February 18, 2011

Arthur Franklin (Frank) Duncan Jr.

It is with great sadness and deep regret that we announce the passing of a really great guy.

Frank was born on June 10, 1922 to Arthur F. Duncan Sr. and Lula France Duncan. He was a lifelong resident of Santa Paula. He died after a long and courageous battle with congestive heart failure on February 7, 2011.

He attended Mupu School, where his mother was a teacher for many years. He graduated from Santa Paula High School in 1940. He started attending classes at Santa Barbara State (now known as UC Santa Barbara).

He was drafted by the Army in 1942. He was assigned to the 30th Infantry Division as a medical corpsman. His unit landed on Omaha Beach on June 12, 1944 (six days after D-Day and two days after his 22nd birthday).

After he was discharged in November 1945, he returned to Santa Paula and resumed his studies at Santa Barbara State, where he worked toward obtaining his teaching credential. In the spring of 1947, he was approached about teaching summer school at Juvenile Hall. He was only supposed to fill in for the summer, but ended up staying there until his retirement in 1979.

In 1948 he was best man at his brother’s wedding. While fulfilling these duties he met Marie Fregoso, the maid of honor and sister of the bride. They started dating and were married June 9, 1951. They were married 58-1/2 years until her death on January 30, 2010.

Frank was predeceased by his wife Marie, his parents Arthur Sr. and Lula, and brother Perry Duncan. He is survived by his daughter Nancy Duncan of Santa Paula, son Arthur F. Duncan III of Munich, Germany, brother Donald “Spike” Duncan of Placerville, CA, and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, and to honor Dad’s life of service to others, the family requests that you make a donation to a charity of your choice.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, February 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Skillin-Carroll Chapel. A graveside service will be held on Friday, February 18 at 1 p.m. at Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the direction of Skillin-Carroll Mortuary, 525-3391.


Frank Joseph Marshall

Frank Joseph Marshall, age 68, of Three Rivers, passed away February 13, 2011 in Fresno, CA.

Frank Joseph Marshall was born to Clarence Richard and Florence Bertha (Pucher) Marshall in Oxnard, CA on December 1, 1942. He was raised in the Santa Paula/Fillmore area on the family citrus ranch. He married the former Sylvia Salsbury on August 29, 1964 in Fillmore, CA.

He was the sales manager for Agri-Serv in Santa Paula and a partner in Pro Ag Inc. for many years. He was a past president of the Central Valley Management Inc., and a partner of Oxnard Lemon in Oxnard. Frank was an innovator in citrus and loved to share his years of experience and ideas to many farmers.

He was an optimist, always looking forward in everything he did. Frank had an infectious laugh that could be heard across the room.

He is preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Marie Nisbet. He will always be loved and missed by his family.

Frank is survived by his wife, Sylvia Marshall of Three Rivers; sons Frank Marshall Jr. and wife Jen of Visalia, and Joshua Marshall and wife Tina of Visalia; daughter Michele Marshall and husband Richard Fischer of Exeter; brother Richard Marshall and wife Dora of Fillmore; sister Barbara Roina and Husband Edward of Santa Paula; and brother-in-law Don Nisbet of Fillmore. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Alex Fontana, Sydney Fontana, Connor Marshall, Indy Fischer and Roman Fischer, who will miss their Papa. Frank also leaves numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 11 a.m. at Evans Miller Guinn Chapel. Private burial will follow at the Three Rivers Cemetery.

Condolences may be sent to the family at Services entrusted to Evans Miller Guinn Exeter Chapel.


Suzanne Pitluk

Suzanne Pitluk, a new resident to the Santa Paula area, passed away on Wednesday, February 9th at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica. Suzanne was an active member of the Santa Paula Ebell Club and the Santa Paula Beautiful Project.

Born in 1953 in Detroit, Michigan, Suzanne received a Nursing Certificate from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. A believer in continuing education and constant learning, she was taking classes at the University of Detroit Mercy, from which she was looking to obtain her Bachelors of Science Degree in Oncology Nursing.

Suzanne practiced nursing in the Metro Detroit area since 1976 and worked at various hospitals throughout Southeast Michigan. Her last job in Michigan was as an Oncology Certified Nurse with the University of Michigan Cancer Center. There as a Staff Infusion Nurse, she helped those inflicted with similar diseases as her. Besides calling on science and medicine, she drew from her own personal experiences with cancer to help her patients cope with their difficult times. Before her passing Suzanne had applied for her California Nursing License so she could continue helping others.

Suzanne loved her family and they were always put before her own wellbeing. She enjoyed socializing, meeting new people, traveling, and living life to the fullest.

Although she dabbled in an array of hobbies, she was an arts and craftsperson extraordinaire, a talented seamstress and gardener, and was picking up rose gardening after moving to Santa Paula with her husband Jack in May of last year.

Her wonderful smile and presence always kept a room cheerful. Her laugh was loud and contagious and her energy and views about life were infectious.

One of her many passions included breast cancer awareness and telling her story to help others. An advocate of fighting breast cancer and finding a cure, she participated in numerous walks including the Susan G. Komen Three Day and the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Not only a walker, she was usually called upon to be a speaker or to participate in the opening/closing ceremonies.

She is survived by her husband, Jack; her two children, Gretchen and Nathan; her parents, Vic and Esther Schroeder of Interlochen, MI; her remaining sisters, Johanna DeMeyer and Heidi Good of Royal Oak, MI and South Lyon, MI; and many nieces, nephews, and other family and friends, to whom she brought great joy and caring. She is predeceased by her youngest sister Gretchen Little, 2007.

Memorial gifts may be made in Suzie’s name to one of three organizations: The American Cancer Society (, where she was a spokesperson; SU2C – Stand Up to Cancer (, whose Breast Cancer team is led by Sue’s CA doctor; or the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which provides funding for Suzie’s other world class doctor, Daniel Hayes.

A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, February 20 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Oxnard. A service will also be held in Michigan, with interment in Mount Hope Cemetery in Interlochen, Michigan this spring.


Sunny D. Schmidt

My beloved soul mate Sunny left this world on January 31 at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara from a major stroke.

She began life in Ansonia, Connecticut on October 15, 1947. Her parents, Ray and Marion Downing, soon went west to Kansas with Sunny and her sister Chris. After a few years the family took another trip in their Spartan trailer to California, eventually locating in Pacific Palisades, where Sunny grew up and finished her education.

Sunny loved nature and all of her feathered and furry friends. Caring for her little ones came before caring for herself. When she was younger she hand raised an orphaned baby raccoon. A threat to them or family and friends would meet her fearless lion self.

She had a special bond with animals, particularly her cat Rhea. They started each day with Rhea nuzzling her neck while Sunny drank her British tea; Mom Marion was from England and they both had a love for tea and sweets.

Sunny created beauty in everything she did. She had a passion for making amazing jewelry. She loved to play her piano and occasionally burst out in song, having a gift for music. A perfect day was caring for her garden and cymbidiums.

Sunny made a beautiful home, and loved to travel and plan the trips. Meals she prepared would equal what a fine restaurant served.

As a partner in our two family businesses, Sunny skillfully managed marketing, accounting and office tasks.

Sunny served Santa Paula in many ways. She gave many hours to the Santa Paula Aviation Museum, and served as a board member. She organized the first fundraiser to buy a city police dog, and helped other fundraising. Sunny was active in city and neighborhood issues as a leader and organizer.

Sunny loved her family, planning Aries birthday parties, shoot-outs at the OK Corral and other adventure outings.

Sunny’s spirit and courage, through two decades of challenging medical problems, never failed her; her body did. She now joins her mom Marion, kitty Rhea, son Rolly, daughter Heidi, and other family and friends.

She leaves her husband Jer, dad Ray (Gisela), sister Chris, son Deric, daughter-in-law Alison (Mike), grandsons Colton (Melissa), Hunter, Jason, Justin (Francesca), Jesse, Drew and Reese, great-grandkids MiKaela, Tyler and Baileigh, brother and sister-in-law Ral and Carol, cousins, nephews, nieces, family and friends.

The beautiful soul behind those gorgeous eyes and smile is free again to soar, to be free, to love.

There will be a small celebration of Sunny’s life for family.

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