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BACA, AUGUSTINE  
AUGUSTINE BACA Aug. 28, 1935 - Dec. 18, 2014 Augustine Baca, 79, of El Centro passed away on Thursday, December 18, 2014. He was born August 28, 1935 in Guanajuato, Mexico and was married to Maria Guadalupe Baca on December 20, 1978 in Victoria, Baja California. He is survived by his wife, Maria Guadalupe Baca of El Centro, daughter, Maricruz Baca of El Centro and son, Jorge R. Baca of El Centro. Services were private.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Jan. 27, 2015
BERTUSSI, RENO JOSEPH  
RENO JOSEPH BERTUSSI Sep. 1, 1946 - Jan. 20, 2015 Reno Joseph Bertussi, 68 passed away on January 20, 2015 surrounded by his three children and family. He was born on September 1, 1946 in Calexico, California. Reno was the fourth born and second eldest son of Helen and John Bertussi. He grew up on his family's dairy farm in the Imperial Valley. In the 1950's, his family moved to El Centro, where he attended elementary school and later Central Union High School. In El Centro, Reno raised his family and operated a successful manufactured home and general construction business, where he worked alongside his son before retiring. Reno was a charismatic and hard-working man with a vibrant love for life. He enjoyed annual fishing and hunting trips with his dad, brothers, and friends. He will be remembered as a caring, devoted, and generous father and friend. He will be forever loved and missed by all. Reno is proceeded in death by his parents, Helen and John Bertussi. He is survived by his children; Reno Bertussi Jr. and Devon Marini, Shavonna Bertussi, and Davonni and Jeffery Bullock; four beautiful granddaughters, Brettani Bertussi, Briel Bertussi, Eleanor Bullock, and Parker Costello; brothers, Giovanni Bertussi, Randy Bertussi, and Larry Bertussi; and sisters, Linda Mayo, Polly Kuiper, Bella Bertussi, and Angie West. The Vigil will be held Wednesday, January 28, 2015 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Hems Brothers Mortuary in El Centro. The Memorial service will be held Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 10 a.m. at Christ Community Church in El Centro, followed by the burial service at Evergreen Cemetery.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online from Jan. 27 to Jan. 28, 2015
BONESTEELE, MARIE C.  
MARIE C. BONESTEELE Jan. 30, 1930 - Jan. 11, 2015 Marie C. Bonesteele, born Maria Socorro Cabral and known among her friends and family as Coyoni, peacefully passed away on January 11th at her home, in Calexico, California, surrounded by all her children. Coyoni was born in Calexico on January 30, 1930 to Julio and Maria Perez Cabral, originally arriving into Calexico in the early 1920's having been encouraged to come here by Col. Esteban Cantu, the first Governor of Baja California. The Cabrals settled in Calexico and began raising their family on Third St. and Blair Ave. Coyoni always had wonderful stories to share about growing up with the Blair Street girls (close friends of hers) and of her parent's long journey arriving to Calexico from Jerez, Zacatecas via San Diego. Coyoni worked for many years as a teller at Bank of America and later as Executive Secretary at The Southern California Growers Foundation. One of Coyoni's joys was visiting with her many friends all around Calexico. Coyoni is preceded in death by her husband, Mark Bonesteele, 10 brothers and sisters. She is survived by her only living sister, Delia Cabral Batista; children, Kathy Neimela, Edward Annos, Georgann Gretencord, Rosemary Mendoza, Georganna Mcbride as well as other grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Lily and Aiden; and many nieces and nephews; The Salcedo's from Ensenada, The Gomez from Hemet, The Montejano's from San Diego, the Batista and Gaucin's from San Diego, the Cabral and Canto families from Los Angeles. Funeral services will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Monday February 9, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. A Rosary will be said before Mass.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Jan. 29, 2015
BROWN, SAMUEL W.  
SAMUEL W. BROWN Jan. 29, 1946 - Jan. 25, 2015 Private services will be held for Samuel Brown, 68, of Brawley who passed away January 25. He was born January 29, 1946 in Batesville, AR and was later married to Allison Brown on December 10, 1987 in Yuma, AZ. Samuel is survived by his wife, Allison Brown of Brawley, CA; son, Ed Brown of Imperial, CA; sisters, Vickie Ridgeway and Brenda Willingham of Brawley, CA; brother, David Brown of Pine Valley, CA; 6 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchil- dren.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Jan. 29, 2015
Godfrey Jr., Roy C. "Bud"  
ROY C. "BUD" GODFREY JR. Aug. 7, 1922 - Jan. 21, 2015 Roy C. "Bud" Godfrey Jr., 92, of El Centro passed away on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Roy is survived by by his wife of 54+ years, Bobbie Mae Godfrey; his son, Dennis G. Godfrey (Judy); daughter, Renee C. Baker (David); grandchildren, Edward, Molly and Miles Godfrey; nephews, Rick Godfrey (Nola) and Roger Godfrey (Pam); extended family includes stepchildren, Mary Kostuke (Mike), Pye Sullivan, Gaylla Finnell (Joe), and Kaye Hughes; 16 step grandchildren, Stephani, Mickey, Jocelyn, Renda, Ricky, Eddie, Lisa, Jericho, Todd, Jennifer, David, Phillip, Becky, Zola, Anitra, Daniel; 34 step-great-grandchildren and numerous other extended family. He is preceded in death by parents, Roy and Mildred; his brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Mary; his daughter, Linda D., and grandson, Michael D. Godfrey. Roy was born August 7, 1922 in St. Louis, MO. He graduated from Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles in 1940, and joined the U.S. Navy Seabees in 1942. He served during WW II in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, and taught welding at Port Hueneme, California. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1945 and moved to the Imperial Valley, where he owned and operated the Godfrey Welding Shop in Holtville and McDonald Mill Supply in El Centro. He was a Freemason and a lifelong member, over 70 years, of the Masonic Lodge. He received the distinguished Hiram Award, the single highest honor a California Mason may receive. He was a prankster and loved telling jokes. He always kept a straight face and tried to get one over on you. He loved t-shirts and hats with funny sayings and he often made pins and humorous handouts to distribute to family and friends. Even after retirement, he continued to work on projects. He enjoyed working with leather, collecting stamps and pens, and was always designing and building something. He liked to hunt and enjoyed camping in the desert. His love of music greatly influenced his daughter Renee who is the current director of the Great Spartan Band and Valley Jazz. He loved going to the Central football games and band concerts and was honored in 2013 by tossing the coin at the Bell Game in honor of Veteran's Day. He especially loved classical music, brass quintets, opera and jazz. Visitation will be at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 31, 2015, at Hems Brothers Mortuary in El Centro with a graveside service at 10 a.m. at Evergreen Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the CUHS Spartan Band in his name.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Jan. 29, 2015
HARTFELD, MARIAN ELISABETH NICKEL "NICKI"  
MARIAN ELISABETH NICKEL "NICKI" HARTFELD July 17, 1926 - Jan. 4, 2015 On January 4, 2015, Marian "Nicki" Hartfeld passed away peacefully at her home in Santa Barbara. She was 88 years old. Marian was a much-beloved and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, teacher, and friend. The middle child of Albert H Nickel and Wilda Louise Stuntz Nickel, she was born July 17, 1926 in Brawley, California. Marian grew up in the Imperial Valley where her father Albert worked in the agricultural seed business. On the side of his car it read, "Cuff-Archias Seed Company - The Largest in the World." Then in small print underneath it read, "Below Sea Level." She delighted in riding along with him to the fields in tomato season (with a salt shaker) and in cantaloupe season (with a spoon). The family members were active in the First Methodist Church. Marian made her initial move to Santa Barbara in 1944. Throughout the next 70 years she would return time and time again to her beloved Santa Barbara. She attended the Santa Barbara College of the University of California (predecessor to UCSB) on the Riviera where she took great joy with her sorority sisters of Chi Delta Chi (now Delta Gamma) and was given the nickname "Nicki", short for Nickel. Here she discovered the works of Edna St. Vincent Millay and formed a lifelong passion for books and the written word. While at college, Nicki met and then married her now former husband Edward Alton Hartfeld on December 21, 1946 in Santa Barbara. They had three sons, Gaylord, Howard and Miles. Howard was developmentally disabled and she devoted her life to his care, tirelessly advocating for him for over 60 years until his passing. Initially in the San Francisco Bay Area, the family moved back to Santa Barbara and on to Los Angeles and then Berkeley Heights, NJ where she worked at the elementary school to be close to Howard. Marian achieved her BA in Liberal Arts elementary education and school librarianship from Kean College of NJ (now Kean University) and taught elementary school in New Jersey. Marian returned to California with Edward and Howard settling in La Cañada. During this time, she went back to school and achieved her MA in Educational Media from California State University, Los Angeles. She applied this knowledge to her profession as the South Pasadena Unified School District assistant librarian. Upon retirement, Nicki returned to Santa Barbara once again. Years later, on May 11, 1994, she married a boyfriend from her Santa Barbara College days, William "Bill" Francis Lennon. They moved to Novato, CA in Marin County to be closer to Bill's sons Matt and Michael and their families. After Bill's passing in 2012, Nicki returned to Santa Barbara for the last time where she resided at Villa Santa Barbara and subsequently Casa San Miguel where the loving staff treated her as a member of their family. In her lifetime she travelled to Tibet, Thailand, Nepal, Burma, Europe, as well as cruises through Alaska's Inside Passage and the Panama Canal to the Caribbean. Books were a major part of Marian's life whether teaching or helping children in the library or reading for pleasure. Ever the librarian, family members could look forward to the periodic appearance in the mail of a brown manila envelope filled with clipped newspaper and magazine articles that she was certain were of interest to the recipient. Her passion was reading and reciting poetry. Even into her 80's, you could open Edna St. Vincent Millay's Collected Poems to a random selection, start reading it to her and she would recite the finish from memory. Marian was a loyal friend to many and will be remembered for her kindness, generosity, and support for the underdog. She focused on the positives in the world and its people. She kept lists by her bed of all the things she was grateful for… large and small. She was a devoted and caring soul. Marian is predeceased by her sons, Gaylord and Howard; husband, Bill Lennon and sister, Emalyn Malan. Marian will survive in the hearts of all of her family and friends. She is loved and missed by brother, George Herman Nickel of Evergreen, CO; son, Miles Albert Hartfeld of Santa Barbara; finally daughter, Nancy Elizabeth Tiemann Hartfeld of Santa Barbara and much beloved grandchildren, Skylar Elisabeth Hartfeld Greene of Santa Barbara and Spencer Ogden Hartfeld of Manchester, NH. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday February 7, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church at 305 E. Anapamu Street (at Garden St), Santa Barbara. Online condolences may be offered at http://www.mcdermottcrockett.com/obituaries/MarianHartfeld . The family gives special thanks to Katerina Zamyatina, Jula Vagela and the staff of Casa San Miguel for your compassion and care during Nicki's final year. Thank you to Doctors Assisting Seniors at Home (DASH) physician Dr. Nancy Rikalo, Dr. Jeoffrey Benson, Pastor Alan Strout and Eric and Jeff Boehm who captured many of her wonderful memories before they faded. Tax deductible donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization at: Alzheimer's Association 1528 Chapala Street, #204 Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Or call them at (805)892-4259. "I do believe the most of me Floats under water; and men see Above the wave a jagged small Mountain of ice, and that is all. Only the depths of other peaks May know my substance when it speaks, And steadfast through the grinding jam Remain aware of what I am. Myself, I think, shall never know How far beneath the wave I go." Edna St. Vincent Millay. !!IMAGEHERE!!
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Jan. 25, 2015
HOUCHIN, LLOYD M. (BUD)  
LLOYD M. HOUCHIN (BUD) Apr. 1, 1930 - Jan. 16, 2015 Lloyd Houchin, 84, of El Centro passed away Friday, January 16 of natural causes. Bud was born April 1, 1930 to Donald and Ann Houchin in Dos Palos, CA. He was a Corporal for USMC and a Korean War veteran, having received a Korean Service medal. He worked for Thompson Truck Line, Desert Seed Co., Massey, and System 99. He met the love of his life, Lydia and the two were married in 1961. Together they managed El Sombrero Cafe from 1979 to 1998. Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday, January 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Hems Brothers Mortuary in El Centro with rosary at 7 p.m. Mass will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, January 28 at St. Mary Catholic Church in El Centro with Father Edward Horning. He will be laid to rest at Evergreen Cemetery following mass. He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Houchin; mother, Ann Houchin; sisters, Donna Cook, Dorothy Bowden, and Ruby Baker; and brother, Ken Houchin. Bud is survived by his wife, Lydia Houchin; son, Mike Houchin; daughter, Karen (Gene) Brown; grandsons, Cody and Kyle Brown of El Centro; granddaughter, Kiersten (Thomas) Gibson of Brawley; sisters, Gloria Neeley of Eugene, OR and June Sacco of Vacaville, CA; sister-in-law, Andi (Don) Hasson of Temecula, CA; and numerous nieces and nephews.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Jan. 25, 2015
KINDER, JOSEPH DONALD  
JOSEPH DONALD KINDER Nov. 29, 1936 - Jan. 21, 2015 Joseph Kinder, 78, of Brawley passed away January 21, 2015. He was born November 29, 1936 in Wheeling, WV. Joseph graduated from MCRD Parris Island South Carolina in 1954, Officers Candidate School and Basic School Quantico, Virginia. He left the Marines after 17 years as a Major having spent two years in Vietnam where he earned a Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnamese Service Medal, Vietnamese Campaign Medal with Combat V, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation. In 1963, Joseph was married to Mary Louise Gargiulo, of Brawley, in Costa Mesa, CA. Joseph later received his Bachelors degree from West Liberty State College, his Masters from Chapman University, and his Doctorate from Northern Arizona University. He was employed with Imperial High School District for 29 years as a High School History/Social Studies teacher, freshman football coach, Principal for Frank Wright Intermediate School and Westside School. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marylou Kinder; mother, Helen Kinder; father, Joseph Kinder; sister, Nancy Kinder Hlebizki; brother, Edward Kinder; mother-in-law, Louise Gargiulo; and father-in-law, Albert Gargiulo. Joseph is survived by his children Kathy Kinder of Brawley, CA, Joey Kinder of San Diego, CA, Thomas Kinder of Brawley, CA, Ted Kinder of Brawley, CA and Barbara Kinder Williams and her husband, Todd Williams of Brawley, CA; grandson, Drake Kinder Seals of Brawley, CA; granddaughter, Marlena Louise Williams of Brawley, CA; sisters, Rosemary Kinder Moore of Wellsburg, WV, Barbara Kinder Wells of McKinney, TX, and Trena Harwat Wolfe of Wheeling WV; brothers-in-law, Tom Gargiulo of Brawley, Phil Gargiulo of Brawley, Albert Gargiulo of Tempe, AZ, Larry Moore of Wellsburg, WV, Bob Hlebizki of Wheeling, WV, and John Wells of McKinney, TX. Visitation will take place Monday, January 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Frye Chapel and Mortuary in Brawley. Graveside service, officiated by Father Eddie Ruiz, will be held Tuesday, January 27 at 10 a.m. at Riverview Cemetery in Brawley.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online from Jan. 25 to Jan. 27, 2015
LEPTICH, DEAN  
DEAN LEPTICH Oct. 26, 1933 - Dec. 16, 2014 Long time Imperial Valley educator and community leader Dean Leptich passed away in El Centro on December 16, 2014. Dean was born in Redmond, Washington, on October 26, 1933, to parents of Hungarian and Swedish descent. When he was 2 years old the family moved to San Diego where he was raised and educated. Dean's leadership abilities became readily apparent when he became president both of his senior high school class and of his senior class at San Diego State University. After graduating from SDSU, he began his teaching career in San Diego area high schools in 1955. Dean's career as an educator was placed on hold when he enlisted in the Navy (1956-59). A graduate of the Naval Intelligence Center, Washington, D.C., he served as a Naval Intelligence Officer on the USS Hornet in the Western Pacific. Dean was proud to serve his country. Full military honors will be held at Miramar Naval Air Station at a future time to be determined. In June of 1957 Dean married Sandra Triplett whom he met while training in Washington, D.C. After military discharge in 1959, the couple returned to San Diego, where Dean continued his teaching career. He served as Dean of Students and faculty member at Grossmont High School (1960-63) and was appointed Assistant Dean of Students at San Diego State University (1963-65). In 1965 Dean was recruited away from SDSU by Imperial Valley College President Terrill Spencer to become the Dean of Students (later Vice-President) for this new campus located in the geographic center of Imperial Valley. One of Dean's major accomplishments was the development of the nation's first community college comprehensive support program for disabled students (1972). He stayed in his administrative position until 1981 at which time he returned to the classroom as a Professor of Speech Communication and Debate. The Imperial Community College Board of Trustees acknowledged his outstanding teaching success with a Master Teacher Recognition award. At the same time (1981) Dean became the founder and president/general manager of the KSIQ-FM (96.1) radio station in Brawley. This 50,000- watt FM station blanketed Imperial and Mexicali Valley and received the number one Arbitron FM rating in a seven-station market. Dean was an ardent advocate for the Arts, not only in Imperial County, but also in Mexicali, where he promoted concerts, theater and other cultural events. In recognition of his contributions, the Instituto de Cultura de Baja California awarded him an honorary doctorate. In a life devoted to serving others, Dean was a member of numerous Imperial Valley organizations including Brawley Chamber of Commerce (two-term president, 1973-74), Brawley Boys Club (founding member, 1968, and president, 1972), Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Imperial Valley (founding president, 1990), Imperial Valley College Museum Board of Advisors member, State of California Developmental Disabilities Board for Imperial-San Diego Counties (chairman, 1977-79), plus Jaycees, Rotary, and Optimist Clubs. Upon his retirement Dean and wife Sandy returned to San Diego where he continued his volunteer activities: San Diego Epilepsy Society, Lake Murray Kiwanis Club, Retired NFL Football Players Association, the San Diego County Grand Jury, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at University of CA San Diego, where he was President (2005-06) and Council member. Dean will be remembered for his skills as a teacher, mentor and selfless community leader. He is predeceased by his wife Sandra (43 years), father Martin and mother Ethel. He is survived by his sons Andrew (Anastasia), Kurt (Sheila) of Brawley and Chad of Julian, plus granddaughters Sara and Katie Leptich of La Mesa. He is also survived by longtime friend and companion Marilou Kratzenstein of San Diego. Dean was a wonderful, husband, father and grandfather. "G-PA Dean" will be remembered by his granddaughters as the caring man that would make room in his recliner and bring any Dr. Seuss book to life at a moment's notice. In the Willard Ave. neighborhood of Brawley he is remembered as the instigator of pool parties, ping pong tournaments and barbeques. An Imperial Valley memorial service will be held on Friday, February 6, 2015 in the Science Auditorium room number 2734 of Imperial Valley College. Visitors are requested to use the north parking lot. The remembrance will begin at 10 a.m. The family has requested that memorial donations be made to the Imperial Valley College Foundation.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Jan. 25, 2015
MARIE, VICKI "RICKETTS"  
VICKI MARIE RICKETTS Oct. 31, 1962 - Jan. 17, 2015 Vicki Marie Ricketts, 52, of Henderson passed away on Saturday, January 17, 2015. Vicki was born on October 31, 1962 in El Centro, CA. She is survived by her mother, fathers, brothers, children and grandchildren. Service will held on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 1 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery with Jeremiah Vick officiating.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Jan. 29, 2015
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