Longtime Claremont resident James Joseph Dorst (Jim) died December 22, 2020 at the age of 88. In 1956, he met Beverly Brodhagen, and they were married on September 7, 1957. They moved to Claremont in 1960, where he started his career in construction. He worked as a glazing estimator for Olson Glass and Granite Glass before starting his own glazing company (D and D Company) in 1984 with his partner Gary Dryden.
On Saturday, December 5, 2020, Edward Johnson died of natural causes at his home at the age of 82. His death was followed by that of his wife, Tsuyako Yamabe Johnson, on New Year’s Eve at Country Villa Claremont, where she had been residing for the past year. She was 88.
Elizabeth (Bette) Bass died at home on December 21, 2020 after bravely fighting cancer. She was surrounded by the love of her many friends near and far. She was 73 years old. She lived for a time with her grandparents in Steelville, Missouri, while her mother received treatment for cancer. She graduated from high school in San Mateo, California in 1965, chosen “most likely to succeed” in her class. She attended the University of Redlands, majoring in communicative disorders, graduating in 1969.
Leslie Arthur Brewer, 97, lived life with integrity, used words sparingly but effectively, and was well known for his dry, clever humor. In many ways, he lived a remarkable life, but did so unassumingly. Known by friends and family as Les, he was a lifelong resident of the Pomona Valley and died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, December 24, 2020. The cause of death was COVID-19.
Longtime Claremont resident Terrence “Terry” Brutocao, beloved husband, father and grandfather, died December 6, 2020. He was 77. He was, above all else, a family man. A child of Italian/Canadian immigrants, Angelo and Norma, he was born on May 14, 1943 in Toronto, Canada. He arrived in Covina in 1951 and ultimately settled in Claremont in 1973.
Wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother Peggy Ericson died peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 in her home. She had celebrated her 95th birthday the prior week. Margaret (Peggy) was born to Ernest and Doris on December 2 in Tampa, Florida, and was always proud to be a native Floridian, maintaining a lifelong love of tropical plants and flowers and warm weather.
Beloved patriarch, U.S. Navy veteran, construction company executive, outdoorsman, sharpshooter, Jerald Bert Laird, of Rancho Cucamonga, left for a joyous reunion with his parents, sister and extended family on December 23, 2020.
John H. Gingrich, Dean Emeritus and professor of religion and philosophy at the University of La Verne, died peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, at the age of 79.
John was born in New Holland, Pennsylvania to John and Miriam Gingrich. The second of four siblings, he was raised in the Church of the Brethren community and appreciated the values and commitment to service instilled during his upbringing.
On Wednesday, December 23, 2020, Diana Colladay Williamson, beloved by all who knew her, died at age 83 in Montclair. The daughter of a diplomat, she was born Diana Ramsay Colladay in Switzerland and spent her early years living all over the world, including in Trinidad and Spain.
Each year the COURIER publishes dozens of obituaries from families who seek us out to write the final story of so many loved ones. Since there are no length restrictions, each one of these obituaries vary in length depending upon the memories of family members. Regardless of length, every family had a unique story to tell. A story that will live for decades in the COURIER archives.
We mourn the loss of Los Angeles artist Roland Reiss who passed away from natural causes on December 13, 2020 at the age of 91. As Chair of the Claremont Graduate University Art Department from 1971 to 2001, he mentored generations of students in an innovative program that set a standard for graduate art education.
Rhonda Jean Clark, a longtime Claremont resident, died December 10 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 57. Rhonda was born in Pomona on November 14, 1963. She was raised in Claremont until she married the love of her life, Curtis. They resided in Ontario and Upland until they finally settled back into Claremont in 2002.
Adeline Keehan Hill, beloved “Omi,” died November 22 in Sacramento at the age of 90. She is survived by her three daughters, Deborah Sutherland, Roberta Suronen and Pamela Reynolds; brother, Rudy Padilla; ten grandchildren; and seven great grandchildren. Adeline was born on December 27, 1929 in Gallup, New Mexico to Joseph and Flora Padilla. She grew up in the family home, a 24-unit motel, with sisters Tina and Dalila and her brother Rudy.