Elizabeth Pendleton White
Elizabeth Pendleton White died September 14 in Riberas del Pilar after a brief illness.
White’s Mexican grandmother – whom she considered the most important influence in her life – and U.S. grandfather, a mining engineer, left their Mexico City home for the United States with their daughter Carmen (White’s mother) during the Mexican Revolution at the beginning of the 20th century.
White was born in 1930 in Los Angeles, where both her mother and father were pursuing careers in show business. Her father, Steve Pendleton, later became one of John Wayne’s posse of friends, often appearing in his movies, and for years enjoyed a successful career as a voice-over artist. Her mother and father parted company soon after White’s birth, with her mother moving to New York City, where she had a short stage career.
White spent her early years in Riverdale, Bronx, New York City, where she attended Horace Mann Academy elementary school. As a teenager she lived several years in pre-Castro Cuba, where her stepfather was a Standard Oil executive.
Her first marriage was to a newly commissioned second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. For several years they made their home in the Panama Canal Zone, where her husband was stationed. After the couple divorced, White returned to California, to Santa Monica. At various times she worked as a traveling sales representative for the Olivetti Corporation, for the Los Angeles offices of Motown Records, as a personal assistant/secretary for diverse law and architecture offices, as a caterer, and, often, as a model.
In 1996, following the death of her then-husband, Art Degoes, White acted on her dream of moving to Mexico, landing first in Aguascalientes, and then moving to the Lake Chapala area in 1997. Here, her discovery of the Lakeside Little Theatre (LLT) cemented her commitment to the community.
Throughout her life, wherever she found herself, White pursued her abiding love for theater and acting, performing in both professional and community shows. She took major roles in “Summer and Smoke,” “Dancing at Lughnasa,” “The Heidi Chronicles,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Diary of Anne Frank,” among many others.
White served two terms as LLT’s first vice president, heading up the play reading committee responsible for organizing each season’s schedule of plays. And she continued to act, again portraying a wide range of parts showcasing her deep talent. Her most memorable LLT role was that of the iconic Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” in 2002. For years afterwards, people would stop her on the street to express their admiration for her performance.
White was also a founding member of The Naked Stage Readers Theatre. She served as a board member, and directed and acted in their shows for almost ten years.
A rationalist by nature and a realist through life experience, she pursued spiritual growth in association with the “est” movement, with followers of the Buddha’s liberating insights.
White loved animals, raising and caring for dozens over her lifetime. She loved books and was, in large part, self educated through her voracious reading habits. Feisty, spunky and affirming describe her approach to life’s journey.
Her memorial is in the hearts and emotions of the countless theater goers moved by her accomplished performances over 70 plus years. She leaves behind her life partner of the last 13 years, Fred Koesling, and so many Lakeside friends and associates.
Loy Wade Strother
Loy Wade Strother died at his home in San Nicholas de Ibarra September 21 at the age of 69 after a heroic fight with cancer.
Strother graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Oregon State University, after years playing lead guitar for one of the most popular country rock bands in Oregon. Following a 21-career in business credit in Los Angeles, he spent several years sharing his knowledge by teaching a finance class at Lake Havasu High School in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
In June 2016, Strother and his wife Deborah retired to his beloved Lake Chapala, where he had spent a good portion of his young life.
Strother will be remembered for his love of music, fishing, golf, swimming, the game of pool, his ability and willingness to share his vast knowledge with anyone prepared to listen, and his love of life. His beautiful smile and sense of humor will long be in the hearts of those who knew him.
Having no children of his own, the love of his nieces, nephews and many other children that touched his life brought him great joy.
Strother will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 40 years, Deborah. He is survived by his sister Lynn Mozo Strother, loving in-laws, 16 nieces and nephews, 11 grandnieces and nephews, two great grandnieces and a host of new and longtime friends.
A memorial service will be held at Ocampo 157 in Ajijic on Sunday, October 14, 5 p.m. with a walk to the Cultural Center on the Ajijic Plaza, for a short service and the release of Chinese lanterns at the Ajijic Malecon.
The celebration of Strother’s life and the scattering of his ashes will be held January 12, 2019. Details will follow upon completion of arrangements.
The family asks that if you are unable to attend, please take a moment to remember Loy on those days.