Archive for the ‘Obituary’ Category

In Memoriam: Former Antioch school librarian Joyce Lavonne Bergerhouse passes at 86

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

Joyce Lavonne Bergerhouse

November 10, 1934 – May 9, 2021

Mother of Antioch school district leader and former principal Scott Bergerhouse and former Antioch Police Officer Steve Bergerhouse

Joyce Lavonne Bergerhouse passed away peacefully at home with her loving husband by her side on Sunday, May 9, 2021 (Mother’s Day).  She was 86 years old.

Joyce was born in Dwight, Kansas on November 10, 1934. She married William (Bill) Bergerhouse on December 26, 1954.  Bill and Joyce were married for 66 years.  Together, they had three children whom they raised in Kansas before moving to Antioch, California in 1965.  In October of 1967, Joyce began her career in California at Fremont Elementary School where she was an instructional aide, typist clerk, and then became the school’s Library Tech. (Librarian) in 1979.  She retired from Fremont Elementary School in March of 1997.

Joyce enjoyed traveling with Bill hauling their 5th wheel to many places throughout the country.  She loved to read and had so much love to share with family and friends. Joyce was a loving, kindhearted and amazing woman.  She always embraced life as it came.

Joyce is preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Pearle and her brothers, Larry and Loren Nickoley.  She leaves behind her husband, William Bergerhouse, her son and daughter-in-law, Steve & Marilyn Bergerhouse, her daughter and son-in-law, Susan & Robert Barmore and son, Scott Bergerhouse. Joyce also leaves behind seven grandchildren: Jennifer, Randy, Jason, Trevor, Nicholas, Carly and Stefani, and ten great grandchildren: Jayse, Jake, Landon, Rylan, Quinn, Carson, Tristan, Rylee, Liliana and Kailiana Joy.  She will forever be in our hearts.

A “Celebration of Life” memorial service will be held Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. Beede Auditorium, Antioch High School, 700 W. 18th Street, Antioch, California. All are welcome.

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Long-time Antioch resident, Holy Rosary Church member Lucille Artz passes at 92

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

Mother of five sons, grandmother to nine and great grandmother to four

Lucille Bernice Artz

August 9, 1928 – March 18, 2021

Lucille and Donald Artz on their wedding day March 31, 1948

Lucille Artz peacefully went to rest and awoke in heaven the morning of March 18, 2021.

Lucille was a sweet, Midwest girl. She was born on August 9, 1928 in Hoven, South Dakota to Henry and Eva Peters. She had an older sister, Gladys and two younger brothers, Bill and John. She was the head cheerleader at the high school in Hoven and had many friends, including her best friend Evie Artz.

When Donald Artz came home from WWII, they fell in love and the two were married on Friday, March 31, 1948. She refused to be married on that Saturday since it was April Fool’s Day. The two were very happily married for 39 years, until Don’s passing in 1987.

They moved to Antioch, California in 1955 where they raised their family of five boys. Lucille and Don became active members of Holy Rosary Church. She loved baking for the church’s annual harvest festival and was active in many parish clubs. She was always willing to help contribute to the community.

Lucille Artz and sons on her 90th birthday.

After she raised her family, she worked in the 1980’s and 90’s as a bookkeeper for Antioch Marine Sales.

Lucille was a loving wife, mother, mother-in-law, Grandmother (Nana) and Great grandmother. She and Don raised five sons Daniel (Christine), David (Kate), John (Alice), Timothy (Kimberly) and Thomas (Kathleen). She was proud of her boys and her nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

She will forever be remembered as a kind, happy woman who always had a smile on her face and loved to laugh.

She is preceded in death by her husband Donald Artz and her son John Artz.

She is survived by her sons Dan, Dave, Tim and Tom.

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In Memoriam: Antioch FastSigns owner Randy Sabatte loses battle with cancer, goes home to be with the Lord at 60

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

Member of the Berkeley Farms Dairy business family.

Randall Allen “Randy” Sabatte

January 3, 1960 – July 23, 2020

On Thursday, July 23, 2020, Randall Allen Sabatte passed away after a short battle with cancer. He went home to be with the Lord at the age of 60.

Randy was born on January 3, 1960, in Oakland, CA. He graduated from Washington High School in Fremont in 1978. His career path took him from real estate to working at the family business, Berkeley Farms Dairy, to eventually owning his own franchise business with FastSigns in Antioch, California.

One of his most memorable jobs was frying chicken at Kentucky Fried Chicken where he met the love of his life, Debbie Renee Hunter. Randy and Debbie shared a spiritual journey together in marriage for 38 years after marrying on October 17, 1981. They traveled extensively between ski slopes, the Grand Caymans, cruises in the Caribbean, Alaska, snorkeling in Mexico and most recently to Wyoming in a blizzard on a snowmobile. One of their proudest accomplishments was raising their three beautiful children – one daughter, Kristin, and two sons, Michael and Joel.  Randy adored his four grandchildren Esmae, Adelynn, Sage, and Jack (and one on the way he would call, “Jeff”).

Randy had a strong passion for volunteering and serving his local community, especially working with small businesses to help them achieve their individual goals in growing their own brands. Many in the community admired and respected Randy for his humble, kind spirit and his love for taking on any challenge.  He tackled any project whether it be big or small with enthusiasm. The expression of his artistic talents and attention to detail resulted in products that were admired and valued by many. Randy highly valued the relationships he worked hard to build with his clients. He went out of his way to keep his customers and own staff happy.

Randy shared his faith with teens and adults alike through the ministry of Young Life. He and Debbie were part of the team that helped launch Young Life in Brentwood, CA in 2006. He had Young Life clubs in his living room where 30-40 teens would gather weekly. He served as a volunteer leader, committee member, donor, and behind-the-scenes specialist. Because of their involvement in this ministry, Randy and Debbie’s home was an open door to many.

Randy loved the outdoors including camping, jeeping, running, snowboarding, and coaching for his sons’ teams (soccer/baseball/Boy Scouts).  Randy was a kid at heart.  He loved being around and helping children. He was known as The Leprechaun, Olaf, and “Mr. Debbie” at Apple Tree Christian Preschool, the business Debbie owns.

Randy is survived by his parents Norman Sabatte and Joanne Spiller, Pete Spiller; wife of 38 years Debbie; daughter Kristin (Kevin) Hazelton; son Michael (Chelsea); son Joel (Jessica); sisters Denise Sabatte-Pedersen, Janine Sabatte-Caspillo, Deanne Sabatte, and his five grandchildren: Esmae, Adelynn, Sage, Jack (+1 on the way).

A celebration of life service will be held on August 13, 2020 at Golden Hills Community Church in Brentwood at 9:00am. Check in begins at 8:30am for temperature scans. Bring your own chair and mask. In lieu of flowers and/or gifts, Randy requested donations would be made to Young Life’s Woodleaf camp, a ministry he was very passionate about.


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Long time Antioch resident from one of city’s pioneer families Millie Peterson dies at 101

Friday, July 24th, 2020

Mildred Irma “Millie” Biglow Burris Peterson

September 9, 1918 – July 21, 2020

From City of Antioch

Mildred Irma “Millie” Biglow Burris Peterson had deep roots in the Antioch community, and was the matriarch and last of the Antioch Biglows, one of the city’s pioneer families from Gold Rush days. She passed away after suffering a stroke on June 30 at age 101  just a few months shy of her 102nd birthday.

Born on September 9, 1918, on 10th Street in Antioch, Millie attended Antioch schools from Kindergarten to 12th grade graduating with the class of 1935 from Antioch High School. She volunteered for the American Cancer Society, Delta Memorial (Sutter) Hospital for 20 years, and the El Campanil Theatre as an usher. She was involved in various organizations/clubs, including

  • Holy Rosary Church
  • YLI Young Ladies Institute for over 80 years
  • Native Daughters
  • Sons of Italy
  • Women’s Club
  • Historical Society

Millie exemplifies the Antioch spirit of perseverance and service. She will be deeply missed by all her family and friends.

Message by Antioch Historical Society

Every year Millie Peterson would attend the Victorian Tea at the Antioch Historical Museum. Her wedding dress is featured in the bridal room at the museum. She will be missed at our tea for sure.

In 2012, she was featured in an East Bay Times article, A Life of Work, Fun and Friends. Peterson’s advice to today’s youth was, “live life to the fullest; take every opportunity you get; be positive; and, have a happy attitude.”

Additional information gathered from for this report.


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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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