his true love, our mother Rebecca.

A visitation will be held from 8:30 to 11 am, Saturday August 13th at Thompson Funeral Chapel. The memorial service will begin at 9:30 am followed by the burial at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Eden Bemrich

Baby Eden Katheryn Bemrich, aged 19 months of Buckeye, Arizona died August 2022. She leaves behind her grieving parents, Jeff Bemrich and Adrienne West. She is also survived by her sisters Genesis Brown, Taylor Bemrich, Teagan Bemrich, and Corinthians West, brothers Chronicles Jones and Mason Bemrich, and her grandparents, Luona Anderson, Stephen Siders, Kathy Bemrich-Siders and Thomas Bemrich. She was preceded in death by her grandfather, Steven Lee Miller and sister, Nevaeh Kylie.

Eden was a soul that was wise beyond her years. Eden gave a lifetime of love and joy during her short time on earth. When she gave hugs, she hugged you with all of her heart and soul. Eden loved soft blankets, she carried one with her wherever she went. Eden loved to cuddle, and she loved to be held. As long as she had a baba in her hand and her mama right next to her, she was content.  Eden loved to laugh and play with her siblings. She had her own special bond with each and every one of them. She loved to play baby dolls, watch Elmo or Coco Melon, and she loved to sing and dance. Her favorite song was “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen. Eden loved getting her hair brushed, and she loved to brush her sisters’ hair. Eden loved to swim, splash and play in the water. Eden also loved her dog Panda, and sharing her food with him. Her favorite food was pizza. Eden loved to eat, and expressed her love for food with a “mmm” after each bite. Eden’s adorable Gerber baby face touched the hearts of everyone that met her. Her angelic and bright blue eyes, sunshine blonde hair, her heartwarming smile, and her innocent and pure, joyful little baby laugh will be remembered by all of those who loved her. Eden was so loved on earth; we can’t imagine how much she is loved in heaven. The world unexpectedly shifted and an unbearable loss occurred the day God gave Eden her wings and called her home.

A service will be held at 2:30pm on Saturday, August 20 at Refinery Church (16721 W Indian School Road, Goodyear, Arizona 85395).

Joseph M Schwartzman

On Wednesday August 3rd Joe left us to be with our Heavenly Father. He was born in 1962 he grew up on his family’s land in the Superior Montana area. Throughout life Joe had many passions. Some of them included Hunting, horses and guns, but most of all he loved his wife and kids. Joe was a wonderful husband and father. Joe married the love of his life (Robin) in a courthouse wedding on Dec 19th, 1994. With Robin came twin boys whom Joe called his own, he raised them to be fine men. He worked for FedEx up until his passing in his time working for FedEx it brought him and Robin to Arizona. Joe is survived by his wife Robin and Son’s Shane and Shawn. He is also survived by his children Jackie, Kristi, Joseph, & Thomas who always remained in his heart. He also leaves behind his brother (Chris) and sister (Cori). He leaves 4 dogs that will miss him dearly. He was preceded in death by his Mother (Emilie) and his grandparents Jack and Ivy. Joe will be cremated and brought back to Montana where his family will have a celebration of life at a later date. In lieu of flowers please send a donation to your local animal shelter.

Bruce Moreland Wilson

Bruce Moreland Wilson, 68, of Litchfield Park and Buckeye, Arizona, died July 20, 2022, in Goodyear, Arizona following surgery. Bruce was born November 3, 1953, in the Naval Hospital at Patuxent River, Maryland, to Betty Ann Millard and Carter L. Wilson, Jr. He traveled with the family across the country and around the world arriving in Arizona in 1965.

Known as “Willy to his friends,” he graduated from Agua Fria High School and started a pool service and repair business which he ran for a number of years. Later, he joined IATSE Local 336, where he worked for many years as a stagehand and general laborer.

Bruce marched to the beat of a different drummer, and was married a number of times. He is survived by his partner Shawnette Murphy and brothers Carter Wilson (Gail) and Douglas Wilson of Litchfield Park; Francis Wilson of Litchfield Park, daughter, Stacey Leavitt-Wilson (Mike) of Middleton, Idaho, son Branden C. L. Wilson (Mary) of Phoenix and grandchildren, Dillon, Parker, and Kaydence.

Services are pending at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Litchfield Park. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity.

Donna Tucker

Donna Tucker, 70, of Goodyear, Arizona died July 27, 2022. She was born 1952 in Hammond, Indiana to Farl and Rita Augustine. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Tucker and daughter, Amy Parker. She is survived by her son Jay, daughter-in-law Andrea, grandchildren Karissa, Luke, & Madelyn, as well as her siblings Alan, Kelly, Darrin & Dawn.

At a young age, Donna moved to Southern California where she graduated from High School in 1970.  She later graduated from Long Beach City College and pursued a career in Nursing.

She later moved to Kingman, AZ with her young Daughter Amy (born 1975), and in 1980, she married Donald Tucker. She gave birth to her second child, Jay, in 1981. The family relocated to Goodyear, AZ in 1991 where she co-owned Tucker Funeral Home (which later became Thompson Funeral Chapel). She and Donald remained married until his death in 2021.

Donna took great pride in caring for others. She helped raise her 3 siblings, raised 2 children of her own, had a long career in the medical field, and later in life was a caregiver for her stepfather and husband in their final years while also fighting her own battle with cancer. Her greatest joy was being “Mema” to her three grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2pm, Monday, August 29, 2022 at Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear, Arizona.

Carol Busbee

Ms. Carol Busbee, aged 90, of Avondale, Arizona died July 30, 2022. She was born May 26, 1932 in South Bend, Indiana to Edwin Hunter and Mayme Smith.

Carol was a Christian and a Follower of Jesus. Her faith and being able to attend church on Sunday was most important to her. She loved her children and was a wonderful mother and grandmother. She gave of herself to be kind to everyone.

Carol is survived by her daughter, Laura Wells, sons, Daniel MrKvielca, Craig Nichol, and Mike Busbee, along with two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Allen Busbee.

James Reams

James Reams (1956-2022)

Mr. James C. Reams, aged 66, of Litchfield Park, Arizona died June 17, 2022 in Litchfield Park. He was born January 10, 1956 in Japan to Olin “M” Reams and Dorothy Eva Reams. He is survived by his brother, Olin Mark Reams. He was preceded in death by his parents Olin “M” and Dorothy Reams, and his soul mate Tina Aridas.

So many songs to sing; and so little time to sing them. That was the mantra of James Reams, beloved and well-known bluegrass performer and songwriter. Because of his driving promotion of Bluegrass and Americana music, he had earned several nicknames durning his lifetime that reflected his contributions to the genre; Kentucky Songbird, Father of Brooklyn Bluegrass, and Ambassador of Bluegrass.

Unfortunately for those of us who loved him, and the many people who were impacted by his zest for life and music, he has passed on. On June 17th at 4:30 in the afternoon he passed away at home, surrounded by family and friends who loved him. Just a few days before his death, he commented to those sitting by his bed, “Dying – this gives me an idea of a new song.”

James, who was raised in the hills of Appalachia, was exposed to Bluegrass from the time he could walk. At an early age he showed a talent for writing and performing the music of the region. James spent many an hour watching the regional variety show “Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour”.  The Farm and Home Hour featured many of the pioneers of bluegrass and launched many emerging stars. This, along with his father’s love of bluegrass, had a profound effect on him.

Kentucky Songbird

James earned the nickname Kentucky Songbird by building an extensive library of work during his three-decade career and ten album releases. IBMA nominated him as Emerging Artist of the Year. The same year he was also nominated for Recording Event of the Year for his album James Reams, Walter Hensley and the Barons of Bluegrass.

His latest album release occurred early in 2022. It is a massive 2-CD release with thirty songs – Like a Flowing River & Soundtrack Album on Mountain Redbird Music. This highly- anticipated project follows the release of a documentary film from the previous year. The documentary celebrates the long musical performing and songwriting career of James.

Father of Brooklyn Bluegrass

This James identifier was conferred on him because of his role in being a founding father of the Park Slope Bluegrass Oldtime Music Jamboree in Brooklyn, New York. This music event, started in 1998, was organized by James, along with his long-time partner Tina Aridas.

The event was a glorious celebration of Bluegrass music. It accomplished this by combining live performances and workshops over a two-day period in September each year. The event was popular and attracted top performers from the Northeast, and hundreds of participants every year.

Ambassador of Bluegrass

James promoted the spread of Bluegrass beyond the release of his albums and extensive touring. A major accomplishment of his was the releasing of two documentary films that sought to spread the music he loved to people who otherwise not had an opportunity to sample this foot-stomping music. In 2021, the documentary of James’ Bluegrass life in was released, Like a Flowing River: A Bluegrass Passage. The film captures the spirit of what it means to be a musician, documenting all of the twists and turns that occur on a musician’s journey.

In 2013, James released the documentary film Making History with Pioneers of Bluegrass: Tales of the Early Days in Their Own Words. This film preserved the recollections of many of the pioneers of Bluegrass music. James interviewed over 40 musicians who were key contributors to bluegrass in this highly-acclaimed peek into the early days of bluegrass.

On top of the previously mentioned accomplishments, James was also an ex-president of the Arizona Bluegrass Association. James has been a busy contributor to bluegrass from the early days his career. His passion for the music can be seen in his everyday life. You can be sure if there is a kitchen table in heaven, James will be sitting at it singing a soulful tune.

Benita Snider

Benita Gage Snider, 59, of Avondale, Arizona, passed away on July 21, 2022. She was predeceased by her mother Josephine Gage, and she left behind her husband Matt Snider, her children Crista (Steve) Scinto, Chad Snider, Celina Snider, Nicholette (Francelis) Montas, her grandchildren Gavin, Michael, Madeline and Ellie. Her stepchildren Devynn (Corey) Vasquez, Jasmine Snider, Matthew (Stephanie) Snider, and step grandchildren Audriana, Kyanah, Mariah, Delylah, Angel and Mila. She is also survived by her sisters Lupe (David) Ramirez, Cindy Gage and Linda Gage. Benita was a very loving woman, and had many friends who loved her from her childhood.  In her younger years she loved to work and found joy in helping other people.  Benita’s children were her proudest accomplishments and she loved them with everything she had. You could always find her singing a tune, dancing to oldies, eating her favorite foods, or playing with her grandchildren. She will be missed but we know she is finally at peace.  We invite you to her funeral on Friday, August 5, 2022 at 1pm. Her viewing will be from 1-2:30 and services from 2:30-4 at Thompson Funeral Chapel.

Michael Mendick

Michael J. “Mike” Mendick passed away on July 24, 2022 at Hospice of the Valley. He was born October 24, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York to Solomon and Irene Mendick. He was a U.S. Army Veteran of the Vietnam War.

Mike graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He worked for the City of Phoenix for 30 years. He married Fredia J. Watson-Williams on May 30, 1993. Outside of work and after he retired, he umpired for Little League to Senior League Baseball. He was involved with a recovery group for many years. He loved to spend his time playing bridge with his friends.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Soloman and Irene Mendick. He is survived by his wife, Fredia J. Mendick; son, Marc (Kimberly) Mendick; and brother Neil (David) Mendick. He is also survived by three grandchildren: Nolan Ray Williams, Allanah Williams, and Whitney Thomas.

He will be interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona 10:00 AM on Thursday, August 11, 2022.

Stephen Powell

Stephen Powell, 67, of Phoenix, AZ passed unexpectedly after being released from a local hospital. He had been treated for an adverse reaction to a pandemic vaccination. Steve was born on March 31, 1955 in Berkeley California.

A friend described him as…“gregarious and intelligent. He loved to travel, go camping, and enter into a healthy debate”. He attended William & Mary, and Cornell University and graduated with master’s in physics and math. He grew-up with his family in Falls Church, VA, Huntsville, AL, Valley Forge, PA, and when the family moved to Annapolis, MD in 1975 he discovered sailing on a Gladiator 24, “Yes”. And later, on the 42’ sloop “Spirit on a Sea of Stuff”, a classic Luders 1939 Bermuda Racer, which he and his father sailed the Caribbean on for several years.

Steve was a Senior Engineer for Loral Space & Communications and then Lockheed Martin. He was the lead on communications satellite technology while working with his team inside an EMI deflecting “vault”. In his teens Steve’s lofty goal was to retire early and enjoy life as a” professional bum”. To save on per-diem he was thrifty to the point of packing his lunch when sent to sales meetings… in Japan, where apples were $8.

In retirement he could be heard, sitting on his porch, finger picking “Here Comes the Sun” on his guitar. He was an avid sailor with many harrowing tales of being at sea in a variety of storms, which included being blown ashore and spending a month digging a trench to get back out to sea before poachers could lay claim to SOSOS. He was a handy man out of necessity as HOA President of his community for many years. He would also maintain computers and networks for neighbors and local groups.

Steve is survived by his father, Robert Powell, his brother Dan, his mother Suedell Powell and an abundance of friends.

Steve requested a cremation, and his ashes will be released into the ocean waves, back to where all sailors wish to be.

Annabelle Brabant

Annabelle L. Brabant, 73, of Avondale, Arizona died July 27, 2022. She was born January 4, 1949 in Gary, Indiana to Richard Swiger and Rosemary Shayotovitch.

Annabelle has always been devoted to her family. She helped raise her seven brothers and sisters, and was an incredible mother, grandmother and sister. She worked hard to support her children. She raised a wonderful family that included two daughters, a son, and a step-son. Her heart was so full of love for all people.

Annabelle spent the last 34 years living in Arizona. She worked hard, but also enjoyed life. She could often be found having a good time with her children, nieces, and nephews. Together they would drink her favorite frozen cappuccinos, enjoy a frozen Creamie ice cream, or just spend time with together. Annabelle was known for her love of karaoke. Her favorite songs included “Downtown” by Petula Clark, “5 minutes” by Lorrie Morgan, “Slow Hand” by The Pointer Sister, “Have Mercy” and “Grandpa” by The Judds. And for about ten years, Annabelle would dress up as Mrs. Claus for her kids, grandkids, and great nieces and nephews. She also loved Marilyn Monroe and butterflies.

Annabelle is survived by her daughters, Tracey Owens and Richelle Robles, son, Richard Dean Owens, Jr., step-son, Bruce Pellitier, sisters, Rosemarie Majors, Jeannette Starry Ross, and Debbie Starry and brother, David Swiger. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her sister, Cindy Athas, and brother James Starry.

Naomi Ortiz La Crosse

Naomi Alexa Ortiz La Crosse was a loving daughter, sister, friend, and student. Sadly, was taken from us on July 20, 2022. As a child, Naomi was a funny, loving, caring, and witty kid. She always had a smile on her face. She was ready for her photo to be taken by anyone; she loved to pose.

Naomi was filled with so much energy and charisma, she loved to dance, and learn Tik-Tok’s dances, she was an amazingly talented artist and loved drawing her favorite anime characters and painting beautiful landscapes. She appreciated the beauty, kindness, and love in life.

Naomi loved all her friends and was always calling her friends and talking to them for hours. Naomi had the biggest heart and loved everyone she met. She was so excited for school to start back up so she can see her friends.

She was ambitious, a leader, and had big aspirations. She aspired to help people in her life and to become a dentist someday. She was a dedicated student and enjoyed learning Biology, Chemistry and became great at playing the saxophone just like her Dad. She performed at Universal Studios this May and had a blast performing with her friends and later going on all the rides at the park.

Naomi loved watching anime at home, her favorites were Demon Slayer, and Attack on Titan and she loved Haikyuu. Naomi had just started playing volleyball and played with her whole family and put so much energy into her team.

Naomi was the most beautiful soul and wanted to share her love with everyone, and she did. She will live on with us in our hearts forever. We are blessed to have had the time with Naomi that we had.

Raymond Berry, Sr

Mr. Raymond Berry, Sr., age 76, of Litchfield Park, Arizona died July 29, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. He was born September 13, 1945 in Phoenix, Arizona to Robert Clyde and Margaret Berry.

Raymond was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended Carl Hayden High School and pursued a career as an Ironworker. Raymond always wanted to be his own boss and started Berrcor Engineering in 1981, which he worked and built into a successful company. Raymond and Suellen were married for 49 years and he always worked hard to care for his family and to provide all that he could for them. His grandchildren were the light of his life. He loved teasing them and making them laugh. Raymond loved boats, cars, and going fast. He spent many days at the lake, water skiing and cruising in his various boats. Raymond loved taking his car collection to car shows, spending time with friends and sharing stories. Raymond was such a fun-loving guy who was loved by so many. His jokes, laugh, and talks will be greatly missed.

Raymond is survived by his wife of 49 years, Suellen, daughter Ashleigh (Chris) Gudgeon, son Raymond (Dede) Berry, Jr., and sister Sandra Dudo. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Adam, Amber, and Sami Berry, and Connor, Aubrey, and Hunter Gudgeon, and one great-grandson, Tucker Smith.

A celebration of life will be held from 11am to 4pm on Sunday, September 11, 2022 at the Martin Auto Museum, 4320 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale, Arizona 85306.

Stephen Osborn

Stephen Osborn, age 71, of Avondale, Arizona died July 29, 2022. He was born January 9, 1951 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Charles Osborn and Grace Callaway.

Stephen was born in OK and moved to AZ . He was raised by his Grandmother and Aunt Peggy Callaway. After high school, he joined the Marines and served 8 years. He then met his wife, Kim Wilkins, and together they had two children: Taelyn and Chad. He credited his 3 grandchildren as the reason he got up every morning. He adored his wife and they were together for 42 years. He never met a stranger and always showed kindness to others. He was very proud of his son who also served in the marines. he loved his family, friends, the Marines, and the Dallas Cowboys. He was loved by his family and friends and he will be missed by many..

Services are private.

 

 

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