Santa Paula Times


February 11, 2011

Daniel Joseph Geis

Daniel Joseph Geis passed away on February 4, 2011. He was 35 years old.

Dan was born December 17, 1975 in Santa Paula, CA. He attended Mupu School and was valedictorian of the 1994 class of Santa Paula High School. He was a 1999 graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he served as student body president and was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. He was employed by the Dolphin Group in Sacramento as an account executive for the last seven years.

Dan loved to spend time with family and friends,  go camping and fishing, referee high school football games, and had an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Throughout his life he always took charge, and tackled everything with a smile on his face. He had such a positive impact on all who knew him, which makes it that much more tragic that he took his own life.

Dan is survived by his wife Maile, their one year old son Nathan, parents Ed and Norma Geis of Santa Paula, mother-in-law Donna Shanahan and father-in-law Doug Williams of Fallbrook, brothers  Rob Geis of Bakersfield, Neil Geis of Camarillo, Steve Geis of Oceano, sisters Deborah Bannister of Peoria, AZ, and Susan Geis of San Jose, as well as in-laws, nieces, nephews, and a large extended family.

A memorial service will be held Friday, February 11 at 10 a.m. at Guild Theater, 2828 35th St., Sacramento, CA. A memorial Mass will be held Friday, February 18 at 11 a.m. at St. Sebastian Catholic Church at 235 N. 9th St., Santa Paula, CA. A reception will follow at St. Sebastian School.

In lieu of flowers, Dan’s family requests that donations be made to a fund set up for Nathan Geis. A deposit can be made at any Chase bank to his account 298 293 8330, or a check made out to Nathan Geis can be mailed to 236 Via Cassandra, Fallbrook, CA 92028.


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.


Grant Foster Cooper

Grant Foster Cooper, age 60, owner of SND Communications in Bellingham, WA, died in a rollover automobile accident on February 4, 2011. Grant grew up in Santa Paula, CA, where he graduated from SPHS, and then Ventura College.

Grant, a wizard of radio and communications, named his company in honor of his greatest love: his children. He also had a passion for swimming, surfing, travel, and NASCAR motor sports.

Grant was born January 13, 1951 in Los Angeles, CA, and is survived by his partner, Carolyn King; a son, Sky Cooper (wife Julie); daughters Nicolle and Danielle Cooper; his parents, Joy and John Cooper; his twin sister, Gaye Light (Gary) and sister, Sharyn McPherson (Dick); his brother, Thomas Cooper (Jina); grandchildren Keegan and Dash Cooper; four nieces and nephews; and many, many dear friends.

You may share your thoughts and memories on-line at A memorial service will be held at the Garden Street United Methodist Church, 1326 Garden St., Bellingham, WA, at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 12, 2011, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations in honor of Grant to the NASCAR Foundation or to the Garden Street UMC or Santa Paula UMC.

Arrangements are under the care of Sig’s Alternative Funeral Cremation Service, 360-656-5459.