Today’s obituary notices:
- Irene Mary Keller
- Mildred E. Hall
- Vivian Cecilia Laughlin
Irene Mary Keller was born on June 5, 1916 in Walkill, New York, the 3rd of 10 children born to Michalena Charewicz Kruszynski and Peter Kruszynski. She died on May 27, 2013 in Santa Cruz, just one week shy of her 97th birthday. Her parents were Polish immigrants who came to this country for a better life. They moved to Danbury, Connecticut where Peter worked in the hat factories. Irene had to leave school at the end of the 8th grade to work in the factory as well and she reported that she cried on the way to work every day at first.
She met Charles Keller, a handsome, charming man on his way to a career in the military. They were married in 1941 a week after Pearl Harbor. Irene followed Charlie to stations in Maine, Kansas and Alabama where her oldest daughter was born. Two more daughters were born while he was stationed in Connecticut. The family was stationed in New Jersey, Kentucky, Austria, Germany and Washington over the years.
Irene created comfortable homes in all these varied places. Her favorite station was Austria where she found beautiful art and craft pieces that followed the family from house to house. She and Charlie settled in Steilacoom, Washington near Ft. Lewis, which was the last assignment with the Army. There they lived for nearly 50 years, cultivating many friends who remained in close touch when she moved to Santa Cruz.
Irene was a homemaker and volunteer. She gave many years of service to the Thrift Shop on Ft. Lewis where she was part of a circle of friends who supported and care for each other even to this day. A friend wrote on hearing of her passing: “Irene was a wonderful friend, an amazing woman we are proud to call our friend. She was gracious, friendly and always interested in whatever was happening in our family. Her sharp memory for details surprised and delighted us. For us, the house you lived in will always be the Keller house.”
Irene was predeceased by her husband Charles Keller and her daughter Anita. She is survived by her daughter Mary Fran Archer, three grandsons, Zach, Nate and Cam Archer, Anita’s daughter Karla Gatley and her daughter Janet Reardon and Jan’s children and grandchildren.
Special thanks go to the loving staff at Sunshine Villa and especially to Robin, whom Irene called her angel.
A memorial mass will be celebrated at the Shrine of St. Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer (544 W. Cliff Drive) in Santa Cruz on Saturday June 15, beginning at 1:00 p.m. A reception will follow at Mary Fran’s home, 524 Dufour St., Santa Cruz. A private committal was held earlier.
Contributions may be made to Hospice of Santa Cruz County, 940 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066.
Mildred E. Hall, born March 20, 1928, passed away May 29, 2013. “Millie” was born in Norris City, IL in 1928 to Elmer B. and Amy K. Spence. She attended Mtn. View High School in Mtn. View, MO and met the love of her life, John H. Hall, in 1946. Together they moved with their first daughter, Sandra (3 month old), to Tacoma where they made their home.
Millie was an avid bowler, shopped, seamstress, and baker. During the summer she could be found tending her garden or spending time with her grandchildren. Her husband’s love of golf took them to distant lands such as Fiji, Tahiti, and Australia. She worked for 20 years as a bookkeeper and also as a model for Harkness Furniture. She will be dearly missed and remembered by her infectious laugh, her impeccable sense of style, and her incredible sweater collection.
Millie is survived by two daughters, Debbie (Steve) and Sandra (Don); four grandchildren, Danielle (Chris), Jeremy (Lauren), Amy, and Aileen (Ian); and one great grandchild, Hunter.
A funeral service will be held on Monday, June 10, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. in Evergreen Chapel at New Tacoma Cemetery. Remembrances may be made to Franciscan Hospice House. Please visit our guestbook at www.newtacoma.com.
Vivian Cecilia Laughlin was born February 9, 1918 in Twin Falls, Idaho and passed away peacefully at ManorCare in Gig Harbor on May 25, 2013 with family members at her side. She will be greatly missed by family and friends.
She retired from the culinary business and worked at Steve’s Gay Nineties, Harry Gove, Husky Truck Stop, and other local restaurants as a fry cook. She and her daughter Judy opened their own restaurant in 1985 and built it into a thriving business in the north end of Tacoma called Wow’s Etc.
Vivian lived in Deming, New Mexico for several years with her son Larry until she required medical assistance. In late 2008 she returned to Gig Harbor and resided at ManorCare for about 5 years.
Vivian was preceded in death by her husband, Lorin; daughter, Lorina; and son, Terry. She is survived by sons, Monty (Connie) of Gig Harbor and Larry of Deming, New Mexico; daughter, Judy Nay of Olympia; ten grandchildren; and twelve great grandchildren.
Graveside services will be held at 3pm, Monday, June 10, 2013 at New Tacoma Cemetery, 9221 Chambers Creek Rd West, University Place, WA.