Nine-year-old Clara Cecelia "Cece" Svenson lost her battle with leukemia in mid-February.
To those who knew her, Cece was someone who lit up any room she walked into with her vibrant smile.
Adopted in China in 2008 by Art and Nancy Svenson of Redlands, Cece inspired the community to rally for a cure when she was diagnosed in 2010.
While she was on the road to recovery, community members held a vigil and blood drive, with dozens turning out to show their support for the Kimberly Elementary School student.
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Cece went through several rounds of chemotherapy through December 2011 and on Jan. 3, 2012, she received a bone-marrow transplant from an anonymous 21-year-old donor who was the only single matching donor found for her, her parents said.
Thirty-two days after the transplant, Cece underwent a bone-marrow biopsy that found no trace of leukemia.
Even while going through treatments, Cece's positive spirit remained, her parents said, and her hope for a cure never wavered.
"We called her our `Beautiful Warrior' after the book of the same name," they said. "She was the most courageous girl ever, and never lost hope that her leukemia would be cured and she would return home."
She did not recover.
Services for Cece were held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Redlands. Donations can be made in her name to the National Marrow Donor Program - Be the Match - at www.marrow.org.
A 22-year-old Redlands woman died in Australia in early 2012.
The of body Melissa Joy Dietzel was found hanging from a tree in Sydney where she worked as a live-in nanny.
Dietzel had traveled to Australia in her quest to see the world after attending Moore Middle School, Redlands East Valley High and Brigham Young University.
It took Australian police several weeks to identify her. Police used dental records.
After news of her death spread, details emerged that showed a rapid evolution of mental illness.
Her family said she suffered from bipolar disorder.
Dietzel was the seventh in a family of 10 children, which included five brothers and four sisters.
She left for Australia on Nov. 6, 2011, with a six-month working visa. That was the last time her family saw her.
Services for Dietzel were held in Redlands in late February.
John L. Gotz, a longtime professor of music at the University of Redlands who was known to students for his warmth and support, died on Sept. 30.
The UofR held a concert in his memory on Nov. 12 in the Frederick Loewe Performance Hall. The concert featured two young musicians, cellist Rachel Koh and pianist Jingfu Peng, assisted by violinist Dylan Koh and pianist Stephanie Lovell.
Golz, who was also the concertmaster of the Redlands Symphony and Redlands Bowl orchestras for more than 30 years, was remembered by student Leslie Woodbury of La Crescenta, who wrote a letter to the Redlands Daily Facts describing how the man influenced her both musically and personally.
"He had the wealth of his students as people first and foremost, not just their musical advancement as a reflection of his teaching, which is more the norm for many music professors," Woodbury wrote. "I am probably a professional violinist today as a result of his considerate treatment of me.
"He was truly one of a kind, and I'm honored to have been his student."
Paul W. Brubacher, former vice president of student affairs at the university, lost his battle with prostate cancer in October. He was 74.
Brubacher came to the UofR in 1976 as vice president for student affairs.
He worked for the university until 1980 when he left to become a financial representative for the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network before retiring in 2011.
The Army veteran and his wife, Elaine, who had married in 1963, were just a few months short of their 50th wedding anniversary.
Knowing he may not be making it to the milestone, Elaine and Paul celebrated a year early and went on a cruise to Hawaii with family.
Brubacher was known for his kind heart and his love of sports, his wife said. He died wearing his favorite Red Sox T-shirt.
When not participating in sports himself - he was an avid tennis player - Paul would often talk sports with his friends, including James Appleton, former president of the UofR.
"Paul was a lot of fun to be with," Appleton said. "He loved college sports and he and I would always kibitz over how the Redlands Bulldogs were going to do in men's basketball because that was a favorite sport of his.
"And he loved his Michigan Wolverines. I got my Ph.D. at Michigan State - so whenever those teams would play, we had a lot of fun."
Brubacher was also active in the community, serving on the YMCA board for 31 years. He was president in 1984.
He also helped raised money for the organization and earned a Junie Schultz Award for his leadership and service to the YMCA in 1995.
Brubacher also was a board member and chaired the fund development committees for the Redlands Community Music Association and the Redlands Community Hospital Board Foundation.
"If he believed in something, he could get people to donate," his wife said.
Billie Daniel, affectionately known as "Old Lady Daniel,", died Nov. 4 of complications from Alzheimer's disease. She was 82.
A longtime educator for the Redlands Unified School District, Daniel worked most of her career as a teacher and later as a counselor at Redlands High School, where she was employed for 30 years before retiring in 1990.
Daniel and her husband, James H. "Jim," then traveled often across the country to visit with former students, said her daughter, Jamie Daniel of Redlands.
"I don't think she stopped anywhere without seeing any of her ex-students," she said.
Daniel kept two address books - one for her students and one for friends and family.
"She was good with keeping in touch with them ... picking up the phone (instead of sending letters) because it was immediate for her," her daughter said.
Daniel came to Redlands in 1954 from Texas where she was an elementary teacher.
She began working for Redlands Junior High School teaching speech and drama before joining the teaching staff at RHS.
Daniel served on the Vista Guidance Center and the Montessori boards. She also helped raise funds for the Campaign for the Clock effort to help refurbish Clock Auditorium at RHS.
Her community work caught the attention of many, and she was entered into the first class of the Town and Gown Women of Distinction.
She also won a number of awards, including Outstanding Teacher from the Rotary Club in 1969 and a Senior of Distinction at Plymouth Village in 2004.
"She was always very gracious," her daughter said.
Donations can be made in Daniel's name to the Alzheimer's Association and the Family Services Association.
Roy J. Atchley, the father of Redlands historian Tom Atchley, died Nov. 18 of congestive heart failure at Mission Commons. He was 88.
Atchley trained pilots in World War II, co-owned Crafton Dairy and later sold real estate.
After graduating from Colton High School in 1941, Atchley joined the mechanic apprentice program in San Diego where he worked for San Diego Consolidated as a flight engineer-mechanic, working mostly with manufactured PBYs and B-24 Liberator Bombers in World War II.
In 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps where he continued training pilots, his son said.
Although longing to fly, Atchley's vision was put to a halt by Army officials who told him he was more valuable on the ground and training pilots.
"They told him that he was too valuable as a trainer...and he would save more lives if he stayed on as (one)," Tom Atchley said.
After his discharge in 1946, Atchley went to the San Bernardino Air Depot where he performed flight tests until August 1946.
It was while working at the Air Depot that he met his wife of 62 years, Ann Buoye, on a night on the town at the Urbita Springs Ballroom.
They were married on Nov. 22, 1947. Ann died in 2009.
Atchley left the air depot to work for Southern California Edison before leaving the utility in 1953 to become co-owner of Crafton Dairy with his brothers-in-law Joseph and Tom Buoye.
After selling his share of the dairy in 1947, Atchley went on to receive a real estate broker's license and worked for area firms Kivett, Ray Alexander and later Lois Lauer Realty in Yucaipa, where he was the office manager.
After he retired in 1987, he traveled with his wife, visiting China, South Korea, Germany and the Panama Canal.
He was also active in the community as a member of the Paradise Valley Model A Club and Sacred Heart Church, and was as a past president of the Yucaipa Kiwanis Club.
Services were held at Redlands' Hillside Memorial Park.
Dr. Derle R. Riordan, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the Audiology Center of Redlands Medical Clinic, died Nov. 27 after a lengthy illness. He was 82.
Derle opened his practice when he moved to Redlands. The practice was first located on Cajon Street and later on Terracina Boulevard.
His practice thrived, said his wife of 26 years, Barbara.
Many of his patients traveled from all over the Inland Empire because he was the closest doctor in his field.
"He was sort of a pioneer in making sure that as people lose their hearing, they were tested properly, so they would know - and the doctor would know - how best to help them," his wife said.
Derle had a special place in his heart for children with hearing issues.
Often, nonprofit organizations would bring their children to his practice for care, his wife said.
"The most important thing he did was bring excellent care to people who were suffering primarily from hearing losses," she said.
Derle became a diplomat of the American Board of Otolaryngology and a consultant in otology with the California Vocational Rehabilitation Department before retiring in 1994.