Archive for the ‘Obituary’ Category

Bay Area rap legend from Antioch dies in car crash Monday morning

Monday, June 29th, 2020

Curtis “Young Curt” Denton. Photos from Twitter.

By Luke Johnson

East County rapper Young Curt has died at 27 years old. According to the Contra Costa County Coroner’s office and the Eastern Contra Costa Fire Protection District he was killed in a solo-car crash on Byron Highway, early Monday morning. (See ECCFPD BC MAJOR INCIDENT SUMMARY 062920)

When California Highway Patrol arrived to the scene at Clifton Court Road in Byron a little after 2 a.m., officers said they found Curtis Denton’s (Young Curt) body on the side of the road and his 2019 Dodge Charger flipped upside down.

According to CHP, Denton was speeding southbound when “he drove off the roadway and collided into the dirt shoulder causing the vehicle to roll over several times.” Officers believe Denton wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was subsequently ejected through the sunroof of his car.

“He suffered major injuries and was transported by ambulance to Kaiser Medical center in Antioch but was unfortunately pronounced deceased at the hospital by emergency personnel,” the CHP reported.

Denton was from Antioch and Pittsburg. He rose to fame with his song “It’s the Mobb” — which was released in 2008 while he was attending Deer Valley High School.

Young Curt during studio session. Screenshot of video posted on Twitter by The Yoc.

Another single from 2009 regained traction earlier this year on viral video-sharing app Tik Tok.

Many musicians and entertainers — such as Tyga, Kehlani and Iamsu! — took to social media to pay tribute to the fallen rapper.

“The era of music birthed from Curt, and the industry at that moment, created a pinnacle in not only the 925, but the entire Bay Area music scene,” said rapper Pok’Chop. “Curt played an integral part in my career. I recorded my first song in Curt’s studio back in 2006. We challenged each other to the point of success — it was healthy competition.”

The CHP report said it is unknown if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash, but it is being investigated. On Denton’s Instagram page Sunday night, he posted on his story of what appeared to be a video of himself holding a bottle of prescription cough syrup.

If anyone witnessed this collision or the events leading up to it, they are asked to contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez at (925) 646-4980.

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In Memoriam: Antioch teacher, wife of former Bases Loaded owner, Debbie Archibald-Karp passes from cancer at 60

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

DEBORAH LYNN KARP Debbie Archibald-Karp

June 21, 1959 – March 15, 2020

Resident of Walnut Creek

At the young age of 60, and after a courageous 2 year battle with cancer, Debbie passed away in the arms of her loving husband, R. Terry Karp. Debbie leaves behind her son, Jacob T. Archibald, her mother, Carole Sherman-Stone of Lexington, KY., and one brother Jeff D. Stone (Ramona) of Louisville, KY. She was preceded in death by her father, William R. Stone.

Debbie was a wonderful mother, and in addition to her beloved son, she cherished her two step-children, Cassandra Karp and Jared Karp.

Born in Portsmouth, OH, Debbie grew up in nearby Minford, and was a 1977 graduate of Minford High School. While working at Mercy Hospital and attending Shawnee State Community College, Debbie decided to leave the cold winters of Ohio for a fresh start. Like the song, “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” tails won, and in 1984 she packed up her car and drove west to the Sacramento area where she got a job selling yellow page ads while attending American River Community College. Debbie was incredibly industrious, and worked while her first husband, Phil Archibald, attended nursing school.

Later, she enrolled at Sacramento State University, obtained her teaching credential, and was hired by the Antioch Unified School District where she taught for almost 30 years – the last 17 years at Park Middle School where she was a finalist for the 2018 Mary Allan Fellows Award honoring AUSD educators. As a 6th grade math and science teacher, she also earned a Certificate of Recognition for Great Classroom Instruction from the AUSD school board in 2013 for innovative techniques such as incorporating sign language as a means for keeping her students engaged, thus creating an environment conducive to learning.

Debbie was also an accomplished Jitterbug and Swing dancer, enjoyed listening to music, and wine tasting with her husband Terry and their many friends.

We will miss her captivating smile, unwavering optimism, and overall enthusiasm for life. Contact a family member for details regarding a celebration of life to be held at a place and date not yet determined. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the American Cancer Society.

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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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