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Obituaries - November 7, 2015

Harold Lee Waggoner

Known as “Skip” to most, Harold Lee Waggoner died peacefully in his sleep on October 21.

Born in Detroit, Michigan on October 11, 1940, Waggoner grew up actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America. He began working for the Boy Scouts as soon as he was old enough, and continued until he was 25. 

He started with the Highlands County Sheriff office in 1974 and stayed in that position for 21 years, until his retirement. Soon after he retired he moved to Mexico where he enjoyed the best 20 years of his life. At Lake Chapala he assisted many U.S. citizens in his post as the Warden for the U.S. Consulate, while perfecting his house and garden and helping and enjoying others as much as possible. 

He will be missed and remembered by many. 

Waggoner is survived by his daughter, two sons, three sisters, one brother and many other family and friends.

Juan Torres

Juan Torres, a longtime lakeside resident, lost a hard fought battle with cancer on Tuesday, November 3. 

Torres grew up in Carrizozo, New Mexico, attending high school there and later earning a degree in civil engineering from New Mexico State University.  He received his Masters Degree from Purdue University, where he met and married Mary Sue Tisdale, his wife of 48 years.  

Torres enjoyed a long and successful career with Amoco Chemicals Corporation, spending much of his career on foreign soil.  He participated in Amoco’s first foreign venture in Belgium in the 1960s. The family then lived in many other locations, including Spain, Japan, Indonesia and Bolivia. His two children, Janice Elaine and Ghislaine Marie, both knew that it would be impossible for their father to retire in the United States. They were right: Juan and Sue moved to Ajijic in 1999. 

Torres loved golf and played at Atlas Country Club in Guadalajara for many years. Bridge was his other passion and he served the Lakeside Duplicate Bridge Club in many capacities. 

When the world needs an example of grace and dignity in the face of adversity, they only have to remember this remarkable gentleman, those who knew Torres say. 

He is survived by his wife Sue; daughters Janice Elaine Berry and Ghislaine Marie Torres and grandsons Jonas Makai Berry and Javas Rain Berry. Torres is also survived by his mother, Jovita H. Torres, an active 92, who still resides in Carrizozo. 

There will be a memorial service at the Torres’ home on Saturday, November 28, 5 p.m., followed by light refreshments.

Philo Hayward

“I’ve just hit my stride at 70. Still got quite a-ways to go,” said Philo Hayward of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle in his blog on September 2.

Unfortunately, Hayward, the friend of virtually every cruiser who ever sailed into Banderas Bay and well known to almost everyone who lived and visited La Cruz, passed away three days later.

Hayward went to the hospital with chest pains and was having stent surgery when he died on Saturday, September 5.

At age 55, Hayward, a musician, sold his house and recording studio in Mendocino, California, to start cruising. After doing the 2000 Baja Ha-Ha, he arrived in the northshore town of La Cruz, Nayarit.

He found a building he thought would make a great music venue and bought it. 

During the cruising season he continued sailing and in the off-season he worked at his Philo’s Bar and Music Club. After a couple of seasons, he sold his boat and concentrated on his business.

Philo’s became the default place cruisers headed to, with Hayward and his band, featuring many guest performers, playing four nights a week in high season. 

Philo’s was not just music and dancing. It had a Cruisers Lounge, rooms to rent, high-speed Internet and good food. 

It became popular with non-boating U.S. and Canadian snowbirds, too. Packed houses were the rule during the high season.

Hayward made sure the club was not just a business but also an asset to the community, hosting many charitable fundraisers there. There were also English lessons for locals, school supplies for kids, Christmas gifts for local children, programs for seniors and holiday potluck dinners for anyone who wanted to come. 

An avid motorcyclist, he regularly hosted trips to San Sebastián del Oeste, not only getting people to appreciate the town, but also helping it economically. Every Sunday, Buddies in the Saddle, a group of motorcycle riders, left from Philo’s for adventure and breakfast. The group still continues the rides.

Philo’s continues to be operated by his family, Maria Joaquina Sierra, her two young sons and his regular staff.

A memorial celebration for Hayward will take place on December 19, when many of his friends and loyal customers have returned to Mexico from north of the border.

Christopher Derek Anders

Guadalajara resident Christopher Derek Anders died unexpectedly October 16 of a heart attack in his sleep at La Perla, a top-rated bed and breakfast of which he was co-owner. He was 52 years old. 

Although Anders was born September 4, 1963, in Santa Cruz, Poncitlan, Jalisco, as Martin Cortes Rodriguez, as a small child he moved to Riverside, California, with his family. In December, 1982, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana. While in the Air Force he became a U.S. citizen and changed his name to Christopher Derek Anders. 

After leaving the Air Force as a noncommissioned officer in the grade of sergeant, he became a paralegal in Kokomo, Indiana, at the law office of David Howard Williams. Later, he became a business partner of Lars Bolthouse in a retail store in Kokomo, Indiana, selling fine crystal and home accessories.

In 2005, Anders and Bolthouse relocated to Guadalajara and opened La Perla.

Anders was laid to rest in the family crypt in Santa Cruz following a wake at La Perla and a service in the cemetery chapel. He is survived by his mother, stepfather, two sisters, two brothers, three sons and his business partners at La Perla, Lars Bolthouse and Guillermo Palafox.

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