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Obituaries from Two Days Ago

DEMETRIOU, HELEN J.  
January 7, 1925 - December 9, 2014 Helen passed away quietly and peacefully after a long illness. She is survived by her husband Tony and son James [Kathy]. During her lifetime she was a very active person. When Tony met her [1953] she was a hostess at one of the premier restaurants in Phoenix, AZ. Shortly thereafter they were married and lived in the Los Angeles area when Tony's job required a move to Huntsville, AL. where they lived for 10 years, and later again a move to Asheville, NC and finally Boston, MA before returning home. While in these various locations Helen was involved in starting a janitorial service, a beauty shop and finally becoming a real estate broker in the Los Angeles area. She retired in 1990 and enjoy the balance of her life with her husband and family. Funeral Service will be today, Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 11:00am, held at Saint Sophia Cathedral, 1324 So. Normandie Ave, Los Angeles, CA. Email Condolences to www.ChapmanFuneralDirectors.com . Chapman Funeral Homes (855) 628-0447.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 23, 2014

Obituaries from the Past Week

DeCuir, Steve  
October 21, 1957 - December 14, 2014 After fighting a long and courageous battle with much dignity against cancer, it is with great sadness and broken hearts that we announce the passing of Steve DeCuir on December 14, 2014. He was born on October 21, 1957 to Frank & Dorothy DeCuir in Beverly Hills, CA. During his years at Beverly Hills High, Steve excelled in sports and his 6'4' stature affectionately earned him the nickname "Tiny". Steve was in TV & Video Production for 18 years. His son, Christopher was his greatest production of all. Steve was a mentor to many of Chris' friends. No one was a stranger to our sweet Steve. He made each person he came across through his journey in life feel loved and special. Steve was predeceased by his parents and brother, Frank DeCuir II. Survivors include his wife Anita, son Christopher, sisters Linda (Hank) Cappella, Cathy (Chuck) Donaldson, brother Tim (Jill) DeCuir and many nieces & nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Pendleton Foundation.org in Steve's name. Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm at Forest Lawn, 69855 E. Ramon Rd., Cathedral City.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from Dec. 19 to Dec. 21, 2014
DiMarco, Maureen G. - Sacramento  
August 2, 1948 - December 13, 2014 Maureen Marilyn Gallagher DiMarco, 66, passed away on December 13, 2014. She was a loving wife and mother, a beloved grandmother, a fiercely loyal friend, a savvy politician and publishing executive, a brilliant speaker and storyteller, and a passionate and tireless advocate for children and education. Maureen was born in Rochester, New York, to Florence Mentall Gallagher and Francis Elmer Gallagher. She moved to California with her family when she was in her teens. In an early sign of her keen intellect, she was accepted with a full scholarship to the University of Southern California in her junior year of high school, and she enrolled there as a geology major. It was at USC that she met her husband, Richard James DiMarco, whom she married in 1966. When their daughters, Marianne and Noelle, started school, Maureen soon followed as a parent volunteer in each of their classrooms. Her dedication to her own children's education soon led to a broader interest in, and passion for, education policy that would shape her life and career. In 1981, Maureen was elected to the Garden Grove Unified School Board, where she served for ten years, five of them as President. In 1986, she was elected President of the Orange County School Boards Association, and in 1990 she became President of the California School Boards Association. In 1993 the OCSBA established the Maureen DiMarco Award, which recognizes individuals or organizations for outstanding service to children in Orange County. Between 1983 and 1984, she also served as a special consultant to the California Department of Education. Among her many accomplishments was her work helping to develop the landmark Hughes-Hart Educational Reform Act of 1983, the first major educational reform in over a decade which strengthened high school graduation requirements and lengthened the school day and year. In 1991 she was the recipient of USC's Educare ROSE Award, in recognition of outstanding support to education, and in 1992 she was presented with USC's Alumni merit award. And she somehow found time in the middle of a public service career to attend law school at Western State University. In 1990, Governor Pete Wilson appointed Maureen as the first California State Secretary for Child Development and Education. She believed that every child deserves the highest quality education and that this ideal could only be attained by addressing all of a student's basic needs rather than focusing exclusively on educational standards. To that end, in her six years as Secretary of Education, she fought to bring together under one office all programs serving children's schooling, health, and social needs. A Democrat in a Republican governor's cabinet, she emphatically rejected the notion that education was a partisan issue. She was (accurately) described in the press as "an articulate, energetic proponent of meaningful school reform," an "outspoken advocate of children's issues and educational excellence," "a stalwart indpenden[t] who places the interests of school children above all else," and, in an enormous understatement, "Wilson's feisty Secretary of Education." Maureen's commitment, intelligence, and political acumen soon drew the attention of the private sector. When she resigned from her position as Secretary of Education, she was recruited by publisher Houghton Mifflin to become its Senior Vice President of Education and Governmental Affairs. She held that position from 1996 until her retirement in 2009, but "retirement" was only a relative concept for her. She never stopped advocating for children and educational excellence, and it was not long before she was consulting for McGraw-Hill Education. Her work for McGraw-Hill kept her energized and engaged on the educational issues she cared so much about. As impressive as her professional accomplishments were, she would undoubtedly have counted her many longstanding friendships as the greatest reward of her career. Once she recognized in a colleague - or even in an opponent - the same commitment and dedication to education that she espoused, she was an unshakable friend and ally. She delighted in mentoring younger colleagues, and took greater pleasure from their successes than from her own. And both colleagues and close friends benefitted from her sage counsel. But the real prize for coming into Maureen's circle of friends was the chance to hear her spin a tale, ideally over a leisurely meal or a late nightcap. If, as has been said, great stories happen to those who can tell them, Maureen's life was one great story after another. In the years leading up to and after her retirement, Maureen's stories focused more and more on her greatest joy - her grandchildren. Ben and Catya, her first grandson and granddaughter, held a special place in her heart, and the exploits of triplets Finley, Cayden and Jack never failed to entertain and delight her. On her resignation from Governor Wilson's cabinet, one editorial opined that "speaking her mind comes as naturally to Maureen DiMarco as standing up for what she believes. She's a rare breed who will be missed in Sacramento." It's as true today as it was then, although she will undoubtedly be missed well beyond Sacramento. Maureen is survived by her husband, Richard James DiMarco, daughter Marianne P. DiMarco-Temkin and her husband Michael H. Temkin of Canton, New York, and her daughter Noelle M. Reed and her husband Robert Eric Reed of Houston, Texas. She is also survived by grandchildren Benjamin Temkin, Catya Temkin, Cayden Reed, Finley Reed, and Jack Reed, brother Kevin Gallagher, and her nephew, Bryn Gallagher. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Raising A Reader ( rasingareader.org ) or to the educational organization of your choice. The pallbearers will be Kevin Gallagher, Michael Temkin, Benjamin Temkin, Eric Reed, Bryn Gallagher, Larry Snowhite, and John Oswald. A visitation will be held Friday evening from 4 to 8 pm at Harry A. Nauman & Son, 4041 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento. Services are being held on Saturday, December 20, 2014, at 11 a.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church, 2076 Sutterville Road, Sacramento. A private interment will follow at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Covina Hills, California.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from Dec. 17 to Dec. 18, 2014
Donner, Steven Richard  
June 15, 1953 - November 25, 2014 Steve Donner, beloved husband of Merry Lowry Donner, died after a long illness. Steve was Stage Manager for over 70 equity productions including; A Chorus Line, Ain't Misbehavin', Best Little Whorehouse, Hurly Burly, Cabaret, Carousel, Crazy For You, Damn Yankees, and Dreamgirls. He started his career at The Old Globe in San Diego, TheatreWorks in Palo Alto and worked at nearly every major theater and company in Southern California including The Mark Taper Forum, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, La Mirada Theater, Los Angeles Opera Repertory, Westwood Playhouse and the South Bay Civic Light Opera. In between, he was a writer and stunt designer for The Price Is Right, Face The Music and Beat The Clock. Steve ended his career "working for the Mouse" at Disneyland, behind the scenes of Snow White, Fantasmic! and Aladdin. Steve was also a master chef who loved to cook and share his recipes. He was the Chef Tech on the TV show Melrose Place and the go-to kitchen expert. Steve was a big man who was bigger than life. He left his mark on everyone he met. He left us too soon, but he will never be forgotten. We're all going to miss you pal. Donations can be made to Guide Dogs of the Desert at www.gddca.org .
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from Dec. 20 to Dec. 21, 2014
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