Celebration of Life Held for Volunteer Who Died on Mt. Baldy

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A celebration of life was held for Timothy Staples, a volunteer rescuer who died on Mt. Baldy on Sunday.

Staples was a 9-year veteran of the search and rescue team, highly skilled and was one of 126 people working in 23 teams searching large sections of the mountain for missing hiker Sreenivas "Sree" Mokkapati, the Sheriff's Department said.

Mokkapati has still not been found.

On Dec. 14, Staples' partner radioed for help on the mountain. Staples is presumed to have fallen down an ice chute. A medic was lowered to him and found Staples dead in the ice and snow, according to officials.

Staples was also a beloved track and field coach at Damien High School in La Verne, where he also taught Social Science and English, according to the high school.

"The Damien High School community is devastated by the loss of a
beloved and devoted member of our social science and English faculty," the
school said in a statement posted on Facebook. "He was a favorite teacher among his students. Tim also coached cross country and track and field.''

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