George and Judith Pommerenke

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of beloved couple George and Judith Pommerenke.

George passed on Feb. 20, 2019, in Bakersfield, after a battle with several health issues. He was born Nov. 30, 1934, to Harold Pommerenke and Eleanor Sly Pommerenke in Rochester, Minn. He attended college in Minnesota and California to further his electrical engineering degree

He later served in the United States Navy and United States Air Force as an aviation electrician. He received an honorable discharge in 1962. He was proud of his service for his country.

He later worked as an electronics development technician for General Dynamics Convair in San Diego working in early computer systems for early space programs. He was an out-of-the-box thinker, which he demonstrated when he designed and engineered one of the first remote controls for hot yubs in the 1970s. Later he owned his own electrician business, serving many in the Ridgecrest area.

He is survived by son-in-law Daniel Carey, granddaughter Kathryn Carey, stepgrandson Collin Carey (Lisa and stepgrandson Flynn) and son Steven Pommerenke. He was preceded in death by parents Harold and Eleanor, brother Edward (Verna), daughter Pamela Carey and ex-wife Marlene Cutkosky Pommerenke Miller Calderon.

Judy passed on March 5, 2019, from complications related to injuries sustained in a serious auto accident. She was born Aug. 25, 1939, to Walter and Rosalie Burton Collins in Klamath Falls, Ore. She was raised in Oregon and California. She lived a majority of time in California with former husband Stanley H. Steele Jr. She worked as an office manager and accounts manager for various companies throughout her years, most recently working at the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake.

Judy is survived by sister Mary Lee Collins (Donald Hajek) of Colorado; daughter Marijo Steele (David Young) of Utah and their children Jeremy (Rebecca), Suzanne (James Adams), Jason (Autumn), Amy (Mark Stotlar), Justin (Kristin), Andrew (Morgan), Erik (Tisha), whom she called Grandma’s lambies when they were young; son Robert Steele (Beverly Mooney) of Ventura, their children Robert ‘Buddy’ (Amanda) and daughter Jennifer ‘Jumpstart’ (Erik Hansen); and her two nephews Michael (Judy) and David (Heather) Hajek; along with 23 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Rosalie.

George and Judy married Feb. 4, 1974, in Yuma, Ariz., and recently celebrated their 45th anniversary. They loved getting dressed up to go out for dinner and enjoy a movie. While living in Ridgecrest they joined a square-dancing club for a time. Some of their favorite pastimes were spent with family, visiting Disneyland (Judy’s favorite place), camping and fishing on the Kern River and participating in activities with church family (and entertaining the LDS missionaries), especially backyard dinners and the annual Trunk or Treat Halloween party. They always had fun together helping others.

As they were always together in life and they are now serving the Lord on the other side of the veil. They will be greatly missed, but we will remember them lovingly. Special thanks to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Ridgecrest Wards for all of their help and support through the years. Memorial services will be announced at a later date.

— Submitted by the loved ones of George and Judith Pommerenke

Story First Published: 2019-03-29