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.
Leanne Bauman Kerchner died November 27, four days after suffering a massive stroke. Her children—Paige Kaplan and Charles A. Kerchner—and her husband, Chuck, were with her as she passed. She was 79 and had lived in Claremont for four and a half decades.
Lothar “Larry” Fox died November 15 at age 91 in Upland. Larry was known and acclaimed for many things during his rich and varied life. He earned a number of medals during his 27-year career with the U.S. Army and was also a jazz disc jockey for many years as well as a successful and acclaimed jazz drummer.
Mark Thomas Hunter died peacefully November 4 at his home in Chino at the age of 60. He is survived by his wife of 17 years, Jennifer; children, Addison, Michael (Melissa) and Justin; stepson, Alex; daughter-in-law, Taylor; grandchildren, Hailey and Mila; mother, Nancy; brothers, Brian and Michael; sister-in-law, Tammy; and nephews, Scott and Ryan.
Suzanne Charlotte Festag Colp, a longtime Phoenicia, New York resident, died Monday, Nov. 9, 2020 at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, from injuries sustained in a fall at her home last July. She was 67. A native Californian, Suzanne was born on April 8, 1953 and raised in Claremont. She graduated from Claremont High School in 1971 and attended Chaffey Community College.
Longtime Claremont resident Jim Brost died November 27 at Sunrise Assisted Living after enduring a long illness. He was 76. Jim was born February 3, 1944 in Seattle, Washington to loving parents Otto and Agatha Brost. When he was five, the Brost family moved from Glendive, Montana to Pomona.
Donald Lee “Don” Obert was born November 8, 1935. His father, William John Obert, was from New York and his mother, Betty Jane Bohley, from Cleveland.
Don grew up with his father near the mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles. Those were delightful early years which saw bus trips to Santa Monica Beach with his cousin, Pat, fishing off the Redondo Beach pier, and many other family outings.