Obituaries - 2018

These obituaries are for people who died during 2018. They are listed in reverse chronological order. All of our obituaries have been collected by ASURA volunteers, primarily from the Arizona Republic. They have been edited for use in ASURA publications.

Julia Kmetko RichardsonJulia Kmetko Richardson26 Jan 2018Julia Kmetko Richardson, 98, passed away on January 26, 2018. She worked many years in the Mesa Public School system, for Motorola and at ASU. Julia is predeceased by siblings and two husbands. She is survived by a daughter, a son, multiple grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a handful of great-great grandchildren. A graveside service will be held at Green Acres Mortuary on February 9 at 2:00 p.m. Gifts can be made in her honor to the charity of your choice.
Richard Wayne LoweRichard Wayne Lowe25 Jan 2018Richard Wayne “Dick” Lowe 92, passed away on January 25, 2018. He served in the Army Air Force from 1944 and was honorably discharged in 1946 receiving three medals during his time. He graduated from Arizona State College in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He began working at the Southwest Experimental Poultry Station and in 1969 went on to become a poultry teacher at the ASU Farm. He retired in real estate as a broker/property manager for Red Carpet and eventually Lowe & Associates. Richard leaves behind his wife Rosalie Lowe, a daughter, six grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am on Friday February 2, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church, 161 N. Mesa Dr., Mesa, AZ. 85201. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the First Presbyterian Church in the memory of Richard Lowe. Phone number (480) 694-8606. (Source: Arizona Republic)
Donald Eugene MowrerDonald Eugene Mowrer23 Jan 2018Donald Eugene Mowrer, 88, died on January 23, 2018. After graduating from Wooster College, he attended Florida State University where he received a Master's Degree Speech Pathology. Don received a PhD in Education at ASU and was later employed as Associate Professor of Speech Pathology at ASU, where he became known as an expert in his field, authoring a number of books and journal articles in the field of speech therapy and speech disorders. Don is survived by five children and seven grandchildren. Funeral services will be at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, on Saturday, February 27, at 2:00 P.M. with burial to follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery. (Source: Arizona Republic)
 Barbara Stone Bedient20 Jan 2018Barbara Stone Bedient, 95, died January 20, 2018. She graduated from the University of Connecticut at Storrs in 1945 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Bacteriology. After graduation she worked as a laboratory technician, first at Boston Children's Hospital, then at Parke-Davis in Detroit and then at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. It was there that she met Jack D. Bedient and they married in 1949. Barbara accepted a technician position in the Medical School at the University of Washington. After Jack completed his teaching certificate at the University of Washington he was hired to teach mathematics in Port Angeles, Washington. In 1959, the family moved again for Jack to attend graduate school at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Jack was hired by the mathematics department at ASU in 1963 and became Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Statistics. Barbara and Jack helped establish the Tempe Center for the Handicapped which provided social activities for young adults with disabilities. Eventually Barbara earned her teaching certificate at ASU then taught 7th and 8th grade science from 1969 until her retirement in 1988. Barbara is survived by four children, four granddaughters and a brother. She was preceded in death by two siblings, a cousin and an aunt. The family will gather in Tempe later this year to celebrate her life.
Frederick Richard UngerFrederick Richard Unger20 Jan 2018Frederick Richard Unger, 68, passed away on January 20, 2018. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Business/Finance. After graduation he joined Calmark Realty Management in Santa Monica, CA, where he worked doing real estate syndications around the country and eventually serving as the company's President. In 1982 he started his own company; National Western Capital Corporation (NWCC) in Long Beach, CA. NWCC formed many single asset partnerships and was the beginning of Fred's entrepreneurial career. In 1987 Fred and family moved to Paradise Valley, to begin working in the rather yet untapped development and real estate market in Scottsdale and surrounding areas. Throughout the last 30 years Fred became well-known by many for his noteworthy work on projects such as The Hermosa Inn, The Royal Palms Resort, and Scottsdale's Southbridge; transforming and restoring iconic and historical places to their greatest potential. Fred believed and most appreciated the human transformations he was blessed to be a part of. In 2016 he was elected to the Scottsdale History Hall of Fame for his contributions to the City. Bringing out the best in people was his greatest gift, and he accomplished this through his example and his mentorship of many. Through the years Fred mentored students in the ASU Entrepreneurship Program. He was on the boards of many Valley organizations. Fred's legacy continues on through his wife, Jennifer (Moore) Unger, four children, five grandchildren, two siblings and countless nieces and nephews. A memorial service celebrating Fred's life was held at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church on Monday, January 29, 2018. For memorial contributions, the Unger Family has designated three organizations that Fred supported: the UMOM New Day Center , Paradise Valley United Methodist Church  and Cancer Support Community Arizona . (Source: ASU Foundation)
Barry CarterBarry Carter19 Jan 2018Barry Carter passed away on January 19, 2018. He attended Eltham College and graduated from the British Naval Academy. Upon graduation he served a 12 year Short Service Commission with the Fleet Air Arm as an aviator. After being promoted to Lieutenant, he participated with great distinction in the 1956 Suez War flying a record number of sorties off of HMS Eagle in De Havilland Sea Venoms. From then to mid 1958 he was seconded to the Royal Australian Naval Air Force to coach and support their navigators who were also flying in Sea Venoms from their base in Nowra New South Wales. On his return to the UK he was invited to command the Fleet Air Arms Field Gun Crews on two record breaking occasions in 1958 and 1960. This was history in the making for until then no officer had been invited twice—and none since. After 12 years in the Royal Navy, Barry moved into a series of senior marketing roles with the Ford European Group and their Associates. From there he became the International Sales and Marketing Director for Lotus Cars, and a few years later moved to a similar position with Lamborghini UK. Through his international contacts Barry was invited to move to the USA. After a short spell guiding the local Coors Beer distributor in marketing and sponsorships, Barry established his own successful marketing consulting business enjoying a number of prestigious clients and handling innumerable product launches. One constant thread throughout his life was his love of sports and coaching--especially rugby. He was head coach of the ASU men’s team from 1997-1983 and again from 1988-1993. He returned to coach the ASU women's team from 1999 until heart surgery forced him into retirement. Throughout his tenure as both men's and women's coach his teams consistently won local, regional and conference championships. Several players went on to become All Americans and represented the USA on an international level. On Saturday, March 10, 2018, there will be gathering celebrating Barry's Life in Scottsdale. For more information please send an email to (Source: Arizona Republic)
John E. DriscollJohn E. Driscoll15 Jan 2018John E. Driscoll, 83, died on January 15, 2018. He studied briefly at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, a Benedictine seminary. Deciding not to become a priest, he returned to Fargo to enter North Dakota State, where he earned his B.A. in 1958. He began teaching in Browns Valley, MN, where he met and married his first wife, Lois Westbrock. He then taught in Hastings, MN, before moving to Arizona in 1962. He earned his Master's degree from ASU in 1968. John taught at Alhambra and Washington high schools before entering the community college system in 1970. He taught English at Phoenix College for 27 years, serving as department chair and faculty president. He also taught for NAU and ASU, teaching a Shakespeare course at the Valley Shakespeare Festival in 1978. John retired in 1996. Survivors are his wife, Eileen Bailey Driscoll, his daughter, son, sister, four grandsons, four great-grandchildren and four nieces. John was preceded in death by a daughter. Survivors also include Eileen's three daughters, ten grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and a sister. John’s Memorial will be at 3 p.m., January 28, 2018 at St. Joseph's Hospital Chapel, 350 W. Thomas, Phoenix.(Source: ASU Foundation)
Helen Elizabeth NebekerHelen Elizabeth Nebeker15 Jan 2018Helen Elizabeth Nebeker, 90, passed away on January 15, 2018. Helen achieved a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. to become a Professor of English at Arizona State University, Tempe, teaching there from 1957 to 1987. Helen is preceded in death by her husband, Aquila Chauncey Nebeker, Jr., and her only son. Survivors include a daughter, four grandchildren and five great-grandsons. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 27 at 10:30 AM in the LDS chapel at 9565 E. Larkspur Dr., Scottsdale. There will be an hour to visit and renew "auld acquaintances" in the Relief Society Room preceding the service. A private graveside service for the family will be held at the Greenwood Memorial Cemetery following the funeral. To share online condolences or stories and read a sketch of Helen's life go to Grandma Nebeker Blog
Celia Ann Jarrett HalsteadCelia Ann Jarrett Halstead14 Jan 2018Celia Ann Jarrett Halstead, 72, passed away on January 14, 2018. Celia held degrees from both the UofA and ASU. She was a social worker and psychiatric social worker. She taught at the ASU School of Social Work, lectured nationally on health care, and won numerous awards. She was preceded in death by a daughter. She is survived by her husband, Dale, a daughter, five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, four sisters and an extended family of nieces, nephews and in-laws. In lieu of flowers please donate to the charity of your choice. A Celebration of Celia's life will be held on Thursday, February 1, 2018, at El Casino Ballroom, 437 E. 26th St., Tucson, AZ, from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Robert D. OhmartRobert D. Ohmart14 Jan 2018Robert D. Ohmart, “Dr O”, 80, passed away on January 14, 2018. He received his B.S. (1961) and M.S. (1963) degrees in wildlife management and biology from the University of New Mexico, and Ph.D. in vertebrate zoology from the University of Arizona (1968). In 1970, as Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences, he initiated a Wildlife Biology program at ASU. He was very much involved in the development of the Center for Environmental Studies, which has become the current Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU. After retiring in 2006 he focused on his love of farming. With guidance from Dan James, one of his graduate students, he created a company called Double "O" Enterprises. The mission was to provide a diverse blend of native Sonoran plant seed to revegetate disturbed landscapes. He was a pioneer in this field, and his success is evident as you drive along any Arizona highway or byway. Dr. O's team of field researchers and students conducted the seminal work that established the blueprint for habitat and wildlife needs in the Southwest. His longterm, collaborative research along the lower Colorado River laid the foundation for understanding habitat requirements for wildlife and creating that habitat where it had been lost. His work in the conservation arena was tireless, as was his role in influencing conservation efforts for the southwestern bald eagle and the southwestern willow flycatcher. In 2009 he was inducted into Arizona Game and Fish Department's Outdoor Hall of Fame and, prior to that, was awarded the Arizona Wildlife Federation's Thomas E. McCullough Memorial Award. Dr. O is survived by his wife, Teresa, two brothers, four children, 14 grandchildren and extended family. A celebration of his life will be held on January 27, 11:00 a.m. at the Sun Valley Community Church (Tempe Campus) in the chapel with a reception to follow in the social hall. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation (2600 E Elwood St, Phoenix, AZ 85040) or Hospice of the Valley (1510 E Flower Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014). (Source: Arizona Republic)
Laura Jane FloresLaura Jane Flores11 Jan 2018Laura Jane Flores, 66, known to everyone as Jane or Jayni, died January 11, 2018. Dr. Flores earned a Bachelor's degree in Education and Bi-lingual Education from Eastern New Mexico University. For a time she taught in Clovis, while she completed her Master's Degree. She went on to earn a PhD from New Mexico State University. Dr. Flores taught at the Flagstaff campus of ASU and then became Dean of Education at Mesa Community College. She eventually returned to New Mexico, and taught at Clovis Community College before moving to Las Vegas, NM to teach at Highlands University. Later, she taught at the Rio Rancho branch of Highlands. Dr. Flores retired in 2014. In addition to her teaching positions, she worked at different times as office manager at LaCasa in Roswell, and at James Polk Bank where she taught Spanish to the employees. Jayni is survived by a brother and numerous nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and nephews and even great-nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by three brothers and a sister. The Rosary for Dr. Jayni Flores was recited on January 16, 2018 at St. Helen Catholic Church followed by Mass of the Resurrection followed by burial in the Portales Cemetery, NM. (Source: ASU Foundation)
Janet Louise BriaJanet Louise Bria7 Jan 2018Janet Louise Bria, 87, passed away on January 7, 2018. Janet was a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Journalism and received her Master of Arts degree from ASU. She taught English Literature at ASU and Literature and Humanities at Glendale Community College. Survivors include a son. A Memorial Mass will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 3, 2018 at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 4715 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Arizona Animal Welfare League, 25 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034 and Ryan House, 110 West Merrell Street, 1st Floor Phoenix, AZ 85013.
 Bruce T. HalleBruce T. Halle4 Jan 2018

Bruce T. Halle, founder of Discount Tire, died January 4, 2018. He was 87. Halle was Discount Tire's chairman of the board and was ranked by Forbes magazine as the richest person in Arizona with a net worth of more than $5 billion. Halle started his first tire store in Ann Arbor, Michigan, four years after he graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in business administration. He opened his second store in 1964 and had seven in Michigan by 1970 and expanded to Arizona that same year. Discount Tire moved its headquarters to Scottsdale in 1987. The company had more than 200 stores by 1990 and opened its 500th store in 2002. It currently has 975 stores in 34 states with more than 20,000 employees. "There are really just five simple lessons to life: Be honest, work hard, have fun, be grateful and pay it forward." (Bruce T. Halle)  Halle and his wife, Diane, are strong advocates for social justice, higher education, health and medical initiatives and the arts and have channeled their generosity to a range of ASU initiatives since 1985. They gave generously to the ASU Art Museum, the ASU School of Art, and the Herberger Institute, as well as to scholarship and visiting artist programs that impacted individual students and artists. They were passionate about making sure the general public had access to great art, as evidenced by their support for James Turrell’s ‘ASU Skyspace: Air Apparent’ and the adjacent Diane and Bruce Halle Skyspace Garden near Rural and Terrace roads. The Halles recently gave a gift to support the Mayo Medical School — Arizona Campus and its collaboration with ASU. Their most recent gift supported the newly constructed Herberger Young Scholars Academy, a unique learning environment for gifted children at the ASU West campus. Halle is survived by his wife, Diane, four children, three siblings and seven grandchildren. He was predeceased by three brothers and the mother of his children, Geraldine (Gerry) Konfara Halle. The family has held a private service in his honor. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to his favorite charities: Marine Corps Scholarship Fund , 909 N. Washington St., Suite 400, Alexandria, VA 22314; UMOM New Day Centers, Inc. , 3333 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85008; Bruce T. Halle Assistance Fund , 20225 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85255. (Sources:, Arizona Republic, ASU News)

 Rosemary Johnson3 Jan 2018

Rosemary Johnson, 93, died on January 3, 2018. Shortly after her birth, she was adopted. At age 11, Rosemary was united with her biological father, and paternal grandparents, aunts and cousins. Her paternal relatives had a profound and positive impact on her life. After graduation from high school, she enrolled in the Milwaukee General Hospital School of Nursing and joined the Cadet Nursing Corps during World War II. When she finished the three-year nursing program, she moved to the Twin Cities, Minnesota, School of Public Health. After completing a Master's Degree, she was appointed as an instructor in the School of Public Health. In 1959, she was appointed to the faculty of the ASU School of Nursing to develop the Public Health and Mental Health Nursing programs. She served as Acting Dean of the College of Nursing (1964-1966). She then attended UCLA's doctoral program of Behavioral Sciences in Public Health. She returned to ASU College of Nursing to coordinate the graduate Community Health Nursing area of concentration. She was chairperson of over 50 students' research projects and theses. Rosemary retired from the ASU College of Nursing as Professor Emeritus in 1987. Her professional service experiences included serving on the National League for Nursing Collegiate Board of Review. She made accreditation visits to collegiate nursing education programs throughout the US. She also served as President of the National Committee of Graduate Faculty in C.H.N./P.H.N. She was a delegate to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. She was an outstanding faculty of the ASU College of Nursing in 1985 and selected as "Business Woman of the Week" by the Mesa Arizona newspaper. In 1993, Rosemary moved to Prescott with her longtime friend, Juanita Murphy. Rosemary is predeceased by her biological and adoptive parents and her adoptive brother. She is survived by nieces, nephews, cousins and her longtime friend, Juanita Murphy. A Memorial Celebration of Rosemary's life was held at Unity Church, 145 S. Arizona Ave, Prescott, Arizona, on January 13, 2018. Contributions can be made to the Rosemary Johnson Nursing Scholarship at ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovations. (Source: ASU Foundation)