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Obituaries - June 11, 2016

Peter George Denton


Peter George Denton, 84, succumbed to cancer at his home in Chapala on Sunday, June 5. 

Born in Woolwich, London in 1932, Denton lived most of his life in South Africa after moving there in 1965. Denton lost his mother at an early age to one of the last V2 rockets to hit London during World War II. 

After graduating from Brighton College, Denton joined the military and spent seven years in the British Royal Marines. He proudly earned service medals while fighting for two years in the jungles of Malaysia during the “Malayan Emergency.” 

Before his move to South Africa, Denton worked as a sales representative for pharmaceutical companies in England. His experience in this industry left him with a cynical and somewhat hostile view toward both doctors and “big pharma.” 

Denton arrived in South Africa with his wife, Heather, two small children and a promise of a job as a business consultant. He soon moved into photography and over the years built one of the largest photographic studios in South Africa, supporting a staff of ten servicing advertising agencies in the Johannesburg area. 

Denton enjoyed hot-air ballooning, chicken farming, caravanning, ham radio, gardening and cooking. He built a large home and farm on the outskirts of Johannesburg where he raised Great Danes and housed horses, donkeys, geese, chickens, bush babies, and raised many vegetables and flowers in his numerous gardens. 

Denton was a great admirer of Nelson Mandela and was a secret member of the African National Congress (ANC) liberation movement, while maintaining close associations with the Afrikaner “power brokers.”  

Denton arrived in Ajijic in 2003 with two large dogs, Joey and Kiley, a Mastiff (Boerboel), and a Great Dane. He soon became recognized in the community by his wide-brimmed hat and beard, as well as his exceptional photographs for the Lakeside Little Theatre. But mostly he will be remembered for his colorful stories and jokes that he regaled for all who met him, repeating them many times if given a chance.  

Denton loved to entertain and was a gregarious host with a love of life who was able to see the irony and humor in most situations. Everyone in South Africa and Chapala knew of his famous home-made Worcestershire Sauce, chutneys and curries.

Denton is lovingly remembered by his daughter Sian Bottomley (Ian) of Dullstroom, South Africa; son Guy Denton (Cynthia) of Raleigh, North Carolina; grandchildren Cherise Paiva, Jared Paiva, Jennifer Denton and Sean Denton; brothers Terry of Stockport, England and Vernon of Cape Town, South Africa; and many nieces and nephews. Most especially, he will be missed by his wife of ten years, Beverly, and all his many friends and associates at Lakeside. 

A celebration of life will be held Thursday, June 23 from 5-7 p.m. Call Beverly at 765-6409 for directions.   


Charles Edward Candy


Lakeside resident Charles Edward (Chuck) Candy, 61, died June 3 in a San Juan Cosala auto accident (see page 2). 

Candy was born in Fairfield, California, on September 19, 1954.  After serving in the U.S. Army, Candy studied journalism at Shasta College in Redding, California. He worked as a production manager for McWharten industries. 

He married his best friend and childhood sweetheart, Colleen Anne Heckeby, in 1974. They moved to Ennis, Texas where Candy worked as a technician for AT&T.  There they raised three children.

Candy and his wife moved to the Lake Chapala area after he retired from AT&T in 2015 after more than 30 years of service. He embraced the slower, outdoor lifestyle of Mexico and told everyone how happy he was here. He loved all types of music and in retirement he discovered the ukulele, focusing his musical passion on playing the instrument. 

Candy’s days included bird watching, daily walks on the Chapala malecon, helping others, strolling cobblestone village streets, studying history and geography – especially local lore he learned from the people he met and talked to. His generosity extended to volunteering to help others, especially children. 

He is survived by his best friend and life mate of 45 years, Colleen Candy; his mother, Mildred Candy; sisters Laury Frey and Barbara Meissner; his three children, Amy Colleen Candy, Megan Elizabeth Alexander (Shawn) and Jack Charles Candy (Analeah); and three granddaughters who were the center of his world, Lennon Lopez, Lucie Lopez and Julia Candy. 

The members of Club Ukulele de Laguna hosted a celebration of Candy’s life on June 8 in the Ajijic Malecon park. The event, attended by Candy’s widow, his son and daughter-in-law and daughter Amy, included Candy’s favorite ukulele blues and other songs, simple foods and drinks, the sharing of memories, joys and sorrows. 


Bruno Emmanuel Joachim

Bruno Emmanuel Joachim, an accomplished artist, photographer and loving father to his four children, died June 1. 

Joachim ran a successful business in Boston, Massachusetts during his early adulthood: Bruno Joachim Studios. Through the lens of his camera, moments of love, joy, art and fashion came to life in such a way that only he could produce.

As a loving father, he created dear family memories: “Night rides,” Nationals baseball games, St. Nicholas, philosophical conversations over the never-ending coffee cup.

Joachim met his soul mate, Elliott Joachim, in McLean, Virginia in 1997. The couple immediately fell into a whirlwind of love and passion, and went on to experience the world together as one. During their later years they built their life in Ajijic, where they came to meet some of their dearest friends.

Born into a family of musicians, Joachim possessed an extraordinary passion for music and had an unprecedented knack for sharing the hidden allure of art and music with his photography and poetic expression. Most of all he loved his friends and family and appreciated the simple pleasures of life: taking walks to the local coffee shop, an afternoon round of golf, watching Dancing with the Stars with his beloved wife, and a good meal.

Joachim is predeceased by his wife of 18 years, Elliott, and survived by his four children, Curtis, Kathryn, Alexandra and Maxamillian. 

Joachim had a way with words that touched everyone he knew. In his final Facebook post, he stated: “Fear of hell draws people to religion. Those who have been through hell attract spirituality.”  

There will be a celebration of life for Joachim at La Nueva Posada on June 18, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 


Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett, 69, died May 26 in Riberas del Pilar after suffering a heart attack. 

Born April 18, 1947 in Mississippi, Bennett moved with his family to Baton Rouge, Louisiana at age nine. He played tackle and and was the place kicker on the 1964 Baton Rouge High School football team and was a lifelong extreme fan of his alma mater, Louisiana State University’s football team, as well as the New Orleans Saints. He made a career in real estate and raised a family in Baton Rouge.

Bennett retired to Lakeside in December 2010 at the urging of his college friend, Fred DiGiulio.

After a couple of years, he met Gina Mendoza and they married 11 months ago. He told his friends he loved his life and the extended family he had made in Mexico. His hobbies were music, acting, fishing and reading, especially novels by Tim Dorsey.  

Bennett came from a family with musical and acting talent and performed in three Lakeside Little Theatre (LLT) productions – “No Clue,” “I’ll be Back Before Midnight” and “Local Hero” – and also at the Naked Stage.

LLT President Peter Luciano called him “a true renaissance man who really knew literature, theater and music and appreciated it all … and he was a great actor with a fabulous baritone voice that resonated.”

Bennett played guitar for almost five years with fellow musician Tim Tracy. His musical tastes ran to blues, acoustic, Americana, folk and rock.  During his time at Lakeside he sat in with many musicians, which was apparent at last Sunday’s jam session memorial at Ocampo 71 in Ajijic, where many friends came to wish him adios.

Bennett had fished since he was a young boy and enjoyed bass fishing with friends at Lake Agua Milpa. 

He is survived by his wife Gina; his mother Nina in Baton Rouge; brothers Mike, Malcom and Matt and sister Melanie, all of Baton Rouge; children Jessica, Emily, Jennings and stepdaughter Sarah; four grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. 

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