1936 to 2020

Built his own insurance agency

Jim and Karen

James Alonzo Swick—an ardent athlete who built his own successful health insurance agency—passed away from complications of pneumonia and cardiac arrest, on April 16, 2020, at West Hills Hospital, in West Hills, CA. He was 83.

In the early 1980’s, Jim made a major bet on himself and ventured out on his own to start California Health Insurance. It continued to prosper and grow for 25 years. All that paled alongside his love for his wife of 47 years, Karen, whom he called his best friend.

The first of four children, James Alonzo was born September 10, 1936, to Ronald Swick and Jennifer (Donop) Swick, in Wilson, NY. Growing up, young Jim kept busy on his grandfather Alonzo Swick’s orchard that bordered Lake Ontario. They grew apples, cherries and peaches and sold them at the Buffalo Market.

Excelled at academics and sports

President of his 1954 graduating class at Wilson Central High School, Jim excelled at academics and sports, including football, basketball, baseball, tennis and track. He attended Niagara University before joining the Air Force. Stationed at Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, TX, he became a middle-weight boxer and served honorably for four years. Continue reading “JAMES ALONZO SWICK”



1937 to 2021

Upbeat and bigger than life

Robert John Kaminsky—a man whose passionate drive to succeed in the auto industry was driven as much by early sibling rivalry as it was to provide the finest money could buy for his wife and children—passed away at Scripps Memorial Hospital, in La Jolla, CA, on July 11, 2021, his family at his side. He was 83.

In his younger days, Robert, or Bob as he was called, drew people like a magnet. His upbeat, bigger-than-life personality proved an invaluable trait for a man who began as a car salesman and progressed to managing multiple dealerships, eventually purchasing one of his own: Toyota of El Cajon. Under Bob’s stewardship, Kaminsky Toyota of El Cajon went on to accumulate numerous accolades and awards.

One of five children, Bob was born September 26, 1937, in Bridgeport, CT, to Stella Rose Kaminsky and Watson Walter Kaminsky, a Regional Sales Manager for Dupont. Raised a devout Roman Catholic, he attended St Peter’s Grade School, Kirkwood, MO, and St. Monica’s Catholic High School in Santa Monica, CA.

Left to his own resources

Continue reading “ROBERT JOHN KAMINSKY”



1930 to 2021

Pride in her Puerto Rican heritage

Dolores Mendez—a lively, eloquent woman whose immense pride in her Puerto Rican heritage was exceeded only by maternal instincts that led her to care for countless foster children as lovingly as she cared for her own—passed away of natural causes at her son Gary’s home in Castro Valley, CA, on Saturday, June 19th, her family members rushing to her side. She was 90.

Her husband and friends called her Loli, mainly because she thought the customary nickname for Dolores, Lola, sounded like “a fat old lady”, which she was not. She adored the Italian operatic pop trio Il Volo and Johnny Cash. She watched the Price Is Right every morning, spent her afternoons with Meredith Viera playing 25 Words or Less, and Bob Hearts Abishola was her favorite sitcom. She looked forward to her 3rd Sunday of the month meetings at the PRUMA (Puerto Rican Union of Mutual Aid) club, a staple in her life since the 1970s. When the pandemic lockdown prevented her from gathering with friends at the club, she was devastated.

The third time was the charm

Continue reading “DOLORES MENDEZ”



“My Champion and my Cheerleader”

Samuel Ezekiel Martin—a devoted husband and father who left his children a legacy of resilience, optimism, and limitless self-worth—passed away at home in Stone Mountain, GA, on February 15, 2021, his family at his side. He was 82.

Shawn Martin (shown at left with her dad in 2019), may have expressed best what her father meant to all four children:

“For me, he was my Champion and my Cheerleader,” Shawn said. “He believed there was nothing I couldn’t do, and he always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. He taught me how to dream and dream big. He also gave me an appreciation for the finer things in life.”

The youngest of three children, Samuel was born April 26, 1938, to Maude and Joseph Martin, in Content, Adelphi, Jamaica. Although the Martin marriage didn’t last, Maude later wed Norman Plummer.

He loved to dance

Continue reading “SAMUEL EZEKIEL MARTIN”



1932 to 2021

Full of life and full of years

Mattie Frances Miller Baker was full of life and full of years when she ascended to eternal life at age 89, on Friday, June 25th in Elizabethtown, KY. She passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by the love and prayers of her three adored “girls”, Debbie Baker, Sherry Berry, and Barbara Ann Jeter.

Mattie loved to play her guitar and sing the old hymns. Most everyday of her life—even on her worst days—she found time to laugh and serenade her family on the piano or violin. Even though Mattie loved school and did well, circumstances did not allow her to attend high school. Nevertheless, she taught herself and thought for herself. An avid reader, she kept abreast of world events and was respected for her intelligence and thoughtfulness.  A realist, she was ultimately a positive person with great hope in the future.

Grew up rich during the Great Depression


Page 3 of 22
1 2 3 4 5 22