January 5, 1938 to September 16, 2020

She was “fierce”

A recent photo of Marylee with her adoring husband, John Chipman.

Marylee Chipman was a breathtaking beauty of passionate values and tremendous heart whose world revolved around family and a few close friends. When it came to Marylee’s singular personality, however, her granddaughter Lexi Chipman described her best with a single word:


“She was fierce in the way she loved her sons,” Lexi said as she read her final letter to her adored grandmother at a moving outdoor ceremony at Forest Lawn on Sept. 25th, “…fierce in the way she protected her granddaughters… fierce all the way down to her fiercely red lipstick.”

Matt Chipman (3rd from left) at daughter Tiffany’s baptism with wife Amy, John & Marylee, John Wesley, and Ashley.

The tribute was organized by Marylee’s son, Matthew Chipman, after his mother passed away peacefully at Aegis Assisted Living in Granada Hills on Wednesday, Sept. 16th.  She was 82.

“We will meet again”

Fortunately, Matt, his wife Amy, and their three daughters, as well as Marylee’s brother, Eric Matthews, and his wife, Judy, were permitted to visit Marylee and express their love two days before she died. Her brother John Caster and wife Karen visited via Zoom.

Continue reading “MARYLEE CHIPMAN”



September 6, 1961 to August 21, 2020

His Silver Wings

Ronald Wayne Culver—a musician, truckdriver, proud father of twins and grandfather of nine—passed away on Friday, August 21st, in Stockton, CA. He was just 58.

Ronnie, as he was called, was as fast with a retort as he was with a smile. His love of Country Western music led him to form his own band, Silver Wings. He loved playing bass guitar with his group at weddings, bars, and special events far into the night. Later in life, when health problems caught up with him, he took to karaoke, hopping from one karaoke establishment to another to sing his heart out.

The second of three children, Ronnie was born on September 6, 1961, in Stockton, to Harold Wayne Culver and Otoma Florence Smith, a housewife. Harold wore many hats: pilot, NASCAR-qualified driver, Sergeant in the Korean War, and owner of HR Transportation, a trucking company. The “H” in HR stood for Harold, the “R” for Ronald, a father and son business. Continue reading “RONALD WAYNE CULVER”



August 2, 1935 to August 15, 2020

She relished life

Alice Benson—a doting mom, excellent cook, and enthusiastic sports fan—passed away from a rare form of liver cancer on Saturday, Aug. 15th, in Goodyear, Arizona, her children at her side.

She was 85.

Frosted brown hair framing a gorgeous face in her younger days (as shown above), Alice relished life and never wasted a precious second. Whether diving into a swimming pool, preparing a gourmet dinner, or playing den mother to her two sons’ Boy Scout troops, she did it with flair and enthusiasm.

The first of five children, Alice was born Aug. 2, 1935 in Albany, New York to Theresa Rock Smythe and Francis Smythe. There followed two sisters Pat and Cathy, and two brothers, Jimmy and Allan.

The Love of her life

Continue reading “ALICE BENSON”



November 18, 1947 to May 13, 2020

A Woman of Faith and Virtue

Reverend Evangelist Mother Annie Evelyn Sampson—a woman who devoted her life to family, serving others, and God—succumbed to pancreatic cancer at home in Georgia on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, her beloved family at her side. She was 72.

Much like her biblical heroes, Annie acquired superlative strength and wisdom when it came to inspiring others. Whether family, friends, or those who knew her as “the fireball preacher”, she could always be heard, encouraging others to “Tell the Lord Thank You!”

Continue reading “ANNIE EVELYN SAMPSON”



January 24, 1938 – January 7, 2017

By Katharine Blossom Lowrie

A U.S. Army Hero

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Even though I wrote this some time ago, I wanted to pay tribute to Frank Foronda, a true hero.]

Frank Martinez Foronda, Sgt. Maj. (Ret.), a passionate spokesman for veterans’ issues and recipient of the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars, died peacefully at home in Little River, South Carolina on January 7, 2017, his adored wife, Ila Jean (“I.J.”) Hurley, by his side.

In an illustrious U.S. Army career that spanned 30 years, Foronda—who will be buried with full military honors at Whiteville Memorial Cemetery in Whiteville, North Carolina—served multiple tours of duty all over the world, including three in Vietnam.

He was awarded the Silver Star for extraordinary bravery in Vietnam when, on March 20th, 1970, he pulled wounded U.S. soldiers to safety after their firebase was overrun with Viet Cong. Foronda and his unit retook the area the next morning.

He rose above racial differences


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