Obituaries

Obituaries

COMMUNITY MOURNS LOSS OF CHUCK HANSEN, CIVIC LEADER AND FORMER VIEJAS VICE PRESIDENT

 

Update: Services are scheduled for February 8 at 11 a.m. at Foothills Christian Church. 365 West Bradley in El Cajon.

By Miriam Raftery

January 18, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Charles “Chuck” Hansen passed away suddenly on Monday night, January 15th.  A civic leader active in many organizations for decades, Hansen mentored and befriended many people , leading numerous charitable efforts as well as promoting East County.

He is remembered by San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Eric Lund as a community icon whose “years of knowledge and experience has helped to make San Diego East County a better place to live, work and play.”

PASSAGES: PROMINENT EAST COUNTY LIVES LOST IN 2017

 

 

East County News Service

December 24, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Far too many local leaders and luminarieswho touched our lives and made a difference in our community took leave of this earth in 2017. 

Below are some of the most prominent and noteworthy East County figures who passed on in the past year, listed in alphabetical order:

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR FALLEN FIREFIGHTER CORY IVERSON TO BE LIVE-STREAMED TODAY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 23, 2017 (San Diego) — Governor Jerry Brown is expected to attend a memorial service Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Rock Church in  Point Loma to honor Cory D. Iverson, a Cal Fire engineer station in Dulzura who lost his life battling the Thomas Fire in Ventura County.  The service is private, but will be live-streamed for the public to view at www.SDRock.com/Iverson.  

"His bravery and years of committed service to the people of California will never be forgotten," said Governor Brown, who ordered flags at the state capitol flown at half mast.

CAL FIRE MAKES PREPARATIONS TO HONOR FALLEN ENGINEER CORY IVERSON

 

Source: Cal Fire

December 18, 2017 (El Cajon) -- CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 6 (IMT 6) has transitioned in partnership with the CAL FIRE San Diego Unit as they make final arrangements for a Celebration of Life to honor Engineer Cory Iverson, who lost his life battling the Thomas Fire in Ventura County. 

CAUSE OF DEATH, MEMORIAL DETAILS RELEASED ON CORY IVERSON

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 16, 2017 (Dulzura) – Smoke inhalation and burns were the causes of death for Cal Fire engineer Cory Iverson, 32, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s report. The Dulzura-based firefighter and resident of Escondido died in the Fillmore, California area while battling the Thomas Fire. 

CAL FIRE FIREFIGHTER STATIONED AT DULZURA DIES IN THOMAS FIRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2017 (Dulzura) – Cal Fire engineer Cory Iverson, 32, who was stationed in Dulzura, has died of injuries sustained fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County this morning.  A resident of Escondido, he leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter, Evie and his wife, Ashley, who is expecting the couple’s second daughter in the spring.

"Today has been a tragic and devastating day," Cal Fire San Diego County Fire Chief Tony Mecham told media at a press conference. "This incident has shaken our organization to the core." He praised Iverson as “a great young man, somebody who really loved his job."

TEEN KILLED IN ALPINE COLLISION

 

East County News Service

Photo: ECM news partner 10 News

December 12, 2017 (Alpine) – Alpine resident William Burton, 17, died at the scene of an accident that occurred last night at 8:25 p.m. on South Grade Road east of Via Viejas Oeste in Alpine. 

A senior at Granite Hills High School and tight end on the school's football team, he was on his way home from a team banquet when the tragedy occurred, KNSD reports.

VINEYARD HACIENDA OWNERS SWEPT OVER WATERFALL IN HAWAII

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 29, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- Tragedy has struck a Spring Valley family after George and Gladys Novinger were swept over the towering Rainbow Falls in Hilo, Hawaii over the weekend.  Gladys was found unconscious and taken to a hospital, where she died.  Her husband is presumed dead, though his body has not yet been recovered and may have been washed out to sea, according to Hawaii authorities.

BILL DICKENS DIES AT 68; ICONIC EAST COUNTY SPORTSWRITER, "EVERYONE'S FRIEND"

 

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego

Photo:  In his later years, Bill Dickens (shown with webmaster partner Ramon Scott) wore a beard. Photo via Facebook

November 21, 2017 (San Diego) - Bill Dickens played baseball at Grossmont High School and recreational softball for the old Daily Californian newspaper — a catcher with bad knees.

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PASSAGES: EAST COUNTY BUSINESSMAN WILLIAM "BILL" THOMAS VERBECK PASSES AT AGE 90

 

East County News Service

October 6, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - Known for his generosity in support of East County community organizations, businessman William “Bill” Thomas Verbeck passed away at his home in Spring Valley on September 27 at the age of 90, with friends by his side.

PASSAGES: LA TORTA RESTAURANT OWNER MIGUEL ANGEL ROJAS

 

East County News Service

September 15, 2017 (La Mesa) – Miguel Angel Rojas, 54, owner of the La Torta restaurant in La Mesa, died on September 10th.

“ A husband, father, brother and friend, Miguel, was beloved by many,” states  a GoFundMe page set up by Rojas’ stepdaughter to help his wife, Felicia, and daughters.  “Many people came to know Miguel through his food and friendship.  Unfortunately, Miguel was taken from the Rojas/Reed family very suddenly and without preparation. Any donations received will be used for funeral services, hospital bills and to support Miguel's wife and daughters. Prayers and condolences are appreciated.”

MEMORIAL SERVICE SEPTEMBER 8TH FOR H. DAIL RANKIN

 

East County News Service

Photo:  H. Dail Rankin, January 24, 1944 – June 14, 2017

August 28, 2017 (San Diego) A memorial service will be held for H. Dail Rankin on Friday, September 8th at 2:30 p.m. at Mirror Lake in Greenwood Cemetery (4300 Imperial Ave, San Diego, CA 92113).

PASSAGES: H. DAIL RANKIN, 1944-2017, INSURANCE AGENT AND LINCOLN HIGH REUNION ORGANIZER

 

East County News Service

July 25, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- H. Dail Rankin succumbed to a heart attack on June 14, 2017 after a lengthy battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and complications caused by chemotherapy.  Born January 24,1944, he attended local schools and became known to many in East County through the years as an Allstate Insurance agent, a Standard Brands Paints manager, and the organizer of multi-class reunions for Lincoln High School.

PASSAGES: FORMER ALPINE SUN EDITOR’S HUSBAND, GREG SCOTT, KILLED IN CAR ACCIDENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Spring Valley resident Gregory Lawrence Scott, the father of two young children and husband of The Alpine Sun’s former editor Christy Scott, was killed in a car accident on I-15 on June 17th.   A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Christy and the couple’s children, Jacob,and Isabelle.

PASSAGES: BILL BODRY, CHALLENGE CENTER FOUNDER AND CHAMPION FOR THE DISABLED

 

 

East County News Service

July 4, 2017 (La Mesa) – William (Bill) Bodry, founder of the Challenge Center in La Mesa and long-time champion of the disabled, died at his home of heart failure on his 72nd birthday, June 15th 2017.  A celebrate of life to honor his memory will be held on July 15 at 12 noon at the Challenge Center in La Mesa.

Bodry founded the Challenge Center in 1987 after suffering a spinal cord injury from botched surgery that left him paralyzed at age 27, with no adequate facility for long-term rehabilitation.  The center has had amazing results helping patients with severe brain and spinal cord injuries, as ECM reported back in 2008, enabling many severely disabled patients to walk, talk and achieve independence.  In his interview, Bodry shared his dream:  for the program he founded at Challenge Center to someday become a national model replicated nationwide.

PASSAGES: MANUEL MIGUEL MORENO DIES OF INJURIES IN CAR CRASH

 

Services set for July 2nd and 3rd

July 1, 2017 (Lemon Grove) – Manuel Miguel Moreno, a Lemon Grove resident who was raised in Santee, passed away June 26th at Grossmont Hospital of injuries from a car crash eight months ago in Ramona. He was surrounded by his family.

PASSAGES: GORDON BOSMA, RETIRED POSTAL UNION LEADER AND COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER

 

East County News Service

June 13, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Gordon Bosma, a long-time resident of East County, died on May 29, 2017.   Bosma was a retired United States postal worker.  While working there, he led his local union, American Postal Workers, AFL-CIO.

PASSAGES: BETTY LANE WHITE (CLARK): OCTOBER 17, 1930 – MAY 14, 2017

 

East County News Service

June 6, 2017 (Lemon Grove) - Long-time Lemon Grove resident Betty White passed away peacefully on May 14, 2017.   Betty was born on October 17, 1930, in Charleston, South Carolina to Eva Mae Clark (Smith) and Omer Clark, who was in the U.S. Army. Betty was one of five Clark children: Helen, Richard (Dick), Betty, Eva May and James (Jim).  The family eventually settled back in San Diego after living in several places including Panama.  Betty graduated from Hoover High School in San Diego in 1948 and then studied nursing at San Diego State College (now SDSU). 

PASSAGES: ARLENE ALPER, RAMONA RESIDENT AND STAFFER AT RANCHO BERNARDO HIGH SCHOOL

 

East County News Service

April 24, 2017 (Ramona) -- Arlene (Paladino) Alper, 63, died at her home on Mt. Woodson in Ramona, CA  on April 18, 2017 after a long battle with stage four breast cancer.  She was the mother of East County Magazine sportswriter Liz Alper.

PASSAGES: ANZA-BORREGO RANGER STEVE BIER DIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 4, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – Beloved Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Ranger Steve Bier has died in a shooting incident, the Borrego Sun reported on April 1st

The California State Park Service praised the 15-year-veteran ranger as “one of the finest ambassadors of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and our Department,” adding that Bier was “well known and respected throughout the Borrego Springs community” including community events and school programs.  He also coordinated the annual count of Desert Bighorn Sheep.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE FEB. 10 FOR FORMER LA MESA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESIDENT GORDON JONES

 

East County News Service

January 31, 2017 (La Msea) — The La Mesa Historical Society and the family of Gordon Jones will hold a celebration of his life and recognition of his contribution to the city of La Mesa on Friday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. at the La Mesa Historical Society’s McKinney House Museum, 8369 University Ave. in La Mesa.   Read more about his remarkable life here.

PASSAGES: GORDON JONES, PAST PRESIDENT OF LA MESA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

 

East County News Services

January 21, 2017 (La Mesa) – Gordon Jones, who served as president of the La Mesa Historical Society for eight years  on the city’s Historic Preservation Commission,  died January 15th at his home.  Jones also founded the La Mesa Historic Home Tour. Services are pending.  Below is a notice sent by the La Mesa Historical Society:

PASSAGES: LONGTIME CAMPO RESIDENT WAS A FAMILIAR FACE AT HISTORIC DESTINATION

 

By Billie Jo Jannen

December 6, 2016 (Campo) - A celebration of life is planned for longtime Campo resident Carol Yates on Dec. 9. Mrs. Yates died in her home on November 13, 2016, at the age of 85.

She is remembered as an active auxiliary member of the John Finn VFW Post 2080 and of the Mountain Empire Homemakers Club. She worked for many years at the historic Dogpatch bar -- which burned down in 1987 -- in the Canyon City neighborhood of Campo. In recent years, she was a well-known face at senior lunches at the community center in Campo.

PASSAGES: VICTIM IN RAMONA CRASH WAS SKATEBOARD LEGEND VICTOR EARHART, 70

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 29,  2016 (Ramona)—The motorcyclist killed Friday morning on Highway 79 in Santa Ysabel in a collision with a Prius has been identified as Victor Earhart,  70, a prominent skateboarder who inspired fans of all ages. 

Sector 9, a skateboard company where Earhart worked and performed as a team writer,  posted a  tribute titled “Legends Never Die” that praised him as “a great ambassador for skateboarding and a legend to many. He was always down to ride skateboards rain or shine, dirt or asphalt. He was very loved by all and will be sorely missed in the skateboard community.”

PASSAGES: DR .RICHARD BUTCHER, 77, HEALTHCARE HERO

 

Hear our 2015 radio interview with Dr. Butcher:  http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/9ljhcdy6y7/Newsmaker-RichardButcherMD-heal...

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 18,  2016 (El  Cajon)—Dr. Richard O.  Butcher,  77, an El Cajon resident and  prominent San Diego physician honored nationally for his dedication to serving patients in poor and minority communities,  died of heart failure Saturday while attending the American Medical Association’s annual meeting in Florida.

Dr. Butcher was  highly respected in San Diego’s medical, philanthropic and sports communities,  as well as at the national  level.   Last year, he received the National Medical Association’s Practitioner of the Year Award.

PASSAGES: CLIFF DIAMOND, FORMER EL CAJON POLICE CHIEF, CHAMBER CHAIRMAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 29, 2016 (El Cajon) — Cliff Diamond, former El Cajon Police Chief and past interim Chairman of the East County Chamber of Commerce, died October 25 in Sierra Vista, Arizona.  Diamond collapsed while on an RV vacation with his wife, Leslie and despite efforts by paramedics to revive him, was pronounced dead at a nearby medical facility.

CHARGERS MOURN PASSING OF MINORITY OWNER GEORGE PERNICANO

For more sports stories, visit ECM's sports section

Source: Chargers news release

October 6, 2016 (El Cajon) - San Diego Chargers minority owner George Pernicano passed away peacefully, surrounded by family at his home in El Cajon, California early Thursday.  He was 98. 

Pernicano was one of the five original San Diego Chargers minority owners who purchased interest in the team in 1963.  He helped Jack Murphy and other prominent San Diegans convince Barron Hilton, the owner of the Los Angeles Chargers, to bring the team to San Diego in 1961.

PASSAGES: DEBORAH MCELRAVY, FORMER PRESIDENT, GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT

 

East County News Service

October 3, 2016 (La Mesa) — Deborah McElravy, former board member and president of the Grossmont Healthcare District, passed away on September 19, 2016.

A native of Glassport, Penn., McElravy graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. She spent 40 years in the healthcare industry as a practicing pharmacist and over a decade on the Grossmont Healthcare District board of directors, working improve healthcare for the community.

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