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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 2023
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Connie Mirkovich

On June 10, 2023 Connie Mirkovich peacefully passed away at the age of 82. The glue that held the family together was born in Rapid City, South Dakota. Her first years were spent with her grandparents who spoiled her, but instilled in her a love for learning. When she went to school, she was one of the smartest in her class. This continued throughout life until the very end. Her high school days were full of learning and happiness. She travelled to University of Denver, where she excelled and obtained a bachelor’s degree. During her time in college, she joined the Kappa Delta sorority, where she was very active. While in college, she met her husband Michael, to whom she was married for 59 fulfilled years. When she and Michael retired, they spent many years travelling the world. The travelled to such place as Europe, Hawaii, Alaska, Tahiti, Australia, and New Zealand. She fell in love with New Zealand, and it was one of her fondest places in the world. She was passionate about quilting, and was instrumental in forming the quilting club at Pebble Creek.

Connie is survived by her husband Michael, son Mark, granddaughter Micha, two brothers, and many nieces and nephews. She will be missed by family and the many friends she made over her life.

Lael Jeannine Wellington

Lael Jeannine (Johnson) Wellington, 92, lost her battle with cancer on Sunday afternoon, August 20, 2023 at home, in Goodyear, Arizona, where she had resided for the past eight months. In 2021, she had courageously weathered breast cancer during the pandemic. After a brief remission, it returned as metastasized lung cancer in 2022.

Lael was born June 24, 1931 at Cheyenne, WY to Elwood and Ila (Jones) Johnson, the second of three red-headed daughters. Elwood served as a dairy and agricultural specialist in several locations in Colorado, Wyoming and Iowa, and Ila taught high school English and Latin. Lael graduated from high school at Corydon, Iowa and attended Iowa State University at Ames where she graduated with a combined major in Home Economics and Math. She was honored to be chosen the Home Economics student hostess for the college president, Dr. Friley, and to live in the President’s mansion. In 1971, she obtained a Masters Degree in Elementary Counseling at North Texas State University in Denton, TX.

She met the love of her life, Charles Edward Wellington, in 1952 during her first year of teaching at Mt Pleasant, Iowa. They married on June 27, 1953 and were together 58 years. Two children were born to this union—Jennifer Lynn in 1957 and Greg Eliot in 1959. Charles was a school administrator and in that capacity took jobs in Iowa, La Baule, France, Illinois, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona and Texas—a total of 27 relocations! The couple spent their retirement years in Phoenix, AZ and Rio Rancho, NM.

Lael and Charles were adventurers … Together they enjoyed picnicking, fishing, car trips and exploring the woods, abandoned homesteads and mines. A youthful Lael enjoyed ponies, ice skating, singing, basketball, swimming and walking fields with her father. She was accomplished at sewing, knitting, needlework, craft painting and macramé. She was a master correspondent and particularly good at remembering birthdays. She was keenly interested in family history and kept up with goings on across the country.

Until age 91, she was a model participant in Silver Sneakers exercise programs. She logged hundreds of miles across New Mexico with other hikers from the Meadowlark Senior Center and with her buddies along the Thompson Fenceline trail in Rio Rancho. She coordinated regular game nights with community friends and was known to be wickedly competitive. She was a seasoned world traveler, having visited Wales, Scotland, England, Ireland, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Dubai.

Lael was a committed Christian and a founding member of High Desert United Methodist Church in Rio Rancho. She helped start a food pantry ministry there. She volunteered as a church and literacy program librarian in various places. She was an ardent advocate for reading and literacy and enjoyed tutoring kids. She was a lifelong member of the sisterhood of P.E.O., and in 1969, she helped found Chapter FU of Summit County, Colorado.

Lael was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Charles and sister Ruth Jaeckel. She is survived by her sister Kay Weede of Tucson, AZ, daughter Jennifer of Santa Fe, NM, son Greg (Barb) of Goodyear, AZ, grandchildren Micah W. Miller, Pierre G. Miller, Kent E. Wellington and Laura J. Wellington and many beloved nephews, nieces and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, Lael requested that donations be made to High Desert Methodist Church, Rio Rancho, NM—go to highdesertumc.org. Alternatively, memorial donations may be made to The Nature Conservancy, designating one of her favorite states- Iowa or New Mexico- go to nature.org.

A memorial service celebrating her vibrant life will be held at High Desert United Methodist in Rio Rancho, NM on Thursday, September 28th at 4 pm with a potluck to follow.

Angela Ashford

Angela Lynne Ashford. 74, of Goodyear Arizona passed August 17th 2023. ” Mak” also known as Grandma, Angie, Angelo, and many other endearing names. Born October 2, 1948 in Dayton, Ohio. To Phillip and Janet Blanton. Preceded in death by her parents. She was an only child, and better known as an Army brat. Angela graduated from West Carrollton H.S.,Ohio.
Angela arrived in Arizona in1978 and quickly became a pillar to the Goodyear Community. She was manager of a Dollar General store, Supervisor at the Goodyear Airline Training Center, working for Lufthansa and German Airforce (Luftwaffe). In the 80’s she served as Women’s Auxillary President for American Legion Post 61. Along with bartending there, Roman’s, Waddell Longhorns, and VFW. In addition to her many talents, she was a certified Floral Designer and Florist.
She is survived by her Loving Husband Gary S. Ashford Married August 29th 2002.
Angela leaves a strong legacy behind in her large family of three daughters. Melissia & William Vaught, Janet & Matt Musselwhite both of Goodyear, AZ. And Shelly & James Stivers of Sparks, NV. She basked in the glory of her nine grandchildren, Brittnae Lyons, Keirsten Schultz, Logan Mc Gee, Dustin Wellman, Nicholas Vaught, Phillip Mc Gee, Austyn Wellman, Mileight Vaught, and Faith Mc Gee. In addition, she was blessed with four great grandchildren, Caleb, Blake, Becket, and Lincoln, along with two more arriving in December.
She was the glue that held our family together, prayed and spoke to God every morning, nurtured, and fostered many children, and helped many others through their passing. She was the best caregiver from cradle to grave. Angela and her rocking chair comforted all the grandchildren, great grandchildren above, and so many others. She was God’s gift to all.
A visitation and funeral service will begin at 9AM, Saturday, September 2 at Thompson Funeral. Burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery at 1:30pm.


Dorothy Travers

Dorothy (Sawyer) Travers, loving mother and loyal friend, died peacefully, surrounded by family in Goodyear AZ on August 1st 2023.  Born August 9th 1932 in Arlington MA to James and Sarah (Morrison) Sawyer and was raised in Roslindale MA.  She was a part of the “greatest generation”.  Dorothy was engaging, supportive, sincere, and genuine, she will be greatly missed.  Dorothy’s leadership skills, compassion and great wisdom earned her much respect and she retired from the downtown Harvard Club after 20 years.   Dorothy is survived by her son Thomas W (Sara) Travers Jr., grandson, James T (Dawn) Moodie, great grandsons Travers D. Moodie and James C. Moodie. Preceded in death by her parents, son James W. Travers, husband Thomas W, Travers Sr. and brother James R. Sawyer.  Dorothy was loved and embraced by nieces Dorothy Mikulenka and Jeanette Roetzel and their families. Memorial services to be held on September 23rd, 11:00  at The Church Of The Pilgrimage, 8 Town Square, Plymouth, MA.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the ASPCA.

Patricia Neal

During the early hours of Sunday, August 13, 2023, Patricia Ann Neal, peacefully passed away at home in the company of her husband in Litchfield Park, AZ. Affectionately known as Tricia or Pat to her loved ones was born December 31, 1953, in Hollandale, MS. to the late William Moore, Sr. and the late Sarah Clemency Moore. She was born the fifth child of thirteen and brought laughter and joy into the world with her strong vibrant personality.

Patricia accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at First Baptist Church in Hollandale, MS. by the late Reverend T.R. Clay.

Patricia graduated from Simmons High School in 1971 and enrolled in Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, MS and later graduated from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI with a degree in Public Administration. It was during her college years at Western Michigan University that she met and married the love of her life, Clarence Neal, and the two were inseparable until the Lord called her home. They were married August 25, 1979 and would have celebrated their 44th anniversary. In addition to Mark, from this union they had two daughters, LaTasha and Nicole.

After moving to Phoenix in 1985, Patricia shared her compassion for others by serving the elderly with her career as a Certified Nurse Assistant. She retired from the Arizona Department of Veteran Services in 2016.

Patricia had a zest for life and touched everyone with her infectious laughter and electrifying conversation. She loved her family and raised her children to be independent, loving, strong, thoughtful, and grounded. She wore heart on her sleeve, always gave a helping hand, and never hesitated to tell you the truth.

Patricia was preceded in death by her parents William and Sarah Moore, two brothers Dale Moore and Lonnie Ross, and parent in-laws, LaVelle and Williree Neal.

A daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother, aunt, cousin, and friend, Patricia touched the lives of many and freely gave of herself to help and care for others. She leaves to cherish her memory, her husband, Clarence Neal of Litchfield, AZ; three children: Mark Moore (Rhonda) of Olympia, WA, LaTasha Neal of Atlanta, GA, and Nicole Conway (Corey) of Raleigh, NC; four grandchildren: Diovyon Neal, Leah Conway, Cory Conway Jr, and Angelo Neal. Nine sisters: Ronnie Sims (Michelle), Beatrice Jenkins of South Haven, MI, Velma Pettiegrew (Henry) of Oakwood Village, OH, Rosemary Williams (Andrew) of Anguilla, MS, Carolyn Phillips (Kirby) of Benton Harbor, MI, Dorothy Swint of Hollandale, MS, Delores Moore of Kalamazoo, MI, Vivian Faye Alebiosu of Bloomfield, MI, and Arnitta Moore of Kalamazoo, MI; two brothers: William Moore, Jr (Doris) of Farmington, MI, Tommy L. Moore, Sr. (Linda) of Oakwood Village ; one aunt: Evangeline Ross of Jackson, MS and countless nieces, nephews, other relatives, and in-law family.

A visitation will be held from 9 to 11am, Friday, August 25 at Thompson Funeral. A funeral service led by Rev. Jonathan Logan will begin at 11am.

Rosendo Rodriguez

Rosendo Rodriguez of Avondale, Arizona passed away August 9, 2023 at the age of 75. He was born February 29, 1948 in San Angelo, Texas to Julio Rodriguez and Maria Hernandez.

A memorial service will begin at 6pm on Wednesday, August 23 at Thompson Funeral.

*A more detailed obituary will be posted when available.

Jennie Martinez

Jennie Valdez Martinez, 96, of Litchfield Park passed away August 14, 2023. She was born April 17, 1927 in Burbank, California to Viviano and Cliofas Valdez.

Jennie was proceeded in death by her parents, former spouse Arthur, son Michael, daughter Sally, and 13 of her siblings. She is survived by her daughter Margie (Rich), son Henry (Valerie), and one sister Mary Villa. She is also survived by five grandchildren: Phoenicia, Henry Jr., Steven, Daniel, and Matthew, and five great-grandchildren: Ava, Ayden, Evan, Ezra and Harvey.

Raised in Buckeye since childhood, Jennie graduated from Buckeye Union High School. Her passion was home economics. In 1947 she married Arthur Martinez and together they had four children: Sally, Michael, Margie, and Henry.
In 1968, she joined Arthur in opening the Oasis restaurant. In 1975, she went on to open Arturo’s Mexican Food restaurant in Goodyear. She was a hard and very determined worker. She always said, “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

Jennie had a deep love and devotion for her family. She loved spending time with them at Sunday dinners and holiday gatherings, and whenever they would visit. She also loved traveling with her family, dancing, and playing Gin Rummy.
She was a woman of strong faith and attended daily mass for 46 years. A great joy in her life is when she was in church choir in high school and then again at St Thomas Aquinas. While with the St. Thomas Aquinas choir, she traveled to Rome to sing for the pope.

She was a chef, a seamstress, and an artist. Her artistic talent for painting came about when she was at her Strawberry home, where she created her numerous paintings.

Everybody loved her infectious smile and she will be deeply missed.

Farewell for now, until we meet again.

A visitation and recitation of the Holy Rosary will be held at 8:30AM on August 29 at Thompson Funeral in Goodyear, Arizona. A funeral service will follow at 10:30AM at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Burial will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Hospice of the Valley.

Shirley Mae Fender Lohse

March 15, 1941 – August 8, 2023

Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life an immortality to light through the Gospel. Let us remember with thanksgiving what God has done through His servant, Shirley.  Shirley Mae Fender Lohse was given life by her creator and was born on March 15, 1941, in Niles, Michigan, a daughter of Earle Duane and Margaret Lucille Sutter Smith.  She received the gift of Holy Baptism on November 29, 1942, at Wesley United Methodist Church in Niles, MI and became a child of God.  On April 7, 1968, she was confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Niles, MI by Rev. Theodore Laesch and publicly confessed her faith and became a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Niles, MI.  She received the precious gift of the Lord’s life-giving body and blood in Holy Communion. She married Dale Francis Jones on May 21, 1960.  He died December 11, 1980.  She married Eugene Russel Fender on June 1, 1968, in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Niles MI who died on October 21, 1994.  She then married Orville Paul Lohse on September 6, 1997, in St. Pauls’ Lutheran Church, Niles MI.  God blessed Shirley’s life with many special people as she served God in her vocations at home, church, work, and in the community. She was an active member of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League/Ladies Aid and had been a Sunday School teacher, served on the Alter Guild, and was in choir at St. Paul’s Lutheran church Niles, MI.  After moving to Missouri, she was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in La Grange, MO, she was an active member of the LWML/Ladies Aid, Alter Guild. And did many things with Vacation Bible School, Fellowship Group, and was in the choir.  Paul retired from ministry in September 2011, and they moved to Goodyear, Arizona and joined Trinity Lutheran Church in Litchfield Park, AZ.  There she was active in LWML, A.M.O.S. and the choir.  Finally on August 8, 2023, God blessed Shirley with a holy death and took her Home to rest in the arms of Jesus to await the resurrection of the dead.  Survivors include her husband Paul, daughter Karena Michelle Nygaard and son-in-law Leif B. Nygaard of Wittmann, AZ grandchildren Trey Samuel Terry and wife Elise A. Terry of Goodyear, AZ and Kelsi Elizabeth Nowak and her husband Ryan T. Nowak; stepson David Lohse and wife Tomoko and step grandchild Selina Lohse of Alexandria, VA; stepdaughter Karen Papora and her husband Tom and step grandchildren Hunter, Jordan, and Declan Callan of White Lake, MI. Her brightest treasures were her great grandchildren George, William, and James Terry and Sage Nowak. She was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles and husbands: Dale Jones and Eugene Fender and her son Kevin Michael Jones.  The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blesses be in the name of the Lord. We give thanks to God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord for our sister Shirley.

A Memorial Service will be held September 9, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Trinity Lutheran Church located at 830 E Plaza Circle, Litchfield Park, Arizona with a luncheon to follow.

Eulalia Leon

Eulalia Leon of Buckeye, Arizona passed away August 6, 2023. She was born Aril 25, 1933 in Pimientillo, Nayarit, Mexico to Francisco Covarrubias and Isidora Iñiguez both of whom predeceased her. She was also preceded in death by her beloved husband of years Jose Leon and daughter Josefa.

She is survived by her sons Connado, Jose (Francisca), Cesar (Lorena), and Francisco (Christina) and her daughters Clarisa, Esther (Ladislao), Valeria (Sergio), Dolores (Cesareo), Patricia (Antonio), and Silvia. She also leaves behind her extended family, and friends.

Eulalia was a faithful Christian woman who loved her family very much. She enjoyed spending time wither her children and grandchildren. She also enjoyed hanging out with her many friends. Shen loved to go to the casino and was a great cook and baker. She was very talented and had a passion for sewing. She made clothes for her family and friends and also made aprons, pillows, and other household items.

Services will be held from 4 to 8pm, Sunday, August 13 at Thompson Funeral. Burial will take place at Louis B. Hazelton Cemetery in Buckeye, Arizona at 11am, Monday, August 14.

A longer obituary will be posted when available.

Bruce Williams

Richard “Bruce” Williams passed away Sunday, August 6, 2023 with his wife Julianne by his side. Bruce died of complications from Alzheimer’s and dementia. He is survived by his wife, Julianne Whetten Williams, his daughters Heidi Marie Williams, Holly Lynn (Brandon) Bailey, Whitney Jordan (Stetson) Robinson, Lindsey Jordan (Adam) Broud, and his son Jarom Tait (Whitney) Jordan. He is also survived by his brother Scott (Laurie) Williams, his sister Robyn (Craig) Hall, his grandchildren: Ellenore, Layla, Liam, Rowan, Penny, Weston, Dean, Silas, Asher, Milo, Venna, and Tate, as well as his extended family and friends.

Bruce was born on November 16, 1956 at the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah to Joyce and Robert Williams, both of whom predeceased him. Bruce was the youngest of three children. He attended Murray High School and swam for the Spartans until graduating in 1975. He went to the University of Utah for one year prior to serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Chicago, Illinois from 1976 – 1978. After his mission, he attended Salt Lake Community College for one year. In 1982, he married Layna Anderson, and had two beautiful daughters. After his divorce from Layna, Bruce started driving semi-trucks in 1990 and continued driving trucks locally for the next 31 years until his retirement in 2021.

In 1996, Bruce met Julianne Whetten at a singles dance in Salt Lake City. They quickly fell in love and were sealed in the Bountiful, Utah temple on November 22, 1997. Julianne had 3 children from a previous marriage and they happily joined their families together in that union that has spanned 25 years.

Bruce loved to swim outdoors, even in the coldest of water! He and Julianne loved to play golf, tennis, snow and water ski. They also loved to hike and travel and have traveled to 42 states together. Bruce loved his dogs, Charlie and Max, and they loved him.

Bruce was a stalwart member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and held many callings. He loved serving those in his church congregation throughout his life.

Through Bruce’s illness, he was brave, courageous, and had faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father’s plan for us. We are so grateful for the 66 precious years that we spent with our “Brucie.”

A visitation and funeral will be held on Saturday, August 12 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (13277 W. Thomas Road, Goodyear, Arizona 85395). The visitation will begin at 9AM with the funeral beginning at 11AM.

William Benson Sr

William L. Benson Sr. of Goodyear, Arizona passed away July 20, 2023 at the age of 82. He was born October 12, 1940 in Geneseo, Illinois to Loren and Marie Benson both of whom preceded him in death. He was also predeceased by his wife, Elease Benson, son William Benson Jr, daughter Donna Vance Teff, and granddaughter Ann Vance. He is survived by his daughter Kimberly Benson McCormack, sons Danial and Mark Vance, and his sister Diane Gray. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Bill Benson was born and raised in Geneseo, Illinois. Upon graduation from Geneseo High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army for a short term. Once he was discharged, he went on to acquire an AA degree as an Electronic Engineer. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona where he met and married his wife Elease Vance in 1967. They were married until her death in 2005. He was a long-time resident of Goodyear, where he worked at Goodyear Aerospace, Loral Defense System, and Lockheed Martin Marietta. He retired in 2007.

Services will begin at 9AM Friday, August 11, 2023 at Thompson Funeral. A visitation will begin at 9AM, the funeral service will begin at 11am, burial will follow at 12pm at Glendale Memorial Park Cemetery.

JoAnn Tolman

JoAnn Skubitz Tolman, a beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, peacefully passed away on August 1, 2023, just 11 days short of her 102nd birthday. Born on August 12, 1921, in Calhoun, Oklahoma, to Louis Skubitz and Elsie King Skubitz, JoAnn’s life was marked by unwavering dedication, selfless service, and boundless love.

Although born in Oklahoma, JoAnn grew up in Arizona. Her family moved to Phoenix and then Coldwater (later incorporated and renamed to Avondale) in the 1920s. Upon graduating from Litchfield Park High School in 1938, JoAnn pursued her passion for education, earning a degree from Arizona State Teachers College (now ASU). For more than 45 years, she made a lasting impact as a beloved schoolteacher at Avondale Elementary School, inspiring generations of students with her tireless compassion.

JoAnn also actively contributed to organizations like Soroptimist International, the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, the Red Hat Society and the Women’s Club, fostering a sense of community and uplifting women in her circle.

Family was the heart of JoAnn’s life, and her bond with her beloved husband, Willard Tolman Sr., endured for over 50 years. Together, they raised four children – Willard Jr., Cynthia, Timothy, and Terrance. JoAnn was also a grandmother to six grandchildren and great-grandmother to six great-grandchildren.

A graveside service to celebrate JoAnn Skubitz Tolman’s life will be held at 12:00 noon on Thursday, August 10, 2023, at Holy Cross Cemetery, 9925 West Thomas Road in Avondale. Following the service, a reception will be held at the American Legion Post 61, 35 North Dysart Road in Avondale, where friends and family can gather to remember her remarkable journey.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to be made to a charity of your choice in memory of JoAnn.

Erik Skulstad

Erik H. Skulstad of Goodyear, Arizona passed away July 31, 2023 in Goodyear. He was born January 4, 1970 in San Francisco, California to James Skulstad and Sue Hollingsworth. He was preceded in death by his father James L. Skulstad and step-father Sherman Layne Lerud.

He is survived by his wife Jennifer Lynn Skulstad, son Benjamin Forbes Skulstad, daughters Catherine Anne Skulstad and Margaret May Skulstad, his mother Sue Anne Lerud, and sister Holly Anne Skulstad Rogers.

Erik grew up in Carson City, Nevada where he graduated from high school. He moved to Phoenix soon after graduating and began taking classes to become a drafter. Later, he earned his MS in geotechnical engineering from ASU. Erik and Jennifer were married on January 20, 2001 (Erik said he picked the date so it would be harder for Jennifer to forget 01202001). They were married at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens by their good friend Link Spooner. Together, Erik and Jennifer raised their three children. While he was in college, Erik fell in love with Australia and New Zealand and eventually moved the family to Christchurch, New Zealand for three years. Erik also travelled to Mexico, England, Canada, and France. But the goal was to retire to Hawaii near Poipu Beach in Kauai.

During his professional life, Erik worked at Terracon and loved that company and the people there. But he sometimes missed the technical challenges he was able to sink his teeth into during his work for Kiewit. Before that he worked for SKM in New Zealand. He started his professional career at Agra Earth and Environmental where he met his mentors and worked alongside drill rigs, learning a great deal in the field.

Erik didn’t sit down until after dinner. He was up and doing things all the time. He maintained the “house and grounds” but really enjoyed working on his Landy (1977 Series 2 right-hand drive Land Rover). Not just fixing it, which was often, but also, he built a console for it and a speaker box, he added jump seats, and loved driving it around with the kids and meeting people who asked about it (they brought it back with them from New Zealand). He met one of his best friends while filling it with gas!

Erik also loved to camp. The family camped on Pohara Beach, Lake Powell, Canyon Lake, and at the Grand Canyon. He loved canoeing down the Colorado River starting below the Hoover Dam, stopping to camp and visit the hot springs along the way. The 3-day trips included paddling, camping, and then paddling the rest of the way. He taught the kids to kayak and had been looking forward to lots more trips to the lake with the family. He liked to fish in fresh water and in the sea. He once went off-shore fishing with three British friends, who all got sea sick while Erik was fine. He joked that they were from an island and should have been better on a boat than him. He never got seasick. His step-dad, Sherman, had several boats and took Erik out on them often, teaching him to drive a boat, a jet ski, and even a houseboat. Sherman, was key to the man Erik became. Sherman once came to our house for a week and helped Erik put in a sprinkler system, even running it under the driveway!

In years when Erik worked in an office, he often commuted to work on his bike. The first year of that, he biked about 2k miles. He loved mountain biking too and was able to bike the Queen Charlotte Track in New Zealand with some dear friends. The trip was the highlight of his biking adventures.

In his “down time” Erik loved to watch Star Wars (especially episode 4) and Star Trek (but you better not get the two confused!). His favorite author was Chuck Palahniuk, and he and Jennifer would frequently watch and quote the “Fight Club” movie. Erik even named his tumor “Marla!”(Erik had a dry sense of humor) He enjoyed listening to classic rock and country, acoustic jazz, and the punk and 80’s music he grew up with. He also loved to hang out with his dogs, Boris and Cookie. And he would care for Benjamin’s parakeet Chip and his axolotls Al, Dusty, and Frawsty. To the consternation of his Minnesota family, Erik was a Green Bay Packer’s fan and would root for his team when they played.

When Sherman passed away a few years ago, Erik struggled. He recently told Jennifer he was looking forward to seeing people who had passed away before him and we know he was thinking of Sherman and his beloved cousin, Ryan – who had been like a brother to him.

Erik’s proudest achievement were his children. He loved them so very much. In his own words, he loved watching Cate “being an adult,” watching Maggie dance, and “Fun Facts” by Benjamin. He loved to bring his wife coffee in the morning.

Erik was a marvelous husband, father, and man. His passing leaves a gaping hole in our hearts.

A visitation and memorial service will begin at 7pm, Saturday, August 19 at Thompson Funeral. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Kenneth Romero

Kenneth “Kenny” G. Romero of Phoenix, Arizona passed away July 28, 2023 at the age of 61. He was born August 13, 1961 in Phoenix, Arizona to Primitivo C. Romero and Isabel V. Valadez.

A memorial service will be held from 5 to 7:30pm, Friday, August 11 at Thompson Funeral Chapel.

Judith Fryman

Judith M. Fryman of Avondale, Arizona passed away July 31, 2023 at the age of 79. She was born July 29, 1944 in Milan, Indiana to Walter and Celia Montgomery both of whom preceded her in death. She is also predeceased by her brother Ronald W. Montgomery and great-granddaughter Gracie L. O’Hearn.

She leaves behind her husband of 63 years, Wayne G. Fryman, daughter Melissa D. Morgan (Daniel), son Russell W. Fryman (Kimberly), and brothers James and Harold Montgomery. She also leaves behind seven grandchildren: Jake Campbell, Allison Schwemley, Lysa O’Hearn, Lauren Wilson, Anastasia Fryman, Daniel Fryman, and Dominic Fryman, and two great-grandchildren Ellie O’Hearn and JT Campbell.

Judy grew up in Indiana where she graduated from Moores Hill Highschool in 1962. She went on to study nursing at the Indiana University Medical School. She married Wayne on December 21, 1963. They had been dating since 1959, and Wayne asked her to marry him when they were sophomores in high school. It was a match that was meant to be. Together, the raised their children all over the country and even in Italy thanks to the Air Force. The family visited Roma, Pisa, Venice, went camping in the Swiss Alps, swam in the Mediterranean and so many more places. When Wayne retired, he and Judy went on many cruises and visited Alaska, the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the Panama Canal.

Judy was an active member of the Avondale Baptist Church where she served on the Women’s Committee, the Red Hat Society, and was a Sunday School Teacher for more than 55 years. She was a devout Christian who read the Bible, sang cantatas in her lovely alto voice, and was once a member of the church choir.

Judy was an amazing cook but her Spaghetti alla Carbonara was the family favorite. She also made an amazing Red Velvet Cake for special occasions. Earlier in life, she was an avid bowler and coached bantam bowling. She loved going to Las Vegas and would win Royal Flush at least once a year. She was an avid gamer who enjoyed the Super Mario games and loved playing them with her grandkids. When she wasn’t playing virtual sports, she was an avid baseball and football fan. She would tell anybody who asked her opinions about her favorite teams: the Diamondbacks and Arizona Cardinals.

Judy’s proudest accomplishment was her family. She was so proud of Russ and Miss and their families. She cared deeply about people and had a soft heart. When she asked how you were doing, she wasn’t just being nice. She really wanted to know how you were. She had a beautiful smile and was a genuinely nice person. To her husband, she was his darlin’, his girlfriend, and the very best friend he ever had. To her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, she was the most caring and amazing person they knew.

Judy will be missed by all who knew her. While we know her gentle soul is at rest in heaven and reunited with her beloved dog Red, our hearts are broken. Her memory will live on in our hearts.

A visitation will begin at 10am with the funeral starting at 11am, Tuesday, August 8 at Avondale Baptist Church.

Jermaine Williams

Jermaine Williams of Buckeye, Arizona passed away July 22, 2023 at the age of 52. He was born July 17, 1971 in Sioux City, Iowa to Keith Haynes and Vernita Williams. He was preceded in death by: his father Keith Haynes and son Abraham Rodriguez.

He is survived by his wife of 9 years, Enereida Williams, his mother Vernita (Williams) Brown, brother Carlas Williams, his children, nephews, extended family, and friends.

Jermaine’s passion was sharing his love for Christ. He followed the teachings of the Bible by helping the homeless and caring for others. He was always studying the Bible and tried to live life the way Christ would want. He had a very outgoing personality which helped him spread the Word of God.

Jermaine was a great cook, but was known especially for his mac and cheese. He had recently finished a cooking class with a French chef and enjoyed learning new cuisines.  He loved to create music, play the guitar, and hang with his dog Rocket. He had an amazing laugh and loved to see other people happy. He was always up for a high-five in celebration or even just as a hello.

Jermaine had a beautiful soul and will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Services will start at 10AM, Monday, August 7 at Christ Church of the Valley in Verrado.

Ignacio Peña

Ignacio Peña of Litchfield Park, Arizona passed away July 23, 2023 at the age of 82. He was born May 25, 1941 in Phoenix, Arizona to Ignacio Peña and Virginia Encinas.

Tony was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon Peña. He leaves behind his two sons Adam and Jason, sisters Dolly, Molly and Jean as well as 5 grandchildren.

Services will be held at Thompson Funeral on Monday August 7, 2023 from 9 to 11am. Burial will follow at West Resthaven Memorial Park at 11:45.

Mary Stewart

Mary Alice (Lee) Stewart, age 85, of Goodyear, Arizona, formerly from Illinois, died on July 26, 2023, in Goodyear, Arizona. Mary Alice was born July 17, 1938, in Monmouth, Illinois, a child of Harold and Anastasia (Pittard) Lee.

Mary Alice was educated in Alexis, IL, and Corpus Christi High School, Galesburg, IL. She continued her education to graduate from St. Mary of the Woods College with her Master’s Degree from the University of Iowa and a Doctorate of Education from Nova University. Dr. Stewart spent thirty-nine years in education as a teacher, counselor, and administrator in Illinois schools: St. Dennis Catholic School, Lockport, IL, St. Joseph Academy, Galesburg, IL, Alleman High School, Rock Island, IL, and Black Hawk College, Moline, IL. She would say she loved every place she worked and the students and people she worked with. In addition to her love of education, she valued her Catholic faith, her family, and her Irish roots.

Survivors include: her son, Michael, his wife, Kelly, and their children, Augustus and Avery Stewart, Goodyear, AZ, her husband’s children, Tony and Elaine Stewart; grandchildren Kennedy, Cvaugh, Monty, and Anthony Stewart; her brothers, Larry (Jane) Lee and David (Kay) Lee. She is survived by her beloved nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and nephews. She is also survived by Jigsaw’s family. Mary Alice also leaves behind incredible friends who were so dear to her.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles E. Stewart, her parents, sisters Carol Ann DeCoster, Nelle Rose Blakewell and her husband, Ashton Blakewell, and two brothers James Lee and his wife Carol, and Father Robert Lee.

A funeral mass will be at Sacred Heart Church in Moline, IL, and burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Alexis, IL. Services details are to be updated. A memorial mass will be held at St. John Vianney, Goodyear, AZ, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Sisters of Providence, 1 Sisters of Providence, St. Mary of the Woods, Indiana 47876.


“God gives us the gift of family, and we return there again and again, for family understands where we started from and loves us for who we are.”


*This obituary was written by Dr. Stewart herself, and she asked us to keep it simple and not soupy. We have honored her wishes.

Marilyn Weedman

Marilyn K Weedman passed into everlasting glory on July 23, 2023 in Goodyear, AZ with her family by her side.  She is survived by her children James (Paula), David (Sam), and Brenda (Richard Patton); grandchildren Michael, Danielle (Chance Lawrence), Andrew, Steven (Lynea), Rebecca, Nicholas (Kayle) and Alix (Candice); and great grandchildren Kyleigh, Sophia, Emma, and Areliz; siblings Ron (Norma) Wingerd, Juanita Reynolds, and Ardel Jury.  She was preceded in death by her husband Jack Weedman.

The youngest of five children, Marilyn was born in Kansas in 1946 to Homer and Dorothy Wingerd.  Early in her life, her family moved from Kansas to Grants Pass, OR.  She met Jack at Grants Pass High School. They married upon her graduation in 1964.  They moved often during the eight years he served in the Air Force, spending the majority of their enlistment at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona.

The family settled in Glendale, Arizona where Marilyn was a stay-at-home mother for several years while her children were young.  She then worked at Glendale Cleaners, Michael’s Jewelers, and Walgreens.

Weekends were always reserved for family time.  Most were spent camping, riding dirt bikes in the desert, or simply being together playing games of all kinds.  She was routinely surprised by her spontaneous husband calling on Friday morning saying they were headed to the lake for the weekend with friends to camp, ski, fish, and swim.  Many hours were spent at Lake Pleasant, Alamo Lake, Roosevelt Lake, and Bartlett Lake.

She was a talented seamstress making clothes for the family when they were young.  She could repair almost anything.  She also spent hours crocheting.  Anyone lucky enough to have had a child during her life received one of her beautifully crocheted baby blankets.  She made sure everyone stayed warm with their blankets made with love.  They are a coveted item by all.  She was a gifted quilter, spending many hours making placemats, table runners, and bowl cozies.  She was a voracious reader who always had a book nearby.

She was most proud of how close the family was and still is to this day. The family is together regularly for meals, game nights, camping, fishing and crafting.

Marilyn was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother with a down-to-earth disposition and infectious laugh which made everyone feel welcome.  She will be missed by all.

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