Obituaries - February 1, 2017

Donald A. Benner

Donald A. Benner, 92, of Goodyear died Jan. 19, 2017, at Abrazo West Campus in Goodyear.

Mr. Benner was a member of the U.S. Air Force for more than 20 years, serving during World War II and working as an aircraft mechanic, retiring as a master sergeant.

He was a master Mason for more than 50 years.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Clara Mae Benner; one son, Donald Jr. of Fairborn, Ohio; one daughter, Debra Clark of Goodyear; one sister, Elizabeth Swinford of Lewistown, Pa.; two grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Interment will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix.

Memorials may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children.

Condolences for the family may be left at


Ernesto Trejo Castro

Ernesto Trejo Castro, 78, formerly of Avondale died Jan. 27, 2017, in Surprise.

Mr. Castro was born Nov. 7, 1938, in Mexico City, Mexico, to Damaso Trejo and Gosos Castro.

He is survived by seven children, Manuel Trejo, Jorge Trejo Sandoval, Jaime Trejo, Angelica Trejo Saenz, Esmeralda Trejo, Ernesto Trejo and Orlando Trejo; one brother, Justino Trejo; 22 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Visitation with church services started Tuesday afternoon and conclude at 9 a.m. today at Ministerio Familia de Dios, 2705 W. Melvin St., Phoenix. Interment will be at 10 a.m. today at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 10045 W. Thomas Road, Avondale.

Condolences for the family may be left at


Charles Thomas Collins Jr.

Charles Thomas Collins Jr., 84, of Goodyear died Jan. 20, 2017.

Mr. Collins was born June 14, 1932, in Cleveland to Gertrude and Charles T. Collins Sr.

He was a member of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, Los Angeles Local 250 for 68 years.

He started working at age 17 and worked his way up to piping superintendent for Bechtel Corporation for 10 years.

He was a member of the Single Action Shooting Society.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Florence Jean Collins; and one son, Charles Thomas Collins III.

He is survived by three daughters, Mary Davis, Victoria Reed and Teresa Atkinson; one son, David Collins; one brother, Ronald Collins; 12 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be at 5 p.m., with a rosary recital at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear. A Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Feb. 7 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 13720 W. Thomas Road, Avondale, followed by interment at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 9925 W. Thomas Road, Avondale.

Condolences for the family may be left at


Iva ‘Sharon’ Gaulke

Iva “Sharon” Gaulke, 80, of Goodyear died Jan. 24, 2017, at home.

Mrs. Gaulke was born in Boaz, Wis., to Leo and Glennie Rawson.

She grew up in Richland Center, Wis.

She and her husband left Wisconsin for his military postings, then returned after his retirement.

She worked as director of custodial services for the physical plant at the University of Wisconsin in Madison before retiring to Goodyear.

She was preceded in death by her husband, James Gaulke.

She is survived by one daughter, Marian Hansen Kaucheck; and one grandson.

Interment will be at the Avoca Cemetery in Avoca, Wis.

Memorials can be made to Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix.

Condolences for the family may be left at


Christopher Glover Jeans

Christopher “Chris” Glover Jeans, 72, of Goodyear died Jan. 22, 2017.

Mr. Jeans was born in Long Beach, Calif., to Howard and Dorothy Boake Jeans.

He earned a degree in mathematics and engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and did graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

During his college years, he became a master bridge player and nationally-ranked athlete in fencing.

He was employed as a software engineer at Univac, now known as Unisys, in Blue Bell, Pa., and created a FORTRAN compiler and other software for mid-sized mainframe computers. He transitioned to the end-user office and imaging products using commercial operating systems. He was a director overseeing a group that provided technical consultants for business solutions with large customers. After retirement, he worked as an independent computer consultant.

He was preceded in death by his first wife of 36 years, Eleanor Jeans.

He is survived by his wife, Janet Jeans; and one daughter, Jennifer Jeans of Scottsdale.

Interment will be at a later date at St. John Neumann Cemetery in Chalfont, Pa.

Memorials may be made to the Phoenix Symphony, 1 N. First St., Suite 200, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

Condolences for the family may be left at


Albert G. Lopez

Albert G. Lopez, 69, of Avondale died Jan. 24, 2017, in Phoenix.

Mr. Lopez was born Feb. 22, 1947, in Glendale to Loreto and Andrea Lopez.

He owned a construction business.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church, and was baptized at the First Southern Baptist Church of Phoenix on June 22, 1975.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Lopez; two daughters, Gloria Andrade and Andrea Lopez; two sons, Gilbert Lopez and Roman Lopez; two sisters, Angie Lara and Andrea Martinez; two brothers, Charles Lopez and Loreto Lopez; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Garden Lakes, 2517 N. 107th Ave., Avondale.

The Rev. Jeffrey Stachmus will officiate.

Condolences for the family may be left at


Jesse ‘JJ’ Moreno Ochoa

Jesse “JJ” Moreno Ochoa, 33, of Tolleson died Nov. 8, 2016, at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

Mr. Ochoa is survived by his parents, Jesse and Maria Ochoa; one brother, Simon Ochoa; and two grandparents, Jose and Consuelo Moreno.

Services were conducted at Avenidas Funeral Chapel in Avondale.


Chad Brion Schroder

Chad Brion Schroder, 64, of Palo Verde died Jan. 19, 2017, in Palo Verde.

Mr. Schroder was born Nov. 16, 1952, in Phoenix to Willard and Betty Schroder.

He worked as a mechanic.

He is survived by one son, Brion Schroder of Beaumont, Calif.; one daughter, Melissa Schroder of Lebanon, Tenn.; his father, Willard Schroder of Palo Verde; three brothers, Michael Schroder of Buckeye, Scott Schroder of Palo Verde and Kevin Schroder of Palo Verde; one sister, Lyn DeHaven of Buckeye; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were Tuesday at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 10 N. Apache Road, Buckeye.

Memorials may be made to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 10 N. Apache Road, Buckeye, AZ 85326.


Maria Mendez Silva

Maria Mendez Silva, 28, of Avondale died Jan. 22, 2017, in Goodyear.

Ms. Silva was born Sept. 7, 1988, in Zacatecas, Mexico.

She is survived by her mother, Amelia Mendez; one son, Javier Castellanos Mendez; and four siblings, Cecilia Carrillo Mendez, Jose Carrillo Mendez, Daniela Bernabe and Brianna Barocio.

Services have concluded.

Condolences for the family may be left at


Fred Michael Stover

Fred Michael “Mike” Stover, 66, of Goodyear died Jan. 23, 2017, from cancer.

Mr. Stover was born in China Lake, Calif., to Fred E. and Elizabeth Stover.

He attended high school in Hawaii for three years, then graduated in 1968 from Alhambra High School in Phoenix.

He served in the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1972.

He married Irene Stover on July 26, 1975, at St. Agnes Church in Phoenix.

He was employed in the furniture moving business, working as a truck driver and later in sales for Professional Movers, Inc.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Irene Stover; one son, Michael Stover; one daughter, Jennifer Treguboff; two brothers, Craig Stover and Philip Stover; and five grandchildren.

A viewing will be at 5 p.m., with a rosary service at 6 p.m. today at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 13720 W. Thomas Road, Avondale.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, Hospice of the Valley or the Cancer Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine.

Condolences for the family may be left at


Barbara Jean Appling Testerman

Barbara Jean Appling Testerman, 76, of Avondale died Jan. 5, 2017.

Mrs. Testerman was born Aug. 24, 1940, in Dumas, Texas, to Wallace and Hazel Appling.

She married Jack H. Testerman on June 16, 1960, in Dumas.

She moved to Sahuarita in 1971 and then to Avondale in 1991.

She was preceded in death by one grandson.

She is survived by her husband, Jack; one daughter, Karla Testerman Witt of Avondale; one sister, Wilma Mattocks of Texhoma, Okla.; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be made to a local no-kill animal shelter.


Betty Jean Wolf

Betty Jean (nee Roberts) Wolf, 79, of Goodyear died Jan. 28, 2017.

Mrs. Wolf was born March 24, 1937, in San Diego to Oscar and Flora Roberts.

She lived in several states and a naval base in Guam, and graduated from high school in Santa Ana, Calif. She earned a degree in 1959 from St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Tucson.

She worked as a school nurse for the Buckeye Elementary School District for 35 years and assisted with her husband’s family business, Wolf’s Western Wear.

She was a member of St. Henry’s Parish in Buckeye, and served on the Parish Council. She was also a member of St. Mary’s of the Angels in Pinetop and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Avondale.

She was a member of the Buckeye Junior Women’s Club and was on the board and served as president of the West Valley Fine Arts Council.

She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Joe H. Wolf Jr.; two sons, Ken and Joe III; one sister, Barbara Zapata; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. today at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 13720 W. Thomas Road, Avondale.

Memorials may be made to the Arizona Arthritis Foundation.


Paid Obituaries


Alice Roselyn Pendergast

Alice Roselyn Pendergast, of Phoenix — a beloved mother, grandmother and wife — passed away peacefully on Jan. 17, 2017 at age 88.

She was known as a loving and generous person, often silently contributing to the education of young people. She anonymously donated scholarships, eye glasses, jackets, school supplies, toys and computers to Valley kids through schools.

A native Arizonan, Mrs. Pendergast was born in Humboldt on May 5, 1928, the youngest of eight children, to Francis A. and Anna Estella Land. The Land Family moved from Prescott to Phoenix in 1935.

Known by her childhood nickname “Snookie,” she was chosen Queen of Capitol School before attending Adams School for 7th and 8th grades in Phoenix. An avid athlete, she competed in softball, tennis, basketball, volleyball and swimming.

Graduating from Phoenix Union High School in 1946, Alice represented Phoenix Union in Girls League, Girls Letter Club and as Girls Representative for the Senior Class. She held several administrative jobs in Phoenix while dating the love of her life, Clarence “Clancy” Pendergast, Jr., as he attended the University of Arizona.

Clarence and Alice were married July 25, 1952 at Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix and together raised a family of four children on a farm in Glendale.

Though completely devoted to her husband and children, she later enjoyed civic activities including Glendale Chapter C of the women’s organization PEO, Red Hatters, and the Methodist Church Mary Martha Circle. She supported Clarence in his civic activities, especially enjoying spouse involvement in Salt River Project Board & Council, and Glendale Rotary Club. She cherished her bridge club friends and weekly luncheons at Bitzee Mama’s in Glendale.

Their children attended Pendergast Elementary School and Alice was active as a homeroom mother, coach and contributor for decades. Pendergast School named its new library in her honor in 2009. The Alice Pendergast Library & Media Center is host to many educational, holiday and family functions in the Pendergast District — and brought her great joy. She cherished children and highly valued the importance of education.

The greatest source of joy and pride for Alice and Clarence were their children — Colleen, Bonnie, Carolyn, and Clancy; and granddaughter Victoria.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 64 years Clarence C. Pendergast, Jr., as well as her parents, and brothers Harry and Warren Land; sisters Alberta Keene, Marion Allard, Margaret Land, Frances Kirkland and Nonie Thomas.

Alice is survived by her children, Colleen McPherson Roble of Kansas City, Mo., Bonnie Pendergast of Goodyear, Ariz., Carolyn Pendergast of Phoenix, Ariz., and Clarence “Clancy” Pendergast III of Los Angeles, Calif; and granddaughter Victoria McPherson of San Francisco, Calif.

While the family appreciates the thoughtfulness of relatives and friends, the graveside memorial service will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the Alice Pendergast Library, Pendergast Elementary School, 3802 N. 91st Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85037, Attn: Principal Mike Woolsey.


Mary Ann Wright

Mary Ann Wright, of Buckeye, age 76.

Our special Mimi passed away from this life on January 28, 2017. She was surrounded by family, friends, laughter and love as she went to heaven to join her beloved husband of 47 years Frank “FT” Wright.

Mary Ann was born on September 26, 1940 to the late Wardine and Lauretta Rickey of Steubenville, Ohio. She was preceded in death by her dear sister Sena Rickey Benos (Steve) and brother Thomas Rickey.

She leaves behind a family that will miss her crazy sense of humor, love of cooking and great stories. She will be greatly missed by her sister, Barbara Roush (Paul) of Reedsville, OH, sister-in-law Diane Rickey of Ridgway, CO, her daughter Cheri Thomas and husband Charles formerly of Buckeye but now of York, SC and son Rick Wright of Goodyear, AZ.

Her grand and great grandchildren where her joy in life! She leaves grandchildren Amy and Chris Oliver, Katie and Colton Coyne of Buckeye, AZ, Randi Wright of Goodyear, AZ and Bryce Thomas of York, SC along with great grandchildren Kayli, Zachary and Abby Oliver and Gavin Coyne, all of Buckeye.

She held dear her nieces, nephews and their children and grandchildren along with many special friends.

Memorials can be made via donation to The Melonhead Foundation, 2501 E. Southern Ave. Ste. 21, Tempe, AZ 85282

A private family service will be held at a later time.


Rodney Michael Beals

Rodney Michael Beals of Goodyear, AZ and formerly of Chicago, Ill. died January 22, 2017.

Mr. Beals was born on February 27, 1949 in Chicago, Ill

He attended Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill and also attended several community colleges to earn a degree in Psychology. He joined the United States Army and was honorably discharged after serving 4 years. He worked in several large accounting firms in Los Angeles and San Diego, Ca. He and his wife also owned an international employment service for 15 years in San Diego.

Rodney also served as a community activist helping to improve the lives of homeless veterans, mothers reentering the job market with little to no skills gain employment, and disenfranchised individuals from all walks of life. While residing in Goodyear, he volunteered with several churches to help homeless veterans in Maricopa County.

Rodney is survived by his wife Rose of 30 years, 4 sons Rodney Beals, Marquis Everett, Sean Beals and Dorian Beals, 23 brothers and sisters and 2 grandchildren.

A viewing will be held Thursday February 2, 2017 from 6pm to 8pm at Thompson Funeral Chapel, located at 925 S. Litchfield Rd. Goodyear, AZ.

A celebration of life will be held on Friday February 3, 2017 at 11am at Carpenter’s House of Worship, 13048 West Rancho Santa Fe Blvd. Avondale, AZ. 85392.

The interment will immediately follow the church services at 1pm at West Resthaven Cemetery, 6450 W. Northern Ave. Glendale, AZ. 85301.

Condolences for the family may be left at


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