Obituaries

June Crym Adams, who was in the San Francisco Temple at the time of the deaths in Jonestown, died in Eureka, California on June 20, 2013. She was 70. She is survived by her husband, former Temple member Tom Adams. Her obituary is here. A remembrance by Laura Johnston Kohl is here.

Walter “Smitty” Jones, who left Peoples Temple with Grace Stoen (now Grace Jones) on July 4, 1976, died in Concord, California on June 21, 2013. He was 75. A longtime general contractor, Walter was instrumental in setting up Jonestown’s electrical service. He is survived by his wife, Grace, and two children. His obituary is here. A remembrance by Laura Johnston Kohl is here.

Brenda Parks, who left Jonestown with her family in the company of Congressman Leo Ryan, died on February 14, 2013 in Ukiah, California. She was 52. She is survived by her father Jerry Parks, her sister Tracy Parks Diaz, and her brother Dale Parks. Her mother, Patricia, was the only member of Peoples Temple who was killed at the Port Kaituma airstrip. Brenda’s obituary is here.

Bill Purifoy, who joined Peoples Temple with his entire family – and who, also with the rest of the family, left before the Temple’s emigration to Guyana – died on December 4, 2012. He was 76. Bill was a contractor before he joined the church and he did a lot of the construction and renovation at the San Francisco Temple in the early 1970s. He was also a minister when he joined, and continued that occupation following his departure from the Temple. At the time of his death, he was a Pastor of Three Brothers Community Church in Mountain Home, Arkansas. His obituary is here.

Larry Swinney, who left Peoples Temple with his family in the mid-1970s, died in a single car accident near his Loris, South Carolina home on October 1, 2013. He was 53. He is survived by his parents, Marvin and Jackie Swinney, his brother Don and his daughter Jennifer. An obituary site for posting memorials is here.

11-AnnibourneNeville Annibourne, a Guyanese Information Officer who accompanied Leo Ryan to Jonestown and who survived the shootings at the Port Kaituma airstrip, died on April 22, 2013. He was 82. His obituary is here. An interview conducted with the former official in 2010 on the 32nd anniversary of the mass deaths, appears here.

Sandy Svetcov, a San Francisco prosecuting attorney who was on the team that won the conviction of Larry Layton for his role in the shootings at the Port Kaituma airstrip, died on February 15, 2013. He was 72. A news story about his death is here.

In addition, we learned this year of other deaths from previous years.

Ira Brown, the San Francisco Superior Court judge who presided over the dissolution of Peoples Temple and the dispersal of its assets, died in 2000 at the age of 69. A news story about his death is here.

Finally, we have confirmed the death of Monica Bagby, which occurred on June 14, 2009. Monica’s alliance with Vernon Gosney led them to approach Leo Ryan with a request to leave Jonestown, and she, like Gosney, was wounded during the Port Kaituma shooting. She was 49. Her obituary is here. This edition of the jonestown report has remembrances of Monica by Vernon Gosney and Elizabeth McQueen.

Originally posted on October 13th, 2013.

Last modified on November 13th, 2018.
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