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Obituaries: March 29, 2017

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Arthur Gomez

Arthur Gomez, 78, of Goodyear died March 17, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mr. Gomez was born Aug. 5, 1938, in Flagstaff to Emeterio and Regina Gomez.

He was a veteran and served in the U.S. Army and the Arizona National Guard. His career spanned more than 30-plus years in the transportation field. He was a truck driver and member of the Teamsters Union Local 104. He worked for Milum laundry in Flagstaff, Cactus Beverages in Flagstaff and Phoenix, and United Beverages.

He was a member of various Catholic parish councils, the legion of Mary and the Cursillo Movement. He was involved with Marriage Encounter and was a Eucharistic minister for the diocese of Phoenix.

He was a committee member for the Chavez Reunion for many years.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Charlotte Gomez; three sons, Anthony, Alex and Tom; two sisters, Rosie Griego and Olivia Pacheco; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A visitation with a rosary recital will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. April 3 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 13720 W. Thomas Road, Avondale. Interment will follow at the Holy Cross Cemetery, 9925 W. Thomas Road, Avondale.

Condolences may be left at


Robert R. ‘Chato‘ Gonzales Jr.

Robert R. “Chato” Gonzales Jr., 62, of Goodyear died March 15, 2017, in Phoenix.

Mr. Gonzales was born Jan. 20, 1955, in Hondo, Texas, to Roberto and Sarita Gonzales.

He is survived by his wife, Anastacia C. Gonzales; one son, Robert R. Gonzales III; two daughters, Katrina Saenz and Krystal Timney; two brothers, Fred Gonzales and Armando Gonzales; one sister, Elsa Umbach; and six grandchildren.


Paul ‘Rex’ Hammock

Paul “Rex” Hammock, 83, of Encinitas, Calif., and formerly Litchfield Park died March 8, 2017.

Mr. Hammock was born May 27, 1933, in Long Beach, Calif.

He spent the majority of his youth in San Diego. He was a seven-year boarding student at Army-Navy Academy in Carlsbad, where he earned varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball, served as class president as well as cadet major, and was voted outstanding senior upon his graduation in 1951.

In 1956, he graduated from San Diego State College, where he played baseball, participated in Air Force ROTC, and was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He later earned a master’s degree from Shippensburg State in Pennsylvania.

He spent 24 years as a fighter pilot in the Air Force. He flew the F-100 Super Sabre and the F-4. His career highlights include: flying 100 missions over North Vietnam during the Vietnam War in which he earned the Silver Star for “gallantry in action against the enemy”; graduating from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. in 1972; living abroad as U.S. Air Force Attaché to the Republic of Iran; serving as director of operations for the F-4 Wing at Luke Air Force Base; and serving as professor of Aerospace Studies and commander of the Air Force ROTC at Arizona State University from 1977 to 1980.

He was a member of The Super Sabre Society, The Order of Daedalians, Command Bar Stool Association and the Military Officers Association of America.

He retired as a colonel from the Air Force in 1980 and spent 20-plus years in management and leadership roles, ultimately retiring as director of the Motor Vehicle Division for the Arizona Department of Transportation.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon; and two sons, Phillip and Kevin.

He is survived by one son, Steve of Encinitas, Calif., and eight grandchildren.

Services have been held. Interment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

Condolences may be left at


Richard ‘Richie’ Landrey Martinez

Richard “Richie” Landrey Martinez 37, of Goodyear died March 25, 2017, at Abrazo West Campus in Goodyear.

Mr. Martinez was born Aug. 20, 1979, in Blacksburg, Va., to Richard E. Martinez and Karen L. Mclean.

He walked with his graduating class from Osborne High School in Manassas, Va., in 1997, and then moved to Arizona where he graduated from Agua Fria High School in 2001.

He participated in the Arizona Recreation Center for the Handicapped (ARCH) and the Choices Day Treatment Program. He was a long-time Special Olympic athlete competing in a variety of sports over the years.

He is survived by his parents, Richard and Karen; two brothers, Joseph E. Martinez of Maricopa and Benjamin T. Martinez of Tempe; and his fiancée, Alyssa Witte of Manhattan, NY.

A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear.

Condolences may be left at


Mark Douglas Montanus

Mark Douglas Montanus, 88, of Litchfield Park died March 13, 2017, at home.

Mr. Montanus was born May 20, 1928, in Chicago.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950 and served in Germany as a member of an Army band.

He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northern Illinois University.

He taught music to K-12 pupils for six years. After moving to Arizona, he had a corporate job until 1965, when he became a founding faculty member in the business department at Glendale Community College. In the 1980s, he taught computer classes and created the Open Entry/Open Exit educational method, allowing students to start and finish computer classes on their own schedule. He wrote textbooks to support the learning style and was twice named Innovator of the Year. He was named director of a new high-tech center. He retired in 2006.

He recently completed writing Captain of the Ship, a self-help book.

He is survived by his wife, Charlotte Montanus of Litchfield Park; one daughter, Jennifer Montanus; two sons, Mark Montanus Jr. and Andrew Montanus; four stepdaughters, Karen Russo-Anderson, Jill Friedman, Beth Charney and Brenda Nottingham; one stepson, Paul Friedman; 13 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Church at Litchfield Park, 300 N. Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park.

Memorials may be made to Open Arms Home for Children, P.O. Box 2198, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340.


Maria Teresa ‘Terri’ Oviedo

Maria Teresa “Terri” Oviedo, 74, of Avondale died March 23, 2017, in Phoenix.

Mrs. Oviedo was born Dec. 24, 1942, in Laredo, Texas, to Porfirio and Alvina Martinez.

She was a homemaker and a member of St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Goodyear. She worked for Community United Methodist Church as a child-care worker.

She is survived by her husband, Jesus Oviedo Sr.; four daughters, Anna, Raquel, Liza and Cristina Oviedo; one son, Jesus Oviedo Jr.; two sisters, Juana Herrera and Rebecca Rangel; four brothers, Guadalupe, Jesus, Sotero and Porfirio Martinez; and three grandchildren.

A visitation will be held at 9:30 a.m. with a rosary recital at 10:30 a.m. and a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. April 3 at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 539 E. La Pasada Blvd, Goodyear. Interment will follow at West Resthaven Park Cemetery, 6450 W. Northern Ave., Glendale.

Condolences may be left at


Manuel Holguin Reyes

Manuel Holguin Reyes, 84, of Avondale died March 22, 2017.

Mr. Reyes was born Feb. 20, 1933, in Fort Hancock, Texas.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Bertha G. Reyes.

He is survived by one son, Agapito Garcia; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be at 10 a.m., followed by services at noon Friday at Advantage Crystal Rose Funeral Home, 9155 W. Van Buren St., Tolleson. Interment will follow at Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery in Phoenix.

Condolences may be left at


Margaret Sleeseman

Margaret Sleeseman, 84, of Avondale died March 19, 2017.

She is survived by three children, nine grandchildren and 18 grandchildren.


Leona Irene Sullivan

Leona Irene Sullivan, 81, of Buckeye died March 22, 2017, at home.

Mrs. Sullivan was born Jan. 29, 1936, in Pittsburgh.

She moved to Arizona in 1958.

She worked as an accountant for the Buckeye Police Department, Buckeye Elementary School and Arizona Public Service Co.

She was a member of St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Buckeye for 58 years.

She was preceded in death by one daughter, Ellen Rose Sullivan; and one grandchild.

She is survived by her husband, Emory Sullivan; one daughter, Mary Jo Lugo; one son, Martin Sullivan; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were March 25 at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Buckeye.

Memorials may be made to the St. Henry’s Catholic Church Building Fund, 24750 W. Lower Buckeye Road, Buckeye, AZ 85326.




Sharon Suzanne Tomas Koontz

Sharon Suzanne Tomas Koontz, 61, of Waipahu, Hawaii died on March 19, 2017 in Avondale, Arizona. She was born on December 16, 1955 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Benjamin and Emily Tomas.

She graduated from Waipahu High in 1973.

Sharon is survived by her husband Robert T. Koontz; daughters Dolores Parks (Shan), Lucia Acidera (Chester); sons Armando Salazar (Cathy), Roberto Salazar (Heidie), Carlos Salazar; mother Emily Tomas; sisters Lina Tomas, Linda Felipe, Shirley Rauguindin (Doug), Beverly Tomas, Roxanne Tomas (Jay); brothers Melvin Torricer (Charmine), Clifford Alan Tomas (Mary); and 13 grandchildren: Austin, Elijah, Kaila, Ashlynn, Averie, Ava, Bryson, Brandon, Christian, Jeremiah, Jeriah, Anthony-Noah, Abrahm. She was preceded in death by her father, Benjamin Tomas.

A visitation will be held from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm with a 7:00 pm Rosary on Thursday, March 30th at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Rd, Goodyear, AZ. Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 am on Friday, March 31st at St. John Vianney Parish, 539 La Pasada Blvd, Goodyear, AZ. Condolences for the family can be left at


Peggy Ruth Wootten

Peggy Ruth Wootten, 85, passed away on March 18, 2017 in Avondale, AZ. She was born in Oklahoma on September 29, 1931 and raised in Woodlake, CA. Peggy is survived by her 2 daughters Ruth and Cheryl and son Bardin. She was blessed to have 7 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Peggy and her late husband Robert Wootten had a successful life racing Greyhounds. They retired in 2004 and Peggy spent the rest of her life serving the Lord. Her faith, strength in Christ and loving heart will live on in all our hearts forever. Graveside services were held at noon on Tuesday, March 28th at Holy Cross Cemetery located at 9925 W. Thomas Road in Avondale, AZ. Condolences can be left at

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