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Bruce Alexander Watt

Bruce Alexander Watt

March 12, 1939 - July 15, 2021

On 15 July 2021 at Tawa, Wellington. Dearly loved husband of Valerie. Cherished father and father-in-law of Amanda (dec), Russell, Diane (dec), Belinda & Andrew, and Jon & Lorna. Legendary grandad to Eden, Thomas, Harry, and Freddie. Forever in our hearts.

Former All Black's first five-eighth Bruce Watt has passed away at the age of 82.

Watt played 29 times for the All Blacks between 1962 and 1964, scoring two tries on debut against Australia, and went on to become a leading figure in South Island rugby during the 1970s.

The early 1960s produced a talented crop of playmakers, all competing for the All Black No 10 jersey and Watt's test comrades included the likes of Steve Nesbit, Adrian Clarke, Tony Davies, Neil Wolfe, Mack Herewini, Peter Murdoch, and Earle Kirton.

A highlight of Watt's career was the 1963/64 tour of Britain and France where he appeared in 20 of the 36 matches, including tests against England, Scotland, and Wales, dropping a goal in the latter game.

His All Black career came to an end in the first test against the 1964 Wallabies, though Watt continued to feature in South Island and All Black trials until 1967 and was considered unlucky not to be selected for the 1967 tour of Britain, Canada, and France. In all, Watt appeared in 197 first-class games, 117 of them for Canterbury.

After hanging up the boots, Watt went on to serve as a South Island under 18 selector from 1972-75 and as co-coach for Marlborough (1976) and Nelson Bays (1978-79).

Watt suffered from Parkinson's disease later in life, an ailment his family suspected was linked to a rugby career riddled with head-knocks.

"He had concussion many times and I'm told was often the 'target' of bigger guys as he was a bit lippy," his daughter, Belinda, told the Herald in 2016.

"He remembers one time being badly concussed in an All Blacks game and because there were no other players left, he was asked to go back on the field. He did not remember the whole second half. I guess it's impossible to tell but we also believe there might be a link between the head hits and Parkinson's, not just dementia."

Watt's biography on the All Blacks official website also recalls his love of marathon running, a hobby he took to the extreme while playing for Canterbury.

"During his rugby career, Bruce Watt ran a number of marathons. On Canterbury's Queen's Birthday trips to play Buller and the West Coast Watt would strip down and, when given the nod by the bus driver, would run on the spot in the aisle. He would pound away until the bus driver told him they had traveled 26 miles and 385 yards."

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Myron Thielman

Myron Thielman

January 2, 1940 - July 15, 2021

Myron Thielman, of Palm Desert, CA, passed away July 15th following a struggle with Parkinson's. He was born 80 years ago in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Myron leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Mary Sue (Hall) Thielman, his son, Mike, daughter-in-law Laura, and granddaughters Natalie and Jackie of Laguna Niguel, CA, and his daughter Sarah, son-in-law Chris Flanagan, and grandsons Aidan and Brendan of Dallas, TX.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Evelyn and Norbert Thielman, and 4 brothers, Norbert, LeRoy, John, and Louis. Surviving siblings include Marcy, Daniel, Leo, and David.

He was a graduate of Cathedral High School, St. John's University, and St. Louis University. He was an English teacher, a school counselor, and eventually, Myron moved into administration and served as principal in the Palm Springs Unified School District from 1979 to 2000. Throughout his professional career spanning decades and multiple states, he guided young people to make good choices in life. Locally, he was principal at Nelly Coffman, Della Lindley, and St. Theresa's. His life's work impacted many students, teachers, and friends. He was respected, well-loved, and will be greatly missed.

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Robert Downey Sr

Robert Downey Sr

June 24, 1936 - July 7, 2021

Robert Downey Sr. was a filmmaker and actor best known for his 1969 film “Putney Swope.” He was also the father of Robert Downey Jr.

According to Robert Downey, Jr., "Last night, dad passed peacefully in his sleep after years of enduring the ravages of Parkinson's ..he was a true maverick filmmaker and remained remarkably optimistic throughout...According to my stepmom's calculations, they were happily married for just over 2000 years," Downey Jr. wrote on Instagram. "Rosemary Rogers-Downey, you are a saint, and our thoughts and prayers are with you."

“Putney Swope” was one of Downey’s earlier films as a writer and director, though he had already begun gaining an underground following with his low-budget films when it was released in 1969. A satire of the advertising world, “Putney Swope” was included in the Library of Congress National Film Registry, and it was influential on other filmmakers including Jim Jarmusch. Downey directed more than a dozen other films, including some in which his son acted, such as “Greaser’s Palace” (1972), “Up the Academy” (1980), and “Too Much Sun” (1990). Downey was also an actor, with appearances in movies including “To Live and Die in L.A.” (1985), “Boogie Nights” (1997), “Magnolia” (1998), and “Tower Heist” (2011) as well as on TV in “The Twilight Zone” and “Matlock.” He was a U.S. Army veteran.

Downey on how he got into filmmaking

“I wrote a few plays. They were done Off-off-off-off Broadway. I was working as a waiter at the Village Gate in Greenwich Village and the other waiter said, ‘I have a camera. Do you have anything written that we can make into a movie?’ We went with his camera, my script, rounded up some people, and made a film. [I] couldn’t believe it. We actually had fun.” —from a 2014 interview for Interview magazine

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Richard Alan Shubin

Richard Alan Shubin

March 19, 1956 - July 1, 2021

Late in the evening of July 1, 2021, the field of neurology unexpectedly lost a renowned practitioner, researcher, and teacher: Dr. Richard Alan Shubin, beloved husband of Judy Shubin and father of Matthew Shubin. Dr. Shubin, aged 65, was known for his protean knowledge of neurology, focusing on multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's diseases. Throughout his more than 30 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Shubin was known to the medical community as the neurologist of last resort for patients with the most intractable and complex neurological conditions.

Born in Hollywood in 1956, Dr. Shubin was the eldest son of Hilde Shubin and Dr. Herbert Shubin. Motivated to enter medicine by the passing of his physician-father in 1975, he graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Chemistry. He received both his medical degree and master's degree in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Shubin completed his residency in neurology and completed a fellowship in neuroimmunology at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California School of Medicine, where he worked on developing disease models for coronaviruses. Along with maintaining a fully private practice in Arcadia, CA, Dr. Shubin was actively engaged in clinical research throughout his career, co-directing the Sleep Disorders Center at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.

He also served as the site investigator for more than 100 clinical trials, authored more than 15 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, and served as a clinical faculty member at LAC-USC School of Medicine. Dr. Shubin was dedicated to excellence in the practice of medicine and devoted to providing state-of-the-art care to his many patients. Dr. Felice Laverso, CEO and President of Casa Colina Rehabilitation Hospital, where Dr. Shubin served as Director of multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease clinics, described Dr. Shubin as "one of the most talented neurologists I had ever known. His knowledge and caring about individuals with movement disorders were unprecedented.

I admired him and felt fortunate to have known him. I will miss him greatly as will every patient in his orbit." Ever the polymath, Dr. Shubin derived ceaseless joy from his lifelong study of history, natural philosophy, and geology, to the day of his untimely passing. Dr. Shubin is survived by his wife Judy Shubin, son Matthew Shubin, mother Hilde Shubin Rosenbluth, stepfather Irving Rosenbluth, sisters Carol Shubin and Dorothy Shubin, as well as by aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. He will be dearly missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and the medical community.

Remembering Richard Alan Shubin

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David Wilson

David Wilson

April 4, 1937 - June 28, 2021

David John Wilson, a 34 year resident of Malibu, passed away peacefully on June 28th, 2021. He was born in Lincoln, NB on April 4th, 1937, and moved with his family to Boulder, CO when he was fourteen.  Later he attended UC Boulder and then in 1961 entered the US Air Force to train as a fighter pilot.  He flew the F86 Sabre, often in formation and he left the Air Force as a Commissioned Officer.

In 1964 he joined Pan American World Airways and began his 36-year career as an airline pilot flying to all corners of the globe and becoming a Boeing 747 Captain in 1981. In 1986 he transferred to United Airlines and finished his career as Captain of the Boeing 747-400, a plane he had flown consecutively for 25 years.

Dave was an avid skier, tennis player and enjoyed traveling extensively with his wife,  entertaining and hosting guests.  However, fishing with his sons in the mountains was especially high on his list of favorite things to do. Dave is survived by his wife of 40 years, Angela, sister Lorna, sons David and Darren, daughters-in-law Amy and Kelly, and grandchildren Kai, Bodi, and Zanna. Known for his humor and intelligence, Dave will be missed by asking who knew and loved him.

Funeral services will be private.  In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations online to parkinsonsresource.org  or by check to 74785 Highway 111 Suite 208, Indian Wells, CA 92210.  1-877-775-4111.

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Gerald S Levey

Gerald S Levey

January 9, 2021 - June 25, 2021

Visionary leader oversaw the building of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after the Northridge earthquake

Dr. Gerald Saul Levey, a nationally recognized leader who transformed UCLA’s hospitals and medical school into a world-class academic health system, died at home on June 25 of Parkinson’s disease. He was 84.

Levey served the university as Vice-Chancellor of Medical Sciences and Dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA from 1994 to 2010. During his 16-year tenure, Levey amassed an extraordinarily long list of achievements crowned by the building of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and a $200 million endowment to the UCLA School of Medicine by entertainment executive David Geffen.

“It’s not possible to say in a short time what Jerry Levey means to UCLA,” said Chancellor Gene Block. “He left us with a state-of-the-art hospital, an endowed medical school, five new research buildings, and 100 endowed chairs. Many generations will reap the benefit of his vision, leadership, and dedication.”

Levey was born on Jan. 9, 1937, in Jersey City, N.J, to Jacob and Gertrude Levey. His father, who had emigrated from Odessa, completed night school to become an attorney, and his mother was the daughter of Polish immigrants.

Growing up during the Depression, Levey’s earliest memory was of wanting to be a physician like his pediatrician.

“He made house calls, set my broken nose, stitched a nearly severed finger, and fixed a fractured collarbone at our kitchen table,” he recalled. “I was absolutely in awe of him.”

When Levey turned 18, his father died of a heart attack, forcing his mother to join the workforce. On a secretary’s income, his mother paid for Levey’s college and medical school education; he graduated debt-free.

His senior year at Cornell University, Levey met Barbara Cohen, a quick-witted blonde who sat next to him in folk music class. It was, Levey, quipped, “a case of assigned seating — and love at first sight.”

Cohen, who graduated cum laude from Cornell, had already been accepted to medical school at the State University of New York in Syracuse. She graduated as the only woman in her 120-student class.

After Levey earned his medical degree from Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry, the couple married in 1961, launching a partnership in family and career that spanned 58years.

Levey interned at Jersey City Medical Center and pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in biological chemistry at Harvard. After a residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, he trained for four years at the National Institutes of Health. In 1970, Levey was hired as an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine, where he was funded as a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator.

In 1979, the University of Pittsburgh recruited him to chair its academic medicine department and serve as Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Presbyterian-University Hospital. During his 13-year tenure, Levey confided his desire to lead a major medical school to the university vice-chancellor, who encouraged him to hone his business and management skills at a larger organization.

In 1991, Levey surprised his academic colleagues by accepting a position at the pharmaceutical company, Merck & Co, as Senior Vice President of Medical and Scientific Affairs.

The strategic move paid off. Three years later, UCLA chose Levey for the newly merged roles of medical school Dean and Provost of the Health Sciences and hired Barbara Levey as Assistant Vice Chancellor of Biomedical affairs.

The enterprise Levey inherited was massive: a medical school with more than 2,000 faculty and 725 students, and a health system of more than 75 community clinics and four hospitals on two medical campuses treating 80,000 hospital patients and 1.5 million clinic patients per year. Levey was tapped as the single executive to supervise the entire UCLA health sciences and integrate its factions into a cohesive, well-run organization.

When Levey joined UCLA in September 1994, he couldn’t have picked a less auspicious time. Mired by budget woes, a weak census, and discord between hospital and school leadership, UCLA struggled to finance its research and teaching programs while delivering care in a marketplace rocked by a recession, managed care, and dwindling government revenue.

Eight months earlier, the Northridge earthquake had damaged UCLA’s circa-1955 hospital. Following Levey’s appointment, engineers indicated the building would be unable to function in the event of another major quake. Levey was thrust into the unexpected role of overseeing the creation, financing, and construction of a new medical center. Famed architectural firms I.M. Pei & Associates and Perkins & Will designed the facility to anticipate the future demands of medicine and meet California’s rigid seismic standards.

Levey embraced the challenge with boundless enthusiasm, raising a record $300 million in private funds for the hospital by cultivating personal relationships with Los Angeles’ luminaries in business and philanthropy. He persuaded the Federal Emergency Management Agency to allocate $432 million to the new facility, noting its indispensable role in a future disaster.

On June 29, 2008, the unpretentious leader arrived before 4 a.m. in sneakers and a Bruins baseball cap to rally thousands of staff and volunteers. He oversaw the seven-hour transfer by ambulance and gurney of more than 340 psychiatric and clinical patients–including premature infants from the neonatal ICU and critically ill adults in comas.

Moving one patient every two minutes, the monumental task ran like clockwork and finished three hours ahead of schedule. By the afternoon, doctors had opened the emergency room for business and begun performing organ transplants and delivering the hospital’s first babies.

Encased in white Italian travertine and filled with natural light, the 1-million square-foot facility took 14 years to complete. It houses Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.

Levey never lost sight of the reason behind the hospital. “Thinking about all of the people whose lives will be better because of the care they receive here is a very humbling and rewarding prospect,” he commented in UCLA Medicine.

Levey also oversaw the design and construction of a striking new campus for UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, and the addition of five state-of-the-art research buildings.

“Jerry didn’t focus exclusively on buildings; he knew that a successful enterprise is built on talented, dedicated people,” said Dr. John Mazziotta, UCLA Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences and CEO of UCLA Health. “He invested in recruiting and mentoring excellent people. Everyone at UCLA benefitted from his vision and ability to lead.”

During his tenure, Levey catapulted the hospital and medical school into U.S. News & World Report’s top rankings; recruited 20 academic chairs; revamped the educational curriculum; awarded medical degrees to more than 2,500 students; and oversaw the creation of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center and five new departments, including human genetics.

His leadership extended far beyond UCLA. Levey was a founding board member for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. When the county’s troubled Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center closed in South Los Angeles in 2007, Levey advised the County Board of Supervisors and the UC Board of Regents to enter a partnership, leading to the reopening of the hospital in 2012.

Fond of saying, ‘Never be afraid to do the right thing,’ Levey emphasized that a decision’s outcome mattered less than whether it was the ethical thing to do. That motto inspired the title of his business memoir in 2011.

His second book, “A Gift for the Asking,” described his personalized approach to fundraising. As Dean, Levey raised an unprecedented $2.52 billion in private donations.

To honor his exceptional service, Levey received numerous prestigious awards. Chief among them were the UCLA Medal, the university’s highest honor; the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science Board Medal of Honor; and the American Jewish Committee’s award for distinguished leadership

“I feel blessed to have the life I have had,” Levey told the Daily Bruin. “I consider my experience at UCLA the pinnacle of my career.”

Levey is survived by his sister Paula Westerman; son John (and Michele) Levey; his daughter Robin Levey Burkhardt; and three grandchildren. His beloved Barbara died in 2019.

Remembering Gerald S Levey

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Jordan Bloomfield

Jordan Bloomfield

February 25, 1930 - June 21, 2021

Jordan was born on 02/25/30 and although 91, died unexpectedly on June 21, 2021. Jordan graduated from UCLA and then MIT with a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. He loved teaching and working in the chemistry lab, but also loved reading, photography, and woodworking. He and his wife Dot enjoyed many wonderful trips exploring the world.


He leaves behind three daughters, Dot's three children, their families, his sister, and other family members. To quote his oldest daughter, "my Dad was short in stature but magnanimous in life!" He spoke his mind which sometimes got him in trouble, but he also had a quick sense of humor, right until the end.

Because Jordan was a Chemistry teacher and active with science issues, at his request, the family donated Jordan’s brain to science, through a brain specialist in Portland, OR, at OHSU, hoping to help others learn more about Parkinson’s and Epilepsy.


Jordan's wife Dot was in a car collision after making a left turn and since then, Jordan's regular parting words to her were to "watch those left turns!". He said that with a smile on his face whenever she left his room, even the last time she saw him.


Sadly, Jordan's final years were challenging dealing with Parkinson's and Epilepsy, but he handled both without complaints. 

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Ronald J Ostrow

Ronald J Ostrow

August 23, 1931 - June 14, 2021

Ronald J. Ostrow, 89, a storied newspaper reporter in the Washington bureau of the Los Angeles Times for more than three decades, passed away in Chevy Chase, MD, on Monday, June 14. His wife, Alyce Kelly Ostrow, was at his side.


Ron was renowned among colleagues and competitors as one of the best-sourced reporters covering the Department of Justice. He was intimately involved in covering Watergate, helping break news that dramatically changed the trajectory of that story, including the first on-record account linking President Nixon’s reelection committee to illegal wiretapping and a scoop that a grand jury had named Nixon as an unindicted co-conspirator. He also wrote about the Iran-Contra scandal, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Supreme Court and scores of other topics. "He was always knowledgeable, always prepared, always fair," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement after Ron's passing. "He was tough as a journalist, kind as a person. You could always pick him out in a crowd – he was the one wearing the bowtie."


Born in San Francisco, Ron graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1953, where he served as homecoming chairman his senior year, was a cheerleader and president of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. After a tour in the Army, he worked at the Wall Street Journal and Business Week before joining the Los Angeles Times in 1962 as a business writer. He was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard in 1964-65 and was recruited to the Times's Washington bureau in 1966. Ron co-authored two books, "The FBI and the Berrigans - The Making of a Conspiracy" (1972) with colleague Jack Nelson and "Taking Care of the Law," with former Attorney General Griffin Bell (1982), and was a longtime member of the Gridiron Club in Washington.


One of Ron's early assignments – covering Senator Edward Kennedy’s accident on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969 – led to a life-long love of Martha’s Vineyard, where he and family vacationed for decades, including with his beloved daughter, Kathryn Jeanne Ostrow, who died from cystic fibrosis in 1977. Ron was an avid runner, cook, reader and fisherman.
In addition to his wife Alyce, with whom he celebrated 40 years of marriage this past Valentine’s Day, he is survived by stepdaughters Kalin Hyman (John Hyman) and Alison Auerbach (Marc Schindler); stepbrother, Lou Lovell; four grandchildren, Tucker Hyman (Kaeley Secan), Montana Hyman, Maya Schindler, and Jacob Schindler; and cousins Alan Levin, Betsy Levin, John Levin, Sarah Levin, and their spouses. His marriage to the former Patricia Curran ended in divorce.

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John Woodcock, Jr

John Woodcock, Jr

June 16, 1935 - June 9, 2021

He was "never known to complain about a thing,” said his son. “He took ‘the bad’ in stride and pressed on. Any ‘good’ was a blessing and not to be squandered.”

John Woodcock Jr., 86, an accountant and devoted family man, died Wednesday, June 9, of Parkinson’s disease at White Horse Village, a retirement community in Newtown Square.

Mr. Woodcock and his brothers Jim, Bill, and Ron were the children of immigrants — John Woodcock Sr. was from Ireland and Isabella Kerr Woodcock was from Scotland — who, like their own siblings, came to the United States to pursue a better life. They settled in Ardmore and Mr. Woodcock grew up surrounded by dozens of cousins, with lessons about the importance of family and hard work that stayed with him all his life.

“In this environment, he learned how family takes care of each other,” said his son, Steve Woodcock. “Nobody ever had a want because this extended family took care of each other during good times and bad.”

During the Korean War, Mr. Woodcock served in the U.S. Navy as an electronics technician, and was one of the first sailors to earn the distinction, his family said. He later served as a Navy reservist.

After leaving the Navy, Mr. Woodcock was accepted into the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Evening Program of Accounts and Finance, graduating with honors, and he received his license as a certified public accountant.

He went on to spend his entire professional career with the Philadelphia accounting firm Tait, Weller and Baker, rising to managing partner.

Mr. Woodcock also enjoyed community service. He served as chairman of the Tredyffrin Township Municipal Authority. He was a member of the Paoli Presbyterian Church for 51 years, serving as a Trustee, an Elder, and chairman of the church’s Mission Committee. He built deep friendships within his church community.

He loved to golf and was an avid sailor, spending many weekends on the Chesapeake with his family. A devotee of the outdoors, he taught his children how to sail, fish, build fires, and pitch a tent. He knew his way around a grill; his cheese-stuffed burgers and London broil were the stuff of family legend. And his grandchildren couldn’t get enough of what the Woodcock clan called his “7-Up pancakes.” (One can guess the secret ingredient.)

Family and friends were his life’s passions, true to the lessons of his upbringing, according to his loved ones. He built relationships in all the places he lived — Ardmore in his youth; Paoli and Devon as an adult; and, in the last five years, Newtown Square.

Caring and providing for his wife, Barbara, and three children was his priority, and he cherished time with his grandchildren, Steve Woodcock said. He was still friends with chums he had known since grade school.

“Friendships were a treasure to him, and if you were called his friend, he truly loved you,” his son said.

From high school to his final years, he said, the feature of Mr. Woodcock’s that people always seemed to recall was his smile.

“[My father] was never known to complain about a thing,” Steve Woodcock said. “He took ‘the bad’ in stride and pressed on. Any ‘good’ was a blessing and not to be squandered.”

In addition to his son, Mr. Woodcock is survived by his wife, son John F. Woodcock, daughter Pam Bennett, his brothers, six grandchildren, and other relatives.

 

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Charles "Chuck" Elkind

Charles "Chuck" Elkind

May 5, 1923 - June 2, 2021

Charles Elkind, 98, passed away June 2, 2021, after a ten-year struggle with Parkinson’s. A lover of family time, jazz, word puzzles, and theater, Chuck was born and raised on McAllister Street in San Francisco, CA. He graduated from Lowell High School in the early 1940s, San Francisco State in 1948, and Stanford University with a Master's Degree in Journalism in 1950. Chuck served his country playing trombone in the Army Air Corps Band. Chuck had an impressive career working at The Wall Street Journal, SRI, IBM, and AEA in Public Relations.

In November of 1947, Chuck met the love of his life, Rokama (nee Kramer) of Chicago, IL at a dance in San Francisco and it was love at first sight. A social activist at heart, Chuck helped to establish a Free Clinic in the later 1960s in Manhattan Beach. He loved his time as a thespian with the Manhattan Beach Community Church as well as playing music with a number of local bands after his retirement in the 1980s. His later years were spent in Manhattan Beach where he could stroll to the beach, sit on a bench, and watch the passing parade. Chuck is survived by his wife of 73 years, Rokama, daughters Sheila (Tim) Hostetler, Nanette (Jeff) Dorr, and Julie (Greg) Sevilla, grandchildren, Marissa, Vince, Rachel, Becky, Eli, Jeff, and great-grandchildren Aiden, Amelia & Nora.

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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