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Ethel M. Stecklein remembered at age 98

DOWNEY-Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. today (Friday, Oct. 1) at the Rainbow Chapel, Gate 17, of Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier for Ethel M. Stecklein, a Downey resident for 66 years, who developed a retail hardware, furniture and appliance store with her husband John.

She was 98, born in Wisconsin, and died Sept. 27 after a four-month battle with leukemia.

After spending 17 years on her family's farm in Wisconsin, she left for Chicago in 1918, where she worked for the telephone company. She then traveled west to Needles, California, where she became a "Harvey Girl," serving railroad travelers at the Needles Harvey House and at the Harvey House in Barstow.

Always a country girl, she was an excellent homemaker, raised two sons while pursuing her creative hobbies of gardening, oil painting and ceramics. She loved to create in the kitchen by baking breads, cookies, pies and cakes which she would then artfully decorate.

She maintained her flowers and garden until her death, and had three beloved chickens which kept her supplied with fresh eggs. She was affectionately called "Chicken Grandma" by her six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Many of her friends enjoyed the persimmons, mandarin oranges, peaches, plums and avocados she grew on her mini-farm in north Downey.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John, in 1966.

Survivors include her two sons, John Ellsworth of St. Paul, Minnesota (and his wife, Helen), James Arlen of Whittier (and his wife, Ann); grandchildren Kenneth, Mark, Robb, Beth, Janine and John; and 13 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions to Whittier College.

Dena Mattei mourned by many in Downey

DOWNEY-Longtime resident of Downey Dena Mattei, widow of Caesar Mattei, died Sept. 24 at the Del Rio Sanitarium, where she resided since 1988.

She was born in Iron Mountain, Michigan Sept. 17, 1901.

She lived in Downey since 1958, and was active in the Downey Symphony, Downey Youth Band, the Order of the Eastern Star, White Shrine, and other related groups.

Luther 'Bill' Warren graveside services held

DOWNEY-Graveside services were held Sept. 28 at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier for Luther "Bill" Warren, a 50-year Downey resident and a self-employed realtor.

He was 88, born in Kansas City, Missouri, and died Sept. 23 in Downey.

He was a member of the Downey Elks and a former "Man of the Year."

Survivors include his adoptive grandson, Ralph Brown.

Burial was next to his wife of over 50 years.

Arrangements were by the Miller-Mies Mortuary of Downey.

Sam Bova Sr. mourned at age of 94 in Downey

DOWNEY-Services were Thursday, Sept. 30, at St. Raymond's Catholic Church for Sam Bova Sr., a longtime Downey resident who was retired after 40 years with Hirams Grocery Store.

He was 94, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died Sept. 26 in Whittier.

He was a member of St. Raymond's Church.

Survivors include his daughter, Josephine Baxter of Lake Elsinore; a son, Sam Bova Jr., of Murrieta; brothers Joe, Gus and John; sisters Lena and Rose; nine grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Father Tom O'Hanlon officiated.

Burial followed at Calvary Cemetery. Arrangements were by the Miller-Mies Mortuary of Downey.

Services in Minnesota for Vivian Engquist

DOWNEY-Graveside services will be held at North Star Cemetery in the family hometown of St. Cloud, Minnesota for Vivian Engquist, a retired employee of the General Motors Division of North American Rockwell and a 42 year resident of Downey.

She was an executive secretary and worked closely with NASA in numerous Gemini and Apollo space program projects.

She was 81, and died Sept. 24 at Long Beach Memorial Hospital following a brief illness.

She was preceded in death by her husband, George.

Survivors include her twin sons, Martin (his wife Julie, and grandsons Eric and Brian) of Huntington Beach, and Marvin (his wife Sharon, and grandson Michael and granddaughter Janelle) of La Mirada; a sister, Betty Weber (and her husband Francis Weber) of Albany, Minnesota.

Memorial services held for Jean Steadman Harris

DOWNEY-Memorial services were held Sept. 25 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Downey for Jean Steadman Harris, a longtime local resident who died Sept. 23 in Pico Rivera.

She was born Aug. 8, 1920 in Yonkers, N.Y., and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1941. She settled in Seattle, Washington in WWII, moving to Southern California in 1955 and working as a medical technologist.

She was a member of the PEO of Downey and the Embroiderers Guild of America.

She enjoyed stitching, traveling and playing the harp, piano and recorder.

Survivers include her children, Carol Brown, James Harris, Mary Angell, John Harris, Michelle Feather, Judy Woods and Julie Rotondi; 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Stephanie Jean Harris (1957), and her husband, John Blackwell Harris (1988).

Arrangements were by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

Many grieve for Downey's David Eugene Main

DOWNEY-Services were held Thursday, Sept. 30, at Green Hills Memorial Park Chapel for David Eugene Main, a general foreman at the Metropolitan Stevedore Company and an active member of the ILWU for more than 40 years.

He was 68, born Sept. 20, 1931, in San Pedro, and died Sept. 25, while working a full day shift at Long Beach 212.

He played football at San Pedro High School, and in the U.S. Navy, later winning All American honors at Compton College, which culminated in a football scholarship at USC.

He was a member of the fraternal brotherhood of Free Masons, the Al Malaikah Shrine, the Transportation/Downey Shrine Club and the Royal Order of Jesters.

He and his wife, Carol, lived the last 37 years in Downey.

Survivors include his wife, Carol; his children, Denise (Bill) Miller, Debbie (Steve) White, Christie (Mike) Cabrajac, Shana (Marcus) Palmquist, David (Julie) Main; grandchildren Briana and Jonathan Miller, Aimee and Chelsea Cabrajac, Chandler White; brother Ralph (Betty) Main; and many friends.

The family suggests contributions to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Los Angeles, one of his favorite organizations.

Melba J. Miller mourned by friends and family

DOWNEY-Services were held Sept. 29 at Rose Hills Memorial Park for Melba J. Miller, longtime resident of Downey and the wife of former Mayor Ken Miller.

She was born in London, Arkansas on July 3, 1922, and died at her home Sept. 23.

She was the first lady of Downey when her husband became mayor in 1979, and was involved with the Newcomers Club.

Survivors include her loving husband, Kenneth; her son Michael; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many friends.

Arrangements were by the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary.

Local services held for Clara Francis Bushwar

DOWNEY-Services were by the Downey Zrelek Family Mortuary for Clara Francis Bushwar, a longtime local resident and a fixture assembler for many years for the Lighting Dynamics Company.

She was 88, born in Lyden, Colorado April 30, 1911, and died Sept. 24 in Downey.

She moved to California 61 years ago.

Survivors include her son, Rusty Bushwar; a granddaughter, Carrir Zrelak; and two great-grandchildren who will miss her greatly.

End Obituaries