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Obituaries: January 18, 2017

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Francis Xavier Abel

Francis Xavier Abel, 74, of Goodyear died Nov. 16, 2016.

Mr. Abel was born Aug. 17, 1942, in Cleveland, to Frank and Cecilia.

He attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1962 and was honorably discharged after serving for four years.

He worked in sales as an independent representative and owner of his own business, Double Eagle Sales, with his wife for the last 15 years.

They moved to Arizona, and lived in PebbleCreek in Goodyear for the past 11 years.

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Cecily.

He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Jackie; one daughter, Stacy; one brother, Dick; his stepchildren; and his grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 400 S. Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park, followed by a reception at the church’s Celebration Hall. Interment will be at 10 a.m. Jan. 23 at the National Memorial Cemetery, 23029 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix.

Memorials may be made to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church or Hospice of the Valley.

Condolences for the family may be left at thompsonfuneralchapel.com.

 

Kenneth Charles Britt

Kenneth Charles Britt, 83, of Goodyear died Jan. 10, 2017.

Mr. Britt was born Jan. 3, 1934, in Centerville, Iowa, to Glenn Britt and Reva Opal.

He served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Randolph from 1956 to 1962.

In Molten, Iowa, he owned a grocery store and the Britt Cafe, served on the city council and was a volunteer firefighter.

He was a member of the Shriners.

He is survived by his wife, Rachel; four sons, Craig Eugene, Kevin Scott, Dennis Alan and Charles Kurtis Britt; one brother, Roger Dean Britt; and seven grandchildren.

Services were Sunday at Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear with interment at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix.

Condolences for the family may be left at thompsonfuneralchapel.com.

 

Mark Henry Courtland

Mark Henry Courtland, 60, of Los Angeles and formerly of Tolleson, Buckeye and Glendale died Jan. 7, 2017, in Los Angeles.

Mr. Courtland was born Jan. 31, 1956, to Mack Franklin and Eleanor Courtland.

He worked as a Christian Science nurse in Los Angeles.

He is survived by his wife, Jan Courtland; two daughters, Judith Avyonne Courtland and Taylour Jayne Courtland; his mother, Eleanor Courtland; one sister, Deidre St. Romain; and one brother, Daniel Charles Courtland.

A celebration of life will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Christian Science First Church, 8228 W. Orangewood Ave., Glendale.

 

Ila Marie Denny

Ila Marie Denny, 93, of Litchfield Park died Dec. 20, 2016, at the La Loma Village Health and Rehabilitation Center in Litchfield Park.

Mrs. Denny was born Oct. 21, 1923, in Moorhead, Iowa, to Martin and Hannah Sorensen Johnson.

She graduated in 1941 and moved to San Francisco, where she worked at an air base and met her husband, Robert M. Denny. They married on July 5, 1947, and were stationed at bases around the world before retiring to Litchfield Park.

She was a member of the Church at Litchfield Park.

She is survived by her husband, Robert M. Denny.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Jan. 20 at the Church at Litchfield Park, 300 N. Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park.

Memorials may be made to the Church at Litchfield Park.

Condolences for the family may be left at thompsonfuneralchapel.com.

 

Jack Erhardt

Jack Erhardt, 83, of Goodyear died Jan. 12, 2017.

Mr. Erhardt was born April 29, 1933, near Center, N.D., to Kasper and Lucretia Messer Erhardt.

He attended schools in the Center area.

He married Marcella Barnhardt on Oct. 12, 1953.

He worked as a butcher at Circle Foods in Mandan, N.D., for five years.

He entered the military in 1958 and was stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington for two years.

He returned to Mandan and farmed, then worked in the construction business. He was later employed with Miller Insulation, then worked for power plants as a pipe insulator.

After the death of his first wife, he married Esther Barth Hilfer on Nov. 30, 2001, in Bismarck, N.D.

He retired in 2010 and moved to Goodyear.

He was a member of St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Goodyear and served as an usher. He was a member of the Moose, Elks and Eagles lodges.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Marcella; and two step-grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, Esther; four sons, Rocky, Rodney, Russell and Roger; one daughter, Mona Engelhard; two stepsons, Brent Hilfer and Stuart Hilfer; three stepdaughters, Mary Nelson, Tracy Hilfer and Laura Beckler; one sister, Lou Silvernagel; two brothers, Matt and Kasper; one stepbrother, Joe Pfeiler; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; nine step-grandchildren; and six step-great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be conducted at a later date in Mandan, N.D.

Condolences for the family may be left at thompsonfuneralchapel.com.

 

Thurston L. Gaines Jr.

Thurston L. Gaines Jr., 94, of Murrieta, Calif., and formerly of Litchfield Park died Dec. 31, 2016, in Murrieta.

Dr. Gaines was born in Long Island, N.Y., where he attended school.

He earned a scholarship to Drake University in Iowa, but chose to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.

He was an original Tuskegee Airman, was accepted into the Negro Cadet Corps at Tuskegee Army Airfield in 1943 and graduated a year later as a flight officer. He was assigned to the 99th Pursuit Squadron and deployed in January 1945 to Europe, where he flew the P-51 Mustang. He joined the “Red Tails” of the 332nd Fighter Group and flew combat missions against the German Luftwaffe in February 1945. On April 15, 1945, he was shot down by anti-aircraft fire on his 25th combat mission over Erding, Germany, where he was captured by the Germans and held prisoner in two German jails and a prison camp before being liberated in June 1945 by Gen. George S. Patton’s 14th Armored Division.

He received numerous military honors, including the Purple Heart and the Congressional Gold Medal, presented by President George W. Bush in March 2007 in Washington, D.C.

He graduated from New York University in 1948 and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.

He spent 17 years as a general surgeon in Long Island, N.Y., then served for a decade as a hospital administrator and medical examiner for Nassau County, N.Y. He later served as medical director of a veterans hospital in Massachusetts.

When he retired, he moved to Missouri City, Texas, in 1988, and later to Arizona, living in Sun City West and Litchfield Park.

He returned to work as a phlebotomist and adjunct college professor in naturopathic medicine. He also completed several computer courses at a local junior college and worked as a middle school substitute teacher.

He was a founding member of the Archer-Ragsdale Arizona Chapter, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., chartered in Phoenix in 2006, and was active in its youth outreach program.

He recently moved to Murrieta, Calif.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 73 years, Jacqueline K. Gaines; three children, Beverly, Terry and William; and six grandchildren.

Funeral services are pending.

 

Peter Ignatius Galante

Peter Ignatius Galante, 74, of Buckeye died Jan. 8, 2017, in Sun City.

Mr. Galante was born June 13, 1942, in Detroit to Ignatius and Vera Galante.

He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1967, achieving the rank of senior airman.

He was a wood sculptor and artist, and built hot rod cars and prototype wooden cars and parts for General Motors. He also built houses.

He was a member of the Southern Thumb Country Cruisers Car Club in Michigan.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Bernadine M. Galante.

He is survived by his wife, Verna Galante; two daughters, Leslie Humbarger and Diana Oliver; three sons, Peter Galante, Nicholas Galante and Butch Dodson; two sisters, Ann Daggett and Sharon Pyron; one brother, Andrew Galante; 14 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were Jan. 11 at Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Valley.

Condolences for the family may be left at thompsonfuneralchapel.com.

 

Gavin Charles Garcia

Gavin Charles Garcia, 12, of Litchfield Park died Jan. 13, 2017, after an accident.

Gavin was born Feb. 7, 2004, in Phoenix to Eric and Lori Garcia.

He was a pupil at Verrado Middle School in Buckeye and was a member of West Valley club baseball organizations.

He is survived by his parents, Eric and Lori Garcia; one sister, Whitney Garcia; one brother, Garrison Garcia; and four grandparents, Carlos and Susan Garcia, Rick Gunning and Linda Gunning Faris.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 19322 W. Indian School Road, Litchfield Park.

 

Joey Delores Gutierrez

Joey Delores Gutierrez, 26, of Phoenix and formerly of Tolleson and Avondale died Dec. 30, 2016, in Phoenix from a heart attack.

Mr. Gutierrez was born Aug. 28, 1990, in Phoenix.

He is survived by his parents, Delores and Brenda Gutierrez; one sister, Katrina Gutierrez; one brother, Zachary Gutierrez; and three grandparents, Sam and Helen Shack and Virginia Gutierrez.

Funeral services were Jan. 14 at West Ridge Southern Baptist Church in Phoenix.

The Rev. Daniel Smiley officiated.

 

Marilyn Baker Smith Ingholt

Marilyn Baker Smith Ingholt, 83, of Goodyear died Dec. 17, 2016, at her home.

Mrs. Ingholt was born Nov. 16, 1933, in Carbondale, Pa., to Walter Reynolds and Mary Smith.

The family moved to Hamden, Conn., where she graduated from high school in 1950. She was the class president and won the French Prize at graduation.

She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business from Skidmore College in 1955 and went to work at Time, Inc., in New York City. She served as class secretary at Skidmore for 50 years.

She married Harry Ingholt in March 1958 and they lived in Hawaii. The family moved 15 more times while he was in the U.S. Air Force.

She worked as a church secretary, bank teller and school attendance monitor. She volunteered at the Luke Air Force Base thrift shop, the base’s hospital hospice, Hospice of the Valley and a women’s domestic violence shelter. She also hosted exchange students from Denmark, Finland and France.

She was a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Avondale, where she served as Sunday school superintendent and sang in the choir. She was also co-chair of the Church and Safety Commission.

She is survived by her husband, Harry; one daughter, Nancy L. Evans; and one son, Paul R. Ingholt.

A memorial service will be at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Christ Community United Methodist Church, 104 W. Western Ave., Avondale.

Memorials may be made to Alzheimer charities.

Condolences for the family may be left at thompsonfuneralchapel.com.

 

Theodora ‘Teddy’ E. Mayfield

Theodora “Teddy” E. Mayfield, 77, of Avondale died Jan. 12, 2017, at Hospice of the Valley’s Ryan House in Phoenix from ovarian cancer.

Mrs. Mayfield was born Nov. 20, 1939, in Benld, Ill., to John and Veronica Bednar.

She earned a master’s degree in hospital administration and worked as a registered nurse.

She was a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Avondale.

She is survived by her husband, George Mayfield Jr. of Avondale; one daughter, Georgia Gonzalez of Goodyear; two sons, George Mayfield III of Las Vegas and Christopher Mayfield of Avondale; and three grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at Holy Cross Catholic Funeral Home, 9925 W. Thomas Road, Avondale. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Jan. 24 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 13720 W. Thomas Road, Avondale.

 

Michael ’Mike’ McFarland

Michael “Mike” McFarland, 70, of Litchfield Park and formerly of Phoenix died Dec. 15, 2016, in Litchfield Park from colon cancer.

Mr. McFarland was born Dec. 1, 1946, in Long Beach, Calif., to Winford and Alma McFarland.

He moved to Phoenix in July 1978.

He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, achieving the rank of sergeant, and was active with the local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans.

He owned McFarland Plumbing.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He is survived by five daughters, Kelli Johnson, Amanda Manning, Teri Leffler, Heather McFarland and Meghan Jensen; one son, Brian McFarland; two brothers, Paul McFarland and Steve McFarland; 22 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Private funeral services will be held at Resthaven Park Cemetery in Glendale.

Condolences for the family may be left at advantagefunerals.com.

 

David Leroy Owens

David Leroy Owens, 69, of Buckeye died Jan. 12, 2017, in Goodyear after battling cancer.

Mr. Owens was born Sept. 2, 1947, in Buckeye to Jessie and Mildred Owens.

He graduated from Buckeye Union High School in 1965.

He was retired from working in the Water Department for the city of Phoenix.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a member and leader of the Masons, 4-H and FFA.

He is survived by his wife, Eunice Moody Owens of Paulden; one daughter, Kristen Owens of Buckeye; one son, Bryan Owens of Buckeye; two sisters, Donna Vernon of Texas and Kathleen Gage of Missouri; one brother, Larry Owens of Buckeye; and eight grandchildren.

A visitation will be at 10 a.m., with funeral services at 11 a.m. Thursday at Ganley’s Buckeye Funeral Home, 104 E. Baseline Road, Buckeye.

 

Bobbie Sue Ray

Bobbie Sue Ray, 79, of Goodyear died Dec. 20, 2016.

Mrs. Ray was preceded in death by her husband, Whitey.

She is survived by two sons, Ron and Scott; one daughter, Leslye Shanberg; two sisters, Margie and Kathi; three brothers, Dennis, Rod and Chuck; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 18 at Scott’s home.

Condolences for the family may be left at thompsonfuneralchapel.com.

 

John W. Stolarz

John W. Stolarz, 42, of Avondale died Jan. 10, 2017, at Banner Estrella Hospital in Phoenix.

Mr. Stolarz was born Feb. 14, 1974, in Passic, N.J., to John E. and MaryAnn Stolarz.

He moved to Arizona in 1998 and attended Arizona State University.

He was a former Avondale police officer.

He is survived by his spouse, David Sims; and his father, John E. Stolarz.

 

Maria Delores Tercero

Maria Delores Tercero, 61, of Buckeye died Dec. 31, 2016, in Goodyear.

Ms. Tercero was born July 22, 1955, in Phoenix.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Henry Catholic Church, 24750 W. Lower Buckeye Road, Buckeye, with interment at the Louis B. Hazelton Memorial Cemetery, 23100 W. Buckeye Road, Buckeye.

The Rev. William Kosco will officiate.

 

Tony C. Villanueva Sr.

Tony C. Villanueva Sr., 77, of Litchfield Park died Jan. 12, 2017, in Litchfield Park.

Mr. Villanueva was born May 12, 1939, in Pecos, Texas.

He moved from New Mexico to Arizona in 1971.

He was a member of the Operator Engineer Union Local 428.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Olga H. Villanueva.

He is survived by one daughter, Lisa Villanueva of Goodyear; five sons, Danny Villanueva of Buckeye, Tony Villanueva Jr. of Midland, Texas, Bobby Villanueva of Litchfield Park, Frank Villanueva of Phoenix and Eddie Villanueva of Buckeye; one brother, Manuel Villanueva of Pecos, Texas; 28 grandchildren; and 36 great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today, with services at 10 a.m. Thursday at Holy Cross Catholic Funeral Home, 9925 W. Thomas Road, Avondale, with interment at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery.

 

Bert Eugene Williams Jr.

Bert Eugene Williams Jr., 61, of Tolleson died Jan. 4, 2017, in Phoenix.

Mr. Williams was born Oct. 18, 1955, in Kansas City, Mo., to Bert Sr. and Lillian Williams.

He is survived by four siblings, Paulette, Lillian, Sonny and Jonni.

A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.

Condolences for the family may be left at advantagefunerals.com.

 

Paid Obituaries

 

Alfonso “UT” Sidon Moreno

Alfonso “UT” Sidon Moreno, 78, of Litchfield Park passed away peacefully on December 14, 2016.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00a.m. Saturday, January 21st at Thompson Funeral Chapel 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ, with interment at Resthaven Park Cemetery, 6450 W. Northern Ave., Glendale. A reception for family and friends will follow, to be announced at the gravesite.

 

Donald “Big Don” West

Donald Richard West, born September 13, 1947, passed away peacefully with his family by his side, Wednesday January 11, 2017. Donnie is survived by his best friend and loving wife of 20 years, Barbara, his sons Tim and Rob, his daughters Sue, Cathy and Nancy, 11 grandchildren, 1 great-grandson and his two feline friends, Lucy and Lucky. 

Big Don,” as he was fondly known by friends, will be sadly missed by many in the Goodyear community.  Donnie truly had the biggest heart and would give the shirt off his back, never leaving a friend in need.  He often volunteered at the American Legion Hall, and prayers always included the brave men and women in the Armed Forces.  Donnie was very proud of his Native American heritage and loved adding to his collection of totems and pottery whenever he could.  He loved football and, as a California transplant in 2000, was slowly converting to a Cardinal fan (as long as they were winning), but he remained a hard-core, faithful San Francisco Forty-Niner fan.  He also loved NASCAR, NHRA drag racing, cooking, and arts and crafts.

 

Celebration of life and memorial service to be held 2pm Friday, January 20, 2017 at The Church at Litchfield Park, 300 North Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340. Condolences for the family may be left at www.thompsonfuneralchapel.com.

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