Published: August 07, 2013
Suzie Franklin Defazio
Suzie Franklin Defazio was born February 28, 1953, diagnosed with ovarian cancer in August 2010, and died June 6, 2013 at the age of 60. She left us on her own terms.
Suzie died in our home, and choosing to discontinue all life support, she also chose the time. “I’m so very tired of it all… and this is no life.”
My dear one struggled mightily for the past six months with tenacious efforts of body and soul, and she died peacefully with a stoical resignation. To the end she was a brave little soul, and her words broke our hearts.
I first met Suzie 13 years ago, on the dance floor no less. We’ve shared some exciting years of romance, travels across America, and unforgettable adventures singing and dancing. Suzie was a ballroom and country-western dancer, a singer of Broadway show songs, entertainer, and a clever businesswoman, having had her own copy-editor service prior to our cabaret show on the “Senior Circuit” – the “Rick and Suzie Show.” Suzie was my girlfriend, lover, friend, companion, housemate.
She leaves behind her daughters Karen and Lisa (husband Erik), and granddaughter Ria. And me. And, I must say, a lovely home we put together in 2004, and filled with beautiful furniture, one of her legacies to me.
Being her caregiver with Karen has been an honor and a privilege. Truly, a part of my life has now been cut away.
“Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” (Author unknown)
Sincerely and with love, Rich Abbott
Lucille (Moore) Sparkman
Lucille (Moore) Sparkman, born January 14th, 1919 in Missouri to James and Myrtle (Pitts) Moore, passed away August 2nd, 2013.
She journeyed to Santa Paula with her parents and three older brothers at six months of age, where she’s lived ever since. She attended school at Briggs and the Little Red Schoolhouse, finally graduating from Santa Paula High School in 1935. Thanks to Gertrude French, Seth Barker and Freeman Eakin, she entered business competitions in Ventura and Los Angeles where she received honors for outstanding business student at graduation. She served as secretary to George Bond, Superintendent of the elementary school district for several years, later working at Dean Witter.
She married Alfred Gray of Fillmore, having one son, Warren. She was later married to Barney Aring and they built and operated the B&L Motel and Coffee Shop until 1963. While awaiting plans for a new hotel to be completed, she agreed to fill in “temporarily” as administrative secretary for Jim Knight at Santa Paula Memorial Hospital, where she remained until her retirement in 1984.
Lucille later married Howard Sparkman in a quiet ceremony on December 31, 1983, followed by a warm and rousing reception at the Santa Paula Depot attended by family and many of her friends and co-workers.
After her retirement, she was actively involved as a volunteer at the SPMH gift shop, served on the Santa Paula High School Alumni Board of Directors, deacon at the Santa Paula Presbyterian Church and as an auxiliary member of Santa Paula Clara Valley Hospice & Alzheimers Association.
Lucille was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Howard, in 2002 after suffering with Alzheimers. She was also preceded by her parents and three brothers, Glenn, Arley and Otis Moore, all veterans of World Ward II. Preceding her just last year, was her daughter-in-law, Linda Gray.
She leaves behind her son, Warren Gray of Santa Paula and grandsons David Gray and his son, Jared of Camarillo; Jim and Silvia Gray of Santa Paula, their children Carson and Madison; and Michael and Carrie Gray of Santa Paula, their children, Ethan, Tyler and Savannah. Survivors also include step-daughter Sherre (Sparkman) Barnett (husband Larry) of Oregon; step-grandson Chad and Amanda Barnett and their children Cooper and June of Utah. Also, nieces, Shirley (Jim) Onstot of Santa Paula and Jo Norwood of Bakersfield and their children.
The family would also like to thank her friends Jeanette Foy, Pat Novak, Wilma Allen and Dr. Schrock, as well as caregiver Julie Romero, for their help and support the past couple of months.
Graveside services, Friday, August 9, 2013 at 1:00pm at Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery.