November 25, 1961 to May 27, 2017

Indefatigable High Spirits

George Edwin Nelson, known as “Jay” to most, was legendary for his practical jokes, love of family, athletic ability and willingness to try new things. That he had the nerve to depart the earth—deprive the world of his indefatigable high spirits—on Saturday, May 27th, in Richmond, Virginia, stunned everyone who had ever come across his merry path.

Jay and Debbie and The Boys

In the prime of his life when he unwillingly succumbed to cancer, Jay was just 55.

Whenever people think of Jay Nelson, they recall some prank or antic he played and start smiling and shaking their heads. He loved kids because he was a big kid himself. When it came to his three sons, Brandon, Adam, and Kyle, there was no game, competitive sport, or rough-and-tumble activity Jay wouldn’t throw himself into as if he were twelve.

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January 26 1927 to May 24, 2017

Paulita Lew—an elegant, gracious woman who always put people first, whether family, friends, or customers at her landmark Four Seasons Cleaners—passed away at her Silverlake, CA home, on Wednesday, May 24th.

She was ninety years old.

What can you say about a beauty like Paulita? That she married her one true love, Edmund Tue Lew, after knowing him a week? That she had a keen eye for real estate? That she saw to it all five of her children were taken care of and had comfortable lives? That she adored Frank Sinatra and eating out at Lawry’s, Beverly Hills?

And so much more.

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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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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 and Barbara in their spectacular back yard in Texas


 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

Continue reading “CHARLES ALBERT PARKER, SR.”

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