Obituaries

Obituaries

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.

PASSAGES: DR. ROBERT H. KOKERNOT,GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1940 GRADUATE

 

East County News Service

Photos:  Dr. Kokernot and his Grossmont letterman’s sweater

September 11, 2016 (El Cajon) — “We’ve lost another wonderful Foothiller,” the Grossmont  High School museum curators wrote in an e-mail announcing the death of Dr. Robert Hutson Kokernot, 94. Dr.Kokernot was a graduate of the class of 1940 and was inducted into the Hall of Honor at Grossmont in 1967.

PASSAGES: GROSSMONT HIGH STUDENT RYAN WILCOX, TEEN WHO INSPIRED A COMMUNITY

 

East County News Service

September 7, 2016 (El Cajon) -- A memorial tribute was held Monday night at Grossmont High School to honor the life of Ryan Wilcox, 18, who passed away after a valiant battle against cancer since age 3 and more recently, leukemia.  Ryan’s struggle captured the hearts of people across the community, even drawing Hollywood celebrities to his home in El Cajon.

PASSAGES: EVANGELICAL MINSTER, “LEFT BEHIND” AUTHOR TIM LAHAYE DIES AFTER STROKE

 

East County News Service

July 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Evangelist Tim LaHaye,  co-author of the best-selling “Left Behind” Christian book series and founder of local Christian schools, died today at age 80 in a local hospital of complications from a stroke.  Time Magazine once named LaHaye among the 25 most influential evangelicals in the U.S.

PASSAGES: PHILANTHROPIST CONRAD PREBYS PASSES AWAY AT 82

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County News Service

July 25, 2016 (San Diego) — Conrad Prebys, a generous philanthropist who supported numerous San Diego nonprofit organizations, health and education centers, died Sunday, July 24th of cancer at Scripps Mercy Hospital with his family at his side.

MEMORIAL PLANNED JULY 10 FOR COUPLE WHO DIED IN BORDER FIRE

 

 

By  Miriam Raftery

Update July 6, 2016:  The Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of James Peter Keefe,53 and also confirmed that the second body is that of his wife,but has not released her full name pending efforts to locate her relatives in Canada.

Memorial fund established for Jim and Kyrie Keefe

July 3, 2016 (Potrero) –A memorial service is planned for July 10th at 11 a.m. to commemorate Jim Keefe and his wife, Kyrie.  The service will be held at 28020 State Route 94 in Potrero,  the site where the young couple lived.  Bodies believed to be theirs were found by volunteer searchers among boulders 50 to 70 yards behind their home after the Border Fire.

“Let’s get together to honor them, talk to each other about what happened that tragic day, and salute two wonderful people who brightened our lives and made us smile. See their art, tell some stories on the mic, hear some music, walk the property, cry, hug,and laugh,” Claudia Millerbragg posted on the Potrero Town page on Facebook, adding that people should bring chairs.

PASSAGES: RICK ALEXANDER, FORMER GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNTY COLLEGE DISTRICT BOARD MEMBER AND REALTOR

 

East County News Service

June 21, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Rick Alexander, a prominent East County realtor, long-time member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Board, and active member in community organizations passed away June 13th.  A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, July 9th at 10 a.m. in the Performing Arts Theatre at Cuyamaca College. All are welcome to attend.

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