OBITS: November 6, 2001

November 06, 2001


Graveside services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday in Evergreen Cemetery in El Centro for Billy Lee Evans, 70, of Kennewick, Wash., who died Oct. 30 in Tri-City Chaplaincy Hospice in Kennewick.

The Rev. Barry Vinyard of Imperial Valley Catholic Chaplaincy will officiate.

Mr. Evans was born Feb. 16, 1931, in Summerfield, Okla., and was raised there.

Mr. Evans was a retired millwright and worked in many of the dams on the Columbia River. He owned the Tin Hat Tavern in Kennewick for more than 25 years.

Survivors include his wife, Katherine Evans of Kennewick; daughter and son-in-law, Carri and Bill Novell of El Cajon; grandsons and spouses, Steven and Melinda Vargas and Nicholas and Stephanie Vargas, all of El Cajon; great-granddaughter, Angela Vargas of El Cajon; sister and brother-in-law, Betty and Jerry Jarman of Wister, Okla.; and numerous nieces and nephews.



Services are pending in Richland, Wash., for Bernice S. Cooper, 89, of Richland, a former El Centro resident who died Thursday in Kadlec Hospital in Richland.

Mrs. Cooper was born on June 22, 1912, in Chicago and attended high school in Kansas City, Kan.

She had a career as a dancer, including performing in Broadway shows in New York City, where she used the stage name of Bernice Stone.

During World War II, she took on clerical and supervisory duties for a construction company. It was during the construction of Keesler Air Force in Biloxi, Miss., that she met the man who was to become her husband, James Cooper.

Mrs. Cooper lived in El Centro from 1968 to 1976, where her husband, James, was administrator of El Centro Community Hospital. She lived in  Kennewick, Wash., before relocating to Richland.

She was a devoted wife and mother, according to family.

She was preceded in death by her husband, James Cooper.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, James Jr. and Jane Cooper of Benton City, Wash.

The family suggests memorials to the American Lung Society.


A Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Calipatria for Rita L. Donkerbrook, 77, of San Diego, a former Calipatria resident who died Saturday in her home.

The Revs. Amador Lopez and James Kernan, both of St. Patrick's Catholic Church of Calipatria, will officiate.

Mrs. Donkerbrook was born Oct. 1, 1924, in Wickford, R.I., and was raised and attended schools there. She married Jim Donkerbrook in Rhode Island on Sept. 10, 1948, and soon after they came to California, settling in San Diego.

Mrs. Donkerbrook began working as a purchasing agent in the civil service and was employed at North Island Naval Air Station and later at Miramar. She was primarily a homemaker.

Mrs. Donkerbrook had resided with her daughter, Kim Taylor, in Calipatria since 1996.

She was a member of the San Diego Bowling Association, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, St. Patrick's ladies society, Claddagh Club and Ebell Study Club. She was active in school, church and PTA activities and was an avid bowler, according to family.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Jim Donkerbrook, in 1981; and son-in-law, Bob Taylor, in 1995.

Survivors include her daughter, Kim Taylor of Calipatria; grandsons and spouses, Rob and Mary Taylor of Castaic and Sean and Amanda Taylor of Palmdale; great-grandchildren, Hannah and Cameron Taylor, both of Castaic, and Cole Taylor of Palmdale; sister-in-law, Madeline Place of Rhode Island; and niece, Mary Place of Rhode Island.

The family suggests memorials to HomeChoice Hospice, 1647 W. Main St., Suite E, El Centro, CA 92243.

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