Alex Ambruso

October 10, 1932 - May 7, 2019

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On Tuesday, May 7, 2019 Alex Ambruso peacefully passed away surrounded by family. He was born to Nichola and Gaetana Ambruso on October 13, 1932 in Brooklyn, New York. Alex, his parents and brother Dino spent many years living in New York before moving to California.

Alex was graduate of the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology, located in Hoboken New Jersey. After completing his education Alex worked as an engineer in the Aerospace industry and on government projects for over 40 years.

Early on Alex exhibited a life-long passion for learning, that amazed all who knew him. He became an accomplished cook, a train enthusiast and was an eternal problem solver. At any time he could be found working on a variety of projects, whether it was building a bread/pizza oven in his backyard, developing a train system to deliver his baked items to his family and friends (waiting to enjoy his concoctions at the backyard table) or thinking about ways to improve a variety of inventions. He also enjoyed photography, being outdoors and tending to his garden.

In the 90’s Alex met Adele Alexander, a long time Downey resident and he fell in love. They were married in 1995 and as a couple enjoyed traveling and spending time with family and friends. Together, they taught Italian Cooking and Travel at Rancho Santiago Community College, entered an Ice Skating Competition (Alex broke his shoulder), went skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho, did a lot of ballroom dancing, took painting classes, etc.

When diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Alex initially did not let his disease slow him down. He continued to travel, work on projects and maintained his zest for life. In his later years, when forced to slow down he enjoyed spending time with family and friends and still managed to work on projects, but did not clean up his own mess!

Alex is survived by his wife, Adele Ambruso, Susan Luchay (Don Luchay), Diane Ambruso, Janet Basalone (Tim Basalone) and his five grandchildren. He was very fortunate to have been close to Adele’s children, grandchildren and siblings who welcomed him into their family and always treated him so wonderfully.

“A life so beautifully lived, deserves to be remembered.” The family and friends of Alex Ambruso will be celebrating his life privately on Sunday, May 26, 2019.

Maria Lackey

October 9, 1942 - May 13, 2019

Maria Esther Lackey, 76, was born on October 9, 1942 in El Paso, Texas to Arsenio and Mercedes Villegas and entered into eternal rest on May 13, 2019 in Downey, California.

Maria was a hard-working and strong woman who took care of everyone, and managed to still be the life of the party. She loved spending time with her family. If there was an event for the grandkids, she would be there at least two hours ahead of time. She wanted to be sure she had the best seats. Plus she enjoyed socializing with anyone and everyone around her. She would be sure to tell everyone about her grandkids. There wasn’t anyone in Downey that didn’t know about Amanda, Ryan, Blake, and Cole. She protected her family and when things were stressful she was always the first to say, “Everything’s gonna be okay.” It usually did turn out Ok, because she was there to fix it or help in every possible way.

If she wasn’t buzzing around Downey delivering missing assignments or taxi’ing the boys, she was with her sister playing Bingo or with Craig at the casino. She enjoyed herself because there was laughter and stories and lots of silliness and antics taking place. Maria also had a love of sweets, there wasn’t a cake or apple pie with ice cream or dessert of any sort that was safe when she was around. The last enjoyment I want to share about Maria is her pride and commitment to her job. She loved Downey Unified. She loved the friendships she created, she worked hard, took pride in her work, and wanted to do a great job. Her warm smile and her bright personality will be missed by so many.

Maria leaves behind her loving family: Husband, Craig Lackey, Daughter, Carmen Rodriguez (Luis), Daughter, Esther Brossmer (Roger), Son, Anthony Campos, Granddaughter, Amanda Rodriguez, Grandson, Ryan Rodriguez, Grandchildren, Blake Brossmer and Cole Brossmer, Siblings, Augustin Manuel Villegas, Arsenio Villegas Jr. (Olivia), Maria Anita Villegas numerous nieces and nephews, as well as several other family members and friends who loved her and will miss her dearly.

A rosary will be held for her on Tuesday, May 21, at 6:30 pm at Risher Montebello Mortuary, and a funeral mass on Wednesday, May 22, at 10:00 am at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Downey, California. For more obituary information and to leave condolences for the family, please visit www.RisherMortuary.com 562-861-3888.

Clyde Miera

October 2, 1933 - May 11, 2019

Clyde Miera, Downey CA, Passed away peacefully on May 11th, 2019 at the age of 85. Clyde graduated High School in Bernalillo, New Mexico. He served in the army with great pride. Clyde moved to California the day after marrying his love of 62 years Lorraine. He had a successful career as a barber. He had many friends and always the life of the party. He could always put a smile on your face. He is survived by his wife Lorraine Miera. Children Greg and Kathleen. Son in Law Kenneth. Four grandchildren Shawna and her husband Bryan, Damian, Desiree and Ashlee. Preceded in death by Grandson Christopher. And two great grandchildren Melodee and Mikah.

Joseph George Zarrahy

December 2, 1946 - April 30, 2019

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Joseph G Zarrahy was embraced by our Lord on April 30, 2019.

Devoted son of George Joseph and Agnes Katherine, Joseph was born in Union City New Jersey and moved to Los Angeles with his parents in 1948 amidst the aerospace boom where he was joined with his loyal brother Dennis and sister of affection Diane.

Joseph graduated from Woodbury College with a BA in Business Administration and BSBA in Business Education. He taught high school Business English and Economics at St. Paul until the hospitality industry opened many doors for him throughout his 45 career. He was employed with ITT Sheraton and Hotel Managers Group in a variety of leadership positions until his retirement in 2018.

Joseph held leadership positions with The Board of Human Services, Los Angeles Hotel and Lodging, Past President of Rotary International, Los Angeles Visitors and Convention Bureau, SKAL, and Sister City Association for the city of Commerce. He also served on Boards of the churches he was a member.

Joseph considered his greatest blessing his family with son Brandon, daughter in law, Jennifer and granddaughters Kinley and Delanyi. He was a devoted husband to Elizabeth “Libby” who continues to treasure their blended families.

Joseph led a faith filled life as a lay leader of St. Anne Melkite Catholic Church, North Hollywood. In the year 2000 he was awarded the highest honor a lay person can receive, The Holy Cross Of Jerusalem by the Patriarch of Antioch all the East of Alexandria and of Jerusalem. While he was humbled by this award he credited his parents with the wisdom and support in leading a Christ based faith life.

Joseph was also a member and board memeber of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Downey California. Joseph celebrated his Arabic culture ensuring all extended family members were part of these celebrations.

He was a beloved father, husband, Gido, Uncle, and cousin and friend. To his wife, Libby, Joseph will always remain her treasured “Habib” (translated “my love”).

Funeral Arrangements will be conducted, Saturday, May 11 at 9:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. In lieu of florals donations can be made to the Joseph Zarrahy Memorial Fund in care of St. Anne Melkite Catholic Greek Church, 11211 Moorpark Street North Hollywood CA 91602.

Grace Eshilian

June 2, 1944 - May 4, 2019

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Grace Eshilian passed on May 4th, 2019 in Bellflower, California. Grace was born on June 2, 1944 in Lincoln, Nebraska to Erma Linda and James B. Tackett and was the oldest of 6 children. She grew up in the South Bay in a home her father built. During her life, she was married to Ron Moorehead and Richard Eshilian and today is survived by her daughter, Veronica Fuenmayor and her son, Richard Eshilian Jr. as well as two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Grace lived in Downey for the last 50 years. She worked in Real Estate for over 40 years and was the recipient of many awards, served on various boards, and was a great resource to the real estate community, always willing to share her wealth of knowledge. She also served the community of Downey in many ways, including her involvement in the Rotary Club and First Baptist Church of Downey. Grace volunteered with First Baptist Church of Downey’s children’s ministry and participated in several short term mission trips. She never hesitated to give of her time to serve others. Grace’s kindness and generosity will be greatly missed by her loved ones.

Grace leaves behind her loving family: Children, Veronica Fuenmayor (Ed) of Downey & Richard Eshilian Jr. of Downey, Grandchildren, Andrew Fuenmayor (Priscilla) of Lakewood & Cassie Fuenmayor of Boston, Massachusetts, Great-grandchidlren, Oliver & Calvin Fuenmayor of Lakewood, Siblings, Lynn Ogden of North Carolina, Patrick Tackett (Pam) of Idaho, James Tackett of Idaho, Leigh Dimarco of New York, Elizabeth Halboth (Pete) of California, as well as several other family members and friends who loved her and will miss her dearly. A memorial service will be held for Grace on Thursday, May 16 at the First Baptist Church in Downey at 11:00 AM. For more information and to leave condolences to the family, please visit www.RisherMortuary.com. 562-861-3888.

Interment will follow at a later time in the Pacific Crest Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Rotary Club of Downey, Grace Eshilian Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 339, Downey, CA 90241.

Frank Mike Garcia

June 7, 1944 - April 16, 2019

Frank Mike Garcia aka Mike or “Poo” 74, of Downey, passed April 16th, 2019. Mike was born to William and Mary Verdugo Garcia in the City of Los Angeles. The family moved to Downey where he attended Warren High School. He married his High School sweetheart Linda Jean Thomas in 1962. They lived in Downey and raised four children, Lori Keltner (Rick), Michael Garcia (Denise), Shawn Garcia (Elizabeth) and Joe Garcia. He leaves behind 12 grandchildren: Krystal Keltner, Kaci Keltner, Karli Keltner (Darren), Karson Keltner, Michael Garcia, Jade Garcia (Braiten), Eryka Garcia, Shawn Garcia, Sarra Garcia, Jasmine Garcia, John Garcia and Jayce Garcia and one great grandchild Lillian Mae Nguyen. He also leaves behind 2 brothers, William Garcia (Elaine) and Daniel “Donnie “ Garcia. He was predeceased by his wife Linda, Mother Mary and Father William Garcia. He was known as a great friend and would always do whatever he could to help friends and his family. He will be greatly missed.

Please join us for a celebration of his life June 2nd from 2-5pm at The Assistance League Chapter House 7749 Florence Ave, Downey.

Robert F. Fisher

March 26, 1933 - April 6, 2019

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Robert Findlay “Bob” Fisher was born in Downey, California on March 26, 1933, younger son of Thomas and Helen Findlay Fisher. He attended Downey schools, graduating from Downey High School in 1951.

Bob attended Occidental College in Eagle Rock, graduating with a BA in Economics. While at Occidental, he was active in Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and Air Force ROTC. During his junior year, he met Marilyn “Lyn” Beynon, whom he married shortly after his graduation in 1955. Bob was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force, completing his training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX, then was assigned to the finance office at Eielson Air Force Base outside Fairbanks, Alaska, where he and Lyn lived from 1956-1958.

Bob and Lyn returned to Downey in 1959 to set up their home and raise their sons. He re-joined his older brother Don in operating their local businesses: General Insurance Agencies, Champion Printing and Assured Income Corporation.

Community involvement was Bob’s passion. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Downey, serving in many leadership roles, including teaching Sunday School and singing in the choir. He was a founding member of the Downey YMCA in 1941, participating in many programs both as a youth and later with his sons. Bob served on the Y Board of Managers, acting as Chairman in 1974-1975, and annually took on leadership roles in the Y Current Support Campaign. Bob was a founding member of the Downey Los Amigos Kiwanis Club, serving as President from 1971-1972. He was also a member of the Board at Downey Community Hospital.

After retiring in 1994, the Fishers moved to San Clemente, where they became equally active in the community, including San Clemente Presbyterian Church, Kiwanis Club of San Clemente, and San Clemente Friends of the Library. Bob also enjoyed volunteering regularly in the Building and Planning Department at San Clemente City Hall.

Bob is survived by his wife Lyn, sons Jim (Marilyn) and Rick, granddaughters Jenny and Ellie; Nieces Peggy Fisher, Janis (Jesse) Flores, JoAnn Kearns, nephew Rob (Ginnie) Fisher; grand-nieces: Jessica (Dustin) Carroll, Emily Fisher and Rachel Kearns; Cousin: John (Martha) Powers.

A memorial service celebrating Bob’s life will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at San Clemente Presbyterian Church, 119 Avenida de la Estrella, San Clemente, CA.

In lieu of flowers, the family gratefully appreciates any contributions made to the Kiwanis Club of San Clemente Foundation, P.O. Box 32, San Clemente, CA 92674. One of Bob’s favorite activities of the year was participating on the foundation’s college scholarship committee for local high school students.

Kelly Perdue

August 2, 1979 - March 15, 2019

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It is with great sadness that the family of Kelly Renee Perdue announces her passing on March 15, 2019. Kelly was born on August 2, 1979 in Bellflower, CA. She grew up and attended public school in Downey, and graduated from Downey High School in 1997. Kelly obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Phoenix and was in the process of earning her Master of Arts in Education. She resided in the city of Lakewood with her feline fur babies, Felicia and Mister Parker, aka “The Menace”.

In addition to her kitties, Kelly is survived by a wealth of friends and family, including her mother, Robin Gambrell, pops, Joseph Gambrell, sisters, Holly Perdue, Lisa Perdue, Tiffany Wilson, Krispin Gambrell-Rouse, brother, Seth Gambrell, step mom, Diane Perdue, aunts, Leslie Eib and Carrie Humbert, uncle, Charles Levy, and five close cousins, Brandi Lerche, Mark Eib, Jason Neubauer, Adrian Neubauer and Thomas Bitbauer .

Kelly could often be found wearing blue jeans and flip flops or having a good time with friends in cowboy boots. Her interests included reading, listening to country music, attending Dodger games, cooking with her Instapot, and decorating her apartment. Friends and family were Kelly’s passion and delight. They appreciated her for her knack of telling it like it is. She shared with them her sarcasm, kindness, brilliant sense of humor, as well as her willingness to always listen to and help a friend in need. Kelly will be deeply missed.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in honor of Kelly at http://support.pancan.org/goto/KellyPerdue. Please visit www.dignitymemorial.com to sign the guest book.

Margery Barnings

September 21, 1920 - March 20, 2019

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Margery was born in Chicago, IL, and graduated college with a teaching degree. She married Jay John Barnings in 1943, started a family having three sons; Russell James, and Jack.

The family moved to So. California in 1956. She taught 3rd grade for many years. She later returned to college and completed her Master Degree in Special Reading Education while still teaching. She taught reading to various grade levels for the remainder of her 30 year teaching career.

She was very involved throughout her life in music. She played violin for the Downey and Whittier Symphony Orchestras, and the Methodist Church in Downey, CA. She was an active Member of P.E.O., her Bridge Club, Garden Club and many other civic organizations.

Marge is Survived by her sons; Russell, James, and Jack, Grandchildren; Kym, Shannon, and Jay, Great-Grandchildren; Hailey, Jenna, Elin and Wesley. She will be missed by many. Her interest in the natural sciences and music will last on in our memories

Her services will be on Saturday, March 30 at 2pm. First United Methodist Church, 13222 Bailey St., Whittier 90601.

Bernabe Avila

November 17, 1930 - March 9, 2019

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It is with great sadness that the family of Bernabe “Tito” Avila announces his passing on March 9th, 2019.

Bernabe was born and grew up in the Los Angeles area. He had lived in Downey since 1970. Prior to his retirement, he worked at the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company for 30 years.

He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 70 years, Raquel, his children Frances (Eric); Rebecca; and Daniel (Linda), his grandchildren David (Lauren) and Jonathan; and his great-grandsons Christopher, David, and Eli.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to your favorite charity.

Michael Paul Goodus

January 12, 1946 - March 24, 2019

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Beloved husband, father and grandfather died peacefully at home after fighting metastatic prostate cancer. Mourning his departure are Julie his wife of 42 years, sons Darryl Goodus and Matthew Goodus PhD, grand children Zachary and Andrea Goodus. Viewing and rosary 4 to 8 p.m. Monday April 1 at Miller Mies Mortuary, Downey. Funeral Mass is on Tuesday April 2 - 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Downey. Burial at All Souls Cemetery will follow the mass.

Ian Smith

October 10, 1950 - March 11, 2019

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Ian Smith was born in Westminster, British Columbia, Canada to Gwen and Cecil Smith on October 19, 1950. He and his sister Diana enjoyed playing in the forest which surrounded their home in West Vancouver. Ian’s family moved to Downey in 1965 and Ian attended Griffiths Middle School and Warren High School where he was on the swim team and was Student Body President.

Ian received a Masters Degree in Student Personal and Guidance at Oklahoma State University. He took two voyages around the world on Semester at Sea where he was Director of Student Activities.

Ian was active in youth work at First Baptist Church of Downey where he taught High School and College Sunday school. Many regard Ian as a mentor and example of enthusiasm for life and love of God. His big smile and love for people will be missed.

Ian received a heart transplant in 2006 which gave him an extra twelve years of life. He died at home from complications of heart failure, surrounded by family, on March 11, 2019. Ian is survived by his sister Diana Edmonds, his wife of 45 years, Vickie, and children Zachary (Katheryn) Smith, Landon, and Brittany (Scotty) Denton, and six grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 23, at 1:00 pm at The First Presbyterian Church of Downey. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in support of Caring for Orphans Mozambique, of which Ian was a board member at caringfororphans.com.

Robert Gifford Cormack

October 27, 1919 - February 21, 2019

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Robert was proceeded in death by his first wife, Louise and their 3 sons Robert, Harold (Sherri) and Steven. He is survived by his second wife Faith, daughter Sharon (Tim) granddaughter Destiny, grandson Logan. Son Darryl (Tessie) grandson Darren (Geneva) great grandson Nolan, granddaughter Ashley, great granddaughter Janay, his beloved dog Bear and bird Rooster.

Robert “Grandpa” was a man who wore many hats (let’s not forget those cowboy boots). They included Husband, Father, Uncle, Grandpa, Great Grandpa, US Army World War II Vet, two term Mayor of Downey, City Council, School Board Member, successful business owner, Master in Engineering, world traveler, pilot, and a faithful servant of the Lord. The hat that was most important, was that of being a Grandpa. Every child should be so blessed as his grandchildren were.

We will celebrate his incredible life at Florence Ave. Foursquare Church (11457 Florence Ave.) in Santa Fe Springs Friday, March 15th at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to be made to Florence Ave Church in care of the Trevor Owens Foundation for Children’s Ministry.

Ava Michael

March 11, 1933 - February 27, 2019

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It is with great sadness that the family of Ava Michael announce her passing on February 27, 2019.

Ava was a long time resident of Downey. She was previously active with the Downey Little League and in 1979 obtained her Real Estate license and became active with the local Downey Association of Realtors for many years.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 45 years, Floyd “Mike” Michael in 2009.

She will be lovingly remembered by her children, Floyd “Alan” Michael and Sherry (Brian) Blair; granddaughters, Jennifer (Lyn), Stephanie and Mariah; and great grandsons, Alex, Andrew and Austin.

Dr. CharlesEtta Simpson-Ingram

Dr. CharlesEtta Simpson-Ingram (AKA Robbie Simpson), a Minister and Member of Breath of God Christian Fellowship Church, passed away on February 21, 2019. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2019, 11:30 am at First Baptist Church in Downey. For more information, please call the church at (310) 767-9620.

Betty Jean Connor-Latronica-Hixon

November 3, 1934 - February 19, 2019

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Betty Jean Connor-Latronica-Hixon, passed away peacefully at her home with her husband of 34 years, Jim Hixon, by her side on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 3:09 PM. She was 84.

Betty was born in Mobile, Alamaba in 1934. Her family moved to New York City and resided there until the untimely passing of her father, a shipyard worker. Her family then relocated to Youngstown, Ohio where her mother remarried. Betty resided there until she met and married Raymond Latronica in 1955. They moved to the Los Angeles, California in 1955 and purchased a home in Norwalk in 1956 where they raised their three children and she resided until her death.

Betty worked for Thrifty Drug Stores for 25 years and was grateful for and proud of her union affiliation. She had a fun-loving, dynamic personality. She taught ballroom dancing in the 1950’s and 60’s and enjoyed dancing for many years thereafter. She enjoyed outings at the beach, golfing and organizing golf tournaments.

She was a resident of the greater Los Angeles area for 64 years. She was preceded in her death by her first husband, Raymond Latronica, her sister Linda Campbell, her brother, Roy Case, her daughter in-law Terri Latronica, and her son Ollie Latronica. She leaves behind her loving husband Jim Hixon, her sister Marie Bevis, her daughter Allison Minugh, her son Patrick Latronica, 6 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.