Gone But Not Forgotten

Renny Thomas

February 15, 1938 – July 19, 2020. Renny passed after battling COVID-19. Renny was adopted as an infant by a loving mother and father, Hazel and Lauree Thomas in Burbank, CA. He graduated from CA State University in Fresno and was a veteran reserve officer in the US Army. Renny owned and operated companies Cal/Group Inc., Dentafits and RxReins in CA where he lived all his life. Renny served as a director on the board for Vineyard National Bank. He was a highly active volunteer for Rancho Mirage Citizens on Patrol (COPS) and the BNP Parabis Open Tennis Tournament in Indian Wells and was a member of Southwest Community Church.

Renny was an amazing husband and father. He is survived by his wife Marlene, daughter Kaden Ferretti (John), daughter-in-law Heather Thomas (Renny Thomas II), grandson Renny Thomas III, granddaughters Heather Ferretti and Jessica Thomas, great grandchildren Kinzie, Jacie, Alexis and Andrew and his “adopted” daughter Crystal Williams. He is preceded in death by sons Renny Thomas II and Kirk and Keith Thomas.

Renny’s personality was larger than life. He was kind, generous and had a glorious sense of humor. He made everyone laugh. He and Marlene loved to travel in their RV and all over the world. Some of Renny and Marlene’s favorite hobbies were travelling to jazz festivals and attending wine tastings and parties. They made many lifelong friends during their travels.

Angelo Dellagatta

Angelo A. Dellagatta, 87, was born April 17, 1933, in Manhattan, NY passed away Tuesday, May 12, 2020. A resident of Palm Desert, CA, wrote a syndicated column for the Desert Sun, Mr. Trivia of Hollywood by Steve Dellagatta. He worked for the local United States Post Office and was a real estate investor.

Victoriano Reyes

Victoriano Reyes (Chato), 82, died July 12, 2020, with his family by his side in Palm Springs, California. He was born in Section 14 in Palm Springs and graduated from Palm Springs High School in 1956. He attended San Bernardino Valley College and served in the military from 1961-1964. He worked for the Rancho Mirage Water Agency and Properties and then the Desert Water Agency until he retired as a Supervisor for Customer Service in 2000.

James Mead

James Wilson Mead, age 89, passed away peacefully on July 15, 2020, with his oldest son, Chris, and grandson, Cooper, at his side at his son’s home in Orinda, CA. The son of the late Harris Delroy and Eleanor (Freling) Mead, Jim was born December 15, 1930 in Westfield, NY. He graduated from Westfield Academy and Central School in 1948, and received a bachelor’s degree in Management Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY, in 1952, where he was a member of the Theta Chi fraternity and a Navy ROTC midshipman. He married his high school sweetheart, Jane Thompson, in Westfield’s First Presbyterian Church on November 22, 1952. Jim was an Ensign serving in the United States Naval Reserve at the time, and Jane was a senior at Cornell University. They had been married 67 years at the time of her death on February 6, 2020.

Douglas Byland

Douglas F. Byland, proud Vietnam veteran, passed away on July 27, 2020. Born in Michigan, in 1942 to Thomas and Ethel Byland. Living in Illinois for many years, they moved to California where Doug finished his education and then joined the Army. Never married, he was a loving brother and uncle to a grateful family. Leaving the military, he worked for the Kirby Co. and then for many years as a custodian for the Rialto Unified School District He loved camping and vacations in Hawaii, bragging that he had been there 13 times. His love for his family will be remembered always, he is survived by his sister, Joyce McKinney, nieces, Lori Scott, Debbie McKinney, and nephew, James McKinney, 5 great nieces and nephews, 12 great-great nieces and nephews. We will miss you so much.

William Gill

William Hayes Gill (“Buzz”) passed away on July 17, 2020. Buzz was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on June 21,1944. Buzz and his family moved to California in 1954. He attended St. Paul High School (Santa Fe Springs, CA) where he was an All-Angelus League quarterback for the football team, and was inducted into the St. Paul High School Hall of Fame in 2013. He attended the University of Idaho on a football scholarship and later attended and graduated from Whittier College. Following college, Buzz served in the United States Army for three years. Buzz began his long and successful career as a PGA Golf Professional in Oklahoma City, OK in 1970. His long career was mostly with Landmark Golf, beginning in Oklahoma and eventually in the Coachella Valley starting in 1987. Buzz dedicated many years as a volunteer coach for the Palm Desert High School basketball team where he was a great mentor for many young men. Buzz was a devoted Catholic and recently became a practicing minister. He conducted many weddings and funeral services for friends and loved ones. He also provided worship services for several retirement homes in the valley. Buzz lived life to the fullest and would always light up the room with his laughter and kindness. Buzz loved nothing more than spending time with his family, the Fighting Irish, Boston Celtics, and a great steak topped off with a martini. Buzz is preceded in death by his parents, William H. Gill and Mary O’Malia Gill, and his sister Christine Gill Lotts. Buzz was survived by his beautiful wife of 52 years, Yvonne Gill (Jimenez), and his four children and their families: Nikki Gatch (husband Don, and children Jamie & Andrew, and granddogs Blue & Sparky); Amy Clause (husband Scott & son Jake, and granddogs Belle & Lulu); Amanda Errecart ( husband Keith and children Maya, Malia & Koa, and granddogs Bacon & Kona); son Joe Gill (fiancé Buffy Montez Paveloff and children Victoria, Jacob, & Olivia, and granddog Fozzy).

Louis Bernardy

Louis (Timothy) Bernardy April 2, 1933 – July 20, 2020 Age 87, passed away peacefully on July 20, 2020 at his home in Corona, CA with family at his side. Louis was born on April 2, 1933 in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota to Louis F. Bernardy and Winifred (Egan) Bernardy. Growing up in Detroit Lakes, and then Fargo, North Dakota, Timothy displayed athletic prowess in football, basketball and track, and his sports interests carried on with his undying support for Notre Dame University football and Gonzaga University basketball. Louis enlisted in the Navy in 1952 and finished corpsman school in 1954 before his discharge in 1955. He met the love of his life, Shirley Smerber, in 1955 in Corona, CA, and they married in April of 1957. Tim and Shirley had six children, 25 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren. Tim worked for many years as a western regional manager for B.F. Goodrich until a serious accident forced his early retirement in 1979. Timothy was a well-known, active, dedicated speaker for Alcoholics Anonymous, traveling across the country, helping many men and women who sought peace in their recovery from substance addiction, and he dedicated his efforts to several Southern California recovery facilities. He was most proud of his focus on helping people achieve spiritual peace. He was well known to offer people several of his prayers that he composed to help comfort them with their struggles. Tim and Shirley were lifelong, devoted Catholics and were committed to promotion of the traditional Latin Mass in the Riverside area. They were also supportive, active parishioners at Corpus Christi Church in Corona, CA. Timothy is survived by his twin sister, Winifred (Bernardy) Savageau; sister Mary (Bernardy) Crary; wife, Shirley (Smerber); children: daughter Tina (Greg) Wuetcher; sons Tim Bernardy, Greg (Carol Okray) Bernardy, Mark (Steffanie) Bernardy, Bruce (Janica) Bernardy, Shaun (Diana Giudice) Bernardy; and all his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sister, Kaye (Bernardy) Edwards; brothers Tom Bernardy, Jack Bernardy; and parents Winifred (Egan) Bernardy and Louis F. Bernardy. 

Nicholas Brinsky

Nicholas Brinsky passed away on July 25, 2020 as a result of complications from dementia and Covid 19. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on May 3, 1946. He attended Saint Anthony’s High School in Los Angeles, CA. Following graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force and served in the Philippines during the Vietnam War era. He was honorably discharged and attended Cal State Long Beach and graduated with a degree in Sociology. He began his long career with the Federal government as a postal carrier. He later became an agent for the IRS and finished his career as a Special Agent for the Department of Defense. He is survived by sons Justin and Nicholas Brinsky, sisters Martha Rode and Anna Marie Swack, niece Dee Dee Brown and family, and cousins Ian, Erin, Lauren and Amy. Nick was a past Post Commander at American Legion Post 79 in Riverside. One of his favorite pastimes was to sit at the end of the bar with his Kessler and 7 and listen to the big band songs that were still on the jukebox. He was an outstanding athlete excelling in both baseball and basketball. His true passion, however, was golf. He had a new swing every month and even though he never mastered the game, he loved it most of all for the camaraderie and sportsmanship. He was an individual of integrity, generosity and honesty who cared deeply for his Country and fellow man. He was most of all known for his wonderful sense of humor. He always had a joke or quip handy for friends and strangers alike. Whether the joke was good or bad, there was always a good laugh and it was usually his. He will be forever missed. We want to thank Diana and her staff at Huntington Terrace for the wonderful care, dignity and support that Nick received.

John Jones

John W. Jones (Jack) went home to be with the Lord on July 15 at the age of 88. He died peacefully surrounded by his loving family. Jack was the son of Guy and Mildred Jones of Fairfield, Iowa. Jack grew up in Fairfield, joined the Seabees (U.S. Navy) and served four years in Newfoundland and Cuba. He married the love of his life Peg Hininger in 1952 and they were married for 67 years. Jack graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in journalism. After graduation, he moved his family to California in 1958. He worked at the Merced Sun-Star, Bakersfield Californian and The Press Enterprise until his retirement. Jack’s passion was fishing, caring for the less fortunate and tutoring non-English adults. He loved attending his grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s baseball games, concerts and other activities. In later years, his activities included Bible studies, a movie group and church. Jack was deeply devoted to his Christian faith and greeted all whether friend or stranger with “Happy and blessed” and “Joy to you.” Jack is survived by his loving wife Peg; two children, Jeff Jones and wife Betty, and Cindy Grande and husband Tom; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; sister Mary Leech; and a College-Career Group. 

Joseph Lang

Longtime Hemet resident Joseph Wilson “Joe” Lang passed from this earthly life at the age of 103, on Sunday, July 19, 2020. Born to Joseph J. Lang and Inez (Wilson) Lang, on February 12 1917, in St. Louis, Missouri, he lived his early years in Summitville, Indiana. Coming to California in 1928, he then grew up in Santa Monica. He was often fond of recounting that, in Santa Monica, he could take a swim in the ocean before attending classes at Santa Monica High. A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1941. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, he was transferred to the Air Corps. While in flight training at Thunderbird Field in Phoenix, Arizona, he met the love of his life, Nellie Lassey. They were married November 8, 1942, and lived a long and happy life together until her passing in June, 2009. They were indeed the best of companions. During World War II, service in the Air Corps took him to India, Burma and China. He took great pride in those years. In his later years, his “World War II Vet” cap always brought “Thanks” from those he met, and the exchange of stories related to their military service. To the end, he continued to maintain contact with those fellow vets who had served in the CBI theater. After the War, he continued in the Air Force Reserve, being “called up” during the Korean War, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1977. After the War, he spent his career with Aetna Insurance Company in Los Angeles as an underwriter in their Casualty Department, setting the rates for some of Aetna’s largest commercial clients. He retired from Aetna in 1980. In 1949, Joe and Nellie bought a house in Temple City, where they lived with their family until moving to Hemet in 1980. The Methodist Church was always the center of their life, both in Temple City and also in Hemet. Both Joe and Nellie held leadership roles in both churches too numerous to mention. In 1999, the Hemet United Methodist Church named them “Couple of the Year.” In their later years, Joe and Nellie enjoyed much traveling. They bought a Lazy Daze motor home in 1973 and spent 20 years traveling about the U.S., Canada and Mexicodriving up and back to Alaska twice. In New Zealand, they rented an RV and toured the country. They were in Norway when 9/11 struckand had another adventure getting back home. They enjoyed life together. And playing cards together in the evening after the dinner chores had been done. And Kiwanis. Don’t forget Kiwanis. Joe was a past president of the Hemet Club and over the years had received numerous awards and recognition, including the Legion of Honor. Joe is survived by his children Richard Lang, JoNell Hjelsand and Bonnie Beland; grandchildren, Christine Lang, Angela Sweet and Lauren Beland; and great-grandchildren, Andrew Sweet and Eva Sweet. He had been preceded in death by his youngest son, Jim. One can only recount here a brief fraction of the roads that Joe traveled during his long and eventful lifea life bracketed by the flu pandemic of 1918 and the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. But those that knew him have their memories. 

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