Obituary: Robert Emmet Ryan

Feb. 8, 1934-Oct. 4, 2017

Robert (Bob) Emmet Ryan passed away peacefully at his home in La Cañada Flintridge on Oct. 4, 2017, at 83. Bob was born in Detroit, Michigan, on Feb. 8, 1934, to Thomas Raymond Ryan III and Lucille Margaret (Roulo) Ryan. He was the youngest of four children, with Eleanor, Mary, and Thomas.

Bob graduated from University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1952 and attended University of Detroit’s College of engineering and science. Bob earned an associate’s degree in Engineering Design from Glendale College and later a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from California State University Los Angeles. Bob joined JPL in 1956 and joined the Navy. Bob’s career highlighted a span of countless rocket and deep space missions including Pioneer 10 and 11 and Voyager 1 and 2, but was best known for his work as mission manager on the Stardust Mission. Stardust became the first spacecraft to successfully return cometary and interstellar dust particles to the Earth.

Bob and Kay Campbell married on June 21, 1958, and moved from Sunland to La Cañada Flintridge in 1963. They had four children; Rob, Margaret, Kathy and Tom, and nine grandchildren. Kay passed away in December. Bob and Kay are together again with God.

Mass will be held with the Rev. Tony and the Rev. Ed, followed by a reception at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, at St. Bede the Venerable Church in La Cañada Flintridge. Bob will be interred at Mission San Fernando Cemetery.

Obituary: Mayfield Marshall Jr.

Nov. 12, 1928 — Aug. 31, 2017

Mayfield Marshall

Mayfield Marshall Jr. survived a wonderful boyhood in Des Moines and Okoboji, Iowa.
He saw both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at 17 years old, compliments of the U.S. Navy, which also provided the World War II GI Bill and paid for his degree from Grinnell College.
During those college years he married the bewitchingly beautiful Carolyn Root and shared with her three children and countless adventures for the next 49 years. After college, he joined the “Mad Men” in New York in 1957 and an even madder group in Los Angeles in 1962. He moved to La Cañada Flintridge then, and was active in civic affairs, serving on the planning commission during the early days of cityhood.
He also built the Flint Canyon Tennis Club. A lifelong interest in cars was rewarded with 17 years with Datsun (Nissan) and the charismatic Mr. Katayama, who generously shared a wealth of experiences.
Travel and fun started a new chapter when he married Sarah Kniering. His wife, Sarah, and his children Karen Schroeder, Bob Marshall and Annie Mayfield Stone survive him.

Obituary: Michelle Margaret Kaye

MIchelle Kaye

Michelle Margaret Kaye wanted so much to fight through large B-cell lymphoma. She retired from the Burbank School District in June of 2017, imagining she would have more time to spend with her three boys. She wanted to plant more roses in her garden and she planned to volunteer extensively in her retirement as a trauma counselor and with teen suicide prevention programs.
Michelle, the daughter of Margaret and Arthur Kaye of La Cañada Flintridge, was born in the Glendale Adventist Medical Center in 1956. She attended Palm Crest Elementary, Foothill Intermediate School and La Cañada High School, graduating in 1974. Michelle swam competitively throughout her youth and for USC. She graduated from USC with a master’s in education in 1979.
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Obituary: Theodore “Ted” Ernest Johnson

April 8, 1935 — Sept. 23, 2017

Theodore Johnson

Theodore (Ted) Ernest Johnson, age 82, went to be with our Lord after a fun-filled life and final day doing what he loved: helping friends on a construction project and having a great dinner filled with his typical jokes and lots of laughter with close friends and his beloved wife, Denise.
Ted was born April 8, 1935 in Monterey Park to Theodore and Sarah (Tourigney) Johnson. He graduated from Hoover High School in Glendale in 1953 and attended virtually all of the high school reunions that were held quarterly for the last several years. Ted would often joke that he went to HKU (Hard Knocks University). He began work as a framing contractor and worked his way up to be part-owner of Wier Casady Company, a construction company in Glendale, from 1970 through 1981. Wier Casady built many restaurants throughout the United States, including El Torito Mexican Restaurants, Womphopper’s, TGI Friday’s, Farrell’s and many more.
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Rusnak Auto Group Donates $100,000 to Cancer Support Community

Photo courtesy CSCP
Celebrating the $100,000 donation are Meg Symes, Cancer Support Community’s executive director; Paul Rusnak, founder and chairman of Rusnak Auto Group; Liz Rusnak Arizmendi, vice president of public relations at Rusnak Auto Group; Michael Healy, CSCP board president; and Patricia Ostiller, CSCP director of development.

Cancer Support Community Pasadena recently received an unprecedented $100,000 matching gift from Rusnak Auto Group. Paul Rusnak, founder of Rusnak Auto Group, had announced a matching challenge of $100,000 at CSCP’s annual gala five months ago.
“We are incredibly grateful to Paul for his tremendous generosity,” said Meg Symes, CSCP’s executive director. “This was an incredible opportunity for CSCP. We got to work promoting this amazing matching opportunity and our donors rose to the occasion. In three months, more than 250 individual donors raised more than $100,000 and Paul sent CSCP a generous matching check.
“Paul, his daughter Liz Rusnak Arizmendi, and the entire Rusnak family are setting the stage for a new level of philanthropy for the women, men and children CSCP serves who are facing cancer. This match clearly inspired many others to join in supporting CSCP; we thank Paul, Liz, Rusnak Auto Group, and all of our donors who met this remarkable matching opportunity for appreciating CSCP’s mission.”
Founded in 1990, Cancer Support Community Pasadena is a nonprofit organization providing support groups, educational workshops and stress management classes to individuals affected by cancer. CSCP is located at 76 E. Del Mar Blvd., Suite 215, in Pasadena. All programs are offered free of charge to cancer patients and their families, friends and caregivers.

Obituary: Penny Lusche

Penny Lusche was born Jan. 14, 1939, in South Dakota to Dr. Fred and Hazel Zeiss. Penny’s father was an army surgeon during WWII and his duties took them to many places. Penny lived in California, Wyoming, Arkansas, Texas and Boston. The family settled in Chicago, Illinois, where Penny, her younger brother and sister attended high school. Penny was a student at Purdue University where she met Jay Lusche. They were married in 1954.
They came to California in 1960 and lived in La Cañada Flintridge for 27 years. Their four children, Peter, David, Christy-Joy and Jonathan, grew up there. When the children were grown, they moved to Pasadena where they lived for 28 years.
At the time of her passing, Penny and Jay had been married for 63 years. Penny always loved the arts, and volunteered for the Women’s Committee of Pasadena Symphony Association, the Pasadena Museum of California Art and the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. Penny leaves behind her husband Jay, their four children and spouses, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. A memorial service celebrating Penny’s life will be held on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 2:30 p.m. at La Cañada Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Pasadena Conservatory of Music (website:

Obituary: Ruth Oswald Schneider

Ruth Oswald Schneider

Ruth Oswald Schneider of La Cañada Flintridge passed away on Aug. 11 peaceably at home at the age of 93 with family by her side. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, her family moved to Beverly Hills when she was 2. She graduated from Marlborough School and UCLA. After college, she fell in love with her brother Telford Oswald’s roommate, Frederick Schneider, whom she married in 1948 and then moved to New York where they raised three children. They moved back to California and settled in La Cañada Flintridge in 1983. Fred passed away Aug. 12, 1991. She is survived by her three children, Edith Howes of Toulouse, France; Adam Schneider of Lafayette, Colorado; Fred Jr. of La Cañada Flintridge, and eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Villa de Vida Offers Hope, Housing for Disabled

Photo courtesy Villa de Vida
La Cañada Flintridge residents and Villa de Vida Chairman Dr. Edward “Ted” Merchant, with his family, Betsy, daughter Mollie and son Matt, are shown at a 2015 Villa de Vida fundraiser.

For Pasadena-based nonprofit Villa de Vida and families of those with developmental disorders, hope that springs eternal really can come true.
It began as a question posed by a group of concerned parents from La Cañada Flintridge: What would happen to their children with developmental disabilities when they reach adulthood? What would happen when they, the parents, are no longer able to care for them? The group residences the parents had seen, while few and hard to find, were restrictive, solitary or lonely places that just didn’t fit the happy homes they dreamed of for their children.
Now, over the course of some five years, that discussion has turned into the viable nonprofit organization that has secured exclusive negotiating rights to build a 54-unit residential project for adults with developmental disabilities.
It’s taken a combination of luck, perseverance and an unexplained generosity, say two of the group’s founders, Denise Longo and Dr. Edward “Ted” Merchant, who began the nonprofit over neighborhood coffee talks in La Cañada Flintridge.
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Constantine Family to Read at Flintridge Bookstore

The three Constantines

Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse welcomes actor/writer Michael Constantine and his son and daughter, poet Brendan Constantine and novelist Thea Constantine, for a talk on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 3 p.m. Join them for a special (family safe) event where a family reads eventfully.
Michael Constantine is an award-winning actor whose career spans more than half-century. He has created groundbreaking roles on stage, screen and television. He is perhaps best known to audiences for the role of Gus Portukalos in the “Big Fat Greek Wedding” franchise. In recent years, he has emerged as a compelling author. He is currently shopping his first novel, “The Sins of Holy Men.” This book was printed on the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) at Flintridge Bookstore.
Brendan Constantine is a poet based in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Field, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly and Ninth Letter, among other journals. His most recent collection is “Dementia, My Darling” (2016 Red Hen Press). He has received grants and commissions from the Getty Museum, James Irvine Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He currently teaches poetry at the Windward School and regularly offers classes to hospitals, foster homes, veterans and the elderly.
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Lighted Window Preschool Hosts Sensory Integration

Lighted Window Preschool is hosting a parent talk series about sensory integration and how it can impact behavior on Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the preschool.
The discussion, led by occupational therapist Jamie Chaves, will address what sensory integration is and how it can impact emotional regulation and development.
“Sensory information pervades our lives; how our clothes feel, what the air smells like, what the radio is playing, how we navigate a busy room, how we sit upright in a chair, what our food tastes like, how bright the sun seems … to name a few. How do our brains make sense of this constant bombardment of information?” LWP said in its statement. “Discovering the answers to these questions will open a world of understanding for your child and his/her behaviors so you can support your child in the best way possible.”
The discussion costs $20 to the general public, $10 to LWP alumni and is free to LWP families. Tickets may be purchased at LWP is located at 1200 Foothill Blvd.