RAY “BUD” JOHN LAMMERS

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RAY “BUD” JOHN LAMMERS

December 12, 1930 to December 9, 2015

A military man to the core

Ray “Bud” John Lammers, a former U.S. Air Force captain whose love of flying and reverence for military practices influenced his entire adult life—along with that of his adored family—passed away at home in Westlake Village, CA on Wednesday, December 9, 2015. He was 84.

unnamed (8)As a young man, “Bud”, as he was known, could have been a film star. At 6-feet-1, with dark wavy hair, a rich baritone voice, and Paul-Newman-blue eyes, he was every girl’s dream. But it was flying that captivated him, that and obeying orders. You have only to ask his two daughters, Heather Ann and Tiffany, about military time, the only clock their dad acknowledged.

“If he told us to be in the car at 0-800, and we got there at 0-802, he would have driven off without us,” said Heather Hart, who lives with her husband in Newport Beach. Or, if the girls discarded their shoes on the floor in the living room, they would find them the next day in the trash. Continue reading “RAY “BUD” JOHN LAMMERS”

CHRIS P. TOMARAS

 CHRIS TOMARAS

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Inspiring Leader, True Hellene

 CHRIS P. TOMARAS

 November 9, 1937 to October 14, 2015

Chris P. Tomaras—whose spectacular rise from Greek immigrant to successful U.S. businessman and dedicated philanthropist epitomized the American Dream—died on Thursday, October 14, in Chicago, IL.  By his side were his dear friends Elaine, Tom and John Sotos. He was 77.

Overcoming adversity

Chris Tomaras’ early life in Greece and America was full of challenges. Yet his ingenuity, tenacity and resourcefulness enabled him to overcome the obstacles and lead a full and productive life.

One of three children born to Pavlos and Evdokia Tomaras in Piraeus, Greece, young Chris came into a world torn by civil war. Mr. Tomaras’ father, who his son described as “a simple but wise man,” was a political activist whose retaliation against the brutality of the opposition resulted in tragedy when stray machine-gun fire, meant for his father, killed his mother in 1946. Chris was 8 years old.

Overwhelmed with grief at the loss of his mother, who Mr. Tomaras described as “the sweetest and gentlest of human beings,” he forged ahead to continued his education in Drapetsona, the town where the family lived. Fortunately, his father remarried, for there were three young children to care for, Chris, younger brother Mike and sister, Helen.

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MICHAEL V. LANE

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Mike Lane with Humphrey Bogart and Jan Sterling in “The Harder they Fall”

MICHAEL V. LANE

January 6, 1933 to June 1, 2015

A giant character actor

mikelaneMichael V. Lane, an actor known for his titanic size, wrestling prowess, and indelible roles as Frankenstein and Hercules, died on Monday, June 1st, in Palmdale, CA, his daughter, Cristin Layne, at his side. He was 82.

A towering, 6-foot-8, 278-pound giant, Lane appeared in movies with the likes of Humphrey Bogart and Tallulah Bankhead. He liked to say he was part of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the Golden Age of Wrestling.

Due to his formidable size, he began wrestling as a member of the King Brothers & Christiani Circus, a three ring circus that traveled the country. Housed in a special boxing and wrestling tent, Lane took on all comers.

Tarzan Mike

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DOUGLAS EDWIN NASH

Doug Nash

DOUGLAS EDWIN NASH

January 19, 1942 to July 12, 2015

A name synonymous with winning

Douglas Edwin Nash, a legend in the auto racing world—as much for his skill behind the wheel of a drag racing car as his later development of high performance transmissions—passed away at home in Marathon, Florida on Sunday, July 12th, his beloved family at his side. Doug was 73.

unnamed (2)A soft-spoken, contemplative drag racer in the 1960’s, Doug was driven to understand every aspect of what constituted a winning car. He first drove the “Bronco Buster” and later moved to a Comet, which brought him to the attention of the Lincoln Mercury Racing Division. In 1966, Doug was given a factory experimental Comet and continued to win races and perform at an outstanding level.

His inventive mind led him to develop the industry’s first 4 and 5-speed racing transmissions with straight-cut spur gears and crash shifts. His engineering innovations were soon noticed by the General Motors Corporation, and he was awarded a contract to develop the 4-speed overdrive transmission used in the 1986 Corvette.

Above all a family man

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FERGIE

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FERGIE

September 4, 2009 to July 8, 2015

By Katharine Blossom Lowrie

Valedictorian of her class

P1000442[1]Fergie, a pure-bred English Labrador Retriever with big, brown, sad eyes and the temperament of your friendly neighborhood Walmart greeter, succumbed to a degenerative condition, probable lumbosacral disease, on Wednesday, July 8th—her best buddy Jake at her side. She was just 5 years old.

The color of golden wheat, whip-smart, the Valedictorian of her class at Petco, Fergie never met anyone she didn’t like. Her whole family was there at the end, Jordan, Jennifer and G.B., the ones who—along with her beloved Jake—helped her endure three trips in three days to the emergency hospital, all praying that her unendurable pain would cease, that her back legs would spring back to life, allow her to jump up, run out and play ball.

Not even morphine would do it. It was only at the very end, soothed in her last hours by Jake, that she finally closed her eyes and rested in peace.

No ordinary dog

Sleeping

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