Austin Allen Barnard, 86, resident of Santa Maria, CA passed away January 7, 2020. Arrangements are under the direction of Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary, Crematory and Memory Gardens. www.dudleyhoffmanmortuary.com
David T. Kataoka, 93, resident of Santa Maria, CA passed away January 3, 2020. Arrangements are under the direction of Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary, Crematory and Memory Gardens. www.dudleyhoffmanmortuary.com
Ellen Marie Walsh, 68, resident of Santa Maria, CA passed away December 31, 2019. Arrangements are under the direction of Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary, Crematory and Memory Gardens. www.dudleyhoffmanmortuary.com
Eugene Clarence Stevens, 91, passed away on January 5, 2020 ending his 8 year-long journey with dementia. He was born in Wilmington, North Carolina on January 5, 1929, to Clarence Lorenzo Stevens and Elizabeth Allen Stevens. At age 19 he enlisted in the Air Force. He was assigned to typing/office training, which was the basis for his work in his future. In 1953 he married MaryAnn Perry from Greenville, South Carolina. In 1958 he was transferred along with the first 600 troops to Cooke Air Force Base in Lompoc, California as a sergeant. He served in the Public Affairs Office and was co Editor of the SAC Missllier, the first base newspaper. While at Vandenberg he earned an Associate Degree from Allan Hancock College and a Bachelor's Degree through the Air Force Operation Bootstrap program at University of Omaha. He separated from the Airforce as a Master Sergeant in 1962.
From 1962 to 1969 He worked for Ken, Don and Harriet Adams, publishers of the Lompoc Record, initially as reporter, news editor, and managing editor where he wrote a weekly column “Looking Glass” with comments on many topics. In 1966 he became the proud father of a son, Scott. He earned a Master's Degree from Chapman College in 1968.
In 1969 he was recruited by the President of Allan Hancock College, Walter Conrad, as Director of Public Relations and later Director of Community Services. He formed the Lifelong Learning Institute for the community, bringing well known speakers to the Santa Maria campus, like Ray Bradbury, Wm. F. Buckley and Carl Sagan. He was instrumental in bringing college courses to the Lompoc Valley, which years later led to the establishment of a campus in Lompoc in 1998. He was recognized as one of Allan Hancock College Distinguished Alumni in 1995.
After years of reporting on city council meetings and observing local politics, in 1970 Gene decided to run for a position Lompoc city council. He was successful and served for 15 years. Al Walker was campaign manager for all his council runs. In those years the council appointed a Mayor among themselves, with Gene serving four times as Mayor. He is credited with establishing the Lompoc Architectural Review Committee, the First Downtown Revitalization Committee and the Economic Development Plan Committee. He was committed to beautification programs and promoting tourism to support local businesses. He was selected as the 1973 Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year. In 1980 Gene married the love of his life, Judy. Together they enjoyed a partnership of community service. He retired from the council in 1989. He said it was the greatest privilege of his life to represent the city and make Lompoc the best place to live and raise a family. For years after their retirements he and his two closest friends, former councilmen and mayors, Richard “Dick” Jacoby and Joe Valencia shared morning coffee in local establishments discussing city politics and events of the day, often joined by other interested Lompoc residents in lively conversations.
Not content to be idle, Gene worked for the Lompoc Chamber of Commerce for 23 years promoting tourism and other Chamber programs. In 1988 he established the Lompoc Mural Society, serving as the Administrator for 25 years. The growing inventory of public art depicting the history of Lompoc Valley drew tourists to admire the work of local artistsuralists.
He supported the establishment of Lompoc Murals & Public Arts Commission. He was a member of the Lompoc Valley Art Association for over 20 years, was on the Lompoc National Veteran's Cemetery Task Force, an active member of Lompoc Rotary #669, Lompoc Valley Club, the Olde Town market Committee, Lompoc United States Penitentiary Advisory Board, Santa Barbara County Human Services Commission, Friends of the Library, Downtown Revitalization Committee, Santa Barbara Foundation Affiliate, and Lompoc Museum Board. When asked, he always served with his time and his heart. He was the Lompoc Flower Festival Parade Grand Marshall in 1997. In the year 2000 he was selected as Lompoc's Man of the Century for his nearly 50 years of dedication to the community.
In 2012 as memory issues were appearing Gene and his wife, Judy, decided to move to Banning, California to be nearer family. Here he traveled, rested and reflected on a life well lived.
Gene is survived by Judy, his wife of 40 years, son Scott Stevens, MD, daughter in law Lisa Palmieri Stevens, MD, granddaughter Cathryn Stevens, all of Sandy, Utah; younger brother Ray of Wilmington, North Carolina, sister-in-law Donna Stevens of Kenosha, Wisconsin, as well as many dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Edwin Stevens, sister Eleanor Edwards, brother-in-law Col. Charles Edwards, USMC, a nephew Michael Edwards, and his dear friends Al Walker, Joe Valencia and Dick Jacoby.
He will be inurned at Riverside National Cemetery in a private family service on January 27. A memorial will be held in Lompoc at a future date to be announced.
He was an energetic, happy man, who loved life and lived it to its fullest, loved his family and friends and a was dedicated supporter of the community of Lompoc. He will be missed.
The family is grateful to the staff of Prestigious Hospice for their compassionate care at the end of his life.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to the Lompoc Mural Society or charity of your choice or perform a random act of kindness as a tribute.
Leland was born in Dexter, Iowa in 1931, the fourth child of Charley and Emma Smith. He was one of nine children.
Leland attended school in Iowa. He joined the U.S. Army and served during the Korean war. After the war, he moved to Rockford, Illinois where he worked as an apprentice tool and die maker.
In Rockford, he met and married his wife of 64 years, Margaret Ann Sweeney. Lee and Margaret Ann lived in Rockford in the home Lee built until they moved to California in 1965, where he worked for Ajax Hardware. In 1968, Lee opened Upland Mold & Engineering. Shortly thereafter, he opened STL Molding.
In 1970, Leland took his love of flying skyward and became a pilot. For over a decade he flew around the Southwestern United States.
In 1974, Lee and Margaret Ann build their dream house in Cebada Canyon, Lompoc, CA. Lee opened Santa Maria Mold, which served a diverse group of customers in California and surrounding states. Lee retired in 2016 and sold Santa Maria Mold.
Lee and Margaret had three children, Michael, Mitchell (deceased), and Jeannette.
Lee was robust, enjoying gardening, playing golf and flying. He maintained a variety of fruit trees on his property and kept horses for many years. Lee had a great love for nature and animals and especially loved his Jack Russel Terrier, Speedy.
Lee's health started to fail in mid-year 2019 and he passed away in his home. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Ann, his son Michael, his daughter Jeannette Forrest and two grandchildren, Dr. Samantha Ford (married to Trevor) and A.J. Behncke. (married to Nicole). He is predeceased in death by his son Mitchell, his mother and father, his brothers Robert, Richard and Kenneth and his sister, Lucille. His sisters Beverly and Carol and brothers Charles and James survive him.
Lee will be remembered as a kind and gentle man who never met a stranger. He loved life and lived it to the fullest. The family wants to recognize VNA hospice for their short but wonderful and compassionate care at the end of his life.
A visitation for Lee will be held on Sunday, January 12, 2020 from 6:30-8 pm, followed by a rosary at 8 pm Starbuck-Lind Mortuary Chapel. His funeral mass will be Monday, January 13, 2020, 10 am at Queen of Angels Catholic Church, followed by burial at the Lompoc Cemetery District. A reception will follow at Lee's residence.
SFC Thomas Joseph DeBiase, Sr. was born in Yonkers, New York on 3 July 1932 and passed away in Lompoc on 7 January 2020 where he was cared for at home by our firstborn, Therasa, while I was in the hospital and then the care facility. Therasa was assisted by our sons and eldest granddaughter.
Tom retired from the Army after 23 years of service, as he wanted to be part of his children's lives and to watch them grow up. In civilian life, Tom became a soccer coach when Tom Jr. and Troy began playing "real football". Lee Cannon got Tom to become a referee, and Tom mentored others to become referees. Tom refereed in Lompoc, Santa Maria, Ventura, Atascadero, Paso Robles, and even on the coast. One evening after Tom had refereed on a frosty field, he pulled off the side of the road to manage leg cramps. The police officer who stopped to check on him enjoyed a conversation and didn't have to give out a ticket.
Tom served in Germany, Hawaii, several US states, Korea, and Vietnam. Thankfully, the dementia Tom was experiencing kept him from remembering his time in Vietnam.
When we met in 1964, Tom told me of G.I.s phoning in from Japan to his radio station in Korea at night to request their favorite music, since they could hear the broadcast so clearly. Tom also worked at Teleprompter as Director of Local Origination, filiming parades, city council meetings, and other events. He had his own video taping business filming weddings and athletic events as he enjoyed taking pictures and videos. Additionally, Tom enjoyed SCUBA diving, being a pilot, and sailing. He served as a past-commander of VFW Post 2521, where he was also a member of the honor guard and was a member of the American Legion.
Tom was proud of his children and wife, and we are proud of Tom as a husband, father, and grandfather. He is suvived by Gwyneth, his wife of 55 years; children Therasa Rogers (husband Shaun, Idaho); Thomas (Brigitte, CA); and Troy (CA) along with grandchildren Dennis (Germany), Ryan (in college in CA), and Isabella, Rainah, Elijah, and Kaijah (CA).
Thank you to Wilshire Hospice for the peace of life Tom had at the end of his life.
A memorial service will be held at VFW Post 2521 in Santa Maria at 3pm on February 9.
Phillip G. Levash Jr., One of heaven's good and faithful servants, was called home on January 3, 2020. Born in 1931 to Phillip Levash and Anna Cieslik, he grew up in Crystal Ridge, Pennsylvania. He and his six siblings helped the family by picking blueberries and mining coal. He met his beloved Rita in 1952 and they were married before he left to serve in the Korean War as a Track Vehicle Repairman. Phillip received the Korean Service medal with one Bronze Service Star, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal for his service in the United States Army. Phillip and Rita had four children: Lawrence, Phyllis, Leonard, and Gregory. He worked for Johns Manville Corp. for 35 years in both New Jersey and Lompoc CA (1971) in various capacities, the last of which was a General Maintenance Foreman where he earned the nickname Slasher. Phillip was mechanically inclined and could figure out how to fix just about anything. He had a great love for music, especially the accordian and was an accomplished piano player as well. He and Rita enjoyed 55 years of marriage and lived in Arizona for 13 years before her passing in 2007. He was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings, and son Lawrence. He is survived by son Leonard (Teresa) Levash, son Greg Levash, and daughter Phylllis (Ray) Depaolo. He was also blessed with and is survived by 10 grandchildren: Robyn, Laura, Jennifer, Bernadette, Jason, Aubrey, Christopher, Matthew, Timothy, and Kimberly. In addition, Phillip is also survived by 15 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Phillip instilled in his children a strong faith, and we smile thinking he has met the Savior he worshiped, has been given his new heavenly body, and is again hand in hand with his beloved Rita. In lieu of a memorial service there will be a private family gathering on a date yet to be determined.
Ann West Glenn Ruhge passed away on January 4, 2020. She was born to Newton and Leone West on January 29, 1933 and raised in Venice, California. She attended Machado Elementary School, graduated from Venice High School & graduated from UCLA with a BA in Education and majors also in English and History. She married Hugh L. Glenn in 1955 and taught in the Culver City School District for 2 years. They raised 3 sons - Brian, Jim and David and moved to Goleta in 1962.
Ann derived her passion for working to make communities better from her parents who were very active in the Venice community.
In Goleta, Ann was a member of the Women's Service Club of Goleta for many years. She taught in the State Preschool Program for low-income children in the Goleta School District for 24 years and loved working with the many families in the area.
She met & married Justin Ruhge in 1987 at Stow House in Goleta.
That is when her activities for community involvement really picked up.
In 1991, Ann was asked to become the Administrative Assistant for the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce and worked in that capacity for 2 years. She was hired to assume the job of Executive Director in 1993 and was there until retirement in 1999.
While in Goleta she was active in the Goleta Historical Society for 8 years and worked with husband, Justin, on many projects there, including creating their maritime and carriage museums.
Ann & Justin also worked on 3 Goleta Cityhood campaigns and she even ran for City Council once in Goleta.
They moved to Lompoc in 1994 and Ann became very active in the Lompoc community. She has served on several community committees including: Member of the Board of Directors of the Lompoc Chamber of Commerce for 6 years and Chairman of the Board in 2005-2006; Participated on the Chamber's Olde Towne Market Committee for 13 years as Chair of the Business & Community Organizations Booths; Co-Chaired the Brushes & Blues Community Arts Festival in 2002 and chaired it from 2003 to 2006; Chaired the California Mural Symposium in 2000 for the Lompoc Mural Society; Served as the Lompoc Hospital's Foundation Coordinator for 3 years; Served on their Community Education and Public Relations Committees and the Special Events Committee participating in their annual Golf Tournament, Christmas Home Tea & Tour and Walk-A-Thon for 8 years; Served on the Lompoc Hospital Foundation's Board of Trustees; Served on the Alpha Literary & Improvement Club's Board of Directors as 1st Vice President and as President for 2005-2007 and 2014-2015; Designed the new Membership Directory and wrote the Alphagram newsletter for many years; Served on the Surf/Ocean Beach Commission since it was begun; Member of the Lompoc Women in Chambers of Commerce and served as Secretary and President in 2011-2013; Member of the Lompoc Valley Republican Women's Club Federated serving as Secretary, Newsletter Chairman, Program Chair and Co-Chair of the Art Show & Wine Tasting Event; Was President from 2015-2017; Appointed to the Lompoc Planning Commission in 2001 and served for 6 years;
Ann was elected to the Lompoc City Council in November of 2006 and served for 4 years; Served on the Lompoc Library's Board of Trustees as President since 2011; She is a member of Good Samaritan Services Lompoc Advisory Board, Women's Auxiliary and a member of the Board of Trustees.
In her spare time, she enjoyed counted cross stitching (for which she won many awards) and has given her cross stitching to family and friends, knitting (especially baby hats, socks, scarves and sweaters), gardening and traveling all around the world with Justin and just being with friends.
Leaves behind sons and wives (partners) – Brian Glenn (Terry Leppo), Jim Glenn (Cathy), David Glenn (Janelle). Stepchildren and spouses – Kevin Ruhge (Yasmeen) and Andrea Ruhge Leyva. Grandchildren – Maxwell Glenn, Payton Glenn and Justin Leyva; Nephew Jeffrey Geis and spouse Sandy; Great nieces and nephew – Melissa, Kelly and Danny.
A visitation and funeral service will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at Starbuck-Lind Mortuary, viewing at 12 pm with the funeral service at 1 pm, a celebration of life will follow the funeral service at Events Mission Valley, 138 North B St. in Lompoc, CA. Private interment at Lompoc Evergreen Cemetery
In lieu of flowers please make donations in Ann's name to the Good Samaritan Services, http://goodsamaritanshelter.org/donate, or to the Alpha Literary & Improvement Club, contact Roberta Woods (805)598-9411.
Brandon S. Jebens, 47, resident of Santa Maria, CA passed away January 6, 2020. Arrangements are under the direction of Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary, Crematory and Memory Gardens. www.dudleyhoffmanmortuary.com
Eldora Steffensen was born Dec. 25th, 1926 in Lake Norden South Dakota to Niels and Karen Steffensen. On Christmas Eve 1931 the Steffensen family arrived in Solvang.They spent their first night at Atterdag College, ironically she spent her last day at Atterdag Care Center on Dec. 24th, 2019. She was the 6th eldest of 8 children. Eldora graduated from Santa Ynez High School in 1944. She married Jerry D. Laubly in 1948. Together they operated Jerry's Liquor in Solvang for over 30 years. Jerry passed away in 1971. She is survived by her daughter Patty Petersen (Torben) and family, and son John Laubly (Janet) and family. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews. At her request, no funeral services will be held.
Rodrigo Castaniaga, Sr., 70, resident of Santa Maria, CA passed away January 5, 2020. Arrangements are under the direction of Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary, Crematory and Memory Gardens. www.dudleyhoffmanmortuary.com
Robert Nichols James died peacefully at home on January 6, 2020. He was born August 6, 1934, to Howard and Virgilee James in Elmhurst, Illinois, and joined by a sister, Sandra, twelve years later. One of his fondest memories was spending summers at the lake in Wisconsin.
After graduation from High School, he went on to Purdue University for a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Immediately after graduation from Purdue, Bob married Mary Armstrong, and together they moved to California to start his career at Rocketdyne. After receiving his commission in the Air Force, they were stationed at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois, where their first child, Michael was born. Then on to Travis Air Force Base in California, where daughter Jennifer was born. At Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, Bob received a Master's degree from the Air Force Institute of Technology – and their daughter Kathleen was born. They were next stationed at Edwards Air Force Base where daughter Linda was born. This was followed by a PhD from Stanford University, and postings in Southern California, teaching at the US Air Force Academy, and then transferred to Vandenberg Air Force Base, the last duty station in his long Air Force career.
Soon after the move to Vandenberg, Mary died. Four years later, Bob met and married Cynthia McLain, the wonderful woman who would be his wife for the next 41 years. Son Joe added a fifth child to the family. After retirement from the Air Force, Bob worked at Lockheed-Martin and retired at the age of 83 from Spaceport Systems International. He enjoyed reading, learning about science and technology, creating computer-generated drawings of the buildings where he worked over the years, as well as designing additions to their home and church – truly works of art. Bob was active for over 45 years in the First Apostolic Church of Lompoc and considered the privilege of living for God a tremendous blessing and the highlight of his life.
In addition to Mary, Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Virgilee, daughter Kathleen, son Michael and great-grandson Bret. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia, sister Sandra Holly (Louis), daughter Jennifer James (Richard Kochansky), daughter Linda Ingram (Michael), son Joseph McLain, 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
A visitation and funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 9, 2020, at the First Apostolic Church, 921 North O Street, Lompoc, California, viewing at 1pm with the funeral service at 2pm. Graveside service will follow at Lompoc Evergreen Cemetery.