Category Archives: Obituaries

In Memorium: Clifton Gore

by Patricia Schallert

With heavy hearts, we acknowledge the passing of Clifton Gore and his girlfriend, Shirley Loyd in a tragic car accident on May 31. We recognize his remarkable 31 years of training and experience in the field of Tai Chi Ch’uan. His contributions to the art and his dedication to teaching have left a lasting impact on his students and the Tai Chi community as a whole. RIP Clifton Gore and Shirley Lloyd.

At 74 years old, Clifton Gore was widely renowned as a highly skilled and experienced teacher of Tai Chi Ch’uan.  With a deep dedication to the practice and mastery of this ancient Chinese martial art, Clifton underwent training in various styles such as Chen, Yang, Wu, and Sun. This diverse training allowed him to incorporate the unique elements of each style into his teachings and personal practice. With decades of experience and a commitment to refining his skills, he gained immense respect as a patient and effective teacher.

In 1987, Clifton attended his first class, focusing on studying the Yang style long form taught by the Tung family. This particular style consisted of 89 postures. Over the next 11 years, he broadened his training by studying under Jane Golden, a devoted student of Grand Master Kai Ying Tung. During this period, Clifton actively participated in workshops and intensives with the Grand Master. He continued his studies with both Grand Master Kai Ying Tung and Master Chen Wei Tung, the son of Grand Master Tung. Master Chen Wei is recognized internationally as a teacher of Tai Chi Ch’uan. Clifton frequently traveled with Master Chen Wei, participating in various levels of Tai Chi Ch’uan classes.

In 1998, Clifton relocated to Ojai, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, where he began teaching classes in Ventura County. He was a sought-after and masterful teacher, offering both beginning and advanced classes throughout the county. Over the years, he trained numerous students, helping them develop a strong foundation in Tai Chi Ch’uan. Recognition and respect in the Tai Chi community were an integral part of Clifton’s teaching methodology. He emphasized the importance of combining physical movements with mental focus and breath control to promote overall health and well-being. Clifton’s teaching style involved “watching” as he demonstrated Tai Chi movements, often stating that his students “did not require extensive explanation”. He consistently emphasized to his students the importance of daily practice.

Clifton was also invited to help conduct workshops and seminars internationally, sharing his knowledge and passion for Tai Chi Ch’uan with a broader audience. His teachings were known for their clarity, attention to detail, and his ability to connect with students on a personal level. Whether students were beginners embarking on their Tai Chi Ch’uan journey or experienced practitioners seeking to deepen their understanding, Clifton’s expertise proved invaluable. Many seniors noted his gentle approach, using slow and steady repetitions suitable for their needs.

Under Clifton’s guidance, students, whether beginners or experienced practitioners, developed strength, flexibility, balance, and inner calm through the practice of his Tai Chi Ch’uan teaching. His expertise in multiple styles allowed for versatility in incorporating different techniques and philosophies into his lessons. He excelled at explaining and demonstrating the core principles, emphasizing balance, relaxation, energy flow, and proper body alignment. Clifton possessed a deep understanding of these principles and effectively communicated and applied them throughout his teaching.

Patt Carney, one of Clifton’s students, said “Clift was the most patient teacher I have ever encountered. He was always encouraging and he always seemed to know exactly what his students needed in their stage of learning Tai Chi Ch’uan.” 

There will be a memorial for Clifton Gore and Shirley Loyd on Friday, June 28th at 5:30 pm, Ventura Marina Mobile Home Park, 1215 Anchors Way Dr. Clubhouse at the MH entrance.

Local business and philanthropic icon Ralph Harrison has died

Ralph gave generously over the years to countless community organizations and causes.

Local corporate leader Ralph Harrison was eldest son of pioneering family that first brought trash collection and recycling to Ventura County.

The longtime president of E.J. Harrison & Sons trash collection company died on Saturday of natural causes, his family announced.

Ralph was born in Ventura on Nov. 14, 1934, to E.J. and Myra Harrison, who founded Harrison Industries nearly 92 years ago, in 1932. Ralph later bought a ranch in Bardsdale, where he last lived.

The eldest of the Harrisons’ three sons, Ralph joined the family business in 1963 and watched it grow from a relatively small local company to the major corporation it is today. Working with local community partners at Gold Coast Recycling and Agromin, Harrison Industries currently serves 90,000 residential and commercial customers throughout Ventura County and in Carpinteria, in Santa Barbara County.

As corporate president, Ralph was in charge of Harrison’s fleet operations, the maintenance and service departments and inventory controls and he headed up an extensive research and development department. Most of Harrison Industries’ innovations are due to Ralph’s ingenuity and he held many patents.

Ralph’s son Lynn Ralph Harrison, a longtime Harrison employee, took over his father’s responsibilities eight months ago and will continue to do so. Ralph’s brothers, Jim and Myron, also will continue to run the business.

In addition to his leadership at Harrison Industries, Ralph was well known throughout the Ventura County community. He was longtime president of the Ventura County Waste Disposal Association, which was formed in the early 1970s by his father, and also served on the California Refuse Recycling Council. As a member of these and other professional trash/recycling organizations, Ralph attended many trash industry seminars and conferences throughout the United States and Canada. He was active in other ways in his community, as well. Among his many affiliations, he was a longtime board member of the Ventura County Fair Foundation.

Ralph along with his brothers gave generously over the years to countless community organizations and causes. Among their most notable donations, the Harrisons made the largest contribution to the building of the new Community Memorial Hospital, and the Ventura Boys & Girls Club has a clubhouse in Saticoy because of Ralph and his brothers’ generosity. The Santa Clara Valley Boys & Girls Club was also very close to Ralph’s heart, as were local 4-H clubs, to whom he often donated livestock to raise.

Obituary: Margaret Jolene McBee

Margaret Jolene McBee
(January 25,1944 October 3, 2023)

Several years ago friends and ex-employees gathered at the Main Street Restaurant & Steakhouse visiting with Jolene and remembering the good times and food they had with her at the closed Vagabond Coffee Shop.


It is with a heavy heart, full of treasured memories, to acknowledge the passing of a beloved icon of our Ventura downtown community, Jolene McBee. She was the owner operator of another beloved icon, The Vagabond Coffee Shop.

As the many hundreds of faithful customers that stepped through the doors of the restaurant, some daily some simply visiting, they all looked forward to seeing Jolene sitting at the counter watching the plates of the customers favorite meals being delivered.

Before heading out for their next destination those same customers stopped by to visit and find out the latest happenings at the Vagabond, knowing that Jolene was just as interested in their world as they were in hers. That smile and the Texas drawl Jolene never lost, was exactly what people knew they would see in every stop at the restaurant.

Jolene’s generosity for the community was shown during many Christmas Holidays when she sponsored a fundraiser for Foster Children of Ventura County which was presented by KVTA Radio at the restaurant which proved to be a success year after year.

In times of Ventura County tragedies, Jolene offered free meals to responders in appreciation for the endless hours they worked to preserve our communities, and when the less fortunate needed that hot cup of coffee or a hot meal, they knew that Jolene was ready to help. Jolene’s shoulders were truly broad, along with her own life’s tragedies, she shared the tragedies of many people that needed that caring shoulder to lean on. She was a “one of a kind” that comes along in this world so seldom but that we are all so appreciative of. Jolene leaves behind four children, 17 grandchildren, several great grandchildren and many extended family members.


Obituary: Mike McBain

Mike McBain
(December 13, 1942 – September 30, 2023)

In loving memory of Mike McBain, a distinguished academic, entrepreneur, and community servant. Mike’s journey from philosophy at Cal State University, Los Angeles, to an MBA at Cal State University, Northridge, set the stage for a remarkable career. His entrepreneurial spirit thrived with Central Courier, exemplifying punctuality and community commitment. Later, McBain Managerial Bookkeeping and real estate management showcased his financial acumen. A Lion at heart, he served the Ventura community. His recent publications and business ventures reflected his enduring innovation. Mike’s legacy is one of growth, adaptability, and unwavering commitment. The memorial for Mike McBain will be on Nov. 19th at 3pm at Poinsettia Pavilion.

Here’s to Gary Best. Well done, Friend!

In 2013, Volunteer Gary Best recorded a PSA for CAREGIVERS: Volunteers Assisting the Elderly

by Tammy I. Glenn, executive director, CAREGIVERS Volunteers of Ventura County

Gary Best recently died on February 3, 2023, leaving a huge void in our community. From his love of theatre and improvisation to Sunday nights when his Irish group would perform at Brendan’s, Gary’s voice was as distinctive as his heartfelt contributions. One of the most recent examples of Gary stepping up was when he served as the emcee at Suz Montgomery’s memorial service. Those two Guardian Angels working in concert from the Great Beyond are certain to have an impact on our advancement.

We’re going to miss Gary terribly here at CAREGIVERS: Volunteers Assisting the Elderly. It would be wrong of us to try to capture Gary’s whole story in one little epitaph. We weren’t planning this at all.

Gary’s voice will forever endure as will the eulogy that he wrote for Howard Burroughs, the CAREGIVERS’ senior Gary served for more than a decade. In his own words, you’ll catch a brief glimpse of one of our most treasured volunteers. If you knew Gary, then you know how hard it will be to replace him. If you didn’t know Gary, then maybe it’s time to take your turn in distinguishing yourself the way he did.

Now, I’ve been warned to not make this about myself but I’m an actor … so that’s obviously not going to work for me.

Howard and I began our Bromance about 10 years ago. It’s a familiar story, he had just lost his wife, I had been divorced for a while, and neither of us really looking for a serious relationship.

At first, of course, I was attracted to his quick wit, his intellect and well, let’s face it, he was mighty easy on the eyes. An easy man to develop feelings for.

But as time passed I realized that I had fallen for him before I realized what a catch he was. I won’t go into detail about his amazing life as a scientist and educator. Faithful husband for 66 years. And, of course, philanthropist.

Being with him as much as I was, I got to witness how universally loved Howard was.

Y’know, I grew up on a farm and we had an old barn that my mother always loved. It leaned a little to one side, the paint was long gone and the old wood had turned a sort of silver gray. My father wanted to tear it down but my mother wouldn’t have it. She said, “When I look at that old barn, I think of all the years it has stood against the winds of winter, summer heat, kids playing in that hayloft and growing up and leaving. That old barn has seen a lot. I think it’s more beautiful than it’s ever been.” Howard was like that old barn. There’s a certain kind of beauty that can only be acquired through years of hard work and experience.

He was kind, he was generous, a lover and poet at heart. We had lunch together nearly every week for the last 10 years and I have to say I’ve never known a better man.

And, Gary, neither have we!

Geoffrey William Tudor July 2, 1956 – December 22, 2022

Geoff lived an adventurous and unconventional life.

Born in Newhall, CA and the third and youngest child of Daniel Hubbard Tudor (of Massachusetts) and Jeanice Eddy (of Michigan).

Geoff lived an adventurous and unconventional life. He served in the US Coast Guard as a Cadet for a year and received a National Defense Service Medal.  He also served in the US Forest service helping to fight fires. He helped take care of his elderly parents for many years in Washington State and then moved back to California in the early 2000s.

He loved cooking, camping, fishing, music, animals, colorful clothing and had a passion for all things cycling. He spent much of his time in Ventura, doing construction work, boat maintenance in Ventura harbor and you could often see him out late at night collecting recyclables. He enjoyed deep conversation with friends and strangers alike.  

He lived outside for a period and was able to get into housing at El Patio in Ventura the last decade before he passed at Community Memorial Hospital due to existing conditions and complications of the flu virus.

He leaves behind an estranged older brother and sister but kept up relations with his cousins including Annette Alexander of Santa Barbara, CA. He especially leaves behind many dear friends who enjoyed his intellectual conversation, larger-than-life presence, loud laughter and generous compassionate huge heart.

Veterans’ affairs provided all his end-of-life services. His ashes were spread at sea off the coast of Ventura, CA earlier this year.

A party will be held in Geoff’s honor at the home of Shayna Metzner & Scott Hahn on Ventura’s Westside, Saturday March 25 @ Noon to 4pm. Reach us on Facebook for more details

Dennis John Stanley

Dennis Stanley was the tenth of twelve children born to Wayne and Doris “Babe” Stanley in Los Angeles. He graduated from Bellarmine-Jefferson High in 1978 and soon after moved to Santa Barbara, where he resided for 40 years. He met his wife Mary Crawshaw in 1987 and married in 1988 after moving to the Painted Cave community in the mountains of Santa Barbara. He is survived by his wife Mary and two sons, Jason and Justin

Dennis’s love for simple family life was equaled by his kind nature, gentle soul, and generous heart. While a man of few words, he was a wealth of knowledge for any kind of home project and shared his skill gladly.

We will continue to honor him with our memories and cherish his contributions and enrichment to our lives.

Dennis John Stanley (born1959), owner of Steve’s Plumbing & Hardware has passed away from pancreatic cancer. Steve’s Plumbing remains open.

Julia Frances Campbell Namba

Julia Frances Campbell Namba, 86, passed away on the morning of Friday December 2, 2022 surrounded by her family in her Residence in the historic Hobson Heights section of Ventura. Julia was born in 1936 in Anderson, Indiana, where she grew up on a family farm with her younger brother Tom. She was the daughter of Kenneth R. Moore and Thelma Nola Cory.

After graduating high school, and college she moved to Chicago, and then to the West Coast where she found fulfilling employment as an educator at First Avenue Junior High School in Arcadia California. She began her career as a Teacher’s Assistant and eventually became the school’s librarian. Later she went onto work at Saticoy Elementary School in Ventura, where she played a principal role in developing the school’s Library system.

While living in Sierra Madre she opened a toy store name “Grandma Jelly’s Toys” where she specialized in handmade wooden toys and Folkmanis puppets.

In 1997 Julia met Ben Namba, and as their relationship flourished, she took up residence with him at his home in Solimar Beach. The couple moved to Hobson Heights in the year 2000, after which they enjoyed the next 20 years together until his passing in 2020. Julia was widely known throughout greater Ventura for her philanthropic nature as a benefactor and donor to local arts organizations. She was on the board of directors of the Ventura Music Festival and was a patron to both the Ventura Museum and the Rubicon Theatre. She was the principal founder, along with her late husband Ben, of the Namba Space in Downtown Ventura. Founded in 2014 this function space continues to serve Ventura as a dedicated venue to nurture performing Arts in our community.

This last year has been filled with the positive energy derived from architectural revival and restoring her home to its original beauty. In her endless dedication to further support our local arts community Julia has opened the doors to her home over the course of the last 12 months to host several fundraisers and festival gatherings.

You could always find Julia bounding around the City at local events, attending parties, lunches, dinners, and outings with cherished friends — she was widely recognized as an artful conversationalist who was able to engage in meaningful discourse over a wide array of topics. In the past year she began to host a Tai Chi group at her house where a small group of good friends would enjoy their weekly practice in the beautiful outdoor setting.

She enjoyed visiting friends, shopping at the local farmer’s market in Ventura, and her weekly dinner with Michael Boyko.

She leaves behind her eldest daughter Laura Jane Campbell and her husband Michael Friedmann, and her younger daughter Leslie Jean Atia. She also leaves behind three grandchildren: Geffen, Leah, and Gian; her ex-husband, John Campbell; as well as nieces and nephews. Lastly, her two beloved cats, Daisy and Billie.

Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Julia’s Life to be held on Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 1:30pm in the Chapel of the Joseph P. Reardon Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 757 E. Main Street Ventura. A reception will follow at 2:30 PM. Donations in Julia’s name may be made to the Ventura Music Festival 472 E. Santa Clara Street Ventura, CA 93001.

Mary O’Connor passes away

Mary was an extremely generous individual to both those she knew and didn’t know.

Mary O’Connor (Tosney) completed her earthly journey peacefully at her residence in Ventura, on Saturday, March 12, 2022. Mary Ann was born to Dr. Robert O’Connor and Mary (McMahon) O’Connor in Buffalo, NY. She spent her early years in the idyllic village of Williamsville, NY.

Mary O’Connor was the rock ’n’ roller & Chapter 12 of The Necklace: 13 Women and the experiment that transformed their lives.

Mary received her teaching degree from Daemen College and completed her Master’s Degree at SUNY at Buffalo. She taught at her high school alma mater serving as Chair of the English Department.

In August of 1977, Mary wed William (Bill) Tosney in Williamsville. Engineering employment for Bill was sparse in Western NY, and that was the beginning of the westward trek; Nuclear Engineering in Colorado, led to Petroleum Engineering in Ventura, and finally Aerospace Engineering in Los Angeles.

Mary continued her teaching career at St. Bonaventure High School, Bill commuted to L.A. and their children flourished at Our Lady of the Assumption School and St. Bonaventure High.

In the late 80s, Mary founded Signs Now which she owned and operated for 28 years. The business provided an interface to support many community efforts and charitable non-profits.

Mary was a longtime member and sponsor of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. In 2007, she was inducted into the second class of the St. Bonaventure Hall of Fame in recognition of her dedication and ongoing support of the school. In 2011, Mary was recognized as a Distinguished Alumna of Daemen College in Amherst, NY for her service to the community.

If Mary had an avocation, it was “football fan”. She loved all things football and managed to attend several Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers games as well as 7 Super Bowls. Her true passion, however, was the Friday Night Lights of St. Bonaventure Seraphs Football, which she followed tirelessly.

Mary was an extremely generous individual to both those she knew and didn’t know. She was a dedicated teacher, accomplished business woman, loyal friend, devoted mother and grandmother and cherished wife.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents and the love of her life and husband Bill of 42 years.

A funeral mass to be held on Monday, April 4th at the Mulcahy Center behind Our Lady of the Assumption Church with a graveside service at Ivy Lawn Cemetery in Ventura. Arrangements were under the direction of Joseph Reardon Funeral Home.

Memorial service at Ventura Harbor for Vuong Tran

A memorial service was held at the docks at the Harbor for Vuong Tran (January 1, 1957-December 8, 2021). Attended by his large family and many many friends.

From the Harbor Patrol:

Wednesday 12/08, 4:23pm, dispatched to an offshore Search & Rescue for missing fisherman from the commercial boat John Start. Officers responded in the Fireboat and Rescue B17 with multiple agencies to aid in the search.

Search patterns were conducted for five hours in the Santa Barbara Channel along with USCG vessels/aircraft & TowBoat US. Sadly, and with heavy hearts, only his vessel was found and he is still missing.

Tran was one of the longest tenants of Ventura Harbor, beloved by everyone, he always made the effort to say hello, shake your hand with a huge smile. Fishing, years ago, Tran rescued a former Ventura HP officers’ father in an outrigger canoe accident.