Obituaries

Obituaries

PASSAGES: HOWARD COOK, FORMER JACUMBA COMMUNITY LEADER (1930-2019)

East County News Service

July 11, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) - The East County backcountry lost one of its biggest cheerleaders on June 29, when Howard W. Cook passed away peacefully after a short illness. He gave selflessly to the community, serving as Chair and later Secretary for the Jacumba Sponsor Group and as Board Member of the Jacumba-Boulevard Revitalization Committee. 

PASSAGES: DENNIS RUTH, MOUNTAIN MAN OF JACUMBA, IN KO PAH

Memorial gathering June 8 at 2 p.m. at Desert View Tower

East County News Service

May 31, 2019 (Jacumba) -- Local icon "Mountain Man" Dennis Ruth passed away May 23rd after a battle with cancer.  He spent his early years in Santee, and the rest of his life in the high desert community of In Ko Pah, near Jacumba. 
 
His stone cabin became a hidden local treasure which took him 30 years to build and where he lived without electricity with his dogs and mule named Big John. 
 

PASSAGES: TOM HYDE, VIEJAS TRIBAL ELDER AND LAST ORIGINAL RESERVATION MEMBER, 1927-2019

 

March 20, 2019 (Viejas Reservation) -- Tom Hyde, revered tribal elder, passed from this earth and his beloved Viejas community, March 14, 2019, at 92 years of age.  He is survived by a large family of 200, both blood and chosen.  Born Thomas James Hyde to Prudencia and Valentine Hyde, of El Capitan Village, he’s the last of the original Viejas Reservation members, and last to have personally witnessed destruction of El Capitan Village, at age five. Thus, he began life as a bridge between the past and future of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

PASSAGES: FORMER LA MESA MAYOR AND COUNTY SUPERVISOR GEORGE BAILEY: 1919-2019

 

 

Services set for April 27

By Miriam Raftery

 

March 17, 2019 (La Mesa) — Shortly after celebrating his 100th birthday, former La Mesa Mayor and San Diego County Supervisor died at his home on March 11th of congestive heart failure. He is remembered as a leader who left behind an indelible stamp on East County and the San Diego region, drawing respect from colleagues on both sides of the political aisle.

 

“Sad news about a big loss,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob posted on Facebook.  “But George Bailey’s decades of public service in East County and beyond will continue to inspire many of us.”

COMMUNITY MOURNS RABBI LEONARD ROSENTHAL

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

February 17, 2019 (San Diego) - A parade of rabbinical colleagues and family members mourning Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal, praised him, which they acknowledged he would have hated, and told jokes about him, which they said he would have loved.  The rabbi’s funeral service was attended by hundreds of congregants and friends Friday afternoon in the congregation he had served for over 30 years, Tifereth Israel Synagogue.

TWO KILLED IN NEW YEAR’S EVE CRASH IN JAMUL

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2019 (Jamul) – Two young people were killed in a collision with a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that occurred around 11:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, December 31st Campo Road (Highway 94) near Lyons Valley Road in Jamul, one mile north of the Jamul Casino.

Yannis Alekos Floros, 21, was driving east on the highway approaching the intersection when he lost control and spun sideways into oncoming traffic. The passenger side of the vehicle collided with the front end of a westbound SUV.  Floros was transported to a trauma center where despite aggressive resuscitation efforts, he was pronounced dead a short time later, on January 1, 2019, the County Medical Examiner’s office reports.

Tabia Watson, 20, was found unresponsive in the passenger seat of Floros’ vehicle; despite life saving measures, she died at the scene.

FLU AND MENINGITIS KILLS CONSERVATIVE WRITER/COMMENTATOR BRE PAYTON IN SAN DIEGO

 

East County News Service

January 1, 2019 (San Diego) – Bre Payton, 26, a conservative writer for the Federalist magazine and frequent guest commentator on Fox News and other networks, died Friday in San Diego from H1N! (swine) flu and meningitis. Her friend, Morgan Murtaugh, was staying over the holidays at Payton’s San Diego apartment and found her unconscious on Friday, December 27th, shortly after Payton was diagnosed with the flu, the New York Times reports.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: LEADERS WE LOST IN 2018

 

 

East County News Service

December 9, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) - They were prominent in business, government, nonprofit, educationand community activism  beloved local leaders who passed away in 2018, though their legacies live onClick each name for a full obituary.

PASSAGES: ROBERT BATTENFIELD, LA MESA ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2018 (La Mesa) – A prominent advertising and communications expert for many years who later became a powerhouse in local nonprofits as their voice in the community, Robert Power “Bob” Battenfield died September 30th at his home of myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms (MDS/MPNs), a leukemia-like illness. 

A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 24 at 11 a.m. at the Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Church.

PASSAGES: RICHARD HENRY ALCORN, JACUMBA HIKING LEADER AND PLANNING GROUP MEMBER

 

 

East County News Service

November 15, 2018 (Jacumba Hot Springs)  A celebration of life and spaghetti dinner will be held on November 16th from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Jacumba Spa for friends and family to honor the memory of Richard Henry Alcorn.  

PASSAGES: PAUL JACOB, SUPERVISOR JACOB'S HUSBAND, A COMMUNITY LEADER WHO IMPROVED FIRE SAFETY IN JAMUL (1937-2018)

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Paul Jacob at YMCA Branding held at his ranch

September 30, 2018 (Jamul) – Paul Ernest Jacob, 80, a Jamul community leader, retired Naval aviator and husband of Supervisor Dianne Jacob, died September 23rd of Parkinson’s disease. Dedicated to improving fire safety for his community, he provided his ranch for use as an emergency shelter and fire operations hub during wildfires.

He was also a founding member of the Jamul Dulzura Community Planning Group and was devoted to the East County YMCA. He helped organize “The Branding,” a fundraising gala held at the Jacob ranch for 14 years, raising over $1.5 million for local Y programs.

Deerhorn Valley Antler editor  Kim Hamilton says Paul Jacob was “beloved” by their neighbors, adding, “He and his wife, Dianne, were the backbone of the community we know and call home today.”

PASSAGES: ELIZABETH YEATTS, LONG-TIME LA MESA RESIDENT AND OWNER OF ELIZABETH’S ATTIC ANTIQUE SHOP

 

East County News Service

July 2, 2018 (La Mesa) -- Elizabeth Yeatts, 92, of Lakeville, Massachusetts, formerly of La Mesa, CA died on June 26, 2018 at home, surrounded by family and friends. Born in New London Connecticut, she graduated from the Williams School in 1943. Married to a Navy officer, Elizabeth lived in many different places including Rhode Island, Vermont, Florida, Hawaii and California during her husband’s Naval career and raised two daughters.

PASSAGES: MEMORIAL MILE TONIGHT TO COMMEMORATE VALHALLA COACH CARTER YARBOROUGH

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 29, 2018 (Rancho San Diego) –Carter Yarborough, 48, a Valhalla High School cross country and track coach, was killed Sunday morning when his motorcycle struck a Sheriff’s vehicle that had pulled into his lane after a left turn on South Coast highway in Encinitas, Patch.com reports.

A memorial Mile in his memory will be held tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Valhalla.  Team members, alumni, and friends are invited to participate in the walk of remembrance.

PASSAGES: JOYCE DUNNE, 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."

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