SACC EXTENDS OUR DEEPEST CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED AWAY
Cliff Franzen – March 2020
Cliff 87 of Tucson, AZ passed away March 13, 2020. He is survived by children Lisa (Jon) Brown, Jason, three granddaughters and two step-grandsons. Retired, 38 years from U.S West, Korean War Veteran, Volunteer of Pioneers, Knights of Columbus and was a founding member of St. Melany Byzantine Catholic Church. Viewing, Thurs. March 19, 2020, 10:00 a.m., Mass at 11:00 a.m. followed by lunch at St. Melany Byzantine Catholic Church, 1212 N. Sahuara Ave. Arrangements by BRING’S BROADWAY CHAPEL
Gordon Cheeseman – March 2020
As a boy, Gordon Cheeseman labored on the family’s 240-acre farm near the small town of Shannon, Illinois, where his parents raised Hereford cattle for breeding. He described toiling during the threshing season from sunrise to sunset and learning life values and the importance of the work ethic.
After high school, he enrolled in radio school in Chicago and was hired at radio station WDAN in Danville, Illinois. It was at the station where he met his future wife, Cornelia. The couple married in 1943 and reared two children, and Cheeseman has one grandchild.
Cheeseman, who would have turned 102 on Aug. 3, was a member of the technical staff at the station, which featured local musicians, played popular tunes and where years later he met Dick Van Dyke, a radio announcer and a show co-host. Van Dyke’s brother, Jerry, also played music at the station, and both later became television stars. The Van Dyke brothers grew up in Danville.
After working at the station for two years, Cheeseman enlisted in the Army and worked in communications, attending radio and radar schools before his assignment as a radar man on a B-24 bomber, protecting convoys headed to England from German submarines. He became a commissioned officer and continued supervising soldiers who repaired radios, telephones and teletypes in the Pacific, and later was assigned to a Signal Corps army post in Japan before returning to the states and receiving an honorable discharge in 1946.
His experience led him to a job in 1947 with the Bell System in Champagne, Illinois, working on the mobile radio telephone service, which was the beginning of cellphones. His abilities led him to work for NASA on Project Mercury, the first human spaceflight program to put a man into Earth’s orbit, in 1958. There were six flights, and the astronauts were Alan B. Shepard Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, John H. Glenn Jr., Scott M. Carpenter, Walter M. Schirra and L. Gordon Cooper Jr. “We built 18 tracking stations around the world that followed the astronauts in space,” explained Cheeseman, recalling his historic work while sitting at the dining room table of his north-side home with his second wife, Wilma, who listened intently.
After Mercury, Cheeseman was hired to work on the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, a radar system built by the United States during the Cold War to give early warning of a Soviet nuclear attack. There were stations in Hawaii, Greenland and England that were pointed toward Russia, and all the stations were connected to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, in Colorado Springs, recalled Cheeseman. His work included installing communication systems from England to NORAD.
Cheeseman’s expertise also brought him to Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, where he installed communication systems around missile silos in Southern Arizona. He retired in 1978 and moved to Tucson in the 1980s. As he reflected on his life, Cheeseman said: “I give thanks for my many blessings.”
First United Methodist Church
915 E. 4th St. in Tucson
Gordon Cheeseman Obituary
If you would like to send a card to his wife Wilma and their family:
201 N. Jessica Ave, #306
Tucson, AZ 85710
Gordon was a very special man and Pioneer.He was very involved with our club and held several offices. He will be missed
Don Bowling – March 2020
Don passed away on March 2, 2020 at the age of 89. Born in Durand, Michigan, Don married his childhood sweetheart, Joan Dial, and they stayed happily married for 68 years. Don served in the Korean War in Salzburg, Austria. Joan joined him, baking chocolate cakes to make money for food. After his service, he worked for Bell Telephone Company in Michigan. Don was a Freemason. He and Joan purchased a one-bedroom house in the countryside outside of Gaines, Michigan. It was little more than a hotdog stand, and by themselves, they gradually built a beautiful 3-bedroom house.
In 1970, they made a decision to move to Tucson, Arizona, for the sake of their oldest son’s health. In Arizona, Don continued working for the phone company and Joan became a realtor.
In Michigan and in Arizona, Don was an inspiring Scoutmaster for a period of ten years.
After retiring in 1989, they began making wood crafts including puzzles, plaques and train whistles. Don did the woodwork and Joan did the decorative wood burning. They had the time of their lives in the craft show circuit. Don was well known for his sense of humor, and could often be heard telling patrons, “That’s my kindergarten puzzle”, when they couldn’t solve one of them. His sense of humor and love of practical jokes was a quality he was well known for, and which he passed on to his children.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Betty Leigh. He is survived by his loving wife, Joan; his brother, Bob; his son, Scott and daughter-in-law, Dalia; his daughter, Sandy and son-in-law, Rick; his son, Mark; grandson, Patrick; granddaughter, Carley and adopted daughter, Susan.
There will be a Celebration of Life ceremony on Sunday, March 15,2020 at 3:00 p.m. at Jay and Lori Angus’s house. There will be food and beverages to enjoy.
Jack Sisler – Sept 23, 1929 – Jan 10, 2020
Jack Franklin Sisler, Jr. aged 90, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, February 10, 2020. He was born in Ft. Collins, Colorado, on September 23, 1929, and attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, CA. God, Honor, and Country were the creeds he lived by. He joined the Army Air Corp. at the age of 17, and retired from the U.S. Air Force at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant after 20 years of service. He was a veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Jack traveled to Washington, D.C. on an Honor Flight in the spring of 2015, escorted by his daughter, Kathy Sisler, as he visited the many war memorials located there. He went on to describe this trip as one of the most meaningful experiences of his life. Jack was a 33rd Degree Mason, serving twice as Past Master of Adobe Lodge #41. He was an active member of the Sabbar Shrine, serving on the Motor Patrol, and was a member of the Royal Order of Jesters. He loved riding motorcycles, traveling the world, and savoring a good Scotch.
Jack is predeceased by first wife, Dorothy; parents, Jack Franklin, Sr. and Carol Ledbetter Sisler and second wife, Janet. He is remembered with love by his brother, Ron Sisler and his and Dorothy’s children, Gail Sisler Toal (Danny), Kathy Sisler and Richard Sisler (Marguerite); eight grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, and many great-grandchildren, including his special little buddies, Brady and Stark, and his best friend, Bob Shoup.
A graveside celebration of Jack’s life will be held for family and friends on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. at East Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Jack’s family has requested contributions to the Southern Arizona Honor Flight, (https://honorflightsaz.org) or the Square and Compass Children’s Center, (https://www.squareandcompassclinic.com/)
Herschell Hillman – Dec 2019
Danny Mauldin (husband of Susan Mauldin) – Jan 2020
Preceded in death by parents, Mary and Bernice Mauldin. Survived by wife, Susan Mauldin; son, Brian Zwoyer.
James Bateman – Dec 2019
Evelyn Soto – Dec 2019
Evelyn Soto passed away Dec. 28, 2019. The services will be on Friday Jan. 3, 2020 at St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 1946 E. Lee St., (520) 327-6015. The Viewing will be at 10am, the Rosary will be at 10:30am and the Mass will be at 11am.
Donald A Bollschweiler – 2019
Donald passed away in February this year. Known as Donnie by his peers, he worked for 40 years as a telephone aerial lineman & retired from the Glenn yard.
Leonard Zimmerman- 1926-2019
Leonard John passed away on Wednesday, November 13, 2019. He was born on March 14, 1926. He had a witty demeanor that brought a smile and laughter to all. He had a very strong sense of serving others based on his strong Catholic faith. His witness was a good example to his children, Steve Zimmerman, wife Teresa, Christine Monasmith (Deceased), husband Steve, and Dan Zimmerman, wife, Bernadette. He was deeply loved by his seven grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
Marilyn Reno – 2019
Marilyn Reno, long time Pioneer in Arizona, passed away peacefully November 6th. She was a board member for Southern Arizona Club for many years, and served as the luncheon greeter and recorder until writing became too difficult for her. Never one to shy away, Marilyn had been one of the first female supervisors in the plant department in St Joseph, Missouri. When she retired from Southwestern Bell in Missouri in the 80’s, she and her husband moved to Tucson, and she met everyone and got to know them by offering to take names for the luncheon. For many years, she worked at the 4th Ave Street fair, and donated her earnings to the club for Readers For Life. She enjoyed those events tremendously, and supported education through reading, mentoring at Walter Douglas Elementary, and family services within Flowing Wells district; she volunteered with Hug a Bears, and many other Pioneer projects over the years. Marilyn will be missed for her smile, support, participation and calm and supportive advice. She was an inspiration to us all. The family prefers donations to Pioneers in Marilyn’s memory, for education projects. Please use the donate button on the web site and add remark “in Marilyn’s memory”. aztelecompioneers.org). Services will be at Adair Avalon Chapel, 8090 N. Northern Ave, Friday Nov 15, 2 pm. Interment will be private for the family only on Monday after the service .
Bob Gahagan – Aug 21, 2019
Bob passed away after a long bout with cancer as a result of exposure to agent orange during his term in Vietnam. There will be a memorial service Saturday, October 12th at Casa Molina, 6225 E. Speedway at 3:00 pm.
Pat Gougeon – Sept 11, 2019
Pat passed away on the morning of 9/11/19. His son, Zac is putting together a celebration of life. It is Sunday, October 13th @ 3pm, at 7401 E Calle Vega.
Audrey Williams – December 5, 1924 – Sept 22, 2019
Born in Chicago, Illinois to Hilda and Carl Lund. She and a friend journeyed across the country to Tucson by car following World War II and has been here since. Audrey worked at Mountain Bell for over 40 years. She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings, Dick and Eleanor Hagen and husband, Gene. She was an incredible woman who could accomplish nearly anything once she put her mind to it, including servicing her own cooler on the roof well into her 80’s. Audrey had a huge heart and had a positive impact on everyone around her. She is survived by sons, Gary (Rhonda) and Mike (Karen); grandchildren, Derek, Stacie and Stephanie and five great-grandchildren. Graveside Services at Evergreen Cemetery (Oracle Road) on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Arrangements by EVERGREEN MORTUARY. Obituary
Doris Tofel – Aug 25, 2019
Charlotte Anderson – Aug 25, 2019
Ray Hathaway – Aug 4, 2019
Dorthy Treese (Minnena) Mother of Steve De La Cuesta – 2019
Rose Ahern (wife of Bart Ahern) – April 15, 2019
Betty Hess – March 15, 2019
Lawrence William George – Feb 28, 2019 Obituary
Jon Smith – Feb 24, 2019
Gilbert Sepulveda – Father of Cathy Greer – Feb 2019
Anita Gere – Feb 2019
Frank Ruhl – Feb 15, 21019 Obituary
Cher Anne Perrin – Jan 2019 – Obituary
Please notify our new Fellowship Chair Adella Mason of any illness or passing of Pioneers or their family members. She can be reached either by email:
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