Obituaries

Obituaries

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.

PASSING OF HELEN CHAVEZ, WHO HELPED HER HUSBAND GIVE BIRTH TO AND SUSTAIN AMERICA'S FIRST ENDURING FARM WORKER'S UNION

 

Source: Cesar Chavez Foundation

Photo:  Helen and Cesar Chavez with six of their eight children in 1969 at the United Farm Workers’ “Forty Acres” property outside Delano. Standing from left are: Anna, Eloise and Sylvia. Seated are from left Paul, Elizabeth and Anthony.

June 6, 2016 (Keene, Ca.) - Helen Fabela Chavez, 88, who played a vital role helping her husband give birth to what became the first enduring farm workers union in U.S. history—and sustained Cesar Chavez during the 31 years he led the United Farm Workers of America—passed away today, Monday, June 6 at a Bakersfield hospital surrounded by many of her seven surviving children, 31 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

PASSAGES: HERMAN SALERNO, RAMONA WINEMAKING PIONEER AND OPERA SINGER

 

Memorial to be held Thursday, May 12

East County News Service

(Ramona) –Herman Salerno, 81, an Italian opera singer, founder of Salerno Winery and a pioneer in our region’s winemaking industry, has passed away. 

Linda McWilliams, president of the San Diego County Vintners Association, remembered Salerno as “a pillar of the early winery community in San Diego County and Ramona. He was an award-winning winemaker and helped and encouraged so many, particularly in the Ramona AVA.” She added, “A visit to his winery was not just about tasting the wine but a view into the entire culture of art,food, old world conversation but also the joy of his operatic voice.”

PASSAGES: SQUARE FOOT GARDENING CREATOR DIES AT 84: PUBLISHER TO CARRY ON LOCAL AUTHOR’S WORK TO COMBAT WORLD HUNGER

 

East County News Service

May 2, 2016 (San Diego) -- “Build a box. Fill it with Mel’s Mix. Add a grid…and start planting.” Mel Bartholomew, creator of Square Foot Gardening, has passed away at the age of 84 in La Jolla, California. His easy, innovative method of growing vegetables revolutionized the way millions grow their own food. 

RIDER DIES AFTER HORSE FALLS AT LAKESIDE PARADE GROUNDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy Billy Ortiz

April 24, 2016 (Lakeside) – Yesterday morning’s Western Days Parade in Lakeside was marred by tragedy.   Diana Cavender, an experienced horse trainer and member of the Escondido Mounted Posse, has died of head injuries suffered in a fall that occurred when her horse spooked while she was riding to a staging area after the parade.

PASSAGES: BAJA BLOG COLUMNIST SUSAN MAHALICK

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

February 8, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – It is with great sadness that we report the death of East County Magazine’s “Baja Blog” columnist Susan Mahalick, 60.  She passed away at the University of California San Diego Medical Center last week following an illness.

PASSAGES: NATIVE SAN DIEGAN AND PROMINENT BUSINESSMAN DAVID CHARLES PRICE DIES AT AGE 86

 

 

Photo: David Charles Price   1929 - 2016                            

January 22, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Services will be held Saturday, January 30 in Carlsbad for David C. Price, who passed away January 13 at age 86.

A lifetime San Diego resident, David C. Price was instrumental in the formation and operation of several San Diego area businesses and real estate developments, and was actively involved with various philanthropic ventures benefiting San Diego County. Most recently he lived in Carlsbad and formerly resided on Mt. Helix with his family for over 30 years. He also served for eight years on the Cajon Valley School District board in the 1960s. 

Price was born in San Diego on October 21, 1929.  He was a 1947 graduate of Grossmont High School and graduated from San Diego State University in 1951 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. After serving two years in the Army, he worked in the aeronautical industry for 15 years, including serving as General Manager of Advanced Structures in La Mesa, a division of Whittaker Corporation.

MEMORIALS PLANNED FOR GARRY MCCLINTOCK SEPT. 20 AND 26

 

September 1, 2015 (Descanso)—A series of events are planned to honor the memory of famed saddle maker Garry McClintock including a memorial ride and barbecue on September 20th, as well as a church service and reception September 26th.

ON THE TRAIL WITH GARRY MCCLINTOCK: A MEMOIR

 

By Marty Jorgensen

September 1, 2015 (Descanso) -- When I think of Garry McClintock, what I will remember more than anything else is his attitude towards life.  He was always upbeat and positive, and full of curiosity of the world around him.  He had the inner and spiritual strength to continue to carry that on despite his long illness. When you spoke with Garry you always felt that he was really interested in what you had to say, and you always seemed to go away better for it.  His shop was always somewhere that you could not only buy a saddle or tack or have it repaired but a place where you could find out what was happening, in Descanso or in the equestrian community.  It was as much a social center as it was a saddle shop.  And I cannot remember him in any conversation ever saying a bad thing about anybody.

PASSAGES: PROMINENT PALESTINIAN BISHOP DIES IN POWAY

 

August 22, 2015 (Poway)--The Most Rev. Samir Hana Kafity, twelfth president-bishop and primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East, and bishop-in-residence at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Poway, died on Friday afternoon at home after a stroke. He was 81 years old.

PASSAGES: GARRY MCCLINTOCK, DESCANSO'S FAMOUS SADDLE MAKER

 

Memorial planned for September 26, 2015

By Miriam Raftery

August 16, 2015 (Descanso) –For the past 43 years, Garry McClintock has been making saddles to outfit trail riders and cowboys across our region. On August 14th, the master  saddle maker passed away at his Descanso home. With his passage, a towering part of San Diego’s western heritage rides off into the sunset. though his memories live on.

East County Magazine’s “Sounds of History” host Helen Ofield interviewed McClintock for our radio show on KNSJ. You can hear the  series here, including McClintock discussing the art of saddlemaking in part 1 and the history of vaqueros in our region in part 2:

http://k001.kiwi6.com/hotlink/7avse2re64/Soundsof_History-GarrymcClintock-saddles1.mp3

    http://k001.kiwi6.com/hotlink/n2cwhibth1/SoundsofHistory-2McClintock-Vaqueros.mp3

DEADLY HEAD-ON TRAFFIC COLLISION

August 16, 2015 (Chula Vista) -- A La Mesa mother and daughter were killed Thursday in a head on collision on SR-125 just north of the San Miguel Ranch.

Diane Defenbaugh, 60, and her daughter, Kathryn “Katy” Defenbaugh, 29, both veterinarians, were heading to SeaWorld to celebrate Katy’s 29th birthday, but never made it there.

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