SALLY ANNE MASON

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SALLY ANNE MASON

August 7, 1970 to June 12, 2016

Crazy, mad love

Sally Anne Mason—a Southern charmer whose crazy, mad love for Florida State Football was surpassed only by her crazy, mad love for her adored family—died at home, in Castle Pines, CO, on June 12, 2016.

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Christopher, Lily, Sally and George

She was only 45.

Among those at her side at the end, her husband of 22 years, George Mason; daughter, Lily, 16, and son, Christopher, 13. Also in attendance, her mother, Nancy Simmons, and brother Scott.

Words—something Sally cherished as a librarian, avid reader, and the heart and soul of wit—can never fill the massive void she leaves in the world. Only the sweet memories held in perfect reflection by those she knew and loved can even begin to weave a lasting image of her vitality, humor and fierce loyalty.

She had a spring in her step

She had a spring in her step, this lively mother of two, often moving to the beat of her favorite 90’s music (Nirvana, Green Day, Foo Fighters) or while listening to one of daughter Lily’s modern gems (Iyaz, Pink, Justin Timberlake)—not to mention son Christopher’s favorite, Twenty One Pilots.

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CLAIRE JOHNSON KANNEGIESER

Claire

CLAIRE JOHNSON KANNEGIESER

July 6, 1934 to June 4, 2016

A feisty, independent thinker

In vital ways, Claire Johnson Kannegieser represented a time when friendship—like marriage—was for life. A vivacious Boston girl, whose universe was defined by her adored family and the friends she made in kindergarten, Claire was also a feisty, independent thinker, who, at age fourteen, rejected her parents’ extremely conservative religious views—no dancing, cards or movies—preferring a less “narrow path” to being a good Christian. She never regretted joining the Quincy Baptist Church. Nor did she regret marrying a Catholic, Frank Kannegieser, a handsome investment banker who insisted they wed in a Catholic ceremony.

In the end, she became a Lutheran.

A mind of her own

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WEETA LANG ADAMS

 Mom

WEETA LANG ADAMS

April 22, 1923 to May 12, 2016

She brightened the universe

Weeta Lang Adams, whose benevolent nature and ever-present humor brightened the universe for all who knew and loved her, passed away peacefully at home in Vinings, GA after a lengthy and valiant struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s—her adored son at her side. She was 87.

Abraham Lincoln had a saying that Weeta’s son, James Arthur Adams, Jr., says captures his mother to perfection.  “All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my Mother.”

But James, like Weeta’s husband of sixty years, James Arthur, Sr., and many of their friends, had to forgive her for one thing: her frozen green salad, which all approached with silent trepidation at holidays. Where Weeta, who adored giving dinner parties, loved the salad, her guests would gently move it around their plates, hoping it might disappear. She was also infamous for rearranging furniture when visiting relatives, only to have the pieces returned to their original locations upon her departure.

Loved a good laugh

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RAY “BUD” JOHN LAMMERS

LEAD

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.

He mellowed

Yes, Bud was disciplined, a stickler for authority, very black and white—until he grew older. Then, about the time his grandchildren came along, he mellowed like a fine wine. “He became a wonderful grandfather to my children,” Heather said. “Especially my son Randall, who is now 14.” He would teach Randall all about the world and the speed of light, all the things little boys love, she said.

But when Bud’s own daughters were growing up, Heather and Tiffany weren’t interested in guy stuff. “He would take us to air shows, and we would play Barbies under the bleachers,” Heather said.

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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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