Deaths: March 21, 2002

March 21, 2002


Memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m. Sunday in Jacumba Methodist Church for James Woodward, 74, of Jacumba, a former Imperial Valley resident who died Monday in his home.

Pastor John Lurvey will officiate.

Mr. Woodward was born on April 1, 1927, in El Centro.

He married Beverly J. Thatcher in Jacumba Methodist Church on Sept. 5, 1948.

Mr. Woodward lived in Jacumba for 47 years, where he owned and operated Woodward & Shell Service for 25 years.

He was an avid golfer and fisherman, according to family.

Survivors include his wife, Beverly J. Woodward of Jacumba; sons and daughters-in-law, Bill and Karen Woodward of Jacumba and David and Barbara Woodward of Imperial; brother, Robert Woodward of Fresno; sisters, Vinnita Grasso of Hemet, Willia Mitts of Lake Tahoe and Ann Ingle of Palm Springs; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


The family suggests memorials be sent to Jacumba Methodist Church, P.O. Box 405, Jacumba, CA 91934.


Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Evergreen Cemetery in El Centro for Jessie B. Mason, 99, of El Centro, who died Sunday in Valley Convalescent Center in El Centro.

Mrs. Mason was born in Gorman, Texas, in 1902. She came to the Imperial Valley in 1923.

She was a homemaker until she began her professional career in the late 1930s. Mrs. Mason co-owned Judd Cleaners on Main Street in El Centro for a number of years.

She was a buyer and department manager for M.O. King Co., continuing her work with McDonald's Department Store, from which she retired after 27 years of service.

She was a lifetime member of the First Baptist Church of El Centro.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gentry Mason, in 1966; and her son, Jack R. Mason in 2000.

Survivors include her son, Todd Lee Mason of El Cajon; son and daughter-in-law, Jody Ray and Dana Mason of Lakeside; daughter-in-law, Virginia Mason of Lakeside; brother and sister-in-law, L.C. and Willa Mae Morton of El Cajon; brother-in-law Forest Martin of Manteca; and several nieces and nephews.

The family suggests donations be sent in Mrs. Mason's name to the charity of your choice.


Graveside services will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Evergreen Cemetery in El Centro for Milton Stayton Damron, 80, of Imperial, who died Thursday in El Centro Regional Medical Center.

The Rev. LeRoy Jackson of Imperial will officiate.

Mr. Damron was born April 3, 1921, in Oceanside and came with his parents to the Imperial Valley at a young age, settling in Imperial.

He married Lora Irene in Yuma on Oct. 8, 1943.

He served as a combat fighter in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, was shot down over Germany and later interned as a prisoner of war. He was a member of the 364th Fighter Group Association of 8th Army Air Force.

Mr. Damron was a part-time rancher and farmer in the Imperial Valley. He worked as a general superintendent of construction for the Imperial Irrigation District, from which he retired after 42 years of service.

He was a 4-H adviser for 25 years. He was an avid private pilot, outdoorsman and an excellent "grandpa" to five grandchildren, according to family.

Mr. Damron was preceded in death by his wife, Lora Damron, on Aug. 10, 1986.

Survivors include his sons and daughters-in-law, Terry and Debbie Damron of Glendora, Ron and Sylvia Damron of Temecula and Jon and Beth Damron of Santa Rosa; grandchildren, Jennifer Damron of Flagstaff, Ariz., David Damron of Tempe, Ariz., Chris Damron-Duarte of Los Angeles, J.C. Damron of Sun City and Elita Damron of Santa Rosa; and longtime family friend,  Janette Edlin of Imperial.The family suggests memorials be sent to the Scripps Foundation at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla.


Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday in Frye Chapel & Mortuary in Brawley for Mercedes Franco Kastner, 82, of Brawley, who died Tuesday in Valley Convalescent Center in El Centro. Rosary will be said at 7 p.m.

Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Saturday in St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Brawley. The Rev. Roque Vano will officiate.

Burial will be in Riverview Cemetery in Brawley.

Mrs. Kastner was born Sept. 23, 1919, in Glendale, Ariz. She came with her family to the Imperial Valley in 1929, settling in Brawley.

She married Juan Kastner in 1938.

The Kastners made their home in Brawley, where they raised their children. She was a homemaker.

Mrs. Kastner was a member of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Juan Kastner, in 1964; sons, Jesse Kastner in 1971, Ventura Kastner in 1991 and Johnny Kastner in 1997; and brother Leopoldo Franco in 1984.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles