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.
Claremont resident Carol Ellen Miller died peacefully at her home on November 28, 2015. She was 72.
She was born on March 23, 1943 to Matthew and Mary Grieshaber in Trenton, New Jersey. Carol and her older sister Judie were raised in the San Gabriel Valley. After graduating from Mission High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from San Jose State University.
Edla Becker, a longtime Claremont resident, died on Friday, November 20, 2015 at Mt. San Antonio Gardens. She was 77.
She was born Edla Schultz on September 9, 1938 in Latvia, just as the Baltic nation was entering a period of considerable tumult. With the onset of World War II, the country was seized by the Soviet Union in 1940. It was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1941 and then reoccupied by the Soviets from 1944 until gaining its independence in 1991.