Memorials · Parkinson's Resource Organization

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Donald James Smith

Donald James Smith

August 7, 1939 - October 10, 2019

Born August 7, 1939 to James Vincent Smith and Esther (Pjerrou) Smith in South Gate, California, he passed peacefully on October 10, 2019 from complications of Parkinson's, a disease he valiantly fought for 23 years.Don was a native Californian and a lifelong resident. Born and raised in South Gate where he attended Junipero Serra High (class of 57), after which he moved to Hermosa Beach and graduated from Cal State University, Los Angeles. He taught at Junipero Serra High School before moving to San Francisco to hang out with the beat poets and write. He returned to Hermosa and started work at the Los Angeles City Housing Authority.


Over the next 30 plus years he worked at both the Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County Housing Authorities. He retired as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles City Housing Authority. Don was an advocate for the underserved and a leader many respected for his commitment to helping people get the resources they needed and deserved. For the last 25 years, he and his wife Julia, have called Monterey Park home.Don was a voracious reader who could speak and debate on any topic, a prolific writer of the short story and Haiku, a music aficionado with a collection and sound system envied by many, a talented athlete who lettered in four sports in high school, was drafted into minor league baseball, played tennis in college and ran his first marathon at 40.


He loved to watch sports, especially the Lakers, Dodgers, Golf and Tennis. Later in his life he was a practicing Vajrayana Buddhist, and in his earlier years he was in the seminary for a year. Don was an eclectic, fascinating and funny man who will be so missed by his family and friends.Don was preceded in death by his parents, and is survived by his beautiful and loving wife Julia, his daughter Cara Peck (Jeffrey), son Michael Smith, and step-son Rene Lopez Sr. (Sueann), grandchildren Ella Smith, Rene Lopez Jr., Ava Peck and Mattea Peck. Don was the oldest of five children and is survived by his three brothers, Vince Smith (Annette), Trayce Pjerrou and David Smith (Theresa), and one sister, Martha Morrow (Glen).


He is also survived by his best friend of 60 years, George Schmeltzer.There will be a celebration of life at 11:00 am with a lunch following on Saturday, November 16th at Luminarias, 3500 W Ramona Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754.

Remembering Donald James Smith

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Donald Leo Hartenfeld

Donald Leo Hartenfeld

June 13, 1928 - May 6, 2009

Donald Leo Hartenfeld passed away May 6, 2009 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. He was at home and at peace, with his loving family by his side.

Although not unexpected, his death was sudden. It is not his death, but his life that is to be remembered…a life that was filled with love, laughter, and an uncompromising devotion to family and friends. He was a warm, caring, sensitive, considerate, passionate bear of a man who enjoyed life to the fullest. Quick to offer a smile and a hug, Don was known to those close to him as a man who encouraged everyone around him to reach for the stars and to achieve things they never dreamed possible.

He traveled extensively and harbored a deep love of Berlin, his ancestral homeland and where he was stationed in the Air Force, and the Caribbean, where he frequently enjoyed many memorable adventures on trips and Windjammer cruises with family and friends.

Don was born June 13, 1928 in Sandusky, Ohio to Ervin H. Hartenfeld and Lucille H. (Neumeyer) Hartenfeld, the youngest of three boys. He graduated from Sandusky High School, Class of ’46 and attended Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict. Upon returning to the States, he enrolled at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio but longed for more after living in Berlin and visiting all the great cities of Europe. He answered a friend’s invitation to join him in Mexico City where he enrolled at Mexico City College and obtained a B.A. in Business in August 1956.

When he returned to the States, he bid farewell to Ohio and moved to San Francisco where he was employed by IBM as a Methods Analyst. He enjoyed an outstanding 23 year career with IBM, living in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, and traveling extensively on behalf of the company. His travels enabled him to explore all of the United States and to widen his circle of friends. He embarked on a new career path in 1982 when he accepted a new challenge with Pacific Northwest Insurance in Portland, Oregon where he lived for nine years before retiring.

Retirement did not slow Don down as he moved to Palm Springs in 1995 and continued his travels. Don assumed an active role in his community. He was an Honorary Member of Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert and a volunteer at Desert AIDS Project where he was named “Volunteer of the Year” in 2003.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Ervin and Lucille Hartenfeld, and two brothers, Ervin John Hartenfeld and Rolland Benjamin Hartenfeld.

Don is survived by his life partner, George Puddephatt of Palm Springs; sister-in law Mary Alice Hartenfeld of Gahana, Ohio; nieces Barbara Hartenfeld of Phoenix, Arizona, Bonnie Darnell of Portage, Ohio, Gail Downing of Lewis Center, Ohio, Judy Baird of Stockbridge, Georgia, Pam Suver of Powell, Ohio, Lori Anne Miller of Castalia, Ohio; nephews Rolland E. Hartenfeld of Bellevue, Ohio, Jonathon E. Hartenfeld of Green Springs, Ohio; adopted son, Ruben Andreatta of Indio, California and a wealth of devoted loving friends throughout the U.S. and Canada.

A celebration of life will be held on June 13th at 4:00 P.M. at The Commissary, 69620 Highway 111 in Rancho Mirage, California. As a final tribute to Don and in lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to the Parkinson’s Resource Organization

Remembering Donald Leo Hartenfeld

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Donald C. Cavanaugh

Donald C. Cavanaugh

- February 23, 2019

Palm Springs - Donald C. Cavanaugh, owner of the Blue Coyote Grill in Palm Springs, passed away at his home on February 23, 2019 due to complications of Parkinson's disease. 

He was a beautiful man inside and out and lived his life to the fullest and on his own terms. 

Don was born in November 1944 to Dolores and Van Cavanaugh. He grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and made lifelong friendships that exist even today. He launched his restaurant career in 1966 with Jack-in-the-Box and later managed several full-service restaurants in Chicago, Madison, and Denver along with dabbling in real estate. In 1992 he moved to Palm Springs and opened the Blue Coyote Grill on North Palm Canyon. Blue Coyote Grill was an instant success and has been voted one of the top restaurants, famous for its Wild Coyote Margarita, beautiful patio and atmosphere. 

Don loved Palm Springs, the year-round weather, playing golf, and the casual life style. He was popular and enjoyed meeting customers, and entertaining friends and family. He often commented that living and owning a restaurant in Palm Springs was beyond his wildest dreams. 

He is survived by his loving daughters Kelle (Mike) Baker and Shayne (Troy) Alloway, five grandchildren, twin brother Dave and girlfriend Kami French. He leaves behind an incredible restaurant, a loyal and dedicated staff and family and friends that will love and miss him forever. 

A Celebration of Life is being held on March 11, 2019 from 1-4 at Indian Canyon Country Club at 1100 E. Murray Canyon in Palm Springs, all are invited. A private service will be held at a family gravesite at the East Cemetery in Dodgeville Wisconsin. In lieu of flowers consider donating in his memory to Parkinson's Resource Organization in Palm Desert (

Remembering Donald C. Cavanaugh

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Diane (Cottrell) Tompkins

Diane (Cottrell) Tompkins

January 16, 1937 - January 2, 2020

Diane, the eldest child of Cosby and Florence Cottrell, was born in Los Angeles, California. Diane and her younger brother Mel grew up on the Cottrell Avocado and Christmas Ranch located in La Puente, California. As children, they enjoyed riding horses, tending fruit trees and living a country lifestyle. Diane's father, Crosby M. Cottrell, was an Executive for Fairchild Aerial Surveys and her mother, Florence Elizabeth, was a full time wife, mother and managed the day-to-day operations of the ranch.


After graduating from the University of Redlands, she met her future husband, Don Tomkins, a star of the Occidental College football team. They married in 1961 and started their life together in an apartment in Rosemead, before moving to their dream home on the 9th hole of the Glendora Country Club. They both enjoyed golf and socializing at the Club.


Diane and Don also shared a passion for hunting and fishing and ventured to the farthest reaches of Africa, the Arctic tip of Alaska, and everywhere in between! They were active members in the LA chapter of Safari Club International, an organization dedicated to protecting the freedom to hunt while promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. They especially loved their trips to the 'Save Conservancy', an 800,000 acre privately owned wildlife preserve, founded by Roger Whittall in Humani, Zimbabwe.


When they weren't traveling, Diane pursued her passion for teaching children (grades 2-4), a career she enjoyed for over 40 years! With Del Docterman, also a Coolidge 4th grade teacher, they developed a teaching strategy that allowed each teacher "to teach to their strengths". After retiring, Diane returned for many years to teach Art Classes, especially "Van Gogh Sunflowers". Her Students loved her!


Diane loved holidays and was an avid collector of decorations of all sorts, especially Annalee's. She delighted in whimsical displays and looked forward to opportunities to share with others. Diane was a dedicated member of the Glenkirk Church in Glendora and could always be counted on to create special decor for church luncheons.


Diane was an Educator, a collector and a worldwide traveler. She had lots of friends, but her longest and closest friend was Josette Temple who she met in the 2nd Grade. In their retirement they enjoyed outings to the Performing Arts Centre at Citrus College and rarely missed a show!


In 2005, DIane lost Don. It was an especially difficult time for Diane, because she was in the early stages of Parkinson's Disease. Her brother Mel and sister-in-law Jan lived nearby and played a big role in her ability to maintain her independence for as long as possible. THey continued to look out for her for the rest of her life.


In 2016, it became impossible for Diane to continue to live independently, so she moved to Atria Senior Living in San Dimas where she was able to enjoy socializing in a safer environment. As the disease progressed and Diane needed full time care, she moved to La Posada in San Dimas in November 2018. She lived there until she passed away peacefully on January 2, 2020.


Diane was kind and generous, worked hard and believed in helping others. She was fortunate to marry her soul-mate, and together they were able to see and experience places and things that most people only dream about. She now rests in peace, leaving all of us with the memories we have of her and her life, a life well-lived.

Remembering Diane (Cottrell) Tompkins

Thank you for your memorial contribution and for completing this form. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Richard Nelson Hester

Richard Nelson Hester

September 7, 1930 - November 30, 2014

Richard Nelson Hester of Upland passed away on Sunday, November 30, 2014, with family at his side. He was born September 7, 1930, to Francis and Ruth Hester in Anaheim, Calfiornia. Richard grew up in Pomona where he became an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Chaffey High School. He is an alumnus of Chico State University where he was named to the Athletic Hall of Fame for his track performance, character and leadership. While serving in the Korean War he was awarded the Army Commendation for Meritorious Service. He taught biology, coached track and cross country at Chino High School and later moved to Don Lugo High School as a counselor. He married Barbara Fullagar in 1962 and for 52 years has been a caring and devoted husband. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; two daughters; Melissa Hunt (Vernon) of Yorba Linda and Susanna Kutches (Alex) of Bozeman, Montana; and grandchildren, Alexandra, Hayley and Faith Hunt and Kate and AJ Kutches; and many dear longtime friends. He cherished the time when family was together, especially at Lake Almanor. Memorial service will be 11:00, Saturday, December 20th at First Presbyterian Church of Upland. In additional to your memorial contribution, sentiments for the family can also be listed in the "comment" section below.

Remembering Richard Nelson Hester

Thank you for your memorial contribution and for completing this form. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

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


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Updated: August 16, 2017