Jonathan R. Thomas
Jonathan R. Thomas, 76, of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation passed away on Dec. 17, 2003. Mr. Thomas was born March 22, 1927, in Clarkdale, Ariz.
Mr. Thomas, a water company maintenance man, was a veteran of World War II.
He is survived by a son, Rory Thomas (Deanna) of the Salt River-Pima Indian Community; daughters Eileen Thomas of Fort McDowell and Arlene Thomas of the Salt River-Pima Indian Community; a brother, Edward, of Fort McDowell; two sisters, Irene McLevain of Fort McDowell, and Elsie Dominquez of Mariposa, Calif.; as well as nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Visitation was held Monday, Dec. 22, at the family residence, with services were held on Tuesday, Dec. 23, at the Fort McDowell Arbor. Interment will take place at Fort McDowell cemetery.
Harvey L. Wissler
Harvey L. Wissler died peacefully at his home of congestive heart failure Dec. 15, 2003 with his wife and family at his side.
Mr. Wissler was born May 27, 1924. He graduated from Atlantic, Iowa high school and the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II as a paratrooper. He coached football and boys’ basketball in Colo, Iowa from 1949 to 1952 and was an agent for American Mutual Life Insurance Co. (AmerUs) from 1951 to 1989 in Nevada, Iowa.
While living in Nevada, Mr. Wissler was a member of the Methodist Church, Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, Indian Creek Country Club, chaired the Greater Nevada Recreational Association, and was a member of Boone-Story Life Underwriters, which he also chaired for one term.
Mr. Wissler earned Million-Dollar-Round-Table award for 17 consecutive years, the Gerald E. Malone Award for outstanding service to the industry, and the American Mutual President’s Trophy two years for the greatest volume of agency production in the company for one year.
Before Nevada schools had a golf program, Mr. Wissler gave gratis lessons to junior golfers for a number of years at Indian Creek Country Club. He served on the club board as grounds chairman and president and was club champion at Indian Creek for eight years.
Mr. Wissler was preceded in death by his parents. Survivors include his wife, Joyce, of Rio Verde and Fountain Hills; five children, Terry Wissler (and Peter Brigham) of Fresno, Calif., Tom (and Ellie) of Nevada, Iowa, Randi Mitchell of Austin, Texas, Janelle Wissler of San Francisco, Calif., Holly Wissler of Tallahassee, Fla. and Cusco, Peru; and three grandchildren, Kelly Wissler of Austin, Texas, Jesse Wissler of Iowa City, Iowa, and J’aime Mitchell of Olympia, Wash.
Ashes will be interred in the Columbarium at Rio Verde Community Church in Rio Verde where Mr. Wissler and his wife have lived since 1989.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the University of Northern Iowa Foundation, Harvey Wissler Golf Scholarship Fund, 205 Commons, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0284, or to Hospice of the Valley, 5111 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 280, Scottsdale, AZ 85250.
Robert Camwell Sr.
Robert J. Camwell Sr., 79, of Utica, N.Y. passed away Friday, March 21, 2003.
Born in Waterbury, Conn., his family moved to Buffalo, N.Y. where he married Irene J. Wiechec in 1947.
He served during World War II as a Corporal in the U.S. Army, 87th Infantry Division and was honorably discharged in 1943. He graduated in 1957 from the University of Buffalo with a degree in Professional Business Administration and was a member of Delta Sigma Phi.
In 1966 he and his family moved to Baldwinsville, N.Y., where he was employed by Niagara Mohawk. Bob was also a Lieutenant with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Special Unit until he and his wife retired to Fountain Hills in 1992. In 2002, he moved to Acacia Village in Utica, N.Y.
He is survived by his daughter, Barbara Lynne (husband Andrew Ness) of New York, N.Y.; and son Robert James Jr. (wife Judith) of Camillus, N.Y.; and his grandchildren, Ethan, Olivia and Blaire.
A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 23, at the Tomkins Masonic Chapel in Utica, N.Y. Mass of Christian Burial is planned for Thursday, April 24 at St. Patrick’s Church, 216 N. Lowell Avenue, Syracuse, N.Y. Interment will be Friday, April 25, at Mt. Calvary cemetery, 800 Pine Ridge Road, Cheektowaga, N.Y.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Shriner’s Hospitals for Children can be made in his name.
Richard "Dick" Clark was born on June 28, 1940 in Shelbyville, Ind. He was the only son of Dale F. and Wanda C. Clark.
He grew up as a country boy, very fond of his grandparents. He would always tell stories about hunting and fishing with grandpa. He attended Purdue University and completed numerous technical and managerial training courses.
He married Joan Marie Schneider in 1962 and had one boy, Richard Jr., and one girl, Shelby. The couple divorced in 1975. Dick served in the U.S. Army from 1961 until 1967. He attended flight school and numerous aircraft qualification courses and subsequently he became a helicopter pilot.
He worked for Boeing Vertol in Philadelphia and during his employment he was assigned to work in Spain and Italy. During his staying in Italy he started to work for Agusta Elicotteri, an aeronautical firm that offered him work in Libya.
Six months before leaving Italy, he met Daniela Rossi. They married in 1976. Dick had the opportunity to return to work in the United States in Delaware County in 1978. He was very proud to have the opportunity to show his wife what a beautiful life people can live in the USA. He used to tell his friends that Daniela was his Italian souvenir. The couple had no children.
One year later they moved to Los Angeles, Calif., where he started to work for Hughes Helicopters. His experience and expertise have been used in programs and project management of major support elements of the Apache program. Hughes Helicopters became McDonnell Douglas in the early 1980s and their headquarters were moved to Mesa, where Dick moved in 1986.
Dick and his wife fell in love with Arizona. They had their house built in Fountain Hills, 15 miles from the plant. For over 16 years he fully enjoyed the life in the desert, the open spaces, and his love for riding motorcycles. He was still a full-time employee of Boeing Helicopters (formerly McDonnell Douglas) when he died of a massive heart attack on Feb. 20, 2002.
Unfortunately for the last 15 years of his life he had to battle diabetes, a disease that became particularly aggressive during the last two years of his life. The neuropathy associated with the disease caused him a lot of pain and discomfort. He always hoped to fight this terrible disease and tried to maintain a normal life.
He was a first aid and CPR instructor. He was a member of the Army Aviation Association, Vietnam Helicopter Pilot’s Association, American Legion Post 58 of Fountain Hills, Gold Wing Road Rider Association, American Motorcycle Association, National Rifle Association and active in the Great Pyrenees Club and Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
His ashes rest at the National Memorial cemetery in Phoenix.
Survivors include his wife, Daniela; son Richard Clark Jr. of Aston, Pa.; daughter, Shelby Marks of York, Pa.; and five grandchildren.
Dick Clark will be honored April 21, 2003 at a ceremony to pay tribute to men and women who died prematurely because of non-combat injuries and emotional suffering caused directly by the Vietnam War, but who are not eligible for inscription on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
The fifth annual "In Memory" day ceremony is sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
Nearly 400 American heroes will be honored posthumously, including Dick Clark.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial comprises the names of 58,229 men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces in the Vietnam War. The memorial’s black granite walls have always stood to remember all of the nearly 3.5 million who participated in the divisive and controversial conflict.
Dick will always be remembered for his honesty and wisdom. May he ride in peace!
Josephine Horgan Roney, 75, formerly of Fairfax County, Va. and Fountain Hills died April 2, 2003 at her home.
She was the wife of John I. Roney with whom she celebrated a 55th wedding anniversary on Jan. 10, 2003.
A funeral liturgy was held April 7 at 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 315 N. Constitution Ave., New Freedom. Interment in the church cemetery.
Born Dec. 10, 1927 in Washington, D.C., she was a daughter of the late Robert and Josephine (Dee) Horgan.
She was a dedicated librarian, physician’s office manager and medical assistant as well as a loving wife, mother and homemaker. She was a member of the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, New Freedom, and was an hourly adorer in the church’s Perpetual Adoration Chapel.
She was a former member of the Lioness Club of Fountain Hills, and she enjoyed gardening, sewing, traveling and doll houses.
Besides her husband, she is survived by two sons, John R. Roney of Virginia Beach, Va. and James A. Roney of Chantilly, Va.; two daughters, Susan M. Klayman of Germantown, Md. and Kathryn D. O’Donnell of New Freedom; seven grandchildren, Christopher J. O’Donnell of York, Brian M. O’Donnell of Denver, Colo., Angela K. Neal of Washington, D.C., Ashley N. Neal of Germantown, Md., Sean R. Roney of Virginia Beach, Va., and Abigail M. Roney and Emma R. Roney, both of Chantilly, Va.; and one sister, Roberta D. O’Donnell of Dallas, Texas.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 315 N. Constitution Ave., New Freedom, PA 17349 and/or to VNA Hospice Services, 218 E. Market St., York, PA. 17403.
Ralph G. Hafer
Ralph G. Hafer, 78, of Mesa, died April 7, 2003 at Mesa Lutheran Hospital.
Mr. Hafer was born Dec. 11, 1924 in Bend, Ore. He was a veteran of the U.S. armed services in World War II. He worked as an aerospace accounts payable manager.
Mr. Hafer is survived by a daughter, Sandy Kirk (Dave) of Fountain Hills; and two grandsons, James Kirk of Fountain Hills and Jake Kirk, currently serving with the U.S. Marine Corps. He is also survived by a brother, Jim Hafer (Bette) of Portland, Ore.; and a sister, Cecelia Hein (Al) of Portland, Ore.
The family is requesting memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 5377, Phoenix, AZ 85010.
Marvel M. Kerr
Marvel Mary Kerr, 79, died June 28 at her home in Brighton, Mich.
She was born Dec. 20, 1923, in Detroit to Fred and Emma (Berbon) Schroeder. Mrs. Kerr is survived by her husband of 58 years, James W. Kerr.
Mrs. Kerr moved from Fountain Hills to Brighton in 1994. She was an avid traveler and enjoyed family gatherings. She was a seamstress and recently renewed an interest in gardening. Mrs. Kerr enjoyed entertaining, preparing outstanding meals for her family and had a knack for investing.
Mrs. Kerr is also survived by two daughters, Janice (John) Biliti and Marilyn (Richard) Darnell, both of Brighton; one son, Dennis (Joann) Kerr of Seattle, Wash.; five grandchildren and two great-grandsons.
Services for Mrs. Kerr were held on July 2 in Brighton.
Michael E. Parris
Michael Edward Parris was born in Muskogee, Okla., on July 13, 1948. He was a member of the Cherokee and Muskogee (Creek) Indian Nations. He had been a part-time resident of Fountain Hills since January 1979. Michael began his final tour of duty on July 1, 2003, in Boring, Md.
The final "Changing of the Guard Ceremony" was conducted in Hampstead, Md., on July 7.
Michael was a Vietnam veteran and retired from the United States Army, 11th and 12th Special Forces Group, and the 5th Pathfinders Platoon – which he organized – as Sergeant 1st Class.
He is remembered by all who knew him as a very sensitive, caring person and an avid amateur photographer. He was a military history buff, dealing especially with the Civil War, U.S. Cavalry, World War II and the Vietnam Conflict.
His career encompassed that of law enforcement officer, Howard County, Md.; Scout Dog Handler with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and Courier and Security Officer for the U.S. State Department. This last position took him to consulates and embassies worldwide.
Michael is survived by his wife, Letha; his parents Mose and Dorothy Parris of Fountain Hills; brothers Jeffrey Scott, currently serving with the USMC in Iraq; and Alan, wife Emily and daughter Alane of Mesa; along with many relatives in Oklahoma and a host of friends.
The Final Inspection Service will be conducted at the Colbert Family cemetery, near Haskell, Okla., at a date to be determined.
Mary Louise Beischel
Mary Louise Beischel, a 17-year resident of Fountain Hills died peacefully in her sleep on July 2, at the Laurel House (Hospice of Arizona) in Mesa.
Her immediate family including her husband, Joseph, daughters, Linda Glover and Janet Grimland, grandchildren, Andrea and Clayton, her niece, Gail Rice and brother-in-law, Gene Phillips, was in attendance at the time of death.
Mary Lou was born in the Little Italy section of Chicago’s near west side on Nov. 3, 1928 to Petro Dan and Rose (Grubner) Messina. A sister, Juliette, preceded her in death in 1969.
Mary Lou and Joe were married in the Westwood Evangelical Lutheran Church on Sept. 15, 1951 in Elmwood Park, Ill. and 11 years later moved to Scottsdale. They moved to Fountain Hills in 1986.
In addition to her immediate family, four grandchildren, two nieces and a nephew survive.
Mary Lou was a homemaker and loving grandma, a task she enjoyed immensely. She had a ready smile for everyone and angry words for no one. She will be sorely missed by all those who knew her and were touched by her warmth and human compassion.
Services, conduced by the Rev. Bill Smith, were held at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 5, at Green Acres Mortuary in Scottsdale. A graveside benediction and interment followed in the family plot in Heritage Garden Section of Green Acres.
Mildred Wright Vandenberg of Fountain Hills left us to join God and her previously departed relatives on July 8, 2003 at the age of 84.
Mildred was a devoted housewife and loving mother. She lived her life illustrating high spiritual principles. Mildred was a committed member of Peninsula and St. Paul’s Methodist Churches in Wilmington, Delaware and Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church. She loved teaching Sunday school.
Mildred’s love of life has conveyed to all she met a spirit of enthusiasm and love, which inspired those she touched. Over the course of her life, she gave her time to many organizations including the USO during WWII. She volunteered at Wintertheur Museum, the Children’s Hospital and the Methodist Country House, all in Wilmington, Del.
Mildred perfected Crewel, the art of painting a picture with threads, as she called it. Her passion involved teaching, developing new stitches, as well as a commitment to the Desert Threaders, a local needlework group.
Mildred also created exquisite ceramic dolls as a hobby. Her early claim to fame was being a Dupont Glamour Girl, modeling their revolutionary nylon stockings.
Mildred will always be greatly loved by her husband of 52 years, Edwin J. Vandenberg. Her son David J. Vandenberg (Elko, Nev.), daughter Jeannie Vandenberg Buser (Seattle, Wash.) and their spouses Leigh and Pete, will cherish her memory for the rest of their lives. Her spirit lives on in her grandchildren Tara, Aaron, Lindsey, Melissa and Leslieann and great grandchild Alexis.
Viewing was held at the Messinger Mortuary Chapel in Fountain Hills July 10 with a service July 11 at Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church and interment at Paradise Memorial Gardens on Shea Blvd.
The family has suggested that remembrances be sent in Mildred’s memory to Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church, 13001 Fountain Hills Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.
Charlotte F. Holland, 90, of Fountain Hills passed away Aug. 10, 2003 after a brief illness.
Born Sept. 30, 1912 in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was predeceased by her husband, Charles Holland Sr., and survived by her children, Charles Holland Jr. of Scottsdale, Frances Holland of Surprise and Maureen Walling of fountain Hills; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
She was employed for many years as a bookkeeper. She moved from New Jersey in 1998 and lived in Scottsdale before moving to Fountain View Village in Fountain Hills.
Visitation was Aug. 12 at Messinger Fountain Hills Mortuary with a funeral service at 10 a.m. Aug. 13 at Paradise Memorial Gardens in Scottsdale.
Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Arizona, 2222 W. Northern Ave., suite A100, Phoenix, AZ 85021.
On Sept. 16, 1998, God presented us with an angel to love named McKenzie Morgan Monks. On Aug. 7, 2003, God found a very special place for McKenzie, 4, in Heaven.
As an angel, peace has found her. Her brief four years touched the lives and hearts of all who knew her. Although she is not physically with us anymore, she is forever in our hearts.
McKenzie’s spirit guides us. She was our "Princess." She was vivacious and sweet and brought laughter and fun into our lives. She taught us about courage and strength. She had a zest for life beyond her years.
She never gave up.
McKenzie loved to play, sing, dance and entertain. Her handprints will be forever on our hearts.
McKenzie is survived by her loving family, which includes parents, Richard and Denise Monks of Fountain Hills, and her sisters, Michelle and Mandy. McKenzie adored her grandparents, Virgil and Lorraine Mitchell of Calhan, Colo. and Bob and Velma Monks of Fountain Hills.
Also special in her life were her Uncles Dale (Shelly Frost) and David Mitchell of Colorado, Dan Monks (Shonda) of Colorado and Aunt Connie McAdams (Steve) of Tucson.
McKenzie will be greatly missed by her cousins Brandye, Trevor, Brittney and Tyler Monks; Madison Mitchell and Ashton Frost; Makayla Shane and Cassidy McAdams.
McKenzie’s life was filled with love and she was a joy to know. Family and friends celebrated her life on Sunday, Aug. 10, at Christ’s Church of Fountain Hills. Reverend Don Lawrence and Reverend Mark Lansberry officiated.
In addition to the eulogy, Reverend Lawrence relayed many happy memories of McKenzie that the family had shared with him. A celebration video of her life showed her vitality and zest for life. Those in attendance experienced a wonderful, uplifting service that will continue to keep McKenzie alive in their hearts.
A special friend, Jodi Light, presented beautiful, inspirational music for McKenzie. At the end of the service, 300 pink balloons were released into the heavens in her honor. The family received friends immediately after the celebration at FireRock Country Club.
The family asks that donations be given in McKenzie’s name to help children currently going through cancer treatment as well as for much needed research for children’s cancers in hope that no child in the future will have to endure the pain McKenzie experienced.
Donations may be made to the McKenzie Monks Memorial Fund and sent to Bank of America, 16925 E. Shea Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268, account number 004656164600.