The Memorial Wall · Parkinson's Resource Organization

Memorial Wall

Honoring Those Who Have Gone Before Us

Over the years, we at PRO have consistently been asked to create a special place to honor loved ones who’ve lost their battle with Parkinson’s – a place of remembrance and healing for those who are left behind. Our response is the Memorial Wall.

 

Recent Memorial Wall Additions

Lawrence "Bill" Dennis

Lawrence "Bill" Dennis

January 4, 1942 - September 21, 2022

Lawrence William “Bill” Dennis, aka Captain Jack, took his last flight on September 21, 2022. He died of advanced Parkinson’s Disease, after an illness of eight years.

Bill was born January 4, 1942, during a record-breaking snowstorm. His 80 years were no less exciting. His parents who preceded him in death were Lawrence Emil “Lorney” Dennis and Lucile Jeffers Dennis. Bill graduated from the “old” Dowling High School in 1960 and from Creighton University in 1965 with a degree in radio and TV broadcasting.

The word entrepreneur defined his adult life. After producing and directing television programs for KDPS (now KDIN), he became a teacher of radio and TV production at Tech High School. From then on, he formed many small businesses, some short in duration, others lasting several years. His mind was always moving, always looking ahead.

He became known as Captain Jack on WHO radio flying his Cessna airplanes over Des Moines to report on traffic morning and afternoon. He capitalized on his name and conceived of Captain Jack’s Christmas Tree Farm and Captain Jack Communications among many other businesses.

In 1963 he married Cicily Haller Dennis. Their son David Lawrence was born in 1966. They divorced in 2000. He married Rhonda in 2002. In 2007 after the death of his parents, the tree farm stopped its sales, and Bill and Rhonda permanently moved to a favorite location in Kissimmee FL despite hurricanes, heat and humidity. They moved back to Iowa in October 2021 as his health deteriorated to be near family. And indeed, they enjoyed the fun and laughter of family gatherings at all key events including his 80th birthday.

He had the opportunity to attend grandson Jason’s concerts and enjoyed playing monopoly with him. He was a faithful Hawkeye follower (with competition for time with Rhonda’s Cyclones). His move to Iowa gave him nearly a year to enjoy all of the other precious memories that families build.

Left to grieve him are Rhonda, sisters-law-Marie (Bob) Sander, Jeff (Tonya) Wheeler, Nedra Wheeler, and Tami Wheeler; his first wife Cicily, son Dr. David Dennis, grandson Jason Dennis, daughter-in-law Angela Rubino, 1st cousin Ray (Kathy) Dennis (they grew up nearly as brothers), Cicily’s five sisters Linda, Mary, Beth, Lisa (Bob), and Sybil and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Those preceding him in death include his parents, his brothers-in-law Bill Haller and Mack Gettler, nephews Alex and Andy Gettler, parents-in-law Ray Haller and Eleanor Butts.

Remembering Lawrence "Bill" Dennis

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Nicolas Belfrage

Nicolas Belfrage

July 19, 1940 - September 17, 2022

Nicolas Belfrage MW, known as a pioneering Italian wine specialist, died on Saturday night at the age of 82 following a period of illness with Parkinson’s.

Born in Los Angeles in the US in 1940 to British parents, Belfrage moved to the UK aged 14. After working as a buyer for Europa Foods and Bretzel Foods in the late 1970s, he became a Master of Wine in 1980.

During the next decade he would make his name as an Italian wine specialist. As well as contributing to Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book and other publications, he wrote several books that changed perceptions of Italian wine, including Life Beyond Lambrusco and The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy.

In 1994 he sold his specialist Italian wine importer Winecellars. Two years later he founded Vinexus from his new home in Tuscany, and, from 2006, partnered with Nick Bielak MW. Belfrage described the company’s purpose as: “…to deliver on real Italian character, traceability and authenticity that are right for the tastes of export markets”. Earlier this year Bielak died after a short illness.

A statement released by The Institute of Masters of Wine about Belfrage’s death said: “Despite his battle with Parkinson’s disease, he had always remained in good spirits and had enjoyed a wonderful lunch with fellow MWs David Gleave and Sebastian Payne MW as recently as last month.”

Remembering Nicolas Belfrage

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Marlan Keith Rohlena

Marlan Keith Rohlena

December 2, 1940 - August 24, 2022

Marlan was born on December 2, 1940 to Emil & Lillian (Ludvicek) Rohlena in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In eighth grade, the one room schoolhouse he attended consolidated to a community school district. This is where he first met Barbara Koutny. They both graduated from Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids and the University of Iowa. He and Barb married in 1962 and embarked on a nearly 60 year life together.

In 1967, with his draft number about to be called, Marlan enlisted in the Air Force. After 2 years at McGuire AFB in New Jersey, he served in Vietnam at Cam Ranh Bay AB as an Air Transportation Supervisor. Following his service in Vietnam, he was stationed in Germany for several years. Marlan & Barb welcomed daughter Sarah in June 1971 in Wiesbaden, Germany. Rumor has always been she was born 9 months + 1 day after Marlan’s return from Vietnam.

After Marlan’s honorable discharge from the Air Force, a serviceman he’d met from Salem said they should consider moving to Oregon. Marlan headed west from Iowa in their VW Beetle looking for his post-service career and a new home for his family. He ended up in the Gresham, Oregon area and immediately loved the green trees, rivers, mountains, and milder climate. He had 2 interviews – Sporting Goods Manager at Kmart, and a position at School Bus Services, a school bus contractor. Luckily he accepted the latter offer and began his almost 50 years in the school bus business. After a few years in the contracting business, he took on the sales responsibility for Western Bus Sales, the Blue Bird school bus dealer in Oregon.

Daughter Mollie was born in February 1977, and not long after, they moved to a rural area east of Gresham, where they would live until 2012. The 3+ acre property offered him opportunities to destress, such as raising farm animals, mowing grass, and tinkering around in the barn that was likely not wired to updated electrical code.

In 1988, and with financial support from his dad Emil and her mom Lenora, Marlan & Barbara Rohlena purchased Western Bus Sales (WBS) and moved the company to Clackamas. At that time, there were just 3 employees. Through hard work, determination, mistakes, and sometimes pure luck, the company eventually outgrew that facility and moved to the current location in Boring, Oregon. Daughter Sarah got her Masters Degree in teaching, joined the company as a temp in 1995, and today is the Director of Sales. Daughter Mollie never wanted to work at WBS, but changed her mind in 1997 and after college joined the team; today she is the President. Son-in-law Colby started in the shop in 1995 which is when he met Mollie. Colby went on to work through the Service Department ranks with a passion to grow the operations side of the company. They’ve been married for 21 years and he is Director of Operations. It remains a true family owned and run business.

Marlan retired from WBS in 2008 but never lost the passion and interest in the customers and the school bus business. He gained many of his greatest friends and life experiences from his nearly 5 decades in the industry.

Marlan and Barb loved to travel, both as a couple and with family and friends. They were able to take some incredible trips to Italy, the Republic of Georgia (that’s a bus sales story for another day), Alaska, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Hawaii, Mexico, Peru, and across the United States.

Marlan loved camping & fishing and he had a real passion for deep sea fishing in the Pacific Ocean. These were hobbies he shared with Sarah and her husband Chad, granddaughter Kaycee and grandson Caleb. They spent many memorable camping & fishing trips together.

More than 15 years ago, Marlan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He found great support in his community through Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon with their exercise classes, as well as caregiver support programs. More recently, he became very involved in fundraising for their annual Sole Support event. It certainly scratched the itch of his competitive nature for a cause close to his heart.

Marlan was exceptionally proud of and loved his children, their husbands, his three grandchildren, and most recently, his three great grandchildren. Before moving off their rural property, the grandkids got to ride and then learn to drive his John Deere tractor. He relished every opportunity to watch the grandkids play their sports, something he missed greatly when his mobility diminished due to Parkinson’s.

In 2021, Marlan & Barb moved to Assisted Living at Bonaventure of Gresham for additional care giving support. The last year at Bonaventure provided fun activities for Marlan such as playing pool, bingo, bus outings, card games, and most recently, competitive cornhole.

Marlan is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years and steadfast caregiver, Barbara; his daughter Sarah Jones (Chad) and granddaughter Kaycee Honey (Casey) and great grandchildren Tristan, Lyncoln and Collins, and grandson Caleb; his daughter Mollie Blagg (Colby) and granddaughter Norah; his brother Larry (Barb); his brother Ron (Robbie); and all his nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends from every walk of his life.

He is predeceased by his parents, Emil & Lillian Rohlena, and his sister Sandra.

Remembering Marlan Keith Rohlena

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

In Memoriam
John F. Kerrigan, Ph.D.
In Memoriam

John F. Kerrigan, Ph.D.

January 1, 1952 - June 10, 2022

On June 10, 2022, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease, John F. Kerrigan died peacefully, with his wife and daughters at his bedside.

Remembering John F. Kerrigan, Ph.D.

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

In Memoriam
John P. Kerrigan
In Memoriam

John P. Kerrigan

April 5, 1954 - January 31, 2022

John P. Kerrigan age 67, was born on April 5, 1954, and passed away on January 31, 2022.

John was a good person with a kind heart.  John had an intellectual disability. He did not see the world as other people do. He was childlike all of his life.  John depended on mom to guide him through his daily life.

John was a big Philadelphia sports fan.  He loved to watch all the games, especially the Phillies and Eagles. John liked to draw pictures.  He loved to go fishing. That may have been his favorite thing to do.  He enjoyed playing games, especially card games.  He enjoyed going to the zoo and museums and baseball games.

When John was young he use to pack bags at the grocery store to make spending money. As he got older he went door to door washing windows for people.  Later on, he went to a daily program which he enjoyed and on the weekends he would go to the movie theatre.

The last few years have been hard on John. Mom passed away and Brother Frank passed also. John was diagnosed with lung cancer. He had covid and was hospitalized.  He was then diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  John passed away quietly in the hospital.

John was predeceased by his parents, Margaret Kerrigan and Merle Spry, and brother Frank Kerrigan.  He is survived by brothers, Thomas Spry and Michael Kerrigan, and sisters, Patricia (Martin) and Theresa (Roach). Also by 10 nieces and nephews and 16 great nieces and nephews. He will truly be missed by all. 

Remembering John P. Kerrigan

Use the form below to make your memorial contribution. PRO will send a handwritten card to the family with your tribute or message included. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

The Memorial Wall is a virtual place to

  • Honor the diversity and rich legacies of the people we have already lost to Parkinson’s and demonstrate to the world the high human cost of this neglected disorder.  

  • Provide a place for the living to visit so they can gain solace and understanding around the battle of a loved one with Parkinson’s.

  • Serve as a memorial when the family prefers donations in lieu of flowers or tributes at anniversaries or other significant dates.

Our work to ensure no one is isolated because of Parklinson’s has always been a labor of love. The Memorial Wall is an extension of that lovea virtual place for love to gather, reminisce, celebrate, as well as a ‘show of force’ to remind the world what we’ve already lost to this hideous disease. 

 

Become a Memorial Wall Sponsor

Inclusion on the wall is free, but maintenance takes effort. Join our team of core supporters to build your own legacy and carry on the memories of those who have gone before us. Your sponsorship helps ensure we can continue providing the services, insight, and support that have helped so many on their journey. 

Presidential – $20,000

Hope – $15,000

Peace – $10,000

Angel – $5,000

Guardian – $2,500

Sustaining – $1,000

If you wish to honor your loved one and share your memories in a public fashion or establish a memorial event, such as a golf tournament, tennis tournament, or special award presentation in the name of the family or decedent, please complete this submission form or contact us at info@parkinsonsresource.org.

If you wish to honor your loved one and share your memories in a public fashion or establish a memorial event, such as a golf tournament, tennis tournament, or special award presentation in the name of the family or decedent, please complete this submission form or contact us at info@parkinsonsresource.org.

Contact Us

Address
Parkinson's Resource Organization
74785 Highway 111
Suite 208
Indian Wells, CA 92210

Local Phone
(760) 773-5628

Toll-Free Phone
(877) 775-4111

General Information
info@parkinsonsresource.org

 

Like! Subscribe! Share!

Did you know that you can communicate with us through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and now Instagram?

PRIVACY POLICY TEXT

 

Updated: August 16, 2017