Claremont Obituaries

Born Laura Marie Friedmann on March 7, 1932, Laura Vezzetti died February 11, 2024 after a brief series of illnesses. She was in her 92nd year.

Donald E. Vandegraft, loving husband and father of three, died February 16 in Montgomery, Texas. He was 94.

Great-grandmother, outspoken political volunteer, lifelong Dodgers fan Born Laura Marie Friedmann on March 7, 1932, Laura Vezzetti died February 11, 2024 after a brief series of illnesses. She was in […]

Carol Ruth Yurkas died peacefully in her own bed with her family by her side on January 30, after a long illness. “As a Claremont resident for 30 years, Carol’s life reflected her love for her family, commitment to the broader community along with a belief in the beauty of scientific thought,” her family shared. 

David Bedell, 79, died of sudden heart failure on Friday, January 12.

“With heavy hearts, we mourn the loss of Mel Salz, a dedicated husband, father, and friend,” his family shared. “Mel passed away on February 6th, 2024, knowing that he was deeply loved by his family and friends.”

After a full life of love, service and adventure, Eleanor Forbes Pierson has died in her beloved Claremont at the age of 103.

Eudora Louise Morris Phillips died December 13, 2023, in Meridian, Idaho. “Her family surrounded her with love as her spirit left the earth behind,” her family shared. She was 89 years old.

James Dahler, The Webb Schools’ longest-tenured teacher, died February 2 at the age of 66.  

“It is with a heavy heart for our family that we announce our beloved Laurie Finnegan ended her journey in life just after sunset on January 10, 2024,” her family said. “Laurie passed away at her home in Claremont unexpectedly after a short illness with pneumonia. She was 65 years old.”

Dr. Samson Adam Benjamin, 81, of Claremont, died peacefully with family by his side, after a prolonged illness on Saturday, January 20.

Elizabeth (Betty) Baker DesCombes died peacefully on September 28, 2023 after a short illness. She was 92.

Sally D. Leabhart, longtime Claremont resident, died January 10 from pancreatic cancer after five months in hospice. She was cared for by hospice and family members.

Roger Andrew Munger, 63, died January 11 after a long battle with melanoma. Roger was born on September 2, 1960 in Covina. He attended elementary school in Glendora. When the family moved to Claremont, he attended  junior high at La Puerta and graduated from Claremont High School in 1978. He earned a B.S. in business from Cal Poly Pomona.

Courtney Stafford Coleman died peacefully in the early hours of December 2 at Woods Health Services, La Verne. He had celebrated his 93rd birthday in July with family. After living in Claremont for 42 years, he and his late wife, Julia, had moved to Hillcrest Retirement Community in the summer of 2001.

Caren Whiteside died October 4 following a sudden heart attack. She was 77 years old. Born in Pomona on July 7, 1946, she was raised in Pomona and Claremont where she graduated from Claremont High School in 1964. 

Paul Simonian was born on February 7, 1931 in West New York, New Jersey. He died after a short illness on December 11, 2023 in Claremont.