Obituaries: April 19, 2017

Billie Anderson

Billie Anderson, 88, of Litchfield Park died April 2, 2017, at the La Loma Care Center in Litchfield Park.

She was born in May 1928 in Thermopolis, Wyo., and grew up in Wyoming and Colorado. She attended high school in San Francisco and graduated from South Denver High School in Colorado.

She married William Anderson in Denver in November 1946.

She worked for the Air Force Finance Center and later became a Realtor. She was a broker in her own office, Anderson, Livingston, Lincoln of Boulder, Colo. She was named Realtor of the Year and served as president of the National Board of Realtors.

She and her husband became partners in a subdivision near Durango, Colo., where they lived, and were active in the management of the Aspen Trails subdivision. She also managed a store selling the work of local artists.

Later, they lived in Steamboat Springs, Colo., during the summers and Mesa during the winters, then moved to Litchfield Park.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William Anderson.

She is survived by one daughter, Linda Petrarca of Goodyear; one son, Robert C. Anderson of Quartzite; and one grandchild.

A celebration of life ceremony will be at 4 p.m. April 30 in the Sonoran Dining Room at La Loma Senior Living, 14154 S. Denny Blvd., Litchfield Park.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of the West at


Esther Maria Astorga

Esther Maria Astorga, 77, of Avondale died April 13, 2017, in Phoenix.

Mrs. Astorga was born Sept. 19, 1939, in San Antonio to Vincent and Maria Hernandez.

As a youth, she worked as a migrant worker in many states and settled in Arizona in the 1950s. She worked at Garcia’s Market in Avondale, then at Motorola as a semi-conductor technician while obtaining her G.E.D. and taking college courses. She retired from Motorola after 20 years of service.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Eduardo Astorga; and one son, Victor Ayon.

She is survived by one daughter, Yvonne Ayon; two sons, Orlando Ayon and Michael Astorga; one sister, Rosa Cookus; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

A visitation will be at 3 p.m., followed by funeral services at 4 p.m. Thursday at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear.

Condolences may be left at


Elmer G. ‘Tex’ ‘E.G.’ Gage Jr.

Elmer G. “Tex” “E.G.” Gage Jr., 96, of Avondale died April 14, 2017.

Mr. Gage was born Dec. 17, 1920, in Webb City, Ark., to Elmer G. Sr. and Alta Moore Gage.

He was a member of the U.S. Army, serving in the Philippines during World War II and receiving the Purple Heart for service on Leyte Island.

He moved to Avondale in 1946. He was a volunteer firefighter for the city for 10 years and helped draft and signed the city’s first charter.

He was an Avondale businessman for 65 years, owning and operating Gage & Simon Garage with partner Bill Simon and Gage’s Garage and Auto Supply and Gage Enterprises with his wife.

He was a charter member of American Legion Post 61 and a member of the first Southern Baptist Church of Avondale.

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Bobbie Stewart; and one son, Kenneth Gage.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Barbara Riddle Gage; two sons, Kelly Gage of Buckeye and Alvin Gage of Avondale; 14 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be at 9 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 10 a.m. Friday at First Southern Baptist Church, 1001 N. Central Ave., Avondale, with interment to follow at Greenwood Memory Lawn, 719 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, with the Rev. Jack Marslender officiating.

Memorials may be made to First Southern Baptist Church of Avondale for the Brown Bag Ministries.

Condolences may be left at


Emma Friedericke Kester

Emma Friedericke Kester, 82, of Goodyear died April 10, 2017.

Mrs. Kester was born June 24, 1934, in Vienna, Austria, to Karl and Emma Atzenhofer.

She was certified as a master chef in Austria.

She is survived by her husband, Richard Kester; and one son, Karl Kester.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. April 25 at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Road, Goodyear.

Condolences may be left at


Patricia Ann Lott

Patricia Ann Lott, 75, of Glendale died March 12, 2017, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease and pneumonia.

Ms. Lott was born July 10, 1941, in Missouri to Hugo and Shirley Taylor.

She moved to Hawaii in 1968 and to Arizona in 2012.

She was a member of the Women in Insurance and the Red Hat Society.

She is survived by one sister, Janet Adams.


Ruthann Peluso

Ruthann Peluso, 86, of Goodyear died April 5, 2017.

Mrs. Peluso was born May 15, 1930, in Atchison, Kan., to Glen and Ruth Reece.

She started her own catering service.

She joined arts and crafts at PebbleCreek.

She is survived by her husband, Joseph F. Peluso; two daughters, Debra Mays and Pamela Vavra; one son, Steven Mays; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Friday at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 539 E. La Pasada Blvd., Goodyear.

Condolences may be left at


Craig Alan Sandy

Craig Alan Sandy, 36, of Avondale died April 3, 2017.

Mr. Sandy was born Jan. 23, 1981, in Phoenix.

He worked in the construction industry.

He is survived by one daughter, Alexa Rae of Wisconsin; his mother, Penny Sandy of Avondale; his father, Terry Sandy of Mayer; one brother, Jeremy Sandy of Avondale; and two grandparents, Charles and Virginia Stultz of Avondale.

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