In Passing

In Passing

If you would like to submit an obituary for In Passing, please limit your submission to 400 words or less and submit it and a photo (if you have one) via email at [email protected] or online at robsonpublishing.com/editorial.

Previous In Passing posts may be found here or by searching by name in the upper right-hand sidebar.

Alda Mae Frey

Alda Mae Frey

Alda Mae Frey

Alda Mae Tanking Frey, 85, of Chandler, Ariz., died peacefully on Monday, June 13, 2022, at her home in the SunBird Retirement Community.

Alda was born on April 15, 1937, the daughter of Alfred and Catherine Runnebaum Tanking. Alda grew up east of Seneca on the Tanking Homestead and graduated from Saints Peter and Paul High School in 1955. After high school, Alda moved to Topeka and was employed by Southwestern Bell Telephone Company for five years.

Alda married Fred William Frey of Bern on April 15, 1961. They made their home on a farm east of Dubois, Neb. She enjoyed homemaking, attending her children’s sporting events, playing cards, dancing, the color purple, and spending quiet time in prayer. In 2005, Fred and Alda purchased a winter home in SunBird. Alda has called this beautiful oasis in the desert her home ever since. She enjoyed meeting friends from all over the country and enjoyed the Arizona sunshine.

Alda had a personal relationship with her Heavenly Father. She was baptized into the Catholic faith in 1937. She worshipped at Saints Peter and Paul in Seneca and St. Stevens in Sun Lake, Arizona. Alda spent many hours a day in quiet time praying for our world and her family.

Alda is survived by her sons Howard Frey of DuBois, Neb., and Roy (Shari) Frey of Sabetha, Kan.; daughter, Cindy (Russ) Wilfert of Mesa, Ariz.; five grandchildren, Jacqueline (Josh) Myers of Des Moines, Iowa, Jacob Frey of Lawrence, Kan., Broderick (Haley) Frey of Manhattan, Kan., Jenna (Quaid) Vuncannon of Gilbert, Ariz., and Caden Wilfert of Goodyear, Ariz.; one great-grandson, Wiliam Myers; one brother, Elmer Tanking of Tonganoxie; two sisters, Eileen Meyer of Sabetha and Jerri Ann Matzke of Silver Lake; and many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by Fred as well as siblings Johnny Tanking, Regis Tanking, and Jerry Tanking.

A Celebration of Alda’s life will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, June 24, 2022, at the SunBird Community Room. Friends may gather for a rosary at 10:30 a.m. Grandchildren will be sharing memories, which will be sure to entertain us all. “Kare Bears” of the SunBird community will provide refreshments.

On Friday, July 8, there will be a 9:30 a.m. rosary and 10 a.m. mass at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic church in Seneca, Kan. Burial will be immediately following.

Memorial Contributions can be made to neighborswhocare.com/donate.

Online messages of condolence can be left at Valley of the Sun Mortuary or www.dignitymemorial.com.

Jerome (Jerry) Thomas Nunamaker

Jerome (Jerry) Thomas Nunamaker

Jerome (Jerry) Thomas Nunamaker

Jerry was born July 10, 1936, in Conrad, Mont. He was one of six siblings who later migrated to Bellingham, Wash. He attended Western Washington University where he studied Civil Engineering and met his wife and traveling partner of 59 years of marriage until her passing in June of 2020.

He is preceded in death by his wife Janet Copley Nunamaker, his father Joseph Palmer Nunamaker, and his mother Sylvia Ann (Pauli) Nunamaker of Bellingham, Wash.; brothers: Joseph and Kenneth Nunamaker; sisters: Marjorie (Nunamaker) Ellis-Miller and Jeanne (Nunamaker) Baglio; and brother-in-law Robert Wilson Hatfield. Not to forget his influential uncles: Clint Nunamaker, Everett Nunamaker, and Senator Homer Nunamaker.

He is survived in death by his identical twin brother James Clarence Nunamaker (Linda), his son Kevin Nunamaker (Deborah) and daughter Kara Nunamaker Knaebel (Paul), grandchildren: Tyler and Kassie Knaebel, brother in-law Dr. John Brian Copley and sister-in-law Barbara Copley Hatfield, numerous cousins, many loving relatives, and friends and neighbors in Bellingham, Marysville, Belfair, Wash., and Chandler, Ariz.

Jerry served as Load Master in the U.S. Air Force; 17th Aerial Port Squadron, Paine Field, Wash., from 1958 to 1964. He then served the state of Washington working for the Department of Transportation as a Civil Engineer for 30 years out of the Marysville/Everett offices. Following retirement, he consulted on various highway projects. He then decided to become a snowbird in 1993 and moved to the SunBird community in Chandler, Ariz., where he and his wife continued to spend their winters for 21 years.

His favorite places to relax were to spend his winters at his home in Chandler, Ariz., and his summers at his little cedar beach home on Hood Canal, Wash., where he passed peacefully on June 10, 2022, after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

His favorite activities were golfing, fishing, spending time with his grandchildren, gardening, and traveling around the world.

Our family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Providence Hospice, especially nurse Paul and assistants Jackie and Amanda. Our family would also like to thank our dear numerous relatives, friends, and neighbors for their support.

A celebration of life will be held on Aug. 13 at 2 p.m. at “the place he would most rather be,” his home on the Canal.

Melvin (Mel) Duane Flinkman

Melvin (Mel) Duane Flinkman

Melvin (Mel) Duane Flinkman

Melvin (Mel) Duane Flinkman passed away suddenly on Friday, April 8, 2022. He was 88 years old. Born Dec. 21, 1933, to Eino W. Flinkman and Elsie D. (Carlson) in Enumclaw, Wash., where he spent most of his life before moving to Chandler, Ariz. Graduating from Enumclaw High School in 1952, he went on to attend Washington State University.

He married and had three children, Curtis, Melvin Jr., and Kathryn. After his divorce while working for Metropolitan Life in Seattle he met Marilou Hoyt. They married on March 22, 1969, adding five more children to his family to bring the total to seven. He always said he loved Marilou and if she came with kids that was great. Growing up, the kids remember camping trips and hiking as their favorite summer vacations. While Marilou cooked for the pack, Mel led them on their adventures.

Moving back to Enumclaw shortly after he and Marilou were married, he started a very successful State Farm Insurance business. Known for his kindness and care for his clients, Mel usually arrived at the scene of an accident or situation because “They need to see me and know it’s going to be okay.” Retiring in 1997, he and Marilou traveled the world visiting every continent except Antarctica. They sailed the Amazon, the Nile, the Rhine, and the Yangtze rivers. They visited Russia, China, Australia, Brazil, and Africa. As they got older they explored the United States and loved cruising. They started visiting Sunbird Retirement Community in Chandler, Ariz., for short one-month visits, which turned into three months then five. That’s when they bought their first small home there. Finally in 2003 they decided to sell their Enumclaw home where their kids and grandkids grew up and moved full-time to Sunbird.

Mel was an avid sportsman. He loved skiing—teaching most of his kids to ski, tennis—his kids and grandkids still talk about how he taught them to play and always beat them, golf—with eight holes-in-one, and fishing. Their annual fishing trip to Alaska to visit son Les and daughter-in-law Laura started in the 1980s and continued well into the 2010s.

Four years after Marilou passed away Mel met Charlotte Donaldson in November 2016 after a “matchmaking” friend invited them both to dinner. They went to the New Year’s Eve dance together and the rest was history. They both loved to dance, and Charlotte says he was a great dancer! They traveled and took cruises together and on Feb. 7, 2017, they pledged their commitment to each other exchanging rings. Mel’s kids loved that she appreciated his sense of humor and how much they laughed together. Charlotte’s kids loved how he treated their mom.

Mel was preceded in death by wife Marilou Hoyt Flinkman, parents Eino and Elsie Flinkman, brother William Flinkman, son Curtis, daughter Elizabeth Cronk Bulter, son Kenneth Cronk, son-in-law Tim McManus.

Mel leaves behind five children—Kathy Flinkman, Les Cronk and wife Laura, Laura McManus, Mel Flinkman Jr., and Wayne Johnson and wife Deanna. He was Papa to 11 grandkids and 12 great-grandkids.

A service will be held late summer in Enumclaw, Wash., and at Sunbird Retirement Community in the fall when all his snowbird friends return for the winter.

It was Mel’s wish that in lieu of flowers that donations be given to Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank, 1368 N. Arizona Ave., Suite 412, Chandler, AZ 85225, 480-857-2296.