Obituary, Edward Slagle

Edward, of Mason, formerly of Montgomery, Ohio, Brooksville, Florida, and Cleveland, Ohio, passed peacefully on September 6 from natural causes at the age of 92. He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Lois Shannon, and survived by his children Laura, Tom and Jim, daughter-in-law JoAnn, grandchildren Leah and Paul, and great grandchildren McKinzie and Landon, all of whom visited his bedside during his final challenge. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Slovenian-American parents, Ed served on the USS Franklin aircraft carrier during WWII. He married his Collinwood High School sweetheart Lois while on shore leave. After the war, Ed toured with the Ray Anthony Orchestra and other big bands before settling down to raise a family in South Euclid, Ohio. He earned a mechanical engineering degree at Case Tech and worked for many years at Picker X-Ray and Liebel-Flarsheim. His career as a musician (saxophone and clarinet) brought joy to thousands, and most especially Eddie. In the 1950s he played weekly on the “Polka Varieties” live television program in Cleveland. He was inducted into the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame in 2006. Moving to Southwestern Ohio in the early 1970s, he played with a variety of bands, including Maple Knoll and Jack Carr bands. Ed loved golf and boating, his family and his music. In “retirement”, Lois and Ed founded SS Specialties, a drafting-instruments company that they could manage from both Ohio and Florida, where they had a second home. Ed was a lifetime member of the musician’s union. Ed’s fulfilling life, kindness and buoyant spirit will be celebrated in private memorial services. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Ed was a member of the VFW band in Mason.

Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Sept. 21, 2014 – See more at:

Obituary, Jess Rand

December 25, 1925 – September 12, 2014 Jess Rand, born in the Bronx, NY. Graduate of Dewitt Clinton High School. Studied journalism at Columbia University. At age 16, began his musical career with Irving Berlin in NY. His career was put on hold to enlist in the US Navy/1943-1946 where he served in the Pacific (Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Philippines Liberation). Served on USS Franklin CV-13. Honorably discharged as Signalman, PO 2nd class. After the War, he became close confidant and press agent for Sammy Davis Jr and personal manager to Sam Cooke. Rand represented great stars including Lee Marvin, Mel Torme, Glen Campbell, Judy Collins, Bobbie Gentry, The Lettermen, Mort Sahl and Dick Gautier. In 1961, produced The Plunderers with Jeff Chandler. He created a 90-minute episode of “Sam Cooke Phenomenon”/debut show for the Westinghouse Broadcasting TV Network. Continued working as Personal Manager until 1991/co-founder and served as President of Conference of Personal Managers West until he moved to Montecito, CA in 1986 with wife Bonnie Rand. Next to his family, Rand’s greatest love was music. Rand is survived by Bonnie Rand, loving wife of 60 yrs, son, Jonathan, daughter, Amy, 4 grandchildren and great grand-child.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 17 to Sept. 21, 2014
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Obituary, Kenneth Thompson

Kenneth ThompsonKenneth K. Thompson

Kenneth K. Thompson, much beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend, died surrounded by those who loved him on Friday, August 29th in his home in Union (Wa).

Ken was born in 1924 in Wilson, Oklahoma and grew up during the depression in the Dust Bowl. His early hard-dash scrabble life gave him a drive to succeed.

He joined the Marines at 17 and served proudly in the famous Black Sheep Squadron. He was serving as Ships Company aboard the USS Ben Franklin when it was bombed off the coast of Japan in 1945.

After WWII, he settled in Santa Barbara, California, married, raised a family, and went into business.

Ken was instrumental in the post war building boom in Santa Barbara. He eventually joined in the development of full-service car washes and finished his career in Dallas, Texas as a sales representative and distributor of car wash equipment. He was a successful entrepreneur and owner of seven car washes in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metro-plex.

In his spare time, Ken enjoyed golf (golf, golf, and more golf!) football, flying his Cessna and a good cigar.

His memorial will be held on Sunday, September 7th at 1:00 p.m. in the Alderbrook Golf and Yacht Clubhouse in Union (Wa).

If you wish, in lieu of flowers, please remember Ken with a donation to the New Community Church of Union (NCCU) building fund- (P.O. Box 232, Union, WA, 98592.)

Obituary, Edward Loeffler

Edward “Big Ed” Loeffler

Great Falls —Edward Gene Loeffler, 87, died of chronic kidney disease early Sunday morning, August 17, 2014, at Peace Hospice.

“Big Ed” requested no services. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Born on September 17, 1926 in Aberdeen, South Dakota, he ran away from home to join the Navy in 1943. He served as a gunner’s mate on the USS Franklin during World War II. He met and married his wife Zita Guza in Honolulu, Hawaii on November 18, 1951. Ed made the Navy his career for 20 years achieving the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer. After his retirement in 1963, Ed served another 10 years inactive duty in the Fleet Reserve.

In 1964, Ed and Zee moved to her home state of Montana with their two daughters, Candace and Patricia; they settled in Great Falls. Ed felt that there was no better place to live! Born with a true gift of gab, Ed worked in sales for Montgomery Ward, American Life & Casualty Insurance, and the U.S. Tobacco company. In 1975 he realized a life-long dream and bought the Tracy Bar re-naming it the “E-Z Bar” after himself and Zita. Ten years later he sold the bar and truly retired.

“Big Ed” was one heck of a card and pool player. He was an avid golfer having played the game since his early days in the Navy. When health issues took him off the course, he could be found watching the game on TV. He also loved a cold beer, a smooth cigar and a good Western … and his favorite recliner. He was a life member of the VFW, the American Legion, and the Elks.

He is survived by his daughters, Candace and Patricia Loeffler; granddaughters, Bryce Weinert and Briana (David) Gerena; grandsons Alexander (Jessica) Drew and Zachary Drew, son-in-law Robert (Candace) Drew; sister Mildred Herman of Iowa; sisters-in-law Marian Golie, Edith Guza and Opal Guza; many nieces and nephews; and that guy in the basement, Michael. We will all miss our “sweet, lovable” Ed.

Ed was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, Zita; his older brother, Donald Loeffler, and most of his golf buddies.

Many thanks to the caring staff at Peace Hospice and to his home health nurses, Tawnya, Gale and Rebecca.

Condolences for the family may be posted online at

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Aug. 20, 2014

Obituary, John F. Popola

John F. Popola

AGE: 88 • Formerly of Sayreville

John F. Popola, age 88, formerly of Sayreville died Saturday, September 6 at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home in Edison. Born in Newark, he resided most of his life in Sayreville, then Toms River and finally he moved to the Veterans Home about 5 years ago. John served in the Navy during World War II aboard the USS Franklin which was badly damaged by a Japanese air attack that resulted in a loss of 800 crewmen, becoming the most heavily damaged carrier to survive the war. John received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in the attack. John retired after 36 years with the South Amboy Post Office as the Assistant Post Master. After his retirement he also worked in the Mail Department of the Garden State Parkway. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, he was an avid bowler and he was a huge New York Yankees and Giants fan.

John was predeceased by a daughter, Frances Clark and a brother, Bob Popola. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Loretta (nee Flynn) Popola; a son and daughter-in-law, John and Kathleen Popola of North Hanover Twp.; a daughter and son-in-law, Joanne and Tony Cser of Amelia, VA; two brothers, Tom Popola of Florida and Pat Popola of California; a sister, Violet Bruno of Parlin; seven grandchildren, Alan John Ellison, Mary Fran Clark, Tammy Horner, Jaclyn Popola, Lindsey Popola, Steven Popola and Matthew Popola; seven great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services for John will be held on Wednesday, September 10 at 12:00 Noon at the Tilghman Funeral Home, 52 Main Street, New Egypt, NJ 08533 (, with burial to follow in the BGWCD Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Arneytown. Calling hours will be on Tuesday evening, September 9 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM and again on Wednesday morning from 10:00 AM until noon at the funeral home. Due to cemetery restrictions, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in John’s memory may be made to the Disabled American Veterans ( – See more at:

Published in Asbury Park Press & Home News Tribune on Sept. 8, 2014