Ethel Lorene Keith Alonzo

November 7, 1923August 8, 2013
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Ethel Lorene Alonzo (1923-2013)

Ethel Lorene Alonzo, a long time resident of Yuma, passed away August 8, 2013. She was the daughter of Lee and Rachel Keith. She was brought into this world by her grandfather November 7, 1923 on a farm near Eufala, Oklahoma. She grew up in Dallas, Texas, where she met and married her first husband, Carl Pannell, with whom she had two sons.

Ethel was a very talented woman who took great pride in everything she did. She cared about people and went out of her way to lend a helping hand when she saw the need. She was a long time member of the DAV, the VFW and the ladies Democratic party.

Ethel is survived by her son Carlton (Bettie), daughter-in-law Joyce, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, along with numerous uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents (Lee and Rachel), her brother (Richard) and sister (Helen), her son (Eddie) and her husband (Steven Alonzo).

"Some say life is a party, you join after it's started and leave before it's finished." Ethel didn't waste a minute of the time.

There will be a visitation, Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at Johnson Mortuary from 5-8 p.m. The Graveside Service will be August 14, 2013, 9 a.m. at Desert Lawn Memorial Park.

Ethel Lorene Alonzo was known as many things to many people. She was a loved one, a friend, and someone special. To family and friends who knew her best, Ethel will be remembered as a very exceptional person.

Ethel was born on November 7, 1923 at home on a farm in near Eufala, Oklahoma. She was the daughter of Lee Keith and Rachel Handcock. Ethel grew up in Dallas, Texas.

Ethel was raised with two siblings. She had Richard Lee Keith and Helen Elizabeth Keith. Ethel was usually involved in all sorts of activities with her siblings. She and her siblings experienced rivalries typical of a growing family, but they shared many life experiences over the years.

A typical teenager, Ethel had a fairly happy high school experience, making that critical transition from adolescence to adulthood. She enjoyed some classes more than others, having favorite subjects and teachers. Ethel, however, only attended three years of high school, she got her GED when she was 82 years old.

On 1960 Ethel exchanged wedding vows with Louis Steven Alonzo at Justice of the peace of Yuma, Arizona. Empathic and loyal, Ethel was committed to making her family happy.

Ethel worked hard to be a good mother to her children and she did her best to fulfill their needs. Ethel was blessed with two children, her sons, Eddie Wayne and Carlton Lee. Another blessing for Ethel was the gift of three grandchildren and five great grandchildren, her beloved grandchildren include, Steve Pannell, David Metcalf and Dacia Hill and her darling great grandchildren are, Noel and Kimberly Pannell, Corey and Courtney Hill and Amelia Metcalf.

Fortunately, Ethel enjoyed what she did for a living. Showing a strong work ethic. Her primary occupation was a chef. She also owned and ran a bar for a number of years. Being a spouse of a military man and moving frequently, she did not work at any one location for any great length of time. She worked on military bases in both officer and NCO clubs. She also cooked for numerous civilian facilities. Ethel always sought to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.

Ethel enjoyed her leisure time by taking part in various hobbies. Her favorite pursuits were arts and crafts. She was exceptionally good at decorating. She was content to enjoy her favorite pastimes alone but was also willing to share her interests with others.

Ethel's favorite recreation was fishing, she loved to fish. Ethel was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed following her favorite events whenever she had the chance to do so. Tops on her list were football.

Throughout her life, Ethel was a doer and was always actively involved in professional and community organizations. Throughout her later years, Ethel was an active member of the DAV and VFW. She supported Cub Scouts, Boys Scouts and Explorer Scouts of America. Ethel was also a den leader for the Cub Scouts.

Ethel was a woman who took pride in upholding her beliefs. Politically, Ethel was very active in the Ladies Democratic Party of Arizona as was her Aunt Nellie Hammond.

Ethel’s faith was important to her. She was a Protestant and attended nondenominational services. During that time, she loved watching Joel Osteen on Sundays and reading his books.

Ethel enjoyed traveling and time away on vacations. It was a chance for her to renew and relax, to visit new places and experience new things. Favorite vacations included travel all over the US especially to national parks.

Ethel was a lover of animals and cherished her pets although she was allergic to cats. Her favorite pets were dogs. She had a variety of breeds. Her favorite was a small dachshund named "Taffy."

When Ethel’s never really retired. She cooked at a number of nursing homes in Yuma and from time to time for the DAV. She found new pleasure in playing bingo and in writing her biography where she kept a daily log, she also kept a scrap book. Ethel continued to stay in touch with her old friends while making plenty of new acquaintances. Ethel was active in her new community and felt fulfilled with the opportunities retirement offered her.

Ethel passed away on August 8, 2013 at Yuma Nursing Home Yuma, Arizona. She is survived by son, Carlton (Bettie) Pannell and grandchildren, Steve Pannell, David Metcalf and Dacia Hill. Visitation was held at Johnson Mortuary in Yuma, Arizona. Ethel was laid to rest in the Garden of Last Supper in Desert Lawn Memorial Park in Yuma, Arizona.

Simply stated, Ethel was a good and kind person, an individual who will for all time be remembered by her family and friends as being a caring and giving person, someone who was a vital part of their lives. Ethel leaves behind her a legacy of life-long friendships and many cherished memories. Everyone whose life she touched will always remember Ethel Lorene Alonzo.


  • Visitation Tuesday, August 13, 2013
  • Graveside Service Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ethel Lorene Keith Alonzo

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T. B.

August 14, 2013

I am so sorry to hear of Ethel's passing. I know she was loved and I hope the family can be encouraged with the account I found at Luke 7:11-17. My deepest sympathies to you.

Carla Gasner

August 13, 2013

Ethel was a gift to us all, and she will always remain in my heart. Awesome Lady!