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Memorial Scheduled for Longtime Resident Dennis Marazzito

| Community, Obituaries | November 16, 2017

Members of the Marazzito family, who settled in Canyon Country more than 50 years ago, are grieving the loss of Dennis Marazzito, 67, who died Monday, November 13, 2017 after a long battle with heart disease. Dennis and his wife of 31 years, Rose Marazzito, owned The Drifters bar on Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country.

He was born in New Jersey on March 15, 1950 to Emily and Joseph Marazzito. Following graduation from William S. Hart High School in Newhall, Dennis joined the United States Marines.

Always an advocate for the needs of children, Dennis and Rose raised funds every year to purchase and donate 10-20 bicycles for the holidays. He placed barrels at The Drifters to collect toy donations, which were filled to the brim, and every holiday the couple served free meals to anyone from the community who gathered. Dennis never wanted anyone to be alone or hungry on a holiday.

Services will be held on Saturday, November 18 at Heart of the Canyons Church, 24551 Valley Street in Newhall. A viewing will be held at 9 a.m. and a service at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Eternal Valley, 23287 Sierra Highway in Newhall. The family welcomes visitors to attend a reception held in his honor at 2 p.m. at VFW Post 6885, 16208 Sierra Highway in Canyon Country.

Dennis and Rose

Dennis is survived by his wife, Rose; his children, Dennis, Joey, Sheri, Angela, Barbara Ann, and Jessica; and 11 grandchildren, including the youngest, Hendrix. He is also survived by four siblings, Barbara, Joe, Eddie (Bridgett) and Lydia (Sid) and many more family members.

“There must be a big job for Dennis in heaven,” says the Marazzito family. “He will be missed by so many, because he touched so many lives. Dennis, you are and always will be a legend. Rest in peace.”

Agnes Noel Urbanovich 1933-2017

| Obituaries | October 26, 2017

By Jim Urbanovich

Born Agnes Noel Pryor on July 30, 1933 in the New York borough of the Bronx, Noel’s parents were James Aloysius Pryor and Helen Garland. According to firsthand accounts from Noel, her father, who passed away in November of 1963, was the ultimate showman who never backed away from a microphone or public appearance. Her mother, who died in March of 1986, from this writer’s firsthand account, was not much different, as it did not take much for her to recite and dance to her unique rendition of “Red Hot Mama.”

Noel did not inherit the showman chip. Rather, she grew up in Brooklyn, and rather than break out in song like her parents, would be constantly wiping the noses of her siblings Jim, Bill and Jack, in a big sister, motherly-type role. She later attended nursing school, and left for the promised land of California circa 1955. It was then that she met another New York State native, David Stephen Urbanovich.

Shortly thereafter, she gave birth to Marybeth on July 27, 1960, to Julie Anne on January 9, 1962 and to James Aloysius on March 3, 1963. Noel gave up her nursing profession in order to take on the full-time job of raising children. It was in this role that her kind, caring and loving matriarchy would shine brightly. She took the role of mother and wife very seriously, striving to meet the needs of her children.

Her love and dedication to her family was perhaps no more evident than when she went back to work for the sole purpose of earning enough money to pay the fees for her daughter’s high school cheerleading expenses. However, Noel did not feel comfortable immediately going back into nursing after taking nearly two decades off, so she got another job — as a cashier at McDonald’s. Not just any McDonald’s, it was the McDonald’s directly across the street from her children’s high school. When her kids objected, her staunch, confident and unabashedly shameless response was, “There is never, ever any shame in earning an honest dollar … and don’t ever forget that.”

Her acts of kindness and selfless love are far too numerous to mention — the stories are seemingly endless and infinite.

Noel went back into nursing in 1980, when her children no longer needed a full-time mother. Evidence of her self-proclaimed greatest personal achievement can be found on a plaque at Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, California that honors her for her more than 20 years of excellent service as a post-surgery nurse.

Noel is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, Steve, her three children, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. On her final day on this planet, October 18, 2017, her surviving husband was asked if he wanted a post mortem confession service. His reply was, “Why? There is nothing to confess. She was perfect.”

Noel will be greatly missed, beyond words.

Nina Mae Marquis

| Obituaries | June 30, 2017

In loving memory of Nina Mae Marquis who passed away suddenly at age 73 on June 15, 2017. She was a loving wife, mother, granny and friend. She was a house wife, licensed cosmetologist and business ower along with her husband Gerard Marquis. She was born in Ventura, California and spent her life close to the coastline of California. She loved camping, traveling and spending time with family, especially when it allowed time for “granny spoils”. She is survived by her daughters; Lisa Coffin, Susan Marquis, Lynn Martinez, her son John Daniel Barnes, 9 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. Nina was preceded by her husband of 41 years, Gerard Marquis and her daughter Shannon Buttram Nina always wanted the best for everyone around her and will be deeply missed by all her friends and family. She was a truly a generous soul.

Nina Mae Marquis

| Obituaries | June 30, 2017

In loving memory of Nina Mae Marquis who passed away suddenly at age 73 on June 15, 2017. She was a loving wife, mother, granny and friend. She was a house wife, licensed cosmetologist and business ower along with her husband Gerard Marquis. She was born in Ventura, California and spent her life close to the coastline of California. She loved camping, traveling and spending time with family, especially when it allowed time for “granny spoils”. She is survived by her daughters; Lisa Coffin, Susan Marquis, Lynn Martinez, her son John Daniel Barnes, 9 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. Nina was preceded by her husband of 41 years, Gerard Marquis and her daughter Shannon Buttram Nina always wanted the best for everyone around her and will be deeply missed by all her friends and family. She was a truly a generous soul.

Celebration of Life for John David Holt

| Obituaries | October 29, 2016

Santa Clarita resident John David Holt passed away earlier this month at the age of 69.

John’s friends and family are celebrating his life with a gathering on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. at Drifters Bar, located at 18240 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country.

John was born on June 27, 1947 and died on October 2, 2016. He is survived by daughters Eden and Shelly Holt and Sheila Karhu; and grandchildren Cameron Holt, Ashley Rich, and Gaelan, Garrett and Anthony Karhu.

For more information about the celebration, call Dennis at (661) 609-3153.

Gloria Dell Stowell

| Obituaries | October 28, 2016

Gloria Dell Stowell passed away peacefully on October 22, 2016 at Grand Valley Healthcare Center in Van Nuys, Calif. She was laid to rest at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Sylmar next to her beloved mother and father, Mildred and John
Swinscoe.

Gloria was born in Glendale, Calif. on April 21, 1934 and was a longtime resident of Granada Hills, Calif.

She was the beloved mother of Brenda Marie Cowan, Christine LaRue Anderson, John Dodge Old (Cecelia McGrew), Mildred Elizabeth Beierschmitt (Wanda Elaine Glass), and adopted daughter and son Hillary Ann Mulligan and Dan Farnsworth. Gloria was stepmother to Bob, Craig and Marty Stowell, and neighborhood mom to many.

Gloria was also the beloved grandmother of Misty Marie Pedrazoli, John Robert Anderson, Joshua Ryan Beierschmitt, Shelly Joanne Anderson, Aaron Michael Beierschmitt, Sabrina Renee McGrew, William Scott Laurence Cowan, Ryan John Alexander Cowan, Calvin Paul McGrew, John Don McGrew and William Thomas Farnsworth. She is also survived by great-grandchildren Lane McGrew and Layla, Mikey, Nathan and Cassidy Beierschmitt.

Cpl. Richard Raymond Nordland, February 25, 1990-September 23, 2016

| Obituaries | October 25, 2016

Last month, the Santa Clarita Valley lost one of its own in a motorcycle accident in Orange County. Richard “Ricky” Nordland lived in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce, attending Valley View Elementary School from Kindergarten through sixth grade, and both La Mesa Jr. High and Sierra Vista Junior High School. Ricky attended Vasquez High School for three years before returning to Canyon Country where he attended Canyon High, then graduated from Bowman High School in 2008.

An all American athlete, Ricky participated in athletics through the City of Santa Clarita youth sports programs and competitive leagues, including soccer, basketball, karate and T-ball. He also played baseball at Canyon Country Little League and at William S. Hart League. Ricky also participated in Pop Warner Football through the Canyon Country Athletic Association (CCAA) for four years, and continued to play in high school.

When he wasn’t on a field with a ball in his hand, Ricky could be found in karate classes or riding his dirt bike. He enjoyed BMX racing from a young age, which led to his passion for dirt bikes.

Ricky joined the United States Marines in 2013, where he served in the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. In June, he returned from deployment in Okinawa. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he recently was promoted to corporal and accepted an offer to reenlist.

Ricky had a positive attitude that affected all who encountered him. He had a passion for adventure and his motto in life was “never give up.” Loved ones say he always had a smile and was there to offer help for a friend in need. Coaches, teachers, friends and fellow Marines all echo that Ricky was a natural leader and always there to lift your spirits and help to motivate you to succeed.

Ricky is survived by his son, Joseph, parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. He has been laid to rest at Eternal Valley Memorial Park in Newhall.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Santa Clarita Opportunity for a Recreational Experience (S.C.O.R.E.) program, which provides financial scholarships for local children to participate in athletic programs. To donate to S.C.O.R.E., make checks payable to the City of Santa Clarita, and write “SCORE” in the memo line.

Donations can be mailed to: Cynthia Victor, Recreation & Community Services Supervisor, City of Santa Clarita, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA 91350.

 

PIET VAN CALBERGH 1/5/1951 – 8/28/2016

| Obituaries | September 15, 2016

Piet Remi Van Calbergh of Santa Clarita passed away on August 28, 2016 at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. He was 65.

Originally from Waregem, Belgium, Piet was born on January 5, 1951 to Marcel Van Calbergh, a carpenter and artist, and Marie Louise De Lombaerde, a professional seamstress. He grew up with seven older siblings (Jan, Therese, Jeff, Lieve, Mieke, Maryke and Lutje) in a house built by his father, which remains occupied by family to this very day.

Following the untimely death of his mother, Piet attended a nearby boarding school at the age of three. Though small for his age, he made up for his size with a fiery personality and love of mischief.  Piet moved to America at the age of 17, and ever since, he has been in love with the USA. If there ever was an argument about the United States with his European pals, Piet defended this country, tooth and nail.

He has worked as a travel agent for the past 37 years with his wife, Mary. Their first child, Ann Maki, was born in 1974, followed by Casey Emile, born in 1982.

In 1988, Piet moved his family into their house in Santa Clarita, where his remaining years were spent raising his children, traveling, spending time with friends, getting to know his in-laws and grandchildren, and operating The Travel Affair with Mary. During this time he was also an active member of Rotary International, and co-founded the Belgian Business Club, an organization dedicated to promoting Belgian culture in Los Angeles.

Well-known for his keen sense of humor, razor-sharp wit, generosity and love of fun, Piet cultivated seemingly countless friendships over the decades, spanning multiple continents. A freethinker, he remained open to new ideas, though he was never afraid to defend his own, always enjoying a spirited debate.

Among other things, he was passionate about art, history, literature, film, chess, good food, music, soccer and wine. A master storyteller, Piet could bring any room to life with colorful tales of his many exploits. To match his vast stores of knowledge, he maintained an array of practical skills; he could lay a new floor in his house just as well as he could discuss the aesthetic principles of Monet. He loved entertaining, and could be frequently sighted at the center of a crowd, perhaps most famously at his annual Christmas Eve parties. Piet strongly felt that the key to happiness was in the enjoyment of small things in life, a philosophy he embraced in full, knowing always that moments spent with loved ones held the most value. Brave and valiant to the very end, Piet’s life was one truly lived, and he will be sorely missed by all.

He is survived by his wife Mary, daughters Ann and Casey, grandchildren Kyle, Mia and Sienna, sons-in-law Brian and Tom, and a great multitude of other beloved family and friends.

Santa Clarita Residents Mourn the Passing of Lloyd Sreden

| News, Obituaries | June 30, 2016

lloydOn Monday, June 27, 2016, surrounded by his family, Lloyd Sreden lost his fight with pancreatic cancer. He was 55 years old.

Lloyd was born to Barry and Maxine Sreden in February 1961 and grew up in Granada Hills, Calif.

A resident of Santa Clarita, Lloyd was known for his generous service to several local non-profit organizations, but perhaps more, for his reputation as a practical joker.

Philanthropy
Lloyd got involved early as a coach and volunteer with the William S. Hart Baseball and Softball organization. He generously shared his expertise in finance and served as a long-term board member.

Lloyd also served on the board of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce for more than 20 years, often as the board treasurer. And in 2010, Lloyd joined the College of the Canyons Foundation Board of Directors.

An active member of Rotary Club of the Santa Clarita Valley, Lloyd freely donated his financial talents to the group.

“Not only did he serve on the governing board for 15 years straight, he was the treasurer of the Foundation board,” said Michael Berger in his eulogy at Lloyd’s funeral, held Thursday, June 30 at 10 a.m. at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Simi Valley, Calif. “Being a 501C3, it was a lot of work, including all the accounting, annual reports and tax returns. In those 15 years, he never charged the club a penny. The money he saved the club went to support a local charity in our community every year.”

The service organization devoted part of its meeting Wednesday to remembering his legacy.

“Lloyd has been a great Rotarian, always helpful with SCV Rotary books and foundation billing and audits,” Jim Lentini said. “He always supported our functions, offering his home, and his family was always involved and supportive. Lloyd was a wonderful family man, always having his family first and being involved in our Rotary programs and what’s important in support of our community. Because of his support and giving demeanor, many of our Rotarians were clients of his firm.”

Professional
Lloyd was a senior partner at Stern, Kory, Sreden & Morgan in Stevenson Ranch, Calif.
“He was serious and very good at what he did, and he had a sense of humor, which made things bearable, especially during tax season,” said Ron Morgan, another partner at the CPA firm. “He knew practically everybody in Santa Clarita.”

Berger’s eulogy underscored how Lloyd’s clients trusted his work.
“Lloyd had a stellar reputation,” Berger said. “The ultimate professional. Over the past few days I have heard so many people telling me how much they trusted him and how he has made such a positive difference in their business.”

Personal
lloyd and vickiLloydWEB“His favorite things that I know of were his family … golf, and he loved the Dodgers, even when they let him down,” Morgan said. “He also loved his dogs.”

Called “the ultimate prankster,” one of Lloyd’s tricks involved swapping his yellow Labrador with the neighbor’s, seeing how long it took the dog-sitter to catch on.

“He loved to laugh and he loved to play practical jokes on people,” Morgan said. “It made his day when he could successfully do something like that, and he loved retelling the stories.” Steve Corn, Lloyd’s friend of many years, listed some of his favorite pranks.

“He’d un-strap your golf bag, and when you drove off in the golf cart it would fall off the back. He’d use exploding golf balls on unsuspecting golfers. He put itching powder on one guy’s neck at a Dodger game. … At Rotary, if you got up he’d salt put salt in your ice water,” said Corn. “I think he lived to prey on people with his shocking pen.”
Lloyd’s sense of humor was a natural part of his personality, according to friends and colleagues.

“Lloyd was blessed with charisma,” Berger said. “You can see this by how many different friends he had. Everyone wanted to spend time with him.”

Many of Lloyd’s friends voiced their sadness at his passing.

“I knew Lloyd to be a loving family man and upstanding community and business leader,” Tom Christensen said.

“He was generous with his time, his talents, and financially. I was lucky enough to have called him a friend. He will be missed.”

Lloyd is survived by his parents, Barry and Maxine; his wife, Vicky; and his children, Matt (Jessica), Mandy and Travis.

“Looking at him as a man and as a friend, husband, dad, brother and son, it’s hard to find anybody more dedicated to those around him, so concerned about others,” Corn said. “He’s taught us all to relish every minute, to be grateful.”

Rotary President Louis Esbin sent a letter to members with a take-away that would honor Lloyd Sreden.
It said, “May his smile, wit, humor, good nature, and legacy of service above self guide each of us in our own lives.”

 

Walter Charles Miles 1914-2016

| Obituaries | April 21, 2016

Walter Charles Miles passed peacefully from his 102 years of a life well-lived on April 11, 2016 at his home in Valencia, California. He was a beloved father to Ted and Ken, a doting grandfather to Kenny and Cassie, the fond brother of Sarah and an adoring great-grandfather to Kayler.

Walter was born in Omaha, Nebraska on March 17, 1914, St. Patrick’s Day. He worked in the seafood business with his father, Charles, until the Great Depression. Work then took him to California, where he thrived in the garment and aircraft industries, and where he met his loving wife of 51 years, Vernie, who predeceased him in 1995. Walter loved cars, so his interest switched to the automotive industry, working for several car dealerships until he retired at the young age of 72!

Family, friends and colleagues remember a man filled with generosity, intelligence and humor. We will miss his stories, which spanned a full century, and how he watched our country grow after the birth of industrialization.

A public viewing will be held on Sunday, April 24 from 1:00-4:00 p.m., followed by graveside services on Monday, April 25, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, 23287 Sierra Highway, Newhall, California 91321.

Clarice Secrest McElroy 1920-2016

| Obituaries | March 25, 2016

One month short of her 96th birthday, Clarice Secrest McElroy passed away in Newhall, Calif. on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 following a brief illness. Born in La Habra, Calif. on April 13, 1920 to Horace and Eva Tinker, Clarice had five brothers: Nylen, Warren, Calvin, Leland and Millard. She moved to the Santa Clarita Valley in 1958.

Over the years she was active in her church, as well as the L.A. County foster care system, the P.T.A. and the Santa Clarita Senior Center. For over 20 years she owned the cake decorating and candy supply business named “Clarice’s” that is still in business today on Lyons Ave. in Newhall.

Clarice is survived by her two children, Barbara and Kenneth; his wife, Lynne; and their daughter, Jessica. She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers, husbands Ray and Garland, and grandson Erik.

Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 31, 2016 in the Chapel of the Oaks at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, 23287 Sierra Hwy, Newhall, California 91321. In lieu of flowers, a donation to Praise Chapel in Canyon Country would be appreciated: Praise Chapel, 25876 The Old Road, Newhall, CA 91381.

Eusebio “Chevy” Javier Basulto 1953-2016

| Obituaries | March 17, 2016

Eusebio “Chevy” Javier Basulto passed away unexpectedly following a sudden illness on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at the age of 62. Chevy was the only son and youngest child born to Theodora and Eusebio Basulto on October 5, 1953 in San Fernando, California.

Chevy grew up alongside his sisters, Sarah Basulto-Evans and Frances Shupe, in the cities of San Fernando and Sylmar, California. He always remained very proud of his hometown. Chevy attended San Fernando Elementary School, Olive Vista Middle School, and later graduated from Sylmar High School in 1972.

When Chevy was 20 years old, he followed his family’s history of military tradition by enlisting in the U.S. Army. He served with great pride as a Hercules Missile crewman in Military Intelligence with MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) Unit 406 ASA from 1974 to 1976, where he achieved the rank of specialist, fourth class. He served overseas in Germany and received the National Defense Service Medal and Letters of Appreciation. Chevy was very proud of his service to his country, and considered his military service to be one of his greatest accomplishments.

Chevy was an accomplished baseball player who began playing as a pitcher for the Sylmar Independent Baseball League. He was recognized for pitching a no-hitter at the age of 12. Chevy would continue his pitching career at Sylmar High School.

Chevy was a very active child. His mother kept him busy with baseball, and also with what would become his second love – bowling. Every week he was bowling in the junior leagues. He became quite an accomplished bowler, with a 236 average. Although his family members weren’t accomplished bowlers, Chevy would ask his family to join his team at Woodlake Bowling in Woodland Hills. He wanted his family to spend time together. Chevy was frequently invited to play in countless tournaments and won many bowling awards. He made many good friends and spent some of the best days of his life bowling.

Chevy also loved golf. He played with the Rantec Golf League for many years and continued playing until his illness.
Chevy loved the Dodgers, UCLA, and his Sylmar Spartans. He enjoyed indulging in his love of classic TV shows like “Mork and Mindy” and “The Honeymooners.” He also never missed “The Big Bang Theory.”

After he was discharged from the Army, Chevy worked a short time at Garrett Aerospace and Rantec Anechoic. but he found his place at ACUSON, which later became 3M. Chevy initially worked as a technician and later became the surface preparation “guru.” He was an incredibly special and important member of the 3M family.

Chevy is survived by: his sister, Sarah Basulto-Evans, and her husband, Floyd Evans; his sister, Frances Shupe, and her husband, Kent Shupe; his nieces, Jennifer Vo, Tara Manly, Amanda Evans and Victoria Shupe; his nephews, Michael Evans and David Shupe; his great nephews, Ryan Vo, Jacob Manly, and Benjamin Manly; and his great nieces, Jessica and Melina Shupe. Chevy also leaves behind countless cousins and friends whose hearts were touched by his smile.

A gathering for Chevy was held at Eternal Valley Memorial Park Mortuary on Wednesday, March 16 from 4-8 p.m., including a rosary.

A funeral mass will take place on Thursday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. at Our Lady Of Perpetual Help in Newhall, Calif.

Jeanette Oneal Quinn 1956-2016

| Obituaries | March 10, 2016

On the morning of February 21, 2016 at 6:30 a.m., Jeanette Oneal Quinn passed away in Valencia, California, after an eight-year struggle with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She was 59 years old.

She was born in Glendale, Calif. on August 18, 1956, the first child of Virginia and Ron Oneal. Jeanette always had many friends while growing up in La Crescenta, Calif. Everyone she met instantly liked her. They could see that she really cared about others, and that it was a true caring from deep in her heart. And she loved to laugh! She had a happy laugh that was contagious and made everyone around her feel good. That was the effect she had on people, according to friends and family.

Jeanette married in her teenage years, and in 1975 moved to Miami, Florida. In 1976, at the age of 20, she gave birth to her only son, Benjamin Ellis. The Ellis family then moved from Florida back to Tehachapi, Calif. In addition to raising her son, she drove a bus for the State of California, mainly transporting special education students, while at the same time working on her bachelor’s degree at California State University, Bakersfield.

Poetry and art were Jeanette’s passions. One of her favorite poets was Edna St. Vincent Millay. “I Dreamed I Moved among the Elysian Fields” was her favorite poem. Jeanette would include phrases, thoughts, and mental images of the Elysian Fields in many of her own poems as well.

And then there were the elephants. She loved elephants. Jeanette had paintings of elephants, pastries made in the shape of elephants, jeweled rings made of elephants, necklaces with interlocking elephants, elephant bracelets, elephant statues and bookends, coffee table books filled with elephants, etc. Though she would have if she could, she never found a residence where they would let her have her own live elephant. So she often visited the Santa Barbara Zoo to see them.

Jeanette always wanted to be a special education teacher. So, after remarrying in 1997 to Steve Quinn, becoming Mrs. Jeanette Quinn, she attained her master’s degree and got her teaching credentials from California State University, Channel Islands in Camarillo, Calif. Once she got her credentials, she began teaching special education students in Ojai, California.

In 2002, at the age of 45, Jeanette gave birth to daughter Maya, and daughter Liamissa in 2004. She was a wonderful mother to them. In 2008, Jeanette was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, which led to her death.

Jeanette was preceded in death by her mother, Virginia Oneal; her father, Ronald Oneal; her mother-in-law, Elizabeth Quinn; her father-in-law, William Quin; and her brother-in-law, Thomas Quinn. She is survived by: her two grandchildren, Emma and Noah; her two daughters, Liamissa and Maya; her son, Benjamin; her sister, Robin; her brother, Larry; and her husband, Steve.

She will be laid to rest at Eternal Valley Memorial Park & Mortuary in Santa Clarita, California.

Judy R. Miller Aug. 22, 1941-Feb. 25, 2016

| Obituaries | March 3, 2016

A beloved mother and grandmother, Judy R. Miller lost her life from complications arising from her battle with cancer. She was strong in her fight, as well as throughout her life.

Born in Oakdale, Calif., Judy eventually moved to Canoga Park, Calif. and graduated from Canoga Park High School. She remained nearby, raising her family primarily in Northridge.

In her later years, she went to work for the United States Postal Service in Van Nuys, before transferring to a facility in Valencia and retiring around 2000. At this time, she met Mott Miller, and was married soon afterwards. Mott predeceased Judy in 2004.

Judy is survived by her faithful companion, Barney; her sister, Mary Freeman; her five children, Cynthia Letham, Nancy Morgan, Jeffrey Davis (Laura), Ronald Davis (Gia), and Toni Rex (Bob); as well as 15 grandchildren (You know who you are).

She will be laid to rest at Eternal Valley in Santa Clarita on Friday, March 4 at 10 a.m.

Erika Elizabeth Faulkner 1961-2016

| Obituaries | February 17, 2016

Erika Elizabeth Faulkner, 54, passed away on the night of February 8, 2016 at Hi-Desert Memorial Hospital.

On April 13, 1961 she was born to Carl and Veronika Moessner and raised by Veronika and Ken Thomas.

Erika graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. She worked for many years as a high school math teacher at Bell High School and John C. Fremont High School in Los Angeles. She was nominated for the prestigious Jaime Escalante Award as a math teacher.

In her early 20s, she proudly dedicated a lot of time to convert to Catholicism, and was adamant about raising her daughters Catholic. She was not afraid of saying what was on her mind, and her personality worked as a magnet to the people around her.

Erika was loving and giving and she will be remembered for her contagious laugh. She enjoyed garage sale and thrift store shopping, and enthusiastically grew her various collections. Erika was loved by everyone who had the pleasure of getting to know her.

She is survived by her boyfriend, John Garner; her daughters, Morgan Faulkner and Shaun Faulkner; and her four-legged sidekick, Troubles. She was predeceased by her mother, Veronika Thomas; her father, Carl Moessner; her stepfather, Ken Thomas; and her brothers, Paul and Brad Moessner.

A memorial service will be held for Erika Faulkner on February 19, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, 23287 Sierra Hwy, Newhall, California 91321.

William “Bill” Luksha 1961-2016

| Obituaries | February 17, 2016

William “Bill” Paul Luksha passed away on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at the age of 54 at Keck Hospital of USC in Los Angeles following a short illness.

Born in Clinton, Mass. on July 26, 1961 to John and Ruth Luksha, Bill was the youngest of four boys, John, Lawrence, and Daniel. As a loving father, Bill leaves behind two children who meant the world to him, his daughter, Janna, and his son, Ben.

Upon graduation from Clinton High School, Bill joined the United States Air Force in 1980.  Eventually reaching the rank of sergeant, Bill was honorably discharged in 1984. After a set of odd jobs here and there, Bill started working on his professional career in water treatment. Recognizing his exceptional character, Woodard and Curran hired Bill, where he loyally continued his employment and climbed the ranks to serve them as senior vice president.

Bill’s love for sports, especially hockey, would not only follow him throughout his lifetime and serve him well as a healthy, stress-relieving hobby, but also became a legacy that he would pass on to his daughter, Janna. Continually generating witty jokes, Bill’s impeccable sense of humor and sarcasm constantly kept a smile on the faces of the people around him. Although Bill’s steadfast independence led to a self-sufficient lifestyle, he was dearly loved by his friends and family, who cherished his unique personality and disposition.

Services will be held on Thursday, February 18, 2016 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at Eternal Valley Memorial Park Mortuary, 23287 Sierra Hwy, Newhall, CA 91321. Those who wish to pay their respects to Bill’s family, as well as celebrate the life of this extraordinary individual are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project and PKD Foundation.

Betty Arline Hanlon 1926-2016

| Obituaries | February 11, 2016

Betty Arline Hanlon of Newhall, Calif. died Feb, 5, 2016. She was born March 9, 1926 in Bordeaux Wyoming, the daughter of Paul and Gladys Morey. Betty passed away at Silvergate Retirement Community in Fallbrook, Calif. after a long battle with congestive heart failure.

Betty was the loving wife of Leo F. Hanlon from 1947 until his passing in1986. She is survived by a daughter, Carol Hanlon Stucker; a son, Daniel Hanlon; a sister, Francis Birge; and two brothers, Ronald and Larry Morey. She is also survived by three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Betty worked as a secretary at Warren Air Force Base, Hobbs School, and the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne. After moving to California in 1966, she worked at Lockheed until her retirement in 1982.

Betty was a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and sister. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

A viewing will be held this Friday, Feb.12, 2016 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 24915 Peachland St., Newhall, Calif. 91321. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Betty’s final resting place will be Eternal Valley Memorial Park at 23287 N. Sierra Highway,, Newhall, Calif. 91321

 

 

Ralph Wronker 1955-2016

| Obituaries | January 28, 2016

Ralph Wronker was born in Palmdale, Calif. in May 1955, and was raised, primarily by his father, in Santa Clarita.

Ralph had a natural talent for drawing and opened his own art studio near the Newhall Courthouse after graduating from William S. Hart High School. In the 1970s and ‘80s, he turned his talent into a career, working in both television and motion pictures as a scenic artist.

He had a lifelong hunger for knowledge and learning. Ralph studied electronics at College of the Canyons in Valencia, Calif. and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in information technology from University of Phoenix in 2005.

In the mid-1980s, Ralph turned to another childhood hobby and began working as a senior engineering technician in the disk drive industry and in the pro-audio industry at ElectroVoice International, Audio/Gauss Division in Sun Valley, Calif. His job included diagnosing and repairing problems with audio systems and components, saving the company approximately $1 million by successfully troubleshooting equipment failures during manufacturing. He also salvaged a $3 million project by working over two consecutive weeks of 24-hour shifts. At the same time, Ralph continued to use his artistic skills by writing and creating illustrations for technical manuals.

From 1997 to 2001, Ralph worked as a consultant and trainer for the Pace Group in Pasadena, Calif. He had corporate clients that included Pac Bell and Southern California Edison. The most successful training consultant at PACE, more than 95 percent of Ralph’s students passed the coursework the first time, and he was the only consultant whose classes had a waitlist. Ralph’s accomplishments at Pace Group included: designing an A+ Certification curriculum, including tests and assignments, based on information from over 20 textbooks; serving as a contributing editor for The Basic Electricity Workbook; rewriting copy, generating photographs and technical illustrations; training technical and non-technical students in computer, electronics and telecommunications subjects, including basic electricity and formulas for computing power usage, A+ computer configuration and repair, telecommunications technologies, and Boolean logic; and evaluating students’ technical competency levels and customized coursework based on student proficiency.

In the mid-1990s, Ralph began taking the skills of his past and working his way from parttime self employment to fulltime self employment as a consulting electronics teacher and as a computer consultant to small business. In 1997, Ralph opened his own firm, WronkerRoom.com Mobile Technical Services. With this business he offered computer hardware, data management and networking solutions for small to mid-sized businesses. He saved customers over $1 million cumulatively through effective project and resource management by: maximizing computer network and hardware configurations based on budget constraints; converting manual marketing processes to automated internet-based marketing; securing favorable pricing from key suppliers; centralizing and automating data management; educating clients about computer technologies and process optimization; and salvaging incomplete or poorly-executed projects of other contractors. More than 90 percent of his projects were completed under budget. Ralph was especially proud of managing the computer network setup for simultaneous start-up of 26 nationwide insurance offices. He designed system specifications, procured computer equipment and network hardware. He also implemented security measures to ensure network integrity while allowing for easy integration with independent agent computers.

Ralph was also a family man. He enjoyed raising his son, Jeremy. He shared his love of the outdoors with Jeremy, participating in many of his Boy Scout campouts.

In 2009, while Ralph was working on the computer network at an optometrist’s office, one of the employees suggested Ralph should go out with her mother. A blind date was arranged, and in 2010 Ralph married Carol Walker. Not long after, they adopted their three grandchildren: Evin, Bella and Gabriella.

In 2013, the family moved to Pine Mountain Club, where they enjoyed the openness and the forest and the amenities of their new community, including swimming, basketball, hiking, biking and tennis. Ralph loved his grandkids and participated in as many of their activities as he could. He was usually the grandpa in the back with the giant video camera. Ralph also enjoyed classical and salsa music, and a favorite pastime was playing golf.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Carol; three grandchildren, Evin, 10, Bella, 6, and Gabriella, 4; son, Jeremy Wronker (Ohio); stepdaughter, Jilie Beth Walker (Reseda, Calif.); and two sisters.

A prayer and reflection service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 at 2 p.m. in the clubhouse at 25051 Avenida Rotella in Valencia, Calif. A memorial fund has been set up in Ralph’s name.

Shirley Bessette

| Obituaries | January 24, 2016

Shirley Bessette of Santa Clarita passed away on Christmas Day, December 25, 2015.

Her family members said, “The Lord loved Shirley Bessette so much that He took her home on His birthday, Christmas Day, 2015, her favorite holiday. What an amazing party in heaven it must have been for Shirley’s entrance.”

Shirley met her husband, Bill, at a diner in Missouri at the age of 15, and married him soon afterwards. Bill was serving in the United States Air Force at the time. She later became a vascular surgical technician for Kaiser Permanente Hospital in the San Fernando Valley.

She is survived by her four children, Terry, Liz, Candie, and Bill; and five grandchildren, Kyle, Elizabeth, Kellie, Cole and Devon; as well as two great-grandchildren, Lincoln and Reece. They all will dearly miss her wisdom and guidance.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 in the Chapel of the Hills at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, 23287 Sierra Highway, Newhall, CA 91321. A reception will immediately follow on site.

Jack E. Coe 1938-2015

| Obituaries | January 21, 2016

Jack E. Coe died in Lindale, Texas on November 16, 2015 from cancer. He was a resident of Newhall, Calif. for more than 35 years.

Jack was born in Buffalo, N.Y. on July 23, 1938 to parents Amos Jack and Mildred L. Coe. He was a graduate of Amherst High School in Amherst, N.Y. and attended the U.S. Maritime Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. He was married to Waunetia and had a son, William Bradford, both of whom preceded him in death.

Jack was a veteran of the United States Army, and he worked for Lockheed Aircraft for many years prior to retiring. After retirement, he worked with many disadvantaged children, focusing on activities involving horse therapy. Jack also enjoyed time with family, boating, fishing and flying.

He is survived by his brother and sister, Tom Coe and Joan Frary; his nephews, Brian Michaels and Kevin Frary; and two nieces, Jaime Chambers and Lindsay Coe.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. at Eternal Valley Memorial Park in Newhall, Calif. The community is welcome to attend in helping the family celebrate Jack’s life.

Burl William Driskill 1934-2016

| Obituaries | January 14, 2016

Burl William Driskill, 81, of Pacoima, California, went back to live with his Heavenly Father on Friday, January 8, 2016. He went peacefully in his sleep after a long illness.

Burl was born on June 1, 1934 in Bethesda, Arkansas to Otho William Driskill and Pleasie Alma Driskill. He moved from Bethesda to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1942 and lived there until he moved to Los Angeles, California. There he met his wife, Ila. They enjoyed 60 wonderful years of marriage.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where he served in many callings and gave much service to others.

Surviving him are his wife, Ila; five daughters, Lori Kaler (Bruce) of Tujunga, Calif., Teri Mattes (Greg) of Palmdale, Calif., Robi Day (Gene) of Saugus, Calif., Kimberli Bennett (Doug) of Agua Dulce, Calif., and Shawna Lopez (Manuel) of Pacoima, Calif.; 14 grandchildren, George Kaler, Jolene Moser, Trevor Kaler, Travis Kaler, Danielle Arney, Diane Schein, Erin Day, Brandon Day, Michael Bennett, Kevin Bennett, Melissa Funk, Jessica Smith, Jonathon Lopez and Benjamin Lopez; 9 1/2 great-grandchildren; three brothers, Glen Driskill, Bill Driskill and Clifford Driskill; and two sisters, Betty Foster (John) and Flo Ella Kasha.

Burl was preceded in death by his parents and two grandchildren, Toby Kaler and Troy Kaler.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at the Sylmar Ward LDS Chapel, located at 1360 Sayre St. in Sylmar, Calif.

Ila and the family wish to express sincere thanks to everyone who has ever been a part of Burl’s life.

Sue Chotikasupaseranee 1956-2016

| Obituaries | January 14, 2016

Newhall resident Sue Chotikasupaseranee, age 59, passed away on January 7, 2016.

Sue was born in Cincinnati on February 15, 1956 to Albert and Betty Byrd and raised in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

She lived in Newhall, Calif. with her husband, Wat Chotikasupaseranee. In addition to Wat, Sue is survived by her brother, Tim Byrd, and her daughter, Justine Kessler.

The memorial service was held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday January 13, 2016 at Newhall Church of the Nazarene.

“Her zest for life will be missed by many,” says her family. “Sue was a devout Christian and is now in the Heavenly Kingdom with our Lord and Savior.”

Lean to the Left

| Obituaries | January 1, 2016

Note to Donald: Dial it Back 

KKK Wizard Weighs In

For anyone who already questioned the extremism of Donald Trump, they only have to tune into a recent news report to confirm their suspicions. Even David Duke thinks Trump’s too extreme.

Hey Donald, when a KKK leader thinks your rhetoric’s too strong, you may want to take a hard look at what you’re saying. A few weeks ago, David Duke said the Republican candidate for president speaks “a lot more radically” than he does. Yikes!

They are both fundamentally bigoted. Duke is almost iconic – anyone associated with the KKK has got to be nuts. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Duke as the “most recognizable figure of the American radical right, a neo-Nazi, longtime Klan leader and now international spokesman for Holocaust denial,” according to Thinkprogress.org.

Trump’s bigotry spews from his unfiltered speech on the campaign trail. He called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, asserting they should have their names in a database. Then there was his defense of a supporter who beat up a Black Lives Matter protestor.

The best part of the Duke-Trump story? The KKK guy’s only exception to Trump is his support of Israel. My guess is Duke didn’t like Trump’s recent use of the crude Yiddish he used when he said Hillary “got schlonged” by Obama in 2008.

Candidates Out or In(dependent)?

Though Jim Webb dropped out of the race for democratic presidential nominee two months ago, he hasn’t dropped out of sight. Will he run as an Independent?

It actually could affect both sides in the election.

Did you know that until candidate Bernie Sanders became a Democrat, he was the longest-serving independent in U.S. Congressional history? Look out, Conservatives, the younger generation loves independent thinking. This could very well be the point in time when a third party candidate can win!

**The Views and Opinions expressed in these columns are those of the writer, not necessarily those of Valley Publications/Santa Clarita Gazette.**

George Thomas Meeker 1934-2015

| Obituaries | December 22, 2015

1934 – 2015

George Meeker, a longtime resident of Newhall, California, died peacefully, surrounded by his wife, Lucie, and daughter, Kathy, at Valley Presbyterian Hospital at 10:00 am on December 14, 2015. He was 81 years old.

The youngest of four, George was born in Los Angeles on November 6, 1934 to Claud and Eva (Burger) Meeker. George lived in Pasadena, Covina and Rosemead until 1988, when Eva passed away and he moved to Newhall to take care of his father. After Claud passed in 1997, George decided to remain at the house, where he enjoyed many years of riding horses, motorcycles, hunting, flying remote-controlled airplanes and building a horse boarding business called the “Rocking M Ranch.” George even rode in the Newhall Senior Olympics on his horse, Sandy.

George was a loving person and will be greatly missed by his longtime wife, Lucie, his two daughters, Kathy (Meeker) Burke and Pamela Meeker; his two granddaughters, Kathy and Michelle; and his five great-grandsons, Jason, Colin, Graham, Hunter and EJ. He will also be missed by his brother, Claud (Bud), his sisters, Olive and Lucene, and his best friend, Ron Whitehead.

The Meeker family offers special thanks to the staff at Valley Presbyterian Hospital ICU and both Dr. Josef Lobel and Dr. Hanon Lobel for their care of George and the thoughtful consideration given to his visiting family members during the last couple of weeks of his life. They are also grateful for the caregivers at California Healthcare facility, where George spent the last seven years under their diligent care after his stroke.

A Viewing were held at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, Chapel of the Oaks, on Monday, December 21, 2015 from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The
Funeral Services followed and were performed by Pastor Geoff Beckwith on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, Chapel of the Oaks.

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