Memorials · Parkinson's Resource Organization

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Edman Ray Ross

Edman Ray Ross

January 15, 1940 - September 23, 2019

Los Angeles - Ed passed away peacefully on September 23, 2019. He was born on January 15, 1940, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Ray and Reva Ross. He grew up in Kansas City, Kansas until he was 11, before moving with his mother to Los Angeles in 1951. He graduated from L.A. High School and went on to L.A. City College where he was a member of the college wrestling team. In 1960, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps where he proudly served for 4 years. He was stationed at El Toro, CA and Kaneohe Marine Air Base at Oahu, Hawaii. He went on a six-month cruise aboard an attack aircraft carrier (USS Oriskany) while assigned to VMF 232 fighter squadron. In 1964, he joined the Los Angeles Police Department where he worked many different assignments before retiring in 1985. For years, he was a key competitor in the Police Olympics in handball and then racquetball. 1986, he joined the Orange County District Attorney's Office as an investigator before retiring in 2002 as a Supervising investigator. He met his lovely wife, Donna, on a Caribbean cruise and they were wed in 1979. They greatly enjoyed going on cruises, taking various trips and seeing shows in Las Vegas. In 2002, they moved to the Del Webb Sun City Palm Desert community. Even after many years, they loved their "desert paradise" and always felt this was home. Ed joined various service committees where he met a lot of wonderful people who volunteered their time to help other residents. He joined the Racket Club where he played paddle tennis and tennis and joined two Putters golf clubs where he played in Sun City tournaments.

This smart, witty, humble man was a hero and inspiration to many. Ed was truly an exceptional person, admired and loved by all. May his soul rest in God's eternal peace.

He is survived by his wife, Donna and brother-in-law, Gil (Jeanne) Scarnecchia of Laguna Niguel, CA, and his nieces and nephews, Shawn (Chris) Merto, Mollie (Brandon) McCullough, and Jake Scarnecchia, Brad, Wes and Alex (Ashley) King and numerous family and friends.

Visitation is from 3:00 to 7:00 pm (Rosary at 5:30 pm) Sunday, October 13 at Forest Lawn Ramon Chapel in Cathedral City, CA. Church services will be held Monday, October 14 at 10:00 am at St. Francis of Assisi Church in La Quinta, CA. Burial will be on Tuesday, October 15 at 10:30 am at Forest Lawn Ascension Gardens in Cypress, CA.

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Bart Johnson

Bart Johnson

February 16, 1925 - September 23, 2019

Surrounded by loved ones, Bart Johnson, 94, died peacefully on Sept. 23, 2019, at his home in Rancho Mirage. After battling cancer and Parkinson’s disease with courage and grace, Bart passed peacefully to God, secure in his faith.

 

Born in Rockford, IL, on Feb. 16, 1925, Bart was the son of Harry and Della Johnson. The second of two children, Bart was close with his brother, Stan, and the two maintained a dear friendship that lasted their entire lives, crossing generations through the relationships of their children and grandchildren. The Johnson family moved to Los Angeles when Bart was in junior high.

 

Through the Navy V-12 program, Bart earned his pre-medical degree from the University of California Los Angeles. Though he finished his undergraduate work in less than three years, his love of the Bruins lasted a lifetime. An avid sports fan, Bart held season tickets to UCLA football games for decades and was known to lead an 8-clap at family gatherings and holiday events.

 

The Navy then sent Bart on to Northwestern University for Dental School, where he graduated first in his class. He served in the Navy for 16 years, both as a medical officer and in the reserves, before returning to Los Angeles to open his dental practice, which he operated for more than 40 years.

 

In 1970, Bart married Judie, the love of his life. The two combined their families—each with three children—who affectionally call themselves “The Barty Bunch.” The couple raised their six children and many dogs together, filling their home with laughter and love. They instilled in their children and grandchildren a strong sense of togetherness, instigating summer family trips to Balboa Island, festive holiday traditions and more.

 

Judie and Bart traveled frequently and truly loved seeing the world together, including trips to China, Japan, Israel, France, Italy and many more. Their home base was Encino, where they were entrenched in their community and active members of the congregation at Bel Air Presbyterian Church.

 

The two eventually settled in Rancho Mirage, where Bart could enjoy some of his greatest pleasures: golf, books, and bridge—which he is said to have taken as seriously as his medical exams.  

 

Bart was a man of the highest integrity, morals and a man of deep and abiding faith. He is survived by his wife, Judie; his six children, Kathy, Brian, Dana, Bryn, Greg, and Colleen, and their spouses; 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

 

A celebration of life will be held at 2:30 pm on October 13, 2019, at Desert Springs Church in Palm Desert. A light supper will follow.

 

Well done, my good and faithful servant!  Matthew 25:21

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to http://parkinsonsresource.org or sent to: 

Parkinson’s Resource Organization

74090 El Paseo #104, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Remembering Bart Johnson

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Remembering Arnie Kent

Remembering Arnie Kent

December 7, 1939 - September 15, 2019

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation.

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Joseph Sessa

Joseph Sessa

November 24, 1942 - August 29, 2019

November 24, 1942 - August 29, 2019, Joe Sessa died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center at the age of 76 after a valiant battle against the progressive complications of Parkinson's disease. Another man who desired to be smart, sweet-tempered, handsome, retired, a globetrotter, passionate golfer and an even more passionate husband and father, might have wanted to be him. Joe was born in 1942 to parents, Anthony J. Sessa and Inez Cavinato Sessa of Brooklyn, New York. As a young child and beyond, he was raised among his younger brother, Tony Sessa, and 11 permanent members of his Italian family. At dinners, they talked and laughed and ate pasta "all at the same time," he said. He was an active sportsman at Princeton University graduating with a BA in Economics in 1967. Afterward, he enlisted in the US Naval Officer Candidate School and later served with distinction as an officer assigned to the USS Ticonderoga (sister aircraft carrier to the USS Intrepid) for four years. Following his tour of duty, Joe attended Stanford Law School receiving a degree in law. In 1968, he married Alice Barbara Van Nuys and moved to Chappaqua, NY where they eventually welcomed their two daughters, first Tina and then, Andrea. With a close, loving relationship, Joe was continuously proud of "his girls." He was a true family man; nevertheless, in 2003, Alice preceded him in death following their retirement in Scottsdale, AZ. Joe began his career with Sterling Drug, Inc. working on legal matters for this global pharmaceutical company. When acquired by Reckitt & Coleman, Inc., a consumer products company (now Reckitt Benckiser), he became General Counsel until it was eventually acquired by Eastman Kodak. He retired at age 55 realizing his true calling had turned to golf. Joe approached the game in the same way he approached everything in life, with enthusiasm and commitment, becoming a skilled gentleman golfer, always in his trademark vests and diet cokes. Recently, he also revived his love of bridge, again working diligently at fortifying his game, never fond of disappointing a partner. In 2004, Joe met Dale Sessa (née Engelson) on a blind date. It was Valentine's Day and Cupid's arrow struck that night resulting in an almost immediate and loving union. She found him to be romantic, astute, sensitive, supportive, kind and caring and when he proposed to her at Westwood's Big Chill Yogurt Shop, she said YES. Joe and Dale married at The Water Club in Manhattan in 2005 and enjoyed a wonderfully full and joyful life with homes in the Los Angeles and Palm Springs areas (where a golf course was close at hand). Knowing that love is the only tool with a chance against death, Joe is survived by his devoted and adoring wife, Dale Sessa, his loving children, Tina Sessa (Chris Otter) and Andrea Sessa Sayago (Ed), his brother, Tony Sessa (Donna), doting step-children, Deena Appel (Ron Miller) and Dan Appel (Kym Bye). "Nonno" to his grandchildren, Nicholas, Sam, Evan and A.J. and "Joe-Joe" to his step-grandchildren, Chloe, Charlotte, and Oliver. Each of them treasured Joe's company and will miss him dearly.

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Daniel C. Cathcart

Daniel C. Cathcart

October 30, 1932 - August 18, 2019

Dan died at the age of 86 peacefully in his sleep at home after a long battle with the progressive complications of Parkinson's disease. He was born in Los Angeles to Daniel Boyde and Elizabeth (Betty) Cathcart. He was raised in Cheviot Hills with his younger sister, Carol. Following graduation from Hamilton High School, Dan attended California Polytechnic and then transferred to USC where he earned his Juris Doctorate degree. He was sworn in early so that he could start his first trial the next day. During his high school years Dan had eyes for only one woman, Jackie Conterno. They were married on June 20, 1954. Jackie passed away in January 2018. Dan had a passion for flying. He held multi-engine and instrument ratings acting as pilot-in-command in Piper, Beech and Cessna aircraft. He parlayed his aviation experience with his legal knowledge to become one the pioneers of plaintiff aviation accident litigation. He tried product liability cases across the country against the general aviation manufacturers with remarkable success. Magana, Cathcart and McCarthy was known as one of the leading national firms representing families who lost relatives in commercial airline crash cases as well. In a career with many highlights, he was honored to present one of his client's cases before the United States Supreme Court. With all his successes, Dan realized that his greatest was finding a love for his God and his family that he did not know in his early years. His attendance at church was first motivated by the Sunday brunch that followed. But, as the years passed, he began a relationship with his Creator that was fostered by his study of the Bible. He moved from the Board of Directors at Bel-Air Country Club to the Board of Directors at the St. James Inn, an organization that provided housing for families of patients admitted at UCLA Medical Center; and to the Board of Directors of Paulist Productions, an organization producing religious movie and television programs. As a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) he passionately represented children in the Los Angeles County Foster Care System. Dan is survived by his four children, Peter (Tina), Jan Masi (Herb), Monty (Maria), and Kelly (Liz); his nine grandchildren, Jonathan, Christopher (Megan), Frank (Rebecca), Jim (Katy), Anika, Steven, Austin, Jack and Julia; and his sister, Carol Cribbs. Family and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Mass on August 31, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Church, 10750 Ohio Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024. A Celebration of Life will be held at Bel-Air Country Club immediately following the Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Parkinson's Resource Organization, 74090 El Paseo #104, Palm Desert, CA 92260 and Olive Crest, 2130 E. 4th Street, Suite 200, Santa Ana, CA 92705.

Published in the Los Angeles Times from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, 2019

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Carole Ann Bennett

Carole Ann Bennett

November 18, 1929 - July 23, 2019

November 18, 1929 - July 23, 2019 Carole Ann Bennett nee Messenger passed away, in her home in Brentwood, on Tuesday morning from complications relating to Parkinson's disease. She was 89 years old. Carole was born on November 18, 1929 in Sonora California. She was a descendent of the Messenger family who emigrated to Massachusetts in 1627 and went on to settle various areas of New England that would become the original Colonies. Her great grandfather, Hiram Ashley Messenger, was an early settler of California and figured prominently in early California history. Carole met her future husband, Charles "Grant" Bennett when she was 16 and he was 19 and she married him two years later, one week after her 18th birthday. Carole moved with her husband to Southern California in 1952. She attended UCLA and worked as a librarian while she was a student. Many years later she would become the Head of Foreign Language Acquisitions for the main UCLA research library. Grant's scientific research took the couple to the Panamanian Rain Forest where they lived with the Embera and the Cuna peoples, gathering data. While in Panama, Carole created the library for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. One of Carole's greatest passions was ballet and in the 1970's she served as the Chairman of the Pacific Ballet Theater in Los Angeles. Throughout their lives together, Carole and Grant traveled and lived in Central and South America, Spain and France. Carole is survived by her husband of 71 years, her daughter Ashley and her granddaughter Gisele.

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Robert Alexander Waller

Robert Alexander Waller

May 22, 1928 - July 7, 2019

Robert A. Waller died peacefully at his home in Pasadena, California, surrounded by his wife and six children on July 7, 2019. He was 91 years old. Bob Waller, as he preferred to be called by all he met, had a fierce will to live and valiantly fought the effects of Parkinson's and strokes for several years. Born in Chicago, Illinois, on May 22, 1928, Robert Alexander Waller was the second son of Chicago Alderman, James Breckenridge Waller and Sarah Given Waller. His older brother, Jim, predeceased him in 1999. In the mid 1950s, Bob moved from Chicago to Los Angeles to start his business career and soon after, a family of his own. In 1960, Bob met the love of his life, Judy Trepanier, and the two were married soon after on October 14, 1960. The couple settled in San Marino, California, and began their family, which ultimately grew to six children after moving to Pasadena. He was a graduate of Occidental College (which he fondly referred to as "the Princeton of the West") and took graduate classes at both USC and UCLA. Bob was a successful businessman, philanthropist, community volunteer, and a serial entrepreneur, creating and investing in many companies ranging from stamps, to coins, to department stores, to venture capital, to real estate investments. Bob sat on numerous boards, and served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of real estate development companies, Northern California Developers Financial and R.A. Waller & Company. Bob was an active investor in both private and public companies. Outside of his professional pursuits, Bob made an impact in a variety of arenas. As a longtime member of the Jonathan Club, Bob was among the founding members of the Toastmasters organization within the Jonathan Club, eventually becoming Toastmasters Area Governor. After many years of Little League coaching, Bob became President of Pasadena Southwest Little League and Commissioner of Region 13 of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). Bob embraced philanthropy, and recognized the importance of giving back to his community, establishing the Robert A. Waller Foundation to provide support to a wide assortment of charitable organizations. Bob was passionate about many things and had many interests, including being an early adopter of technology. He was one of the first avid fans of Apple computers, which included being actively involved in the San Gabriel Valley Macintosh User Group for decades. Among his other interests were education, health, fitness, volunteering, mentoring others, and animals. He was very curious and loved meeting new people. He had a love and appreciation for magic that he passed on to his grandchildren. He was focused on personal improvement and made a point of striving for constant and never-ending improvement. He was always an optimist and exuded an incredible positive energy that drew people to him like a magnet. He had tremendous wisdom that he shared through a collection of sayings that have become part of the Waller family lexicon. Bob Waller will be remembered as an amazing and loving husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, great-grandfather, mentor, and friend. He was incredibly generous and touched the lives of so many. The Waller house was always a "safe haven" for both neighborhood kids and animals, taking in and nurturing many "strays" along the way. What he loved most was spending time with his wife and family. He always put family first. The Waller Family was blessed to have many amazing "Waller Family Vacations" and holidays with siblings, spouses, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, creating many memories that we will never forget. His devotion to his family is his most important and marked legacy. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Judy, and by his six children, Rob (wife Julie and children, Hailey, Lindsey, and Gracie), Sarah (husband Tom and children, Ryan, Samantha, Shauna, grandchild, Adalyn), Bill (wife Shauna and children, Natalie, Blake, and Alison), Mark, Ellen (husband Mark and children, Chase and Hayden), John (wife Michele and children Brooke and Alex), and his half-sister Wilda. He set a great example for all of us, and he touched many people profoundly during his journey through life. The world is a better place having had him in it. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him.

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Lee Iacocca

Lee Iacocca

October 15, 1924 - July 2, 2019

Lee Iacocca passed away at the age of 94 on July 2, 2019, at his home in Bel Air, California,of complications from Parkinson’s disease.  He was born Oct. 15, 1924, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. A child of Italian immigrants who grow up in humble conditions, Iacocca became one of the most powerful — and best known — executives in Detroit.

Originally started on an engineering track. He got into the automotive industry in 1946, when he joined on as an engineering trainee at Ford. From there, he eventually moved on to sales and marketing, where his career flourished. In 1960, he became vice president and general manager of the whole Ford division.  Iacocca rose to become president of Ford Motor in December 1970.

Iacocca became famous not only as Chrysler’s chairman and CEO but its TV pitchman, where he made famous the tag line, “If you can find a better car, buy it.”

In his latter years with Chrysler, Iacocca spent an increasing share of his time doing charitable work, among other things spearheading efforts to restore both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the immigration port in New York Harbor where his own parents came into the United States.

Iacocca was married three times. His last marriage, to Darrien Earle, ended in 1994. His daughter Lia Iacocca Assad said Lee Iacocca died of natural causes, but that he suffered from complications from Parkinson’s Disease. He is survived by two daughters and eight grandchildren.

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Judie Finwall

Judie Finwall

March 20, 1937 - June 28, 2019

Judith N. Finwall, 82, of Rancho Palos Verdes, lost her 20-year fight with Parkinson's disease on June 28th, 2019. Judith was born on March 20th, 1937, in Boston Massachusetts to Kenneth and Marion Nighman. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, July 6th, at 11:00 AM, at McNerney's Mortuary, with a reception to follow at the family home. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Parkinson's Resource Organization (PRO), 74090 El Paseo, Unit 104, Palm Desert CA, 92260.  

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Jim Pike

Jim Pike

November 6, 1936 - June 9, 2019

Jim Pike, co-founder and lead singer of The Lettermen, died on June 9 at his home in Prescott, Arizona. The cause of death was from complications of Parkinson's Disease.

Pike is survived by his brothers, Gary and Donny Pike, his sister, Candace Doyle, his wife Sue, and his daughter, Kelly Pike.

As a member of the Lettermen, he is best remembered for his lush vocal harmonies.  Pike co-founded the Grammy-nominated trio in 1961 with college friend Bob Engemann and completed the line-up with fellow vocalist Tony Butala.

After signing with Capitol Records in 1961, the group had its first hit and earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Performance by a Vocal Group with “The Way You Look Tonight,” which peaked at No. 13 on Billboard’s Hot 100. They also earned Grammy nominations for best new artist of 1961 and for 1962′s “A Song For Young Love." 

The Lettermen became one of the most popular vocal groups of the 1960s and would place 19 more songs on Billboard charts over the next 10 years. Some of their most popular songs include, “When I Fall in Love,”  “Everything is Good About You,” and “Goin’ Out of My Head/Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.”  Pike also published an autobiography titled, 'My Lettermen Years: The Journey To Hell and Back!' in September 2012. 

After living in the heart of Hollywood for thirty-five years, Jim and Sue Pike decided to move to the quiet solitude of Big Bear Lake, California, where they enjoyed fishing, boating, and entertaining their numerous friends from all over the world. They subsequently moved to the desert, where they shared a love for swimming, golf, tennis, biking and visits from friends, and their daughter Kelly. The Parkinson’s Resource Organization (PRO) is especially grateful to the Jim and Sue Pike family for their entertainment contribution to the 2004 PRO Spring Gala.

 

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Contact Us

Physical Address
Parkinson's Resource Organization
74090 El Paseo #104
Palm Desert, CA 92260

Local Phone
(760) 773-5628

Toll-Free Phone
(877) 775-4111

General Information
info@parkinsonsresource.org

 

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Updated: August 16, 2017