MARILYN ANN ROSENTHAL

MARILYN ANN ROSENTHAL

January 5, 1928 to December 23, 2018

Full of grace and kindness

A genuine dynamo!

Studious, passionate, full of grace and kindness, Marilyn Ann Rosenthal—a devoted  mom and enthusiastic teacher who fostered her students’ character as well as their intellect—passed away of natural causes in Colorado Springs, CO, on December 23, 2018, her children at her side. She was 90-years old.

Marilyn’s temperament was the quality that differentiated her from most. A quote by John Wesley, an 18th Century English cleric, exemplifies her life: “Do all the good that you can, by all of the means that you can, in all of the places that you can, at all of the times that you can as long as ever you can.”

Marilyn’s parents, Glenn and Esther Fithian

Few knew what a skilled musician she was, how superbly she played the piano—except, that is, for the pet parakeet that sat on her shoulder, an image her family treasures.

Raised with strong mid-western values

One of five children of Glenn Fithian Sr, a farmer, and Esther (Skavdahl) Fithian, a teacher, Marilyn was born on January 5, 1928, in North Platte, Nebraska. Raised with strong mid-western values in a loving, rambunctious family that included two brothers and two sisters, she sensed her calling early and moved to Fort Collins, CO, where she entered Colorado State University (CSU), graduating, in 1947, with honors and a BA in Sociology and Education.

At 5-feet-5, Marilyn had beautiful, soft brown hair and smiling blue eyes. Gregarious and full of fun, she was never without a smile on her face. One can easily imagine her as a Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority girl sought after by all the boys.

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BENNIE CARTER JR.

BENNIE CARTER JR.

February 13, 1940 to January 26, 2019

A born teacher

Bennie Carter, Jr—a man whose life revolved around teaching and family—passed away of congestive heart failure at Loyola Hospital, in Maywood, IL,  on Tuesday, January 26, his beloved wife of 46 years, Josie, daughter Ericka, and grandson Xavier by his side. He was seventy-eight.

A resident of Forest Park, IL, Bennie had a passion for teaching, sports, and fundraising for his alma mater, West Virginia State University. A member of the Chicago Board of Education for 34 years, he taught high-school biology, his profession until he retired in 2005. He also taught classes to inmates at Cook County Jail for ten years.

A love of learning

Bennie’s love of learning was instilled in his only child, Ericka, who says her dad “believed in education and encouraged me to get my degrees. He supported me in whatever I did.”

One of three sons, Bennie was born February 13, 1940, in St. Petersburg, FL, to Bennie Carter Sr. and Alice Griffin Carter. He and his brothers, Clarence and Ronald, grew up in a loving, rambunctious family in the town where Bennie came into the world. He later said that St. Petersburg was “the best city ever.”

After graduating from Gibbs High School, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and West Virginia State University, in Charleston, going on to earn a “Master’s in Education plus 40 hours,” as he liked to brag, from Governors State University in Chicago.

After joining the U.S. Army, he spent two years as a special intelligence officer, including one year in Frankfurt, Germany. Bennie married the girl of his dreams, Josie, on April 26, 1973.

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CHARLES JOSEPH DAVIS

CHARLES JOSEPH DAVIS

October 9, 1942 to October 17, 2018

He sensed his calling

Teacher, youth counselor, and Baptist pastor, Charles Joseph Davis—a deeply religious man who sensed his calling at an early age—succumbed to pancreatic cancer on Wednesday, October 17, at his home in Woodstock, GA, his wife of 51 years, Ellen, at his side. He was 76.

Despite the serious role he assumed in life, Joe—as he preferred to be called—always had a twinkle in his blue eyes and a welcoming grin on his face. He adored people and was most at home ministering to those in need.

Refusing to take himself too seriously, on the other hand, he relished playing practical jokes on his family, friends and students.

A loving home

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CLETUS E. BALLWEG

CLETUS E. BALLWEG

March 18, 1924 to July 5, 2018

Unquenchable faith in others 

Cletus E. Ballweg—a man who possessed a vigorous personality, joyful nature, and an unquenchable faith in others, especially family—died Thursday, July 5, 2018 at Otterbein Nursing Home in St. Marys, Ohio.

He was 94.

According to his grandson, a quote of writer Albert Pike’s perfectly fits his beloved grandfather: “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us: what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

One of six children, including two brothers and three sisters, Cletus was born March 18, 1924, in Shelby County, OH to Edward and Minnie (Townsend) Ballweg. He grew up on a dairy farm during the Great Depression and learned the value of hard work. Cletus would often recall how his father wouldn’t allow him to get a job until his younger brothers came of age and took over his work on the farm.

16 hour work days

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DONALD FRANKLIN STEVENS

DONALD FRANKLIN STEVENS

February 17, 1950 to February 15, 2018

A virtuoso entrepreneur

Donald (right) and his brother James

Donald Franklin Stevens—a virtuoso entrepreneur, passionate Dallas Cowboys fan, and devout Pentecostal Christian—passed away on Thursday, February 15, 2018, at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, CA.

Donald was just two days short of his 68th birthday when he transitioned to everlasting life.

A powerhouse when it came to business, Donald operated the fastest-growing Pepperidge Farms franchise in Southern California, later transitioning into a Food Distributorship, servicing Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties. He was equally known as a big-hearted philanthropist, especially when it came to his eight brothers and sisters.

“Donald helped every sibling who followed him to California,” his brother James Stevens said.  “He never made you feel like you were imposing after inviting you to live with him until you were ready to strike out own your own.”

Shared a four-bedroom “shotgun” house

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