Memorials · Parkinson's Resource Organization

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Alexander Zale

Alexander Zale

March 18, 1931 - August 28, 2020

On August 28, Alexander Zale, an actor who had a long and illustrious career on New York, European, and regional stages, as well as roles in several iconic movies and TV shows, died peacefully at home in Los Angeles of complications from Parkinson's disease. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Jennifer Donohue Zakkai, his brother Victor Zakkay, as well as several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews with whom he remained very close throughout his life.

Alex Zale was born Jamil Zakkai in Baghdad, Iraq on March 18, 1931, into a Jewish family. Shortly after a pogrom in 1941, during which hundreds of Jews were slaughtered, he and his entire family fled to Bombay (now Mumbai), India. He emigrated to the United States at age 18 and graduated from Hofstra University. He served in the U.S. Navy, before making his way as an actor in New York City.

Jamil, as he was still called, soon found great success on the New York stage. He appeared in The Connection with The Living Theatre, and joined the company on a European tour. He stayed in Italy to work with Vittorio Gassman's company, Teatro Popolare Italiano, traveling with it to the Aldwych Theatre in London.

Back in New York, he triumphed in the title role of Agamemnon at Lincoln Center, following it with another title role in La Mama's production of Faust, about which the New York Times wrote: "Jamil Zakkai, last summer's 'Agamemnon,' in Central Park, retains his grandeur as Faust. In his haunted eyes, we can sense the man's dilemma-the amazement and curiosity with which he greets Mephistopheles's machinations, the guilt that he feels when he is forced to kill his love's brother." Other theater projects in New York included Andrei Serban's Medea at La Mama and The Public Theater's productions of The Golem, The Dybbuk, and Henry V opposite Kevin Kline.

To pursue work in Los Angeles, he changed his name to Alexander Zale. He was featured in several popular TV shows, including Cagney & Lacy, The Incredible Hulk, Matlock, Tracey Takes On, NYPD Blue, and 24. Films include Francis starring Jessica Lange, Invasion U.S.A. opposite Chuck Norris, Mike Nichols' Postcards From The Edge starring Meryl Streep, Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls, and Robin Swicord's Wakefield with Bryan Cranston.

Regional theaters in which he worked include the Baltimore Center Stage, Seattle RepSouth Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA, and, in Los Angeles, Pacific Resident Theater, as well as the Mark Taper Forum, where he appeared in The Cherry Orchard with Annette BeningAlfred Molina, and Sarah Paulson.  

Remembering Alexander Zale

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Jerry Petitt

Jerry Petitt

March 21, 1953 - August 26, 2020

Gerard “Jerry” Petitt, a life-long resident of Long Beach, CA passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. Jerry was born at the 32nd Street Naval Base in San Diego, CA. He was born on March 21, 1953 to Jack and Gloria Petitt. He attended school at Carver, St. Cornelius, St. Anthony's and graduated from Millikan High School in 1971.

Most of Jerry's professional life was spent as the owner and operator of a small business called Petitt’s Plumbing. He was adored by many of his customers and often offered services free of charge because of his big heart. He ran the business for 25 years until he was forced into an early retirement after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

Jerry was an amazing athlete. He competed on the US surfing team and raced motorcycles (even appearing in the original film “Gone In 60 Seconds”). He covered miles and miles of Long Beach on his skateboard and even once rode down Signal Hill backward on a bike! He played softball and racquetball for many years and was a hobby enthusiast. He enjoyed betting on horses at the Los Alamitos racetrack where he took his wife, Paula, on their first date. He married Paula in February of 1991 and became a step-father to Emily and Elizabeth.

Jerry loved animals, the desert, music, the ocean, 7Eleven coffee, and his family. Jerry was a good listener and was kind to all. There will never be another Jerry Petitt. We will miss him so very, very much.

Jerry is survived and adored by his wife Paula of 29 years, his children Emily (Kevin) Roden and Elizabeth (David) Barnard, his seven grand-children - Rosie, Luke, Abigail, Frank, Pearl, James Dixon, and Benjamin, and his sister Dianne Petitt (Lesley McBride), and his brother Jack (Debi) Petitt.

A service will be held to celebrate Jerry's life at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Details will be forthcoming.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Jerry’s name to Parkinson’s Resource at https://www.parkinsonsresource.org.

Luyben Dilday Mortuary (562) 425-6401

Remembering Jerry Petitt

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Nancy Gorr

Nancy Gorr

April 25, 1934 - August 22, 2020

Nancy Gorr left her mark on the town of Peterborough, making history as the first female president of the Rotary, and a long-time leader of the Chamber of Commerce and the Parent Guidance Center.

Gorr, 86, a resident of Summerhill Assisted Living, passed away Aug. 22 after a period of failing health related to her ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Gorr was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and came by her civic-mindedness, helping her father tend the family “victory garden.”

She and her husband, Arthur Gorr, raised four children together. When her children chose to attend colleges in New England, Gorr began to look for a home in the area. When she walked into what would become her Pine Street home for the first time, she knew immediately it was the right fit.

“She turned to the real estate agent and said, ‘This is it. This is the house,’” her daughter, Ellen Gorr of Harrisville said. And from that moment, Gorr was all in as a member of the Peterborough community.

Though a transplant who landed in Peterborough in 1982, the Pennsylvania native lost no time in putting her civic-mindedness to work in her new hometown.

“She was always on a committee,” said Ellen. “If you were out in public with her, she knew everybody in town.”

Gorr jumped in with both feet into several town committees and charitable boards, as well as joining the Rotary Club, where she would eventually become the club’s first woman president.

In 1986, she became the Executive Director of the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, a post she held for nearly 10 years. In 1995, she was recognized as Peterborough’s Citizen of the Year for her work at the Chamber. But her “retirement” wasn’t to last. The next year, she became the executive director of the Parent Guidance Center, the organization that would eventually become The River Center. She held that position for another five years.

But she wasn’t only involved with civic and charitable endeavors. Gorr was a fixture in Peterborough, and could often be found at the Peterborough Diner or Nonie’s, singing with the Monadnock Chorus, among the audience at the Summer Lyceum series, or volunteering at the Union Congregational Church.

And she always had time for the people in her life.

Her grandson, Seth Blake, and his mother lived with Gorr for most of his childhood, he said in an interview Friday. And though his grandmother was always busy with one thing or another, she always had time for a conversation.

“She drove me to school, picked me up – she always had time for me, which was amazing,” Blake said. “As a little kid, you don’t think so much about it, but in retrospect, knowing how busy and active she was, it’s remarkable.”

Gorr had a personality that made it easy to open up to her.

“She was very warm, and very much made people feel comfortable,” Blake said. “She had a gentle sense of humor. She was very jovial and quick to laugh.”

“She was very accepting of all people,” said Ellen Gorr. “She really liked meeting people and building relationships.”

Gorr was a strong believer in supporting the local economy, and would eat out multiple times a week, with several “favorite” spots.

“People should know – if there was any doubt – that she was who she appeared to be, which was just an incredibly passionate and compassionate person,” Blake said. “She loved this town, was uncynical in her civic life and causes. She’s the kind of person who devoted herself to making life, and society, in her own small way, better for everybody. She had a devotion to service and volunteerism, and trying to leave the world a better place than she found it.”

Remembering Nancy Gorr

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Trinidad "Trini" López III

Trinidad "Trini" López III

May 15, 1937 - August 11, 2020

Parkinson’s Resource Organization lost a friend. The world lost a legend, a philanthropist, an enormous talent of which we will be hard-pressed to find again. He was an honorary Board member of Parkinson's Resource Organization since 2005, he was Jo Rosen’s winning dance partner in Dancing With Our Stars in 2006, he created, donated, and performed the concert at PRO's 20th-Anniversary Gala 10 years ago. He appeared at each of our three Mitch's Pitches PRO events at Mitch's on El Paseo- took pictures with our guests and signed autographs, he came to the Don Cavanaugh day at the Blue Coyote Grill Palm Springs to remember Don Cavanaugh who died of Parkinson's. We are forever touched by his graciousness and generosity of self. To his family, personal and extended, we send our deepest condolences.

Remembering Trinidad "Trini" López III

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Reyn Parke

Reyn Parke

July 8, 1931 - July 19, 2020

On Sunday July 19th our community lost one of its finest citizens. Samuel Reynolds Parke III passed away peacefully due to complications from Parkinsons disease. He was the son of Samuel Reynolds Parke and Elizabeth Lauck and a brother to Ned, and sisters Kay, Pollyanne, and Elizabeth. In his early years, he attended Lawrenceville School where he excelled in Varsity football, basketball and baseball and earned the nickname, ""Herky"" for his Herculean talents on the sports fields. But it was his intellect that allowed him to attend Princeton University where he graduated in 1953. Next for Reyn was the US Navy where he spent three years aboard the USS destroyer Manuel as a lieutenant. It was during that time that his desire and passion for travel took hold. Upon being discharged, he spent the summer traveling throughout Europe on a motor scooter before heading back to the states to attend Wharton School of Business, graduating in 1958. He had sales jobs at high profile advertising firms like McCann Erickson, Doyle, Dane, Bernbach, and ABC television which led to a position of Vice President of Specials at the network. The fast paced New York lifestyle fulfilled him until 1970 when he moved to Los Angeles to work as an agent with Creative Management Associates.

While living at the Marina City Club where he was an avid tennis player, he met the love of his life, Patty. They married and relocated to Manhattan Beach where they raised their daughter Shannon. In the mid 1970's, Reyn re-invented himself at Shorewood Realtors where he became one of the top performing and well respected agents in the South Bay. For close to 40 years, Reyn was a giant in the industry and a tireless advocate for community causes. He was respected and looked up to by so many for his legendary work ethic, professionalism, integrity, and unconditional selflessness. He was a competitor and a mentor, an adversary and advisor, a trend setter and a traditionalist, but most of all, Reyn was a friend.

Patty and Reyn continued their travels throughout the world, and eventually split time between Manhattan Beach and La Quinta. Reyn loved fine wines, classical music, reading, collecting history books, the Lakers, walking on the Strand, excellent dinners and conversations with friends, successfully closed escrows, and continually mastering the art of learning.
Reyn is survived by those he loved the most, his wife Patty, his daughter Shannon Shelton, his son-in-law Jeremy Shelton, his grandchildren Parker and Kendall, his brother-in-law Peter Smith and his wife Patti and his many nieces and nephews. His radiant smile will be deeply missed by his family, friends and all who knew him.

Remembering Reyn Parke

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Sandra Weiner "Elena" Hoffman

Sandra Weiner "Elena" Hoffman

August 30, 1935 - July 10, 2020

On July 10, 2020, Sandra "Elena" Weiner Hoffman said goodbye to her loved ones and to Parkinson's. She is survived by her three loving daughters, Kimberly Hoffman, Debra Hoffman and Diana Hoffman-Richmond, as well as by her adored grandson, Ethan Finn Hoffman-Mithra, and her sons-in-law, Greg Richmond and Eric Bergel. She was born to Dorothy Harris Weiner and Morris Weiner and grew up with her brother Burt in Minneapolis before eventually settling in Los Angeles. She is forever in our hearts.

Published in Los Angeles Times from Jul. 12 to Jul. 20, 2020.

Remembering Sandra Weiner "Elena" Hoffman

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William E. "Bill" Grosser

William E. "Bill" Grosser

March 1, 1939 - July 2, 2020

GROSSER, William E. William E. (Bill) Grosser of Spokane Valley, Washington passed away July 2, 2020 at the age of 81. He was born March 1, 1939 in Dickinson, North Dakota to Bernard Grosser and Elizabeth (Schmidt) Grosser and was the youngest of six children. Bill attended St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School and graduated from Dickinson High School in 1957. After a four-year tour in the US Navy, he was honorably discharged. He returned to Dickinson and married Angeline (Angie) Braun in August 1962. They moved to Wahpeton, North Dakota where he completed a two-year course in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration at the Wahpeton State School of Science. They later moved to Havre, Montana where he worked for the OB Lund Company. In 1966, he took a Civil Service position for the Havre Radar Station where he worked until its closure in 1979. During this time Bill was selected as an administrator to several programs in addition to his air conditioning and refrigeration duties including Base Grounds Manager, Civilian Over Hire Program and Youth Aid Program enabling under privileged teens to gain temporary employment. Bill also served in the Montana Air National Guard and in 1979 was selected as the Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the year. He served on several local community programs overlooking low-income federal funding. As an active member of the Air National Guard, he represented both civilian and military sides of the house. Bill was active in the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs in Havre as a Scout Master and later as a District Trainer.

In 1972, Bill was approached by the Dean of the Vocation Department at Northern Montana College to develop and instruct an automotive air conditioning course which he taught for two-years. After the closure of the Havre Radar Station, Bill accepted employment in the Azores at Lajes Field on Terceira Island, Portugal. Upon his return to the United States in 1981, he was employed at Fairchild AFB in Spokane, Washington. In 1988, Bill moved to the Central Heating plant at Fairchild AFB where he managed the high-pressure boiler operation, along with the steam distributions system increasing the 50-year-old plant's overall efficiency. The plant was awarded the William H. Bordner award for efficiency in the category Air Force wide. He continued in his field as shop supervisor and completed his 37-year Civil Service career retiring January 2, 1999 and proudly received the Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award.

In retirement, Bill continued to pursue his leather crafting hobby and enjoyed other interests, including photography, gardening, woodwork, eagle watching, travel and especially rockhounding. Bill and Angie also enjoyed ballroom dancing for a number of years. His Parkinson's diagnosis did not slow him down for most of 20 years. Bill was so much more than his career and family was everything. He loved doing handyman jobs for his family and never missed an opportunity to spend time with them. He was greatly involved in his grandsons' Scouting careers from Pinewood Derbies to helping organize and facilitate an Eagle Scout project supporting the Parkinson's Resource Center. He was larger than life and was dubbed "Superman" by his family; a title he enjoyed very much and was assumed by his fabulous caretakers these last few months at Ridgeview Assisted Living and Sullivan Park Care Center. Bill is survived by his wife, Angie, of 57 years and three children, Barry of Tacoma, WA, Lori (Louis)Schussman and Karen (Brian) Ankley of Spokane Valley, four grandchildren, Gabriel and Adrian Grosser, Aran(Kendra) Patchett, Josh Patchett and five great-grandchildren as well as a sister, Rose Moldenhauer, brother-in-law Gayle Blecha and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Bernard, John and Frank, sister Betty Lech and sister-in-law Marie Blecha. The Memorial Service is scheduled for Monday, July 20, 2020 at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 503 North Walnut Road, Spokane Valley, WA., followed by the Committal Service at St. John Vianney's Columbarium and a reception in the Parish Hall.

In lieu of flowers the family requests you provide a Memorial Gift to your charity of choice.

Remembering William E. "Bill" Grosser

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Natalie Brenot

Natalie Brenot

February 27, 1938 - June 19, 2020

Natalie Brenot, age 82, passed away on Friday, June 19, 2020 at Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek. Natalie was born on February 27, 1938 in Shirley, MA to parents Arthur Gendron and Anita (DePontdriand) Gendron. Natalie moved to Ohio in 1957, spending the next years raising her family in West Toledo. Mom was a devoted Catholic and it was her strong faith and huge heart that characterized her life. She loved going to mass, being a lector, volunteering at fish frys and other activities. She also spent countless hours working with the ladies auxiliary at VFW 606 on public service projects. Most of all Natalie lived for her family. She was a loving sister and mother who took great joy in being a wonderful grandma to her four grandchildren. A visit to grandma's home usually turned into a sleepover and the kids only complaint was having to go home. In her later years she developed a special bond with her granddaughter Erin, who provided unending love and companionship for her grandma.

Natalie was preceded in death by her parents; and her grandson, Kevin. She is survived by her sisters, Iris Aube and Rollie (Art) Cournoyer; sons, Mike (Mary Ellen) Luffy, Howard (Karen) Luffy; grandchildren, Brad (Abigail) Luffy, Erin (Chris) Livingston, Eric (Julie) Luffy; along with eight great grandkids. She also leaves behind many cherished friends, including Myrna, Judy and Joanne.

Remembering Natalie Brenot

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Robert "Bob" Minnihan

Robert "Bob" Minnihan

December 10, 1936 - June 16, 2020

On the day of June 16, 2020, Robert (Bob) Minnihan of Rancho Mirage, CA died at the age of 83. Bob was born to Louis and Katherine Minnihan on Dec. 10, 1936 in Jefferson, IA. He received his degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1958 from Iowa State University.

Bob enjoyed racquetball, skiing and sailing. He is known affectionately as "Captain Bob." He believed in being fair in all matters. Bob started Dynamic Systems Inc., a successful business in waste water treatment technology, where he served as CEO and President until his retirement in the year 2000. His blue eyes, silver hair and warm smile touched everyone he met.

Bob is preceded in death by his father, mother and son, Peter. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia, son, Paul and his mother Katharine, his stepdaughter, Erin Johnson and his grandson, Conor Crissy. He is also survived by his brother Richard (Linda) and sister Marcia.

Services are pending.

Remembering Robert "Bob" Minnihan

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Larry Boles

Larry Boles

October 5, 1948 - May 18, 2020

Larry was born in San Diego and attended Alexander Hamilton Elementary, Horace Mann Junior High and Crawford.  A lifelong runner, Larry was captain of the Crawford Cross Country team during his senior year.  Larry and Linda Francis '68 were married in 1970.  After graduating from San Diego State and San Francisco Theological Seminary, Larry served as a Presbyterian minister for twenty-five years.  He followed that by serving as a director of Hillcrest Retirement Community in La Verne, California.  In addition to Linda, his wife of 50 years, Larry is survived by their children Tammy and Paul, four grandchildren, and brother Bob Boles ’63 -- Rob Shepherd ’66

Remembering Larry Boles

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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

 

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Updated: August 16, 2017