Merrill “Tom” Thomas Spalding

Feb. 22, 1945-June 12, 2017

Merrill Thomas Spalding
Merrill Thomas Spalding

Friends and family will gather Friday, June 23, to say farewell and to celebrate the life of a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, Tom Spalding. Tom was a resident of La Cañada Flintridge for the past 43 years and passed away at the age of 72 on June 12.
Tom was born on Feb. 22, 1945, in Palo Alto, California. He graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1962, earned his bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University in 1966, and then attended Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., where he earned a master’s degree in Sino/Soviet relations. This choice stemmed from his beloved father’s career as a history professor at Stanford.
After completing his education, he began his career as an international banker with Bank of America in San Francisco. This is where he met his wife of 47 years, Karen Brisa. Soon after their marriage in 1970, Tom made a career change into the insurance industry, which became his occupation for the remainder of his life. This career change gave Tom and Karen the opportunity to move to the East Coast where they welcomed their first son, Arthur, in 1971. In 1974, four months after their second son, Jonathan, was born they returned to the West Coast, where they began their permanent residency in La Cañada Flintridge.
Tom will be remembered for his great sense of humor, his passion for traveling, his love of sports and his wealth of knowledge which spanned many areas — he was a history buff and a trivia expert.
After multiple vacations in Cabo San Lucas and Aruba when Tom turned 50, he made a change in his lifestyle, deciding he wanted to travel more. This included many cruises with Karen and friends to various locations, including the Panama Canal, Australia/New Zealand, Normandy, the Black Sea and Russia. He enjoyed attending sporting events with his children, with some of the most memorable being the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl, and the NCAA college basketball Final Four in New Orleans in 2003. Tom also was involved in coaching his children in various sports, including baseball and soccer.
One of Tom’s greatest pleasures in recent years was spending time with his four grandchildren. No matter what was on his plate, he was willing to spend as much time as he could with them. He attended as many activities as possible, including Little League games, basketball games, play performances, awards ceremonies and other special events. “Tom Tom” was a constant presence in his grandchildren’s lives.
Tom is survived by his wife, Karen, his son and daughter-in-law, Arthur and Arin Spalding, and his son Jonathan Spalding. He is also survived by his loving grandchildren: Jackson, Oliver, Isabella and Sofia Spalding. He was preceded in death by his father, Merrill TenBroeck Spalding; his mother, Clara Smith Spalding; and his brother, Michael Spalding.
A memorial service is planned for Friday, June 23, at 2 p.m. at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, with a reception immediately following.
Any kind acts of charity may be made to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation, or to any organization of your choice:
In Memory of Tom Spalding for the ICU
1812 Verdugo Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91214

John Robert Ruder

John Robert Ruder
John Robert Ruder

On June 18, John Robert Ruder passed away at 21 years old. Jack was a loving son and brother, funny, incredibly driven and kind. A proud Mustang at the Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly San Louis Obispo class of 2018, Jack played intramural basketball for freshman and sophomore years as well as St. Francis High School varsity ball.
In his spare time, he put his entrepreneurial skills to good use: starting and monetizing a YouTube channel that grew to more than 600,000 subscribers, as well as pursuing other business start-up ventures.
We know he touched the lives of many while he was here with us, whether it be his friends, business partners, or his family who love him so much. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (also known as NARSAD: National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression).
He is survived by his mother, Shannon Drennan Ruder; his father, Tim Ruder; and two loving sisters, Claire and Claudia.
The funeral will be held this Friday, June 23, at 10 a.m. at St. Bede. There will also be a rosary today, June 22, at 7 p.m. at St. Bede.

Rev. Dr. Donald Frank Berns

Oct. 8, 1947 – June 5, 2017

The Rev. Dr. Don Berns
The Rev. Dr. Don Berns

Don Berns was a Hoosier, born in Indianapolis, to the late Martha (Tufts) and Philip Berns. He was athletic and adventuresome from his boyhood on, from cracking a bullwhip and snapping popsicle sticks from his younger sister’s mouth, to starring as a Little League pitcher, to playing every season’s sports until he focused on tennis in high school and college, followed by golf the rest of his life. He always admired large birds and wanted to fly, and even took some flying lessons, went hang gliding and sky dived once and was planning to go again this summer.
In July 1963, Don was introduced to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through the ministry of Young Life. Don’s commitment to God in Christ shaped and formed who he was and how he lived for the rest of his life.
Don was a Duke Blue Devil, graduating from Duke University’s School of Engineering as a Mechanical Engineer, and played varsity tennis all four years. He also was on the European circuit one summer with his Duke Netter pals during his Duke years.
Following graduation, Don used his engineering degree, working with Exxon and his family’s highway construction business, Berns Construction Co., for five years. He always said that the problem-solving skills gained from engineering were excellent preparation for life.
When he sensed God calling him to fulltime Christian ministry, he knew that nothing is wasted in God’s economy, and became a transplant to California, graduating from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. For 12 exciting and fruitful years, Don impacted thousands of teens in youth ministry and directed the intern program, which trained nearly 100 future reverends at La Cañada Presbyterian Church. When Parkinson’s disease made a transition necessary, he switched his focus to ministry in the marketplace (the emphasis of his Doctor of Ministry dissertation) and pastoral care.
Though he was diagnosed with PD at 33, he fought, researched and attacked PD as a challenge and a problem to be solved. To the end of his life, he never gave up learning, hoping and praying for a cure, while inspiring and encouraging many others who battle PD and other chronic and neurological diseases globally.
Don was married to the love of his life, the Rev. Karen Womer Berns for 46 years, 36 of which PD was a part of their relationship. They are the parents of son, Jason, and daughter, Joy Dunn. Don is survived by his beloved and loving family — Karen Berns, Jason Berns and Joy Dunn; their spouses, Laura Berns, and Matt Dunn; and five grandchildren, Kylie, Justin, Dominic, Charlotte and Alexandra, all of whom he cherished. He also treasured his three younger sisters, Kathy Albrektson, Sally John and Peggy Mindrebo, their husbands, Ray Albrektson, Mark John and Norm Mindrebo, and their families.
After fighting the good fight, keeping and sharing the faith, Don passed through the doorway of death peacefully into eternal life on June 5. Don leaves a legacy of Love, Faith, Joy and Perseverance for all those who knew him.
Memorial gifts in Don’s name may be made to:

Young Life Pasadena Area
2275 Huntington Drive, #173,
Pasadena, CA 91108-2640

The Michael J. Fox Foundation
P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown,
MD 21741-5014
Tribute to Don:

Adventist Health Glendale Boosts New Name, Logo

After serving the community for more than 112 years and growing to more than 2,500 employees, Glendale Adventist Medical Center will soon be known as Adventist Health Glendale. Although Glendale Adventist Medical Center has always been a part of a 20-hospital system known as Adventist Health, this year marks the beginning of a new era for the hospital.
“We are excited to announce the next chapter in the Adventist Health story,” said Kevin Roberts, president and CEO of GAMC. “In the coming weeks and months, we will transition from Glendale Adventist Medical Center to a new name: Adventist Health Glendale, which will allow us to embrace a stronger collective identity as a system. It is important to know that our faith-driven mission and commitment to world class quality and service remains as vibrant as ever.”
In addition to the name change, Adventist Health has launched a new mission, vision, values and logo. “Together Inspired” illustrates the collective vision of the system’s 20 hospitals in communities across California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. As a system, Adventist Health is moving from being a hospital company to a health organization serving and transforming the health experience and outcomes of all its communities.

Rev. Dr. Don Berns

The Rev. Dr. Don Berns
The Rev. Dr. Don Berns

The Rev. Dr. Don Berns, former associate pastor at La Cañada Presbyterian Church and San Marino Community Church, died peacefully in his sleep early Monday morning, June 5. Don had valiantly battled Parkinson’s disease for 36 years, was a pioneer patient in unique Parkinson’s treatments and impacted many people’s lives throughout his life.
Services will be at La Cañada Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, June 14, at 3:30 p.m. More details of Don’s life will appear in the Outlook next week.

Tracy Ann Sheedy

08/11/1950 – 05/23/17

Tracy Ann Sheedy
Tracy Ann Sheedy

Tracy Ann Sheedy passed away peacefully and surrounded by loved ones on the morning of May 23 at her home in Pasadena due to natural causes.
Tracy was born in Houston, Texas, on Aug. 11, 1950, to the late Mattie Ann (Reistle) and James Clark. She was their only child and was their pride and joy. She moved several times throughout her childhood and eventually made her way to California when her father was transferred here in 1965.
She spent her high school years at La Cañada High School where she was a an LC Song Girl. For college, she attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated from University of Arizona. At OU she pledged Pi Beta Phi and later was the president of the Pi Phi house at U of A.
After college, Tracy married long-time La Cañada Flintridge resident and St. Francis High School alumnus Timothy Sheedy, on Dec. 1, 1973. In their 42 years of marriage, they raised three children and shared a life full of joy, love and laughter at their home in Pasadena.
Tracy is survived by her husband and best friend, Timothy Sheedy; children: Madeline “Mandy” Casani (Drew), Derrigan Sheedy (Bernadette) and Timothy Sheedy; and five grandchildren: Kane Casani, Luke Casani, John Casani, Dylan Sheedy and Delaney Sheedy.
A service in celebration of Tracy’s life was held at St. Andrew Catholic Church on Tuesday, May 30. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Tracy’s name to St. Andrew Church. Donations may be mailed to St. Andrew Pastoral Center, 140 Chestnut St., Pasadena, CA 91103 or made online at

Crescenta Valley Radio Club Holds Field Day June 24-25

The Crescenta Valley Radio Club will participate in national Field Day activities June 24-25 in Verdugo Park (across from Glendale Community College). On Field Day, Amateur Radio Operators, called Hams, across the county take their equipment and expertise “to the field” to make as many contacts as possible over a 24-hour period.
Field Day provides Hams with the opportunity to hone skills and have fun while making contacts across the U.S. and Canada. The deeper purpose is disaster preparedness as Hams attempt to make contacts in circumstances that mimic the displacement of a disaster. In times of natural disasters such as earthquakes, it is likely no one will be able to use the phone system if it is knocked out or overloaded. Hams are poised to help in the aftermath.
Continue reading “Crescenta Valley Radio Club Holds Field Day June 24-25”

LCF Orthopaedic Guild Honors Volunteers

La Cañada Flintridge Orthopaedic Guild members include Caryl Pettit (front row, from left), Jeanne Long, Joan Cleven and Carolyn Geer. Back: Mary Beth Perine, Danielle Barrios, Easy Delaney, Marie Baker, Ginney Pruitt and Judi McClure

Members of La Cañada Flintridge Orthopaedic Guild were recently recognized at the annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon at Orthopaedic Institute for Children. Danielle Barrios, assistant director of Volunteer Services and Community Outreach, welcomed members from LCFOG, Las Madrecitas, Las Niñas de La Las Madrecitas, Las Vecinas and Las Amigas de Las Lomas auxiliaries, which were formed in 1956 and comprise Charitable Children’s Guild. Las Niñas de La Madrecitas was formed in 1965.

Continue reading “LCF Orthopaedic Guild Honors Volunteers”

Bodybuilding, Fitness Event to Be Held Locally on Nov. 4

The Pro-Amateur World Cup Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship will be held on Nov. 4 at the Glendale Civic Auditorium. This is the first time the competition has been held in Southern California.
It brings together steroid-free athletes from around the world who compete for cash prizes. This final qualifier for Natural Olympia XX in Las Vegas is presented by INBA, the International Natural Bodybuilding Assn., and Go Natural Athlete, a La Cañada Flintridge-based company.
“The No. 1 thing is we’re natural,” said former INBA champion Adrian Pretrariu, the event’s promoter. “So here is a chance for people to support the natural athlete who has been competing without any hormones or muscle-enhancing substances of any kind. These athletes are building their bodies the natural way, eating healthy foods and lifting heavy weights.”
Professional and amateur athletes of all ages are invited to compete and are subject to the guidelines of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Service for Spence Will Be Wednesday at LCPC

Dave Spence

A memorial service for local leader Dave Spence will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 31, at La Cañada Presbyterian Church.
Spence died of an apparent heart attack on Tuesday, May 16. A six-time La Cañada Flintridge mayor, he was serving his seventh term as a member of the City Council. He also served a four-year term on the Public Safety Commission.
In lieu of flowers, Spence’s family requests that donations be made to the “La Cañada Presbyterian Church,” or the “City of La Cañada Flintridge.” Funds will be used to support children’s ministry at the church or a memorial at the new City Hall, respectively.
Checks can be sent to: La Cañada Presbyterian Church, 626 Foothill Blvd., LCF, 91011.