Pioneer Picnic March 15 & Future Events for 2017

To read the full newsletter, March 2017 Newsletter.






Welcome back Pioneers for another year of activities!

The March picnic lunch will be held at Rio Vista Park.
March 15, 2016 WEDNESDAY
Rio Vista Community Park — Ramada #9
Located at 8866-A W. Thunderbird Rd.
The park entrance is about a third of a mile west of the Loop 101 on Thunderbird.
10:30 Social
11:30 Lunch
12:30 Announcements & Door Prizes

March Luncheon Information

Bring your wife, husband, or friends. They are always welcome.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Social hour begins at 10:30.

The picnic luncheon will be held at Peoria’s Rio Vista Park. The park is located at 8866-A W Thunderbird Rd. The park entrance is about a third of a mile west of the Loop 101 on Thunderbird Rd. Go north on Rio Vista Drive about a half mile to the park entrance. Look for the covered ramadas, just past the community center (on the left) we’ll be at Ramada #9 (also on the left).

The picnic lunch will be sub sandwiches, potato salad, pickles, a variety of chips, water – soda – and beer, and dessert. The cost is $15 per person. We need to get a count of attendees. It’s requested that Reservations be made with Lee Graham via e-mail, Tony Frey at , Dave Craytor , or any of your officers by Sunday March 12.

April Luncheon Information — Apr 19, 2017

The Spring Western Barbeque Picnic will be held at Rio Vista Park on April 19th and we are hoping for a large turnout of members and guests. The Barbeque will be prepared and served by FAMOUS DAVES BAR B QUE. The meal will include your choice of Pulled Pork, Chicken and Beef Brisket served with BBQ sauces on sandwich buns, including BBQ Baked beans, Cole Slaw and Potato Chips. A Dessert and beverages, including beer, soft drinks and water will also be served. Please make your reservations by Sunday, April 16.

Reservations can be made by contacting your Officers, Pete Mulla at or Webmaster Lee Graham at .  Cost of the lunch is $15.00 per person. It’s important that we have the maximum attendees to obtain the price we have contracted for. So, let’s get our current, former workmates, wives and friends to join us for this enjoyable event. Directions to Rio Vista Park are noted above.

Upcoming events – Plan/Mark your Calendars

Wed Mar 15, 2017 Picnic Rio Vista Park Pioneer lunch
Wed Apr 19, 2017 Picnic Rio Vista Park BBQ (Dave’s)
Wed Oct 18, 2017 Picnic Rio Vista Park Pioneer lunch
Wed Nov 15, 2017 Picnic Rio Vista Park Classic Catering
Wed Dec 2017 Christmas Lunch TBD TBD

2016-2017 OFFICERS as of Mar 2017

President: Bill Rappold – 623-362-1988 –

Vice President: Tony Frey –  602-361-5509 –

Secretary: Pete Mulla – 623-386-3324 –

Treasurer: Dave Craytor – 623-935-6322 –

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Don Lebet

don-lebetDonald Lebet passed away on February 16, 2017. He was born on December 5, 1928 in Williamsport, PA to the late Joseph and Mary Lebet.

Don was raised and lived in Williamsport, PA until he enlisted in the Navy and served from 1944 thru 1948. Donald married Patricia Lyons on November 10, 1951.

Donald worked at Goodyear Aerospace in Ohio and transferred to Arizona and worked there for 37 years as an Industrial Engineer. He is survived by his wife Pat, four children Donald (Karen) Lebet, Bonnie (Michael) Conwell, Michael (Amy Cuccia) Lebet & Patricia (Greg) Miller, five grandchildren Michael, Tonya, Jessica, Donald and Carolyn and four great grandchildren Trenton, Brodie, Jami and Jayna with an additional one due in June.

In addition to his parents, Donald was preceded in death by his six siblings. Graveside services with military honors were held on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 2 PM at Resthaven Park Cemetery, 6450 W. Northern Avenue, Glendale, Arizona. –

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Doyle Lyddon

doylelyddonDoyle Lyddon went to be with the Lord on February 17, 2017. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 55 years Lenora and son Harry.

He was born in Clearfield, Iowa to Harry and Flora Lyddon. He had five brothers:Donald, Daryl, Dale, Bernard and Ivan. He also had one sister Neva.

He was a caring and loving father to Debbie Grande and Ramona Young. He loved spending time with his granddaughters Heidi Grande, Hillary Grande, Savannah Young and Alexis Young. Doyle served in the U.S. Navy and graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

He loved to travel with Lenora in their RV. They could always be found doing the Jitterbug at the American Legion, or any other celebration. Doyle also enjoyed playing golf, and working around the house fixing things. He will be missed dearly from those who knew him. We will always love you Papa. A Memorial Service was held at St Andrews Episcopal Church at 6300 W. Camelback Ave., Glendale AZ on Friday, February 24th at 11:00.

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Carol Von Tersch

Carol Von Tersch Obituary

Catherine Carol Von Tersch, of Helena MT, died on February 2, 2017 after a lengthy illness. Carol was born on March 21, 1933 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Kathryn E (Torgeson) and Galen B Carlson. Carol graduated from Mason City Iowa High School in 1951 and attended Iowa State College. She met George Von Tersch in the fall of 1952 at a Friday night football rally and married on December 26. 1953. This was the beginning of her visiting near and faraway places. The marriage would last 63 years. George was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the USAF upon Iowa State graduation and reported for active duty on Dec 28 for flying training in Malden Missouri.

During the next 26 years we would live in Big Spring Texas; Dover, Delaware; Chaumont, France; Goldsboro, North Carolina; Dayton, Ohio; Montgomery, Alabama; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Omaha, Nebraska and Beavercreek, Ohio. Since George was frequently off on an assignment it fell on Carol to organize the moves and take care of three daughters and one son. Carol was a pioneer in cruising. When assigned to Chaumont, France Carol requested surface transportation. She had in mind the USS United States -the fasted boat on the North Atlantic. We got the USS Darby, a WWII troop ship – the slowest boat on the North Atlantic. The Darby had ‘Killroy was here’ painted throughout the boat.

When George retired from the USAF we moved to Peoria AZ. Carol went to Mundus Institute of Travel (MIT) and spent the next ten years visiting the major cities of the world such as: Tokyo, Seoul. Beijing, Bangkok, Cairo and the Pyramids, Istanbul, Moscow, Rome, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Manila. Carol was very outgoing and easily made friends with people even if they spoke a different language. Carol is survived by her husband George, three daughters and one son (Cathy, Linda, Gail, and Brad) There is currently no service scheduled. Please visit to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Carol. – See more at:

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John Irwin Elsass

John Irwin Elsass, 82, of Litchfield Park died Jan. 14, 2017.

Mr. Elsass was born Dec. 12, 1934, in Canton, Ohio, to George and Allahda Elsass.

He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1958 to 1961.

He lived in Litchfield Park for 47 years.

He was employed at Goodyear Aerospace (also known as Loral Defense Systems).

He coached Little League and led Webelos.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Shirley Louise Elsass; two daughters, Cindy May and Diane Dotson; one son, Mike Elsass; 12 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 4 at Streams Church, 6532 N. El Mirage Road, Glendale, followed by a reception at the church. Interment will be at a future date at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix.

Memorials may be made to Stream Church for its youth and missions ministry at or 14175 W. Indian School Road, Suite B4PMB 425, Goodyear, AZ 85395, or the Alzheimer’s Association at

Condolences for the family may be left at

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Don Davidson

Message sent by Norm Darnell:

Just wanted to let you know that Don passed away on Dec.  5.

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John Ross

John Ross died on Dec 15 of congestive heart failure. Services are to be held in Wickenberg, on Jan 21 at St. Albans church.
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