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Photo: Left to right: Tony Gwynn, Michele Tarbet, Aubrey Dunne, Duane Stainston, Penny Halgren, Joe Drew

December 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--East County lost community leaders, a sports star, a former elected official, business owners and beloved volunteers in 2014.  Some were well-known, such as Padres Hall of Famer and Aztecs coach Tony Gwynn, ex-school board member Penny Halgren, Drew Ford patriarch Joe Drew and Grossmont Hospital CEO Michele Tarbet. Others were active in nonprofits, politics, schools and other community endeavors, such as Council candidate and Save ECPAC volunteer Duane Swainstom or beloved teacher Aubrey Dunne.  Some weren’t well known, but their deaths made headlines and pulled at our heartstrings, including as missing persons, a military pilot and young people lost in the prime of their lives due to tragic circumstances.

Here’s a look back at those whose passages made headlines in East County in 2014:

Jackie Billings, Starbucks worker and Santee mom, dies of meningitis

Joe Drew, Drew Ford, dies of cancer

Aubrey Dunne, teacher and actor

Sally Estabrook, missing woman with Alzheimer’s

Padres star and baseball legend Tony Gwynn passes away

Penny Halgren, former La Mesa-Spring Valley school board member

Kimberly Hayes, found burned in Alpine

Douglas Holbrook, KNSJ radio host and board president

John Holzhauer, winemaker

Leonard Kevin Jones, kayaker found drowned

Melissa Kennon,  SDSU student, killed in fall off 5-story building

Daniel Marquez, missing senior, former volunteer patrol with El Cajon Police

Russell Mendez and Jeffry Ingram, fishermen killed in boating accident

Elaine Murphy, cofounder of Santee Historical Society

Leoma Owens, author

Rosemary June Owens, bakery owner

Carl Lee Salayer, missing Alzheimer’s patient

Linda Shipman, Lakeside resident and noted community volunteer

Lt. Sean Christopher Snyder, Santee resident killed in Navy helicopter crash

Sara Stelzer, SDSU student, succumbs to meningitis

Duane Swainston, aerospace manager and El Cajon City Council candidate

Michele Tarbet, Grossmont Hospital chief executive officer

Bernardo Teran, tree trimmer killed in El Cajon


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