Obituaries: August 23, 2017

Emilia Valdez 
 
Emilia Valdez, 78, of Avondale died August 16, 2017 in Tucson. She was born in Slaten, AZ. She is survived by daughters, Stella Harvey and Emma Espinoza; son, Felipe Valdez; sisters, Esther Moncayo and Marylou Salinas; and brothers, David, Jesse, Jimmy, Rudy, Tommy, and Little Rudy. Memorials may be sent to 969 E Dee St, Avondale, AZ 85323 Avenidas Funeral Chapel handled arrangements, 623-925-1525
 
Arthur "Art" Ritter, Jr. 
 
Art, age 90, of Buckeye, passed away on 14 August 2017, at Abrazo West Campus in Goodyear, AZ. Born 28 November 1926 in Michael, IL, to Arthur Sr. and Adella Ritter (Roentz). Art graduated from St. Michael’s Grade School in Michael, IL and from Kampsville Illinois High School, before entering service with the US Army during World War II. He married his first wife, Betty (Camerer) on 15 April 1950, and they moved to Peoria, IL. Art went to work for Caterpillar Tractor Co. in East Peoria, IL, retiring after 33 years of service. Shortly after his retirement, Betty passed away. Together, Art and Betty raised five children, three sons and two daughters: Allen "Al" Ritter, husband of Zee (Belk), of Roanoke, VA; William "Bill" Ritter, husband of Debra (Foran), of Paxton, IL; Jeffrey "Jeff" Ritter, husband of Paula (Maledon), of Paxton, IL; Cynthia "Cindy" Ritter, of East Peoria, IL; and DeeAnna "Dee" Ritter of Paxton, IL. In 1984, Art married Marilee (Price) Lee, relocating to Mountain Home, AR, where they were members of St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Marilee raised four children, three sons and one daughter: Bob Lee, husband of Kathy (Patroff), of Lowry City, MO; Charles Lee, husband of Jackie (Noel), of Peoria, IL; Kevin Lee of Peoria, IL; and Shelli (Lee) Do, of Bartonville, IL. Art Ritter is a lifetime member and past Grand Knight of the 
Knights of Columbus Council 3060, in Metamora, IL. He was a veteran, an innovative engineer, and a man of great faith. His children remember him as a patient teacher with smiling eyes, who instilled in them a sense of inquiry, independence, and love and respect for all of their fellow man. He enjoyed boating, fishing and traveling; a good game of cards or pool; spray painting things that didn’t need it and spending time with his extensive family...his greatest “work of Art”. He is survived by his loving wife, Marilee, all of his children and step-children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and one sister, Linda (Ritter) Oller, of Athens, IL. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Betty (Camerer) Ritter; his sister, Thelma (Ritter) Hartman, of East Peoria, IL; his two brothers, Willis Ritter of Mountain Home, AR, and Mark Ritter of Florissant, MO; and two grandsons, Clint Ritter of Paxton, IL, and Eric Ritter of Topton, PA. Art will be laid to rest at St. Mary’s Cemetery at Lourdes, in Germantown Hills, IL. Graveside service will be held on 9 September 2017. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saint Henry’s Catholic Church Building Fund: 24750 West Lower Buckeye Road, Buckeye, AZ, 85326.
 
Richard Leroy Wantz 
 
Richard L. Wantz, age 73, went peacefully into the arms of Jesus, his Lord and Savior, surrounded by his beloved family at home in Goodyear, Arizona on Saturday, August 5, 2017. Richard was born on August 19, 1943 in Joplin, Missouri to the late Albert and Evelyn (Warner) Wantz. Following his birth, they returned to Hanover, Pennsylvania where he graduated from Eichelberger High School in 1961. Richard spent many summers working on his grandparent's farm in Silver Run, Maryland alongside his cherished buddy and uncle, Glenn Warner of Marysville, CA. Richard's career began as a Reservations Supervisor for Eastern Airlines in New York City from 1962-1965 and then landed in Fremont, OH where he secured a sales position in 1966 with Kessler Sales Corporation, an international patent sales and marketing firm. In 1990 Richard then became Owner/President of Kessler and in 1995 opened a second branch in Arizona where he then moved and resided with his family until his passing. Everyone who knew Richard could feel his passion for life and adventure. He enjoyed gathering with his family and friends as often as possible, camping, boating and fishing (from Lake Erie to Lake Powell to Mexico), golfing, traveling and discovering new places and often inventing new traditions and composing comedic songs while playing his guitar around a crowded campfire. A selfless, funny and glass-half-full-kind-of-guy is how he was often described and could bring many people together with one call to either play cards, watch football or thoroughbred racing, to meet up for dinner or just grill and talk about the week. In the final decade of Richard's life his interests gravitated to fine art and became a proud member of The Phoenix Art 
Museum and their volunteer Docent Program. Richard is survived by Joyce (Ritchie) Wantz of Goodyear, AZ and their 3 daughters; Allison (Wantz) Messerschmidt, Denise Wantz, both of Goodyear, AZ and Cindy Wantz, of Casa Grande, AZ. His sister, Lori (Wantz) Noel and her husband, Brian of Hanover, PA and his brother, Steven Wantz of PA. Richard also leaves behind his 6 adored grandchildren: 
Tyler, Ashley and Sydnee Messerschmidt and Amanda, Nicholas and Christopher Amaro all of Arizona; nephew, Luke Haring and his wife Sara and their 2 children of New Oxford, PA and many more treasured family and friends. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the National Kidney Foundation at: https://www.kidney.org/support A Celebration of Life Service will be held in Richard's honor on October 14, 2017. Details to be announced by family.
 
Richard Goins 
 
Richard Goins, 81, of Buckeye died on August 18, 2017 in Buckeye. He was born in Iowa and moved to Arizona in 2010. He was a member of Sundance Community Church. Richard is survived by his wife, Grace Goins; daughters, Dawn Wriglesworth of Stanwood, WA, and Pam de Sautelle of Arlington, WA; sons, Greg Goins of Lyons, OR, Chad Goins, Almirante Tamandare, Parana, Brazil and Richard Goins Jr. Eugene, OR; brothers, Doug and Curtis; sisters, Margaret, Carolyn, Bobbie, Arlene; 18 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by 2 grandchildren. Services will be 11:00am August 24th at Ganley's Buckeye Funeral Home, 104 E. Baseline Rd. Buckeye, AZ 85326. Memorials may be sent to 22565 W Shadow Dr., Buckeye, AZ Ganley's Buckeye Funeral Home handled arrangements 623-386-4812
 
Patricia Joanne Gipper 
 
Patricia Joanne Gipper, age 83 of Goodyear died August 17, 2017. She was born January 1, 1934 in Cleveland, OH to Edward and Eleanor Hassing. Patricia was employed as the office manager for Catholic Charities in Mansfield, OH. Patricia is survived by her husband of 63 years, Paul Gipper; son, Jeff Gipper and his wife, Deborah; and brother, Edward Hassing. She was preceded in death by an infant son, Michael; parents, Edward and Eleanor Hassing; and sister, Mary Jane Siemen. A funeral will be held at 10:00 am, Thursday, August 24, 2017 at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 539 LaPasada Blvd, Goodyear, AZ 85338. The family suggests that donations be made to St. John Vianney Catholic Church. Condolences for the family may be left at www.thompsonfuneralchapel.com. Arrangements are through Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear, AZ.
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