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Walker, Denise - Ramona  
Denise Jay Walker, of Ramona, CA, died of Alzheimer's disease at age 57 on Monday, June 22, 2015, at home with her family by her side. She was born to Fay Janet and Dennis Ray Walker on March 22, 1958, in St. Albans, Vermont. She was the eldest of five children. Denise enjoyed bowling, art, poetry, music and dancing. As a young woman she competed in Special Olympics track and field, and worked and lived independently in the community. Later in life she attended St. Madeleine Sophie's Center where she pursued her love of art, worked in the snack bar, and returned to Special Olympics in swimming. Denise was a courageous voluntary participant in the UCSD Down Syndrome Biomarker Initiative dedicated to the study of Alzheimer's disease. Ms. Walker is survived by her mother, Janet Walker; brother, David Walker; sister, Daryl Baer and her husband, David; sister, Delma Smart and her husband, Bob; sister, Diane Pendragon and her wife, Elizabeth; nieces, Jamie and Caitlyn; nephews, Christian, Ryan, Brian and Jacob; grandnephew, Garrick; and a loving extended family. She is preceded in death by her father, Dennis Ray Walker. We will celebrate her life in her home town on July 11, 2015, at 1:00pm at the Ramona Valley Grill. In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to: Noah Homes Memory Care Unit, http://noahhomes.org/get-involved/donate/ ; St. Madeleine Sophie's Center for Adults with Developmental Disabilities, http://stmsc.org/donate/.
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Published in the Ramona Sentinel on July 2, 2015
Watson, Mary Elizabeth (Slater) - La Jolla  
Mary Elizabeth Slater Watson passed away peacefully at UCSD Thornton Hospital on June 20, 2015. Mary was born May 7, 1940, in Magnolia, Arkansas, to Theodore and Isadora Slater. She grew up in Los Angeles, graduating from Fremont High School. She attended UCLA where she met her husband, Joseph W. Watson, and graduated with a degree in English. In 1966, with Joseph's appointment to the faculty of the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Department of Chemistry, they moved to San Diego where they raised three daughters and a son. As a wife, mother, and grandmother, Mary was a loving, supportive, and wonderfully entertaining person. An avid reader, she enjoyed poetry and discovering interesting books for the children in her life. She was an early supporter of the La Jolla Youth Soccer Association and the Nomads Soccer Club. She followed her children into soccer, coaching and serving as director of the youth U12 division, as well as playing on a women's recreational team. She participated in the Torrey Pines Elementary PTA and assisted with Girl Scout activities including camping, canoeing, and cookie sales. In addition to being highly involved with her family, Mary had many friends and interests in her very active life. She was a founding member of a neighborhood book group. Among her favorite activities were birthday lunches, teas, and singing sessions with her closest friends. Mary's work reflected her love of books and people, and interest in the betterment of society. She served as both a volunteer and office employee at Muirlands JHS. She then worked for many years as a library assistant for the San Diego City Library and studied library science at CSU Fullerton. Mary believed in the democratic process and the importance of elections. She frequently served as an election volunteer. In the early 1970s she actively supported the local chapter of the Peace and Freedom Party. Mary was an engaged member and supporter of Oceanids, a nonprofit that promotes friendship among persons associated with the UCSD community. She also supported the UCSD International Center and its nursery school for many years. She enjoyed attending meetings of the San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society. Mary appreciated art and culture from around the world. She was a fan of folk, rhythm and blues, African, global, and popular music and dance. With her friend Ann Heinemann, she regularly attended performances at UCSD and throughout San Diego. Her varied cultural interests were an inspiration to her children who have all lived abroad and shared in the hosting of an AFS exchange student from Columbia. Mary's travels within the U.S.A. included Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska, and internationally, Montserrat, Antigua, Mexico, Canada, England, France, Uruguay, Argentina, and China. Mary was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Ralph. Mary is survived by her husband of 53 years, Joseph; children, Ruth, Jerome, Jennifer and Elizabeth; sister, Joyce; and grandchildren, MandelaAxé, AmandlaAxé and Hazel. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to either the Mary S. and Joseph W. Watson Scholarship Fund at UCSD or the UCSD Black Alumni Scholarship Fund at the San Diego Foundation. A celebration of Mary's life is planned for late summer.
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Published in La Jolla Light on July 2, 2015
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