Author Archive

Gone But Not Forgotten

Eugene Blanck

Colonel Eugene (Gene) L. USAF retired Blanck Thoroughly enjoyed 99 years of life (9 was his favorite number) until November 10, 2020 when his heart would no longer sustain his blood pressure at the very busy (at the time) Loma Linda University Medical Center cardiac ICU. Due to covid-19 restrictions at the Riverside National Cemetery (22495 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside, CA), Gene’s internment (and reunification with his wife, Frances) was delayed until August 2. 2021, at 2:15pm sharp (the day after what would have been his 100th birthday) since attendee number limitations were lifted. The service will include full military honors and a Masonic ceremony. Gene was born in Baltimore, Md to Austrian and German immigrants sent to America at ages 11 and 9 to escape NAZI fascist tyranny prior to WWI. The family regularly played music and sang together. His twin sister was stillborn and he had an older brother Max, who he fought back to back with in neighborhood brawls. He started working at age 9 due to the Great Depression and the disabling injuries his father received fighting Germany in WWI. In 1942, Gene graduated University of Baltimore Law school with Spiro Agnew and Donald Schaffer (Maryland Governor and Baltimore Mayor) and was promptly drafted as a Buck Private in the U.S. Army Air Corp. After lining up 4 times to board troop ships headed to Europe, the military bureaucracy discovered his law degree and pulled him out of line. Gene served as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) for 32 years including the creation of the U.S. Air Force until 1974 through WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Much of his WWII assignment was in Alabama where Fran was his secretary until they married in 1946. Next duty station was Clark Air Base, Philippines where they strapped a 45 on his belt for Japanese combatants still in caves, ignorant the war ended. Gene was stationed in Minneapolis, MN and traveled through snow to Distant Early Warning (DEW) radar and missile sites constructed for the Soviet Union Cold War. His only son (Lou) was born there. Then Fran and Lou returned to her home in Alabama while Gene was stationed at scenic secret bomber base Thule, Greenland while the Sputnik launch came over. Gene thawed at the next duty station in Orlando, FL just in time for the Cuban missile crisis. Then Gene worked for General Curtis LeMay at Westover bomber base in Massachusetts when JFK was assassinated. His next assignment was the Air Force Top Gun judge at Tyndall Air Base, Panama City, Fl. Subsequently, as Judge to Space Force predecessor, Gene was stationed at Vandenberg Space Base. Next job was judge at Wheelus Air Base in Tripoli, Libya, just in time for Quadaffi to take control with Soviet assistance. Finally Gene returned to Redlands, CA, USA to be the Air Force Inspector General Legal Advisor starting the first Freedom Of Information exemption (decided by the Supreme Court) for aircraft accident reports. He is known in the service for the cigars he chewed, but rarely smoked. Gene enjoyed retirement with some tennis, lots of golf and more TV. He cherished fellowship with his Masonic, Blue Lodge, Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shriners, Sojourners and MOWW brothers carrying on with a tradition he started when stationed in the Philippines.

Alvin Guthmiller

March 21, 1926 – July 17, 2021 Alvin W. Guthmiller, of San Bernardino, California, passed away on July 17, 2021 at the age of 95 in Redlands, California with family by his side. Alvin, or "Al", as he was known to his family and friends, was born on March 21, 1926 to William and Melbourne Guthmiller in San Bernardino, CA. Al grew up in Colton, California and served in the United States Navy during World War II. After his military service he met the love of his life Zoe E. Trotter and they were married on November 9, 1956 and settled in San Bernardino, CA. Together Al and Zoe raised two sons, Allan and David. For many years Al worked as a Field Service Technician for Addressograph Multigraph Corporation until his retirement in 1987. He then went to work for the County of San Bernardino as a Printing Press Operator in the Print Shop until 1996. Al is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Zoe E. Guthmiller, son’s Allan (Shannon) of Henderson, Nevada, and David (Michelle) of San Bernardino, California.

John Hernandez

July 16, 1946 – July 6, 2021 John Hernandez, 74, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 in Victorville, California from Liver Disease. He was born in Fort Stockton, Texas on July 16, 1946 to parents Conrado and Lucille Hernandez. John joins his wife in Heaven, Gradie Lee, of nearly 48 years of marriage, who passed away March 30, 2018. He leaves his daughter Andrea Isaac and her husband Jason, son Johnathan Hernandez, granddaughters Arianna and Jennya Isaac, and June Hernandez. He is also survived by his mother-in-law and family, Gradie Gribble, Danny Bond, Linda Gonzales, John Bond, and Kathy Stanley. John and Gradie met in 1968 at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) on a blind date. They married in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on June 4, 1970 at St. Rose of Lima. They were blessed with two children. Andrea was born August 1, 1975, and Johnathan on December 14, 1976. They have three wonderful granddaughters, ages 21, 18, and 15 years old. John joined the United States Air Force on August 4, 1965 as an aircraft Electronic Repairman for the C-7A Caribou at Sewart AFB in Smyrna, TN. He was honorably discharged on August 3, 1971 as an E-4 Sergeant. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Sociology from MTSU in 1974 and a Clear Teaching Credential from California Baptist University (CBU), Riverside in 1985. He also completed his Master of Science in Educational Administration from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) in 2005. John was honored to have over 30 years of teaching experience, including advocate schools/special needs, and English language learners. He retired from Norte Vista High School in Riverside, CA with teaching nearly 25 years of Special Education. He kept busy by spending time with family and friends, traveling with his wife, and visiting family across the United States. He enjoyed going to the Old Time Religion Church in Riverside with his wife. John was an avid reader, loved fishing, and appreciated his music. He was also a member of the California Retired Teachers Association (CalRTA), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), American Legion, and Knights of Columbus (KOC).

Phillip Martinez

Phillip Silvano Martinez (July 19, 1945 – June 27, 2021), age 75, of Corona, California, died Sunday night, surrounded by his close family and friends at his beloved home. Phillip is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Bonnie Martinez; along with six children: Andre Estrada, Stacey Marks, Tamara Martinez, Brandon Martinez, Jennifer Martinez, and Madison Martinez; son-in-law Michael Marks; fifteen grandchildren, Jordan Martinez, Jasmine Martinez, Nick Marks, Makaya Martinez, Jordan Estrada, Jake Estrada, Jaxon Marks, Little Phillip Martinez, Brianna Martinez, Emma Martinez, Logan Marks, Hayden Martinez, Victoria Marks, Sydnee Martinez, Parker Martinez; sisters Sarah Sandoval and Cookie Aguliar; future family members, Trisha, Kayleigh and Israel; his loving dog Chewy, and many loving nieces, nephews, and relatives. Phillip enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He loved to play golf, with a handicap of 6. He was the rock of the family. Phillip served in the U.S. military, Army, and was a Vietnam hero, our hero, until we meet again. Love you honey, dad and papa.

Robert Morales

Robert Morales (July 4, 1943 – June 13, 2021), was born in San Bernardino, CA, and passed away in Yucaipa, CA. Long time resident of Colton and was a Vietnam Veteran with the Army’s 101st Airborn Division. He is survived by his son Robert Morales, daughter RosaLinda Gomez, husband David and his son Michael Morales. He leaves behind many friends and family.

Gary LaTourette

Gary Joseph LaTourette (May 21, 1941 – June 26, 2021 ), also known as "Doc", passed away on June 26, 2021 at the age of 80, after fighting pancreatic cancer. He was born in Pasadena, CA. He graduated from Redlands High School, UC Berkeley, and Albany Medical School. He completed his Orthopedic Residency at USC, and practiced medicine in both CA & NV. Gary was a flight surgeon and a Colonel in the Air Force. He received many honors and awards for his missionary work and his service in the Air Force. He enjoyed missionary work, gardening, playing the piano, and reading. Gary was married for 57 year to Margaret (Peggy). They have 4 children, Eileen Didier (Dean), Theresa LaTourette, Gary LaTourette (Robin) and Dennis LaTourette (Janet). He has 8 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

Clarence Kirchoff

Kit (08/15/1930 – 06/18/2021) was born in Milwaukee, WI on August 15, 1930 to Clarence and Mildred Kirchoff. He attended St. Michael’s Catholic School, Peckham Jr. High, and Washington High. Kit enlisted in the Air Force in 1947, completing Basic Training at Lackland. After tours in South Ruislip, England, March AFB in CA, Galena in Alaska, Ellsworth in South Dakota, and Kadena in Okinawa, Japan, he returned to March AFB for retirement as a Chief Master Sergeant (Security Police Superintendent) in 1969. Throughout his long military career, he was instrumental in rewriting the Air Force Security Manual and in creating new security policies and procedures for the newly established Aircraft Alert Area. While at Kadena he completed a BA from University of Maryland in Tokyo. After retirement from the Air Force, he began work as a Deputy Probation Officer for the Riverside County Probation Department. Starting as an Adult Court Investigator, he advanced to Supervision of the Family Support Unit, Asst. Director of Administrative Services, Asst. Director of Riverside Juvenile Hall, Director of Administrative Services, Director of Riverside Juvenile Hall, and Chief Deputy of all Field Service Divisions. He retired in 1995 as Asst. Chief Probation Officer. During his Probation Officer career, he found time to complete an MA in Correctional Counseling and an MA in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling (MFCC). He also pursued postgraduate work toward his Doctorate in Human Behavior at United States International University. Kit was a Eucharistic Minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, and a Life Member and Past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Council 4793. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers James of Saxton, PA, and William of Milwaukee, WI, and his sisters Sharon and Clarice of Milwaukee, WI. He is survived by his lifelong love, his wife of 72 years, Patricia (Klees); daughters Kristine Borcuk (Steve), Robin Sinkhorn (Dr. Paul), Nancy Orozco (Al); sons Michael, Timothy (Donna), and Jon, all of Riverside. Kit was blessed with 18 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. He was truly a man of integrity and honor and the absolute best husband and father a family could ever ask for.

Richard Sapien

Richard Francis "Rick" Sapien was born on December 22, 1946 in Hollywood, CA, and passed away on May 1, 2021. He was preceded in death by his parents Ramon Sapien and Dorothy Beutenmiller. Six years later his brother Greg was born and completed their family. Brought up in Canoga Park, Rick and Greg had happy childhoods. Rich was in Little League baseball, Popwarner football and continued through high school. The family was active in the catholic church, the boys attended catholic school and Rich was an alter boy. After graduating, attending 2 years at Pierce College and working at Litton Enterprises, Rick joined the United States Marine Corps. He was in combat for 13 months in Vietnam, Khe Sahn, and other areas in Vietnam. He enlisted in 1965 and was discharged in 1969. On Friday, the 13th of June 1969 he met the love of his life, Linda, on a blind date in Hermosa Beach arranged by a mutual friend. They married on April 24, 1970 and shared 51 years together raising two children, Brigette and Brian. The couple were active life members of the VFW (Post 10267), The American Legion (Post 500) and Vietnam Veterans of America (Chapter 47). Rich spent 20 years as a structural ironworker, Local 433 and after retiring worked as head custodian for Jurupa Unified School District until retirement. Rick and Linda became "Papa" and "Grammy" to 4 grandchildren: Brigette’s 2 daughters, Summer and Marisa Staley and Brian’s 2 sons, Brody and Kaleb Sapien. The family continues to grow with great grandsons Collin and Craig Bacha and great granddaughter Lilly Staley. On the way is Waylon Blevins, expected arrival in September. Rick is survived by immediate family listed as well as his brother Greg and sister-in-law Lorri of Idaho, sisters-in-law Debra Howell (Greg) in Maryland and Joelle Winner of Running Springs as well as nephews and a niece.

Harry Cadwell

Harry Brown Cadwell Apple Valley – Harry Brown Cadwell left this life on July 3, 2021. He was born November 29, 1924 in Pueblo, Colorado to Harry and Dorothy Cadwell. He served in the Air Force for 26 years, then taught for 14 years at Apple Valley High School. After retirement, he spent his time loving his family and adoring every new baby that was born. He was the rock of his family and an inspiration to everybody who knew him. Harry was predeceased by his beloved wife of 60 years, Barbara, and his sister Dorothy. He is survived by his three daughters: Michelle Smith, Jeannine Abbott, and Allyce (Salvador) Castillo, five grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. He will continue to be a shining light of accomplishment, determination and love to his family, and will live in their hearts forever.

Edward Smith

Edward Raymond Smith of Cathedral City, CA and formerly of Erie, PA died June 23, 2021 at his home. Edward was the son of Gordon C. Smith and Marie D. Smith and was born February 23, 1953. Ed graduated from Technical Memorial HS and enlisted in the US Navy where he served on the USS NEWPORT NEWS. He took the vows of Brotherhood in the Congregation Sancta Cruxia and served as a Brother for 2 years. Ed earned his nursing degree at University of Bridgeport, CT and worked as an ICU and Cardiac Care nurse in New Haven, CT and San Francisco, CA. He also earned his Masters Degree in Spirituality at Holy Names University, Oakland, CA. Edward was preceded in death by his parents. Ed is survived by his 5 brothers and sisters; Charles Smith (Sylvia), Eleanor Walker, Elaine Smith, Margaret Williams (John Welsbacher) and William Smith (Cassandra), all of the Erie, PA area. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. Ed had many friends across the country.

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