Erica Marie Warren (Bynum-Hultz)
John Kenneth Kalajian
John Kenneth Kalajian passed away June 17, 2020. Born in South Gate, California, Ken was the son of Vaughan Ellen Kalajian and his adopted father, Harry Missag Kalajian. Ken’s family relocating to Michigan when he was two years old. Ken grew up with a younger brother, Charlie, who was his partner in crime and may have helped Kenny set fire to part of their house as kids. At the age of twelve Ken and Charlie were adopted by their stepdad, Harry, and given another brother, Michael Kalajian.
Ken served his country in the U.S. Army from August 1976 through July 1979. He was stationed in Germany and worked in the communications field. While in Germany Ken traded jackets with a German soldier. This jacket was handed down to Ken’s daughter, Sonja.
Upon his return to civilian life Ken relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he met his wife, Branka. The couple moved to Southern California in 1982 to be near Ken's family; they divorced after 22 years of marriage.
While visiting Sedona, Arizona, Ken fell in love with the red rock landscape and decided to move there in 2007. While not a religious man, Sedona accentuated the Native American culture Ken appreciated, occasionally attending shamanic services.
Ken’s favorite meal was spaghetti, which he shared with to his grandson, Logan. Ken was a classic rock music fan and attended countless concerts with Sonja; a memory she cherishes. His enthusiasm for music was noticeable by his tendency to wake his household by playing rock DVDs loudly in his living room.
Ken loved his animals. His death was preceded by those of a few of his favorite pets: dog, Harley; and cats, Midnight and Bobbi. Ken kept their photos around the house and often lit candles in their memories.
A man of high intelligence, Ken loved to read. His collection of hundreds of books covered various topics, such as politics, religion and music. He shared a love of guns with his daughter and son-in-law, who had the great opportunity of visiting the shooting range with Ken shortly before his death.
In Sonja's words: "He was my Big Guy and I his Little One. We had an amazingly close relationship, where we couldn’t stand living further than a couple hours apart – I followed him from California. One year for Christmas we even got matching Celtic tattoos. That’s just how our relationship was. I will always be grateful for the memories I have of us at concerts and camping. He was also very close to my husband, Tyler, and to our son, Logan. My dad was such a proud grandpa to my boys.”
Ken’s girlfriend, Erma, was by his side for the last five years. Together they took trips throughout Northern Arizona and Colorado, memories Erma will keep close to heart.
Ken was preceded in death by parents, Vaughan and Harry Kalajian; brother, Charles Kalajian; and grandson, Ezra "Braden" Lundahl.
Ken is survived by his daughter, Sonja Lundahl and her husband, Tyler; grandson, Logan Lundahl; brother, Michael Kalajian and his wife, Yvette; girlfriend, Erma Molina; and dog, Mickey.
Ken was cremated. His ashes will be buried in the Sedona Community Cemetery at a later date.
Steven James Dixon
Geraldine L. Shute
Having dreamed one more dream, having turned her grand vision into reality and taken the life she imagined and orchestrated it into a final perfect adventure, Geraldine L. Shute, 78, died October 24th, 2017, unexpectedly, but quite contentedly, in New York City.
Gerri was born on December 14, 1938 in Aurora, Illinois and spent a joy filled childhood in the small town of Lisbon, Illinois with her parents, Gerald and Elverna (Fox) Hilt; and sisters, Nancy and Sandra. Fun days were spent roaming the streets with neighbors, picking violets, and playing ball. She dreamed of becoming a major league baseball player. Her dad called her Tootsie and when asked her name, Gerri would respond "Tootsie Roll Hilt."
A bright student, Gerri graduated from Newark High School and was honored as valedictorian of her class. Gerri enrolled in Northern Illinois University in DeKalb where she majored in English and minored in Library Science and French. She continued her studies there and earned a Master’s Degree in Library Science. After college, Gerri ventured to Anaheim, California, with friends. There she found good times and a good job as a librarian. Her next move was to a teaching position in Alexandria, Virginia. While in Alexandria, Gerri learned of openings for teachers at overseas military bases. Driven by her sense of adventure, Gerri was off to Germany, the first of her many journeys across the globe.
Gerri returned to her home state of Illinois and began a long career in business. She was employed by Arthur Meyerhoff Associates and the Chicago Tribune. Following her tenure with the Tribune Gerri became Vice President of Research at Russell Reynolds, a leading international search firm.
In 1989, Gerri married the love of her life, David Shute, General Counsel for Sears, Roebuck and Company. A short time later she started her own business.
In 2004, Gerri retired to spend more time with David. Together they enjoyed an abundant and well-rounded life of travel, intellectual discussions, their art collections, and entertaining in their beautiful home. They often traveled to New York City for trips to museums, theater and lectures.
After David died Gerri continued to visit New York. It was her "happy place" and her spiritual home. When visiting was no longer enough, Gerri followed her dream and moved to New York City where she enjoyed every day to its fullest.
Gerri pursued everything in life with zest and her game of tennis was no exception. She was an avid player for years. In more relaxed moments she enjoyed reading, especially Virginia Woolf and the other members of the Bloomsbury Group of writers.
German and Austrian art was another passion, especially the works of Dagobert Peche. She loved music and two of her favorite artists were Tony Bennett and Jason Mras.
Gerri was larger than life and loved by her family. She made everyone feel like they were the most important person in the world. She was a giving and caring person who hosted elaborate tea parties for friends. She was a member of the women’s board of United Cerebral Palsy and volunteered at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.
Gerri frequently commented that her family’s health, well-being, and happiness were her passion. In turn they learned from her to fill their lives with passion, travel, art, music, and happy energy. Her nieces and nephews have lost their biggest admirer, but will always carry her beautiful spirit and heart in their hearts.
Gerri was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, David; her grandparents; along with aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends.
She is survived by her sisters, Nancy (James) Horton, Sandra (Michael) Moran; her nieces, Kerri (Adam Zielka) Horton, Jill (Chris) Ferko; her nephew, Timothy Moran; great-nephew, Brody; her great-niece Callie; and Norman Abad, whom she lovingly referred to as her son from a previous marriage.
A private service was held in Gerri’s memory.
Burton R. James, M.D.
Burton R. James, 99, a second generation Fresno physician, passed away Dec. 15, 2017. Dr. James was the eldest son of Dr. Charles A. James, who was in general practice as an obstetrician from 1921-1955.
Burton James graduated from Fresno High School and Fresno State College. He attended George Washington College of Medicine in Washington D.C. and received his medical degree in 1944. Dr. Burton completed his internship and residency at South Pacific Hospital in San Francisco. He served in the Army Medical Corps in Battle Creek, Michigan. After returning to Fresno, he practiced general medicine from 1948-1955. He then entered a residency program in opthamology at the University of Michigan. After completion of his residency Dr. James returned to Fresno. He was a founding member of Eye Medical Clinic Inc. When asked about retirement, Dr. James often said that he would not retire, but he stepped into his office for the last time on Jan. 31, 1990, at the age of 70.
Dr. James joined the Downtown Rotary of Fresno when he was in his sixties. He traveled all over the United States to various Rotary meetings.
He was a member of the Fresno County Medical Society, the California Medical Association; the American Medical Association, as well a fellow of the American Acadamy of Opthamology. He also served as a National Board of Medical Examiners Diplomat in 1946 and a National Board of Opthamology Diplomat in 1960.
Dr. James was a versatile and prolific writer of stories and award winning poems.
Dr. James was preceded in death by wife, Evelyn R. James; his father, Dr. Charles James, mother, Sadie Reed James; brother, Charles James Jr., and brother-in-law, Robert Reynolds, DDS.
He is survived by his daughter, Bette Burton Zingarelli and husband, Robert; granddaughters, Deborah James Austin and husband, Tom, and Brooke Elizabeth Zingarelli, of San Francisco; great-grandsons, Garrett and Hayden Austin; sister, Betty James Reynolds; brother, Thomas James and wife, Pat; and many nieces and nephews.
Oscar H. Abundis
Oscar H. Abundis, 28, passed away Aug. 5, 2017.
Oscar was born in Long Beach, Calif. to Maria and Roberto Abundis. He was raised in Riverside, Calif. His family included sisters, Nataly and Maria; and brother, Edgar. He attended Poly High School and Universal Technical Institute. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix
His military service included training in Airborne School and Ranger School. He also participated in WLC (Warrior Leaders Course) and Air Assault School. He spent nine months in Deployment Services.
He was employed by The Metropolitan Detention Center, Los Angeles.
Oscar was a CrossFit enthusiast and enjoyed Off-Roading. He displayed the talents and abilities of a true leader.
Oscar is survived by his father, Roberto Abundis; mother, Maria Abundis; sisters, Nataly Abundis and Maria Abundis Kinsella; brother, Edgar Abundis; daughter, Elliana Abundis; partner, Jessie Navejas; stepdaughters, Angelina Gutierrez and Kayla Gutierrez.
"Paratroopers don't die, they just slip away."
"Rangers lead the way."
Gertrude Elizabeth Dodson
Gertrude Elizabeth Dodson was born on Sept. 18, 1938 in Annapolis, Md. Surrounded by her family, she answered the call to Glory on Aug. 23, 2017.
Lovingly known as "Trudy" to her family and friends, she was the fifth of eight children born to the late Alexander and Bertha Morgan. She was educated in the Anne Arundel Public School System. Trudy worked most of her life as a home care provider and housewife. She accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age and was a member of Queen’s Chapel United Methodist Church.
When her children were young, the family spent many weekends on their boat cruising, fishing, and crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay, or getting ready for a trip to Solomon’s Island. It was a thrilling experience for the entire family. In the following years, the family made many equally exciting and fun road trips to Ocean City, Md. During the holidays and at special family gatherings, Trudy was always called upon to make her famous macaroni and cheese. This was a special recipe that she created and perfected. No one could replicate the wonderful taste!
Trudy was a loving mother, devoted wife, and a good friend. Fondly given the nickname, "Grace" by her late son Phillip, her daughters continued to use it as a term of endearment when calling their mother. Trudy was very particular about her girls. She made sure that they "shined like new pennies" for each Christmas and Easter! Trudy was very close to her children. She spoke with Sandy and Tricia every single weekday morning, and to Donna every Friday evening. Trudy enjoyed calling and visiting her daughter, DeBra, who lives in Cypress, Texas. Prior to his death, Trudy spent much time with her son and enjoyed his company.
Trudy loved her husband of 62 years, William, unconditionally. She was committed and dedicated and she was his best friend and confidant. The two were inseparable as they shared a full and complete life together. Trudy dearly adored all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who affectionaly called her "Momma Trudy. Momma Trudy was a favorite to all her grandchildren. If they had something special in their lives, Momma Trudy was the first to hear it! She danced and interacted with her grandchildren and they all loved her so much. Momma Trudy never missed a graduation or wedding no matter where it was held and was planning to attend her grandson’s wedding in October 2017.
Momma Trudy had a special relationship with all of her sons-in-law. She had a very special love for each and every one of them. George Edwards lived too far away to get into any mischief, but Tom Jackson, Greg Snowden, and Joseph Hairston were another story. Momma Trudy only let certain people drive her car. Tom Jackson was one of them. As the story goes, Tom, Greg, and Joseph, were asked to run an errand for her. Something happened and the car was damaged. Scared beyond belief, the three had to face Momma Trudy with the news. She took it all in stride and laughed it off and hugged and kissed each of them. Everybody was in a state of shock at her reaction!
Trudy loved her television shows. Steve Harvey was her main man! She could hardly wait until it was time for The Wheel of Fortune and the Young and the Restless. Another great passion of Trudy’s was shopping. The Hecht Company and Macy’s were her favorite stores. You could always find her at Prince George’s Plaza getting an outfit for a special occasion.
Greeting her at the Heavenly Gates are her parents, Alexander and Bertha; her siblings Alexander, Lillian, Theodore, Raymond, Michael and Curtis. Her son, Phillip preceded her in death in 2012.
She is survived by her sister, Barbara Carter; and sisters-in-law, Sarah, Delores and Barbara Dodson. Trudy also leaves her husband of 62 years, William P. Dodson Jr., to mourn her passing; four daughters, DeBra (George), Sandra (Thomas), Donna (Gregory), and Tricia (Joseph); nine grandchildren, Darin (Yolanda), George III, Brian Keith, Thomas, Jr., Brandon, Chelsea, Greg, Jr., Victor and Amaya; four great-grandchildren, Lily, Jada, Arielle and Brayland. She is also survived by two special granddaughters, Shamana and Brittney; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.