Sydney Lynn Blanton, a longtime Claremont resident and owner of the Village clothing boutique Amelie, died at home on January 6, 2016, surrounded by family. She was 55.
She was born in San Luis Obispo County on September 8, 1960. Her family moved to Covina when she was 10 years old and she attended schools in the Covina school district, graduating from Royal Oak High School in 1978. She studied at Cal State Fullerton and later at Mt. San Antonio College.
Gerald M. Ackerman, a distinguished art historian, died peacefully at his Claremont home on Friday, January 1, 2016. He was 87.
He was born in Alameda, California and grew up in Santa Cruz, the son of Alois and Eva Sadler Ackerman. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1952 and studied at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany.
Patti Mattison Livingston, a resident of Claremont for more than 70 years, died at her home in Upland on December 14, 2015. She was 92.
She was born in Medford, Oregon on March 12, 1923, the only child of Helen and Allen Mattison. She grew up in Medford and in several towns in California. Her father was an engineer who helped construct high power lines across the western United States. The family often moved with him as he changed job sites, and Patti had to change schools almost every year.
It’s been another year on the obituary beat, a job I first undertook just over three years ago.
When the COURIER’s previous obituary writer Brenda Bolinger left the newspaper for a post at Pitzer College, she imparted some words of portent: “Writing obituaries will change you,” she said, emphasizing that the transformation would be for the better.
Judge Thomas A. Peterson died on December 10, 2015 in his Claremont home, surrounded by family, after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 75.
He was known widely for his integrity which, when coupled with his ample wit, endeared him to all those fortunate enough to cross his path.
Donald LeRoy Angel, a 57-year resident of Claremont, died on September 26, 2015 of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 85.
He was born February 6, 1930 to Norberta Martinez and Joseph Angel in Placentia, California where he was raised. He was a direct descendant of Ricardo Vejar, who co-owned Rancho San Jose along with Ygnacio Palomares.
Kenneth Ross Casey died on December 4, 2015 in Claremont. He was 95.
He was born in Pomona in 1920 to John Ransom and Bessie Casey. He grew up going to Pomona schools, helping tend his family and friends’ citrus trees, playing football and participating in outdoor adventures with the Boy Scouts. He graduated from Pomona High School in 1938 and went on to attend Stanford University.