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El Paso Inc.: Obituaries


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Recent Obituaries

Anna Johnell Crimen

Noted Southwest artist, craftswoman and educator Anna Johnell Crimen passed away Saturday, July 18 in El Paso, after 97 well-lived years.

Born in El Paso on Oct. 22, 1917, she was the first daughter of Dr. John C. Crimen, co-founder of Southwestern General Hospital, and Sarah Ellen Guinn Crimen. She graduated from El Paso High School in 1934 and was salutatorian of her 1938 graduating class at the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy, now UTEP.

During World War II, she served as a Civil Defense local coordinator and rehabilitation volunteer, assisting medical teams with the physical and occupational therapy needs of wounded soldiers returning to William Beaumont Army Hospital for treatment.

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More Recent Obituaries

Ruth Bell Rees Pepe

Ruth Bell Rees Pepe was born May 24, 1924 in Montgomery, Alabama, to Dr. and Mrs. Spence Rees. She moved to El Paso in 1949 to begin a career in the jewelry business working for Harry Shane with Henry Silverman.

She met the love of her life in El Paso, First Lt. Joseph Pepe on New Year’s 1950, and they were married Aug. 4, 1951 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

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Marsha Allene Messick

Marsha Allene Messick (Duncan), beloved mother, sister and daughter passed away Friday, June 26, 2015. She was 51.

Marsha was born Nov. 25, 1963 at the Army Hospital in Würzburg, Germany to Elizabeth and David Duncan. She was born into a military family and moved with her parents and brother, Charles Duncan, to the U.S. and grew up in El Paso. Marsha lived in Northeast and attended Irvin High where she met her high school sweetheart, David Lee Messick. They wed at the local Moose Lodge on July 14, 1984 and had a daughter, Michelle Lee Messick, two years later.

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Robert ‘Bob’ Hilary Hoy Jr.

Robert “Bob” Hilary Hoy Jr., 81, died peacefully at his home in El Paso on June 26, 2015. Anyone who knew Bob knew him as a humble man who was fair and just, loved to tell a great story and valued integrity. He was a people person and will be remembered for his great smile and good heart.

Mr. Hoy was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Hilary Hoy Sr. and Elizabeth Mandeville Owen Hoy, as well as his son, Robert “Rob” Hilary Hoy III, and brother, John Thomas Hoy.

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Hilda Claire Fenton

Hilda Claire Fenton, beloved wife and mom to nine, grandmother to 30 and great grandmother to 22, passed away June 20 following a long illness. She was 90.

Hilda was born Sept. 28, 1924, to Lois and Gus Farley, then of Logan, West Virginia. While she was still a toddler, the family moved to Murray, Kentucky, where she grew up and met and married her high school sweetheart, Thomas A. Fenton.

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Betty J. Ligon

Betty J. Ligon, 93, of El Paso, passed peacefully on May 18, 2015, in Pleasant Hill, California. Betty is survived by her children: Orlena Lackenbauer, Pleasant Hill; Jody Frost, Danville, California; Andrew J. Ligon III, Phoenix, Arizona; and Harry R. Ligon, Dallas. Betty is preceded in death by her daughter Lucinda Lee, 49, El Paso; and sister Jackie Lee Jones, 91, Austin.

Betty was born Aug. 27, 1921 in Decatur, Texas, the oldest of three daughters to Harry and Emily Gose. Betty graduated from West Texas State College in Canyon, Texas in 1942 with a degree in political science. She was a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society and Delta Zeta sorority. After college, she was associate editor for the Pantexan, the internal house organ for the Pantex Ordnance plant in Amarillo; stringer and sole female staff reporter for the International News Service in Dallas; and assistant editor for the Amarillo Globe News.

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More Recent Obituaries

William Janke Kastrin

William (Bill) Janke Kastrin, a third generation El Pasoan and the oldest of nine children, was born into a pioneering El Paso business family on July 26, 1917.

His parents, Gus and Grace Catsaron, and maternal grandparents, Alexander and Lina Janke, set him on an ambitious course in real estate and construction. This included involvement in El Paso landmarks like Providence Memorial Hospital, the El Paso National Bank Building (now Chase Tower), the Paso del Norte Hotel (now Camino Real) and numerous projects on Fort Bliss and in New Mexico, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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William E. Wood Jr.

William E. Wood Jr., 85, went home to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 at the Center for Compassionate Care Hospice of El Paso.

He was born on March 20, 1929 in El Paso. He grew up in Kern Place where he attended Dudley School, El Paso High School, Texas College of Mines (UTEP) and the University of Texas at Austin Law School.

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Benjamin Philip Boswell

My heart just aches to hear your voice or to see you smile. I never thought that our time together would be cut so short. I will never accept the fact that you are not here anymore, and I just want you to know that you will always be in my heart and I will forever treasure the memories we’ve made together.

Love, Yolanda

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James Wallace Love

James Wallace Love, beloved husband of Gretchen Green Love and father of Christopher Green Love, passed away Dec. 13, 2014. Jim was born in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Jim served in the U.S. Army Reserves, was a graduate of Texas Western College, and remained in El Paso following his graduation. As a creative jeweler, sculptor and artist, Jim was a prolific contributor to the arts in El Paso for over 50 years. He established James Love Fine Jewelry in 1965 and Milagro Designs in 1995.

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Edward Azar

Edward Azar, 88, lifelong El Pasoan, devoted husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully on Nov. 28 surrounded by his family.

Ed was married for 59 years to his loving wife Marian. He is survived by Marian, daughter Chana and her husband Bill Burton, and their children Robert (Beto) and Andrew, and step-grandchildren Jennifer, Trey and Sarah; daughter Edie and her fiancée John Skotchdopole; son Edward Jr. and his son, Jack; daughter Gena and her children Rachel and Luke; son Anthony and his wife Paula (Scott) and their sons Jason, John and Austin; twin brother Phillip and sister Nini.

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Lawrence Tyler Francis

Lawrence Tyler Francis, 29, passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 24, 2014, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Tyler was born on March 6, 1985, to L.F. “Rick” and Ginger Francis in El Paso. He and the love of his life, Sara Elizabeth-Jean Francis, recently celebrated their first anniversary.

Tyler was president/CEO of Francis Aviation at Doña Ana International Jetport and recently expanded operations to the Las Cruces Municipal Airport. He served on the board for Doña Ana International Jetport, War Eagles Air Museum, Amigo Airsho and Boy Scouts of America Yucca Council. He was recently awarded membership in the Sons of the American Revolution and Society of Mayflower Descendants.

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Miriam Feinberg Lait

Miriam Feinberg Lait, age 80, passed away Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. She was born Jan. 18, 1934 in Beaumont, Texas to Bonnie Eisen and A. Milton Feinberg. The family moved to El Paso, where she and her siblings were raised and remained to marry and raise their children.

Mimi was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Robert Morris Lait, and his parents, Jack and Jeanette Lait and Lily Stern Lait, as well as her brother, Albert Feinberg.

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Duffy Brock Stanley

Duffy Brock Stanley, FAIA, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Sept. 27, 2014, at the age of 91. God greatly blessed Duffy throughout his life here on earth.

Duffy was born in Midland, Texas on Feb. 14, 1923, a Valentine surprise for his mother and father, Mary and Ben Stanley, and their firstborn son.  

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Frances Axelson

Frances Roderick Barnard Bagwell Axelson, born in Wichita, Kansas in 1923, died on Oct. 2, 2014 at Hospice El Paso. She was 91 and a life-long El Pasoan. An energetic civic leader and caring philanthropist, she concentrated on her beloved city working with the El Paso Community Foundation, where she served as chairman of the board and was a longtime director emeritus. The foundation’s executive director, Eric Pearson, called her “the brightest star he ever knew.”

The El Paso Symphony Orchestra, founded by her father, Dorrance D. Roderick, the longtime publisher of the El Paso Times and founder of KROD radio and TV stations, was another cause very dear to her heart. She graduated from Radford School where she was May Queen and later served on Radford’s board of directors.

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Carmen Loewenstein Wood

Carmen Louise Loewenstein Wood, 87, passed away Aug. 3, 2014, at Center for Compassionate Care West Hospice in El Paso. She was surrounded with family, friends, caregivers and angels.

Carmen was born March 11, 1927 in Chihuahua, Mexico, to George Buchanan Loewenstein and Carmen Hector Loewenstein. The Loewenstein family is a pioneer family having settled in El Paso-Ysleta in 1867, and the Hector Saenz family from Alsace-Lorraine, France, and Jimenez, Mexico, is a pioneer family in Mexico.

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Carolyn Gay Ponsford

Carolyn Gay Ponsford passed away peacefully on July 17, 2014 at the age of 83. She was preceded in death by her parents John Will and Maurine Gay, her husband John Ponsford and her son Jack Ponsford. 

She will be dearly missed by her brother John Gay (Martha), her son Rick Ponsford (Andi), daughter Leigh Lovelady (Stuart), daughter-in-law Caroline Ponsford, and grandchildren Emily Goforth (Matt), Julie Ellis (Jared), Will Sessions, Ginny Siller (Matt), Cameron Ponsford, Tricia Chinnici (Mike), Mitchell Ponsford (Rachel), Jenna Scott (Dave), and great grandchildren Olivia and Henry Ellis, Jack Goforth and Clara Scott.

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Stephen Paul Larsen July 17, 1943 – July 3, 2014

Stephen ‘Steve’ Paul Larsen was born in Bowling Green, Ohio, and grew up in several locations as his stepfather was in the Navy. He graduated from high school in 1961 in Castro Valley, California, and joined the Navy immediately after, where he served for two years.

After the Navy he moved to El Paso and worked for Lockheed. He also worked in the photographic and firearms industries. He completed his working years first as a bus driver for the City of El Paso and finally a dispatcher there.

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A remarkable life: Henry Kellen, museum founder

Henry Kellen, the founder of the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center and a Holocaust survivor, died Thursday, July 3, two days before his 99th birthday. Services were held Friday at Congregation B’nai Zion and the museum held a memorial and tribute on Saturday.

Kellen, whose original surname was Kacenelenbogen, was born July 5, 1915, in Lodz, Poland. After studying textile and mechanical engineering in France, Kellen returned to his family’s home in Lithuania in 1937. By 1941, the Germans had invaded Lithuania, and Kellen’s family, along with 30,000 other Jews, were forced into the Kovno Ghetto. 

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Joe A. Dominguez 1942-2014

Joe A. Dominguez passed away at his home surrounded by his loving family on June 20, 2014. Joe was born on March 19, 1942 in Fabens, Texas to Martin and Manuela Dominguez. He was a graduate of Ysleta High School and the University of Texas at El Paso. He was a Vietnam-era U.S. Army staff sergeant. 

He was lifelong El Paso businessman and a practicing Certified Public Accountant for more than 30 years. Joe was actively involved in the Sun Carnival Association for many years, as well as the Border Business Association, the local chapter of the Navy League, and other local organizations. 

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John Luke Lukowski 1922-2014

John Luke Lukowski, M.D., went to the Lord’s garden on May 28, 2014. He was born June 17, 1922 to John Lukowski and Lydia Walden and was preceded in death by his only sister, Josephine. 

When World War II broke out, he was attending the University of Miami where he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was sent to Biggs Field in El Paso as a first lieutenant. There he met and married his wife of 69 years, Margaret Delaney, before being shipped out to the Pacific.

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Margaret Alyn Brown Morton

On June 10, 2014 Margaret Alyn Brown Morton died of exhaustion from too much laughter, numerous board positions, leadership roles in too many schools attended and raising six children (two sets of twins). She was 83. 

We have lost a beautiful, gentle and elegant woman. 

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Sarah “Cita” Schuster

Sarah “Cita” Elizabeth Fletcher Schuster passed away on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, surrounded by her family and loving caregivers. She was 84 years old and a lifelong resident of El Paso.

Cita was a talented artist, a fine art appraiser, community leader, mother, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother and friend to many. She received her bachelor of arts degree from Vassar College, did graduate studies at UTEP and UCLA, and was a participant in Cornucopia v. American Society of Appraisers, London. 

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Jayne Upton Howell Adame

Jayne Upton Howell Adame, beloved mother, grandmother, educator and stage actress, passed away April 21, 2014 at the age of 78. She is survived by her children Celia Howell Hilton and her husband Tom, and Rachel Adame Anderson and her husband Cuyler, and grandchildren Anthony, Anna, Daniel, Madeline and Maxwell. She was predeceased by another beloved daughter, Madeline Howell Jastrzembski.

Jayne was an alumna of Highland Park High School in Dallas and the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a Kappa Alpha Theta and one of the most popular women leaders on campus. A lifelong champion of equality and civil rights, she was dedicated to the philosophy that all children are capable of great things. She began her career in education teaching English as a second language to 40 students in the hallway of Houston Elementary School. Her strong humanitarian instincts reached their fruition when she became principal of Carlos Rivera Elementary School, where her administrative and leadership abilities impacted teachers and students. She was known for singing to her students – “La Vie En Rose” was a particular favorite of hers. In 2003, she retired after 35 years in education.

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Kathryn Koehler

Kathryn “Kopy” Sara Ponsford Koehler, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and third generation El Pasoan, passed away March 6, 2014 at the age of 86.

She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Ward, children Paul and his wife Julie, Tom and his wife Carol, Christine Servin and her husband Victor, and Bruce and his wife Lee Ann, and grandchildren Matthew and his wife Elisabeth, and Sarah, Henry, Grant, Victor, Carter, Kristen, Dorothy, Rodrigo, Christian, Lily and Gemma, and sister Marian Shortridge.

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Wiltrud (Trudy) Margaret Hill

Wiltrud (Trudy) Margaret Hill passed away on Dec. 20, 2013. She was born in Frankfurt, Germany on Nov. 28, 1928. Her parents were Friedrich and Anna Krückau. She and her family survived the bombing and difficult living conditions of World War II. 

After the war, she worked for the U.S. Army Air Force, where she met and later married her husband, Newton Hill.

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Joe Mendoza, M.D. 1936-2013

Dr. Joe Mendoza, 77, passed away in his home surrounded by his family on Dec. 26, 2013.

Joe was married to Rose Marie Servin on Nov. 26, 1960. They have five daughters and nine grandchildren. He was born in Chanute, Kan., on Jan. 18, 1936, and was raised in Coffeyville, Kan.

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Maria Hilda Gutierrez 1926-2014

Maria Hilda Gutierrez, 88, went to be with the Lord on Jan. 5, 2014. Mrs. Gutierrez worked for the federal government as a civil servant at the Laredo Air Force Base and for the Drug Enforcement Administration for over 25 years.

She will be especially remembered for her spirit of adventure – a strong, energetic woman who loved music, fishing, bowling and crocheting. Aside from her diverse interest in hobbies, Mrs. Gutierrez enjoyed being with and entertaining her dear friends and mostly her loving family. 

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Mary Kimble 1928-2013

On Dec. 21, 2013, Mary Kimble went home to be with her Lord and Savior. A memorial service was held Dec. 27 at First United Methodist Church in Edmond, Okla.

Mary Weems Kimble was born Aug. 7, 1928 in the Mars Hill community near Summit, Miss., to the late Joe Louis and Angie Havers Weems. She graduated from Mars Hill High School in May 1946 where she excelled scholastically as well as being an accomplished singer. She was the lead vocalist for her school choir.

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Dr. Joe Mendoza 1936 - 2013

Dr. Joe Mendoza, 77, passed away in his home surrounded by his family on Thursday, December 26, 2013.

Joe was married to Rose Marie Servin on November 26, 1960. They have five daughters and nine grandchildren. He was born in Chanute, Kansas, on January 18, 1936. He was raised in Coffeyville, Kansas. It was in Chanute that he experienced poverty and racism. These experiences helped develop his life-long desire to be the voice for those who had none. His passions were serving the community in and around El Paso and those in need, as well as politics, and his beloved UTEP Miners.

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Carlos R. Martinez 1956-2013

Carlos “Charlie” Rodolfo Martinez, 57, a life-long resident of El Paso, went to be with our Lord on Oct. 19, 2013 in West El Paso after a brave fight with numerous illnesses. He was born Aug. 21, 1956 to parents Roldofo Martinez and Rosa Lonza, who survive him.

Charlie is also survived by his son U.S. Army Spec.  Carlos Martinez and his wife Stephanie, granddaughter Amorina Raquel and Debbie Salomon, as well as his sisters Sylvia, Zandra, Debbie, Vangie and Brittanie. 

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