Gerald Tompkins services this weekend DOWNEY – Gerald Bunker Tompkins, born in Downey on Jan. 17, 1924, died March 31.

He attended Downey High School where he met and married his childhood sweetheart, Bettie Norman.

He promised to marry her if he got a leave from the Army Air Corp aviation training before he was sent out of state. He got his leave and they were married March 14, 1945.

Gerald and Bettie raised their son and four daughters in Downey. Gerald worked for North American Rockwell (now Boeing) in Downey as an engineer and was involved with the Apollo space project.

Bettie passed on May 5, 2013. Gerald is survived by his son, Hal, and daughter-in-law, Sandy; daughter, Shirley, and son-in-law, Russ; daughter, Jerry, and son-in-law, Bob; daughter, Terri; daughter, Beth, and son-in-law, Steve; 10 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

There will be a short visitation at Miller Mies Mortuary Friday, April 24, from 9:30-10 a.m., followed by the burial at Downey Cemetery at 10:30 a.m.

A memorial service will be held at MIller Mies Mortuary April 25 at 11 a.m.


Jack Hayes was longtime Norwalk resident

NORWALK – Jack Richard Hayes, a 65-year resident of Norwalk, died April 19 at age 92.

Born in Ohio in 1922, Jack was a child of the Great Depression. After serving his country in WWII, he and his two brothers, William and Robert, saved to buy and fix up Wizzer motor bikes (basically a bicycle with a small motor on it) and trekked from Ohio to California at a max speed of 30 MPH, getting only one flat tire between them on the way.

When they arrived in Los Angeles, all went to work in different areas of the city.

A couple years later, Jack happened to look out the window of his small hotel room to see “the most beautiful blue-eyed girl walk by.” After a courtship, Jack and Margie were married in 1954.

They, along with Margie’s son, Roy “Butch,” moved to a pink stucco house on Elmcroft Avenue in Norwalk.

After 30 years of marriage, Margie became sick with an unexpected illness and passed away.

After working at Rockwell for more than 30 years, Jack retired. As a hobby, he sold trinkets and sold watches at the local swap meet, arriving each day at 5 a.m.

After a lengthy retirement, Jack’s health declined and he moved to Texas, where he lived near his grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Margie; son, Roy; and other family members.

He is survived by his brother Robert; sister, Marybelle Benkert; daughter-in-law, Karen Lake Brothers (Myron); grandchildren Michelle Hall (Michael), Laura Lake, Angela Lake (Teddy Bettis), Rachel Talley (David-lex), Scott Brothers, Mary Raven (Nick); great-grandchildren, Danielle, Rachelle, Vivian, Victoria, Kathlina, Ava, Haylenn, Sean, Ethan. Jason and many others.

He will have a small graveside family service with military honors at Little Lake Cemetery in Santa Fe Springs. In lieu of flowers, family members requested donations in his name to the American Cancer Society.


Patricia Campbell was American Legion volunteer

DOWNEY – Patricia Ann (Pergeau) Campbell passed away Feb. 10. She was born in Los Angeles on Oct. 6, 1940 to Theodore J. Campbell and Helen E. (Campbell).

Her only brother, Michael V. Campbell, also born in Los Angeles, found his way to the Willits area in the early 1970’s. He then convinced the family that the community was a nice place to settle. They soon followed.

Pat was raised in the Los Angeles area and graduated from Downey High School in 1959. A few years later she gave birth to son, Michael O’Brien.

After being abandoned, they moved to Cibola, Arizona, where her parents operated a hunting-fishing resort.

The USMC was conducting desert warfare operations in the area, and while on liberty, a group of Marines happened upon the resort. She fell in love with a Marine named Alfred M. Pergeau, “Marty”. Shortly thereafter, Marty was transferred to Adak, Alaska to undergo Arctic Warfare & Survival. After completion Marty took liberty, went to the resort and asked Pat to marry him. They were married in Winterhaven, California on June 21, 1965.

While moving from place to place every two years she managed to have and raise three children, Gary M. Pergeau, born in Garden Grove, California, now living in Ukiah; Richard M. Pergeau, born in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, now living in Willits; and Sheri L. Pergeau, born in Orange County, California, now living in Willits.

Despite the military life as a wife and raising three children, Pat and Marty adopted a family friend’s daughter, Jenny (Lopes) Pergeau, of West Palm Beach Florida.

With Marty eligible for retirement and Pat pregnant again, she convinced Marty to take retirement and to settle in Willits. So they retired from the USMC on February 7, 1977. Two days later, their son, Larry M. Pergeau was born in Ukiah and still lives there.

Now retired and looking for events and activities, they both joined the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, in which they were life members.

With the economy downfall and looking for work they moved to Corpus Christie, Texas, then to Hazel Park, Michigan.

In 1981, Pat, Marty and family made their way back to Willits for the final time. Still members of the American Legion, they became active members of Post 174, where Pat held almost every position in the Ladies Auxiliary.

Even after the loss of her husband, Marty, of 41 years, Pat remained an active member. She had held the positions of Historian, Membership and Scholarship Committee Board.

Her last act for the American Legion was selling Sweetheart Drawing tickets. Pat fell and passed away six days later of pneumonia.

A memorial service was held at noon on March 21, 2015 at the Veteran’s Memorial Building on North Main Street in Willits.


Owen Heninger was psychiatrist

DOWNEY – Owen Earl Heninger, M.D., R.P.T., (age 85) died peacefully in his sleep, March 4 after several months of failing health. He was 85.

Owen is survived by his wife of 62 years Audrey Olson Heninger; son Gregory Owen Heninger, daughter Jody Heninger Kozak (Greg,) brother George Robert Heninger (Julie,) grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Owen grew up in Provo, Utah, living with three siblings (Mary, George, and John) in a State house, because their father, Owen Pratt Heninger, was superintendent of the State Mental Hospital. Mother Rachel Cannon Heninger was a revered community volunteer and pianist.

At Brigham Young High School, Owen met his future wife, Audrey. After high school, Owen served in the National Guard and U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged, returned to Provo to marry Audrey in 1952.

Owen graduated from Brigham Young University, and New York Flower and Fifth Avenue Medical College. Owen served his internship at Los Angeles County General Hospital, and completed his residency in psychiatry at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk.

In 1964, Owen achieved his Board Certification in Psychiatry, and established his private practice in Whittier. Owen avidly supported education about mental health. He served as chairman of the committee to organize the psychiatric unit at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier. He also served as assistant clinical professor at USC School of Medicine, teaching family practice residents.

Owen continued his education and became a Registered Poetry Therapist. From 1975-1997, Owen published widely in the field of poetry therapy; and was closely associated with Dr. Arthur Lerner in developing the field. Owen served on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Poetry Therapy. He was former President of the American Psychiatric Arts Association, former director of courses in poetry therapy at annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association.

Owen closed his private practice in 1995, He worked full-time for four more years in the psychiatric field at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center, and Long Beach Mental Health Services. And from 1999-2008 he was a part-time psychiatric consultant at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.

Owen was an active volunteer in Lion’s Club and Rotary Club. He was a dedicated supporter of Boy Scout Troop 936, and accompanied the troop on hikes for ten years.

In 1990, Owen was enthused by artists Christo and Jeanne Claude’s art installations. Owen befriended the pair, and worked as a monitor on The Umbrella Project over Tejon Pass in 1991. In retirement, Owen stayed busy writing memoirs and short stories with two writing groups. He was always happy to read his stories aloud, and to see them published in local papers.

A private family service was held in March.


Stanley Kelton was lawyer, journalist

PARAMOUNT – Stanley M. Kelton, a Huntington Beach lawyer who helped operate one of the nation’s oldest high school journalism workshops, died of cancer April 12. He was 63.

Stan was a director and treasurer of the California Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that, for the last 64 years, has held a workshop at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Born in Long Beach, Stan attended Paramount High School, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and a law degree from Loyola Law School. He was later admitted to the State Bar.

All his life, Stan maintained an interest in print, TV and radio journalism as well as news photography. He was a longtime contributor to the laradio.com site.



Published: April 23, 2015 - Volume 14 - Issue 02

ObituariesStaff Report