Obituaries

Obituaries

PASSAGES: JOYCE DUNE, RETIRED TEACHER (JULY 12, 1932-MAY 4, 2018)

 
 
By Greg Dunne

 

May 12, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Joyce Elizabeth Dunne, who taught school for many years in La Mesa and Lemon Grove schools, passed away on FridayMay 4th in Waco, Texas with her daughter Shannon at her side.  Beloved by all who knew her, she will live in our hearts forever.  She is survived by her brother: Donnie, four children: Greg, Grant, Guy and Shannon, and her six Grandchildren.

 

PASSAGES: EMMY AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER ROBERT GARDNER (1939-2018)

 

Update: A memorial service will be held on May 30th at the Garden Chapel at Greenwood Mortuary, 4300 Imperial Ave. San Diego, CA 92113. Viewing will be from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.with the service itself from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

 

East County News Service

May 9, 2018 (El Cajon) - El Cajon resident Robert D. Gardner, a video producer honored with 28 Emmy awards, died of a heart attack on May 6th at his home.  President of Gardner Productions, he also worked at KFMB-TV, the CBS affiliate in San Diego for 17 years.

PASSAGES: GLADYS PALAST 1921-2018, FIRST WOMAN IN COAST GUARD AND PROGRESSIVE ACTIVIST

 

Memorial services in San Diego April 27 and May 1

East County News Service

April 27, 2018 (La Mesa) --- Gladys Palast (1921-2018), a beloved mother, former La Mesa resident, progressive activist and military veteran, passed away Friday at age 96 in Kaiser Permanente Hospital.  A life-long activist for union, education and civil rights, she is survived by her son, journalist, author and film producer Greg Palast and her daughter, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor Geri Palast. 

Gladys Palast was a union activist with SEIU and the San Diego Teachers Union.  Until the age of 80, she was also a school teacher in Los Angeles then San Diego.  She and her late husband, Gil Palast, were cofounders of the La Mesa Democratic Club and Activist San Diego, owner of KNSJ radio.

The first woman to enlist in the Coast Guard during World War II, she will be interred with full military honors at Miramar National Military Cemetery, 5795 Nobel Drive, San Diego, CA 92122 today at 11 a.m. along with the ashes of her late husband, Gil Palast. A celebration of her life will follow at 1 p.m. in the rec room at 6780 Mission Gorge Road in San Diego, where friends are invited to bring memories, stories and songs to share.

PASSAGES: DOROTHY “DOLLY” NOTTINGHAM, DEAD AT 94

 

By Helen Ofield, President, Lemon Grove Historical Society

April 26, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- Dorothy “Dolly” Nottingham, 94, was the first president of the Lemon Grove Historical Society, drafter of its bylaws, writer of its oral history guidelines and, with her late husband Lee Nottingham, a founding member.

PASSAGES: JOURNALIST AND EDITOR GREG EICHELBERGER: 1961-2018

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 7, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Greg Eichelberger, former editor of the East County Californian and East County Herald newspapers, passed away March 2nd.   The writer known for his acerbic wit penned his own obituary, in which he wrote that he died of complications from heart disease, diabetes, an irregular heartbeat and “being a fat slob.”

PASSAGES: MARION KATHRYN BARRERA … A LIFE TO BE REMEMBERED

 

By E.A. Barrera

March 5, 2018 (San Diego) -- My mother, Marion Kathryn Holmes Barrera, died on March 3, 2018. She died a little after four in the morning, 25 days to the minute from when my father died. My dad was San Diego State Professor Ernesto Martin Barrera. Together, my parents led a life that began on the campus of UCLA and took them to Cartagena, Los Angeles, San Diego - and a lifetime of romance, family and meaningful purpose. 

PASSAGES: DON PARKER, FORMER SHERIFF’S SEARCH AND RESCUE COORDINATOR, DIES OF BRAIN CANCER

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2018 (San Diego) – Sergeant Don Parker, who saved many lives as head of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue operations for many years, died on Valentine’s Day after battling glioblastoma brain cancer, with which he was diagnosed last May.

PASSAGES: DR. MICHAEL LONG, FORMER PRESIDENT OF GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE BOARD

 

East County News Service

February 14, 2018 (La Mesa) – Dr. Michael T. Long, a prominent neurologist and past president of the Grossmont Healthcare District’s Board of Directors, passed away on January 31st I Grossmont Hospital.

Dr. Long, who started his practice in La Mesa in 1967, was the founder and first president of the San Diego Neurological Society.  He served for 12 years as a medical staff executive at Grossmont Hospital and was elected to the Grossmont Healthcare Board of directors for four years, serving as president for one year. He also served as Chief of Staff in 1987, and as Medical Staff Executive in support of the Chiefs of Staff from 1988 until his retirement in 2006.

PASSAGES: ERNESTO MARTIN BARRERA, SDSU SPANISH PROFESSOR: DECEMBER 12, 1935 - FEBRUARY 6, 2018

 

By E.A. Barrera

February 6, 2018 (San Diego) -- It is slightly less than 3,000 miles between the tiny village of Mompos, Colombia and Washington D.C. But of course it is in many ways farther then traveling to the moon. On a bright day in early 1961, my father, Ernesto Martin Barrera, and 16 other Colombian college students made the trip to America as part of a visiting tour of young leaders. They got to shake hands with a young American president who had his own dreams of trips to the moon, and they got to tour America.

EX-PADRES GM PASSES AWAY

 

East County News Service

Photo via @Sweendog9 on Tumblr

January 30, 2018 (San Diego) - Former Padres general manager Kevin Towers has passed away at the age of 56.  Towers, who is most known for putting together the 1998 Padres team who won the National League championship, passed from a rare form of thyroid cancer that he was diagnosed with in December of 2016.

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.

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