Miscellaneous Downey, California Obituaries


William E. Mazziotti Memorial Mass Thursday

DOWNEY-A Memorial Mass was heard Thursday, Sept. 16 for William Emilio Mazziotti, a resident of Downey for 46 years, and a former letter carrier for the U.S. Post Office for 21 years.

He was 88, born March 31, 1911 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died Sept. 12 at Downey Community Hospital.

He was a member of the NALC and St. Raymond's Catholic Church of Downey.

He was preceded in death by a daughter, Adeline Tolle in 1986.

Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Vera Mazziotti; a son, Richard Mazziotti of Seattle, Washington; a daughter, Cheryl Whitney of San Jose; a sister, Mary McGinnis of Lake Forrest; 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Private interment followed at All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach. Arrangements were by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

Russell P. Humphries mourned in Downey

DOWNEY-Russell P. Humphries, a longtime Downey resident, died at his home here Sept. 8.

He was born Oct. 24, 1942.

Survivors include his friend, Kathy Morino; his daughters, Joy Sullivan of Missouri, Shelley Norris of California; a son, Vincent Humphries of California; brother Tommy Humphries of Missouri; and sisters Charlene Weaver of California and Chris Gray of Washington.

Arrangements were by Morrow's Pico Rivera Mortuary.

Services Sept. 25 for former Santa Fe Mayor

SANTA FE SPRINGS-Memorial services will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Clarke Estate in Santa Fe Springs for former Santa Fe Springs Mayor John Moreno, who went on to be one of the first two Hispanics elected to the state legislature in this century.

He was 72, and died Aug. 19 in New York City. He was one of the leaders in the drive to incorporate Santa Fe Springs, and was elected to the City's first City Council, later serving as mayor. He was a member of the Council when Santa Fe Springs was named an All-American City.

He was elected to the 51st Assembly District in 1962, representing parts of East Los Angeles, Santa Fe Springs, Whittier, Pico Rivera, Montebello and Norwalk. One of his major accomplishments was winning passage of a bond issue to build Rio Hondo College in the 1960s, after earlier bond efforts had failed. He also helped the college district avert bankruptcy through legislation that allowed it to prolong an override tax and complete construction in 1966.

While he served just one term, his legislative efforts boosted civil rights, aid to the aged and support for farm laborers. He served on the state Compensatory Education Commission and co-authored a bill that funded special programs for disadvantaged students, including youngsters from migrant families and those still learning English.

The Clarke Estate is at 1102 Pioneer Blvd., Santa Fe Springs. Persons wishing to attend the service should call Ted Snyder in Whittier at 698-4340 or Gloria Delatorre-Wycoff at (949) 206-1006.

Friends, family remember Anthony (Tony) Shasha

DOWNEY-Anthony (Tony) Shasha, a Downey resident since 1938, and a longtime contributor to charitable and church activities here, died Sept. 9 in Downey.

He was born in Pennsylvania March 11, 1923. He graduated from Downey High School in 1942 and married his wife, Jo, in 1945.

Survivors include his children, Richard, Marilyn, Kathy, Joe and Tony Jr,; grandchildren Eric, Brian, Joey, Christy, Sarah, Rebecca, Nicholas, and Angela; sisters Rose and Mary; brothers Carl and Joe; and many friends.

Arrangements were by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

Funeral services held for Dawn Marie Steyer, 39

DOWNEY-Funeral services were held Sept. 4 at St. Raymond's Catholic Church for Dawn Marie Steyer, a resident of Downey for 37 years and an employee of the Automobile Club of Southern California for 21 years.

She was 39, born in St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood, and died at her Downey home Sept. 1.

Survivors include her parents, Carol and Phil Steyer; sisters Christine and Phyllis; a brother, Russell; three nieces and four nephews; a maternal grandfather from Victorville, and a paternal grandmother from Nebraska.

Father Steve Davoren officiated. Burial followed at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.

Services to be held for Oliver O. Gray at 85

DOWNEY-Services will be held today (Friday, Sept. 17) in Texarkana, Texas, for Oliver O. Gray, a Downey resident who died Sept. 11 at Downey Community Hospital.

He was 85, born in Newboston, Texas.

Survivors include his wife, Maria Gray.

Burial will be in Harmony Grove Cemetery in Texarkana, Texas.

Arrangements are by the Miller-Mies Mortuary of Downey.

Friends mourn passing of James Raymond Cruz

BELL GARDENS-A Rosary was heard Friday, Sept. 10, at the Allen-English & Estrada Funeral Chapel for James Raymond Cruz, a longtime resident of Huntington Park.

He was born Jan. 11, 1937 and died Sept. 4.

Survivors include his children, Lisa Cruz, Jimmy Cruz and Michael Cruz; a grandson, Joseph Olivas; and his sister, Margie Annis.

Private burial followed.

Arrangements were by the Allen-English & Estrada Funeral Chapel.

SOUTH GATE-David Michael Powers, a former Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff and later a Court Security Officer for the Federal Marshal's service, died at his South Gate home Aug. 31.

Born Oct. 3, 1932 in New York City, he spent a lifetime serving his country and community. At age 16 he joined the Marine Corps Reserves, and at 18 became a Corpsman in the U.S. Navy, 3rd Marine Division.

After leaving the military he joined the City of Bell Fire Department. He later became a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff serving 24 years until his retirement in 1986. He then worked as a Court Security Officer for the Federal Marshal's Service, a job he held until his illness forced him to resign.

He enjoyed the ocean and boating, and lounging around a swimming pool. He was often called a "sun worshiper," and always seemed to have a smile and a joke to tell.

He was a member of the Paramount Elks Lodge 1804, Sheriff's Relief Organization and the Police Officers Protective Association.

Survivors include his wife, Jo; his mother, Mary; a son, David Jr.; a daughter, Felicia Overmeyer; a sister, Dorothea Diamond; six grandchildren, one great-grandson and four nieces; stepsons Clayton and Jeffrey Hibbitt; and a stepdaughter, Moli Neves.

He was preceded in death by a son, Stephen.

He will be missed by family, friends and neighbors.

Richard G. Duran, Sr. mourned at age of 71

DOWNEY-A Funeral Mass for Richard G. Duran, Sr., a former 24 year Downey resident and truck driver for the Penberth Lumber Co. for 39 years, was heard Wednesday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Downey.

He lived in Artesia and died Sept. 6 in Downey Community Hospital. He was age 71, born in Los Angeles, and served in the U.S. Navy.

Survivors include his wife, Mary E. Duran of Downey; sons Michael E. of Commerce, Richard G. Jr. of Downey; and James V. of Artesia; four brothers; two sisters; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Pastor John Maloney officiated. Burial followed at Resurrection Cemetery. Arrangements were by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

Services held here for Robert Lewis Falke

DOWNEY-A Funeral Mass was heard Thursday, Sept. 11 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church for Robert Lewis Falke, who died Sept. 4 in Bakersfield.

Born Sept. 6, 1922, in Wisconsin, he lived in McFarland, California.

Survivors include his son, Mark Falke; his daughter, Michelle Kenney; sisters Harryette Farquharson, Blanche Williams, and Ida Mae Simpson; a brother, George Falke; and three granddaughters.

Burial followed at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park in Camarillo. Arrangements were by the Morrow's Pico Rivera Directors.

Services held today for Maridelle Annette Pernal

DOWNEY-Graveside services will be held today (Friday, Sept. 12), at 11:30 a.m. in Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier for Maridelle Annette Pernal, a resident of Downey since 1953 and a homemaker for 46 years.

Formerly of Los Angeles, she was age 73 and was an active minister with the Jehovah's Witnesses. She died at Brea Community Hospital Sept. 9.

Survivors include her husband, Joseph F. Pernal of Downey; her daughter, Patti Jo (Mark) Flores of Artesia; her son, Robert J. (Deborah) Pernal of Chino; and grandchildren Zachariah and Wendy Pernal.

Arrangements are by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

Friends, family mourn Betty Lunday at age 76

DOWNEY-Services for Betty Lunday, a Downey resident since 1973, were held Thursday, Sept. 4 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 10511 Paramount Blvd., Downey.

Born in Kosice, Czechoslovakia Jan. 7, 1921, she was 76, and died Aug. 31 in Downey Community Hospital after a long struggle with cancer.

She came to America at the age of 16, living at first with an aunt in New Jersey, and later in Ohio, where she met her first husband.

She worked as a civilian nurse for the U.S. Navy for four and a half years in Norfolk, Virginia. Then, in 1949 she and her first husband moved to Bell, California, where she worked as a nurse for the Santa Fe Railroad Hospital.

Divorced in 1956, she suffered back injuries when trampled by a horse in a paddock mishap at Santa Anita Race Track. After fused vertebra and six months of paralysis she gave up nursing, and at the age of 39 became qualified as a pharmacist.

Returning to her homeland for a visit in 1962, she was accused of being a spy. With the help of her family she escaped back to America, but her assets were lost.

Returning to South Gate, she resumed work as a pharmacist at the hospital, and through a friend who was an L.D.S. realtor, began acquiring rental units.

She later was introduced to the L.D.S. Church and baptized.

In 1964 she met her husband, Wilbur. They were married Feb. 24, 1968, and moved to Downey in 1973.

Survivors include her husband, Wilbur Lunday of Downey; and her brother, Jozef Karnis of the Slovensko Republic.

Bishop Dennis Clinton officiated. Burial followed at the Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.

Arrangements were by the Biby & Belyea Mortuary of South Gate.

Friends, family remember Lawrence Henry Vincent

DOWNEY-Funeral services were held Monday, Sept. 8, at the Miller-Mies Mortuary Chapel for Lawrence Henry Vincent, a 28 year Downey resident and retired employee of ICX Trucking Co.

He was 62, born in Michigan, and died Sept. 2 in the Lakewood Regional Medical Center.

Survivors include his wife, Shirley; his daughters, Denise and Crystal Vincent and Pamela Dought; and grandchildren Louis, Joshua, James, Bernice and Sabrina.

Pastor John Rose officiated. Burial followed at Riverside National Cemetery.

Arrangements were by the Miller-Mies Mortuary of Downey.

Services tomorrow for Marvin Stevenson, 94

DOWNEY-Funeral services for Marvin Stevenson, a longtime resident of Downey, wll be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 13) at Downey Memorial Christian Church, 8441 E. Florence Ave.

He died Sept. 6 and was 94.

Leona Marie France mourned at age 83

DOWNEY-Funeral services were held Thursday, Sept. 11, at the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary Chapel for Leona Marie France, a 13 year Downey resident and a former 20 year employee at Rockwell International, who died Sept. 8 at Coast Plaza Doctor's Hospital.

She was born in Cameron, Oklahoma, was 83, and was preceded in death by her husband, and a son, James France.

Survivors include her daughter, Ramona Jervis of Downey; a sister, Lorene Yost of San Diego; granddaughters Cindy Nelson of Texas and Kristin Ronnenberg of Corona Del Mar; and four great-grandchildren.

Burial followed at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier. Arrangements were by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

Robert Charles Kistner remembered at age of 61

SOUTH GATE-Private cremation service was held Friday, Sept. 4, for Robert (Bob) Charles Kistner, a South Gate resident for 50 years, who died Sept. 3 in Downey Community Hospital.

He was 61, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov. 9, 1936.

He was a warehouse foreman for Rykoff/Sexton Inc., for 39 years. He served in the U.S. Navy.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara J. Kistner; his son, Gary Kistner of Yorba Linda; grandchildren Bryan and Candace; brothers Theodore of San Jose, and Carl of San Mateo.

Arrangements were by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

40 year Downey resident Effie Pearl Redd mourned

DOWNEY-Graveside family services were held Tuesday, Sept. 8, at Pacific View Memorial Park for Effie Pearl Redd, a 40 year resident of Downey, who died Sept. 3 at Downey Community Hospital.

She was 74, born Dec. 11, 1923 in New York.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Stan.

Survivors include her granddaughter, Kristine Fray of Whittier; and two great-grandsons, David and Mark Fray.

Burial followed at Pacific View. Arrangements were by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

Charles C. Weldon services take place here

DOWNEY-Funeral services for Charles C. Weldon, a Downey resident for 60 years, and a former employee of the U.S. Post Office for 26 years, were held Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Downey United Methodist Church.

He was 82, born in Kansas, and died at his home in Downey Sept. 7.

He was a member of the Downey United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife; a daughter; a son; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Arrangements were by the Miller-Mies Mortuary of Downey.

Mary Joan Palmquist mourned at age of 80

DOWNEY-Memorial services were held Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary Chapel for Mary Joan Palmquist, a 27 year resident of Downey and the manager of the Downey Civic Theater for three years.

She was 80, born in Chicago, Illinois, and died Sept. 7 at Norwalk Meadows Nursing Facility.

She was a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church.

Survivors include her husband, Roger E. Palmquist; a son, Roger R. Palmquist of Redondo Beach; a daughter, Bonnie Jean Scott of Bellflower; a grandson, Matthew Palmquist of Redondo Beach; and a brother, Joseph Larkers of Berwin, Illinois.

Arrangements were by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

Lucinda Elnora Smith Van Slyke remembered

DOWNEY-Memorials are suggested to the Atherton Baptist Homes, 214 South Atlantic, Alhambra, CA 91801 for Lucinda Elnora Smith Van Slyke who died of pumonary fibrosis which became acute the last two weeks of her life.

She died Aug. 21 at the hospital in Alhambra, just 22 days after her husband, Milton, passed away.

They had been married two months short of 63 years.

She was the daughter of Leslie and Emma Jane Smith, and was born March 10, 1919 in Meadville, Pennsylvania. She grew up in the farming community of Wayland, and graduated from Meadville High School in 1935, marrying Milton E. Van Slyke, an American Baptist minister, in 1936. Together they served in churches in Pennsylvania, Arizona and California.

Survivors include her four children, Marilyn Showers of Arizona, Jeanne Johnson, Mary Lou Walling, and John Van Slyke of California; eight grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; a sister, Viola Maines of Wayland, Pennsylvania; sisters-in-law Wilma Smith of Wayland, Pennsylvania, Bettye Jane Van Slyke Craven of Jamestown, N.Y., and Ann Van Slyke of Erie, Pennsylvania.

Friends, family mourn Robert Joseph Ryan

DOWNEY-Services were held Sept. 8 at St. Raymond's Catholic Church for Robert Joseph Ryan.

He was 79, burn in Wilmedean, Pennsylvania, and died in Norwalk.

Survivors include his son, Bill Ryan; brother, Tom Ryan; sisters Dorothy King, Catherine Larayere, Alvena Ryan, Dolores Davis, and Rosie Martindale; and granddaughters Heather and Taryn.

Burial followed at All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach. Arrangements were by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

Memorial services held for Virginia Emerick, 77

DOWNEY-Memorial services were held Aug. 26 at Forest Lawn in Cypress for Virginia Melissa Emerick, a resident of Downey since 1955.

She was born May 7, 1920 and died Aug. 24 at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier.

Survivors include her husband of 63 years; three sons; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Former nurse Dorothy Violet Reck mourned

DOWNEY-Services were held Thursday, Oct. 8, at the Downey Zrelak Mortuary Chapel for Dorothy Violet Reck, a Downey resident for three years, who died Oct. 3 at her home here.

She was 69, born in Ireland Nov. 19, 1928 and was a registered nurse for 28 years, working for Dr. Marion Yandell, M.D.

She was a former resident of Carson, and a member of the Long Beach Moose Lodge No. 600.

Survivors include her husband, Floyd H. Reck of Downey; sons Scott (Gigi) Gonzalez and Michael Gonzalez of Carson, Edward (Cassie) Gonzalez of Virginia; and grandchildren Shawn, Rebecca, Ian, Ryan and Caitlin Gonzalez.

The Rev. Chaples Denisac of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church officiated. Private cremation followed. Arrangements were by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

C. Richard Bustamante remembered by many

MONTEREY PARK-A Funeral Mass was celebrated Thursday, Oct. 8, at St. Bruno's Catholic Church in Whittier for C. Richard Bustamante, a longtime resident of Monterey Park and a former grocery clerk for Ted Pappas Convenience Store.

Born in Los Angeles, he was 66 and died Oct. 3 in Long Beach Veterans Hospital.

He served the U.S. Army Signal Corps in the Korean War, and was a member of the American Legion Post 397 of Monterey Park.

Survivors include his brother, Hugo Bustamante of Monterey Park; a sister, Martha (Bob) Trousil of Downey, and many nieces and nephews.

Rev. Father Jim Bradley officiated. Burial followed at the family plot in Calvary Cemetery. Arrangements were by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

Services today for Richard H. Lawrence

DOWNEY-Services will be today (Friday, Oct. 9) at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 10544 Downey Ave., for Richard Herbert Lawrence, a Downey resident since 1951, who died Oct. 4 at USC-Norris Cancer Center due to complications from colon cancer.

He was 75, born Oct. 23, 1922 in Aromas, California to Kenneth McCray Lawrence and Mabel Ethelyn Wilson. He grew up in southeast Los Angeles and attended Loma Vista Elementary, Bell High School (Class of 1940), and USC (MB '48, MA '49).

"Load" spent three years on the USC Trojan offensive line (1940-42) before joining the U.S. Army serving as a captain in World War II (1942-45) and again in Korea (1950-51).

His professional career started in 1949 as an elementary school teacher, and physical education and youth services consultant.

He continued through the ranks as elementary vice principal, and in 1958 was promoted from principal to the Budget Division in the Office of the Superintendent. He represented Los Angeles Unified School District in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento for 12 years. He was then promoted to assistant superintendent-staff relations in 1969, associate superintendent-personnel division in 1970-71, area superintendent-Area J (San Fernando Valley, 1971-75), assistant superintendent-Division of Education Support Services (1975-78), Area 3 superintendent (South Central Los Angeles, 1978-80), Area 9 superintendent (San Fernando Valley, 1981-83), and assistant superintendent, Special Projects Office of the Superintendent (1981-83). On his retirement in 1983, he continued to serve his profession and community as director of capital development for Junior Achievement of Southern California, coordinating a $6.3 million construction project (1983-94). In 1993 he began assisting the Foundation for the Junior Blind in a $10 million project. Dick also led the Association of California School Administrators (1990-94) as state retirement consultant and received the Robert E. Kelly award for distinguished service.

A faithful USC Trojan, he served on the boards of the USC Trustees, USC Alumni Association, Spirit of Troy Marching Band, USC Football Alumni Club, President's Circle Support Group, was president of EDUCARE (1968-69), Cardinal and Gold, the Education Alumni Association, Women of Troy, and Skull & Dagger. He was the honored recipient of distinguished university awards, including the USC Alumni Service Award in 1974, the Fred B. Olds Support Group Man of the Year in 1978, and was honored in May with the distinguished R.O.S.E. Award. He was also recently chosen as chairman of the California Retired Teachers Association.

Survivors include his wife, Edith of Downey; a sister, Patricia Park of Ventura; sons Gibson of Westminster, Colorado, Jeffrey of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Nelson of Vancouver, Washington; eight grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and countless relatives and friends.

Graveside services will follow at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier. Arrangements are by Rose Hills.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to Junior Achievement of Southern California, Inc., 6250 Forest Lawn Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90068; the Kurka Foundation Fund, 22122 Londelius St., West Hills, CA 91304; the Foundation for the Junior Blind, 5300 Angelus Vista Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90043; or the USC School of Education, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90007.

Madera funeral held for Helen Maxine Harpster

MADERA-Funeral services under the direction of the Sierra Funeral Chapel were held for Helen Maxine Harpster, a former resident of Downey for 48 years, who died in Madera Oct. 7.

She was 88, and had lived in Madera five years after moving from Downey.

She was an active member of St. Raymond's Catholic Church in Downey, and was a cafeteria manager for 20 years for the Downey Unified School District.

She married her husband, Albert, in 1928. He preceded her in death.

She is remembered as a loving mother and grandmother, a great homemaker who excelled at sewing, knitting and cooking.

Survivors include her daughter, Jacquelyn Johnson; granddaughters Kelli Spurgeon and Shaun Spurgeon; and a great-granddaughter Presley Rainey.

Remembrances may be sent to St. Raymond's Catholic Church, 12348 Paramount Blvd., Downey CA 90242.

Services Tuesday for Robert J. Henderson

DOWNEY-Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 13, at Christ Lutheran Church, 7707 Florence Ave., for Robert J. Henderson, who died while playing golf Oct. 7 in Whittier.

He was 76, born in San Francisco April 27, 1922, and lived in Downey for 40 years. He was a 1944 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy as lieutenant, seeing action in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

He was past president and over-30-year-member of the Downey Kiwanis Club, and was a longtime member of Candlewood Country Club. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge F & AM 273, the Al Malakah Shrine Club, the Terrible 20 Golf Club, and Christ Lutheran Church.

Survivors include his wife, Anita of Downey; his son Richard and daughter-in-law Esper of Clovis; his daughter Diane and son-in-law Chris of Naples, Italy; his grandchildren, Maria Henderson, Allissa Henderson, Emily Bott, and Haley Bott; sisters Florence Jensen of Saratoga, Connie Paulsen of Henderson, Nevada; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Shriners Children's Hospital or Christ Lutheran Church.