Jean Ellis Benton
Jean Ellis Benton passed away Aug. 12, 2008, from the effects of a massive stroke. She had resided at Sunrise Assisted Living in San Gabriel, Calif., and was transported to Citrus Valley Hospice in West Covina, where she stayed until her death.
Wanda Jean was born on Nov. 16, 1925, in Greenwood, Arkansas. She was the only child of John and Margaret Ellis. Jean spent her childhood in Arkansas, and moved to Broken Arrow, Idaho, where she graduated from high school. She attended the University of Tulsa and graduated with a degree in business and a minor in music.
Shortly after, she worked for a prominent insurance company in Tulsa.
Jean married in Tulsa and had two children, Hunter L. Martin and David P. Martin.
She continued to pursue her musical interests and played oboe for the Tulsa Symphony and Billings, Mont., Symphony.
After her divorce, Jean was remarried to William H. Benton, a business owner from Houston, Texas. She then moved to Fountain Hills, where she enjoyed an outdoor lifestyle that included tennis. Her musical pursuits led her to join the Phoenix Masterworks Chorale, of which she was a charter member.
Jean enjoyed several overseas visits with the Chorale, singing in Royal Hall in London, various European venues, and Carnegie Hall in New York.
Jean survived the death of her husband William in 2001 and moved to California in the fall of 2007.
She is survived by her two sons, Hunter and David Martin, and two grandchildren, Cameron and Hunter Martin.
Jean will always be remembered for her sense of humor and laughter, as well as her passion for music and Italian temper.
Visitation was Tuesday, Aug. 18, at Messinger Fountain Hills Chapel, followed by the funeral. Interment was in National Memorial cemetery of Arizona.
Thomas L. Connolly
Thomas L. Connolly, 73, of Fountain Hills, formerly of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died July 30, 2008, in Aspen, Colo., following a short illness.
A Memorial Celebration will be held at MacAlpine’s Restaurant and Soda Fountain, 2303 N 7th St and Oak in Phoenix, on Sunday, Aug. 24, at 6 p.m.
A Funeral Mass was held on Aug. 5 at All Saints Catholic Church and internment was at Mount Calvary cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Survivors include his children, Monica (Cary) Heizenrader of Fountain Hills; Brenda (Brett) Stratton of Tyler, Texas; Mary Lou (Bill) McCartan of Cedar Rapids; Tom (Jodi) Connolly Jr. of Iowa City, Iowa; Paul Connolly of New York, N.Y., and Erin Connolly of Aspen, Colo.
Also surviving are his sister Kathy Sparks of Des Moines, Iowa, and his sister-in-law, Carol (Don) Kieffer, Mt. Carmel, Ill; his beloved grandchildren, Holly, Heidi, Steven, Tommy, Catherine, Claire, Will, Kerry, Kate, Augustine and Cash; and his dogs, Ginger and Geronimo.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Jolene Connolly; his daughter, Carrie Connolly; his brother, Robert Connolly; and his brother-in-law, Mike Sparks.
Thomas Lloyd Connolly was born Oct. 5, 1933, in Cedar Rapids, the beloved son of Lloyd Thomas and Catherine Woods Connolly.
He was a graduate of Immaculate Conception High School and attended Loras College. He served his country honorably in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was united in marriage to Jolene on Sept. 3, 1960, in Walton, Ill. She preceded him in death on June 16, 1997. He was owner of the Tobacco Bowl in Cedar Rapids from 1970 to 1998.
Tom was a man who will be remembered as a real character who enjoyed life. He also enjoyed cars, volunteering, his dogs, and was a friend of Bill W. He will be greatly missed but fondly remembered by those left to grieve his passing.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Thomas’ honor may be made to the ARC of East Central Iowa.
Please leave a message, tribute or memory to Thomas’ family at www.cedarmemorial.com under Obituaries.
Marjorie M. “Peggy” White, 80, of Omaha, Neb., formerly of Chicago and Minneapolis, died peacefully on Aug. 17, 2008.
She and her husband, Bob, were winter residents of Fountain Hills and were members of the Church of the Ascension. Peggy’s service was in Omaha at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, and she was interred in Resurrection cemetery.
She was loved by all and will be sorely missed.
Bette S. Bantleon
Bette Sommer Bantleon, formerly of Rochester, N.Y., moved to Sun City in 1995, most recently residing at Desert Winds Independent Living of Peoria.
She passed away Dec. 7, 2008, just a short time prior to when she would have been celebrating her 89th birthday.
A homemaker, she was preceded in death by her husband, George F. Bantleon, M.D. and her son, David F. Bantleon.
She is survived by her daughter, Judith Lynn Yatros and husband, Nick, of Fountain Hills; seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
A memorial was held at Messinger Fountain Hills Chapel on Friday, Dec. 12.
Her family suggests contributions to Joy Christian Community Church, P.O. Box 17050, Fountain Hills, AZ 85269.
Francis Donald Doran
Francis Donald Doran, 83, passed away Dec. 6, 2008 at his residence in Fountain Hills. Don, born in West Pittston, Pa., was a former resident of Mt. Clemens, Mich.
He is survived by his wife, Joan Doran; step-children Cheryl A. Zehnpfennig (William) of Almont, Mich., Joan E. Matuszczak of Marlette, Mich., Daniel D. Matuszczak of Columbiaville, Mich.; nieces and nephews, Eugene C. Clough (Kate) of California, Dale Clough (Rocio) of California, Jack Clough (Madelyn) of California, Sandy Morris (William) of Michigan, Michael Doran (Arlene) of Illinois, Carolyn (Alex) Johnstone of Tennessee and Leah Doran (George) Rozhon of Illinois.
He is also survived by his step-grandchildren Natalie Matuszczak, Sara Zehnpfennig, Jessica Zehnpfennig, Nathan Zehnpfennig and William C. Zehnpfennig, Jr.
His sister Mary Clough (Mundy) of Tucson, and his brother Thomas Doran of Illinois both preceded him in death.
Don served his country in the Navy during WWII. He was laid to rest in Resurrection cemetery, Mt. Clemens, Mich. Memorials can be made in his name to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014.
James R. Connor
James Richard Connor passed away peacefully at age 76 at Hospice of Arizona on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008.
He was born in Plainfield, N.J. on May 3, 1932. He was preceded in death by his childhood sweetheart and wife of 49 years, Ann Kuntzman Connor; daughter, Patty and sons, Glen, Brian and Michael.
James is survived by his son, John, and daughter-in-law, Camille; grandchildren, Christina and Jeffrey; and great-grandchildren, Hailie, Makayla, Mia and Jenna.
James was a veteran of the United States Navy in 1951. He was assistant fire chief for Martinsville Fire Company.
James moved his family to Fountain Hills in 1979, where he was the owner of Red Rock Auto Center. Later he sold Red Rock Auto Center and was owner of Jim’s Plumbing Company until he retired.
During retirement, James loved to go down to Rocky Point in Mexico.
A private memorial service was held at the Church of the Ascension in Fountain Hills. In lieu of flowers the family is suggesting donations be sent in loving memory of James R. Connor to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or to Hospice of Arizona at Butterfly Unit. We will miss you.
Robert F. Edwards
Robert F. (“Bob”) Edwards, husband, father, brother, grandfather, great grandfather and friend, peacefully entered into the gates of heaven to be reunited with his loved ones for Christmas.
Born in New York City on Sept. 25, 1926, Bob came to Fountain Hills in 1984 from New Jersey. He was a mechanical engineer with Allied Chemical and retired in 1978 to go into business with his brother Frank. They owned and operated Edwards Brothers Antique Auto Parts at the direction of Betty.
Bob entered into active service with the United States Navy on Sept. 29, 1943. He served as a Fireman 1st class USNR on the RS NY USS Mendocino, NTS Sampson NY, PSC Lido Beach NY, the ATB Solomons Md NY, USS LCI (L) 533, USS LCI (L) 522, USS LCI (L) 129 and received an Honorable Discharge with a Victory Medal on Jan. 10, 1946.
He was predeceased in death by his wife Elizabeth (“Betty”) of 58 years and his brother Frances R. Edwards.
He leaves his children, Robert M. Edwards and Noreen S. Kurdzialek; his five grandchildren Robert Jr., Blake, Stacy, Albert Jr. and Ciara. Also surviving are his seven great-grandchildren Robby Jr., William, Heath, Mac, Rianon, Cylee and Dylan. Also surviving are his sisters Myra and Roberta and his nieces Jenny and Megan and his nephews Alec and Sean.
Memorial services were held at Messinger Fountain Hills Mortuary on Monday, Dec. 22, with his final resting place to join his wife and brother on Dec. 23, at Paradise Memorial Gardens in Scottsdale.
Contributions in his memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale Campus.
Lucille M. Evans
Lucille M. Evans, 92, passed away peacefully on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2009. Lucille was born March 9, 1916 to Michael and Sadie Haddy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was the sixth of eight children in the Haddy family.
She was known for her beautiful singing voice and outgoing personality. She was a cheerleader, played the cymbals and had the lead in several of her high school productions.
Lucille enjoyed work and started working at the family grocery store at age 12. She moved to Blairstown, Iowa when she married Zeno Henry Schmidt. Together, they owned a tavern there where they made many good friends and great memories.
As a widow, Lucille moved to Phoenix in 1959 with her daughter, Jane (Schmidt) Bird. She loved being with people and continued to work until she was 75. She worked in sales at Serrano’s and Starret’s in Phoenix. She eventually retired and moved to Fountain Hills in 1998. The job she valued most was mother and nurturer. She will always be remembered as a loving mother, grandmother, aunt, sister and friend to all.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, Zeno Schmidt, in 1954 and second husband, Mark Evans, in 1973. She is also preceded in death by her siblings; John Haddy, Sam Haddy, Celia Risk, Vivian Zachar, Freda Burger and Mary Shadid. She is survived by her brother Albert Haddy; daughter, Jane Bird (Richard Sr.); grandchildren, Jennifer Kline and Richard Bird Jr; and great-grandchildren Ashley, Sarah and Michael Kline.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 7, from 6-8 p.m. at Messinger Mortuary Fountain Hills, 12065 N. Saguaro Blvd.
There will be a celebration of Lucille’s life with a memorial service on Thursday, Jan. 8, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Messinger Mortuary Fountain Hills, with a reception to follow.
Kenneth Walker Hahn
Kenneth Walker Hahn, 70, of Fountain Hills went to be with our Lord on Dec. 31, 2008.
Dee, his wife of 47 years, has lost her soul mate and love. His children include daughters Christine Hahn of Washington, Stephanie Hahn of Washington and her sons Corporal Jeremy Hahn USMC with his wife Julie and daughter Raeanne of California, and Austin Anderson of Texas; daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Kim Hansen and their children Jacob, Alexandra, and Emily from Denmark.
Other family members include his mother, Jean Hahn; sister and brother-in-law Carol and David Barnett of Scottsdale; in-laws John and Barbara Stuart of California, and Gwen Stuart of Texas; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Ken was a man who first and foremost loved the Lord. He was active in the church as a deacon and an elder, modeling his servant’s heart in various other church capacities.
Ken was a wonderful husband and father and cherished his friends. The dash in his life encompassed serving in the Arizona National Guard, and numerous civic and philanthropic projects. He was active in the Arizona and Washington Republican Parties.
A few of his hobbies were bowling; breeding horses; and raising, breeding and field trialing Labrador retrievers; and being Sun Devil enthusiast.
Throughout his life he built and sold several businesses. The family moved from Arizona to Washington in 1969 and he and his wife returned to Arizona in July of 2005.
Ken’s wonderful sense of humor and bear hugs endeared him to those who knew him. He is missed terribly.
Viewing will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, at Messinger Fountain Hills Mortuary.
Celebration of Ken’s life service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10 at City of Grace Church, 9610 E Cactus Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85260.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to City of Grace Church for the Youth Building project or to Ambassadors to the Nations: www.ambassadorstothenations.com.
Eugene G. Owens
Eugene (Gene) G. Owens passed away quietly and peacefully on Dec. 14, 2008.
Gene was born in 1927 in Albuquerque, N.M. His family moved to the gas fields in Wyoming where he spent the first eight years of school as the only one in his class.
For two years he boarded in town to go to his school. Eventually his family moved to California where he graduated from Hollywood High School at age 16. He joined the Navy at 18, but the war ended before any active service.
He was a man who loved life, reading, cards, golf and traveling. He spent 47 years in the same type of business – first as a partner of Valley Industrial, next as executive VP of King Bearing Insurance and lastly as CEO of A/C Supply Inc. for 11 years and two years Chairman of the Board.
He was a member of The Club, Presbyterian Church and as a founding member of FireRock CC.
He is survived by his wife Joan; son Alan and wife Carolyn of Flagstaff; grandchildren Bryan and Erich and wife Becky of Lampoc, Calif.; three great-grandchildren, Megan, Emma and Ethan; brother, Ben, and wife Mary Owens; his sister, Kay Gibbs and her husband, James; four step-children, Susan, Jeff, Patrick and Steve Mallon; and various nieces and nephews.
Gene’s son, Kenneth preceded him in death. Memorial services are to be Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009 at 11 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church in Fountain Hills.
Arrangements were made by Messinger Fountain Hills Mortuary.
Lula Mae Surrett
Lula Mae Surrett, nee LeRoy, 95, of Fountain Hills, formerly of Cahokia, Ill. died Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009 at Silverado Assisted Living Center in Scottsdale.
She was born Sept. 28, 1913 in Eddyville, Ky. and married Cody “Ross” Surrett in East St. Louis, Ill. in 1942. Ross was an engineer for the Alton & Southern Railway and passed away in April 1972.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, Henry M. and Fannie, nee Cash, Leroy; four brothers, Vance of Caryle, Ill., William T. of Cahokia, Ill., Phillip of Goldsboro, N.C. and Gary LeRoy of Gary, Ind.; and a sister, Edith M. Bovinette of Cahokia, Ill.
Surviving are her sister, Lucile D. (Woody) Roberts of Anthem, Ariz.; many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews.
Friends may call from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 10, at Messinger’s Fountain Hills Mortuary.
Services will be held Saturday, Jan. 17, at Valhalla Garden of Memory in Belleville, Ill. Rev. Robert E. Rose will officiate.
Reed Wells died Jan. 3, 2009 in Fountain Hills. Born April 9, 1957 in New York City, Reed had been a stockbroker his adult life in New York City until moving to Fountain Hills in 2004.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn Wells and his daughter, Sarah Wells, both of Fountain Hills; and by his father, Crosby Wells, and stepmother, Hedwig Wells, both of Salisbury, Conn.
A celebration of his life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10 at the Congregational Church of the Valley, 12001 E. Shea Boulevard (at 120th St.), Scottsdale.
In lieu of flowers, the family is suggesting that contributions be made to the Fountain Hills Firefighters Foundation, c/o Fountain Hills Fire Department, 16426 E. Palisades Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.