RICHARD STONNELL COLE

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RICHARD STONNELL COLE

November 4, 1927 to September 26th, 2016

A virtuoso artist

Cellist by Dick Cole

Richard “Dick” Stonnell Cole—an award-winning illustrator, nationally-recognized watercolorist, and cofounder the Northern California design firm Cole Angeli—died on Monday, September 26th, in San Rafael, CA. He was 88.

How do you describe a virtuoso artist like Dick Cole? You begin with the man.

He loved life, living in Sonoma, beauty, music (classical and jazz), poetry, fly fishing, wit, tall tales and the finer things from California’s vineyards and farms, said Ann Koeffler, his long-time artist’s representative.

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GIRMAY ZEWOLDE

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GIRMAY ZEWOLDE

October 1, 1936 to October 15, 2016

A gentleman and a scholar

Girmay Zewolde—an Ethiopian-born teacher-translator-lawyer, whose uproarious humor and championing of the underdog uplifted everyone he knew, especially his children—passed away on Saturday, October 15, at home in Adelphi, Maryland, his family by his side. He was 80 years old.

unnamed-10With his dazzling smile, riveting sense of humor and vibrant personality, he always lit up the room.

A vociferous reader who hated to see the lights go out at the library, Girmay believed street smarts trump book smarts, a theory he often expanded upon by explaining to his children that “street smarts can lead to book smarts.”

Book smarts, he said, are all about following the rules and getting straight A’s, whereas street smarts refer to taking a risk and surviving. “You’ve been tested and have a bank of courage to depend on when you are tested again.”

He knew of what he spoke.

He strove to achieve

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CHARLES ALBERT PARKER, SR.

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Charles and Barbara in their spectacular back yard in Texas

CHARLES ALBERT PARKER, SR.

 July 12, 1935 to October 2, 2015

A Man for All Seasons

Nicknamed “Sonny” by his parents, Charles Albert Parker, Sr.—a strapping Southerner who perceived his role in life as caring for his sprawling family, adhering to his Baptist faith, and contributing to his fellow man—died in a plane crash on October 2nd, 2015. He was 80 years old.

planeSonny—a consummate pilot who took every precaution, followed every flight rule, often saw to the mechanics himself—was flying his brother-in-law’s Piper Comanche the day of the tragedy.

Flying was something Sonny had done for years. In partnership with his brother-in-law, Bob Jensen, he owned five planes over the years and was an “experienced pilot,” Sonny’s son David said. In this instance, he was test-flying Jensen’s plane after installing a new battery and was preparing to land when something went wrong. The NTSB has yet to rule on the cause.

Sonny’s family, unable to obtain a reason for the crash for at least six months, remain in deep shock and unspeakable sorrow over his passing.

All about family

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KENNETH ROBERT KILPATRICK

Ken

KENNETH ROBERT KILPATRICK

August 20, 1937 to June 29, 2016

A unique sense of humor

Ken2Kenneth Robert Kilpatrick—a man passionate about fine wines, negotiating a brilliant business deal, and his amazing children—died peacefully at Silverado Memory Care in San Juan Capistrano, on Wednesday, June 29. Suffering at the end from Parkinson’s disease, he was also a man of deep Christian faith. He was 78.

Ken, as most called him, had a unique sense of humor. It could be dry and sometimes took a minute to hit you. One time he shaved off half of his mustache and waited to see how long it would take for the family to notice.

His daughter, Susan Adamski, remembers one Christmas when her father was trying to show his three kids how to exhibit enthusiasm when opening a gift they didn’t particularly like.

“I remember his running around and jumping up and down with excitement about his supposed gift: ‘A dead frog! Just what I always wanted’,” she laughed.

A highly successful businessman

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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

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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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BENJI

Jan and Benji
Jan and Benji

BENJI

February 14, 2000 – January 29, 2016

By Jan Quaritius

With Larry Sherman

(Edited by Kathy Lowrie)

He taught us so much

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Last Friday, Larry and I faced the toughest and most emotional decision we have faced during our thirty-four years together. We said goodbye to our four-legged hero, Benji. For the last sixteen years, he was constantly by our sides, providing nothing but unconditional love and laughter.

To say that Benji was the most precious, loving spirit is an understatement! We were honored to be his guardians. He taught us so much about life. And, ultimately, death.

Although I literally rescued him from the streets of Los Angeles, I really don’t know who rescued who. Beloved in the neighborhood, our doe-eyed Wheaton mix was known affectionately as “Doodles, Doodlebug, Benjers, and The Doggie Lama.” Everyone adored him: kids, moms, dads, grandparents, neighbors AND other dogs.

He did take exception to cats and squirrels, however.

Raggedy, flea-bitten

Back in 1992, when six-month old Benji came into the picture, our cats, Kali and Ginger, were the queens of their domain. Needless to say, the two felines did not take kindly to this scruffy, scabbies-ridden kid from the streets of LA. Rough at first, they eventually learned to tolerate each other.

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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.

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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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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BARBARA KING CALDWELL

Barbara Caldwell and her beloved Lynn
Barbara Caldwell and her beloved Lynn

BARBARA KING CALDWELL

August 23, 1939 — April 7, 2015

Theirs was a genuine love story

Barbara King Caldwell, whose fairytale marriage became something of a family legend, passed away on Tuesday, April 7, one week after a fall at her home in Boerne, TX. Her husband of 57 years, Lynn Caldwell, their three children and their spouses were at Barbara’s side at a San Antonio hospital during her last days, granting them precious time to say goodbye. She was 75.

Theirs was a genuine love story, beginning in kindergarten in St. Petersburg, FL. When Barbara and Lynn misbehaved in class, the teacher would send them to sit under the piano for punishment. It was a punishment made in heaven, as it turned out, the start of an almost 70-year romance.

They married right out of St. Petersburg High School, on July 5th, 1958. That these two youngsters could defy the odds, never lose their respect and admiration for each other, revel in each other’s company for seven decades, seems almost unheard of today. Unlike many who flounder in retirement, the couple grew even closer after Lynn retired at age 55 from traveling the South U.S. as a Titleist golf representative.

The Caldwells spent the last 20 years—living first in Hot Springs, AR, then in Boerne, TX—regularly visiting their children and grandchildren, not to mention frequent jaunts to casinos in Shreveport, LA and Las Vegas, their Cadillac packed with Barbara’s books, magazines, newspapers and characteristic nonessentials.

Destined to love

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MARGARET ANNE (MCGRANAGHAN) VON DER AHE

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MARGARET ANNE VON DER AHE

November 26, 1924 to October 30, 2014

Unparalleled joy in life

Margaret Anne Von Der Ahe, whose incandescent spirt and unparalleled joy in life were never dimmed by circumstances, died on October 30, 2014, four weeks shy of her 90th birthday. Annie, as everyone called her, had a way about her all right: the gleeful delight when greeting a friend for lunch, how giddy she got when talking about her grandchildren, the outlandish holiday jewelry she loved to wear, how she never took anything for granted, from the most insignificant flower to the most spectacular sunset.

carMargaret Anne McGranaghan was the first child born to Jerome and Ellen McGranaghan in Oneida, New York, on November 26, 1924. Her birth was promptly followed by the first annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which she claimed was a celebration in her honor. Annie was whip smart and beautiful, flying through school and achieving degrees in Mathematics and Physics from Marywood University and Syracuse University.

       “a hell of a broad”


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CHARLES CALVIN BARTHOLOMEW

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CHARLES CALVIN BARTHOLOMEW

May 22, 1975 to September 25, 2014

Dark Humor and Western shirts

Charles Calvin Bartholomew died young, a staggering loss to those who recall his dark humor, compassionate nature, and unwavering liberalism. And oh, yes, his love of embroidered western shirts with pearl snaps. He was just 39.

DadTall, shaggy-haired, brilliant, Charles made an indelible impression on people, from the time he was young and loved to shock friends with gifts of specimens pickled in formaldehyde to his lifelong championing of the underdog. Quick to help the elderly woman next door till her garden, he provided veterinary advice to anyone who asked, and was the first to assist a stranger in need, no questions asked.

Before clinical depression overwhelmed his will to live, Charles had, in many ways, experienced unparalleled joy in his last years due to time spent with his precious daughter, Paisley, 9, and his adored partner, Evan Sherow.

Irreverent, graceful, eternally curious

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PUTTING CAMPAIGN RHETORIC TO REST

Expose it to global warming

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I have a plan to implement fundamental change in campaign rhetoric. Expose it to global warming, greenhouse gasses, government bailouts and radical Islamic extremism. This will insure its unilateral withdrawal from all human discourse.

Wresting WMD from the mouths of candidates may seem as unrealistic as persuading Sarah Palin to stop wearing lipstick, but it can and must be done.

Washington is broken, and we need to bring the country together by instigating innovative strategies that make politicians accountable to increased transparency, techno-progressivism and libertarian meritocracy.

If elected President, here’s how I plan to do it.

With all poles focused on the economy, it’s time to talk timetables. Those who think the04biden-2.jpg surge is surging are wrong. We can no longer afford to risk America’s reputation around the world, not to mention our blood and treasure, by destabilizing our vocabulary. We owe it to those who have given their lives in service of language to hop aboard the straight-talk express – unless it isn’t going anywhere. I have the experience to straight talk about Islamofascism, ethnicity, viability, moral clarity, checkbook diplomacy, the global struggle against violent extremism, faith-based initiatives, special-interest lobbies, free trade, tax loopholes, campaign finance reform, accountability, broad partisan support and Joe Biden’s bald spot.

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PUMPKIN

PUMPKIN

October 31, 1994 to August 26, 2008

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“She was the child I never had” 

Pumpkin, a stunning Rhodesian Ridgeback with a miraculous sixth sense and healing effect on the sick and elderly, passed away of undetermined causes last August. “She was the child I never had,” said her still grieving owner, Annie Nelson of Mission Viejo. “She had very human qualities…an old soul with a keen sense of people and their needs.”

Scheduled for a routine visit to the veterinarian the day she died, Pumpkin, about 14, seemed fine, Annie said. Not a sign of the cancer she had so courageously whipped five years earlier.

Pumpkin was something, all right.

The pairing had a magical element

my-pumpkin.jpgWith a coat the color of sun-drenched wheat and eyes of darkest amber, she lit up Annie’s life from the instant she foot in it on Oct. 31, 1994, the date that became the pup’s unofficial birthday. Like so many things relating to Pumpkin and Annie, the pairing had a magical element. Close to losing her life in a terrible industrial fire in Norwalk, the puppy was rescued by Norwalk firemen and taken to the firehouse. Annie lived in Long Beach at the time, and a neighbor who raised and showed Rhodesian Ridgebacks told her about the fire and asked if she was interested in adopting the puppy. It was love at first sight, Annie determined to cure the frightened baby of her traumatic ordeal.

She brought the orphaned pup home on Halloween, her house decorated with baby pumpkins. Trying to think of a name for her adorable charge, Annie yelled out Pumpkin! “and the name stuck.” Pumpkin validated her new handle by chewing up the decorations.

African Lion Dogs

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SQUEAKY LEE FRIEDMAN CLISH

SQUEAKY LEE FRIEDMAN CLISH

1997 to September 24, 2008

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So you think cats can’t talk?

Bob Clish was never a cat person. He always had dogs. So when Rhonda Friedman Clish suggested they adopt a cat, her husband was cool to the idea. That was over 10 years ago, before Squeaky Lee entered the couple’s lives and radically changed Bob’s feeling for felines. Forever. So you think cats can’t talk, giggle, sing, perform, laugh at your jokes, play hide-and-seek, contemplate the universe? You never met Squeaky.

rrhonda-new.jpgNow that she’s gone, the anguish of her absence affects both Clishes to an extent once unimaginable to them. Rhonda, especially, has trouble talking about her remarkable companion, who passed away last September, a subject that almost always sparks tears. “I probably sound like a crazy cat lady,” Rhonda said from her home in Pittsburgh, PA. “But she was really special to both of us.”

Will there ever be another Squeaky Lee? Probably not. Despite the absolute joy she brought the couple, they are not sure they could endure another loss. “Everyone says we should get another cat,” Rhonda said, “but as happy as she made us, we can’t go through the pain again.”

Squeaky had a special language

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LIBBY

LIBBY

December 10, 2008

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A match made in heaven

Libby, treasured Keeshond of Debbie Lewandowski of Mission Viejo, passed away shortly before Christmas. She was believed to be about 12.  Adopted in February 2001 from a shelter that caters only to Keeshonds (a lively, intelligent breed recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930), Libby (shown above with a certain friend) was named by shelter caregivers who felt they had “liberated” her from bleak circumstances. “I didn’t have the heart to change the name,” Debbie said.

The other love of her life

couple.jpgFor Debbie Hawkins (her last name at the time), it was a match made in heaven – in more ways than one. Libby was that rare Keeshond (pronounced “Kayz-hund”) able to bring pint-sized Debbie together with theother love of her life, Mark Lewandowski. The two met when Debbie was out for a walk with her eye-catching, gray-and-tan canine cohort. No one quite remembers if it was the lion’s ruff around Libby’s neck, the richly plumed tail that curled over her back, or the pink rhinestone collar and black leash decorated with doggie bones that grabbed Mark’s attention, not to mention everything about Debbie. Regardless, a new love story was born, two people meeting “cute” over a dog within a Mission Viejo condo community in the fall of 2003. Granted, Mark got to feeling like “an ambulance chaser,” hunting Debbie down until she agreed to marry him two years later.

Not exactly your ideal guard dog

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