Grandfather, sixth-generation activist minister, marched with Martin Luther King, Jr.
Reverend Buckner Coe, minister of Claremont United Church of Christ from 1970 to 1974 and a resident of Lake Forest and Laguna Beach, died peacefully May 11. He was 93. Buckner (Buck) Coe was born December 11, 1924, a sixth-generation minister.
Grandfather, German expatriate, golfer, polyglot
The life and times of Nikolaus Hermann Brinkama, son of August Ludwig and Katja Brinkama, came to a conclusion on May 10, 2018. Born on Bastille Day, July 14, 1928, Nikolaus was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. In 1953 he packed his bags and headed for new adventures, traveling on a banana freighter to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where he worked in the import/export business. Two years later he made his way to San Francisco, where he met Susan H. Bourne. They were married in 1957 in North Cornwall, Connecticut.
Longtime Claremont resident and founding faculty member of Pitzer College Robert Leon “Lee” Munroe died May 14 after a short illness.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mr. Munroe was the eldest of five brothers. As a youth, he excelled at baseball and retained a lifelong passion for that sport. During the Korean War, he joined the US Army, and then pursued a bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, with departmental honors in anthropology. He earned his PhD at Harvard in social anthropology where he met his wife and long-term research partner, psychologist Ruth Hagberg Munroe.
Grandfather, US Marine, traveler, joker, bibliophile, Christian
Larry E. Everett died on Friday, May 11, three years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 73.
Mr. Everett was born on November 22, 1944 to Edwin and Florence (Smith) Everett in the village of Andreas, Pennsylvania. However, his birth certificate lists his birthday as November 23 since his was a home birth in a time and place when the doctor filled out the birth certificate.
Beloved son and brother Rob Poling died of natural causes on April 28 at the age of 59.
A native of Claremont, he was born May 7, 1959. He was a member of Claremont High School’s class of 1977, and played football for the Wolfpack. He graduated from the University of La Verne with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Mr. Poling owned a beautiful home in Rancho Niguel in Laguna Niguel.
Edward D. Westerdale, 90, died May 5. He was a Pomona resident since 1965. Mr. Westerdale was preceded in death by his daughter, Ruth. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy J. Westerdale; sons Paul and Jim Westerdale; four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Services were private.
Grandmother, social worker, seamstress
Susan Palmer, a 33-year Claremont resident, died May 5, surrounded by family, just short of her 65th birthday. She had been battling brain cancer, which was diagnosed in May 2017.
She was born May 19, 1953 in Englewood, New Jersey to John Henry Deckenback and Elizabeth Hughes Deckenback. When young Susan was five the family took a huge leap and moved from the east coast to Santa Barbara, California. There she attended elementary school and graduated from Santa Barbara High in 1971, voted most likely to succeed as a senior.
Great-grandfather, longtime UCC minister and Claremont resident
Reverend David M. Held died peacefully in his home at Pilgrim Place in Claremont on May 10. He was 97 years old.
Mr. Held lived in Claremont for 44 years. In his capacity as a minister he served in United Church of Christ churches for more than 40 years.
Grandmother, homemaker, devout Catholic
Betty Jane Rensch died quietly in her sleep on May 6. She was 90 years old.
Born Elizabeth Jane Dooley on June 10, 1927 in Ramona, South Dakota, she was the youngest of Patrick and Bertie Dooley’s five children and was the valedictorian at her high school graduation in 1945.
Albert J. “Jack” Mallinckrodt died peacefully on March 2, 2018. He was 91.
Born April 24, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri, young Jack joined the Navy in 1944 and was chosen for the V-12 Navy College Training Program, which sent him to Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, and then to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
At Stanford, he met and married Louann Wallace in 1947 and subsequently earned his PhD in electrical engineering with an emphasis on radio wave transmission, propagation and reception.
Harriette Jean Schneider, 78, died peacefully at her Claremont home on April 20.
She was born April 5, 1940 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan to Donald B. and Stella R. Patterson. She was raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and graduated from Columbia, Missouri’s Stephens College in 1960, and from the University of Michigan in 1963 with a degree in music and history.
A longtime resident of Claremont, Ralph Henry Miller, 73, died peacefully on April 19 following a long battle with a rare genetic strain of cancer, with his wife, son, and daughter-in-law at his side.
The recent recipient of Claremont Graduate University’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Evaluation “was a humble man of integrity,” his family shared.
Dr. William Henry Gordon, Jr., 89, of Upland, died peacefully at his home on April 22.
He was born June 14, 1928, in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan and from Cornell University Medical College (now Weill Cornell Medicine). Following his service as a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy and an internship at Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Gordon and his family moved to Southern California.