Today's Obituaries and Guest Books
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AKANA, CHRISTINE  
CHRISTINE AKANA Christine Akana, 68, a social worker, of Houston, passed away Sept. 5, 2016. Services were previously held.
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AMIRA, DEBRA  
DEBRA AMIRA Debra Shenker Amira, of St. Louis, passed away Sept. 27, 2016. She was the beloved daughter of the late Harry Shenker and the late Bess Friedman Shenker; dearly beloved mother and mother-in-law of Brian (Svetlana) Amira; dear grandmother of Kaitlin and Atticus Amira; dear sister and sister-in-law of Mitchell (Janice) Shenker; dear aunt of Rachel (Russell) Gottlieb and Allison Shenker; and dear great-aunt of Elana and Sophia. Debra was proud and honored to be chosen as a contestant in the 2013 Ms. Missouri Senior America Pageant. Graveside service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at Chevra Kadisha Cemetery in St. Louis. Memorial contributions may be made to the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry, 10950 Schuetz Road, St. Louis, MO 63146. Please visit bergermemorialchapel.com for more information.
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COFFEE, ROBERT  
ROBERT COFFEE Robert Coffee, 73, of Las Vegas, and formerly of Whiting, Ind., passed away Sept. 21, 2016. He was born May 15, 1943, in Chicago, to Robert E. Coffee and Margaret M. Wertzberger and resided in Las Vegas for 16 years. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and retired from Spiegel (DFS) after 30 years of service. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Margaret; and sister, Mary. He is survived by his wife, of 43 years, Debbie (nee Stolarz); daughter, Kimberly (Jeff) Ray of Las Vegas; granddaughters, Kayleigh and Emma; mother-in-law, Martine Stolarz; brothers, Terry (Eileen), Rich (Melanie); sisters, Kathleen, Sharon amd Karen (Mike). Memorial Mass will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 1811 Pueblo Vista Drive.
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FREEMAN, GERALD  
GERALD FREEMAN Gerald Warren Freeman, 83 of Nipton, Calif. and Henderson, passed away Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in the arms of his loving wife. Jerry was born Feb. 2, 1933, in Hollywood, Calif., to Bernard and Sylvia Freeman. Jerry graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School and received a bachelor of science degree in geology from Caltech. Jerry was a lifetime entrepreneur driven by opportunities made possible by the bridging old and new. He was a kind, supportive father, a loving and spirited husband, a friend who enjoyed in conversation of worldly and intellectual topics. He loved the sea, was an avid sailor and diver, yet focused his entrepreneurial vision on his other love, the desert. His parents, of Jewish faith, raised him in Los Angeles during uncertain post-depression times. In following the ideals of his father (a financial industrialist), he leveraged his degree in geology from Caltech and study of mining to reexamine the possibilities of old mining claims in Ivanpah Valley. With the support of investors, Jerry co-founded Vanderbilt Gold Corporation. Vanderbilt and Morning Star Mine grew with the price of gold for over a decade until prices plunged in 1980. Jerry's disheartened move from the gold business forced a new chapter of entrepreneurial thinking. Observations of challenging fossil fuel futures spurred interest in renewal energy systems. In 1982, Jerry acquired several acres of land in the same Ivanpah Valley and broke ground on Desert Plant Research Associates, a venture to realize the potential of renewable energy systems growing biomass fuels. Jerry's California license plate in 1983 sums it up and reveals his forward thinking, "Gro Oil." Only a few years later the propitious opportunity arrived. Nipton, the local town including store, homes and historic buildings was for sale. Nipton was purchased in 1985, where Jerry passionately explored multiple platforms for its future. Nipton became his labor of love and in 2010 Nipton was identified as the first solar-powered town in the United States. Jerry's diverse endeavors all shared the same location, the beautiful, serene Ivanpah Valley, a place that will miss his presence. Jerry's passionate involvement in the community reflected his entrepreneurial narrative, bridging old and new. He was a trustee of the Baker Valley School Board for 24 years. He also served on the Death Valley Natural History Association board and was a member of the Mojave National Preserve National Advisory Commission for many years. But most of all, he loved his family and wanted to provide for them. He was preceded in death by his son, Zachary Philip Freeman; and his parents, Bernard and Sylvia Freeman. He is immensely loved and survived by his wife, Roxanne Marie Lang; his sons, Jonathan (Joelle) and Nick (Tammie); and his grandchildren, Joshua, Jacob, Jeremy, Kiera and Carson. Celebration of Jerry's life will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at King David Memorial Chapel, 2697 E. Eldorado Lane. Donations should be made to the Pesach Fund, at Chabad of Green Valley, 10870 S. Eastern Ave., #104, Henderson, NV 89052.
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HARRIS, JUDITH  
JUDITH HARRIS Judith Mae Harris, 81, of Cole Camp, Mo., passed away Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, at Golden Age Living Center, Stover, Mo. She was born May 24, 1935, in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Frederick Lee and Ruth Henrietta (nee Dameron) Mills. She lived with her grandparents in Virginia until the age of five. She then went to Washington, D.C., to live with her aunt and uncle, Mary Elizabeth Dameron and Herman Francis Waldow and stayed with them while attending Anacostia High School and worked at a local department store in jewelry. Judy had also worked at a bank, for an insurance company with her aunt and as a waitress in several bars in the D.C. area. She lived in New York for a while and then moved back to Washington, D.C. She was united in marriage to Raymond "R. E." Eldridge Harris Feb. 14, 1976. Her husband, R. E., helped her get into Chapman College in Orange, Calif., where she received her master's degree of science majoring in human resources and development. After getting all her credentials, she worked in alcohol and drug treatment centers in Nevada and was transferred to train in other facilities in the United States. She also worked in Missouri at the Lake of the Ozarks in a treatment facility until it closed. In 2000, she and R. E. moved to Cole Camp, where she was active in the community, served as mayor from 2006-2010, was a member of First United Methodist Church and later opened a bed and breakfast, the "Guest House." Judy enjoyed dancing, listening to music and visiting with family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Frederick and Ruth Mills; her aunt and uncle, Mary and Herman Waldow; and her husband, R. E. Harris. She is survived by her two sons, Larry Hamlet (Sue) of Durango, Colo., and David Hardesty of Spokane, Wash.; two stepdaughters, Kathy O'Malley and Kelly Duarte (David), all of Las Vegas; two stepsons, Mark Harris of Las Vegas, and Matt Harris (Sandy) of Sedalia, Mo.; one granddaughter, Leigh Ingham (Brett) of Clarksville, Tenn.; three stepgrandchildren, Nicole O'Malley, Dallas O'Malley and Danielle Duarte; and two great-grandchildren, Kaleb and Kloe Ingham. The family will receive friends from 11 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 1, with memorial service following, both at First United Methodist Church, Cole Camp, with Pastor Jason Veale officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Cemetery, Cole Camp. The family suggests memorial contributions be given to First United Methodist Church in care of the Fox Funeral Home, Cole Camp. Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, "Wow, what a ride!!!"
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JUAREZ, ALEXANDRA  
ALEXANDRA JUAREZ Alexandra Angel Averitt Juarez, a native of Las Vegas passed away peacefully Sept. 25, 2016, at the age of 22. She was a fun-loving and creative student who never met a stranger. She recently earned her bachelor of arts in English with emphasis on creative writing. She enjoyed writing poetry, singing, taking selfies giving hugs, and above all else, she loved her family and friends. She was preceded in death by her grandmother Beverly Averitt. Alex leaves to cherish her memory her caring husband, Walter Juarez; her loving parents, Katherine Johnson and Stephen (Michele) Averitt; sister, Josephine Averitt; brother, Mitchell Smith; grandparents, Ray and Freida Beaton, Douglas Averitt and Ray and Muriel Valle; and mother and father-in-law, Erik and Anna Juarez. Visitation will be noon-4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, with service following, both at Palm Mortuary, 1600 S. Jones Blvd. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Children's Heart Foundation at www.chfn.org or mail to Preferred sub group, Family Support, 3006 S. Maryland Parkway, #690, Las Vegas, NV 89109.
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KEISER, MARY KAY  
MARY KAY KEISER Mary Kathryn Keiser, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, went to be with the Lord Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. Mary Kay was born June 24, 1936, in Mishawaka, Ind., and was a 53-year resident of Las Vegas. Mary Kay received her BA and MS from UNLV and was employed by Desert Regional Center for 15 years, concluding her professional career as a private practice psychotherapist. Mary Kay accomplished this while raising her four children. She was an active volunteer for many non-profit organizations over the years and especially enjoyed her service as an elder at First (Grace) Presbyterian Church. In recent years, Mary Kay served as a crisis counselor in southern Nevada dealing with trauma intervention. She also volunteered as a grief counselor and led a cancer support group at Grace Presbyterian Church for over 20 years. As a charter member, Mary Kay helped organize P.E.O. Chapter Y in 1973 and was an active member ever since. Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Ruth Heim. She is survived by her beloved husband, of 60 years, John; four children, John Keiser, James Keiser, Jana (John) Mortensen and Julie (John) McLin; nine grandchildren, Jason (Jennifer) Keiser, Kathryn (Patrick) Wallace, Tyler Keiser, Josef Keiser, Jesse Keiser, Corey Brewer, Casey Brewer, Shane McLin and Stefan McLin; and six great-grandchildren, Kelsey, Jace, Kannon, Jenna, Kadin and Emma. She is also survived by her beloved sisters, Barbara Johnson, Georgia Tagmeyer and Janice (Jerry) Reed; brother, Edward (Diane) Heim; and beloved in-laws, Beehler Keiser and Judy Dahlberg. Mary loved her family, friends and going to her grandkids' activities. Celebration of life will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at Grace Presbyterian Church, 1515 W. Charleston Blvd., with a reception immediately following the services. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Grace Presbyterian Church building fund.
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PHILLIPS Sr., RONALD  
RONALD PHILLIPS SR. Ronald Lee "Ronnie" Phillips Sr., 49, passed away unexpectedly Aug. 30, 2016, at home. Ron was born May 16, 1967, in Anchorage, Alaska. He graduated from Mt. Miguel High School in San Diego, then went into the U.S. Navy as a sonar technician on the U.S.S. Joseph Hewes stationed in Charleston, S.C. After an honorable discharge, he went in to electrical work where he spent most of his years in Las Vegas. His last place of employment was CSN-College of Southern Nevada. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd A. Phillips and Joyce E. Phillips. Ron is survived by his son, Ronald Lee Phillips Jr.; his biological mother, Sophie; his sister, Lynn Vinson; his brother, Bruce Phillips; his sister, Joyce Lynn; his brother, Grant Jr.; and his nieces and nephews. Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at Desert Memorial, 1111 N. Las Vegas Blvd., N. Las Vegas, NV 89101. Burial will be at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1900 Veterans Memorial Drive, Boulder City.
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COOK, WILLIAM  
WILLIAM COOK William Lee Cook, age 73, passed away Sept. 24, 2016, in Las Vegas. He was born Feb. 24, 1943, in Detroit, to Norma Berger Cook, and was a 53-year resident of Las Vegas. William married Marsha Gallacher in January 1979. He worked in the casino industry as a pit boss most of those years. William was a faith member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had a love for horses, darts and billiards and won many trophies playing nine-ball. He also enjoyed embroidering so much that he started his own business. William was a kind hearted man. He and Marsha would open their house up to other children in need. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marsha; and son Billy. William is survived by his children and stepchildren, Billy, Gay Lynn, Lisa, Colin, Debbie, Art, Barbie and Marshall. Service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at Winterwood Ward Chapel, 1707 Sloan Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89142. Family and friends can sign an online memorial guestbook at www.bouldercityfamilymortary.com
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HELLER, MARTIN  
MARTIN HELLER Martin Heller, 71, of Las Vegas, passed away Sept. 21, 2016. No services are scheduled.
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