Recent Obituaries and Guest Books
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Freese, Stephen William  
Stephen William Freese passed from this life into the presence of His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Saturday, June 20, 2015. Steve was born in Los Angeles on March 23, 1940 to Herman and Lillian Freese. Steve founded and built BF Energy Company and O.F.F. Inc. into vital and successful enterprises and established and supervised operations world-wide. He retired as president of the companies and continued to serve on the Board of Directors for a number of businesses throughout his career and well into his retirement. Steve was a long-time member of Desert Springs Church in Palm Desert, serving for many years on the Board of Directors and was dedicated to supporting the ministry and mission of the church. Steve is survived by wife, Gwenda, their son Dan and grandsons Eric and Bryant, Daughter, Gayle, sister, Chris and several nieces and nephews. His warmth and compassion, his genuine concern for others and his delicious sense of humor attracted friends and admirers all over the world. Steve will be remembered by friends and family for those qualities and for his generous and giving spirit And, we'll remember Steve in a celebration of life service on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 11:00 AM at Desert Springs Church, located at 43-435 Monterey Avenue in Palm Desert, 92260. The church is located across the street from College of the Desert.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 30 to July 3, 2015
Gardner, Richard N. - Santa Ana  
November 11, 1924 - May 3, 2015 Richard "Dick" Nathanael Gardner, 90, of H.B., CA; made his transition peacefully May 3, 2015, in his family's presence. Born Nov. 11, 1924, Toledo, OH to parents Harry W. & Alice K. Gardner, as their 4th son. Richard graduated from Ohio State Univ.1951 with an Aeronautical Engineering degree after serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Married to Frances S. Gardner for 65 years, they lived in H. B., CA. He worked for McDonnell Douglas and later Boeing. He is survived by his loving wife, Frances S. Gardner, his 4 children, 5 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, 1 great, great grandchild, and friends. In honor of his request, Richard has been laid to rest in the Pacific Ocean he loved best.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 24 to June 26, 2015
Georgouses, Aphrodite "Venus"  
Aphrodite Tsouras Georgouses, 89, mother of Thomas Georgouses and the late Chris Tourney Thomsen, passed away peacefully at home in Los Angeles on June 23, 2015. She is survived by her sister, Nina Tsouras.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times on June 30, 2015
Goldman, Samuel  
March 17, 1921 - June 10, 2015 Sam Goldman - Founder and President of Executive Car Leasing Company, philanthropist and family patriarch - passed away peacefully on June 10th, 2015 at the age of 94. He leaves a legacy of notable accomplishment, uncommon integrity, and dedication to the service of others. To his family, friends, and colleagues, Sam remains an ongoing source of tremendous strength and wisdom. Born in Philadelphia to Jewish immigrant parents, Sam, one of seven children, worked in his family's produce and fish market as a young boy. At seventeen, he met his lifelong love, Sooky, at a neighborhood dance. After completing high school and heading west to California to seek new opportunities - including a stint driving a Helms Bakery truck with his brother Charles - he returned east to marry Sooky in 1942. That same year, he joined the Army Air Corps as an airplane hydraulics instructor, serving overseas in the South Pacific. At the conclusion of World War II, Sam and Sooky moved to Los Angeles. A pioneer in the field of vehicle leasing, Sam founded Executive Car Leasing Company in 1954, and Executive quickly became one of the largest and most well-respected independent vehicle leasing companies in California. Sam's signature charm, decency, and kindness were recognized by all with whom he did business, including Executive's many celebrity clients, employees, and even competitors. Always partners in loving support of each other during their inspiring 71 years of marriage, Sam and Sooky raised three children in Beverly Hills, where they moved in 1953. Through their civic engagement they became and remained pillars of the community for over 60 years. They founded or co-founded and supported numerous civic organizations, including The Maple Counseling Center, People Assisting the Homeless, and The Beverly Hills Theatre Guild, as well as the Beverly Hills Fire and Police Associations. Sam and Sooky were also very politically active and helped to launch the careers of numerous outstanding public servants. Sam was proud and mindful of his heritage, establishing a grant for high school teachers to study Modern Jewish History at the Hebrew University in Israel, was a Member of the Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League, which honored him as a Man of the Year, and strongly supported the work of The Jewish Federation, among many others. One of Sam and Sooky's most significant and lasting accomplishments was the preservation of Franklin Canyon and its more than 600 acres from development, and its incorporation into the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and National Park Service. With the Sam Goldman Amphitheater and Sooky Goldman Nature Center at its heart, Franklin Canyon now provides an educational resource for thousands of children and families annually and an unspoiled nature refuge for all. Through many acts of both personal kindness and public generosity, Sam was a model of living the concept of tikun olam (healing the world), living the American dream while always focusing on making the dream possible for others. Sam was self-educated and a voracious reader who became well-versed in many fields - from finance to politics, art to philosophy. An accomplished gymnast in high school, he transitioned to tennis later in life, and enjoyed the pleasures of playing well into his 80's. Most of all, he enjoyed dancing with Sooky, a shared passion from the day they met as teenagers. Primary to Sam were his friends and, above all, his family. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Sam was predeceased by his beloved Sooky in 2014, and their youngest son, Joel Goldman (Jory Feldman) in 2002. He is survived by his children David Goldman (Myra Lurie) and Kaye Goldman Clarke (Stephen Johnson) and seven grandchildren: Cary (Meredith Dunn), Max, Zachary, Seth, Jessie, Eli, and Jonah. To them and all who knew him, Sam Goldman remains an exemplar of a life well-lived. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 26 to June 28, 2015
Grassi, Virginia Callas - Chatsworth  
August 24, 1927 - June 24, 2015 Virginia Callas Grassi passed away on June 24, 2015 in Chatsworth, California. Virginia was a very loving wife and mother and will always be remembered. She is survived by her husband Michael, her daughters Sandra and Teresa, their husbands, Robert and Greg, and their children, Michael, Garrett, and Alexis. The Trisagion service with be held on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at: Bastian and Perrott Mortuary 18728 Parthenia Street Northridge, CA 91324 Viewing from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Memorial service starts at 7:00 p.m. The Funeral will be held on Monday, June 29, 2015 at: St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church 9501 Balboa Boulevard Northridge, CA 91325 10:30 a.m.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 26 to June 27, 2015
Greitzer, Michael Stuart  
June 9, 1947 - June 28, 2015 Michael Stuart Greitzer passed away Sunday, June 28, 2015 at the much too early age of 68 of natural causes in Los Angeles. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, the middle child of Philip & Stephanie Greitzer on June 9, 1947. The family moved to Los Angeles when Michael was 6. He was a graduate of Hamilton HS. He could accomplish anything he set his mind to, and went on to very successful careers as the president of the major designer handbag company Phillippe, President of the wildly successful Melrose Avenue fashion boutiques Melons and Melons Shoes, as well as president of MSG Mortgage Company. Michael celebrated life and surrounded himself with interesting people from the entertainment and sports world. To say he lit up a room when he entered would be an understatement. He greatly appreciated fine art collecting and music. Michael is survived by his daughters Kim Greitzer Wilson and her husband Gabe of L.A., Lindsay Greitzer of NYC, his 3 granddaughters Georgia, Charley Mae and Dixie Wilson, and sisters Susan and Judy.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 1 to July 2, 2015
Griffith, Cindi - Los Angeles  
May 2, 1953 - June 15, 2015 Cindi passed away late in the evening on June 15 with a group of family and friends at her hospital bedside. She had suffered from a variety of ailments, and she is now resting in peace. Cindi was born in Toledo, Ohio; her family moved to South Pasadena in the winter of 1961. She attended Holy Family School for 3 ½ years until her family moved to San Gabriel. She graduated from Saints Felicitas and Perpetua School in 1967 and then from Alverno High School in 1971. She attended Whittier College for two years. She began working at various retail stores in Pasadena for several years. She switched her career path to office management and administration for several prominent CPA firms in Pasadena and South Pasadena. She was engaged in the CPA profession for over fifteen years. When she began having serious health issues about eighteen years ago, her career changed again to include a customer service position with the Clary Corp. in Monrovia. Cindi married Steve Garcia in 1976, and they had one child, Rich Garcia. Until her health began to fail her, Cindi was one to enjoy life and to be engaged with Rich through his academic years in the Arcadia Unified School District. She was involved with the music department in those years as a volunteer in organizing and executing various fundraising and performance events. She took great pride in these efforts. Cindi's family wants to extend a special thanks to her niece Tammy Teran for her persistent and dedicated efforts over the past seven and a half months, as Cindi struggled through her various illnesses and infirmities. Cindi was predeceased by her dad Terry Griffith (1988). She is survived by her mother Pat (Griffith) Benson and her stepfather Bob; her son Rich and his wife Carlota; her former husband Steve Garcia; her brother Mark and his wife Delia; her brother Pete and his two children Shelley and Dean and his wife Kaytee and their twin sons Dylan and Logan. Services are scheduled for July 18; details of this will follow in this section soon. Cindi suffered greatly in the latter part of her life, and she was courageous in her battle. She is now removed from this and is at peace. We will remember her smile and laughter¿with a smile and a laugh in her honor! May God bless her memory.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times on June 24, 2015
GROSSMAN, Rose  
November 19, 1920 - April 16, 2015 Rose Grossman died April 16 at 94; preceded in passing by her husband, Leonard Grossman (OBM); survived by her daughters, Debbie (Thomas) Gregory, Susan (Hank) Festa; grandson, Jason Gregory; Rose was an aunt, great-aunt, and great-great-aunt to many nieces and nephews; cousins, Dolly Sallen, Owen Silverman; fur-grandkids, Mandy, Star, Belle. Rose was a cousin to Moe, Shemp, and Curly Howard of "The Three Stooges". Arrangements were under the direction of Groman Eden Mortuary.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 27 to June 28, 2015
Hadda, Janet Ruth  
December 23, 1945 - June 23, 2015 Janet Ruth Hadda-Yiddish professor, psychoanalyst, and biographer-died in Los Angeles on June 23, 2015, of metastatic cancer. She was 69. Born December 23, 1945, the eldest daughter of refugees from Nazi Germany, Dr. George and Annemarie (Kohn) Hadda. With degrees from the University of Vermont, Cornell, and Columbia, she joined the UCLA faculty in 1973 to start UCLA's Yiddish Program. In 1979, she became the first tenured professor of Yiddish in the US. She published three books, as well as both academic and popular papers in English, Yiddish, German, French, and Hebrew. She received the Workmen's Circle Arbeter Ring Yiddishkayt Award in 2010. She also became a Training and Supervising Analyst at the New Center for Psychoanalysis and the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Psychological insights permeated her later works, "Passionate Women and Passive Men: Suicide in Yiddish Literature" and "Isaac Bashevis Singer: A Life," as well as her study of Allen Ginsberg, "Ginsberg in Hospital." Survivors include her husband, Allan J. Tobin, a neuroscientist, and by her sisters, Ceri Hadda (Lloyd Gelwan) and Kathryn Hadda (Michael Andrews), her stepsons David Tobin (Ana Maria Xet-Mull) and Adam Tobin (Christine Kelly), and two grandchildren, Gabriel Tobin-Xet and Ursula Cashwan Tobin. Funeral services will be at Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles on Friday at 11 am. Contributions in her memory may go to the Forward Association. http://association.forward.com .
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Published in the Los Angeles Times on June 25, 2015
Hayes, Jeffrey M. - Los Angeles  
August 12, 1965 - June 9, 2015 Jeffrey Michael Hayes died June 9th, 2015 following a near drowning after a fall at his home near Austin, TX on June 1st. Jeff was born in Los Angeles, CA on August 12, 1965. His mother is Phyllis (Philomena) Zillo Rowlands of Lakeway, TX and his father the late Donald Robert Hayes of East Rockaway, NY. His husband of the past 24 years is Greg Sovey of Lakeway, TX. Jeff attended Loyola High School in Los Angeles, graduating in 1983. He attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he graduated with honors in 1996. Jeff was an Eagle Scout and was proud of his Italian-American upbringing. For almost 30 years Jeff was owner and operator of Habitat Hanalei Interiors, Inc. an interior design firm. He earned much recognition during his career for his designs including his extraordinary assemblage glass artwork, Il Vetro Illuminare. Jeff met his soul mate, Greg, at St. Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica, CA in 1991. Together they had a wonderful life built on love, laughter, trust and mutual respect. Since 1991, they have resided in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Princeville-Kauai and Lakeway. Jeff lived life out loud. He loved animals most especially the dogs and cats he shared his life with. He was an excellent cook who never followed a recipe and always prepared enough for a small army. He loved to fish and loved nature. To say he was creative would be a gross understatement. He had a passion to repurpose found objects and was on a never ending search for a diamond in the rough. He knew his strengths and admitted his faults. Prefacing the following with "extraordinarily," Jeff was: articulate, bold, candid, clever, courageous, devoted, dynamic, eyelash endowed, fearless, forgiving, generous, genuine, gifted, hilarious, hopeful, honest, impressive, industrious, intelligent, intuitive, loyal, mischievous, observant, original, protective, quick-witted, reflective, resilient, resourceful, sensitive, sincere, spiritual, street smart, tenacious, uncompromising and wise. Jeff could also at times be careless, exhausted, headstrong, impatient, impulsive, inaccessible, intense, moody, opinionated, outrageous, stubborn and uninhibited. Like all of us he was a complex human being but he loved and lived with unusual fullness and fury. He lived uncontrived. Jeff will be achingly missed by all who knew and loved him but most especially by his husband Greg, mother Philomena, Aunt Jude and Uncle Bob Golden and Cousins Joya (Kyle) Chrystal and Jamie Golden of California and many dear friends, most especially those he lovingly called "Blanche." A Celebration of his life will be held on August 8th at The Hills of Lakeway Country Club, The Hills, TX at 5 pm. Father Bruce Lery, S.M. will officiate a memorial service and an evening of great food, drink and storytelling will follow. Contact gregsovey@gmail.com for details. In lieu of flowers, donations to www.beardedcollieclub.us/rescue and www.austinpetsalive.org in Jeff's name would be accepted with gratitude. Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Lake Travis (512) 263-1511. Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 26 to July 5, 2015
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