Archive for the ‘Obituary’ Category

Antioch’s “Birdman” named for flipping off people dies at age 29

Monday, January 13th, 2020

Kenny ‘Birdman’ Booker with his usual greeting (photo from Facebook) and with reporter Luke Johnson and Marcus Malu. (Photo from Luke Johnson)

By Luke Johnson

One of the most legendary figures in Antioch has died.

Kenny Booker, 29, better known as the “Antioch Flip Off Guy” or “Birdman” passed away Saturday from congestive heart failure, the family confirms.

Booker became a local legend for saluting people with his middle finger in Antioch and parts of Pittsburg.

“He was a loving kid,” said his father, Kenneth Booker Sr. “Never hurt no one. He just did that thing with his finger, but that was his way of saying, ‘Hi.’”

Kenny Booker was dealing with borderline bipolar and schizophrenia disorders, his father said.

Although he was notorious, Kenny Booker was “well liked.” After his death was reported to the public Monday, his father said many people came to his house to give their condolences.

The Contra Costa Coroner and Pittsburg Police Department also confirmed his death. Pittsburg PD said Kenny Booker was dealing with ongoing health problems for the past few years. His father said he thinks it was caused by his son’s recent weight gain.

Kenny Booker was described by many to be a “gentle giant.”

“He was smarter than people thought he was,” said Marcus Malu, a close family friend. “I had full conversations with him. He loved to talk smack. He was also a big Niner fan.”


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In Memoriam: Former Antioch Police Corporal James McMurray passes, services Aug. 17

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Former Antioch Police Corporal James McMurray upon his retirement. Photo by APD.

By Antioch Police Department

It is with a heavy heart that we relay the passing of Retired Antioch Police Corporal James McMurry on July 28, 2019. James began his California law enforcement career with the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office in 1992. About a year later, he accepted a job with the Antioch Police Department, serving our community from 1993-2000. James then accepted a position with the Walnut Creek Police Department, serving 7 years there before returning to the Antioch Police Department and the community he loved, in 2007. During his time with Antioch, James served as a patrolman, School Resource Officer, and Detective prior to being promoted to the rank of Police Corporal. James retired from the Antioch Police Department on December 30, 2015.

In addition to his police service, James also served his country as a member of the United States Navy and Army National Guard. During his service, he was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. James retired from the military after honorably serving our country for 20 years.

While we are saddened, and grieve alongside his wife and children, we are so very thankful for the time James spent with us. He always had a positive outlook, made many lasting friendships, and had a positive impact on our community. The family is holding a Celebration of Life service on August 17, 2019 at 2:00 PM at Beede Auditorium, located at Antioch High School (700 W. 18th Street, Antioch) and wish to extend an invitation to law enforcement and community members who knew him.

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In Memoriam: Services for Antioch resident and former San Francisco police officer Ignacio “Nacho” Trevino Martinez Sunday, Aug. 11

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Ignacio “Nacho” Trevino Martinez passed to the next life peacefully on June 30, 2019 at the age of 59 at his home in Antioch, CA.

He was born to parents Juan and Encarnacion Martinez on July 8, 1959 in San Francisco. Nacho graduated from Serramonte High School and later joined the San Francisco Police Department, where he spread his mirth and joy. Nacho retired honorably with a Medal of Valor and with numerous awards for his kindness among the community.

He is survived by his close friend and son, Christopher Martinez along with his beloved extended family throughout the SFPD. Nacho’s celebration of life will be held at the Antioch Seventh-Day Adventist Church at 1:30 pm on Sunday, August 11.

Publisher’s Note: Nacho Martinez was a periodic citizen reporter for the Antioch Herald, providing tips on police and fire department activity in Antioch, including photos, which we published. I appreciate his service to the community and assistance to the Herald in providing news to our community. He was also a personal friend and will be missed. Allen Payton

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In Memoriam: Oakley resident and artist Edgar Martinez, Sr. passes at 51

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

Edgar Martinez, Sr.

June 4, 1967 to May 24, 2019

Edgar Martinez, Sr. went to be with the Lord on May 24, 2019. A resident of Oakley, he was a great cook and loved to barbeque. Edgar was also an artist, well known for his Mexican American cultural drawings, as well as a freelance, professional tattoo artist. He was very outgoing, an outdoorsman and very family oriented. Edgar was a Native American and Mexican American. He was a non-denominational, born-again Christian.

He is survived by his parents Hector and Esperanza Martinez; Son: Edgar Martinez, Jr.; Sisters: Carol Martinez, Mary Martinez, Janie Cervantes, and Alice Lane; brothers: Hector Martinez, Jr., Joe Martinez, Sr., and Albert Martinez; and numerous nephews and nieces.

A celebration of life will be held on Friday, June 14, 2019 at 1:00 P.M., Antioch Seventh Day Adventist Church, 2200 Country Hills Drive, Antioch, CA 94509. All are welcome to attend the services.

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In Memoriam: Fundraiser for the family of Phil “The Barber” Youngquist at Lumpy’s Friday

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Phil Youngquist at his barber shop on W. 10th Street.

Phil “The Barber” Youngquist,  owner of Phil’s Barber Shop in Antioch, passed away suddenly at home on Saturday, May 25.

A fundraiser will be held for Phil’s family on Friday, May 31st from 5-8 pm at Lumpy’s Diner, Antioch at 5891 Lone Tree Way.

Dinner To Go includes: Spaghetti, salad, roll, cookie and a drink for just $20.

Any and all raffle donations appreciated. Contact Gena 925-550-3750. Let’s help this family out.

Phil was an awesome guy and a huge influence in our community! RIP Phil

All proceeds go to the family…. Please share!

Please see his obituary, below.

Philip Alexander Youngquist

June 27, 1969 – May 25, 2019

Resident of Antioch

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Philip Alexander Youngquist, 49 (Antioch, California), who passed away unexpectedly at home on May 25, 2019, leaving to mourn family and friends.

Survivor Donna of 29 yrs. marriage, Son Randy (Heather), Ellen (fiancé), David Schick, 3 grandsons, 1 step-grandson, parents Lillie Youngquist (Don Forfang), Theodore (Beverly) Youngquist, 2 brothers Thad (Kris), Lief (Deanna), 3 nephews, 1 niece.

There will be a public viewing, Friday, May 31st at 10 am – 12 pm at Higgins Funeral Home, 1310 A St. in Antioch.

Phil was a barber 20 years in Antioch and was well known in the community. He was actively involved in local fishing and hunting clubs.

A Celebration of Life will be held from 1 – 4 pm, Sunday, June 9, V.F.W. Antioch, CA.

Family and friends can send flowers and condolences in memory of the loved one. Leave a sympathy message to the family on the memorial page of Philip Alexander Youngquist to pay them a last tribute.

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In Memoriam: Long-time Antioch resident Yvonne Waits passes at 79

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

Yvonne Waits
Nov. 22, 1939 – May 4, 2019

Yvonne Waits passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on May 4, 2019. She was born in San Francisco on November 22, 1939 to Walter and Roxie Mae Wilmot. Yvonne was a devoted wife to the late Calvin Waits for 36 years, and loving mom to her sons Charles Warren, Jr. (Claudia), Russell Warren (Cheryl) and the late Carl Warren. She was a caring grandmother to Sarah Warren, Jason Warren (Megan), Angelica Warren and Katelyn Warren-Murray (Victor).  She was a loving sister of Roberta Wagner and the late Larry and Walter Wilmoth, Norma Fava, Shirley Hill and Patricia Regan.

Yvonne was a proud resident of Antioch for 29 years, and a member of The Bay (Calvary Temple) Church and enjoyed playing Bunco with her card group. A special thank you to The Bay Church for their prayers, Vitas Hospice, and the gentle, compassionate care provided by her caregivers.

A celebration of her life will be held at The Bay Church (Calvary Temple) on Saturday, May 18th at 10:30 a.m., 4725 Evora Road, Concord, CA.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Yvonne’s name to VITAS Hospice at

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Former East Bay Congresswoman, diplomat Ellen Tauscher passes at 67

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Represented Antioch; also served as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control under President Obama, and on U.C. Board of Regents

Ellen Tauscher. Photo by U.S. State Department.

By Allen Payton

Ellen Tauscher, who represented parts of Contra Costa County, including Antioch, in California’s 10th Congressional District during her six terms in Congress, died on Monday, April 29 at the age of 67, according to news reports. According to an L.A. Times report, she died of pneumonia after battling it since January.

Tauscher was elected in 1996, beating former Congressman Bill Baker, and served until 2009. She was considered a centrist and become a leader in two fiscally conservative Democratic caucuses, the pro-business New Democratic Coalition and the balance-budget minded Blue Dog Coalition, in the House of Representatives.

During her years in Congress, as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Surface Transportation Subcommittee, Tauscher helped secure $33 million in federal funds for projects in her district, including the widening of Highway 4 in Eastern Contra Costa County, as part of a total $2 billion in funding for regional transportation projects. She also helped create the first balanced budget in 30 years, that gave middle class families a much needed tax cut. She also served as vice chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

In 2009, during President Obama’s first year in office, Tauscher accepted a position with the U.S. State Department as the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. In that position, she helped negotiate the New Start treaty with the Russian federation in May 2010. In February 2012 Tauscher began serving as Special Envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense at the State Department until August 31, 2012.

She later served on the University of California Board of Regents and as chairman of the Board of Governors for both the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National labs.

According to her Wikipedia page, “Since leaving the State Department, Tauscher assumed a number of publicly held corporate and non-profit board positions, including serving on the boards of Edison International/Southern California Edison (EIX) in Rosemead, California, and eHealth (EHTH) in Mountain View, California. She served on the Board of Advisors of SpaceX, the Board of Directors of BAE Systems, INC., NTI, and the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Council. She served as vice chair of the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.”

According to her 2000 campaign biography, Tauscher “was born in East Newark, NJ on November 15, 1951. The first member of her family to attend college, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Seton Hall University in 1974.

Tauscher began her career on Wall Street. At 25 years of age, she was one of the first and youngest women to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. During her 14 years on Wall Street, Congresswoman Tauscher worked for Bache Securities and then joined…SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt to transform the American Stock Exchange…into a reputable rival to the New York Stock Exchange.”

Also according to Wikipedia, “In 1989, Tauscher moved to California and later founded the ChildCare Registry, the first national research service to help parents verify the background of childcare workers. She also published The ChildCare Sourcebook and headed the Tauscher Foundation, which provided funds for elementary schools to buy computers and Internet access.

In July 2010, Tauscher was diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer, one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States and one of the deadliest, with a survival rate of 18%. After a grueling regimen of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to remove her esophagus, Tauscher was declared cancer-free in December 2010.”

On Tuesday, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) released the following statement on her passing:

“Ellen was a public servant, fierce advocate, and glass ceiling breaker. From her early days as founder of the first service to help parents screen childcare workers to her 12 years as a United States Representative, she was always working to improve the lives of families. In the East Bay, Ellen was involved in every major transportation project including Highway 4 and the Caldecott Tunnel with the goal of helping people spend less time on the roads and more time enjoying life. As an Under Secretary of State, Ellen played an important in role in negotiating the reduction of arms with Russia. After leaving politics, she invested her time in the issues she most cared about including as Chair of the Board of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Foundation. Throughout her time in government, Ellen was an inspiration and mentor in our community especially for many young women starting their careers.

“Ellen lived a life in service to others. I am honored to have called her a friend. My heart goes out to her family and loved ones in Contra Costa and across the nation.”

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on the death of Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher:

“The passing of Ellen Tauscher is a loss for us all.

“Ellen was brilliant, gracious and generous and always did her level best to lift up those around her. Ellen was a best friend and I’ll never forget her.

“Ellen had a huge heart and was always ready with a story. She wouldn’t hesitate to help anyone in need, always with a kind word or quip to lift your spirits. My favorite times with Ellen were our weekend dinners in Washington where we’d laugh and trade stories over a glass of California wine.

“At heart, Ellen was a great human being and a wonderful mother to Katherine, a remarkable young woman herself who stayed at her mother’s side in the hospital and was steady, steadfast and warm.

“Ellen never backed down from a challenge and always stood up for what she thought was right. Before she entered the world of politics she was a trailblazer in finance, one of the first woman members – and the youngest – of the New York Stock Exchange.

“When Ellen put her mind to politics, she was a force. She chaired my first two Senate campaigns, and soon after went on to win her own seat in Congress where she served for 12 years. She would spend another three years as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. She was recognized as an expert in the field and really understood weapons of war. She was also appointed by Governor Brown to the University of California Board of Regents, another position at which she excelled.

“Ellen had a practical and effective way with policy. She had a knack for getting to the bottom of an issue smartly but also in ways that people could really understand. She truly loved her country and it was an honor to work with her. She remains an inspiration for all of us in Congress and I hope younger members will look to her as an example to emulate. She’ll always be remembered.”

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Services for Destinee Hillery in Pittsburg, Thursday, April 4

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

Services for the Home Going Celebration for Destinee S. Jenae Hillery

Thursday April 4, 2019

11:00 am

New Destiny Church

1411 E. Leland Rd

Pittsburg, CA 94565

Repast to be held at:

Pittsburg Senior Center

300 Presidio Lane

Pittsburg, CA 94565

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