Mildred Vanderwest, a native of Michigan, a 48-year resident of California and a 35-year resident of Joshua Tree, died March 25, 2004, in the Hi-Desert Medical Center Continuing Care Center. She was 88 years old.
She was born Jan. 23, 1916, to Floyd Wolf and Nettie Morley-Wolf, and was married to Clare C. Vanderwest for 35 years.
Mrs. Vanderwest had been a lifelong homemaker.
She is survived by son Kurt Vanderwest of La Palma, daughters Adell Davis of Joshua Tree, Althea Wolaver of Anza and Fay Hansen of Yucca Valley, sisters Alta Patterson of Musekgon, Mich., Rosella Noble of Groveland, Fla., and Jeanetta Smith of Bearlake, Mich., 10 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Clare Vanderwest, daughter Theresa, sisters Isabella, Doris and Elnora and brother Floyd Jr.
A private celebration of life is planned.
Evelyn 'Skippy' R. (Comer) Buchanan
Evelyn "Skippy" R. (Comer) Buchanan, a native of Spokane, Wash., a 55-year resident of California and a 32-year resident of Landers, died March 29, 2004, in her son's home in Mondovi, Wisc. She was 90 years old.
Born Aug. 28, 1913, to Adolphus and Myrtle (Sackett) Fortner, Mrs. Buchanan was raised in Minnesota.
Before moving to Mondovi three years ago, she had lived in Landers and was involved in many organizations such as Night Caps, Radio Club, the Landers Association, the Goat Mt. Grange and Brownies. She was an Honorary Mayor of Landers.
She was also Santa's helper, postmaster of Goat Mt. Grange 818 and a member of the Landers Area Chamber of Commerce and the Landers Breakfast Club.
She worked at the Belvien Senior Center for many years.
She was a family historian and an avid stamp collector, and made arts and crafts for which she won many awards.
Her greatest honor was to be mentioned in the newspaper for doing something good, and she had many such honors.
Mrs. Buchanan is survived by sons Edward Comer Sr. of Mondovi, Wisc., and Ernie Comer of Chino; grandchildren Tammy, Ed Jr., Rhonda, Kelly, Dawn, Robin and April; great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; sister Gladys Megadenz of LeSuere, Minn.; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Art Buchanan, son John Jr., brother Robert, sisters Ginny and Maud, granddaughter Bonnie Jean, first husband John Comer and both her parents.
Funeral services will be at 4 p.m. today at Poeschel Funeral Home in Mondovi, Wisc. Burial will be at Riverside National Cemetery
Hughes Aircraft Employee, 91
Vern Thornton, a native of Holden, Utah, and a longtime resident of Yucca Valley, died in Palm Springs April 2, 2004. He was 91 years old.
Born May 3, 1912, to Squire William Thornton and Minnie Bottomfield Thornton, Mr. Thornton was one in a set of twins; his sister's name was Vada Thornton.
From 1941 to 1946, he served in the armed forces in the South Pacific.
Mr. Thornton was married to Sarah Elinore Thornton.
He worked at Hughes Aircraft for 15 years before his retirement.
He was a member of the Yucca Valley First Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He is survived by stepdaughter Susan Lanthier of St. George, Utah, son Carl Vernon Thornton of Rio Rico, Ariz., grandson Scott Earnest of St. George, Utah, sister and brother-in-law Wanda and Clarence Erspamer of West Valley City, Utah, sister Fontella Winter of Covina, brother Wayne Thornton of Utah and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and three sisters.
A service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Yucca Valley Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Bishop Don Carter officiating. A family viewing will be held at the church at 10:30 a.m.
A graveside service will follow at 11:30 a.m. at Mountain Valley Mortuary in Joshua Tree.
The family thanks hospice for its service to Mr. Thornton.
Rachel Harden, a native and lifelong resident of Yucca Valley, died at 2:28 a.m. May 24, 2004. She was 16 years old.
Born Oct. 27, 1987, to Joey Umrianna and Tawana Harden, Rachel was a member of the youth group at First Assembly of God. She loved children and loved to baby-sit.
Rachel is survived by mother Tawana Ann Keusport of Yucca Valley, father and stepmother Joey and Debbie Umrianna of San Diego, brother Richard Harden of San Bernardino and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Her grandparents, Earnest and Janice Harden, preceded her in death.
A service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Yucca Valley First Assembly of God in Yucca Valley.
A heart attack claimed the life of Janice Harden, a native and lifelong resident of California and a 32-year resident of Yucca Valley, who died May 27, 2004. She was 63 years old.
Born June 21, 1940, to Charles Gleason and Ruth Powell, Mrs. Harden was a homemaker for 40 years.
She was a longtime member of First Assembly of God Church and enjoyed her swim group in Yucca Valley.
Mrs. Harden is survived by daughter Tawana Ann Keusport, daughter and son-in-law Edna and Frank Davenport and daughter Margaret Shafer, all of Yucca Valley; twin sister Joan McKissen of Yucca Valley; nephew Miles Gleason of Los Angeles; 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at First Assembly of God Church in Yucca Valley, with Dr. B.J. Webb officiating.
Inurnment will be private, with arrangements by Rose Mortuary.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the Rachel and Janice Harden Memorial Fund at Downey Savings in Yucca Valley, account 3057036868.
Lloyd G. Sellers
Maintenance Supervisor, 74
Lloyd G. Sellers, a life-long resident of California who lived in Joshua Tree and Riverside, died July 31, 2004, in Riverside. He was 74 years old.
He was born Jan. 19, 1930, to Floyd Sellers and Gladys Bryant.
He was a maintenance supervisor for the County of Riverside for 25 years before retiring.
Mr. Sellers is survived by his daughter, Susan Childress of Joshua Tree, sons Rick Sellers and Mike Sellers, both of Ontario, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A memorial will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 7 at Higher Ground Church in Rubidoux. Inurnment will be private.
Rose Mortuary of Desert Hot Springs is in charge of arrangements.