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Stites, Ray A. 76, of Surprise, AZ passed away on April 8, 2015. Ray was born in Denver, CO and was raised in Kansas. After finishing school he joined the Air Force. After the service he worked at General Electric and Honeywell Computer Division as a Specialist and Manager in the Customer Service Division. He owned his own safety pool cover business in San Diego. After moving back to the Valley he found his true calling as a Realtor. Ray loved competition such as racquetball, cards and board games. He loved playing cribbage with his brother Walt. Ray excelled at everything he did especially as a loving husband, poppy and grand poppy. He loved his Lord and his family and friends. He is survived by his wife Nelda, children Randall and Vanessa Leverett and children Daniel Whitlow and Benjamin Leverett,. Guyland and Amber Whitlow and children Justin Fritz and family, Jessica Fritz, Jayme Whitlow and Jordan Whitlow. His sister Carole Prentice and children and Walt and Brenda Stites and children and his late sister Faye Finfrock's children. His sisters-in-law Carole and Linda Sims. Also many cousins. Ray's Celebration of Life Service will be April 24, 2015 at the First Baptist Church, Sun City West, 17419 North Conquistador Drive, Sun City West at 10:00 AM with lunch to follow. Arrangements are handled by Abel Funeral Services . Ray will be interned at the National Memorial Cemetery at 23029 North Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, AZ 85035 at a later date. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center research program in Ray's name.
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Strand, Cynthia 73, of Scottsdale, AZ and Lone Tree, CO passed away on April 11, 2015. Cindy was born January 31, 1942 to parents Milo and Genevieve Kuecker. She was raised in Peoria, IL where she attended Peoria Central High School. Cindy met the love of her life, Melford Lien Strand, at a Kappa Alpha Theta gathering at the University of Wisconsin. After graduating with a degree in Elementary Education, she began her career as a 2nd grade teacher at Henry Sabin Elementary School in Iowa City. Later, the couple moved to Denver and Cindy spent much of her time volunteering in her children's classrooms, the school library and her daughters' girl scout troops. Family and friends were Cindy's love and devotion. She enjoyed cooking, shopping, playing bridge, attending her grandchildren's activities and traveling with friends and family. She was the bedrock and the glue that held our family together and she will be cherished for eternity She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 50 years Melford Lien Strand and daughters' Susan (Douglas) Tymins, Kristin (Steve) Rooney and Erin (Bob) Moser. Cindy is cherished and adored by her eight grandchildren, Austin, Griffen, Megan, Madison, Macyn, Reid, Jack and Chase. Cindy was preceded in death by her brother James Kuecker. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, April 24, 2015 at Cherry Hills Community Church Chapel, 3908 Grace Blvd, Highlands, Ranch, CO 80126 Please share condolences at Horan.com
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Swarthout, Kathryn Blair passed away from the maladies of old age on the evening of April 3rd, 2015, in her townhome in Scottsdale, Arizona, at age 96. Kathryn was born January 8, 1919, in Columbus, Montana, to Lige Hood and Lona Blair Vaughn. Under her pen name, Kate Swarthout, she was a columnist for Woman's Day magazine for 26 years. With her late husband, Glendon, an internationally-known novelist who died in 1992, Kathryn co-wrote six novellas for young adults, the best-known of which was reprinted by three different publishers over the decades (Random House, Alfred Knopf, and Northland Publishing in Flagstaff). Whichaway is a Western about a 16-year-old boy stranded atop a windmill tower during the Great Depression on an Arizona ranch, with two broken ankles. The story tells how he survives over several long days and nights without water and with various passers-by trying to kill him, before figuring out how to get down barely alive, with the assistance of his trained horse. Publisher's Weekly said of Whichaway that "it took only two pages for this teenage survival story to jump the hurdles and be off and running -- and never stop until its triumphant finish...This is one of the rare ones." (available as an EBook on Kindle). Mrs. Swarthout received a Certificate of Merit in Literature from the National Society of Arts and Letters for her writing. Together, Kathryn and Glendon established the Swarthout Writing Awards for young writers at Arizona State University in 1962, which gives significant cash prizes for poetry and short fiction every April through the Creative Writing/English department on the Tempe campus. The 2015 writing awards ceremony will be held at the Faculty Club on campus on this Tuesday evening, April 21st. Kathryn was a member of the Alpha Phi Sorority at the University of Michigan. She belonged to the League of Women Voters, her Paradise Valley book club, and the Oasis Volunteer Group as a reading and writing tutor for slow-learning elementary students. The Western Writers of America also honored Kathryn with their Branding Iron Award in June, 2010, at their Oklahoma City convention for her 35 years of serviceto that literary organization. Kathryn Swarthout leaves behind her Western novelist son, Miles, her sister-in-law Margaret Vaughn, her sisters Billie Johnson (Stephen) and Janyth Sheldon, plus nieces and nephews. There will be a reception in Scottsdale later in May. Memorial donations my be made to the ASU Foundation for the benefit of the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Awards in Creative Writing Endowment, P.O. Box 2260, Tempe, Arizona 85280-2260.
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