Gone But Not Forgotten

Donald Fillhart

Donald Lee Roy Fillhart died on May 20, 2022, at age 93. He was born September 4, 1928, in Pasadena, California, to Clarence and Elizabeth Fillhart, the fifth of nine children. Don was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Helen, son Eric, and six siblings. He is survived by his son, Greg (Karyn); daughter, Joan Silva (Randy); two grandchildren, Camille and Collin; and brothers, Robert and Stephen. He resided in Upland, California since 1956. After graduating from Pasadena High School, Don served in the Navy during the Korean War on the aircraft carrier USS Valley Forge. Upon his return, he graduated from Pasadena City College. During his 37-year career with Lockheed as an aircraft mechanic, he worked on such exciting projects as the SR71, U2 and C130 gunships. Don had many interests including building a camper and home addition, boating, dancing, traveling, woodworking, square dancing, singing in the church choir, serving the community, reading and puzzling. He was a member of First Lutheran Church, the Roadrunners, Elks Club, Power Squadron and Foresters. He was a charmer with a silly sense of humor. He was always proud of his children and grandchildren. 

Ralph Villani

Dr. Ralph Villani lived a life full of adventure and passion for education. Ralph was born in Pasadena, California on May 31, 1930, and was the fourth child of Michael and Linda Villani. He had three sisters Mae, Renee, and Gloria.

Robert Maher

Robert M. Maher passed away on April 20, 2022. Robert (“Dr Bob”) was born on September 23, 1940 in Los Angeles, California, the youngest of three siblings, to Edward and Katherine Maher. Dr. Bob grew up in Glendale, California and went to high school in Rumson, NJ, before returning to Los Angeles to attend college at LA State, where he studied zoology. He met his first wife Linda at LA State and they had two sons, Kevin and Michael. He was the first person in his family to graduate from college.

Richard Waitschies

Richard “Dick” Waitschies, 88, passed away on May 14, 2022 in San Bernardino, CA. Dick was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and moved to a family farm in Peerless, Montana at age 12. He graduated from Scobey High School in 1951 and then served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. After his honorable discharge he settled in San Bernardino, where he met Shirlene Preston on a blind date. They married in 1959 and raised four children. Dick and Shirlene celebrated 55 years together before her passing in 2O14. Dick worked for Lockheed Propulsion for 18 years and San Bernardino City Schools for 20 years before retiring in 1998. He loved retirement and spent his time tinkering around the ranch in Utah, reading, watching Notre Dame football and spending time with family. Dick is survived by his sister, Betty Hotaling, and his children Diana, Richard (Debby), Michael (Kathy), and Laura (Andy) Wilcox. Also surviving him are his sister-in-law, Joyce (Fred) Dimmitt, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. 

Raymond Whitt

December 15, 1929 – April 30, 2022 It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Raymond “Ray” Whitt, on April 30, 2022. Ray was born on December 15, 1929, in South Boston, Virginia. Ray enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1948. Ray met and married the love of his life, Emily, September 27, 1950 and were married 59 years until Emily passed in 2009. Ray retired from the Air Force in 1968 from March AFB when Ray and Emily decided to make Riverside their permanent home. Ray went to work for Jurupa Unified School District and remained there until his retirement. Ray was preceded in death by his son, Ray Jr., bothers, William and Henry, sisters, Hester, Annie Bob, Elsie, Beadie, and Goldie. Ray is survived by his sister Shirley, children, Pam, Jerry (Sandy) and Ron (Morgan), nine grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. In retirement Ray and Emily could be found at whatever event their grandchildren participated in. Ray was a sports fan and loved the Angels baseball team. He was also a lover of animals, especially dogs. Words cannot express our gratitude for the staff at Pacific Vista Senior Living for the loving care they provided. 

James Hunter

James F. Hunter died Friday morning, March 11. 2022 in hospice care in Alamo, California. Jim was born in Clarksburg, WV, March 5, 1942. In 1952, his family moved west, eventually settling in Santa Monica, CA, where Jim attended school until he graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1960. By that time he had become the Cadet Commanding Officer of the Samohi California Cadet Corps. Although he had been included in a special program to develop more math and science students, Jim’s special aptitude was for languages. Jim joined the U.S. Army in January 1962 and was educated at the Monterey Army Language School in Russian. After he graduated from the Language School, he married Beverly Bird in June, 1963, and together they went to his Army assignment in Germany. Jim was a cryptographer there, and also took part in the Army’s traveling acting troupe to entertain the troops. On his short leaves, he and Beverly visited Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Italy and Austria. Upon his discharge from the Army in December, 1964, he and Beverly worked many jobs while finishing their college degrees. Sometimes Jim was doing 2 or 3 jobs at the same time. During this period of time their daughter Kirsten was born. Jim received his Bachelor of Arts with a major in Russian in June, 1971, from the University of California at Riverside. The following year he earned his teaching credential from the same University, majoring in Russian with a whole host of teaching minors. Thus, when he taught at Vista High School from 1972 to 1978, he was able to teach different subjects because of all those teaching minors, but mostly English. He was chair of the English Department for three years, and also coordinated the Mentally Gifted Minor Program there. In November 1978, Jim embarked on a new career relating to computers. First managing a computer store, then taking positions which required him, for example, to produce displays at computer conventions, or give speeches to different companies’ employees about how to use various equipment. This required much traveling. He lived at times in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio and Indiana, where he was the Publisher for SAMS Technical Publishing company. But then it was back to teaching, this time at John W. North High School in Riverside, CA. Here, he taught mostly English, but also coached Academic Decathlon and Mock Trial, and announced the school football games. He was a valued member of the faculty from 1992 until he retired in 2006, a year earlier than expected. His surgery for an acoustic neuroma had left him with balance problems. There are many students and colleagues who still remember him with admiration and fondness. Jim’s daughter encouraged him to move north to live closer to her family, so he moved to San Jose, CA in June, 2007. There, he tutored private students until his health made that no longer feasible. He moved to Vallejo, CA in September 2011, and later to Antioch, CA, in December 2015. He still lived there when his many health problems finally caught up with him. Jim is survived by his daughter, Kirsten Hunter Jones, her mother Beverly Bird Hunter, Kirsten’s children Victoria and Devon Jones, his two sisters, Gloria (Ralph) Kennedy and Carol (Stephen) Tokay, two nephews and one niece, and their children. Also, thanks to his friend John Dunn, whose assistance helped Jim to be able to live alone in Antioch.

George Burnell, M.D.

George M. Burnell, M.D. passed away peacefully on May 1, 2022. He was 92 years old.

Dr. Burnell was born March 17, 1930, in Lyon, France and grew up there until he immigrated to the United States at the age of 20. He served in the USAF (MC) as a Captain and was a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, NY and the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute in San Francisco, CA.

While living in California, he completed his medical residency at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. His psychiatric work and rotation took place at UC San Francisco. Throughout his career, he served in many capacities as a psychiatrist: Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry, Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii.

Dr. Burnell spent the bulk of his career with Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Clara, CA and Honolulu, HI where he served as Chief of Psychiatry at both locations.

Dr. Burnell had other pursuits – he is the author of many medical articles, fiction and non fiction books, from end-of-life challenges and bereavement to health, diet, and most notably, his riveting memoir of growing up in Nazi-occupied France.

Dr. Burnell loved his family, chess, writing, tennis, cats, and traveling. He is survived by his son David Burnell (Susan), grandson Kevin, granddaughter Katelynn, stepdaughter Robin Anawalt (Art) and stepson, Greg Anawalt. He is preceded in death by his wife, Adrienne Burnell; daughter, Cynthia Burnell; and stepson, Eric Anawalt.

Robert Ocon

Robert “Bob” Anthony Ocon, a proud veteran of the United States Navy, died on May 5, 2022, surrounded by family, from complications associated with Parkinson’s Disease.

The son of Henry and Sophie Ocon, Bob grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He was born November 14, 1940, in Brooklyn and attended St. John’s University for his undergraduate degree, and Purdue University, earning a masters degree in mathematics.

In 1964, Bob received his officers commission and joined the crew of the USS Long Beach, a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser. Bob valued his service and attained the rank of LTJG. He served with honor during the Vietnam War Campaign, where he was awarded the American Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

With device.

Bob’s experience in the U.S. Navy played a very important role in his life. His lessons of self-motivation, discipline and teamwork led to a successful career in computer technology for over 30 years.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, and brother Henry Ocon. He is survived by his wife Lila, children, Jim, Paige, and Leslie. His loved ones will remember Bob’s supportive nature, selflessness and caring personality.

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